What's Wrong With...

big industry? It's all about efficiency and profit, about streamlining and sterilizing processes. Big industry is concerned with profitability, not people. Science is great as long as we don't reduce the world to numbers. Science is great when it enhances our knowledge and appreciation of the world around us. Industry is the same way. When it's too big, people are as removed from the process as possible, or at least the personalities of people are. We become organic computers. We are not different because of the fall, we are different because we are designed differently. Our good characteristics are beautiful, and when you streamline our personalities out of the process, you are removing God's design. Maybe?


I'm braintired, I don't want to think. I've thought about this all before, anyway. Can't remember where that got me... Everybody's thought about that before, and it's all been written out better. Why did I bother?

The holy spirit, 1/1 and 1/3 God...
Scraping away culture and perception to get to reality and truth. How can I describe colors to a blind person? I can't even describe colors to the sighted. It is the same when talking about God.


Roasting Coffee

I made my second attempt to roast green coffee beans today. I have nothing but a cast-iron skillet, so I'm trying to pan-roast over propane, which is.... hard. In my first attempt, I pulled the beans too soon, maybe halfway through first crack, because the heat was too high. Beans were either scorched or far under-roasted, which lead to a delicious cup full of charcoal and grass flavors. I kept the heat lower this time. I ran into a little bit of scorching right at the end, and first crack came around 17 minutes in which is a longer roast than (I read) is ideal. Still, I managed to get a relatively nice City color, and I'm looking forward to being able to finish 3/4 of a cup before giving up in disgust, a significant improvement over my first batch's choked-down 1/2 cup.

Tip: Oven thermometers not only measure heat, but retain heat as well. Do not pick up with bare fingers, or you well get the ouch.

Tip: Dogs like coffee. Coffee isn't great for dogs. Try not to let roasting beans fly out of the pan, because dog with eat them beans.

Tip: You should probably just buy your beans in small batches from a local roaster if you care about things like taste.


Wilson at the Taft, Jeni at the Brew, Schuette at the Emery

What a glorious day.
Got up early (Saturday early, i.e. 8:00), ground up my really bad first-batch of pan-roasted coffee, and managed to drink some. I'll do better next time. Read Jonah, my long-standing favorite book o' the Bible. Rolled out to help move a hot tub from one friend's house to another's. Hot tubs are heavy, of course. But now I know for certain. I wore denim on denim, all blue tonal. Even my boots were blue. I can't decide if that's fantastic or not, but the fact that it was unintentional and purely practical absolves me from any judgement. The fact that I have thought about it as much as I have, an decided to write about it probably brings twofold judgement down upon me. ...Then I ate really good food and drank potable coffee at the "another's" house.

The next stop was the Taft Museum with B to hear Michael Wilson, an old friend and mentor (freintor is the word, I believe) talk about his photos, which I love, and Steichen's photos, which I respect but remain largely indifferent to. Michael is a successful, gracious and humble artist with a disarming way of forgetting to finish sentences. Michael also put together a Disfarmer show at the Emery Theater, which I got to see later in the day, and which is really really really swell! I want to be Michael. Artifact from the taft:
We both had some time to kill between engagements and decided to track down a local coffee shop that stocks Jeni's ice cream. It seems strange sometimes to have thoughtful and meaningful conversation without trying. Effortless, comfortable discussion about subjects far deeper than the weather or how-much-your-boss-is-an-idiot still takes me by surprise; it's nice to know people who also want to really talk. Talking, talking, talking, until coffee was gone, ice cream was gone, time was gone. Beethoven's 9th and music friends beckoned her. Oh look, hot air balloons across the river in Eden Park! So I decided to head over there. I saw this sunset on the way (I think pictorialist-era Steichen would have liked cell phone cameras if he'd lived 100 years later):
Turns out it was time for the annual Balluminaria, which is actually a real thing, but the hot air ballons never leave the ground... they just look pretty, reflected in Mirror Lake. The internet told me that Santa also visits Eden Park, so bring the whole family. What's the point of a hot air balloon if it doesn't fly? DUMB.Final event for the night was CCM DMA candidate Paul Schuette's installations and performances at the Emery Theater. Most of what was going on exists on another level of experience and intellect that I can't tap into, but I can sure enjoy his work on a purely visceral level. I swiped my old debit card in a tangle of wires and speakers just inside the front doors, and all sorts of beeps and other noises happened. Somebody speaking Korean and laughing tried her library card, which made far better noises, and we both smiled a lot about that. Then I drank some really good wine. In another room speakers and stuff dangled from the ceiling, producing noises I believe were related to the motor that slowly spun the piece back and forth. Mobiles and installations were scattered throughout the theater, including backstage. There was a map to find them. There was a jar full of pink jelly beans, but that wasn't on the map. I drank more really good wine. Here's a man enjoying one of the more interactive mobiles very much:
After a while, we all sat down. Schuette's opening statements included a remark that they "don't give a damn about Ohio state law [at the Emery]; there are no exits. In the case of emergency, we will all stay here and burn alive." Then he sat down at a computer on stage as a tuba joined him, and from there on out it was just great electronically-augmented acoustic noises and Schuette's light-hearted explanations for 1.5 hours. Highlight of the night: A set of five etudes Schuette composed for oscillators of his own design. Four musicians controlled a total of 16 oscillators, each musicians' square-wave noises routed through a speaker at one of the four corners of the audience. It was explained beforehand that the etude form was chosen to convince both the audience and the composer that the oscillators are legitimate instruments, to put them through their paces. The etudes progressed, at first chaotic noise, unconvincingly musical and disorderly, but by the fifth etude all four musician's eight hands controlled the sixteen oscillators precisely and beautifully in a tightly rhythmic, toothy, rumble-bass and squiggly-treble glorysplosion. There were also some improv pieces. Here's Erica Dicker improvising on a prepared baritone violin being modified in real-time by Schuette at the laptop. Her violent motion starkly contrasted his emotionless, rigid form at the computer, both intellects churning away inside. The digital processing we hear in music all day long––but never see––was suddenly revealed as part of the performance. It was really dark; I couldn't tell my "detail" of the violin looks like butt cheeks. What a glorious day.


Shelter from the Cold and Wet

It was a windy, wet, and cold October 31st, so killing time and taking photos led me under a bridge by NKU. Rocks, water, and light were all hanging out down there. Yesterday was just lovely, after all.
Picked up a bunch of books at The Open Door, including some by Zacharius, Tozer, Schaeffer, and Piper. Pretty excited about that, and here's a word from Tozer's preface to The Devine Conquest/The Pursuit of Man that ties in with my last Donne post:
If the reader should discover here anything really new he is in conscience bound to reject it, for whatever in religion is new is by the same token false.
God is eternal and unchanging.