Blogsam and Jetsam

Flotsam is the part of the wreckage of a ship or its cargo found floating on the water. Jetsam is cargo or parts of a ship that are deliberately thrown overboard, as to lighten the ship in an emergency, and that subsequently either sinks or is washed ashore. This is my personal blog version of the above. Loot freely.

My Photo
Location: The Hinterlands, Upstate NY

I'm annoyed that the world is going crazier faster than it used to be. But it's interesting to watch.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Hey Ray, you'll appreciate this post...

I had lunch with a co-worker of mine who is equal in station but over a decade older, has been running a bigger department for longer and who has published the definitive textbook in his field.

I wanted to talk internal work politics; he wanted to talk religion.

Not just any religion but Christian religion. And not just any Christianity but his version of it which included a huge amount of time telling me how it was my duty as a Christian to make sure my children were raised in the faith. HUGE! I even said at one point "you're sure worried about my kids, aren't you?!?"

Then he told me "all the branches of faith are still looking at Jesus Christ, just different aspects of him." When I asked "what about all the other faiths? Aren't their gods also just as true? If they follow the rules of their religions won't they go to their heavens too?" I got some wordy bullshit that was covering up "if you're not a Christian it doesn't count."

He slid right past my "I start at 'human' and work up from there" rhetoric and started trying to get me to bring my kids to his church. Had some throwaway comment about Judaism to make which revealed way too much underlying anti-Semitism for my taste and insisted on showing me an Adrian Rogers website....whereupon I told him "you should be honored. I haven't let anyone proselytize me this much in years."

He doesn't even play by his own rules: when I expressed serious shock that he routinely takes Communion in Catholic churches (he's Protestant) he gave me a whole shuck-n-jive why that was okay. Then laughed out loud and said "all right! " when I told him the local Episcopalian church celebrated Communion with sherry but subsequently launched into how he thought sharing from a chalice was "so unsanitary" and how therefore he always went by tincture even when offered the chalice by a priest: he either takes just the Host and refuses the chalice or else dips it himself.

I don't consider myself really a Christian anymore but even I think that is 1) rude as a guest whether you believe or not 2) not consistent with the whole "community spirit and sharing" part of the faith and 3) evidence that you don't truly believe in your God even enough to trust that s/he/it/they will keep you from getting sick due to germs shared during worship of that selfsame God.

Icky. And PUSHY.

I sat there thinking "look, dude, just because I told you once in passing that I'd been raised in the Methodist church does not mean I agree with any of this."

The worst part of it is that now I'm going to have a hard if not impossible time not taking his work advice with a huge grain of salt.


The amaryllis bulb my mother sent me for Christmas is doing its thing:

Sunday, February 03, 2008


The knitting:

The basket is full of an Aran-style cardigan for Youngest Duckling; the perennial bed is full of sleet.

The large bit is the back and the smaller bit is the left front.

When contemplating far too many cable patterns in the book I had a flash of inspiration: let her choose the ones she liked. I think she did a good job.

The Not Knitting:

A vintage Springbok puzzle just after Christmas

And our traditional Christmas Cookie Adventure...sometime after the day itself but before Epiphany; can't remember which night exactly.