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Six Trips

12 Mar

Six Trips

Six trips around the yellow sun, six trips has made my son,
Each one a revolution born of notions new and fun.
Each evolution etched upon a happy child’s face,
Six trips, the same ellipse, a solar circuit set in place.
Six trips exactly similar in terms of time and space,
Yet each affects uniquely every runner in the race.
Six trips has made my son around the sun, my only one.
And those six trips around the sun in turn have made my son.

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Atheist Mourns Congregational Church

10 Nov

The First Congregational Church Of Kenosha closed shop a few weeks back, and my atheist heart surprised me with twinges of remorse or regret, melancholy or mere pensiveness…..not quite sure which, or more pertinently, why???

IMG_2536 Of course, the obvious answer is that since I was raised a Congregationalist, the closing of any outpost of my former faith might quite naturally affect me, despite the sworn godlessness of my present existence.  Such gut feelings are easily overcome for a rationalist, just like the urges to call out to “god” in moments of desperation….lingering ghosts of childhood programming.   But as a confirmed and deliberate atheist, why do I seem to actually care?

IMG_2537  The gorgeous, historic church building itself, nearly 140 years old, is not lost…it shall retain its sentinel’s position above library square with its fine, impressive spire and original (I’m guessing) rose window.  Any half -wit can appreciate the value of that. But the loss of the congregation itself should be cause for rejoicing, a positive sign of the slow, inevitable death of religion.  Not so, I fear.

I’ve always thought that important or  interesting church buildings should be immediately re-purposed as museums, historical societies or institutes of anthropological research.  Newer buildings could be used as homeless shelters, public auditoriums or schools of actual learning, as opposed to the promotion of untenable myth as infallible truth for which they are currently appropriated.  Instead, this historic building is simply being occupied by another church.  And not a Methodist, Baptist or Presbyterian church either. No Wesleyan, Episcopalian, or Lutheran of any sort or synod.  Not even established fringe-dwellers like Seventh Day Adventists or Christian Scientists could fill the void here…nor any other traditional Protestant sect I could think of. Instead the non-denominational, evangelical mega-church “Crossway”, which occupies several acres of formerly productive farmland on route 50 west of I-94, apparently has birthed an offspring labeled “Christ The King”, which will occupy the noble monument.

The matron is one of those bloated bastions of born-again bullshit which have sprouted up like loosestrife across the prairie with increasing regularity over the past few decades.  New-Age and slickly marketed, these behemoths have great appeal to the under-educated believers of today, who crave their religion like everything else: in short, flashy, easily digested bytes of rock and roll. Bereft of sectarian snobbery, these church/businesses reduce traditional Christian philosophy into handy repeatable cliches, perfect for an audience unequipped to question the nature of the faith.  The baby is presumably an urban version of the same, minus the fancy new facility and the long commute.  Deluded downtown dwellers will no longer have to waste gas on their way to wasting their time and intellect.

Of course, I have no problem with the existence of this new brand of born-again church per se.  The grand tradition of Protestantism after all is the ability of each congregation to interpret the Bible in any way it sees fit, and that of America to worship as we please, or not at all.   The problem is the lack of critical thinking that leads people to these sorts of churches, and the endless cycle of new uneducated believers they naturally breed.  The Protestant churches of my youth in 1970’s New England were pillars of progressiveness and liberal thinking about the nature of faith and God herself.  No one ever, ever, posited Genesis as fact and I can honestly say I never even met a Young-Earth Creationist until the 90’s.  I value my Congregationalist upbringing for it introduced me to the kind of healthy debate over the Bible and the Christian faith that led me, in stages, to atheism itself.  At the same time, I know the Bible and understand the myriad pop touchstones it contains as the purported root metaphor of our culture (which I don’t believe it is so much as the people want it to be, but that is a subject for a different blog), something my elder daughter, raised an atheist, has missed out on….

Ironically, the tradition of liberal debate contributes to the decline of traditional denominations.  In the end, only 12 members attended the final service of the First Congregational Church of Kenosha.  As reported in the link above, members whose ideas are voted down are likely to jump ship.  Folks looking for the certainty of a simple message and an easy liturgy to follow are naturally attracted to increasingly fundamental congregations, where discussion is superfluous and dissent unknown.  Lip-service love of Jesus continues to have mad street-cred among those who come to religion on their own as a way out, and Biblical literalism is, as always, a ready salve for the weak of mind.  “Christ The King” will  begin its reign with 140 members, according to the article.

Happily, Atheism is on the slow rise in America, as every statistic shows.  Fundamentalism is one of religion’s death throes. with hardcore believers rallying together as churches slowly die away.  Sadly, as it turns out, liberal, progressive churches, a valued ally in the Atheist movement, will be among the very first to disappear…

Naked Pancakes

28 Sep

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Naked Pancakes Taste The Best

When Fashioned In The Nude

Easily Outstripping

Any Other Breakfast Food

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Naked Chef Enjoys The Breeze

Across His Back And Legs

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Favorite Apron Keeping Warm

The Sausage And The Eggs

c 2013 Rob Moore

Wind And Water

16 Sep

 

waterspouts

Once In A While The Wind

Gets To Gambol

With Water As Well.

 

Elements Jealous

Of Frolicking Youth,

Babies On The Beach

As Fourteen Billion Years Of Truth

Obscure The Day

When They Would Play

Terra-forming Toddlers

Moving Mountains In Their Mirth.

Two Terrifying Twins

Of Mother Earth

Who Makes Their Home And Keeps Them Close

Lets Them Play Unchecked Across Her Back

Smiling Silent

While Their Sun

Their Father Bids Them Run

And Twist And Jump And Swirl And Fly

And Try To Fill The Endless Sky

 

Wind And Water

Well Recall When They Were Four

And That Was All

Parents And Children In Space And So Much Time

Nothing To Do But Play

And Decorate Their Mother

Beautiful Beautiful Blue-Green Gaea

Father’s Favorite Favorite Lover.

 

Wind Is Strangely Still It Seems

And Water Not So Clear

Which Eon or Century, Decade Or Year

Recreation Turned To Occupation,

Water Took The Path Of Least Resistance Every Time

And Wind Began To Really Blow Things Off.

Neither Even Noticed

Mother Father Started Making

Other Babies By The Billions

Silly Fragile Fading Uglies

Every Crazy Shape

Who Lasted But A Moment

Leaving Copies In Their Wake.

 

Unpaid Babysitters

Endure Extreme Indignities;

Dam The Water, Mill The Wind,

Please Don’t Drown The Millions

Of Your Microscopic Kin.

But Float Their Boats And Fly Their Kites

And Irrigate Their Stupid Crops

But Not Too Much!

And Blow Their Stupid Pollen Round

But Not Too Hard!

 

Wrinkled Water Weary Wind

Are Older Than Mountains

Older Than Dirt

And Patience Wears Thin

For Tired Titans Too.

Ponderous Water Considers Its Weight

Says Brother As Ever

I Go With The Flow

There’s A Twinkle In The Eye Of Your Storm Today

Reminds Me When Our Work Was Play.

Mischievous Wind

Finds His Fearsome Voice And Howls

Old Is Relative You Wet Fool

We’re Middle Aged

I Can Still Dance

And You Can Still Rage

Or If You Won’t Wake

I’ll Slap Your Belly Pink

You Fat, Sodden Puddle!

And You Call Yourself A Lake!

 

Wise Water Smirks

Retreats From Shore

Seeing Wily Wind Is Wound Up Tight

In Full Shriek Now Can Take No More

Announces Let Your Puny Sirens Sound

And Grab Your Plastic Shit Up Off The Ground

I Doubt I’ll Feel This Way Again

Before You’re Dead So Send Your Texts

And Snap Your Pics And Blog Your Vids

Sew Your Panic Scramble For Protection

Pitiful Ploys For Useless Extensions

Momentary Matchsticks In My Midst

I’m Scarce Aware That You Exist

Run Away But Witness This

And Teach Your Sons, And Show Your Daughters:

This, My Tiny, Transient Friends

…..Is How You Play With Water

 

-Rob Moore

Buffalo Ranch Chicken Pizza

8 Jun

 

IMG_1737A Fun Alternative To Traditional Homemade Pizzas,  This One Is Easy, Colorful, And A Huge Hit With Hungry Teenagers.

 

1  Your favorite homemade or premade Pizza Crust

4-6 oz. chicken breast, 1/2 inch cubed

bottle Mild to Medium Buffalo Sauce

bottle Ranch dressing

1/4 lb Provolone, sliced

1/4 Cup Crumbled Bacon, or Bacon Bits

 

Mix together equal parts Buffalo Sauce and Ranch to make about a half cup.

Pour enough on the chicken cubes to coat and set aside to marinate for half an hour. 

Preheat Oven according to crust instructions…usually 450-475 degrees

Use the rest of the Buffalo Ranch mixture to coat the crust like you would with pizza sauce. 

Top with slices of provolone, followed by chicken cubes.

Sprinkle with Crumbled Bacon.

Drizzle or dot with Ranch and Buffalo sauce SEPARATELY, to make it pretty.

Bake according to crust instructions…usually 7-10 minutes.

 

Let cool for a minute and watch it disappear!

The J-Dubs Came To The Door Today…

12 Apr

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Look At The Sweet Haircut They Gave Jesus!

He’s 70s Ken!  And He’s Into Gay Bondage….Who Knew?IMG_1569

Thai Yellow Curry

21 Feb

One of the happy side effects of the sudden closure of the local Thai joint was discovering how simple my favorite curries were to replicate at home, with the help of prepared curry pastes from the Asian market.

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Red, Green, Massamun, Panang….I have made them all to mouthwatering result, each with its own level of spicy heat.  A dollop of paste mixed with a can of coconut milk, then simmered with your favorite vegetables and/or meat…it’s so easy I feel like it’s not really cooking.  The pastes, which include a long list of exotic ingredients, would be great to make from scratch one day, but are so tasty, economical and additive free, there’s just no point.  Start with a ratio of 2 oz. paste to 2 cups coconut milk and adjust according to heat preference.  I usually cut mine further with broth because I like it thin and spicy. More coconut milk counteracts the heat.

I usually make this dish vegetarian or with shrimp, but for this recipe I used good old fashioned beef, potatoes and carrots.

In Chef’s pan, Heat:

2 Tablespoons Oil (I likes peanut)

Saute to Brown, then set aside:

3/4 Cup meat/shrimp/tofu (if using frozen shrimp, just add at the end and just heat through)

Add to pan and saute for 1-2 minutes:

4 oz yellow curry paste

1 small onion- chopped

Stir in to mix completely:

about 3 cups (1-1/2  14 oz cans) coconut milk

1 Cup beef or chicken broth, accordingly (optional)

Bring to slow boil and add:

3/4 Cup each Potatoes and Carrots – 1/4 inch sliced

Return to Boil and let simmer 10 minutes or until veggies are tender, not mushy.  Stir in remaining:

1/2 Can Coconut Milk

Return to boil. Return meat to pan and heat through.  Garnish with:

Chopped Cilantro

Chopped Peanuts

Serve with White Sticky Rice

Drool!