Scenes From A Wedding


I’ve had the rather cool opportunity a couple of times now to operate a photobooth at weddings as a way to make a little extra money, and did so this past Saturday. During some of my downtime, I amused myself by taking a few photos, which I’m blogging here because, hey, why not.

20111023-193428.jpg

You can kind of see it in that picture, but the bride’s cake actually had a cube of pictures atop it, which was rather neat. The one on the other side of the front showed the couple together.

20111023-193445.jpg

The groom was apparently an Alabama fan, I gather.

20111023-193506.jpg

There was a table with candy in class containers that was rather pretty.

20111023-193540.jpg

When I got there, the groom was in a back room by himself playing “It Is Well With My Soul,” which I thought was a neat moment.

20111023-193603.jpg

The bride’s shoes, which were doffed rather quickly after the service for the duration of the reception.

20111023-193626.jpg

My test strip from the photobooth.

Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors — “Hourglass” Lyrics


Hourglass
Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors

Oh, the miles we’ve wasted
In someone else’s shoes
Empty expectations, everything to lose

Everything that’s come to pass
Is sand inside the hourglass
Everything that’s come to pass
Is sand inside the hourglass

If yesterday is broken
Tomorrow’s far away
Where does that leave us today?

Everything that’s come to pass
Is sand inside the hourglass
Everything that’s come to pass
Is sand inside the hourglass

Everything that’s come to pass
Is sand inside the hourglass

Everything that’s come to pass
Is sand inside the hourglass

“Hourglass” is a song from Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors’ album “Chasing Someday.”

Watermelon Slim & The Workers — “Newspaper Reporter” Lyrics


Newspaper Reporter
Watermelon Slim & The Workers

Now boys I once had a job
As a newspaper reporter

They wouldn’t let me drink beer on the job
They told me I had to drink water

But I’m a blues man
And I don’t tolerate no fakes

Like the man at the newspaper says
That old boy has still got what it takes

Now I knew right for the start
I might not make it up to live

But I’d keep on playing my part
I’ll give you all I got to give

But I’m a blues man
And I don’t tolerate no fakes

Like the man behind the editor’s desk says
That old boy has still got what it takes

I don’t need no glitter on my face
Nor no six-inch platform shoes
‘Cause what we’re gonna lay down for you tonight
Is those sweet old Oklahoma blues

‘Cause I’m a blues man
And I don’t like playing my blues all alone

If you don’t like the blues the way we play them
Why don’t you get your coat and drive on home

Now I don’t do that job no more
I ain’t nobody’s writin’ hired gun

But you’re gonna see the blues on the paper
When I get my writing done

‘Cause I’m a blues man
And I don’t tolerate no fakes

Like the man at the newspaper says
That old boy has still got what it takes

Take it home, boys

I’m a blues man
Yeah, I don’t tolerate no fakes

I’m a blues man
And I don’t tolerate no fakes

Like the man at the newspaper says
That old boy has still got what it takes

Face2Face Is On Groupon!!


OK, so I’ve talked a fair bit on here about Face2Face Improv, the incredible Huntsville improv comedy group I’m lucky enough to be  a part of.

For those that haven’t seen Face2Face before, we make up short, funny scenes on the spot based on suggestions from the audience. (And for the more timid in the crowd, we don’t bring anyone on stage or force anyone to do anything; you’re more than welcome to just sit back and enjoy the show.) We do a family friendly show of live entertainment. If you’ve ever seen the old ABC show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” we’re kinda like that. Only better.

And now is your best opportunity ever to check us out — we’re on Groupon!!

Today and tomorrow, you can get tickets at half-price or less to any of our shows that are good until next June. Buy now for cheap, and use it at your leisure anytime in the next eight months!

We look forward to seeing you there!

The Case for Klingon Christ


Image from A Great Work, via io9

I’m glad that serious thought is being put into the subject of Klingon Jesus.

I read an article on io9 recently about a panel titled “Did Jesus die for Klingons too?” that addressed issues related to Christianity and alien intelligences.

Basically, the issue is this — if there are intelligence species on other planets in the universe, then, from a Christian perspective, there seem to be two possibilities: God becomes incarnate as messiah on each one, or Christ came once to Earth, and it’s the responsibility of humans to tell the galaxy about Him.

I’ve had this conversation several times over the years, beginning with a conversation with some friends in a Mexican restaurant in Jackson, Miss., during which one of my friends argued that this was why he believed there was no extraterrestrial intelligence — the theological implications were too daunting.

Interestingly, we ended up with the same nickname for the question that this researcher, and apparently some others have, all independently — “Klingon Jesus.” If there were Klingons, would God send them a Klingon Jesus, or would we have to tell the Klingons about Jesus? Why it’s not Vulcan Jesus or Wookiee Jesus I don’t know, but Klingon Jesus seems to be the inevitable name for the quandary.

The researcher tends to disagree with the “one Jesus for all the universe” hypothesis, arguing it would make humanity too special, but I personally don’t know that, in a universe in which interplanetary cultural interactions are common place, it would necessarily be any more of a big deal than it was sharing a Jewish messiah with the rest of the world over the last 2,000 years.

There’s a related issue that this article doesn’t get into — Christ had to become a man in order to die for men; can he become a human to die for Wookiees? Or does a Wookiee have to die for Wookiees for it to be equivalent? I suppose the same argument applies — how much different is it from a Jew dying for an aborigine? Answer: I have no idea.

The other issue that this article barely touches on that has been central to some of the discussions I’ve had is the issue of original sin and Jesus as the second Adam. One could argue that, for a human Jesus to die for the sins of other intelligences, they must have been without sin prior to the Garden of Eden on Earth; that no species anywhere was fallen prior to the Terran Fall. And that just seems unlikely, and thus a seeming argument for multiple planetary messiahs. (Which in turn begs for speculative Christian science fiction — what would have happened if a planet which was in its post-messianic era had made first contact with Earth between the fall and the coming of Christ — could humans have been saved by another species’ incarnation of Christ during that period?)

My favorite implication of this is that, really, until humans know that either there is no extraterrestrial intelligence in the galaxy or that the multiple planetary messiah theory is correct, it is arguably a Christian theological imperative to support space travel, lest aliens who need to hear not receive the word of Jesus.

“Go ye therefore for into all nations (on all planets) …”

So, what do you think? Are their aliens out there? And, if so, is there a Klingon Jesus?

Labor of Love


For those that don’t know, I am currently looking for a new job, and would greatly appreciate any leads or help anyone might be able to offer. Most recently, I spent nine years working as a government contractor supporting NASA, writing articles for the education sections of the NASA.gov homepage. Before that, I was an award-winning newspaper reporter and editor. That said, while a writing job is likely best suited to my background, I enjoy new challenges, and would be open to other possibilities. If you have any ideas, feel free to e-mail me. Thanks!


David,
On Monday morning you gave me, my wife, and our grandson an amazing tour of the Space Museum. It was a privilege to make that tour with you. I appreciate so much the time you took to do that for us. It was by far the highlight of our trip. Thank you.

I’ve been taking a little bit of the free time that I have these days, and donating it to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

I started volunteering there five years ago, I guess, during the Skylab Restoration Project effort, and continued working with the curator for quite a while after that. Eventually, though, opportunities to be involved became more infrequent, and it probably reached a point where I wasn’t really a volunteer anymore.

So not long after I was out of work, I went by to sign up again, believing — and rightly so, it’s turned out — that it would be a great outlet for my passion for spaceflight while I’m not working. The lecture I gave there back in August was part of my volunteer efforts, and I’ve helped with some social media outreach and other projects.

Lately, though, I’ve been contributing in two ways in particular.

The more fun one — giving tours. I’d taken the tour training and had signed up to give tours one day before, but there weren’t enough people wanting them that day. I went again about a week ago, however, for Scout Day, and got to lead two large tour groups around the center, which was awesome. I went back again on a week day after that, and did a tour for a family that came through.

And I love it! Being at the Space & Rocket Center, it’s interested audiences, and it’s just incredible fun getting to share stories I love to tell with people who want to hear them!

The other one — the Education Office had some surveys from Space Camp participants in years past they needed entered into a new system, and I gave several hours doing data entry for them. Not sexy by any means, but it was an interesting experience nonetheless. I spent hours sitting in a cube working at a PC, and it made me realize how much I miss it. I want a cube of my own again. Please?

Both experiences have driven home what a great feeling it is to be engaged in something bigger than yourself, particularly something you believe in. I’m trying to make the most I can of the time that I have right now, but, honestly, I’ll be glad to be able to make those sorts of contributions again.

If you know of any leads out there, please let me know! Thanks!

Free Fallin’


I had the incredible opportunity to go skydiving again yesterday, and it was, once again, awesome. After my first experience, I received the very generous and much appreciated gift of a second Groupon, and so I wanted to go again as soon as possible.

I had two goals the second time around: I wanted, now that I knew the logistics of how it worked, to go again while all of that was still fresh in my mind to be able to focus more on the actual experience, and I wanted pictures under the parachute.

I had a photographer the first time during the dive, but since he was jumping with us he only got pictures of the free fall portion and the landing; none of the parachute portion of the descent. This time, my dad was kind enough to come with me and get pictures from the ground, and, as you’ll see, did an incredible job.

The picture at the top isn’t me, by the way, I went on Saturday and took some pictures of my friends the Thomsons and some other people just so that I could talk my dad through the best places to stand, etc., for my jump yesterday. The picture above is my favorite of the ones I took that day.

The ones below are what my dad took, starting with one right after we came out of the plane with the drogue chute deployed, and going through landing.

It was a somewhat different experience this time; at least as awesome but in a different way. I jumped with the same trainer, so I knew how he did things, but he also changed things up a bit since it was my second jump.

One goal we both had in common this time was that he also wanted me to relax more and focus on the experience. On the “downside,” it meant that my second jump didn’t have quite the same adrenaline rush that the first one did. I remember shaking a little while standing right after landing the first time; that wasn’t the case this time.

After we jumped this time Jamie turned us over so that we watched the airplane for a little bit before turning face-down again. At times I would close my eyes and just focus on feeling it, looking for an awareness of g-forces, but really the wind is all you’re aware of. Not as peaceful as other free-fall experiences I’ve had, but awesome in its own right.

Another diver stayed near us for a while, but then fell another half-mile after we opened our chute before deploying his. It was freaky watching from above as he plummeted to the ground; it gave me a perspective of the speeds involved that I didn’t have before.

The instructor did a bit more while we were under canopy this time, including some corkscrew turns, which were a lot of fun.

I’m hugely blessed that I got to go again and grateful for the opportunity, thankful to my dad for the pictures, the Thomsons for sharing their passion with me, Skydive Alabama for an incredibly professional operation and Jamie for being an awesome instructor

In case I haven’t mentioned it lately, it’s an incredible experience, and I highly recommend it.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,177 other followers