Saturday, January 15, 2011

Thirteen minutes and twenty-three seconds

Last night, I overheard conversation where my nephew mentioned that he did a 1.5 mile run with a time of 13:30. I broke in and said, "Well I can do that!"

This morning I realized I needed to put the money where the mouth was and prove the "I can do that."

I arrived at the Provo High track a little after noon. It was covered with snow (thin packed layer). This means two things. First, I will not run as efficiently as on clear track. Second, I don't know where the lanes are, so I won't be running the inside lane. But I hit the start button on the stopwatch and took off.

On the fourth lap I dropped the stopwatch and had to go back and retrieve it.

So - with all of that, my final time...


Not bad for a 49 year old dude with bad knees and an Irish build.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

A word on Prophets

A few of my close friends have recently be delving into Crowley's commentaries on the second chapter of "The Book of The Law." For them, I offer the following (from Zen Buddhism - The Selected Writings of D. T. Suzuki).
It is a great mistake to think that any existent religious system was handed down to posterity by its founder as the fully matured product of his mind, and, therefore, that what the followers had to do with their religious founder and his teaching was to embrace both the founder and his teaching as sacred heritage - a treasure not to be profaned by the content of their individual spiritual experience. For this view fails to take into consideration what our spiritual life is and petrifies religion to its very core. This static conversation, however, is always opposed by a progressive party which looks at a religious system from a dynamic point of view. And these two forces which are seen conflicting against each other in every field of human activity weave out the history of religion as in other cases. In fact, history is a record of these struggles everywhere. But the very fact that there are such struggles in religion shows that they are here to some purpose and that religion is a living force; for they gradually bring light to hidden implications of the original faith and enrich it in a manner undreamed of in the beginning. This takes place not only with regard to the personality of the founder but with regard to his teaching, and the result is an astounding complexity or rather confusion which sometimes prevents us from properly seeing into the constitution of a living religious system.
So....who shall join the battle and rescue the Religion of Thelema from the sins of its founder?

Monday, January 03, 2011


Let me start off by giving this bit of advice: If you ever divorce, avoid taking the path of a "friendly divorce." Make it acrimonious, spiteful and full of hate. In this manner, you will avoid being sucked into helping with "projects" (otherwise known as "tar pits, death traps, hell holes") at the home of the ex-wife.

(A disclaimer is in order - she is still my best friend. I eat her food. I steal her internet - a future blog post in the making. I turn to her when I need to gripe and moan about the injustices of the universe. My cell phone exists from her good graces. Etc. etc. and etc. I ignore my own advice and, in my case, this is all well and good.)

* ahem *

Kat wanted a mixing valve inserted between the various supply lines and the toilets. Right. No problem. Find a source for Hot, find a source for Cold, feed them into a mixing valve, then direct them to the two toilets. No problem. Really.......

The project decomposed into five parts...
  1. Break into the Hot supply.
  2. Break into the Cold supply.
  3. Construct a mixing assembly (mixing valve and associated parts).
  4. Hook in the upstairs toilet.
  5. Hook in the downstairs toilet.
Estimated total time for the project: One working day.


Here is how it worked out....
  1. Break into the Hot supply.
    Cut the line.
    Insert a "T" assembly.
    Put it together.
    Watch it leak.
    Take it apart and put it back together five times trying to figure out where it is leaking.
    Remove the female portion of the union.
    Apply "Rector Seal Number 5" in copious quantities.
    Put it all back together.
    It doesn't leak anymore, but....
    Discover the hot water supply to the downstairs bathroom sink is blocked.
    Remove the shutoff valve for the sink.
    Discover that your recently 'blown out' knee just DOES NOT LIKE THIS.
    Clean out crud knocked loose from previous actions.
    Put it back together and find it now leaks.
    Buy a new supply line from Lowes.
    Put the fucker back together.
  2. Construct a mixing assembly (mixing valve and associated parts).
    One 3/8 Compression fitting that converts to 1/2 inch copper.
    A "T" connector.
    Two ball valves.
    More "Sweat Pipe" soldering than any human should be forced to endure.
    (The valves come back into the end of the story. You have been warned.)
    Decide you have had enough for one day.
    Stop work.
    Visit friends in a nearby city for New Year's celebration.
    Have experiences of emotional and sexual natures that are profound.
    You really have no idea. Really . You don't.
    Some things are so very, very sacred.....
    My gratitude for what I was allowed to experience is boundless.
    ...but, alas, we return to the story at hand....
  3. After taking a day off from the project - - - - -Break into the Cold supply.
    Cut the freaking pipe.
    Insert a valve and 3/8 compression fitting on the source side of the cut.
  4. Hook in the upstairs toilet.
    There are two sections of pipe, and two elbows. They all need to go.
    Use the Makita saw's all to break the pipe.
    Discover you broke it in the wrong place.
    Fine - - - - Do it again.
    Unscrew sections of 1/2 inch iron pipe that are older than I am.
    (Really - and I do mean REALLY - close to 50, if you need to know.)
    Insert a plug.
    Hook it into the mixing "valve" portion of the mixing assembly.
    Discover the alignment isn't what you thought.
    Connect the fucker anyway.
  5. Hook in the downstairs toilet.
    Discover the pre-assembled 1/2 copper almost fits.....but not quite.
    Find a way to make it fit anyway, goddammit.....
    Discover that water makes a REALLY GOOD heat sink.
    The solder finally flows after much water evaporates, and the house almost ignites.
So here we are....all done, after two working days. three calendar days, and endless frustration. I have turned on the last valve, I am cleaning up the tools, and....


"Plop" is the sound of a drop of water falling on top of my head.




I raise my eyes, looking for the source of the leak. I trace it finally to one of the valves. The connections are all good. It is the valve itself that is leaking.


Right now - stop reading. Get in the car, go to the local Big Box hardware store, and locate a"'ball valve." Look at it carefully. Do you see that seam along the center? It is in the 'Longitudinal' orientation. Yeah..... That one.

It was split.

Just - a very - tiny little bit.


The valve - already placed and soldered an made an integral part of "the freaking plumbing project from Hell" - was leaking.
  • I found a C-Clamp.
  • I wrapped the clamp around the stem portion of the leaking valve.
  • It sopped leaking
  • It looks ugly as hell.
  • I - DON'T CARE.
  • It no longer leaks.
  • I dragged the ex-wife down to the scene of the crime.
  • I explained to her, in bitter detail, the final standing of the project.
  • I paid proper homage to the memory of Rube Goldberg.
  • I went home.

This is where I broke into the Cold supply, and into the supply to the downstairs toilet.

This is the Hot supply. It was supposed to be the easy part. Yeah. Sure.....

...and here is the mixing valve itself - the focus of the adventure...

And - finally - the c-clamp that made the adventure complete. Really.

Pray god that this is not your fate.

The birth of Lucifer, the Bringer of Light, the Son of the Morning....

From the introduction to The Ritual of Transcendental Magic by Eliphas Levi...
Intelligence awakened, and comprehended it's nature completely by the understanding of that utterance of the Divine Word: 'Let there be light!'

It felt itself to be free because God had called it into being, and, raising up its head, with both wings extended, it replied: 'I will not be slavery.'

'Then thou shalt be suffering,' said the Uncreated Voice.

'I will be liberty,' replied the light.

'Pride will seduce thee,' said the Supreme Voice, 'and thou wilt bring forth death.'

'I needs must strive with death to conquer life,' again responded the light.

Thereupon God loosed from His bosom the shining cord which restrained the superb angel, and beholding him plunge through the night, which he furrowed with glory, He loved the offspring of His thought, and said with an ineffable smile: 'How beautiful was the light!'
Quit the darkness and seek the light...