Cotton Moon

Today’s Plog features a trip to scenic Scott, Arkansas, and last night’s moonrise. Whenever a full moon rises and it appears larger than normal, for some reason it flips the switches on a part of my brain that demands I give all my attention to the sky. I first saw the rising orb last night on my way back to the laundromat. I immediately ran around trying to get a good angle to shoot from but I was bound to the ground and all its horribly intrusive artificial light sources, and of course those blasted trees. So I drove up the hill from my apartment to Knoop Park and took pictures there.

It was pitch black with only the lights of the city and the moon to guide me so I had to watch my steps closely. While I was making my way down to the park, I encountered three people on the park’s stone terrace reading aloud from the book of Genesis. Making my way down to the lower patio, there was a man and his son looking at the cityscape. The boy was about 4 I guess and he was asking questions like what’s the difference between Arkansas and Little Rock, and the dad was explaining everything about everything. All the while I was taking pictures of the sky. The boy asked me why I wasn’t taking more pictures of the city and the best I could say was, “because the city’s always there.”

This Is Where I’m From, Part II

Actual items from the Harrison Daily Times Police Beat:

• A man went to the HPD about 9:30 Saturday morning to get information about churches that might help him with lodging for a few days. The man was arrested on a Berryville warrant for failure to appear in court with bond set at $1,060. He was later released to Berryville police. [ed. note: Berryville is about 30 miles from Harrison]

• Sunday afternoon, a woman called the HPD and said a recliner was in the southbound lane of U.S. 62/65 at the traffic signal near Home Depot. Officers responded, but the recliner was gone on arrival.

• About 8:45 a.m., a Dairy Queen employee called Harrison Police and said a naked man was in a vehicle in the drive-through. The owners declined to press charges against the man, but officers made contact with him and told him he'd be cited for criminal trespassing if he returned.

For those who may have missed it, here’s Part I of Where I’m From.

A Modest Proposal

I have…interesting feet. They are sensitive but by no means tender. Raised in rural Arkansas, I have done my share of barefooted living, so I can walk over most anything without major pain. Yet I find that when I walk barefoot I can feel everything intensely. One of the best parts of my day is taking off my shoes when I get home.

I took a walk barefoot outside the office today, and it was great. I started to wonder if shoes in the modern world might be obsolete. Think about this for a moment: shoes were invented a few millennia ago for terrain far more treacherous than the modern world generally provides. How many times in your day do you walk over patches of spiky branches or sharp rocks? Mostly we walk from house to car to building, and it’s a relatively safe and clean path. It might be hot or rough, but this is likely only because our feet are so sensitive from being cooped up in socks and shoes all our lives. Sure the ground is generally unclean, but which is more clean to you – dirt and dust or sweat and fungus? I think my feet smell far worse when they’ve been wrapped in a sock for 9 hours.

Sadly, though, the modern world poses a different set of threats: oil and other chemical toxins. Your average McDonald’s parking lot is probably far more dangerous to the bare foot than any forest. Still, I know that in my daily trek between house, car and office I encounter no major podiatric dangers. For white collar office workers it could happen.

Just something to think about. Go barefoot more often and see what you prefer.

“The Wookie Has No Pants”

Best line from the Star Wars DVD documentary came from Carrie Fisher, who said that during the production of Episode IV, all sorts of corporate types were coming in with various concerns and troubles, one of which was, “should Chewbacca have a loin cloth or something?” So far I haven’t had a chance to fully dig into the box set yet, but it’s really an enlightening look at Lucas in the early days, and it shows me his perspective better. I now understand the reason for his constant edits. He didn’t want to make 3 movies or 6 movies, he wanted to make one. So all these edits he makes are just things he would have done if he hadn’t had the restraints of budget and time and studio politics that he had. Plus the documentary is full of screen test, alternate takes and on-set goofing off, which is great.

Last Sunday, I overheard three kids at Allsop Park racing each other. When they arrived at their destination, the boys chimed in thusly:

Boy 1: “Winner!”
Boy 2: “Second!”
Boy 3: “Wait, we tied for second!”

They raced again, and the results were somewhat similar:

Boy 1: “Winner!”
Boy 2: “Second!”
Boy 3: “Look a red leaf!”

Something tells me I’m going to raise a child most resembling Boy 3.

Just Another Manic Monday

I came to work this morning to see something peculiar in the parking lot.

My office sits at the bottom of a steep hill leading up to Interstate 40. The driver insisted he was OK, but he seemed to be limping. I heard from the cop on the scene that he didn’t have insurance. He had Minnesota plates, so I’m not sure if he was just passing through or what. I’m also not clear on what happened exactly, but the speculation is he fell asleep at the wheel. Fortunately for us, the damage was superficial. No structural damage to the building, no loss of expensive or sensitive equipment. He just bashed in a closet. A little to the left and he would have taken out our A/C; a little to the right and he would have taken out our phone line and T1 connection. And the fact that this happened at about 6:30 AM means our cars are OK.

Last night DeLaine and Richard and I went to see Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. It’s the single most fabulous visual presentation I’ve seen since, well the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but still…maybe it’s better to say that it is the most original visual presentation I’ve seen since Star Wars. My dad is going to freak out when he sees it because it is essentially an old Republic serial with a CGI budget and modern film technology. It’s retro sci-fi, and it’s gorgeous to behold.

Pride is a Sin

This is why Mike Keneally is my hero. He has a song called “Pride is a Sin” and here is some unpacking of that concept he did in an interview over at

I think that pride as an emotion or as a way of being, it’s like it cuts off possibilities. It cuts off emotions and feelings. Pride is self … you puff yourself up and it’s like you can’t hear or you can’t feel. And frequently these are hardcore religious people who go on and on about how proud they are. But that’s thing one if you’re going to have any kind of enlightenment is to let go of that shit. Remove yourself from the equation to the best of your ability. Stop being centered on how you feel and how proud you are of your accomplishments. Anything that happens to you is a gift so how can you feel proud of it? Grateful. That’s how I feel about it.

Thanks, Mike. To take it a step further, I think pride is often something that’s only expressed in the face of criticism. Black pride and gay pride are things that only come in opposition to prevailing attacks on their particular cultures. And white pride is something that probably comes from the same thing, but only gets expressed by people who aren’t confident enough in themselves as individuals that they have to identify with a group to compensate for their own deficiencies. However thin you slice it, it’s still baloney. Pride is a sin; everything is a gift so stay humble.