Tuesday, December 09, 2008

On being emo. (Daniel Lanios Style!)

A while ago Nyssa bought an album by Daniel Lanois. You may know this fellow as producer on some U2, Bob Dylan, and Peter Gabriel albums. Additionally, if you are from the Jam Band circuit you will know his song “the maker”, which the Gerry Garcia Band and the Dave Matthews Band have covered on a few occasions.

I have been listening to “Shine”, and it has been the most emo-ambient experience I think I've had since high school. And I'll admit, I thoroughly enjoyed what Daniel had to offer.

Let me recommend to you readers who are generally opposed to rainy day music, but on special occasions (like writing term papers on a snowy day) may secretly indulge: Daniel Lanois – Shine.

I'll add that I was very excited to see that the album has two drummers: Brian AND Brady Blade! Bono and Emmylou Harris also appear on two tracks.

Two [misunderstood] thumbs up.

-C.D. Clements.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

On Having Thighs

I subscribe to a Photoshop disaster blog.
This one is great:


Thursday, November 06, 2008

On "What Saint Paul Really Said"

(Watch out Tom Wright. Here I come.)

So, apparently Paul's words in Romans chapter 7 “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do...” are chronically misinterpreted. Most will take this section of scripture as words of solace/permission for sin in their lives.

However my professor and a commentator I have to read for the class both argue that these words are a “Diatribal Speech in Character.” This means that these words are spoken in the persona of another to illustrate a point. In this particular case Paul's character is one who adheres to the Law (which shows sin) as opposed to the one who is under the law of the Spirit (which is characterized by “no condemnation”). This means that in Paul's experience, “Life through the Spirit” does not include compulsive sin that overrides the will of the believer.

This is cool, because things like Jesus' speech to the seven churches in Revelation (and the other general directives of the N.T.) is not a calling beyond our reach. Provided we are living according to what Paul describes in chapter 8.

Lastly, it is also worth noting that despite the frequency of the word “do” in chapter seven, Paul never ends up accidentally committing the classic “do-do” joke.

Life through the Spirit and not getting caught in do-do; great stuff.

-C.D. Clements.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

On things I got, but am not.

The Killers have this song called “All these things that I've Done”. If you know this song, you will be familiar with the tag line of I got soul but I'm not a Soldier. The game here is to make fun of the song by thinking up things you own, but of which you are not.

The Paradigm is: I got [noun] but I'm not a [noun which sounds similar].

And here are some good ones that have been thought up:

I got Ham, but I'm not a Hamster.
I got Wit, but I'm not a Witness.
I got Class, but I'm not a Classroom.
I got Pans, but I'm not a Pancake.

What have you got, but are not?

-C.D. Clements.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

On being an Atheist.

Catchy title eh? I am not an atheist, but I found a great blog written by someone who is.


For handful of years now I have been reading the big names in Atheism, and the big names in Christian apologetics. I've taken a few classes, and always enjoy those Youtube video debates where people try to remain civil, while working hard to prove their various positions on God's existence.

Allow me to recommend this friendly atheist blog. The fellow is someone who is well thought out, and from my perspective, is able to offer credible critiques of the church. It also helps that he is a nice guy.


Monday, August 04, 2008

My 27 hour adventure.

Setting: L.I.T. Canoe trip in Temagami

-Get up at 5:50 a.m.
-Breakfast, devotion, and then break camp.
-Travel 10 Km to reach the beginning of the Temagami River rapids.
- Do some moving water training before hitting the difficult segments of the River.
-Hit first set of rapids. These are too dangerous for L.I.T. s to run. We portage all the gear, except canoes.
-Rob scouts the rapids. He and I run 4 canoes down, while the others portage the last two. Running these rapids is very intense. Very fast water for about ¾ of a Kilometer.
-Eat rushed lunch anticipating a long day of work.
-Next set of rapids. Nyssa’s canoe is flipped and pined against a rock. We recover lost baggage (all of it, luckily!). Given these events we again portage all the gear. Rob kicks out the dent caused by the rock in this canoe.
-This time everyone who wants to runs these. I stern for a few who are less confident.
-Make it to third set of Rapids. These are about a Kilometer in length.
-Again, Portage all gear.
-I feel I am too exhausted to run these. Some of the L.I.T.’s step up.
-We get all the canoes half way down, but pause to scout the challenging bottom portion.
-Second canoe down flips: the L.I.T.s who flipped are quite scraped & bruised by rocks.
-Rob runs a few down himself.
-No time for dinner. I eat some snack food for energy however.
-Fourth canoes down flips. As John (an L.I.T.), who was sterning this particular canoe comes out of the water, he complains of a pain in his back.
-Rob lifts his shirt to reveal many cuts and scrapes. The most significant of these cuts is about 10 cm long and about 1.5 cm. deep!
-This is a bad situation. Rob is on the Satellite phone to make arrangements to get John to a hospital
-We portage the last two canoes.
-I am to paddle John to an access point Rob has found on the map. We will travel together as a group until John and I depart for this access point. I expect about 8 hours of paddling to get John out.
-We hit the last set of rapids. We are all to tired to do another portage.
-We run these fully loaded. No one flips.
-No open campsites are found. It is late in the day, and we pass 3 which are already taken. This does not bother me, as I will not be stopping for many more hours.
-I am very, very tired. John is unable to paddle due to the pain he is in.
-I take time to pray with John. The situation seems too overwhelming.
-With about 20 min left of light we see a lone cottage on the far shore. Rob paddles over to see if the group can camp on their lawn.
- We are not to camp on the cottages lawn (liability issues), but the cottager offers to guide us by motor boat to a campsite he knows of nearby. Rob mentions our situation with John.
-It has been dark for about 45 min when we reach the site. The motor boat has a big light which illuminates the camp so we can get unpacked.
-I pray quickly while Rob asks if the motor boat could drive John and I to the nearest access point. There is supposed to be a camp vehicle which will meet us there.
-The motorboat agrees, and will be back in 20 min after he tells his wife where he will be going. This is very, very, very good news.
-When the motorboat returns John and I board with some possessions and a bag of gorp to share for dinner. We express our deep thanks to the man and his friend. They are chatty, and refuse any money for gas.
-We need to go slow and the boaters are wary of drift wood and shallows in the dark. It takes about an hour to reach the access point. This is a very cold ride as I do not have access to a sweater.
-We arrive at the access point. Nobody is there. There aren’t even any lights in the area. It is just a gravel path from the highway down to the water.
-The boaters refuse to just leave John and I (wow!) so we think about what we are going to do.
-We decide to walk along this highway as the boaters have an aunt who lives a little bit down.
-We get to the Aunt’s cottage, and she is having a campfire with her friends. John and I are grateful to warm up. I call camp and they say someone should be meeting us.
- Periodically, I run back to the access point to see if anyone has arrived. I am thinking that we are going to be there along time. I don’t know what to do at the aunt’s house because it is late, and I get the feeling these folks want to go to bed. I pray fervently that the camp vehicle finds us.
-On one of my trips back to the access point, I return to discover the camp vehicle has arrived. I am soooo relieved.
-We drive our boater/rescue friends back to their boat.
-We leave for North Bay hospital
-John and I eat our gorp for dinner. It is strange but we have not felt hungry until this point.
-We arrive at the hospital. John is taken into to be looked at, but it is decided that he will have to wait for treatment.
-I also register to be looked at as I had developed pink eye on the first day of the trip.
-We wait 4 hours to be looked at. We cannot sleep in the waiting room; the chairs are far too uncomfortable.
-Both John and I have been treated. John has had both stitches inside the wound and on the surface of the wound to close it. I have just been prescribed some eye drops.
-We drive out of North Bay after breakfast at Tim Horton’s.
-It is 9:00, and we arrived back at camp.
-John and I have been awake for 27 hours.

I sleep from 9:00 until about 5:30. It is amazing.
At dinner we tell stories, and then I head down to the docks for some time with God.
Almost immediately I read the following passage; it speaks deeply to me:

Trust me in times of trouble and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.
Psalm 50:15.

-C.D. Clements

Thursday, June 26, 2008

On a Particular Aspect of Marriage

When you marry someone who has a seizable music collection, one finds oneself owning many additional albums without having had to purchase them. One of these albums I defaulted into owning is David Bowie's Reality. If I could influence your life in one way (dear reader), it would be to give Mr. Bowie a chance, and purchase this album for yourself. Artful modern rock with catchy melodies, and thoughtful lyrics.
It is wonderful to have married Nyssa, and to have married into a healthy Bowie collection.

-C.D. Clements

P.s. This post is mostly tongue-in-cheek, as it is said. Although if possible, do try to marry (or at least date) someone who owns this album, other Bowie albums, or at least some music you might like to listen to, but have not yet purchased.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

On Graphing Different Things

I found this site online: http://crappygraphs.com/
You can make and view Crappy Graphs
Here are my favorite two:

-C.D. Clements

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

On how Shakespeare got me a Cupcake: 10 incredible degrees of separation!

1. Shakespeare wrote many plays which became famous.
2. More recently some people made a “Stratford Festival” which showcases his plays.
3. My friend's girlfriend went out to Stratford to make costumes for the festival.
4. Then my other friend's girlfriend went out to visit her.
5. As such, my friends mutually decided to have a 'boys only' night, seeing as their girlfriends were out of town.
6. I decided to attended this get-together, leaving Nyssa in North York.
7. Not wanting to be bored, Nyssa got together her friends for the same evening.
8. One of her friends happened to bring some cupcakes to the get-together.
9. Nyssa brought an extra cupcake home for me.
10. I ate the cupcake the next day.

You can clearly see the [semi]direct influence of Shakespeare on my recent life.
Who could have guessed the at effects of this man's life, even after all these years?

-C.D. CLements

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

On the following:

A reflection on the break up of Phish

From reading various news articles courtesy of Phish.net, catching various interviews such as Trey Anastasio on Charlie Rose, or the interviews on the “PHISH IT” documentary (to name a few sources), I feel I appreciate the decision to stop Phish.

From what I interpret, there was a 'spirituality' which was contained within Phish. This spirituality of Phish was an incorporation of all sorts of values in relationship with on another, and all of these at once in some sort of relationship with a higher power. These values certainly include community, celebration, creative expression, improvisation, joy, (to identify a few). Each of these saw their place in what the music was, and what Phish was. Over these values, through these values, and undergirding these values there was an esoteric scene of the divine presence. Similarly, over the music, through the music, and undergirding the music was this same sense of the divine presence... or as Trey comments, divine language. The spirituality of Phish was an incorporation, and intimate intertwining of these: the values, the music, and the divine, to the point where one is not easily seen and understood apart from the others.

As I understand it, over time Phish as a whole began to experience a rift (no pun intended) between what Phish was, and what this spirituality in its pure form intended Phish to be. From what I gather, there are a bunch of factors around this slow separation; factors both known and unknown. However at the time which the decision was made to dissolve Phish, there must have been an acknowledgment that Phish was slowly departing from this pure form. Phish was on a different trajectory than what Phish' original values would have informed. The options then would be to either continue the band, but only with the shell of the music, (as the core spirituality was missing), or to preserve the original spirituality and intent of Phish, by stopping Phish.

As such, I have come to think band made the right decision. As the less visible (and aural) aspects of Phish became 'unfocused' it seems like the whole thing became an abuse of what was intended, or pure.

While I am sad to never again hear any new Phish music, or to experience the Phish live experience, I think I really appreciate what the band members are doing now. It is as though each is following a path which seeks after what the hidden (mysterious, spiritual) things of life are leading them down. Following after the divine, and being true to the self are certainly noble pursuits. It would be a shame if the members of Phish were to fore go this pursuit in favor of keeping alive something which the spirit was not in.

-C.D. Clements