Friday, September 16, 2005

Ministry Of Silly Chemistry.

Getting ready to go to California for my brother's wedding, so not a lot of time today. Here's a silly link to keep you amused:

http://www.chm.bris.ac.uk/sillymolecules/sillymols.htm

NP: Heather Dale, "The Road To Santiago"

Friday, September 09, 2005

Taking care of our own and everyone else, too.

This needs no further comment. I'm very proud of my own people.


Officers of Avalon
PO Box 9932
Daytona Beach, FL, 32120
7 September 2005

Dear Friends:
The response to the Avalon Cares appeal has been tremendous. I’m
writing this to give you an update on how much has been collected so far and
where it is going. As of tonight Avalon Cares has collected over $11,000 and
donations are still coming in. That’s in just one week. Thank you very
much to all of you that donated. This is a wonderful start, but just a
start. This disaster relief effort will take many months to complete.
For those of you who are new, Officers of Avalon is an organization made
up of Pagan emergency services personnel that is incorporated in Nevada and
has 501 (c) status. Avalon Cares is a relief fund created and run by our
Chancellor General as part of our commitment to serve the community.

We are very proud of our Chancellor General, Joie Balindjo, a police
detective in Florida who is a Vodou Mambo. Officer of Avalon’s operating costs are modest and entirely covered by the dues of our members. None of the Grand Preceptory (our board of
directors) receive remuneration of any sort for the work that we do for Officers of
Avalon. We’re all volunteers. We are endeavoring to have 100% of the
money collected by our Avalon Cares project go to the relief effort.

As I mentioned in our last newsletter, we've had a lot of people on the
ground in the affected areas from the start as our members are in the
emergency services. These members, in turn, are in contact with other
emergency services professionals in the affected areas. We're using
this network to gather information on where support is most needed. We don't
want to duplicate efforts made by other agencies.

Tara Riversong, our Inspector General and webmaster, has done some
excellent work in getting the on line system set up to receive money. She and our
treasurer have ironed out the glitches in the Pay Pal system to get the
money out to where it is needed faster.

Under the direction of Joie, Avalon Cares has set up a registry for
people volunteering space in their homes for displaced people. You can contact
us through the Avalon Cares or Officers of Avalon web sites to put your
name in. We’d like to thank Windwalker, one of our newer members from
Wisconsin, for her efforts in setting this up. We’d like to thank the Aquarian
Tabernacle Church and the Correllians for working with us to set this
up.

Many people from the Pagan, Afro-Diasporan and Gay communities have been
displaced by this disaster. If you know any one who needs housing,
please write to us and we’ll connect them up to these resources.

Our Treasurer General, a Florida cop we know as Guardian, has done a
fantastic job setting up the first convoy of supplies to the disaster
area. With the help of the chaplain of his police department (Daytona Beach
PD) we’ve got 8 truck loads of supplies getting ready to go down this Friday
to the affected area. Officers of Avalon is paying the gas, supplying
drivers and Pagan cops are providing the escort. We’ve been communicating with
the people in the disaster area to work out the last minute details of
delivery.

There are countless other places that our support is needed in the
coming months. Other needs will be addressed as we become aware of them. I
encourage you all to give us your suggestions on this subject.
All of this is beginning to attract the notice of the media. The Los
Angeles Times interviewed Tara earlier today regarding our relief
efforts. We’re showing the people who recently claimed that Pagans do nothing for
their community that this is not the case. We’re showing the world what
Pagans can do. Yet we must stick with it. As I said earlier, this is a
massive relief operation and will be going on for some time. We need
you all to continue to donate what you can. If you can’t donate money,
donate your time to volunteer efforts. Do your own fund raising events to help
us in this disaster relief effort. Open your doors to the displaced. Give
blood. If you’re a Pagan in the emergency services or related fields,
join us at Officers of Avalon and help us help Pagans.


Kerr Cuhulain
Preceptor General
Officers of Avalon
www.officersofavalon.com
www.avaloncares.org

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Wow.

News doesn't often make me cry; in fact, very little does. This did.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/09/04/katrina.wedding.ap/index.html

It's not just the wedding. It's the fact a Jackson, MS homeless woman coordinated it, got businesses to donate to it, and set it up for these NOLA refugees. I don't know why the gods sometimes choose the best people to be in the worst straits, but here's to Rochelle Smith. That's what I call a hero.

In other news, two dozen gay men and women maintained the Labor Day tradition of the Decadance Parade. Quoting from Yahoo! News:

Amid the tragedy, about two dozen people gathered in the French Quarter for the Decadence Parade, an annual Labor Day gay celebration. Matt Menold, 23, a street musician wearing a sombrero and a guitar slung over his back, said: "It's New Orleans, man. We're going to celebrate."

That may be the first news that makes me think the Big Easy might make it.

NP: David Pack, The Secret Of Movin' On

Friday, September 02, 2005

Blog from NOLA's CBD.

From filker Tom Smith's LJ, a link to a guy who rode out Katrina in New Orleans' Central Business District and is now blogging live and managing to stay on the ether.

Honesty in a politician? I LIKE it.

In the immortal words of New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, quoted on CNN:

"I've been out there man. I flew in these helicopters, been in the crowds talking to people crying, don't know where their relatives are. I've done it all man, and I'll tell you man, I keep hearing that it's coming. This is coming, that is coming. And my answer to that today is BS, where is the beef? Because there is no beef in this city. Get every Greyhound bus in the country and get them moving."
Nagin called for a moratorium on press conferences "until the resources are in this city."
"They're feeding the people a line of bull, and they are spinning and people are dying," he said.
"I don't know whether it's the governor's problem, or it's the president's problem, but somebody needs to get ... on a plane and sit down, the two of them, and figure this out right now," Nagin said.
"They thinking small, man, and this is a major, major deal," he said.
"Get off your asses and let's do something."


The tragedy in NOLA continues to dominate my thoughts, but frankly to hear a politician be so blunt was damned refreshing. Is it too early to draft a Nagin/Guiliani ticket in 2008? Our motto could be 'Bring it on, we've seen the worst'.

NP: Nickel Creek, Why Should The Fire Die?

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Prayer for the victims of Katrina.

Father Shu,
Lord of cool, dry air, prince of the firmament,
Bless your children who have been harmed by Hurricane Katrina.

New Orleans,
Slidell,
Metairie,
Gulfport,
Biloxi,
Mobile,
and hundreds of other communities, unnamed but remembered,
May they be blessed.
May then find relief.
May the hand of Anubis, escort of those who have died,
Be stayed as much as possible.
May they find health through the hands of Isis and Osiris.
May they find fresh water to drink from the hands of Hapi, spirit of the Nile.
May their children be safe in the hands of Bes.
And may Nephythys heal the souls of those who have been left behind
When the ones they loved took the journey into the next world.

May they find healing, and peace, and safety.
May there be water to drink, food to eat, medicine for the ill, rescue for the endangered.

And in the end,
May they find home again.

So mote it be.

Voices from beyond.

Not much to say today, except to provide a cool link:

http://homepage.mac.com/petergillis/iblog/C209902511/E247606695/index.html

This about says it all, doesn't it?

NP: Chroma Key, "Dead Air For Radios"

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Today's fun game!

http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/08/24/robertson.chavez/index.html

OK, kids, it's time for an easy-n-fun game the whole family can play! Let's play a funfilled round of What Did The Asshole Actually Mean?

First off, read the above story. I'll wait.

Good, you're back. Now, when Pat Robertson, everyone's favorite paragon of tolerance, said 'take him out', did he mean:

A) That some hot, young Special Forces guy should show up on Hugo Chavez' doorstep bearing flowers, take him dining and dancing, overwhelm him with charisma, and make him fall in love with aforementioned Special Forces Guy, thereby resulting in them buying an apartment in Greenwich Village, getting involved in animal rights and Gay Pride, and staying away from silly things like being a dictator;

B) That Bud Selig, Commissioner of Major League Baseball, should 'take him out' to the ballgame -- IE, provide Chavez with season tickets to a team of his choice (naturally throwing in the Cheezy Nachos, the Smokey Dogs, the Cracker Jack, and an unending supply of Miller Lite)? (This would, of course, convince Chavez of the superiority of the American way of life, providing the US with an endless cheap supply of Venezuelan oil -- thereby making all those yuppies who bought SUVs and are now frittering away their kids' college money on Super Unleaded happier.)

or

C) Was Pat Robertson, a self-described follower of Jesus Christ and major spiritual influence on our current president, advocating the assassination of a foreign leader?

You have thirty seconds.

*Jeopardy theme plays*

Monday, August 22, 2005

Thanks and we'll miss you.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/08/22/moog.obit.ap/index.html

Thanks, Robert.

Thanks for "Switched On Bach". Thanks for Herbie Hancock, Howard Jones, Stevie Wonder. Thanks for the collected work of Alan Parsons, whom I still love after all these years. Thanks for Tangerine Dream.

Thanks for Paul Oakenfold. Thanks for Kevin Moore and Chroma Key. Thanks for "Lucky Man" and "Never Been Any Reason". Thanks for Roxy Music and "Dark Side Of The Moon" and "Oxygene".

I know that a lot of these artists used digital synthesizers. This isn't a historical tribute; this is an acknowledgement of a humble music fan to the man who started a lifelong love for the keyboard. I remember when I was six or so listening to my dad's recording (hell, it might have been an eight-track) of "Switched On Bach" and falling in love. All the music I love like that came from that. And that's enough to honor and remember a man's memory, a man who along with Deutsch and Carlos created something labyrinthine, baroque, unwieldy --

...and beautiful.

Thanks, Robert.

What is remembered, lives.