HB2, solution in search of a problem

Just days ago (mid-2016), there were radical Muslim terrorist attacks at two different LGBT locations. One resulted in 50 deaths and 53 casualties; the other was thwarted before execution at a public parade in America's second-largest city. It's been difficult to absorb the finger-pointing and name-calling that followed. This has been called an attack on America, an abuse of unregulated gun availability, and other things that escape the primary issue. A religious extremist chose a building full of gay people and tried to kill them all. I happen to live in the city that prompted the North Carolina HB2 legislation, and the aftermath of that fiasco has helped me crystallize a few of my opinions. First, it grieves me to lump all Muslims in the same basket. I've had Muslim acquaintances who were nice folks and good neighbors. They came to America to escape this exact fanaticism at home. The one feature of this modern Islamic extremism that separates it from all other spiritu

Batman vs Superman

I finally saw Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice today. I'm a lifelong comic books fan. I was a collector, then an occasional reader, and now basically a nostalgic with internet access. I have volumes to say about DC and Marvel and their respective cinematic universes. It's ironically probably the thing I've written the most draft copies about lately, the reason this blog's getting new posts. I wanted to love this movie. I really did. I questioned the selections of Zack Snyder and practically every cast member, until I resigned myself to judge the finished product instead of every berry and nut in the recipe. In one nighttime scene in a burned-out vintage stone building in Gotham, there was colored lens flare. There were dream sequences, some of past memories, but some future-telling in great detail with no explanation of how. There were several 300-style slow motion passes for no reason whatsoever. Even the soundtrack invoked tones from 300's battle scenes. Ea

You've caught me at a very strange time in my life

Middle-school boys in Tacoma, WA have started their very own after-school program, a "Fight Club" in a school bathroom.  One of the broke the first rule of Fight Club as shown here .  Check that story first, I'll wait.  I am not a parent, but I'm an uncle and former high school teacher.  I'm bothered by the fighting in a tiny measure, but I'm shocked and disappointed by the school's response.  This struck an immediate impression in me that may disappoint some people who've "known me all my life".  All I can say is, "all your life" usually means "while you were a child", and that was a long time ago. "Fight Club" is one of my 2 or 3 favorite movies of all time.  There, I said that.  The original version is not family-friendly (to an extreme), but it's how a lot of people relate to their world and I acknowledge that on artistic merit.  The cable edit is still good enough that I'll watch it a couple times

Life is like enduro

I can't believe I haven't posted anything new since July 04.  Where did the summer go? I got into a conversation about worry yesterday.  My friend was stressing about a trip later this month that could pose some personal challenges.  There would be people there from an old life and a different moral background, a lot of things that were familiar but no longer appropriate.  They were worrying about whether to go at all, whether to go alone or with someone, whether to take it as a character-building challenge and be a good example for everyone else.  I watched them change their mind, in print, twice in a single weekend. I was reminded of a quote I've heard in church for years, that life is not a sprint but a marathon.  Neither of us run, so... " life is not a track day but an enduro ".  I've ridden two track days at Virginia International Raceway.  By mid-afternoon, I knew the track so well that my last six lap times were all within 5 seconds of each other