My Hiding Place — Tea and Scriptures

You Are My Hiding Place by Selah is the song for the week. I have been praying over many things going on in the world lately. In the past six months, this world has witnessed tornadoes, floods, fires, devastation, and death. Although we don’t understand what is going on, we can rest assured that our […]

via My Hiding Place — Tea and Scriptures

Over at Tea and Scriptures, the Divine Diva discusses placing your trust in God.

A Gentle Reminder on How Democracy Works

Your vote matters. Your vote has consequences. Your vote is not a joke.

Scalzi on Brexit

Why, yes! Yes, I do! Bear in mind that the United Kingdom is not my state, and there may be some subtleties to the arguments for and against the UK leaving the European Union that I don’t get. Nevertheless I’ve been following the back and forth for a few months, not only out of my…

via Hey Scalzi, Do You Have an Opinion on Brexit? — Whatever

Unlike Mr. Scalzi, I haven’t done any research on either side of the referendum, so I find his take very insightful.

Update: A Few Thoughts Post-Brexit

Good Reads Vol. 1

Here’s what I’m reading these days

The Tiny London Shop Behind Some of the Very Best Libraries

Put yourself in the hands of the staff at the London bookstore Heywood Hill, who promise to go to the ends of the earth to hunt down the books you need — the rare, the old and the out of print as well as the newly published — to build your perfect custom library.

Now if only I had the necessary funds to make this a reality. Eh, Half Price Books is closer anyway.

Up next is a little essay that echoes a lot of my thinking about modern politics.

Meanwhile, domestic politics often seems to have descended into the gutter, a squalid contest between greed and envy, dominated by naked appeals to the lowest common denominators of public opinion. The less trustworthy and statesmanlike our politicians and officials become, the more overweening their ambition to control every aspect of our lives.

Now that’s some serious shade. It’s a little frothing-at-the-mouth, but sometimes you need that.

Finally, bundle, bundle, who’s got a bundle?

Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook have defended net neutrality and fought the bundle. But, deep inside the software that powers their empires, they’re each creating a different kind of bundle. We might be winning (or at least aren’t losing) the fight against the Comcasts and Time Warners of the world, but these tech giants could be quietly undercutting us as we blithely use their gadgets and software to do our internet things.

The article goes on to talk about how the semi-intelligent bots we use (think Alexa, Siri, Google Now) and the sources they draw from create something liked the old walled garden of AOL.

Hit up those links and let me know what you think on Facebook, Twitter or the comments below.

Woe, Canada

Well, this is troubling. It’s from a National Review op-Ed about Canadian municipal government run amok…

Orr’s words seem especially prophetic now, at a time in a hockey-loving nation where dark, bureaucratic winds are blowing, swirling around that most sacred of hockey symbols: the shinny rink. Be it in a backyard, a front yard, or the frozen expanse of a local pond, the great Canadian pick-up game is under siege…

More:

…in north Edmonton, on New Year’s Eve. Morgann Tomlinson, a mother of three, who grew up chasing pucks on a lake in northern Ontario, was shoveling the pond behind her home with her husband when the bylaw cops appeared. The couple was fined $100. Their crime? Modifying the “land in a way likely to cause injury.”

Many who read this site know that I love hockey, and to see this sort of behavior in Canada, where the game was born, is truly disheartening. Especially when children north of the border are already spending too much time in front of the TV and not enough time outside.

Read: Joe O’Connor: The war on shinny rinks

Storytelling…

Storytelling is how we’re moved to take care of each other when we recognize how extremely thin the veneer of civilization we cherish is, and how very hard it is to keep that veneer from shredding in the wind.

–Barry Lopez; Poets & Writers Live; October 17, 2015; Portland, Oregon

In Botswana Where the Queens Rule

Even though Botswana has a thriving metal scene, it’s the boys who get most of the attention. But one photographer wants to change that…

South African photographer Paul Shiakallis has produced a series of photos, “Leathered Skins, Unchained Hearts”, of the “queens” of Botswana’s heavy metal subculture, called “Marok,” which translates to “rocker” in Setswana. The portraits were shot in the Gaborone, the capital city, and feature the women as their “queen” alter-egos, going by names like Onalenna Angelovdarkness, Amokian Lordess and Phoenix Tonahs Slaughter.

More on Blabbermouth

The North Texas Christmas Tornadoes

I’ve had to reassure my fiancée that spending Christmas with me is not this adventurous.

We spent roughly 2 hours inside of Wal-Mart in Garland, TX on Saturday evening, 12/26/2015. Not because we’re big fans of the place, but because we had 2 tornado warnings issued. If you’ve ever wondered what Wal-Mart’s severe weather protocol is, it’s this: make an announcement informing customers that they should head to the back of the store. For us, that was layaway, near the shoes. I suppose it could also be the auto center with some store layouts, but either way, it’s a central location away from windows, which is what you want.

We soon found out that others weren’t so fortunate. Our hearts were broken when we saw the news detailing the destruction around us. We were only 15 minutes away from one of the hardest hit areas.

Most gut-wrenching of all? Watching first response vehicles from communities around North Texas headed east on President George Bush Turnpike, their lights flashing.

As of Sunday afternoon, the death toll stands at 11, and many more have lost their homes. The National Weather Service has classified the tornado that touched down in Garland as an EF-4, only the second one since 1927 1950 to hit Dallas County, and another in Rowlett as an EF-3. For those not familiar with tornadoes, “EF” stands for Enhanced Fujita scale and it goes to 5.

I’m keeping an eye out for ways folks can help and I’ll keep updating this blog post with links I find. If you have any, let me know in the comments section or on Facebook and I’ll add them.

Links

The best place to start would be this page on the Dallas Morning News’ website.

Many pets got out last night. If your faithful companion is missing, you can peruse the pictures on these Facebook pages or contact them directly.

Finally, Refuge on Call will be heading out to the Garland/Rowlett area to cook for first responders. You can make a donation to them here

Update, 12/27, 6:23PM:

I’ve updated the initial blog post with information that this is the second EF-4 tornado to hit Dallas County since 1950.

It’s an old link, but this tweet may be useful:

Also this:

Update, 12/28, 9:04 AM:

The Dallas Morning has an article today that provides tips on how to not get ripped off by roofers or contractors.

Update, 12/28, 5:12 PM:

Beware of fake GoFundMe and Kickstarter campaigns set up to help families affected by the tornados.

Update, 12/28, 9:00 PM:

Feeling hungry? These restaurants are donating 100% of their proceeds to tornado relief.