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.


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.


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."

"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. 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