Archives > '02 to Present > September 2002

Such Soaring Voices

posted Sep 29, 2002, 11:31 PM

We arrived at church this morning to find it unusually crowded, so we sat up in the balcony in a few seats left vacant by absent members of the chorus. During hymns and refrains they stood and sang confidently, robed voices soaring through the modern holy space. It was quite moving, sitting among them, though I could barely control the pitch of my own voice amidst the overpowering rise of their harmonies.

Midway through the service (before the 3rd graders gathered before the altar to receive their new red bibles) the junior chorus dressed in green collars and gowns lined up before the congregation. They sang as we watched, in one innocent but unified voice, about the perfection of God and he trust that he deserved from us. As I listened, I looked down at my lap to the prayer printed on this morning's handout, and read it again and again to myself.
Almighty and merciful God, we have erred and strayed from your ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against your holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done.
I am not sure that I have too much followed my own desires and devices. If I have, I am not sure that I feel guilty, that I am in need of forgiveness for the path I have followed. Life leads me in one direction, and the choices I've made are the choices I would have made. I walk a path that I cannot stray from. I'm not afraid of openness, but I am not presently willing to condemn my own choices and actions on a weekly basis. I make mistakes, and try to learn from mistakes, but I do not believe that I am flawed.

Take Me to The River

posted Sep 29, 2002, 01:51 PM

On Friday I had my first meal in Dallas (since February of last year, at least) at a southern / cajun seafood restaurant called The Flying Fish. It made for just the right kind of casual lunch spot, with its extra tall glasses of lemonade, oars and nettting hung from the ceiling, 40 years worth of fishing trip photographs hanging above clumsy wooden tables, and one rickety screen door. When they called our number I scooted to the counter to pick up four baskets of fried catfish, shrimp and potatoes. Our table, like every table, offerd all kinds of bottled sauces on a small, tin tray.

At the top of the restaraunt's rear wall, a large block lettered sign read, "THE ADOPT A BIG MOUTH BILLY-BASS WALL." About a dozen Billy Bass plaques hung below this sign in an arbitrary configuration, each beside a label scrawled in Sharpie onto the raw wall paint. The labels included the name of each parent and the Date of Adoption; apparently anyone who donates one of the plastic fish to the wall earns a free plate of catfish. Catherine's mother explained that from time to time the counter help will run by and quickly press the button on every Billy-Bass, causing all of the toys to turn their heads and simulatneously sing out towards the patrons of the restaurant.

The wall stayed silent through the duration of our meal. I felt too timid to start the Billys singing myself; perhaps the employees were too busy or were not in the mood for noisy fish. Lunch was comfortable and delicious. But as I listened to stories and snacked on my fries, I couldn't help but imagine the wall suddenly ringing out in a mounted sea of staggering songs, all the people around us watching and giggling at the one small adopted school of dissonance.

New Styles

posted Sep 26, 2002, 12:44 PM

So, here is the new design weblog bloglomerate, which has been in the works for sometime. Months, sporadically. I'll be doing my best to get comment functionality and such up within the next few weeks, but in the meantime I'm off to Texas. Thanks to Matt and Shaun for giving me a little help with design troubleshooting and such. It's hefty, but I think it's fun. I'll be updating from the road, if I can. Punk Rock.

Dirty Money

posted Sep 26, 2002, 09:58 PM

I've been running around like a frenetic fanatic the past couple of days, running errands and tying up loose ends in preparation for my flight to Dallas this afternoon. Just a few minutes ago I ran downstairs to transfer my load of laundry (a mixed load, I'll confess, and I still washed it warm) into the dryer. After I'd pulled every damp item out of the washing machine, I spied one lone shiny quarter at the bottom. "Hoorah," I thought, "free money, clean as a whistle!"

And it's a good thing I spied it, because other-wise my shorts' pockets would have been exactly 25¢ too short to get the dryer rolling. How small and perfect. But I shouldn't be suprised; things almost always come together this way, in my silly joke of a life.


posted Sep 26, 2002, 01:11 PM

Google News is just plain old ridiculous wonderful. Every few minutes, computer algorithms calculate and prioritize news stories from over 4,000 frequently updated news sites and arrange the most important into what usually seems to be a well-balanced news page:
Google News is highly unusual in that it offers a news service compiled solely by computer algorithms without human intervention. Google employs no editors, managing editors, or executive editors. While the sources of the news vary in perspective and editorial approach, their selection for inclusion is done without regard to political viewpoint or ideology. While this may lead to some occasionally unusual and contradictory groupings, it is exactly this variety that makes Google News a valuable source of information on the important issues of the day.
I daresay that we are blessed to live with a web in which a company just keeps on finding ways to make hypertext important, inventing and reinventing, while remaining transparent. Google never pisses me off. Google does not get in my face like MicroSeaNNBC. Finally, a way to search through the most recent additions to the web without frustration. Finally, a start page that beats Yahoo News. If I wer 27% more geekhearted, I would love Google Labs as much as my own mother.

About this page. presents expermients in writing, design, photography, and hypertext. This weblog entry was posted by Ryan, the site's author.