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Monday
Oct152012

"Indoors and Outdoors" or "What Says the Proportionist?"

Recent episodes of Rocky and Bullwinkle coming from the living room have reminded me of the value of offering alternative titles. Please feel free to pick yours from the two offered above.

As the rain drops fell upon the newly planted grass in the front lawn this morning, something happened, but a lot of things happen normally (see Harry Caray's Year In Review). My wife asked what I was looking at and I responded with  "the outdoors." Let me stop and say these terms "outdoors" and "indoors" offer such a civilized coziness on a rainy cool autumn morning. The comfort of things indoors is most often directly associated with the wildness of things in the outdoors. Although our family does not have the privilege to look out our window upon northern wolf-infested woods, the rain will suffice this morning to make my point. Ah, the comforts of home! Please, won't you step over the threshold of my front door and let me give you a tour of this place I call home.

Now as we enter the front door, I would like to first point out the magical and accommodating height of this door frame. What a brilliant feature to make for an entrance without the stooping or the fear of cracking your crown. Our compatibility (my door and myself) is rather quaint and I'm quite the lucky individual to live in such a house. But come, we must not dawdle. There is still so much to see. Look, as we enter the dining area and the table is set with the pumpkin waffle breakfast, what reasonable portions we see set before us, not to mention the flavors and aromas. I do not have to eat a waffle the size of our trash bin or endure the smell of the same while I partake. It has been proportioned just for me. Now don't miss the delicious coffee with its wafting allure in a mug just my size steaming as it waits to welcome me to the table. I know having this reasonable and flavorful meal must be an enviable sight, but let us walk down the hall to the bathroom and open the mirror. A toothbrush of such elegant design will immediately be seen. While the fear may come into your mind that the toothbrush will be too large to fit in my mouth or clean my teeth before you have a chance to see it,  you can set your mind at rest. Nothing could be more suited to me and I can tell you where to get one that is similar. While we are on the subject of size let me show you my closet and pants which not only cover my legs but stay up as well! And there, not three steps away is a bed that fits my length to a "t." Now, my tour could go on and on showing you marvel after marvel, let's stop one more place before you continue on your walk in the rainy morning. Here now is the garage and a vehicle into which I can get and sit in comfort as I drive to Fluffy Fresh Donuts. While some would have lost hope looking at hotwheels that there would exist such a thing that would hold a PERSON and drive them to where they want to go, look no further than my house! I own one and you can have a ride if you want. Let me show you to the door. But, as we step together out the front door...what is this? Why didn't you tell me when you came into my humble abode that you have all this in the out of doors? For, look!

We seem to fit out here too. Is it not just my home in which I was made to live? There, just down the street, an apple tree is offering to us such wonderfully proportioned and flavorful delights as any creative chief would be envious of. But before we step off the stoop to have a taste here is a wonderful smell of roses welcoming us to the outdoors. The branches of these oaks will shade us from the spray nicely without cracking our crowns while we walk. Speaking of rain, how wonderful is this. Water which is an absolute requirement to life having no flavor so as not to exclude any tastebuds in its universal refreshment. Even the speed at which I am able to swat at this bug makes me thankful for our relative sizes and the distance my arm has to travel to determine his fate. Now this is also amazing, down a lane appears one riding a horse who is quite content and seemingly size appropriate for its rider. They come trotting up and pass with a nod and snort. Now your transport, I see, is also fit for you. It is quite clear, a giant would not have have such joys in shade or satisfaction from the apple, ability to swat the fly, and could only crush the horse. The same would be true if the sizes of those parties were changed relative to us. This tour before us of your outdoors is quite eye opening and, as you continue to walk with me and ever more gifts spring before our eyes, I am amazed.  Maybe my door is less of a barrier and more of a decoration.

Some iterationists may argue that similarities in natural processes (call me for examples) in animals, plants, etc. relate the clear message of relatedness and shared ancestry. However, the counter stance would point out there are some good ways to do things that work well! Let's do things that way! Either things found their optimum stopping point at perfect harmony without the care for each other or one who cares for each made them in harmony. I have a sneaking suspicion the builder of my door and the builder of the tree outside my door must have known each other.



Phillip Tippin
Looking at the out of doors
Roeland Park, KS 

Photo: http://www.younghouselove.com/2011/08/old-yeller/

Saturday
Oct132012

"Adsum,—I'm Here!"

Oft as the shades of evening fell,

In the school-boy days of old,—­

The form work done, or the game played well,—­

Clanging aloft the old school bell

Uttered its summons bold;

And a bright lad answered the roll call clear,

“Adsum,—­I’m here!”

  . . .

Heaven send, that when many a heart’s dismayed,

In dark days yet in store,—­

Should foemen gather; or, faith betrayed,

The country call for a strong man’s aid

As she never called before,—­

A voice like his may make answer clear,

Banishing panic, and calming fear,

“Adsum,—­I’m here!”

 

--Reverend A. Frewen Aylward.

 

Photo: Harrovians and local boys photoed outside the Lord's cricket ground in 1937. Photograph: Jimmy Sime/Getty Images

Saturday
Oct062012

The Ovidological Argument

             A vote has just been held, and I’m proud to say the title of this post has been voted, “Least likely to interest anyone even remotely.” I’d like to thank all those who voted and this guy for being my inspiration.

            I just read Ovid’s The Metamorphosis. My Greek mythology has always been weak, so I thought I would strengthen it by reading a classic. Little did I know what I was getting into! The book was written when Jesus was my nephew (don’t stop here, you’ll get the wrong idea about my Christology), Emry’s age and if it is any indication of the moral state of the Roman mind at that time, the Roman mind was filthy. Every conceivable sin is outlined and relished. If a mysterious man were to hand me The Metamorphoses to read and review without mentioning its historical esteem or its classic status, I would throw the book out the window of my study after two or three chapters of rape, incest, pederasty, sinful deities and silly stories about bleeding trees. I know I’m two thousand and four years too late for this review to affect the book’s sales or the author’s status, but it’s never too late to keep someone from soiling their mind with literary refuse. All this is to say, don’t read the book; read a summary or something.

            I did gain one insight from reading Ovid’s ‘masterpiece.’ It gave me a picture of what real myth looks like, and in real myth, the Gods are more human than the humans. Jupiter can’t control his passions, and Juno, his wife, constantly punishes him by turning his lovers into bears or other dreadful things. There is Diana, the self-righteous virgin and Athena, who becomes so jealous of Arachne, a tapestry maker, she turns her into a spider. You may be thinking, “That doesn’t sound like human action to me!” But I assure you, if the slighted wife had the power to turn her husband’s lover into a bear, she would. And if jealous persons could transform the objects of their covetousness into arachnids, they would. Humans only lack the means to do these terrible things, not the will.

            Even more importantly, reading the obvious myth of The Metamorphoses made Scripture, by contrast, seem incredibly real and down to earth. The Gods of Ovid’s book are married, and naturally jealous. But Jesus, knowing that without sin, there is no need for human marriage states, “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.” How refreshingly logical! The Bible does record miracles, but its miracles are so sensible next to the capricious acts of divine intervention in The Metamorphoses. It is glaringly obvious that a human mind inspired every word of Ovid’s work. That is not so apparent in Holy Scripture. If The Bible is myth, it is well-disguised myth.

            So I present to you the Ovidological argument for the inspiration of Scripture. I know it is almost completely subjective, anecdotal and incomplete, but here goes. Read the myths of Ovid (I know I told you not to read them earlier, but the argument requires it.) and then read the Holy Scriptures. It may not sew up every hole in your mind as to whether the stories of the Bible are true, but it will give you a context for real myth and hopefully give you an appreciation for real truth.

 

R. Eric Tippin
In my very chilly study on 8th Street
October 6, 2012

Sunday
Sep302012

Lake Scene (An Oil Selection)

"Lake Scene"
Oil on Canvas
Adelsteen Normann

 

--Edvard Grieg, "Concerto in A minor for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 16/II. Adagio"

 

For more items of this nature please visit our Oil section here but not here.

Sunday
Sep302012

Iterative


#1 
Okay, this is the first iteration. Really I am only beginning with a slight wisp of an idea and am afraid it originated more from daily thoughts than from actual thinking. By this I refer to "thoughts" as the confrontation with the outer while "thinking" as an embodiment of rheumatoid moments without the arthritis. The pleasant communion in the inner sphere before confronting the external textures. In other words, Driving a car demands thoughts while driving home this point needs more thinking. A distinction that describes probably a 99/1 split of my daily kilometers. Yes, I know I am an american (actually North American as my good friend J.A. would like to remind me) and should probably describe distance in miles, but I am raising a British son it seems. The morning project on this brisk saturday of a day, as my son mentioned in passing, was going to be a "catapult." He caught me unawares with his British terminology, but in the end I did discover he was referring (with accurate king's english none-the-less) to a slingshot. Our first iteration of said catapult gave its full effort to produce a gentle arching trajectory of about 5-7 meters. Without a doubt, further iterations are needed to support the slightest hope of wilderness survival. 

Without a doubt, this first iteration is completely inadequate to make the point for which I started. Let's come in again …

#2
"Ah, four updates are available." This is a common occurrence for a good majority of the US population with a small red circle in the corner of the app store icon. It is something like a microcosmic birthday at unexpected times throughout the week for me. I'm a big fan of updates. At least I thought I was. In this fifteenth iteration of one of the most useful and comfortable iPad applications, I was looking forward to subtle surprises and small thrills through aesthetic enhancements, functional additives, and overall polish that everything before lacked (or at least had become common place). But, what is this? "The app has been rebuilt from the ground up to improve your life." Oh no! All that I liked is gone. Someone has made "better" what I did not want changed in function! There is no going back. All has changed and I can do nothing about it. Iteration for iteration sake has caught up with me. I don't want to update!

This innocently catastrophic iteration which befell me has seemed to make this literary iteration inch (I mean centimeter) closer to the fire which first let up the wisp of smoke. Let's give iteration three a try (If anyone is still around).

#3
It has come to me! Generations aren't iterations! There it is. I'm firmly and immovably in the camp of the historical non-iterationists. Evolution, Iteration, antithesis, synthesis, Iteration, and nonsense. Principle, rebellion, frustration, fad, and meaninglessness. Iterative all of them, but as admitted only twenty-two words ago, my chain-mail tunic is hung in a tent in the camp on the opposite ridge. I'm a father, but my son and daughters are born to eternity as I was. We have the opportunity to be sons and daughters together. Orthodoxy is from the Word who is with God and who is God. There are no iterations, only discoveries. Generations aren't iterative. Generations are discoverative. The danger is when they see themselves as iterative. My prayer for my children is for discovery of that which satisfies rather than iteration on something other than the Rock which promises similar services.

It seems the third iteration is the charm, or rather the third day is the breaking of the charm and the dawning of spring. We have been freed from the pursuit of iteration and awakened to life with all the generations before us!
 
Phillip Tippin
Trying to keep my baby daughter from advgsmby hitting the keyboard
Roeland Park, KS