Sunday, February 24, 2013

Day 1 "America, the Beautiful"

It has been several months since I have written a blog post. My purpose is to inform you that today I started on the first leg of a month-long journey which is taking me to California, specifically Los Angeles, to catch a flight to New Zealand. Tonight I am in Susanville just North of Reno.

My drive from Bend took me first to Klamath Falls and then East and South through high desert to the Eastern slopes of the Sierras. Along the route, while listening to books on CD's, I looked intensely at my country and snapped a number of photos of scenes that caught my eye.

I am including four pictures from the day. Perhaps you may wonder what motivated me to shoot these and then desire to publish them. At this moment, I feel that explaining my thinking detracts from the particular messages of the photos. I'd rather hear your thoughts and reactions and whether you understand my crazy mind and humor. I hope to share with you many days of my adventure, especially those from "across the pond." There will be time for commentary. This evening though, I need to rest, hence I offer quietly an appetizer: a few slices of America that have a tangy taste.


  1. Yeah, they do have a tangy taste. I've been cooped up for so long, they seem to come from another planet. I'll be looking forward to the rest of your trip.

  2. Well, it's completely obvious that you posted that top picture just to annoy me! You know how I feel about Messianic Judaism and Christian Zionism, and a picture like that is guaranteed to send me off on several extended rants at one time. We have places like that in my neighborhood too, although they never seem to last long.

    There was one storefront church just a few blocks from here where the services were in Spanish, and one the regulars had a shofar which he proudly pranced around with and blew indiscriminately. When I said something to him about it, he took it outside and blew it right on the sidewalk! I explained to him as tactfully as I could manage it that in actual contemporary Jewish practice, the shofar is reserved for solemn occasions like the end of Yom Kippur, and that the way he was treating it was a sacrilege. I think maybe I stopped short of using the word "sacrilege," because I realized his behavior was out of sheer ignorance.

    What really gets to me about Messianic Jews is that their ignorance is curable, but they don't want to cure it. As usual it isn't what they know that's the problem, it's "what they they think they know that just ain't so."

    [Rant off]

  3. I get your crazy mind and humor. We share some of that and that's why I like you - you're funny and crazy! :-)

    So you're off again...

    Messianic Judaism is an anachronism. If you believe that Jesus was the promised Messiah, you can't lay claim to be Jewish. Messianic Judaism is merely fundamentalist Christianity with a Hebrew veneer...and generally an Orthodox Jewish veneer. These are people who need authority in their lives and think by linking these two traditions they've got it covered - as well as a direct pipeline to Yahweh!

    I like the 2nd sign, too. But do you now think Wong is right?

    And why do people assume everybody gets a tax refund. Some of us have to send checks to the IRS! Which is OK 'cause I don't want to buy a car anyway!

    I'll look forward to more craziness as you continue your road trip to LA!

  4. @Lowell: "Fundamentalist Christianity with a Hebrew veneer" is a very good description of Messianic Judaism." There is also the way I described it yesterday on a Jewish discussion board I frequent: "the Monsanto GMO version of Judaism." I was very proud of myself because I flashed on that analogy right before I typed it--you know, the light bulb-over-the-head kind of thing. Not that I'll get any credit from the Orthodox who frequent that forum (I don't do well with authoritarians of any flavor), but if I lurk at the right time, I might catch one of them using it himself! That's the only way you ever know you've "won" or scored a point on either a religious or political debate board.

    Okay, no more rants here today!