Noises Off

Last night I attended a production of Noises Off at the Echo Theater in Provo Utah. My first exposure to the script of this play was in the form of the 1992 film. The stellar cast set a high bar for anyone else who might choose to produce it. The Wiki on it is here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noises_Off_(film) should you wish to check it.

The Echo theater is in an old downtown business space. It is not designed for theater and the tight quarters made for an interesting theater experience. I confess I went to last nights production without much hope of seeing anything as entertaining as the film. I must also confess that I was more than a little surprised. 

This unique production was simply amazing. The close proximity of the cast made you feel a part of the show and the director is even in the audience in the beginning. Set changes were made to be a part of the show and were done in spectacular style. At a couple points I was sure that the lady playing Brooke would be squished between set pieces but she danced nimbly out of the way. 

What to say about the cast themselves? Their timing was amazing. Their characterizations were wonderful and all deserve a great deal more applause than we humble viewers were able to give. Every single one deserves your attention but a few really stood out for me personally. Poppy was so timid and shy although I’m sure that was just her acting ability. Dottie was a joy to watch. Belinda Was a force to be reckoned with on stage. Selsdon was epic, Freddie was over worked and so underpaid and the director was incredible.

Sadly you will not be able to share in the joy this production gave. Closing night is tonight and I wish I had seen it sooner so that I could have gone again, and again. The humble Echo Theater produced a production any theater would be proud of. Bravo all of you.

Depressed Masonicly and Otherwise

de·pressed  /diˈprest/

Adjective
  1. (of a person) In a state of general unhappiness or despondency.
  2. (of a person) Suffering from clinical depression.

That’s how I’ve been feeling of late. I had a blog post written and shelved for editing. It was all about relationships and tied into the masonic world. It would have been a great article, had it lived. Sadly wordpress (the program not the company) aborted it. It simply ceased to exist. I became depressed, despondent, down in the dumps and couldn’t write a single word.

They say time heals all wounds and in this case it mostly has. I’m able to write again and i am even trusting worpress with my work. Its not a forgiven thing yet but mostly forgotten. I can press on and will. I shall not be defeated.

This same can be true for relationships as well. We as humans do stupid stuff, alot. We say things and do things because the world exists only from our own point of view. We actually have to be trained to care what other people think and want. It is all to easy and natural to return to our factory settings and lose sight of the broader picture.

This happens as much if not more in the masonic world as it does in our more personal relationships. A thoughtless word or action causes distress. We become angry or depressed and lose interest. Time away heals the wounds but by then we have gotten out of the habit of going to lodge or functions. There is little impetus to change the new norm so we don’t. 

If you know a brother who has stopped coming, I advise you to reach out. Be encouraging and helpful but don’t press. Coax him back with the friendship that he has already experienced and then make sure he feels wanted and needed.

Ban

This isn’t what I had planned to post but I think its just got to be said.

Ban The Doughnuts!

If we are going to control peoples lives in the food intake area then doughnuts need to be right alongside 32 ounce drinks. Think about it. One delicious original Krispie Kreme glazed doughnut is 160 calories. A 32 ounce coke is 272 calories.

Two doughnuts (and really who couldnt eat two of them) puts you way over the coke count. So lets ban Doughnuts too. While we are at it how about potato chips? 1 ounce of Lays BAKED potato chips is 120 Calories. French Fries, Burgers, hell  fast food in general ban it all. I cant be trusted to decide for myself any longer. Please take away my right to choose.

Lets force the fast food industry to only serve vegetables  I mean hey its their fault for offering the choice right? Its Cokes fault that America is the land of the obese. All those nutritionally deficient food manufactures are in a giant conspiracy to destroy America with fat. Break out the picket signs!

Hiatus

I’ve been absent for a bit working on another project. I will have something new shortly I promise. In fact I just finished writing one of two that I have planned. I’ve decided to wait a day or so to publish it. Its a bit out of my normal writing and I want to edit before posting. 

This too is new for me. I like to write and post with only minimal editing for spelling, grammar etc. Things that I have yet to master but I am working on. So enough with excuses…

 

Back to work.

Old Masonic post

Its a busy week for me and so Im going to be a bit lazy and re-post A blog entry I did for my lodge site. I did make a few changes but its essentially the same. If you have an interest you can find others that I have done as well as posts from others here, http://www.utahvalleymasons.com/

———-

I was sitting in a Fellowcraft degree t and I started to ponder a list of things we as Freemasons hold in high esteem. I’m referring specifically to ideals that are important to us. Realistically they should be important to all men, however I was compiling a list of things taken directly from our ritual. Some of the following list is mentioned specifically in our ceremonies, others are buried in the meaning and require a bit of study and reflection.

In no particular order here is a list:

  • Reverence for Deity
  • Appreciation for the Arts and Sciences
  • True Friendship
  • Honesty
  • Discipline both of mind and self
  • Service
  • Charity
  • Fidelity
  • Fraternity
  • Education
  • Reason
  • Logic
  • Morality
  • Forgiveness
  • Excellence

This is a very short list. There is so much more that could be added to it. I have mentioned before (and will most likely again) that this fraternity is an organization which you get out of what you put into it. As an individual goes through the degrees of masonry there is so much thrown at them so quickly in each of the ceremonies that it is impossible for an individual to glean the important bits. To get those concepts out one must put in the time to read and study the ceremonies and lectures and then even more time contemplating the true meaning.

That is not to say that anything is hidden, it’s actually all there right on the surface. What I mean is that the language is not what we use today. It is more old English than modern and even when you understand the words one must contemplate what those words mean to them. It’s a lifelong study really but so worth while.

Of course none of that applies in Florida.

Bond Bubble

I’ve been reading a Book called “Aftershock, protect yourself and profit”. Its an interesting read but I’ve been asking myself if these guys are full of bull. They SAY they predicted the financial woes we have recently gone through but I haven’t had time to check their claims. They SAY we are heading into another bigger problem. Then I found this article http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2013/02/11/banks-bond-bubble/?iid=HP_LN and BAM, I’m a believer.

I first saw the book through a random link that popped up on a search I did. I’ve seen hundreds of these things like “Learn how to make money doing (this)” or “Here’s the secret to whiter teeth”. I’m certain you have seen them as well. I follow the links once in a while just for a laugh. This one included a video which had some interesting information even if it was a lot of tooting their own horns. I opted to check further especially when it offered a FREE copy of the book. Let me be VERY CLEAR, there was NO WAY to get a free copy or even the expanded information they promised. That was a total fabrication.

I left the site and decided to do a bit of digging. I found a friend that had a copy and had read it. On his recommendation I did more digging and found I could get the book cheaper from Barnes and Noble than from Aftershock publishing. I picked up a copy on my ereader and started reading. I found that they do A LOT of tooting their own horn in the book as well but in between is a lot of good information. There isn’t as much information on how to profit from the info but it is a fascinating read none the less.

If you follow me on Twitter you will have seen that I promised to blog about the ARTICLE that I gave a link to above and the FDIC. I’m sorry I got distracted from that purpose but I wanted to convey WHY that particular article was of interest. Now to the heart of the matter. The article mentions that the banks may take a big hit but that the Government assures us that our money is covered by FDIC

What the Government FAILS to tell you is that not ALL of your money is covered. I have a couple of friends who had their retirement saving in a particular local bank. The bank proudly displayed the FDIC logo. Sadly the bank failed and my friends had just about the maximum amount that the FDIC claims to insure in their individual accounts. To make a long story short, after several months they received checks…for pennies on their dollar. They got a small percentage of their savings and had to work a number of years past their planned retirement date because of it.

The FDIC told them that they had a cap on what was to be paid for any particular institution. That cap amount was spread out between all of the account holders. My friends had no recourse and their money was gone.

The moral of this tale and a song that many investment gurus sing is that the bank is the WORST place for your money. Unfortunately their really isn’t any place that is totally safe these days. Study and be smart with investments. Don’t be fooled by the “free” offers out there.

 

Politics

I don’t normally discuss politics. It tends to lead to hard feelings. Even when I do with close friends I’m careful what I say and tend to listen to what they have to say. During the super bowl a friend of mine and I got on the subject of the last election. It got me to thinking about why Obama won. I realized that it wasn’t really because Obama is such a sterling President, its because the Republicans cant field a decent candidate.

Im neither Republican nor Democrat. I don’t believe in either party. Neither has the best interests of this country at heart. The only thing they care about is winning the next election. Thus the mess we have had in Washington the last while. Im hoping that a Third party will soon arise with a standout candidate and we can get away from this two party system.

That’s a pipe dream but one has to dream. Maybe it will happen and my childrens country wont actually implode. Perhaps a third party will see this next bit and beat the Republicans to the punch.

The conversation I mentioned before the tangent led me to poke around the internet. I stumbled onto the GOP page here http://www.gop.com/?source=continue-text . They seem to be wanting feedback to strengthen and maybe fix their party.  Maybe you could write them with your ideas I couldnt resist and wrote and sent the following

 

My friend and I talked politics last night and he stated that he hadn’t

wanted to vote for Obama but couldn’t supportRomney getting into

the white house. He felt that Romney’s record withthe Utah Olympics

and his wishy washy attitude made him the wrong choice.

My own opinions differ somewhat. Honestly I couldn’t support the
republican team myself but I did because I DESPERATELY didn’t want
Obama back in. My reasons for not liking the Romney / Ryan team were
varied. I didn’t care that Romney was wealthy. That to me just said
that he knew finance. What did bother me was that he couldn’t stick to
his guns on anything. He was like a willow tree swaying in the
political breeze. Neither he nor Ryan could keep from putting their
foot in their mouths. I would have voted for a third party candidate
had there been one I thought might win.

The question then is, what will it take to get a win for the
republican party. First you have to know who you are running against.
Id say there is a 90 percent chance it will be Hillary Clinton. If
this is the case, unless you put a woman up against her it will be a
men versus women campaign. We all know how well the last team did with
women voters. Secondly you need a well spoken candidate with no
baggage. Someone who will take a stand on the major issues and NOT
BACK DOWN. If he is the least bit wishy washy hes going to lose. The
candidate needs to be well versed and able to respond to questions on
the issues confidently. If he doesn’t know the answer, trying to use
political speak to dance around the issue just makes him look like any
other politician.

People are tired of the liars and scam artists that run our
government. Its all about them and getting re-elected, nothing else
matters. The fiscal cliff thing and all of the other posturing on
capital hill lately hasnt been about the good of the country its been
about re-election. That has to stop. Somebody needs to stand up, stick
out their hand and say “lets meet in the middle and fix this country”.
The person who can do that RIGHT NOW will have a good shot at being
our next president.

Yahoo

I read an article today about Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer and her plans for Yahoo. (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57558744-93/marissa-mayers-plan-to-rewire-yahoo/). I like her thinking and the moves she has made internally are stellar. Sadly I think she is missing the end user perspective.

My own experience using Yahoo lately has been disappointing at best. I enjoy their news feed and read it regularly. I have had an email account with them for years. Granted I haven’t accessed it much lately because Google Mail is just so good. They have problems as well but that’s another article.

I needed to access something I had in my account a couple of days ago and when I tried to log in they had implemented an anti robot device. I had to type in the displayed words to log in. That annoyed me but I pressed on. after several failed attempts, each time having to type the stupid words, I tried to reset my password.

This displayed a message that my account had been suspended due to not having accessed it in 4 months. That was not true as I had been in it just a week or two before. Still I went through the reactivation process just so I could get to what I needed. And I still was typing those bloody words at every turn.

Finally I had access to my account. Logging in and typing those blankity blank works again I discover that my account is empty. Everything I had saved was GONE. Information I had been saving for years in my email was in the wind. Never to be accessed again unless, maybe when I die my deleted emails are waiting for me on the other side. Fat lot of good it will do me then.

Disgusted, I deleted the account and as a parting shot had to type those blasted words ONE LAST TIME. Ms Mayer if you ever read this I wish you the best of luck. I think you may need it.

Trolling

I attempted to have a meaningful discussion with a mindless baboon today. You can imagine how that went. Have we as a species really devolved to this. Is it honestly no longer possible to  share pertinent information without some knuckle dragger trying to destroy your self esteem?

What is the deal here? Is it that these people have such miserable existences that they have to try to ruin everybody else s day? Perhaps we have evolved into a species of Marquis DeSades who find immense joy in dealing pain to others. Maybe these people can only express themselves anonymously and in real life they are totally mousy. Could it be that these are the kids who had their lunch money stolen everyday?

Don’t get me wrong this guy didn’t rile me or spoil anything. He was rather pathetic actually. I enjoy trolling the trolls sometimes because I’m kind of sadistic like that. This guy really had nothing though. There was no logic or reason to his written droolings. He just couldn’t admit that he had nothing. Even when he tried to submit evidence to support his claim it actually stated the opposite of what he was saying. It got me to wondering why and how we have produced such a plethora of slack jawed imbeciles. What can we do as a society to help these sad individuals?

Do we set up clinics? Maybe track them down and hold interventions? Shock therapy? I am at a loss, I see this as the beginning of the avalanche toward the destruction of our society. I see all the terrible things happening in our society, the politicians ignoring everything just to concentrate on getting that vote and I know we are doomed. I give it three years and I pray I am wrong.

Masonry

I twittered about great men being attracted to masonry, not because they want to be great but because they already had that spark and they were drawn to the fraternity because it called to them. Yes that was a run on sentence perhaps Ill fix it later.

People come to Free masonry for different reasons. Curiosity, Fellowship and some just for the historical value. It was kind of the last for me mixed with knowing some men I admired who were involved. There are some who come to the fraternity for the wrong reasons. Hoping to make that connection that will make them successful, looking for religion or even looking for a handout. NONE of those are right or even possible.

Freemasonry is a Fraternity. Period. Through involvement we tend to become better men but there is no material gain to be had. We make friends with some incredible people. We participate in philanthropy through our established charities and we come to see the world just a bit differently.

WE ARE NOT A RELIGION  Period. Men are encouraged to worship through the faith of their choice but that choice is personal. We are accepting of men of all faiths and walks of life. If you are of the correct age, believe in a supreme being and are not a convicted criminal you may join.

I did and I have no regrets. I have had the privilege of being Master of a lodge twice. I have  been a member of our Grand Lodge Team and represented my jurisdiction to other places.  I have no regrets only fond memories and close friends to show for it.

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