Thursday, December 29, 2005

Ask Mike, Arkansas Edition

This is from a comment and I must assume it to be a hypothetical question.

Ok, Michael. Here's a dilemma for you. I just found out that my husband is my second cousin. Should I tell him?

You have no idea how funny this one is for me. You see, in the 8th grade I met this girl named Heather. I thought she was hot and apparently she felt the same about me. We even made out behind the school. I got home that day and talked to my mom about the new girl I had met that day, leaving out the kissing detail of course. I came to find out she was my cousin from the side of my family we never talk to. It made for some uncomfortable moments the next day. I know this is nowhere near the gravity of the situation you mentioned but it is funny.

Back to your dilemma. That is a touchy issue. The moral dilemma is one between full honesty and keeping a marriage. Lets say that you have kids together. The interest of the children is at stake here too. How would they adjust to life in Arkansas?

Seriously, it would have quite a bit to do with the strength of your marriage and how open minded he is. Would he be one to dissolve a marriage over this? Would you? Legally there would be no reason to dissolve the marriage since the relation was only known after the fact. Genetically there is enough distance that the risk of birth defects is no greater than if you were not related.

The only real questions here would be how you both are with the "EWWW YOU'RE MY COUSIN" factor and how you stand on my own previous question, is it ok to conceal things out of love? Of course this is a REALLY BIG thing. One might also bring religion into this but let's face it, Abraham married his half sister, had a kid with her handmaiden, and he is followed by Christians, Jews, and Muslims.

Personally, if in the same situation I would attempt to find a gentle way to tell my spouse. I know in my situation our love is stronger than the "EWWWW" factor and we could stand that test.

What does the rest of the peanut gallery have to say?

As always, send your questions to mclarksonazATgmail.com and I will try not to make fun of you.

This is Mike saying incest is best, put your cousin to the test...(Did I really just say that? I need my head examined. I also need to stop typing everything that runs through my head. Now...)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Ask Mike First Installment

Today I begin my new segment called, I got really creative with this, Ask Mike. This is (a thinly veiled attempt to up my readership) where my readers write in with real questions and I either answer them or make fun of them. (My serious remarks will be noted in parenthesis). Today we have an actual email from, no joke here, Chocolate Phonebook.

Mr. Clarkson,

1. What is your definition of great art?

2. Do you have any pointers to help one get organized? What works for you?

3. How do you suggest I react to religious fanatics who say they believe in forgiveness when they only shout damnation in my face?

4. Also, what do you shave with?

Your inconsistently avid reader,
Chocolate Phonebook


Chocolate,

These are deep questions and I have pondered my response in depth (which consists of taking a bathroom break) and have come to the following answers:

  1. Truly great art comes from great people, most often dead. Their art was only considered great if it included naked people or anything that confused a critic who did not wish to admit to confusion. (Seriously, art is purely subjective and what is great to me is crap to the next guy. I like art to move me from the inside and make me feel something profound.)

  2. Organization is an important skill for success in life. I find the best method is invest in a PDA like a Palm Pilot. Then enter all your important contacts, calendar dates, et cetera until you are organized. Then leave you Palm Pilot in a safe place where you will never find it. (Seriously, I am the least organized person I know. I know I have a desk but I can't remember what color it is from all the crap piled on it. Organization really only helps people who's life is predictable and mine isn't.)

  3. This one is all serious. I often find fanatics suffer from the defect of always believing they hold the higher moral ground. No matter how absurd the assertion, if it comes from a warped view of faith, they will hold it with a Kung Fu grip. Christ himself suffered from the torment of those who believed him to be wrong. Paul was persecuted early on for his participation in the execution of Christians. You are not in bad company. The only way to vindicate yourself is to live well. Ignore the rantings of hypocrites. Pointing out their hypocrisy only fuels the fire.

  4. Gillette M3 Power. I use a mixture of baby oil and Edge Gel to lubricate the shave. Again, no joke here.


I hope these answers bring a smile to your face and possibly a solution to your quandary. Until next time, email your questions to mclarksonazATgmail.com and remember, be good or be good at it.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Advice Column

I have decided to start my own write-in advice column right here. People write me a la Dear Abby and I reply with solutions. Either that or make fun of them, haven't decided yet. Of course if I don't get much email to begin with I might go to the effort to make one up...

You guessed it, I am shy on ideas and instead of actually coming up with real ideas, I'll just have them sent to me. I know, I'm lazy. I have often been told I give good advice (mainly by the voices in my head) so now I will share it with the world.

Please send your questions to me at mclarksonazATgmail.com (use an @ in place of AT) and I will post my response here.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Out of love

"What is done out of love always takes place beyond good and evil." -Nietzsche

I have a deep burning question to ask. Is it truly wrong to obscure details that would hurt a loved one if knowing those details would bring only pain, anger, or other ill feeling?

If for instance someone who's opinion is always horrible and of no account says something hurtful of a loved one, are you obligated to share that with the loved one? Is it a lie not to give full disclosure of details that in the grand scheme only do harm?

Moreover, could you trust a person who purposefully omitted such detail? Is there anything truly beyond good and evil? If to lie is to deceive but there is no deception in the omission, is it a lie? Is full disclosure always the best policy? Should we always disclose every hateful thing to those we love for the sake of trust? Could you trust someone who constantly bears bad news and ill words that had you not known would have caused you no harm? If so, could you love them if all that they tell you brings hurt?

Is it more noble to shield someone from hurt or hand all of it off to them?

How can one be a knight in shining armor if you aren't allowed to protect?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Search engine whoring

I've been looking to up my readership lately. I read all of the Blogger help mumbo jumbo which basically says:

  • Write quality content.

  • Make it interesting.

  • Link to other sites and pray they link to you.

  • Sacrifice your first three children to the God of the internet. (Jon Postel according to the BBC)

I think I might have imagined that last one. Anyone who has read my blog knows I am too lazy for the first three. So I have devised a plan using search engine optimization tricks to boost my ratings. Use the words "How To" a lot. Make lots of headings followed by bulleted lists. Google bots eat this stuff up. Then write a short how to on a random topic. It will be GREAT! Here goes:

How to remove spyware

  • First, check you computer for spies. This works best if you pretend to leave the room, then quietly sneak up on the computer. If you see a little guy in a trenchcoat going through your internet history, you are infected. Or having a psychotic break. One of the two.

  • Next, capture the spy and interrogate him to see who he works for. Shine a light in his face and tell him, "Ve have vays ov makink you talk!" It is common knowledge that spies hate bad German accents.

  • Finally, call in a hitman like me to "dispose" of the spy. (Or a psychiatrist if you actually see a man in a trenchcoat). For the purposes of plausible deniability we hitmen won't say what we do with spies, but it definitely involves a mess.

  • You should always practice safe hex. Don't download from unknown sources. You have no idea where that code has been. Don't be a dirty code whore.

I figure if enough search engines see the howto info on this site, traffic will increase. If traffic increases I will eventually have enough people brainwashed with my witty analysis that I can TAKE OVER THE WORLD! MUHAHAHA!!!

I really need to cut back on the caffeine...

Monday, December 19, 2005

Random Survey Crap

I usually don't post my survey results here but I've had a bit of writer's block lately and these results were good. This time I think the results were pretty accurate with the possible exception of that last one. I know posting this crap is just lazy but I am out of ideas for today. I promise to write something of substance this week to make up for this.

The Movie Of Your Life Is A Black Comedy

In your life, things are so twisted that you just have to laugh.
You may end up insane, but you'll have fun on the way to the asylum.

Your best movie matches: Being John Malkovich, The Royal Tenenbaums, American Psycho


Your Hidden Talent

You're super sensitive and easily able to understand situations.
You tend to solve complex problems in a flash, without needing a lot of facts.
Decision making is easy for you. You have killer intuition.
The right path is always clear, and you're a bit of a visionary.


Your Dating Purity Score: 12%

You are a very experienced dater.
When it comes to relationships, you've seen the good, bad, and ugly.
You've seen things other people haven't even heard of!


Your Brain's Pattern

You're a simple thinker, and this is actually a very good thing.
You don't complicate matters when you don't have to.
You look for the simplest explanation or solution, and you go with that.
As a result, your mind is uncluttered and free of stress.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Opinions

WARNING: RANT TIED IN WITH SOCIAL COMMENTARY AHEAD!

"Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one and it usually stinks." Has anyone else heard that phrase? How about, "If I wanted your opinion I would have asked for it" or the alternate finish "...I would have given it to you." Every day people offer their opinions to us. When we agree with the opinion given we take it as helpful contribution. When we disagree it annoys us and we find the person rude or uninformed. This is a particular annoyance to me.

I am a massive egomaniac. I just wanted to state that up front. I am a smart guy (or smart ass depending on who you ask) and when someone presents an idea to me that disagrees with my own I like it backed up with verifiable fact. I like to think I am right and at the risk of sounding pompous, I usually am. I am not referring to subjective matters like music or art but matters like math, science, or locations on a map.

Often I will talk about things well within my sphere of expertise such as electronics, computers, and math. Invariably someone nearby will jump into the conversation with an uninformed opinion like, "Christmas lights use very little electricity." Of course a single bulb uses little electricity but when you have a string of 400 bulbs (roughly 200 watts or .5 watts/bulb on the small Christmas lights for anyone who cares to know) it adds up fast. Don't tell me how much electricity a bulb uses if you can't define the word kilowatt.

In the realm of subjective matters such as music and art I hate it when people think their own taste superior to others.

I have a friend that recently introduced me to Fallout Boy and a few other punk bands I normally would not have listened to on my own. At first glance I found them to be talentless hacks who make up for their lack of talent with an androgynous femininity and a huge helping of adolescent angst. I suspended this opinion in order to form a more well rounded repertoire of music. I now find them mildly talented girls dressed up as angsty boys. Do I force this opinion on my friend? No, instead I respect my friend's taste in music.

I have an affinity for old school hard rock, blues, and country. My friend looks at this as inferior. Apparently having lyrics that make sense sung by people with testosterone and little to no eye makeup is inferior in her eyes. When hanging out I never get to choose the station because I might play a band with talent. No, I'm not bitter at all.

Ye flippin caffeinated gods!

Apparently Coca-Cola® has decided to create a new Coke beverage called Blak. The full press release is here but essentially it is Original Coke mixed with, get your caffeine receptors ready, coffee extract. It will have about half the calories of regular Coke and be directed squarely at the latte drinking Gen X. I don't know about you but my curiosity is piqued. They are set to roll it out in France (national motto: "Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité!" which I think translates to "We surrender!") next month and then globally soon thereafter. I would read how the French review it but I don't think I trust the taste of people who like snails and Jerry Lewis. I expect to see it on store shelves here in Texas in 6 months pending the French not saying it tastes like Pepé Le Pew's ass.

In other news, I have dropped back from a 42 inch waist on my pants to a 38 inch waist which is super cool. Yay GNC! The energy boost is worth it even without weight loss. It is like having a caffeine drip all day long.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Publishing

I have presented an idea to the Blogger staff to develop a publishing service. In essence each blogger could compile their favorite posts, edit them, add images, and then have them printed in book form and sold in a Blogger Book Store with royalties sent to the writer. I think it is a cool idea. How about you?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Samples

I figured to get the vote moving a bit from the previous post I will throw sample snippets of each type:
  1. Mens relationship guide, "The correct answer to, "does this make me look fat" is to feign a heart attack. Bonus points are awarded if you actually have one. The reason for this is that women, no matter how hot they actually are, think they are fat. A woman asking this question is going to hate you for either calling her fat or lying about her being fat. I have heard another good answer is to distract her from the question with a Visa Platinum but I don't have that kind of bankroll."
  2. Memoirs, "Life is an odd thing. The trials of yesterday you thought would kill you make the fond memories of today. Youth may be wasted on the young but experience is wasted on the old."
  3. Humorous fiction told from first person, "I woke up that morning and in my usual morning haze rolled off the bed and headed in the direction of the bathroom with my eyes closed. I had started to pee when I remembered going to her house last night. I opened my eyes and thought to myself, "At least now she won't have to water that plant in the hallway.""
  4. Trashy Romance, "She fell into his arms, her soft breasts pressed to his hard muscled chest. She felt his hand run up her naked back to her head. He took some of her soft tresses in his hand and softly growled in her ear the words, "You are mine tonight" giving her hair a gentle tug for emphasis. Her knees went week as she felt his throbbing manhood harden against her skin, anticipating the moment he would posses her and bury it inside her..."
  5. Societal Commentary, "For every new reality show made I swear another million brain cells die per capita. My mother-in-law has a DVR brimming with hours of the most mind numbing television ever created. I swear I will stab my own eyes out before watching another episode of "Survivor"."
  6. Political rants, "Why do people in this country expect the next set of leaders we elect to be better than the last when we keep selecting them from the same elite groups? For once can't we find someone from outside these corrupt political circles?"
  7. Collection of essays would basically contain all of the above.
Now go forth and vote.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Practice makes...well...something...

I've been downloading and backing up my archives and in doing so have read some of my older posts. I've noticed that over the last few months of regular posting that my overall quality has gone up with the quantity of my posts. I have started actually thinking about my posts and writing more than just the general "I am here and my life sucks" crap that much of the blogsphere consists of. My loyal readers and fellow partakers in the art of windbagging have played a major role in this and for that I thank you all.

Ok, mushy moment over.

What can I do to keep this place interesting? I bore easily and I know much of my audience enjoys the short attention span theatre this place has become. My question is, what can I do to bring in more people? I want those of the same caliber as my current readers, intellectual windbags with a sense of humor. I like the diversity of our current group and would like to expand it. JC, you being a fellow web geek, what method would you recommend to get the word out? All fellow windbags, what improvements should I make in content if any? Are there any design recommendations? Should I publish an RSS feed? Should I polish my writing? Should I quit my job, move to the country and raise horses, shunning the evils of technology?

Just checking to see if you were paying attention on that last one.

In other news, I've been contemplating writing a book for years. The problem is I have such a short attention span I never get past the first chapter without changing the topic three times. I think I may have found a remedy but I will need the help of my fellow windbags. I will offer some possible topics for a book and the peanut gallery votes on it. Then I will periodically post pages, chapters, etc. and get the general opinion on it.

First, we need to pick a general topic for the book. The options are
  1. Men's self help guide on relationships (with humor a la Dave Barry)
  2. A memoirs similar to Tim Allen's "Don't Stand Too Close To A Naked Man."
  3. Humorous fiction
  4. Trashy romance novel with non stop sex
  5. General societal commentary
  6. Political pundit type rantings
  7. Collection of smaller essays on various topics written for the short attention span
  8. A list of possible book topics so long it becomes a book...
Place your votes now. Call your friends, spouses, and significant others to have them vote. It might prevent you from having to read crap you don't want to later...

Monday, December 05, 2005

Hey everybody, come see how good I look!

I know, I am an attention whore. It is undeniable. I cannot escape it so I might as well glory in it. Most of my photos of me are a few years old so I decided to take a few snapshots and post the most flattering one. Ta da!



Don't hate me because I'm beautiful. Hate me because I am an insufferable ass...

Friday, December 02, 2005

Confusion

My mind is a bit muddled right now. I don't seem to have any one cohesive thought but a jumbled series of half thoughts. Sometimes pondering philosophy and the nature of the universe while also doing my job of fixing computers causes my brain to short circuit. Then a brain dump is required. Here goes:

These diet pills are awesome but being conscious while at work sucks...

If man is created in God's image, who's image is woman created in?

If the Universe has an edge and you step past it, what do you step into?

When you analyze things, logic can make almost anything make sense. Maybe that is the way the Flying Spaghetti Monster wishes it. I have now been touched in the head by His noodly appendage.

What if the hokey pokey is in fact not what it is all about?

Why on earth would anyone want to be conscious at work?

Why has someone not stolen my keyboard and held it hostage until I agree to quit letting my brain throw up on the internet? I mean for the love of the Baby Jesus, this post was neither funny nor informative. I will shut up now.

Monday, November 28, 2005

God's Debris

I read the most fascinating book last week. It is a short e-book titled "God's Debris" by Scott Adams. Scott Adams is the author of the Dilbert series and when not drawing comics, quite the philosopher. He is offering his e-book for free on the Dilbert site. I am highly recommending either downloading it or going to your local Barnes & Noble and buying it for around $11. It is a thought experiment wrapped in a fictional story. I personally could not put it down. It is relatively short, only a couple of hours reading for the above average reader, but the way Scott presents the concepts will leave you contemplating it for days.

In other news, Tiff and I are starting a new diet plan today and I will keep everyone updated as to our progress here. I have about 80 pounds to lose. As of today I weigh in at about 275. When it is all done I am aiming for 195.

I just thought about it and an idea struck me. Why not have a little support group here for all of my fellow windbags fighting the battle of the bulge? Anyone interested?

Friday, November 25, 2005

Only 395 shopping days left...

"This just in, only 395 shopping days left till next Christmas. Any schmuck still shopping for this Christmas must be an un-American Scrooge McGrinch. Why don't you just move to Afghanistan now you hater of Jesus. Jesus has told all Americans to spread joy and love on Christmas in the form of debt up to the eyeballs. You wouldn't want to disappoint the baby Jesus, would you? For you non-Christian heathens, what better way to shield yourself from the hatred of the Jesus people than to bury yourself in debt for Jesus..."

This year stores started putting up Christmas displays up around October 15th. Not only that but the Christmas carols and other holiday music started. I don't mind Christmas carols when they are well performed and Christmas is less than a month away. The problem is they are butchered by most of the nitwits who perform them and anything played for 3 months straight starts to suck.

This morning I heard all of the major morning news shows talking about there only being 30 shopping days left till Christmas. I am still digesting the turkey from thanksgiving and all the news can do is remind me I have to spend money I don't have to show my love for people and spread the joy of the season (as minted by the U.S. Government) to all of the retailers competing for my holiday dollar.

Where did Jesus ever teach, "Thou shalt go into debt up to thine eyeballs to celebrate my birth. Behold Jesus saith to his apostles, 'Thou shalt partake of the bargain prices for thine loved ones.' Blessed are the X-Box 360's. Look not to thine 30% apr but unto no payments till 2007."

I know I should be the last to espouse the teachings of Christ. I just hate that all this holiday does lately is bring out the avarice and greed of man. I know there are exceptions out there spreading real love and kindness. I wish the news would focus on them and not how much the retail industry relies on my buying into the avarice of the season. Okay, that is my Scrooge rant for the season.

Bah fucking humbug.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The giving of thanks and the taking of Valium...

(Please note, the following is a humor piece a la Dave Barry. This is not to be taken seriously. I would never advocate hiding the weapons...)

It's that time of year again where families join together over a large dead (hopefully) flightless bird and thank God they don't have to do this again till next year...except Christmas...shit...someone pass the tranquilizer and a glass of tequila the size of my head...

Thanksgiving, the time when families all over this great nation get together to give thanks, eat turkey, watch football, and drive each other out of their fucking skulls. I mean how better to make yourself nuts than to invite 10-20 of your closest relatives to come into your house with a dining table that normally seats 6.

Add to that the stress of cooking "like mama did" which everyone knows is bullshit. "Mama" could have had the bird black on the outside and frozen in the center yet if you cook it like Emeril, someone will claim it was dry. This is what led to "Mama's" drinking problem and that stroke last Christmas after someone reminded her of how her "Mama" cooked.

So how do we get past this? I offer the following solutions.
  • Tequila.
  • Cooking the turkey in tequila.
  • Locking up anything that could be used as a weapon.
  • Having Cracker Barrel on speed dial.
  • Did I mention tequila?
  • Having a couple of Valium with your tequila.
  • An industrial sized bottle of aspirin for the hangover from the tequila.
In all seriousness, I love Thanksgiving. The food is excellent and the family time is a welcome reprieve from the daily grind. I love sharing in the family together time and enjoying each other.

You guessed it...the tequila just kicked in...Happy Turkey Day!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Vendi vidi vici

First off, for the record:

subsisto : to stand, withstand / stop, halt, cease / stay, remain.
sermo : discussion, talk, common talk, conversation, rumor.
statim : firmly, steadfastly, on the spot, at once, immediately.
Source: SPQR

So my usage may not be 100% perfect but my definition stands. Extend that across...

Ray H.S. had their tournament last weekend and it was the most fun by far. At previous tournaments the kids were still getting to know me. At this one we were already past the introductions and could get down to the fun.

I had one of the funniest debate rounds ever in which the affirmative team dropped the entire negative case which left negative little to talk about in rebuttals. Well, it would have been little for any other neg team but not these two. The first neg speaker gave voters for the round which included, "Blondes are more fun, so you must vote neg", "We draw pictures which are empirically soothing", and "Grandma's cookies suck balls, stolen cookies are better" along with the regular real voters. The affirmative team, two raven haired Hispanic girls, finally responded to something the neg team said. To paraphrase, "Mexican girls can be more fun, we make tamales...". I swear to God I almost died laughing in that round. Thank you Laura and Lindsey. Grandma's cookies do suck balls compared to stolen ones.

I have also added a new phrase to the end of my critiques. "Go forth and conquer." I don't know why but it just feels good to see such smart kids, ready to take the world by the balls. I feel like Yoda teaching the young padawans. Either that or a Sith Lord, can't figure out which.

In other news, Tiff's uncle John is in town with his family for Thanksgiving which is really cool. It is my first time meeting him and it has been entirely too long for Tiff. We went out to Calallen to visit Tiff's great grandmother Ester, who is one of the sweetest people ever. Tiff often talks of her second great grandmother and every time she mentions it she includes the phrase, "I had the honor of knowing her" somewhere in the conversation. The full meaning of that finally struck me watching Ester and John see each other for the first time in years. I had the honor of seeing it. It wasn't a large thing to anyone looking from the outside but I saw this look of joy on that living angel's face at seeing her grandson and I felt I was witnessing a masterpiece. You see John is the member of the family most like his mother and when Ester sees him she also sees her daughter who passed away a little over five years ago. The joy and heartache all at once painted a glorious masterpiece before my eyes. In that sweet woman's face was all that makes life beautiful.

Now go forth and conquer.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Big words

The following is a post from my LiveJournal I thought worthy of re-posting here:

My friend Crys made an interesting point. Why do some of us (I am a huge offender here) use words that others might not understand?

Is it to make people feel stupid?

Is it to obfuscate the truth?

See how I just offended in the last sentence. Obfuscate is a fancy word meaning to hide or obscure from sight. I can't speak for my fellow offenders but for me these words are in my day to day vernacular (vocabulary) and I use them in normal conversation because for me they most accurately describe what I am thinking. I had girlfriends more than once in high school need dictionaries when reading love letters from me.

Is it a form of intellectual elitism (smart kid thinks he's better than you)? Sadly it might be, although it is often unintentional.

Our usage of words often defines who we are, especially online. When I want to be taken seriously, I up the vocabulary a level. Sadly I often lose people because for me upping the vocabulary a bit throws my writing into the college thesis level.

So for myself and all my fellow intellectual obfuscators, I'm sorry.

Please forgive our verbal flatulence.

God

From re-reading my last few posts I think one looking from the outside might find me to be an atheist. While I may be trying to hammer out exactly what I believe I think I should clarify, I still believe in God.

Why?

I have seen too many things not to believe. I have personally called on God to heal someone who had lived with excruciating degenerative arthritis and watched her rise and walk without pain for the first time in decades. She continued pain free for as long as I knew her. I have participated in an exorcism and while Mormon exorcism is not as flamboyant as the Rituale Romanum it is equally shocking. I have felt the presence of spirits and seen things for which no science can account.

Many of the things I have seen and felt would be explained away by anyone who has never experienced them but for me these things are real. Seeing the dead rise from a prayer called to God after all other medical efforts failed may be explained a myriad of ways. For me though, I know there is something greater than ourselves out there. My question is instead, who is he and is his plan really to let all the good people hang around heaven eating Bon-Bons while the wicked rot in hell? Or is this life here in this savage garden called Earth merely a developmental stage in our own evolution?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

From my studies on Nietzsche

I am now reading Beyond Good and Evil by, you guessed it, Nietzsche. In doing so I found the following and figured I'd throw it up for all to dissect.

"The falseness of an opinion is not for us any objection to it: it is here, perhaps, that our new language sounds most strangely. The question is, how far an opinion is life-furthering, life-preserving, species-preserving, perhaps species-rearing, and we are fundamentally inclined to maintain that the falsest opinions (to which the synthetic judgments a priori belong), are the most indispensable to us, that without a recognition of logical fictions, without a comparison of reality with the purely imagined world of the absolute and immutable, without a constant counterfeiting of the world by means of numbers, man could not live--that the renunciation of false opinions would be a renunciation of life, a negation of life. To recognize untruth as a condition of life; that is certainly to impugn the traditional ideas of value in a dangerous manner, and a philosophy which ventures to do so, has thereby alone placed itself beyond good and evil."-Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

Beyond good and evil. What a concept. Is untruth a condition of life? Must man lie to himself to accept the world around him?

Today we see lies in everything from statistics to textbooks to daily conversation. A scientist will publish his work only to have it proven later false because he ignored variables he couldn't explain. The super-predator T-Rex was proven to have never existed but been a conglomeration of a few different animals.

We try to categorize everything, even when in doing so we must bend some truths to make them fit our nice neat interpretation of the world. For me it has taken a series of life changing events to make me analyze my own categories, pulling out things I had to bend to hell to make fit. Do good and evil exist in a real sense, or are the just categories we use to make life neat and clean? Can man ever truly appreciate life and all of its glorious chaos, or will our mathematical minds blind us to the real truth? Life in this savage garden is beautiful when we see all of it, pain, joy, order, and chaos as neither good nor evil but parts of the whole.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Corrupting a new generation...

"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." -Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

I spent an awesome weekend judging the Harlingen South speech and debate tournament. I spent more time chatting with the students and I must say, I am thoroughly impressed with the sheer magnitude of brilliance displayed in these kids. I heard Orations on growing up "gifted" and remembered the loneliness of my own childhood. I heard debates that showed an incredible skill for logic and thinking on the fly. I marveled at how much these kids were like me. I felt I was having a chance to mentor a new generation of geniuses, all as devious as myself. (Yes, I mean Laura, Natalie, and Elias just to name a few.) I even got time to chat with some and really have fun instead of just sitting there judging them on their speaking or debate skills.

In any case, one of the Negative cases someone ran for CX was based on Nietzsche and the concept of embracing all of life. It went further to say that morals are a creation of man and to say ones morals are better is to devalue life as a whole. It got me thinking and so I pulled up my favorite library and looked up his works. I know Nietzsche is not for everyone but for me his approach rings true.

"What is good? All that heightens the feeling of power in man, the will to power, power itself. What is bad? All that is born of weakness. What is happiness? The feeling that power is growing, that resistance is overcome." Friedrich Nietzsche, The Antichrist

I further discussed it with one of my favorite debaters while waiting for the next round and left inspired. I have found the next generation filled with thinkers like me. I am proud...everyone else should run in fear...

"The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently." Friedrich Nietzsche, The Dawn

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

On Faith

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."
-Hebrews 11:1

"Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe."
-Voltaire

"Faith must trample under foot all reason, sense, and understanding."
-Martin Luther

I have grown up knowing God was there, that he had a plan for me, and his son and my brother Jesus Christ died for me. I could recite line and verse myriad scriptures to back up my faith. I had my "assurance of things hoped for" and my "conviction of things not seen." These days I find that faith waning. I can no longer allow my faith to "trample under foot all reason, sense, and understanding." So much hate is spewed in the name of God people have forgotten the doctrine of love. How can God's church on earth be bureaucrats and bigots? I am not speaking of an one church but all of them.

Today there are people voting here in Texas amendment to prevent gay marriages or anything like them (civil unions) from recognition. Now I am not here now to debate the merits or flaws of this amendment. I am speaking of the hardline "Christians" running around with the "God hates gays" signs. What happened to "God is love"? The Bible accounts for so little of what really happens. Even with the expanded set of scripture available to Mormons I find the details lacking. So much is left out. So many things are unexplained. If the glory of God is intelligence or light and truth why would he not share more of his glory.

I feel it is the curse of the scientific mind to doubt. I know more is out there than science can explain. I also know it is not as clear cut as my upbringing makes it out to be.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

More from the vast randomness

This post is pretty random as it is my brain simply throwing up on the screen so to speak.

So I spent the entire morning running around shuttling my wife all over town to get an upper G.I. that never occurred. Her doctor is a moronic imbecile who scheduled this test but neglected to schedule the requisite pregnancy test first. So I had to spend the entire morning shuttling my wife between three different labs because her insurance won't pay for a physician competent enough to get her shit straight ahead of time.

Is socialized medicine such a bad idea?

I wonder what the actual profit margin is for all of these tests?

Would it kill the city to properly level the roads near parking lot entrances so my Honda quits dragging?

Why are there 20 handicap spots in front of the grocery store and only three in front of medical buildings?

If man is created in God's image, does he look bad in Spandex too?

If God created the Universe and everything in it, who created Him? Furthermore, if matter can neither be created nor destroyed, did God create it or did it already exist? Then doesn't that disprove the bible version of god creating all things?

I saw the piece on Scientology this morning on Today. I want to start my own religion based on science fiction. We could worship Cthulhu, the demon squid god of H.P. Lovecraft's universe. We could all wear chum on our heads to signify we wish to be eaten first so as not to endure the millenial reign of horror brought by Cthulhu, Hastur, and the Great Old Ones.

I need more caffeine. I'm just talking crazy talk. Cthulhu...jeez...next I'll want to worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster...May you be touched by his noodly appendage...

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Random thoughts

I have a million things running through my head right now.

Jasmine just lost her first tooth. Good God where did time go.

Speaking of God I have been contemplating my belief in Him and His "Plan". So many things just don't fit. I could spend months here on this one topic but for now I will stick to blurbs.

My wife looks REALLY hot in the corset top she is wearing today. Daddy like...

Why the hell do they call those tiny little candy bars they give on Halloween "Fun Size". There isn't a damn fun thing about them. They take a good thing and just give you less. Fun size should be bigger than King Size.

Beef jerky is good...deer jerky is better. Bambi's mom is good eating.

The wireless web is cool. I downloaded a new theme for my phone while taking a crap. It is good...

And now, why the chicken really crossed the road, according to Bucky Katt

Friday, October 28, 2005

"I knew John F. Kennedy sir and you are no..."



That's right, I'm like John F. Kennedy. Come to think of it, Clinton had the same reason for liking power. "I haven't had this much fun since the intern convention in Vegas."



That's right, JFK and Harrison Ford in one post. Bring on the ladies...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Homage or insult

This photo was on the apple.com homepage. Should I be glad Apple is paying homage to a woman who is nothing less than an American hero or offended that they turned her passing into an ad campaign. How commercialized are we if we can accept using the loss of a powerful icon for good as nothing more than a cheap method of whoring your product. Rosa Parks through her simple act of standing for her own dignity set in motion a movement that changed America for the better. To have said "in memory" would be a good thing. I support all who would honor her. To slap your logo and slogan on the photo so you can sell more iPods and G5's is another. To compare her stand for civil rights to your right to choose a different operating system is repugnant to me. And for the record, I am typing this on a Mac so this is not coming out of old geek "Intel is better" bias. I love Apple's products but they need to fire their marketing guru.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Gun Control Means Using Both Hands

I got JC pretty good the other day with the following remark:

(laughing while running away from the hail of bullets from the Democrats...oh wait, Democrats support gun control)

JC, gotta love the passion with which you hold your views. As I stated in reply, I support people not being allowed to own Military weapons and various other things the NRA says every home should have. I also don't fear any Democrat kicking in my door for my guns. I do fear a whacked out militia with a sniper rifle that can pick a man off at 1000 yards.

The more time I spend chatting with all of my fellow partakers in windbagism, the less Republican I realize I am. Strange. But that doesn't mean I can't tease my Democrat Party friends...*Evil Grin*

Monday, October 10, 2005

On Philosophy

"Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions."
- Albert Einstein


There was a time I wanted to be a philosopher. I wanted to be the next Plato, Niche, or even Bob Dylan. Check the want ads for philosophers and see how many listings you find. Still, I often sit and ponder the human condition and the nature of life itself.

It seems to me that life is merely a string of remembered experiences, perceptions of the world around us that change over time. Intelligent people mold their perceptions to fit the evidence presented them. Unintelligent people ignore the evidence presented if it doesn't fit their perceptions. The problem is that humans find a change in perception uncomfortable. It is far easier for us to dismiss something than to try to understand it.

Case in point: Here in Texas, home of many who hold on to their perceptions with a death grip, there is a movement to amend the Texas Constitution to ban same-sex unions. As the courts in Texas are forced to uphold the Constitution of Texas, this amendment would prevent any recognition of gay marriage. Please note, couples engaging in sodomy could be arrested for it in Texas until late 2003. The question now arises, will people in Texas examine the facts before them and adjust perceptions accordingly or run with their current flawed perceptions.

Christians often cite the Bible for their "God hates gays" ideas. They often say it is the reason for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. They leave out the biblical evidence of murder, beastiality, and organized crime. Why? It doesn't fit their perception. Many also have the idea that gay=pedophile. Ignore the thousands of happy gay couples that adopt and raise happy unabused children. There is a difference between a man wanting a man and a man wanting a young boy. Unless you are too lazy to examine the evidence right before your eyes.

Case #2: Strip club nudity laws. Earlier this year San Antonio passed a humorous ordinance that said exotic dancers had to be licensed and had to wear the permit while performing. This was to make it easier to find the ones violating the nudity ordinances...does anyone else see the problem here? We are saying it is OK for these ladies to go on stage in what barely qualifies as dental floss but if they take that off we need to identify and arrest them...The perception is that we maintain a moral standard if they wear a thong barely larger than a postage stamp with dental floss holding it on. Remove that and it crosses the line...The evidence clearly shows the law to be absurd at best yet it still stands.

I could go on further but I actually have to work. I hope I made us all think about our perceptions a bit though. I know I examined mine for this piece and it revealed just how much I have changed over the years.

Friday, October 07, 2005

WTF?

I just read this article in Times Online. The only thing I can ask is, Mr. President, are you insane? Yeah, we all know about your faith and how it gets you through. YOU did not fight terrorists in Afghanistan. YOU did not end tyranny in Iraq. Our military did through their blood sweat and tears. The sons and daughters of this nation did.

I get the "talking to God" thing is a figure of speech. What I don't get is why God would say allow our men to be killed while we tie their hands. Either let them wipe these bastards out or pull them out. The only thing jihadists understand is jihad. Americans can't stomach full jihad so pull them out.

The war between factions of Islam is millennia old. We won't stop it with the puny force we are trying to use. It is like standing between two rabid dogs and telling them to be nice.

A friend of mine had a good idea. Arm the pro-American factions and pull out. Let them duke it out. Offer some air and arms support to our team but otherwise pull our soldiers out. If on occasion a leader comes to power we don't like, send in a black ops hit squad and take the bastard out. One shot, one kill. If it bleeds over into other nations, carpet bomb them. If it gets out of hand, carpet bomb them. If they threaten us, you get the idea. Let them kill each other till they are blue in the face. If they get out of hand, turn the country to a sheet of glass. No mess, no dead Americans.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

So much to rant about, so little time...

Someone please smack me. I've actually been reading some conspiracy theory sites and they are starting to make sense. You see, I have been doing some homework on those in power and common threads keep appearing. Bush, Kerry, most of the House and Senate, and the entire upper echelons of the CIA, FBI, and NSA all have direct ties to or membership in Skull and Bones. Add to that many of the heads of the Fortune 500 and major corporate entities worldwide. So many world leaders, spies, law enforcement, and corporate leaders all belong to the same super secret fraternal order...

Now while I like X - Files I am not a subscriber to conspiracy theories. Still, after some fact checking the site I link to checks out and the ramifications of that are chilling at best. Are we really being run by an elitist form of the good old boys network? If so, can we unite enough people to take them down?

Friday, September 30, 2005

For better and for worse

I am going to break away from political ranting for a moment to talk about my life. You know, the Untitled one...

Yesterday my wife and I celebrated four years of marriage. Next Saturday we commemorate the loss of our twin daughters 1 year ago. Through these last four years I have come to love my wife more every day. We have had some rough patches and gone through excruciating loss but the love lives on. I've said it before and I'll say it again, my wife is the reason I wake up in the morning and the softness that puts me to sleep at night. She makes me sane in a world hellbent on driving me mad. I would walk through hell itself just to taste her kiss. I want the world to know I LOVE MY WIFE! I always have and always will. Happy Anniversary darlin'.

Apocalypse Now

I think we have come to the point where we as Americans know too much about the war. Gone is the era of sterile wartime propaganda. We now see what the soldiers see.

The problem is we see it out of context. We see mangled bodies, but not the reason they are mangled. We try soldiers after the fact when we have the benefit of hindsight while they did not. We can have no idea what feelings of fear, hatred, and stress have driven these men and women to do any of this. War is hell. We as Americans forget that this is still a real war. We are hit with images sent to anger and incite the world against Americans. We want to jail soldiers for shooting unarmed Iraqis even when they were acting with sufficient aggression that had they been in America and acting that way towards Police they would have been shot no matter what their race. The media is quick to show photos of bodies shot by our troops but not schools rebuilt by them. The media will show the terrorists being mistreated by soldiers but not the children fed, clothed, and sheltered by them.

It is time to either pull out the cameras and let our troops do their jobs without fear of retribution from those unable to stomach the horrors of war or it is time to admit defeat and leave. Most of all it is time to stop second guessing our troops. In doing so we put their lives at risk. When a soldier is afraid to use his weapons for fear he might end up in jail it leaves him vulnerable.

I know I seem a bit more aggressive today about the way we should handle Iraq. I was cleaning out my old inbox and came across some mail from guys I trained with at Fort Sill. Their specialties would have put them smack in the middle of this. While I have always known this it really just kind of hit me, my brothers are dying because we are too weak to let them do their job. I know these guys. Every one of them could wipe a town clean of terrorists given the free reign to do so. Given the strict rules of engagement that boil down to, "don't shoot until they do" my brothers in arms are sitting ducks. Either pull them out or pull out the cameras and let them work.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Does this piss anyone else off?

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,7374-1801869,00.html

The Iraqis are furious that a young girl humiliating terrorist combatants only gets 3 years in prison...This while dusting under the rug the decapitation of innocent unarmed CIVILIANS by these same terrorists. The Iraqi combatants are not uniformed soldiers and Geneva Convention does not apply to them. I understand that what happened at Abu Ghraib was wrong. I understand it humiliated the prisoners there. I also understand that they are combatants set on killing Americans. Given the chance any one of them would cut your head off with a dull knife while you scream for your life. I think putting them on a dog leash was light on the scale of punishments. Instead Anti-Americans looking for someone to roast have turned these cold blooded killers into the poster children for why America is evil. Not once in the article does it mention that no physical harm was done to them.

These poor poor terrorists. The bad bad Americans embarrassed me. Lets see if we can get the world to pressure the United States to ruin their careers and send them to prison, then whine when the sentence isn't death.

THESE SOLDIERS EMBARRASSED KILLERS! THEY PUT UNDERWEAR ON THE HEADS OF TERRORISTS!
STOP BOWING TO THE USELESS, IMPOTENT U.N. GEORGE BUSH! FRAT BOYS ENDURE WORSE AS PLEDGES AND YOU ARE SELLING OUR SOLDIERS UP THE RIVER TO "PROTECT OUR IMAGE"!

Most of the U.N. already hates us either openly or behind closed doors. Ruining the lives of these soldiers will not change that. I agree some punishment is in order but not hard time in federal prison. We should make choices in these matters based on our values, not the world's. Remember, the U.N. would not have a peace keeping force without us. Europe would still be under the reign of Nazi Germany. China would be controlled by Imperial Japan and Africa by an Italian fascist regime. Without us they are nothing. It is time we stood up for ourselves and told those self righteous bigots at the U.N. to go to hell. Open season on Americans is over. Viva la Revolution!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Helluva weekend

So we here in Corpus Christi dodged the bullet with Rita. We had a Mandatory evacuation order on Wednesday but it was pulled back to voluntary on Thursday. I guess we are learning from Katrina. Still need to work on the evacuation technique though. Traffic jams made a 4 hour trip take 24 hours, many ran out of gas in traffic, and most gas stations ran out of gas.

More sympathy must now go out to those in the storm's path. Sadly this must again include New Orleans. Talk about your run of horrible fortune. Is it possible that rebuilding in that exact spot might be a bad idea? At least until they build better, stronger levees and find a way to possibly raise the elevation. Building there now with the levees as weak as they are seems a waste of resources. Shore up the levees and then drain and rebuild. That's just my two bits worth on the matter.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Rough day

It has been kind of a rough morning so I won't be posting much today. Just wanted to get some ideas on the political party name and all the other crap that goes with it. Peace out!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Let the Revolution Begin!

It is official. I am gunning for the 2012 elections. We have seven years to get the word out for a grass-roots political coup de ta. We have to build a political party, find candidates willing to run on the ticket, and get on the ballot in all 50 states (much harder in some states than others.)

To win this we need name recognition. People won't vote for who they don't know. We should also separate ourselves from the "other" independent parties such as the Green and Libertarian parties. They have already generated an image as extremists. We will be running as and for the common man.

The young vote won't be a problem as I am a member of the MTV generation. The geek vote will also be easy as I am a sys admin. The problems will be the regular voting public that are either Republican or Democrat because their mom and dad were.

We HAVE to shake things up. We could take publicity ideas from those at moveon.org. As much as I disagree with their rhetoric, they have name recognition. At the same time we need more than just a presidential candidate. A president without a voice in Congress is a lame duck, taking fire for the mistakes of Congress and getting no support.

So, where should we start first? Spread the word to your like-minded friends and send them here. Lets get some extra brains in on this and come up with a better game plan.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Reply to JC

The following is a reply to JC's post found here.

First, I am surprised by the number of times I have nodded my head in agreement while reading JC's site considering my proclivity for voting Republican. I guess I am less conservative than I once thought. I sounded much like Kali in my younger days. Then I learned that, shock of all shocks, Rush Limbaugh did not speak for God and Fox News was not owned by Him. I guess you could call me a Republicrat if you must affiliate me with either party (although at this point both are repugnant to me).

As for the vitriol of Archangel, that has no place in any rational discussion. In matters like the disaster of Katrina I don't even think words like liberal or conservative have place. Both liberal and conservative have died here by what insurance companies refer to as "an act of God." Nobody saw this coming. All have responded to aid those harmed. Anyone who uses this disaster as a podium for his political distaste for either party can shut the hell up right now. Members of both parties could have done more to prevent this. The fact is that nobody did and now we have thousands of our brothers and sisters dead and thousands more left with nothing. Don't point any fingers till this is fixed.

For the record, I do think Kali was trolling for flames by posting to a clearly liberal group with her sentiments.

I did read through the posts on Americablog and found myself disgruntled by politics in general. They make the point that Bush is not good for this nation. My point is neither is Kerry, Gore, or anyone else on either side. Both the Republican Party and Democratic Party are disturbingly rich and perpetuate the Oligarchy (to borrow a word from JC).

We need to revolt. Note to militia: I am speaking of political revolt, put down the guns and go back to the bunkers. I am too young to run for president next round but in 2012 I have a shot. Question: Should I form a political party for moderates like myself and run for president on that platform? The premise would be one similar to the true intentions of our founding fathers, by the people, of the people, for the people. The current premise is of the people, for the rich, by the rich and connected. Any for a little "Viva la Revolution"?

P.S. When spell checking this post, Blogger suggests Americablog be spelled unmercifully. ROFLMAO.

Monday, September 12, 2005

AdNONsense

Ok, I am a little hacked off at Google Adsense. The canceled my account for clicking the links on my site. I would click any time a new Google Ad was generated to see what was being offered to my readers. Apparently that is inappropriate. There was over $20 in that account and I highly doubt my clicking a few links generated more than a few cents of that. I used no robots or special programs, I only clicked a few of my links to review the content my site was linking to. A simple warning might have sufficed but they instead cancelled my account and took all of the money in it. Not cool Google... Not cool at all.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The greatest nation on earth

In this great country of ours I have seen an outpouring of love and brotherhood that makes my heart swell with pride. In my last post I called out for all who can help to do so. I have watched people load huge trucks with water and clothing and others take strangers into their homes. I am proud to be an American.

In this great country we are also free to speak our minds, no matter how low our IQ. On every news channel there are a small vocal few who blame racism, the government, and God for this disaster. They say the response was too slow and had this been a predominantly white community they would have been helped more quickly. New Orleans is a bowl, up to 15 feet below sea level. The City should have prepared itself for this. The federal government has done an exceptional job considering the scope of this disaster. The City Government on the other hand has whined and bitched the whole way. Why was there not a mass mandatory evacuation before the storm? Why did the city not shore up the levy? Why are they expecting everyone else to move faster when they could have staved off some of this through their own preparedness? I know I am barely coherent in this but damn this pisses me off.

I hate that these morons have to point their fingers and say stupid things. But I thank God I live in a country where they have the right to say it and I have the right to call them freaking idiots.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Water water everywhere and not a drop to drink

I want to let all affected directly by the ravages of Hurricane Katrina know my thoughts and prayers are with you. I also know that thoughts and prayers don't save lives without action to back them up. I spent last night loading trucks of water that Navy C130s were waiting to fly to New Orleans. We expected enough to load one 25 foot U-haul. We ended up loading 2 26 foot U-hauls, a 30 foot delivery truck from the local fitness store, and a 50 foot flatbed semi. It felt so good to know that by my sweat I was helping save lives. This small miracle was organized in a matter of hours by Pastor Bill Cornelius of the Bay Area Fellowship. I urge everyone who reads this to go out and do something RIGHT NOW. The biggest need in the disaster area is water. Call you priest, pastor, rabbi, or Red Cross and find out how you can send water, food, clothing, and money. Or you can use the link below to donate right now:

http://www.redcross.org/donate/donate.html


If the server is slow you can call in your donation at 1-800-HELP-NOW. Please give all you can. If you don't have money, give time. Call you local Red Cross office to find out how you can help. Our brothers and sisters need you RIGHT NOW. Every hour that passes finds another dead of dehydration, drowning, or sickness caused by the rising water. You can make a difference.

I was going to complain about gas prices today (which topped $3.00 a gallon) but rethinking that I realized, to use my voice on the net to whine about filling my tank when I can raise my voice to help save people was just wrong. Help our fellow Americans. Show the world why this is the GREATEST NATION ever to rise. Let us open our hearts, homes, and wallets to help our neighbors. America bless those in need, and God bless America.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Hosting Space

I am currently looking for some hosting space and trying to come up with a domain name on which to host my personal site and this blog. I will continue to use Blogger but I will be hosting the actual blog myself along with an actual site. Anyone have any good recommendations?

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Danger: Political Commentary!

Warning: The following rambling is of a political nature and is not for the regular viewing public.

Ok, now I have that out of the way and have the attention of only those who give a crap about politics I can get down to business.

First, to Cindy Sheehan, your son is mourned by all who have ever donned the uniform of any military branch. Know that this man's prayers are with you and your family. You want answers and in your position I think it is your right to have them. Any who defame you for it cannot possibly understand the loss of a child and can go to hell. I am sorry there are so many opportunistic people willing to use your grief for their political gain.

Second, Mr. President, quit talking about winning the war on terror and do it. Blow every radical cleric straight to hell. We don't need to beat around the bush (no pun intended), we need to blow all who would dare attack us on our soil to bits. How? Stop bowing to political pressure and take out the real sources of terrorism. I speak not of the stone age Afghans and Pakistanis but instead of the space age Syrians and Saudi's. Men with rocks are not what are killing our troops. Men with RPG's, bombs, and high tech communications are. These radical Islamic nations are not friends. They will destroy us.

Third, our borders are currently overrun with people coming here illegally. I speak not of Mexican immigrants who love Americans. I know and love many whose immigration from Mexico was less than legal. I speak of those who come through Mexico and Canada from other countries. They run to the nearest INS office and apply for temporary entry with easily obtained foreign identification under various pretences. They are required to report within 90 days to the local INS office in the city they enter for further processing. Only 10% of these people actually show up for these hearings. How much damage could one terrorist do with the belief that his death will bring him a one way ticket to Allah and 79 virgins. We must shut this down NOW!

I have many other rants but I also have a job so I must continue this later.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

ADD, ADHD, and other loads of crap

I was watching a news article on the Today Show in which they were interviewing a doctor with a "startling new breakthrough" in the study of ADHD. People who have ADHD symptoms as children have a high risk of having symptoms in adulthood. Thank you for that oh master of the freaking obvious. As a child I was diagnosed with ADD (I pre-dated the ADHD diagnosis a bit). I was put on cocaine, oops, I mean Ritalin (they are molecularly very similar, hence the confusion). I did well in school but noticed some side effects like stunted growth and a bit of a dependency on it. At the age of 10 my parents decided to take me off this narcotic and in the span of a summer I grew nearly a foot. I began to study ADD and noticed a trend. Not one person I met with this "disorder" had an I.Q. below 145 (140 is the generally accepted line for genius). I myself hit the mark of 160. I began to notice a trend. ADD students did better on tests and in pressure situations. Non-ADD students tend to perform better on homework situations where extended time was allotted. In my own experience, if it did not challenge me, I didn't bother with it. The only reason I made it through school was that I found teachers who understood my study habits and despite my disdain for homework passed me.

So how do we help ADD kids? Find teachers who are smart enough to challenge these students and teach them in the way they learn. Stop teaching ADD students the way less intelligent students are taught. Don't drug them, challenge them. The thrill of conquering a challenge is all the drug they need.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Trains of Thought

Topping our news today, a train of thought derailed in my head earlier carrying an undisclosed number of passengers. Authorities are examining the wreckage for any survivors. This is the third derailment of this kind this morning. An investigation into the cause of the derailments is underway and will continue until investigators get distrac...ohhh...shiny things....I'm sorry, where was I?

In other news, adult attention deficit disorder is on the rise...

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

On Nostalgia

First, Happy Birthday to my beautiful wife. I love you honey.

All the birthdays got me thinking about the good old days. Good old days remind me of the foods I grew up on so I had corn dogs for lunch. Somehow food can take you back to a simpler time. Charles was still in charge, life had very few facts, nobody knew what the hell Willis was talking about, and Michael Jackson was still black. I could stop at the corner store for a pack on candy cigarettes with which to freak out all of the parents on the block and Pop Rocks and Pepsi were a "fatal" combination. The internet was for geeks only and music didn't suck as bad. It truly was a golden age. Life was good.

Wait...a lot of 80's music did suck, Charles was never really in charge, nobody cared what Willis was saying and Michael Jackson has NEVER REALLY been black. Candy cigarettes caused me three trips to the dentist and Pop Rocks and Pepsi tastes like crap on a stick. The internet was only for geeks because it was boring as all hell and the fact of life was that it sucked. Funny how age puts a shiny glow on crap as long as you don't think about it. Guess that is what I get for thinking. I want my MTV...

Saturday, August 13, 2005

On Aging

Tiff and I went out with the gang last night till it was so late it was early. I slept for 3 hours and then had to come in for a full day of work today. I feel like I drank a keg of the thick nasty Bock beer last night, right from the bottom of the barrel. Sad really. I don't drink anymore yet I am still reaping the hangover the next day. I am getting too old for this shit. I need a nap and a tall glass of Maker's Mark...

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

On Evolution

I read a report on MSNBC today on the "attacks" on the theory of evolution as it is currently taught in schools by "creationists". It got me thinking *DANGER, I'VE BEEN THINKING*. The following is the result.

For the record, I am Mormon and thus a "creationist" by definition. I diverge from standard Mormons and Christians in general when I say that Genesis is NOT the whole story. I believe through my own research that the creation spoken of by Moses in that holy book speaks of the spiritual creation. I believe the Earth, the rock we stand on now, was created physically first millions, perhaps billions of years ago. I also believe not all life on earth was created by God. As a Mormon I believe God himself has a Father and that we all have the opportunity to become like God. Just as a child grows like their parents, we can grow to be Gods. Many Mormons don't take the doctrine that far. I on the other hand take it further. For me there is a part of the story missing in Judeo-Christian theology. Why are we here going through all this hardship to "prepare" us for life in Heaven if it is all sunshine and roses. What if this is basic training for a much larger war against evil. This is where I start weirding people out. Have you ever seen the Archangels in anything but battle dress in scripture? Why is that? Add to that the Book of Enoch speaks of a race existing on Earth before man named Nephilim that supposedly fathered the giants by mating with the daughters of men. They were the "Men of Old,or Men of Renown" spoken of in Genesis. Enoch clearly states that these Nephilim were "Fallen" and "not of God". Could he mean they were not his creations in the first place? Also, one must ask how creation accounts for dinosaurs and the monstrous beasts roaming the earth long before the "time of Adam". There are gaps in the scriptural record which allow room for interpretation. I think once those gaps are filled, we just might find out that both evolution and creation occurred. To think that this many genetic variances could have occurred from one set of parents as recent as 10,000 years ago just doesn't add up. To think we came from apes also doesn't quite add up. There has to be a place where science and religion meet.

Or maybe I'm just full of crap.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Music of life

I'm listening to Dave Matthews "So Damn Lucky" from his solo album. The lyrics got me thinking. For those who haven't heard the song, the whole song takes place in the moments after his car starts sliding. His heart is racing and his last few moments are flashing. "Everythings different, just like that, Oh my God, wait and see, what will soon become of me, frozen heart, screaming wheels, or does that screaming come from me..." Words that draw a picture so poiniant you can't miss it. Do words set to music carry more meaning? Why? I have no idea why this struck me as an interesting concept.

The other day Tiff and I went with our friends Heather and Austin to karaoke and sang till our voices were raw. I sang one just for Tiff, Billy Dean's "If There Hadn't Been You," and the emotion of that song makes me love her more. I've said these things to her thousands of times but throw them to a tune and suddenly, just by singing them, they are amplified. I know I'm no Frank Sinatra but I love to sing. I love the power it gives me. The ability to make someone smile, laugh, cry, or feel loved. I must also admit, being true to my Leo form, being in the spotlight makes me happy. I heard one guy say, "...this guy is good..." to his date and it made my night. Having the crowd go nuts for "Margaritaville" also rocked.

Why is it I can't do this for a living? Maybe me and Austin ought to put our heads together and figure out our own act. Austin is a guitarist and, as it turns out, a kick ass singer. I'm thinking I could learn rhythm, he could take lead, we get a bass and drums and we have a band a la Brooks and Dunn.

Or maybe I am just talking out my ass again and should stick to karaoke Monday and Tuesday nights...

Monday, July 25, 2005

Bad Cop, No Doughnut

So it looks like the cops finally tracked down a hardened criminal. Apparently the doughnut budget has been cut and cops have to fill the coffers again and it is so much easier to stop someone going a couple of miles over the limit. For the record my speedometer read under 40 mph and the cop claimed it was 45 mph. Note the car in front of me was traveling faster and was let off with a warning. It was not a school or construction zone and all of the surrounding vehicles were moving at the same speeds. Go find a real criminal. No one ever died from traveling a mile or two over the speed limit. If I had been going 60 mph it would be another matter. But if I fight the ticket it could cost me more than just taking it up the ass from the city. As it stands it will cost me around $135 for the ticket. Poll of the peanut gallery: should I fight it or just grab the KY and bend over?

Friday, July 22, 2005

Birthday

So, my birthday is coming up this week. I turn 27. It is hard to believe how time flies. I have served in the army, traveled the entire Western U.S., been married twice and had 3 children. I have been on top of the world and I have contemplated swallowing a bullet. All in these 27 short years. It still blows my mind.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

I'm still alive and kicking. I havn't posted regularly because my life is weird right now. So little to do and so much time...wait, reverse that...

You ever felt like no matter how hard you run, you're going backwards? That is my life. I can't catch a break. I fix one thing and ten more things break. Why can life ever be simple? I just don't get it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Been a while since I've updated. Life has been topsy turvey of late and my work schedule has been insane. Things have been so strange.

First, Tiff and I went over to our friends John and Shannon's house for a barbecue. He has a newborn son. I sat on the couch watching him for a couple of hours. I didn't want to pick him up but I felt drawn to do it. I finally gave in and picked up an infant for the first time in 7 months. I held him until his bedtime. Even then I didn't want to let go. It hurt so much yet felt so good at the same time. It has been 7 months since I held Diana's little body in my arms. The pain never fades. All you can do is cope with it.

Second, I've been feeling a bit smothered at late. I have bad credit as a result of some really poor decisions (i.e. my first marriage) so I live with my parents and work for their company to pay off my debt. It started over a year and a half ago at about $25,000 of debt plus living expenses month to month. If I stop working for them, my wife and I are homeless. I wouldn't mind so much if I knew how long this tunnel was but they refuse to give me any idea of how far I have to go until I can get out of this indentured servitude. I would leave today if I could get hired somewhere else but with my credit rating I can't get my family a place to live. I would stay here if I could see light at the end of the tunnel without the sound of a train whistle.

Third, I got a call from my old friend John. I haven't heard from him in over 6 years. It felt good to talk to him and reminisce about the old days. John and I were two of the Three Heathens. John and I were good friends through our church's single adult program. Then a guy named Carl came home from a mission and we all became like brothers. When Carl got up to give a talk in church we were there. The three of us all wore goatees at the time. When Carl began his talk he said, "I was talking to the Bishop and he pointed at my beard and said I've become a heathen." Thus the Three Heathens were formed. I miss those days of movie marathons, cold pizza, and the most hilarious disjointed conversations ever. Friends come and go but brotherhoods like that never die.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Ouch...

These have to be the weirdest things I've seen in a while:

I don't know what is more disturbing, seeing this girl with rings through her back or the fact that I have enough time on my hands to stumble onto this. As frightening as this is, I think the pink ribbon will really compliment the flaming red infection those ring are going to create in about a week.

What is the deal with piercing? I used to have an earring and I think navel rings are hot but damn, do you have to put more holes in your flesh? Not to mention the "special" piercings that guys get that actually risk their ability to "perform". Hello!!! Simple science lesson. Men maintain functionality via maintaing blood pressure. What does a balloon do when you poke a hole in it? Nuff said.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Gym Locker Rooms

I work out about three times a week at the local athletic club. In doing so, I spend some time in the locker room changing clothes and showering. I have to ask, why is it always the old men who decide that locker time is walk around naked time? I completely understand temporary nudity to change clothes and shower but these guys walk in, get naked, and then go shave, read the paper, or the most disturbing part, chat with anyone walking by. They have ready access to towels to wrap themselves with but instead walk around naked. Yesterday I saw one guy take it further and actually powder himself with Gold Bond right in the middle of the path where you must walk to get to the shower. He just kicked his leg up on a bench and proceded to powder the boys like nobody was standing there looking for a sharp implement to jab their own eyes out with. I understand that some guys need to powder but go in a corner and at least try to stay out of the way. If you need to be naked, don't make me look at you. Now I need to go re-format my brain to erase that image. I will never look at Gold Bond the same again...

Monday, April 11, 2005

Twins

WARNING: Do not read this without a box of tissue nearby. Tiff, you may want to avoid this entirely. I am having a hard time keeping the tears off the keyboard.

There are two members of my family that I have not mentioned yet but they deserve note here. Diana Grace and Finleigh Rose were stillborn on October 8, 2004. They died of twin transfusion syndrome. Finleigh was acardiac (never formed a heart) and Diana's heart had to pump blood for both of them through a blood vessel in the placenta. Normally the acardiac twin never develops to be large enough to tax the pump twin but in Finleigh was almost fully developed with the exception of a heart. We went to specialists in Galveston and made every effort to save them but it was not to be. They are buried in a family plot together in a small white coffin. The two girls who shared a heart and a womb are together in Heaven.

They recently had their headstone set. It has two doves and a lamb. We thought it fitting, our two little doves going to join the Lamb of God. As much comfort as it is knowing they are in a better place, I still feel like I've been hit in the chest with a sledgehammer. To this day Tiffanie cannot look at a new baby without breaking into tears. The last newborn she held was the stillborn body of Diana. Come to think of it, Diana is the last newborn I held. I have to stop here before tears short out my keyboard.

Tough Little Boys

Gary Allen had it right. When tough little boys grow up to be dads, they turn into big babies again. Last Saturday Jasmine and I had a whole day to play. We went to the movies, got pizza, and blew a few bucks on games at Chuck E Cheese. I love that little girl. She sat on my lap at the movie and buried her face in my shoulder each time the bad guy appeared. I remember the day she was born she fit in the palm of my hand. My little 5 pound 6 ounce miracle. Now she is five and in pre-school. Tomorrow she hits high school and the next day comes the big wedding. Better start playing the lotto now. Come on big money...

Thursday, April 07, 2005

The women in my life

I think it is time to introduce my 5 year old daughter Jasmine and my wife Tiffanie.




Tiffanie is the high school sweetheart I told you about in Story Time With Mike. She is what keeps me from climbing a clock tower with a rifle. I love her more than life itself. You will see stories of us when I have more time to write them.

Jasmine is my daughter from my first marriage. (If I'm ever in the right mood I'll tell you about that trip to hell and back.) She is a little ball of fire. I see so much of me in her and that worries the hell out of me. She is a genius like me and thus figures out the best way to get into and out of trouble. Throw in a dash of my temper for flavor and you have the reason I am going gray at 26. You gotta love that little scamp.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Another day, another 50 cents...

I got up this morning with a mild headache. That and my knee hurts from ramming it into the back of a server with all steel chassis (no, not on purpose). It is days like today that make me forget why I quit drinking coffee. Hell, it is days like today that make me forget why I quit drinking. It isn't a bad day per se, but it is just kind of blah. It makes me feel way older than I am. I am 26 going on 57.

To add insult to injury, I've been thinking about my 10 year reunion, which is next year, and I feel old. I know, I still have most of my life ahead of me but damn, the life I've had so far is moving WAY to fast. Tom Petty was wrong when he said, "...you never slow down, you never grow old...". You grow old no matter what. I can sympathize with the next lyric though, "I'm tired of screwing up, I'm tired of goin' down, I'm tired of myself, I'm tired of this town." Yeah, I know, way to much classic rock for me. I need to turn on some feel good music...where is my AC/DC...ahhh, I love iTunes. Thank you Steve Jobs...

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Next Blog Button

I was bored and decided to take a trip into the surreal realm of the "Next Blog" button you see at the top of my screen. Weird. Aside from pages in languages other than my own I have come across the wise words of a teen stoner, a woman giving all of the details of her menstrual cycle, a starving cartoonist who's drawings are on the kindergarten level, a blog by a robot, one written by a mother pretending to be her baby, and a guy who posts only random photos of his feet. Add to this any moron with an opinion and you have the realm called blogger.com. Way to much fun.

I need a life...

Microsoft

I am at "work" (a.k.a. my living room). I am working on the company website and my eyes are crossing. There is nothing that makes your head hurt like staring at raw HTML for hours. Not only that but I have to come to the Microsoft Business Solutions page. I am a Microsoft Certified Professional. I use Linux and Mac OS as a result.

The company I work for is a Microsoft Certified Business Solutions Provider. I have to come up with nice things to say about Microsoft beyond "runs solitaire really well" and "only locks up twice a day" without saying "hacker fodder" and "good if you want your hard drive to sound like Chewbacca." I hate maketing drivel.

Microsoft is good for what it is, a simple, expensive solution for those unwilling to take the time to learn something new. Properly patched and updated it is almost secure if you use 3rd party security solutions. I am lucky enough to have users who have no idea what an update is and wouldn't know a firewall if it bit them in the arse.

If you are willing to pay for an upgrade license you can get the newest features that don't work right (i.e. Internet Exploder) till Service Pack 1 and then get broken again by Service Pack 2. To top it off, you have to register it with Microsoft and let it "phone home" to activate. Lord only knows what exactly it tells the Microsoft servers. I bet the conversation goes something like this:

Your Computer: "Hey, this guy has a 40 GB hard drive and 256MB of RAM."

Microsoft: "Only 256MB...hmmm...that should work fine for a week. Then we update and give him blue screens until he throws his PC out the Window."

Your Computer: "While we are at it, lets wait for his wife to log on and hit him with the bigboobs.com popup. He'll LOVE that..."

Microsoft: "You have done well my minion. Remember, you must never reproduce and error when the technician is in the room. Now go forth and break their will."

Your Computer: "Yes master."

Oh well. I wonder if Microsoft will get mad at me for writing this from a Mac using the Firefox browser...

Monday, April 04, 2005

Story Time With Mike

My last two posts were downer central. Today I think I'll lighten the mood a bit. I feel story time coming on. What to tell... I think it would be best to tell the tale of how my wife an I met.

The year was 1994. Junior year at Richard King High School for me. The day had been somewhat uneventful. I walked into 5th period Anatomy and Physiology. I was almost late and thus, the last person there. I was normally a back row slacker so I scanned there first. The class was full. I kept scanning from back to front. My eyes fell on the seat right in front of me there on the front row. In looking at the seat I saw a pair of long creamy white legs under the table next to it. My eyes followed up the legs to the short black skirt. While all of this took less than a second in my mind it ran in slow motion. It still does. I followed the body the rest of the way up and saw this beautiful blonde haired, blue-eyed girl sitting next to the only seat in the room. Such luck! My mind instantly said, "she must have a boyfriend." I sat down. Trying not to concentrate on her I noticed a girl from the other end of the row slinking my way. I say slink because there is no better way to describe her catlike motion. She sits on my desk and flips open the front cover of my book where I had written my name. "So, Mike" she gushed, "mind if I pull up a seat?" "Damn good year," I thought to myself. She introduced herself and then proceeded to introduce the blonde sitting next to me. Celinda was the catlike being on my desk and the red hot blonde by my side was Tiffanie. Celinda grabbed a chair and sat between Tiffanie and I. As class got underway Celinda passed me a note that said something to the effect of, "Tiffanie thinks you are hot." Now I had fallen for a prank that started like this before so I played it cool. She asked me if I was going to ask her out and I responded with a maybe. Class proceeded well from there.

In the next period I received a note from the counselor. I was being moved to a different anatomy class because that one was full. Damn. I never even got her number. The next day I came in early to work on a computer science project. I finished long before I expected to and walked downstairs. I almost literally ran smack into Tiffanie. We began to chat. We walked around the whole school talking about everything but each other. I remember thinking, "are we actually talking about the weather?" The five minute bell rang and I walked her to her locker. It was a bottom locker. I only remember it because she was in another short black skirt. As she stood up we hugged, as was my custom with all my female friends.

Then something strange happened. She looked me in the eye with a longing look that reached out a grabbed me. I slowly leaned in and kissed her, just a moment at first but when my stolen kiss drew no slap I kissed her full and deep. Please note that to that point, kissing strangers was not in either of our habits. I felt her knees go weak and I knew she was mine.

It has been more than ten years since that kiss. We haven't been together that whole time. I even married a different woman before her. The tale of our ups and downs has been long and often rocky but never for a lack of love. In all the years since that time and all the women I have touched, never has a kiss matched hers. Now I am the luckiest man alive because I can feel that kiss each morning and again each night.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Schiavo, part II

I've been reading articles from various ethics "experts" and I am sickened. An article by Arthur Caplan, Ph.D. found here on MSNBC got me thinking. I've been wondering how someone could justify in their minds starving someone to death. Based on the data presented in that article, as long as they can't be medically proven to "feel" it and death is somehow better than their current state, it must be alright. There is no physical evidence other than the word of a spouse who stands to gain financially that this is truly what she wanted, yet it is still alright . So, it is alright to starve a person to death without their written consent if modern science thinks they can't feel.

With that in mind, might a make a modest proposal? If death is truly better than the life they currently have, why not kill them quickly in the off chance they can feel the slow creeping death of starvation and dehydration. Why not give them high doses of one of any number of drugs that inflict little to no pain and end life in seconds? We are killing them anyway via starvation, why not just get it over with? While we are at it, why not kill all invalids? They can't feed or clothe themselves. Surely they long for death. Why not go even further? Lead costs less than drugs, lets just put a .22 bullet in their heads. It is the choice of assassins for a quick kill because it has enough force to enter the skull and bounce around but not exit making a relatively clean kill. For a more personal approach there is always the garrotte. With either you need only a pan to catch any mess.


Of course guns would be reprehensible to those who support euthanasia so I guess knife to the wrist is the only solution. Remember, down, not across...

For those on whom satire is lost, the above opinion is satire a la Jonathan Swift.

Terri Schiavo, murder of an innocent

I don't know where to begin this post.

I feel great sorrow for the Schindler family. I feel unmitigated outrage for the conspirators in her murder. I cannot begin to describe my great sadness at the ineffectiveness of our government at stopping judges who legislate from the bench. All it would have taken was one Congressional order and the U.S. Marshals could have gone to Florida and stopped this madness. A woman was murdered by court order in a manner we don't allow for our most hardened criminals.

In Virginia hanging was ruled cruel and unusual punishment. Yet letting an innocent woman starve to death is alright to the same group of people. I am so mad I am shaking. Michael Savage had it right, Liberalism is truly a mental disorder. We think about removing a killer from society and liberals do all possible to stop it. Fair enough, they are entitled to that opinion and it acts as a good check to ensure the guilt of the killer. Now a poor woman whose only crime is not being able to feed and care for herself is killed and where were the liberals? THEY WERE SUPPORTING HER MURDER!

What really disturbs me is those who had the power to save her didn't. The President has the power to set aside punishments set down by the courts and pardon criminals so why not pardon Terri from her court imposed death sentence. Congress has the power to enforce the subpoena it sent for Terri. I am a conservative if you can't tell and I am disgusted with the Republican party because they caved to the loud minority. This two party system is an illusion. We are led by the Republicrats. The gridlock and heated debates are nothing but smoke and mirrors. I have known this for a while but my outrage has reached a new pinnacle with the death of this poor woman. I have to stop now before I completely blow my stack

I end with this, Terri, may your spirit rest with God and may God send peace to your family and this nation.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Writer's Block

Have you ever had so much crap on your mind that you can't form any of it into a complete thought? The sentence would start with the stupid song in my head and end with debate on social security. My brain has a tendency to run 15 channels at once and they all want to be in the foreground. I want to post something just to get some of this out but none of it makes sense. I guess I could make one post that has little samples of each channel as they come to the foreground... Warning: If any of the following starts to make sense, seek professional help immediately.

I have a stupid Neil Young song in my head. What the hell is he rambling on about? Story of Johnny Rotten?!?! Way to many recreational drugs...

I saw an ad on TV about how social security just needs minor adjustment and implied that I am too stupid to handle MY money. Must resist urge to fly to Washington and introduce Democrats to the Louisville Slugger of truth...

I have a headache...

What is that on my shirt? I didn't eat anything that looked like that...

I spend most of my life waiting for computers to reboot. Gives me too much time to think about crap I hate...

Bob Dylan just came on. How many marbles were in his mouth when he sang this? I'm guessing 5. "...little rooster crowing, must have something on his mind..." Yeah, struggling with the urge to rip your throat out with his talons...

I think stress happens when your brain prevents your body from choking the life out of stupid people...

Microsoft @#$#ing sucks. I have been waiting for thirty minutes for a damn Windows XP re-install just so some idiot can use @$#%ing media player.

I am noticing a violent streak in this post. I need time at the shooting range...

OK, time to switch to my Hard Rock/Metal playlist. Blues ain't cutting it right now. Ahhh, sweet Metal...

Alright, back to work. I feel refreshed. And you probably feel confused and possibly a bit frightened...

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Let the barely coherent rambling begin

You know, I have thought about blogging for a while now. I always have these moments of brilliance and want a place to write them. Either that or I get mad at something and need a place to rant. Now that everyone and their dog has a blog, I figure I'll throw my worthless opinion in with the millions of others out there.

To get the basic introductions out of the way, I am Michael J. Clarkson, Jr.. I am a Computer Guru by day, blues singer by night. Well, trying to be a blues singer... I tried out for a band last week and they want me back so things look good. I practice via karaoke* as often as I can.

Anyway, I am happily married to my high school sweetheart, that story in a future post, and have a five year old little girl.

*karaoke-Literally translates to: alcohol makes any idiot think they can sing.