Sunday, December 03, 2006

Christmas thoughts of an atheist

I grew up in a very Jesus-centric household where every Christmas we read from the Bible and complained that Christmas was becoming too commercialized. Over those 27 holiday seasons I developed the knee-jerk reaction to rail against the secularization of the birth of our Lord. Over the last year my faith in religion as a whole has died and I enter my first holiday season as an atheist. This has generated some strange new emotions for me.

I spent an hour this morning wandering the Wal-Mart waiting for the bank to open so I could deposit my Christmas bonus. In my wanderings I couldn't help but feel an odd sense of the surreal at the strange juxtaposition of sounds wafting through this bastion of commercialism. The Christmas carols over the intercom mixed with the ads from the myriad televisions strategically placed throughout the store, all jarringly interrupted at random intervals with loud and often un-intelligible announcements over the PA system. The experience went something like, "Have your self a merry lit...Always low pri...WILL MARY SMITH PLEASE COME TO CUSTOMER SERVICE, YOUR MRHH MEH HUMPH IS MATING...from now on your troubles will be far aw...come see the next generation in shaving from Gille...ATTENTION WAL-MART SHOPPERS, WE HAVE A SPECIAL ON PENNZOIL IN OUR AUTOMOTIVE SECTION..." Because nothing says "Birth of Jesus" like a case of discount 5w-30.

I stopped at McDonald's and washed down a $3.00 heart attack with coffee and orange juice, allowing myself to take in fully the experience of holiday discount shopping. In years past I would have been in church at this time, fighting a boredom induced coma while listening to someone tell the story of the Christ child with their "new" and "interesting" perspective. By new I mean the same old story with slightly different colored paint. By interesting I mean somewhere between watching said paint dry and Chinese water torture. Now here I was dining in the Shrine of Gluttony located within the Cathedral of Lower Prices. Such irony is not lost on me.

As the time came for the bank to open I went and deposited the funds I would soon be donating to the Perpetuate Christian Mythology to Promote Economic Growth Fund, or PCMPEGF, and walked out into an unusually brisk wind. There was the bell ringer, standing there ringing his little bell and singing a very off-key rendition of jingle bells. His nose was red from the biting cold wind and few people even took the time to glance his way but he seemed genuinely happy.

I pulled the two wrinkled dollars I had in my pocket left over from the night of drinking and debauchery we had after the company Christmas party and slipped it in his little red can. The words "Merry Christmas" rolled off my tongue in reply to this jolly old man's "God bless you".

It was at that moment that I realized, whether you believe the man Jesus was Son of God or just the wise son of a carpenter, his words of peace and love still have meaning. This old man had found joy in standing out in the cold ringing a bell to raise money for those less fortunate than him. I can't help but think that it was this that Christ was talking about, that selfless love of your fellow man, regardless of his race, creed, opinion, or religion. It is in that selfless, blind love that lies the secret to peace on earth. If you do nothing else this holiday season between fighting crowds, dealing with family and wrapping gifts, take a moment and give to one of the myriad charities out there trying to make life on this big spinning rock of ours better. It may not get you off the naughty list but at least it will help when you go to Santa hoping to appeal that lump of coal he left. Not to mention the tax-deductibility of said donation come IRS time... Merry Christmas, from your favorite atheist. Have a safe and happy holiday.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Ask Mike, debate geek edition

In this edition of Ask Mike we answer an email from one of the debate students I judge. (For my non-debate geek readers I will give editorial translation in parenthesis. That and insert pithy remarks here and there.)

1) What are your author quals? (Translated: If I use you in round as a source, what can I say when someone tries to verify your qualifications.)
2) Why is seniorcorps such a horrible program?
3) Does in-round discourse - especially kritiks of the debate system - actually mean anything? (Translation: I spell critique weird because I was taught by a snooty intellectual elitist? Oh yeah, do you judge on them?)
--Dave

Dave, your spelling of critique made my brain hurt trying to figure out the question on three. I am guessing you learned that spelling from a scholarly nerd type. That kind of crap gets you a wedgie in no time. Onward and upward:

1) My author quals, personally, are that I am God, know everything worth knowing, and know that nine out of ten judges don't check quals. Oh, yeah, I am also a published political pundit, expert at trivial pursuit, and have an I.Q. of 165. (Editors note: All true. I am my own personal God...) I wouldn't use a card from me to build your entire case but to instead flesh it out and strengthen your evidence.

2) Poor organization. Giving old people a reason not to die is on paper a good cause. Using fiat a properly run affirmative can totally win with it but in reality Senior Corps is under funded and thus overworks the volunteers it has. As long as an affirmative has cards to defend against the obvious euthanasia attack it can be a strong case.

(Translation: The current CX debate resolution states that the US Government should substantially increase the number of persons serving in various service organizations and Senior Corps is one many debate teams have chosen. In my explanation I discuss a bunch of debate )

3) Critique is like topicality for me, it has to be flawless, elegant, and clear to score any points. Often it is silly and as long as Affirmative at least touches on it, it falls. One team ran a topicality against re-instating the draft that said that military service did not qualify as service under the resolution. This directly contradicts the resolution as it specifically mentions armed services and thus falls the moment it is uttered. In place of a weak critique or T I would suggest a DA, inherency, or even a nice solvency attack. Sometimes a well worded counter-plan is nice.

Speaking of which, I have been thinking about the Chuck Norris CP and if the fake silliness is pulled out it could work. Replace the "Chuck Norris supports the FDIC" junk with actual facts about his own volunteer work and assistance with Federal volunteer programs and you have a CP that kicks as much ass as he does.

(Translation: Blah blah blah, bunch of debate specific crap that doesn't translate.)


Well, that's all for this time kids. Remember, send me your questions on any topic and I will make fun of... I mean answer them.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Behold! Rising from the dust! It's....

The Ask Mike column is back for the first time since December of '05. This is the column where my readers (all three of you) email me questions and I make fun of... I mean answer... them. Seriously, send any question to me via email (mclarksonazATgmail.com with the @ character in place of AT), blog comment, myspace message, or carrier pigeon and I will answer it in a future blog post. Hopefully my new minions from speech and debate tournaments will post topic related questions (hint, hint, nudge, nudge) that I can answer for their enlighenment and use in rounds (free speaker points for quoting me). In fact, what I would like to see ultimately is all of the students who have the address here refering their entire team. My goal is to have kids I have never met using my thoughts in debate and speech rounds the world over. Ambitious goal I admit but a worthy one. We future rulers of the world have to have dreams...

"Gee, Brain, what are we going to do tonight?"
"The same thing we do every night Pinky, try to take over the world!"

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Hope for the future

I spent the weekend judging debate at GP. It is rejuvenating to be reminded that the next generation is in fact not full of idiots but minds that fill me with hope. These kids actually care and are just waiting for the information they need to go out and change the world. I get so psyched when I watch these kids light up at stuff so many adults only pretend to care about. Politics, values, and looking at otherwise mundane facts from fresh new angles. Makes me wish I had taken the teaching path in my career life. When I get a chance I will be posting information on some of the topics these kids are addressing this year.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Out of the random randomness

I was going to post something on Kim Jom Nitwit in North Korea but I was tired. I was going to post something on Mark Foley but the media really beat that horse to death and then started kicking it. I have had a myriad of topic ideas that I started to write about until the ADD kicked in and it was like, "Kim Jom Il is a poopyhead blah blah blah...Oh look, a new post in the Wired Table of Malcontents..." I swear sometimes I have the attention span of a three year old.

Then my wife brings home her friends from work and I start to feel so old. All of her new work friends are at least 7 years younger than me. These people are fresh out of high school and still a bit wet behind the ears. It is the first time ever I have had parties where I am the first to call it a night. Every day I look in the mirror and see more gray hair in my beard. If I did not color it the hair on my head would match. I feel a little better when a clerk checks my ID for beer but then I am brought down when they proceed to ID the 50 year old behind me.

As I get older I have started noticing, it is truly the small things in life that get me by. A cold beer in the fridge or warm kiss from my wife, a wave and smile from a stranger or a hug from a friend. For instance, each morning I drive my little girl to school. On the way I pass a crossing guard. There is nothing out of the ordinary about this crossing guard, just a nice middle aged woman, and I wouldn't know her from Adam, yet every time I drive by she has a wave and a nice smile waiting. I never even noticed that we wave at each other every day until today when she had gone to her car and wasn't in her usual spot. It was like a little hole in the day. That got me thinking and hence you have this post.

What little things get you through your day? Watch and see if you notice the small things you would ordinarily take for granted and then imagine your day without them. Then reply with those things here.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Fun words

Wanker. Kolache. Poop. Wenus. Booger. Some words are just so much fun to say. I was chatting with the coolest chick from Ohio who now lives in Texas and used the word wanker and it made me laugh. Being the attention deficient bozo I am, my brain derailed from the conversation at hand to funny sounding words.

Dave Barry had the theory that any sentence could be made funny just by a properly inserted use of the word booger. For example, the sentence "Kim Jom Il just tested a nuclear device, much to the chagrin of President George W. Bush" is quite serious. We could make it funny just by inserting booger thus, "Kim Booger Il just tested a booger device, much to the chagrin of President George W. Booger." Suddenly we have comic gold. Try it sometime. Next time you have to give a speech, randomly insert the word booger. Even if they don't laugh, they will give you funny looks and that just means they are laughing on the inside.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Paradigm Shift

For those unfamiliar with the concept of paradigm shift, I once heard it explained this way:

A man was riding the subway home from work and watched as a haggard looking woman with her four vociferous children climbed aboard. The moment the doors closed the children began tearing about the car with reckless abandon while the haggard woman merely stared into space as if she saw nothing.

The man slowly became annoyed by the woman's indifference to her children's horrid behaviour and finally approached her, asking her to control her children. The woman quickly apologized as she rounded up her children and then offered the following explanation of her absent-mindedness.

"I am sorry sir, we just came from the hospital where my husband died suddenly today. I was trying to find the words to explain this to my children and I guess I got lost in thought."

The man was nearly struck dumb by this as his annoyance vanished into shame for his anger with this poor woman and pity for her plight. He had experienced the extreme change in his point-of-view that is a paradigm shift.

I bring up the topic of paradigm shift today because lately I have taken stock in my own complete paradigm shifts. In religion I have gone from devout Mormon to agnostic bordering on atheist. In politics I have gone from Republican to dissident with large amounts of disdain for both parties. In my views on sex and sexuality I have gone from the narrow Christian view of sex being between one man and one woman to acceptance of my poly-amorous, bi, and homosexual friends even to the point of fighting for gay marriage. It makes me wonder what other changes are in store for me as my horizons broaden?

Scott Adams posed a question the other day on the Dilbert Blog asking, "If a man goes into the forest and pokes a bear with a sharp stick, and the bear kills the man, whose fault is it?" He then further poses, "Now substitute an irrational human being for the bear. The guy with the stick knows he’s dealing with an irrational and potentially violent person, and he pokes him with the stick anyway. Just like the bear, the irrational guy kills the guy who poked him." Who's fault is it? This further begs the question, who is the truly irrational one, the poker or the pokee? (Further, is pokee even a word?)

When applying this conundrum to the middle east crisis, for instance, we have three major groups, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Logic dictates that for the doctrine of any one to be right the other two HAVE to be wrong. This is assuming that all three groups aren't suffering from different versions of the same delusion. Imagine for a moment finding out the followers of a faith other than your own were the only right ones. No matter which faith you pick, you will only have a very small percentage of the world with you in heaven. Maybe it is my inner atheist talking but to me this doesn't sound like the hand of an all knowing and loving God. The logic flaw to me is quite clear but how does one create a mass paradigm shift amongst billions of people at once? Find the answer to that and you have found the solution to world peace. Or maybe it is I who is irrational.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Of cars and shiny things

Yesterday I woke up like any other day, got ready for work, and went down to my car. I had noticed the smell of antifreeze the night before and wanted to check my fluids. I opened the radiator and much to my chagrin, it was bone dry. I re-filled it and looked under the car. Sure enough it looked like my engine block was taking a piss. Shit. I finally tracked the leak to a crack in the block. There goes my mode of transportation.

I called up my buddies over at Ed Hicks Nissan to see if they could hook me up with a deal. I built their network and thought them to be my best chance at finding a reliable set of wheels. I fully expected to drive away in a car from their used lot with the highest mileage they had. I was wrong. Today I have a brand new, hot off the showroom floor, Nissan Sentra. The odometer read 20 at the time I drove it off. They cut me a great deal and financed me at 5%, a rate I haven't seen since my first wife pillaged my credit. It is great and as it turns out a perfect extra birthday gift for my wife who's birthday is today.

Of course I bought her real birthday gift last week with the assistance of Isa, who might I add has impeccable taste and will be my personal shopper after I make my first million. I went a little over my budget with the gift but I think it will make her smile. Tiff has been trying to get it out of me. I keep telling her it is poop in a bag with glitter on it but she doesn't believe me. She won't accept that poop in a bag is all the rage. I hear Paris Hilton carries hers everywhere she goes. Oh well, at least she won't be out of the fashion loop when I give it to her... Happy birthday baby.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Making up

Life is good again. Sunday afternoon Tiff was sitting in the chair after what could only be described as a tense week. I was walking behind the chair and out of instinct touched her arm. That one touch of my hand smashed the ice that had been hanging around us all week. So apologies were shared and wounds tended to and life is back as it should be. Making up almost makes a fight worth it.

Having spent the last 8 years of my life as a married man(2 marriages but who's counting), I have discovered a few things I feel I must share. Call it advice to live by. Much of it is gross generalization but as is the case when I generalize, I don't care.
  • Men: No matter how right you are, you are wrong. Deal with it. You could have Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein, and Marilyn vos Savant on your side and you will still be wrong unless your answer is, "Yes dear, I don't know how I could have thought such a thing. Please forgive my having been born without the superior intellect provided by a vagina."
  • Men: The correct answer to, "Does this make my ass look fat?" is to have a massive heart attack on the spot. As much as you want to say, "No, your ass makes your ass look fat" it just isn't going to improve your quality of life. If you tell her no she will call you a liar and then you will never leave her sight again you dirty lying bastard who has broken her trust. Death really is the only out on this.
  • Women: Men cannot fully wrap their brains around the whole using emotions as rational arguments concept. "But that is how you made me feel" is NOT a real argument to a man and will cause them to look at you like you have lost your mind. Men like hard concepts we can wrap our brains around. You start using emotion as logic and we are lost. We are just stupid like that.
Take these little nuggets of truth and remember them. I can hear marriage counselors all over the world recognizing a disturbance in the force. I post this and a million divorce lawyers scream in terror all at once and are silenced. I really need to stop thinking I have that much influence over my readers.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Inked

So this is the tattoo I got Tuesday night. It is exactly what I wanted and couldn't have turned out better. Lucas at Electra Art did an awesome job. It is also the cause of the worst birthday I have had in my 28 years. Allow me to explain.

As anyone who reads this blog regularly knows, I have planned on getting this tat for months. Tiff and I decided to make it my birthday present to me. Tiff has three tats of her own and it was high time I got at least one. We took our time finding the right artist and finally scheduled it for Tuesday night. I counted the seconds.

Tuesday morning Tiff was too sick to go to work and went to the doctor. She had somehow contracted the worst case of Texas quick-step ever. The doctor hooked her up with some drugs and as far as I knew, the problem had ebbed. I was set to drop Jasmine with her mom for visitation.

Tattoo time rolls around and I am headed to drop off Jasmine. I was stoked like you would not believe. I called Tiff to ask if she was ready and she drops a bombshell. She said something to the effect of, "I can't go tonight, can you re-schedule?"

My week was already booked solid so it would have to be next Monday at earliest. I had cash for the tat but the way things work in our house I couldn't entirely trust that would be the case for long. So I made a judgment call. Some might say bad call and you may be right. I went anyway and got the tat. To be entirely honest I really didn't want anyone there looking over my shoulder when I got it. I was mildly relieved that no one was coming along.

I knew Tiff really wanted to be there and knew I would catch some flak for going alone. For me it was a birthday destroyer no matter which way I went. I could please Tiff by re-scheduling and run the risk of not getting the tat at all or be a little selfish and get my gift to me on my own terms. Right or wrong, I thought I deserved a little leeway seeing as it was my birthday and I rarely do anything that is just for me. I rationalized that Tiff goes to the spa and otherwise does things for herself on special occasions, why can't I do this one thing to celebrate a year of such great change for me? I deserve to be a little bit selfish without major retribution, right?

Apparently not. Apparently spoiling myself without permission is an offence worthy of the silent bitchy treatment, even on my birthday. In fact the only conversations I had with my wife on my birthday ended in "You're such an asshole." I was wished a happy birthday by everyone but my wife. I spent the evening of my birthday home alone with only a bottle of Cuervo Especial, some beer, and Spike TV to keep me company. Happy fucking birthday to me. Whether or not I deserved it I will leave my readers to decide.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

On pins and needles

I am getting my tattoo tonight, hence the witty title. Tonight the mark of the wolf graces my shoulder forever. I am totally psyched.

My birthday is in two days and that has made me a bit reflective. I remember all of those old career days at school where teachers would ask, "Where do you see yourself in 10 years?" 10 years ago I was a horny 18 year old college freshman looking forward to my next bottle of Jack Daniels. My 28th birthday was like a lifetime away. I was lucky to have plans for Saturday, much less a decade later. I don't think I would have ever put myself here in my 10 year vision statement. Hell, I wouldn't have put myself here a year ago.

The whole ritual of celebrating being one year closer to worm food makes us take stock in where we are. This year I am 28 and for the first time really feel like myself. I don't have to conform to any one world view and can let myself be who I am without fear of disappointing anyone. Where will I be in 10 years? Ask me when I'm 38.

Mark Twain once said "Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned." I couldn't agree more. My longtime readers (and anyone who reads my archives) have seen my own process of unlearning the conservative Christian dogma. Today I feel a level of freedom in seeing old delusions for what they are.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Metalhead's lullaby

Next week is my 28th birthday so Big John and I had a guy's day out. We spent the day at Sounds of the Underground, which by the way I highly recommend to anyone looking for nine hours of metal madness. I am now burnt to a crisp from the Texas sun which was running about 2.5 million degrees today, have a headache the size of Wisconsin, and am sore from head to toe. When I say head to toe I mean even the muscles that control my eyes hurt. Yet in my ears I hear the metalhead lullaby. For my readers who have never experienced the pure rush that is the pit of a large metal show, allow me to explain a bit about pit dynamics.

Pit formation is a glorious thing to watch. First a space opens in the press of bodies that is a concert crowd. Then one or two slam dancers enter the space, rhythmically punching and kicking in a way that vaguely resembles having a gran mal seizure. These posers are soon crushed by the moshers in a violent orgy of rhythmic smashing each other the fuck down. The driving rhythm of the drums, the roar of the lead singer and the scream of the guitar whips the mass of hair and banging heads to a frenzy, ending only when the music stops.

Tonight I came to the realization I am getting old. About sundown I had to sit on the grass hill off to the side of the pit area. I laid back and felt the ground rumble beneath me. I stared up at the stars as the band "As I Lay Dying" powered through their metal anthems I was at one with the universe. Even now I can feel the rumble and hear the screaming guitars. This is the metalhead's lullaby.

In any case, it was an awesome day overall. Now I am going to sleep for about a week.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The rumors are apparently true...

So I took the quiz and rumors are confirmed, I am most like Lucifer. Alert the press because these things are never wrong.


Which ArchAngel are you most like?

Lucifer. The most misunderstood of all the ArchAngels, you're most like the ArchAngel of Light. You've seen the darkside and have opted for something better. You need better press, though chances are no one will really understand your motives.
Take this quiz!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

CNN made me do it

I have been holding off posting these last few days because all that comes to mind when I go to post are rants and I was hoping to lighten things a bit. Then I read this on CNN.com and it set me off. To boil it down for those too busy to read the article, two more soldiers in Iraq were slaughtered. This time their bodies were so mutilated they had to be identified by DNA and were left booby-trapped at the end of a bomb lined road. What irked me most was not their death but the ad banner at the side of the article that said "Anderson Cooper 360° TV Exclusive: Interview with Angelina Jolie". For the love of Christ, have enough respect for the dead to turn off the fucking ad banner if all you can show is this trivial banality! Here we have two of America's finest found mutilated to the point their own mothers couldn't identify them and right next to it you have Anderson Cooper interviewing a crazy, reclusive, irrelevant, nitwit about doing something women have done since the dawn of time.

Has America gotten so stupid that an interview with a movie star counts as news? This takes me back to the news that more Americans voted for the last American Idol than voted in the last Presidential Election. Soldiers are dying, our country is run by both the corrupt and the idiotic, and we Americans just shrug. American Idol has an ancient dude with a harmonica that calls his posse the "Soul Patrol" and Americans rush to the phones, sometimes redialing a hundred times just to get through so their voice can be heard. Angelina pops an illegitimate kid and it is must see TV. News breaks of our politicians taking away yet another freedom and we ask ourselves, "I wonder if there is anything on E!".

See what happens when I read the news! F'ing CNN.com...

Monday, June 12, 2006

The life of a Blogger

Roughly once a week I sit at my computer trying to decide what to write about. I strive to bring content actual people want to read through humor, political ranting, and attempts at pseudo-original thoughts and insights. Still I average between 3 and 10 visitors a day, depending on how many sex sites and search engines have listed me in the complete pervert section.

I currently list on every search engine but you either have to search for my name directly, the title of this page, or really perverted porn to find me. I try to make my readers laugh, cry, think, or at least show some sign of life after having read my work. I have tried posting "Read Me" posts on the various other sites I frequent but in the end my primary readership has stayed the same since the beginning. I don't know how professional bloggers can survive on donations and advertising from their readership. I can't even get more than a few people to look at my page for more than a second, much less stay and actively give me feedback (or validation if you really care to psychoanalyze it.) I could ask everyone who reads this to tell at least one non-reading friend about me but that would be like Amway blogging. Oh well, such is the life of the attention whore...I mean blogger.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Attack of the wild Fandango...

So I was going to "The Omen" last night with some friends. I had bought my tickets online via Fandango (which, by the way, is just fun to say. Go ahead, say it with me. Fandango. Now say it louder. FANDANGO! Now have fun explaining the joys of online ticket purchase to the people around you who are looking at you funny.) Everyone else decided to get tickets at showtime. Once we all arrived at the theatre we discovered the show was sold out for all showings. That is right, people from the town who's name literally translates to body of Christ want to see the child of the devil. Go figure. I was actually surprised there were no religious protestors the way there were for the Da Vinci Code.

So I got a refund and we all went to play a hilarious game of Trivial Pursuit, Pop Culture Edition. This is where I get my ass handed to me by a bunch of girls because while I can tell you which Cambodian dictator received a Viking style funeral where he was sent off in a burning boat (Pol Pot) or the atomic weight of Uranium (238, or 235 if enriched for weapons grade use), I have no idea who produced "Evita" or which Quarterback first said, "I'm going to Disney World" after winning Super Bowl XXVIII (28 for those not versed in Roman numerals).

So last night turned out for the best I think. We all got to laugh, chat, have fun, and most of all we learned an important lesson. Never try to buy tickets for a devil movie in Corpus Christi at the door. Fandango! That is all.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

666

It figures today is 6-6-06. I have come across so many things that piss me off this week. Our government is poised to amend the constitution to prevent same sex marriage which is ridiculous. They are also poised to pass legislation that would prevent you from using music you pay for they way you want. Add to that, they are killing off some of this nations best and brightest in a war they aren't willing to end. If Americans don't revolt soon at the ballot box we may be forced to revolt old school in the streets.

To top off all of that I took my blood pressure a couple of days ago and it is official, I have stage 1 hypertension. Couldn't possibly be my constant rage against "the man" could it? In any case, I have started yet another shot at losing weight. Weighing in at 280 when my optimal weight is much closer to 200 is killing me.

I am going with the gang tonight to see "The Omen" remake. Reviews to come. I have always been fascinated by the thought of giving evil form by assigning it to a single malevolent being. Could there be a Satan? Is evil only in the hearts of men or does it have a real, tangible form? Is the story of Lucifer (or the various other beings lumped in under the heading "Devil") based in some truth? By logic, would the existence of Satan prove the existence of God? One must wonder. Worse, what if the Christian mythologies are true and the Anti-Christ walks among us today, biding his time before setting Armageddon in motion?

We will all see eventually I guess. Until then, Happy 666!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Deep thoughts on porn, sex toys, and the NSA

I spend much of my time pondering things. I like to ponder on God, the universe, the current state of things, why "ponder" is such a fun word to say, why I don't use the word "pontificate" more often to keep from using the word "ponder" too many times in one sentence. But I digress.

I have often pondered on this very page the absolute hypocrisy that is our society. We tolerate images of someone blowing off another person's head in prime time television but show a glancing shot of nipple and there is outrage. Strippers are not allowed to strip fully nude in most cities in America but wearing a thong made of dental floss makes it OK. Random rules that do not define a clear value system only serve to confuse. Until recently sodomy (defined clearly as any deviation from male-female vaginal sex although usually used in reference to homosexual sex) was a felony but having an unlicensed concealed pistol is only a misdemeanors. Sales of sex toys for any purpose other than "novelty" (i.e. for actual use on the sex organs) can get you arrested in many states yet selling guns at gun shows without a background check is fully legal.

The way I see it, if government is going to legislate a moral code, the least they can do is pick a logical one. I say we stick to the simplest code, do no harm to others, respect people's privacy (yes NSA, that is means you), keep government out of our bedrooms, and for the love of God get over this puritanical idea that the human body is "dirty". I am not saying put porn in front of our kids, I am saying don't warp our kids by telling them all displays of flesh are porn. I am not saying we should run around naked, just stop making a big deal when someone has a "wardrobe malfunction". More people saw Janet's nipple as a result of the huge deal the Christian Right made out of it than ever saw it during the Super Bowl. Remember Mark Twain's admonition, "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society."

Finally, I cannot let another week close without talking about NSA wiretaps. Wired Magazine published papers filed in a lawsuit against AT&T by the Electronic Frontiers Foundation in which a former AT&T technician discovered full AT&T cooperation with the NSA in illegal internet monitoring and phone tapping using hardware hosted in AT&T central offices in many major cities across the country. As a sys admin I understand just how far reaching this is. For the non-geek, here is a quick rundown. AT&T controls most of the backbone of the internet. If you monitor AT&T, you get to monitor most traffic on the net. Even if AT&T isn't your direct provider, most data you send through the net will hit AT&T equipment on the way. The hardware used monitors all data, it does not filter or encrypt it. If you put it on the net, email it, or use Voice Over IP phone service (i.e. Vonage, RoadRunner, Packet8, etc.) the NSA has a full, unencrypted copy and no judge to oversee that data's usage. Use a keyword like "jihad" and you get flagged for review even if you say "jihads suck".

To paraphrase Ben Franklin, "He who gives up liberty for security shall have neither." Those seeking to destroy the American way of life aren't overseas in the desert with rags on their head. They are in our government, slowly chipping away at our freedoms. We Americans have become lazy and fat. Had our founding fathers had the same level of motivation as modern Americans we would still be under English rule. We saw a blip of the revolutionary spirit during the civil rights movement. Those young revolutionaries are now dying, their legacy getting squashed by lazy apathetic Americans who think the W is out to protect them.

Quizzy Goodness

Since my last posts have been a bit heavier and I forsee another heavy one soon I figure I'd lighten things up a bit with the results of this quiz I took.

You scored as Batman, the Dark Knight. As the Dark Knight of Gotham, Batman is a vigilante who deals out his own brand of justice to the criminals and corrupt of the city. He follows his own code and is often misunderstood. He has few friends or allies, but finds comfort in his cause.

Captain Jack Sparrow


88%

Batman, the Dark Knight


88%

El Zorro


88%

William Wallace


83%

Neo, the "One"


83%

Maximus


79%

Lara Croft


79%

Indiana Jones


75%

James Bond, Agent 007


71%

The Terminator


67%

The Amazing Spider-Man


46%

Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with QuizFarm.com

Friday, May 19, 2006

Fun with incendiary devices

The last couple of days have been strange here at work. Yesterday I pulled in to work and saw the whole crime scene squad gathered around the front of the building. Being a simple oilfield valve company we tend not to be touched by the hand of crime often. As it turns out late Wednesday night two thugs in an older Chevy Corsica pulled into our front lot and proceeded to hurl two Molotov cocktails at our building (with all the skill and aim of a two year old girl, I might add). One hit a window and bounced off only cracking the glass and the other hit brick. Neither did much real damage other than some black marks on the brick and cement. These idiots not only failed at damaging us, they also chose to do this right in front of our video camera which caught the whole incident. I downloaded the videos to CD for the police and pulled some really good stills. While their faces aren't as clear as I might like you get an exact description of their clothing, height, build, etc. Not only that but their car is missing its hub caps.

Later that day while I was in the middle of playing CSI:Corpus Christi, two black guys show up asking to speak to the owner. They proceeded to ask my boss, "where's my money" to which his response was "what are you talking about?" They seemed befuddled that he knew nothing of said money and took off. Not before I caught their images on the same camera though. They were in an older model Ford truck and the apparent "leader" had an afro that would make Leon "Ladies Man" Phelps go, "damn that brother has a big fro". This kind of crap really tempts me to take the concealed handgun class. It would definitely help if we could skim shit like this off of the gene pool.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Audio post goodness

this is an audio post - click to play


Now not only can you see and read me, you can hear me too...Be afraid...Be very afraid...

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Unleashing the inner heretic, Da Vinci Code style

The "Da Vinci Code" movie is generating quite a stir amongst Christians. I for one am loving it. People all over the world are all in a flap over a book (and the resulting motion picture) that in any library or bookstore is clearly filed as FICTION. Can anyone here explain to me how a book clearly presented as fictitious could spark claims of blasphemy?

So, in this FICTITIOUS world Jesus was married and had kids. La dee freaking da. For the sake of argument, and because nothing excites me more than pissing illogical people off, we will examine this concept using something that has no place in religious dogma, logic.

*Devil's advocate mode ON*
If I remember my Sunday school classes correctly (and I should, I taught them) we were taught that it was righteous to marry and have babies ("...multiply and replenish the earth..." as the old testament puts the Lord's admonition to Adam.)

For those of you who may have missed this section of high school "Life Science" class because your parents were uncomfortable with you learning about your naughty bits, this is done through males and females copulating (a.k.a. having sex, making whopee, getting their horizontal mambo on, mattress dancing, and just good old fashioned fucking.)

Why would the son of God be exempted from this command? He was sent to fulfil all righteousness. According to Christian dogma one should emulate Christ in all ways. If Christ fulfilled ALL righteousness then he performed ALL of the possible righteous acts. To say otherwise contradicts scripture. So by saying "he fulfilled all righteousness" and saying "he never got married or had sex" you are saying "anyone married and having sex with their spouse has committed un-righteousness."

Beside all of that, he choose one person above all others to reveal himself to first. Mary Magdalen. He did not visit his mother or apostles until after he saw Mary. He had not yet ascended to the Father (if you believe the New Testament account). Imagine, he visited her before God himself. Can you imagine the nagging if he hadn't? Ask any married man who they would visit first if they came back from the dead. If the answer isn't their wife she is liable to nag them about not coming first till they wished they weren't immortal. Jesus visiting his wife first was a matter of sanity preservation.

That is right folks, if Jesus fulfilled the law in its fullness as stated clearly in Christian dogma, he got laid. Deal with it.
*Devil's advocate mode OFF*

Now that I have made a few over-zealous Christian heads explode, did anyone bring the popcorn? I hear this movie is supposed to be good. Besides, every good Christian knows, Tom Hanks is the Anti-Christ...

Friday, May 05, 2006

New Photo

I have updated my profile photo to one took today, thus accurately reflecting my change in hair length and my new glasses. Feel free to drool.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Sex, porn, and Eva Longoria

PLEASE NOTE: Some portions of this entry may not be suitable for children, the elderly, or anyone who blushes at the mention of the words penis, vagina, or raging cock monster.  (Actually I don't use the phrase raging cock monster anywhere in the actual post, it's just fun to say.  Raging cock monster.  You may now continue.)

It is about time I tackled the issue of sex here in Untitled Life.  Popular thought holds that sex is dirty and taboo.  From the youngest ages we are taught by our parents that sex should not be openly talked about by their own unwillingness to bring it up.  By the time my parents worked up the nerve to bring it up I had already sorted through all of the previous year's Club magazine (for the articles of course) and was working on the new collectors album issue.  My parents to this day still don't use the scientific words penis and vagina.  Oral and anal sex were never mentioned and anything but the most rudimentary forms of sex were perversion. 

I entered Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (aka Texas A&M with a much higher blood alcohol content) at 17, two days after graduation.  I had my first binge drinking experiences within a week and started smoking after two weeks.  I lost my virginity to a girl whose name I barely remember.  I spent my entire freshman year (and a few years after that) drunk and waking up with strange women.  Sex was as casual for me as a quick, "Hi, how are you doing?"  I lost count of the women I slept with and to this day don't even remember most of them.  The scariest part is, all of it was unprotected.  By all rights I should have caught something or impregnated someone.  This stemmed from a lack of real education.  Why?  Because no one really wanted to teach me the do's and don'ts of sex.  I am a statistical anomaly.  My unscathed survival is, to put it bluntly, an astronomically unlikely occurrence.

Our society encourages sex for minors by making it a dirty little secret.  The things I wanted most growing up were the ones that were taboo.  Drinking, smoking, and above all else sex held an overpowering allure for me.  The only reason I didn't lose my virginity until the age of 17 was that my parents kept me home under lock and key when I was not at school or work.  I only got to view the taboo things from a distance.  Since they were taboo the only way I could learn about them was through sources that, looking back, did not contain accurate information (porn, friends, HBO, etc.).  Looking at these things now I can see why this country is warped.

It is from that perspective that I approach the topic of sex.  The puritanical approach to sex education (or non-education) is getting innocent people killed and it is time it stops.  Our government refuses to allow teachers to fully address real questions about sex for fear of offending one puritanical group or another.  "Talking about sex honestly only encourages kids to have it" they say.  Don't talk about it and they WILL do it.

Further they regulate sexual activity between consenting adults who should be able to decide for themselves what they do with their partner(s).  Eva Longoria caught flak from ABC (a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Corporation and the network that shows Desperate Housewives, where her character has sex with a minor) for publicly stating that every woman should own a vibrator.  Women all over this country have to purchase toys for their own pleasure through private parties that are often raided by police because male politicians aren't secure enough in their manhood to understand most women can't orgasm from male penetration alone.  These male politicians also cannot grasp the idea that women masturbate for release just like men do.  If you believe men don't masturbate there is a call holding on line one for you from Santa Claus. 

The booming porn industry today shows that sex is definitely on our minds.  I personally enjoy a well made porn every now and then (ok, maybe more often than that).  Porn is good, in moderation.  Yes, it supports objectification of women.  So do bikinis, Victoria's Secret, and women themselves.  Get over it.  Porn should not be in the hands of anyone under (and many over) 18.  My reason is, it presents a fantasy.  In it all women orgasm on command and can bend into the shape of a pretzel.  Further, girls in porn are all willing to share.  This is rare in the real world.  Porn sets you up for failure unless you recognise the fantasy and distinguish it from reality.  Just like paintball does not prepare you for real combat, porn does not prepare you for sex.

Why do these myths persist?  Because our society frowns on free discussion of sex.  Children are told at a young age that masturbation will make them go blind or that an old bearded man in the sky who watches all they do will punish them for touching their own bodies.  When they ask where babies come from they get answers they learn are wrong in science class and learn to distrust their parents.  It is time we as a country get over our sexual hang ups.  If we can't be honest about something that is on our minds all the time, what can we be honest about?  The only people being helped by our current mindset on sex are psychologists who make millions every year counseling us about sexual hang ups and misinformation.

By the way, happy masturbation month.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Letting out my inner dissidant

Note: This post contains some political ranting but this time I think all should read.  More importantly, I think all should take the challenge I pose in the last paragraph.

Today kids we discuss the meaning of the word ludicrous.  Ludicrous is literally defined as absurd or inviting ridicule.  Ludicrous is people showing how much they want to work by taking the afternoon off.  Ludicrous is the United States Senate thinking a $100 rebate check will offset the damage $3.00 a gallon gasoline will do to my bank account.  Ludicrous is having politicians say it is illegal to sell sex toys to consenting adults.

Yesterday there was a nationwide walkout to show support for immigrants rights and to protest new immigration regulation.  Restaurants closed, small businesses were crippled, and work ground to a halt.  Forgive me for being logical here but aren't the reforms to curb "illegal" immigration?  Wouldn't making it a simple process to get a legal guest worker card allow people who would otherwise have to sneak in under cover of darkness a legitimate path to a better life?  I support a movement to improve life for legal immigrants.  I support making it easier for people to become properly documented so they don't have to hide from police and are entitled to the benefits of law-abiding American life.  The marches and rallies to support "immigrant rights" only serve to harm the cause of those who wish to come here legally.  I have a friend who spent some time in Mexico city on a research program for his PhD.  While there he fell in love with a girl and they were married.  She was pregnant with his child when they came to get her immigration papers filed.  Due to legal red tape she could not legally enter this country for over a year.  Immigration quotas for Mexico are set extremely low because illegal immigration is so high, as it was explained to my friend by the INS employee assigned to their case. He, over the course of the next year, only saw his wife twice because he had to return for his doctoral program.  He missed the birth of his child because our government cuts legal immigration numbers to mitigate the influx of illegals.  Yet people stopped work for half a day to say this should remain as it is.  Ludicrous.

This morning on the Today show (on NBC) I saw a story on a Senate plan to mitigate high gas prices by sending taxpayers a $100 rebate check at the end of the summer.  Oil companies this quarter have turned record profits, over 12% above this time last year, which might I add were record at that time.  The Senator they brought in to discuss this said the Senate would investigate to see whether there was price gouging but he did not believe there was.  I get that senators might believe most Americans are bad at math.  Tests have proven that.  I am insulted that he would flaunt that belief in hopes it might sneak past those of us in the top one percent who actually understand basic math.  Further even fewer Americans get supply and demand which is another thing oil companies count on.  Currently oil reserves and inventories are at record highs, supply is good.  Demand may be high but the ratio is still heavier on the supply side.  Some blame unrest in the Middle East.  This explanation is bunk as that region has never been stable.  By that logic gas prices would have never been low in the first place.  Add to that the reserves in Iraq are now available for trade.  Oil prices are high because I.Q.'s are low.  Americans are dumb enough to bend over and take it squarely in the ass and only complain about the lack of lube.  Had this happened with the founding fathers we would still be under English rule (think Boston Tea Party and "no taxation without representation").  Americans would revolt, but we are too busy letting reality TV rot our minds to learn math well enough to figure out we should.  Ludicrous.

In Texas as in many other states it is illegal to sell toys intended for female gratification.  Toys that are sold here are only to be sold as novelties and not allowed to be described by their actual intended use.  To do so can have you thrown in jail and fined.  Now I think sexually explicit material should not be in the hands of minors.  I agree that places where these things may be sold should follow age verification rules just like night clubs.  I think sexual activity should only be shared by consenting adults.  I find it absolutely ludicrous that anyone thinks the government should control any aspect of what consenting adults do in their personal lives.  I think all laws preventing any type of sexual activity between consenting adults should be immediately ruled unconstitutional.  To do otherwise is ludicrous.

We need a revolution.  This government cannot stand with those currently at the helm.  It is time to issue a call to arms.  Get government out of our bedrooms and back looking out for the actual interests of the citizenry.  Anyone backwards enough to believe that sneaking across the border should be fully permitted, gas prices as they currently stand are not gouging, or that the government should have any say in my sex life needs to be removed from any position of power right now.  We need to get off our collective asses and vote, run for office, lobby our congressmen, and rise to a full scale revolt!  (To any militia men who might read this, put your assault rifle down, my revolt is one of voices and ideas.)  Democracy is about majority rule.  In America the majority are too lazy or apathetic to vote, much less rule.  Free government should serve the people.  Our government serves only itself.  When will the original American fire that inspired our founding fathers flare up inside each of us?  Will it be the day you can no longer afford the drive to work?  How about when the welfare system stops being able to afford to feed the immigrant population?  Maybe when the police show up at your door because you and your significant other tried a new position? 

I know only a few people may ever read this.  I challenge every one of you, even those who disagree with one or another of my points, if you a sick of where things in America are going, link to this post in your own blogs, send it to your friends, comment on it, think about it, DO SOMETHING!  Without other voices raised with mine I am a lone man screaming into the wind.  With a million others we are the wind.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Feeling my inner QVC

I saw a product yesterday that made me want to roll on the floor laughing.  I had stopped at a corner store and as I was checking out I saw the oddest product.  It was a hybrid of two products most people would never associate with one another.  That is until some inventor saw a need and filled it.  (I assume this inventor was the type of person Jeff Foxworthy keeps talking about.)  I give the following QVC pitch which I know they will want to jump on immediately.
 
"Have you ever been sitting there trimming your nails when someone hands you a beer bottle but no opener?  What to do?  Enter the nail clipper beer bottle opener.  Never again will you have to stop your daily grooming to have a beer.  You can even get yours with a picture of you favorite NASCAR driver on it.  Act now and we will also send you a matching NASCAR coozie.  Be the envy of the trailer park.  It can be yours for just one payment of $2.95 (*mumbled faster than a NASCAR race* plus $24.95 shippingandhandling. OffernotvalidinMaineCaliforniaoranywherewithpeoplegoodatmath)."
 
I can see it now, phone lines all over the south jammed with people asking if you can pay with food stamps and Camel bucks.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Random babbles of the sleep deprived...

It is a little past 1am and I am beyond bored off my ass. Tiff is out with friends and I finally got Jasmine to bed at 11 after her bout with a mean little stomach bug. I was watching TV but lets face it, late night TV is a wasteland. I am too lazy to channel surf and there are only so many times you can see the same CSI re-run. One would think I would be fast asleep at the moment considering the most sleep I have gotten all week is a 6 hour stretch and that was only by sleeping through the alarm. The messed up part is I know there will be no sleeping in for me tomorrow either as Tiff has to work and I need to change the oil on the Honda.

I have no idea what to write about. I could complain about gas prices. I could make fun of stupid people. I've surfed around the net but nothing piques my interest at the moment. I know I should be up in arms over something or inspiring my readers to new planes of thought but to be honest all I want to do is sleep. Yet I keep typing instead...

Have you noticed all the noise in the blogsphere? Everywhere you go someone is saying, "Look at me! My life is important!" (this blog being a fine example of such) Really though, what makes our thoughts so important that we should be heard? Why should I be heard over all the others? A walk through the blog realm is a mind boggling thing. Some talk politics, others religion, and some even document their every bodily function in revolting detail. Why? More importantly, what will come of this? Will the world be a better place because of my babblings about politics, God, and stupid one-liners? Will they ever devise a Margarita that will mix itself when you are feeling too lazy to drink? Will I ever stop putting stupid rhetorical questions in my blog? Will someone please stop letting me post after midnight?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Rant-o-matic

I've got a few things on my mind today.

First, I've been reading through the news about Jill Carroll, the reporter held captive in Iraq for 82 days and released at the end of March. The media praises her for her bravery, surviving what many others have not. I join with them in this. She held on through what had to be hell. In order to be released she had to make an anti-war propaganda film "supporting" her captors. Again, I support her in this, it was a do or die situation. Now many in the conservative half of the blogshpere and parts of the media are blasting her, saying she was a willing participant. I don't give a rat's ass who you are or what your political alignment is, this is a human life we are talking about. She was an American just out doing her job and got kidnapped by the same thugs who behead unarmed Americans because they are too weak and spineless to face someone who might have a chance of defending themselves. They offered her freedom for saying some mean things about the president and the blog thugs fault her for taking them up on it? This pisses me off so much there are not words in the human vocabulary to describe it. What if she were your daughter, sister, or wife? Would you rather see her say some mean things about your president or see her head being severed with a dull knife while the blood gurgles down her throat and her screams become a death rattle? For the love of God, shut the fuck up.

In other news (trying to bring the blood pressure down a notch), my pit minion (yes D, I am stealing your topic) posted an interesting point about how MTV will edit the words "gun" or "rob" from any video they air but not words like "faggot" from the old Dire Straits song "Money for Nothin'". So, hate speech is ok but for the love of God if anyone mentions a gun and it is so bleeping gone. You can show boobs as long as you blur a two inch square over the nipple. Ass is cool as long as there is a thin string up the crack. Drugs are also cool. Maybe it is (to paraphrase Afroman) "...because the FCC got high." I am not generally a fan of censorship anyway but for the love of Pete, if you are going to censor things make some consistent rules. At a high school party I helped chaperone they played "My Hump" by the Black-Eyed Peas. They changed one lyric from "my lovely lady lumps" to "my lovely little lumps" while leaving in "what you going to do with all that breast inside that shirt" and "what you gonna do with all that ass inside them jeans." I know, in one verse of the regular version she uses the "little lumps" lyric but you could hear the splice where the DJ had inserted "little" over "lady".

I guess what drives me most crazy is the "slippery slope" concept used by most nay sayers. "Marijuana is a slippery slope to Crack and Heroin" or "Gay unions are a slippery slope to all of our children becoming gay" and my all time favorite "Stopping illegal immigrants is racist and a slippery slope to closing down our borders and not letting anyone in." Who gets to draw the line where that slope begins? Where is the ledge? Why is it that only the least informed and the most intolerant get a voice? For instance, why is it only police and fear mongers get to inform Dateline about MySpace? Where are those actually good enough at statistics to show how your child has a far better chance of being raped by a family member than anyone they meet online? All I saw were adults freaked out that their child had a MySpace account and saying they would make their child delete it immediately. God forbid their child have a place to vent. It would be far better for them to bottle all emotions and maybe kill themselves than have their name on the net.

Ok, I have vented enough for now. Next time we return to our regularly scheduled bullshit.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Google Page Creator Beta

WARNING: High geek content in this post!

Today Google sent me the email confirming my Google Page Creator Beta account has been created. Of course I logged on and immediately dove in. Within ten minutes I had a nice clean page up including a photo, links section, and a decent layout. See here.

The interface was simple and allowed quick editing of the basic features the average user would use. I must state here that this is for simple page creation only. While it does allow some basic editing of HTML most of the design elements are controlled by the simple CSS based layouts. The code created by the editor is pretty clean although I am disappointed they used a DOCTYPE of XHTML 1.0 Strict and then failed to configure the page layout to even fully meet the XHTML 1.0 Transitional standard (according to the XHTML Validator).

The Google Pages site allows each user up to 100 MB for hosting their pages and images. This is sufficient for the casual user to post photos of the kids, vacation time, or whatever else strikes their fancy. From what I have tried so far Flash and other embedded files are not fully supported.

Final Verdict: Google Page Creator Beta is a good solution for someone wanting to post a simple webpage with photos and not much else. The simple, clean interface is great for the casual user and it doesn't require them to understand HTML or own a domain. It publishes far cleaner code than FrontPage and the CSS is coded to work with most CSS capable browsers.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Behold, a post!

I haven't had much time to post of late and in the spare moments I have my mind goes blank and I stare at the screen. My thoughts aren't even cohesive enough to make a brain dump post. I have read the news to get angry at stuff but it is all passe. Making fun of George Bush is so last week. I know there are important issues I should scream about, stupid things I should satirize, or personal stories I should tell but I am just too tired to come up with any of that. I wish I was on a deserted beach with a never-ending pitcher of Margaritas, the shade of a tree, and the cool spray of a crystal blue sea. At this point I would take a Miller lite and a lawn chair set up in front of Oso Bay (for those not from Corpus Christi, Oso is a shallow pond that passes for a bay). I am not sick or depressed, just tired and unmotivated.

Question for the peanut gallery, what do you do when you feel lethargic?

I guess while I am here I should put my 2 bits in about the Nine Inch Nails show here last week. NIN puts on one hell of a show. The opening act sucked balls but once NIN got onstage it more than made up for the opening jackass. Big John and I went to the pit for a while and unleashed our inner metalheads. The light show was masterfully done. Had they found a better opening band it would have been great.

Something was missing though. My pit minion is broken. I won't go into gory details other than to say she needs all the good mojo anyone can send her way. She is recovering from a bad case of modern medicine and the pit won't be the same till she is back in it with me. Love ya D.

I still love my job which I can honestly say amazes me. I have never loved any job more than a week and I have been here over a month. It takes a lot to get a lazy jackass like me out of bed at 6:00 am every day.

Wow...and here I thought my mind was blank...

Monday, March 20, 2006

Road Rage

I drive down some two lane roads to get to work every day. They are farm roads with a posted speed limit of 70 and no place for cops to hide. This cuts my time to get to work in half. Normally. Then we have days like today. As I was driving someone pulled out that should have waited and took forever to accelerate to the exciting top speed of 50. Traffic was spaced on the other side just close enough to make passing unsafe. Once I finally got around that bozo I was approaching a curve. Coming the other way was an 18-wheeler. As we turned he crossed the line almost sending me into either the ditch or his over sized trailer. Had I been in a car less nimble than my Honda Accord I would be in the E.R., not my office.

Drivers like these make me wish they would allow the use of car mounted tactical explosives. If you travel more than five miles per hour under the speed limit *BOOM*. Turn out of your lane into mine *BOOM*. If I could drive the M1 tank I would. I wouldn't even need the gun turret. Just roll right over the fuckers. With the governor removed they are capable of 90 mph.

I know these measures are too extreme to be allowed by the government (the same bastards who keep putting in speed bumps) but you can't blame a guy for wishful thinking.

I do think people should actually be pulled over for going too slow though. I also think everyone over the age of 60 everyone should be forced to take a driving test yearly. Older people's driving skills can deteriorate rapidly until one day they drive through a crowd of people. I have personally been hit twice by old ladies who thought they were hitting the brake. Every time I get the urge to get out and beat the shit out of someone who cuts me off and drives 20 mph under the limit they are invariably old. I remember following one that ran 3 lights at 5 mph.

Then you have truckers who get 3 weeks of training and suddenly they are worthy of a CDL. Forget taking the time to teach them proper turning on two lane farm roads. We have products to move. We have insurance to pay for the damage these uneducated dolts do. Fuckers.

These people need to get off of the road.

Ok, I am not saying pull them all off the road. Just the ones who drive in front of me...

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

For the geek with everything

A wearable Linux computer.

You may commence drooling now. I have...

"Counting Blue Cars"

Today's post is more philosophical than funny. Just giving you the heads up now.

I drove by a sign this morning that said, "Jesus is still our only hope." Immediately my inner stand up comic commented, "Really? Our only hope is a two thousand year old dead guy?" I laughed about that one most of the way to work. It got me thinking about religion though. I think few people have much argument that Jesus Christ, the man who walked through Israel preaching peace and love, was a good man who taught people how to live in harmony with each other. If you grab a Bible with the words of Christ in red not one of them teaches anything but love, forgiveness, and peace. He even specifically commands us not to judge others and to care for each other as brothers and sisters. Beyond the recorded words of his we have only the words of his devout followers to know his teachings.

Fast forward to modern Christianity and we have a litany of religions ready to lay judgment on any who do not share their beliefs. People teach their children God loves everyone. Then they all go to a protest of gay marriage holding a "God hates gays" sign. Others teach their kids the (insert religion of choice here) are going to hell because of some minor difference in interpretation of some scripture.

So which is it? God loves everyone or only those who believe as you do? Go back to those words in red and find me one passage that gives any man the authority to tell another he is going to hell. While you are at it, find one in the words of Moses, Muhammad, Buddha, or Lao Tzu.

How would the world be if we took only the actual words of the teachers like Christ, Moses, Buddha, and Lao Tzu and tried to live them? What if we ignored the words of all who preach hate and prejudice as the "Word of God" and only lived the real doctrine? Would we find God? Would we find the God within ourselves? Who would God be? If there was no God, would life at least be better by living those words? Is it even possible for we as humans to comprehend a world where peace and love are a way of life, not just ideals we pretend to strive for?

For those who don't get the reference in the title, look up the song of that name by Dishwalla. Then, tell me all your thoughts on God. The comment lines are now open. And the answer might just come faster than a prayer...

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Quotes to ponder

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
-Ben Franklin

"Taking offence is the last bastion of the ill prepared."
-Michael J. Clarkson, Jr.
(after hearing a debate where being offended was considered an argument)

"You say tomato, I say be quiet. You say potato, I say shut up. You say banana, I bash your head open."
-Ministry of Idiots

Random thoughts

I flew to Houston yesterday on Continental Express. They loaded us on to a pack of gum with wings and thirty minutes later almost needed the jaws of life to extricate my ass from the seat. The time in Houston was productive though. I set up some systems for a company recently purchased by my new employer and was home in time for dinner.

I found this quiz on MySpace and thought the results were funny.
Destruction_Demon
Which Angel Or Demon Are You?


How evil are you?

Am I really that bad? Don't answer that...

Monday, March 06, 2006

Male bonding

Angel (a.k.a. RevSapphire) and her fiance Nick came to town from Austin for the weekend and we hung out last night. The gang got together which usually means "the girls" and I but this time we had Nick.

Ye Gods it is nice to talk to a guy every once in a while. Nick is a fellow Sys Admin geek which made it awesome. It has been ages since I could talk to a male intellectual equal in person. Not that chilling with the girls isn't great. I love hanging out with them. Every once in a while though I like talking to someone whose eyes don't glaze over when I mention VOIP, routers, power supplies, quantum physics, or Spike TV. I am a guy's guy. I like electronics, science, and building things with my own two hands. At the end of a hard day I want what most guys want. I want a beer and I want to see something naked. While the ladies in my life get that, I am not sure they entirely grasp it.

When two women get together after not seeing each other in years they sit and chat, talking about each other's lives and getting caught up. Two guys get together and discuss the Cowboys' last season, new gadgets/electronics, and for the science guys, the nature of the universe. One guy could have lost his right leg and unless he took off the prosthetic, the other would have no idea. Even then, they would spend more time discussing the technology involved in the fake leg than the actual loss of the real one (unless it was lost while doing something manly like shark fishing or chainsaw juggling).

In any case I finished the night feeling intellectually stimulated with observations like, "You know, people are dying every minute that have never died before" and "I wonder if they spray the 3M adhesive on the pizza box to attach the coupons after they put the pizza in. You think they might get out of order? Put the pizza in. Close the box. Spray the glue. Put the pizza in. Close the box. Spray the glue. Spray the glue. Put the pizza in. Close the box...wait..." The whole time going through that routine I'm picturing the guy who gets the pizza that is glued to the box.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Captain Obvious and the Masters of the Conspicuous

A resounding DUH went over the crowd...

On Reuters today there was the headline, "Most U.S. high school dropouts regretful - study". You mean saying, "Would you like to supersize that" 400 times a day isn't fulfilling? Well I'll be damned. Who'd have thunk it.

Who is behind these studies? Being paid almost $10,000 less per year than high school graduates really sucks. Do we need a study to show us people would regret that? Who would fund that study? The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Of course, people who make more money in two seconds than I make in 20 years. Hey Bill, could you commission a study on what happens when you give an egomaniacal sys admin $10,000,000? I volunteer my services should you ever decide to take me up on that. You know, for the good of society and all...

Americans are dumb

Case in point. Can you name one of the five freedoms listed in the first amendment? Hint: none of the answers are, "the right to own and raise pets", an error made by one in five respondents to a survey of over 1000 Americans. Only 8% could name three First Amendment rights and only 28% could name more than one. Two-thirds of respondents did remember freedom of speech as one of five rights in the First Amendment, but just one person accurately named all five.

Now, can you name one of the five members of the Simpson family from Fox's "the Simpsons?" Half of the 1,000 Americans surveyed could name at least two of the five members of Fox Television's Simpson family.

Now is it just me or didn't Jay Leno already do that one on Jay Walking...

(For the record, the First Amendment guarantees freedom of religion, speech, the press, the right to assemble, and the right to petition the government for redress of grievances. I had to look that last one up.)

If you need any further proof I leave you with this, pulled straight from News of the Weird, "Police arrested David Kennedy, 33, in January near Murfreesboro, Tenn., after he accidentally ran other drivers off the road, perhaps from being distracted by the open pornographic magazines that were in his front seat."

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

MySpace is EVIL!

Today kids we are going to discuss that evil MySpace.com and other such sites that your mommy and daddy are too stupid to understand and therefore must be harmful to you. Bloggers are all evil perverts. Someone posing as a 16 year old girl could in fact be a 65 year old hermaphrodite named Stinky Pete. These people might say dirty words to you like, "WHO R U" or "ROFLMAO". We parents have no idea what these mean so they must be dirty. We have tried blocking you but the glowy box you call computer vexes us so we must instead lay down some rules.
  • If Katie Couric ever tells us it might be harmful we are so pulling the plug. She is peppy and has nice legs so she must know what she is talking about.
  • You must never post your real name, age, or location (yes I am talking to you L33t HaX0R7 age 153 from Gelgomac Prime) or some pervert might find you.
  • Never post real pictures of yourself. Only use stick figures or possibly someone else's.
  • Never describe yourself as hot, good looking, or anything that might attract fellow human beings. Homely people don't get raped. At least Katie Couric hasn't told us about any homely raped people.
  • Never use dirty words. Just because daddy says it when he hits his thumb with a hammer while "fixing" things does not give you license to say it.
  • Never post anything about your actual life. You should always bottle up your teen angst so years later you can pay for your therapist's new Jaguar. Either that or end up shooting your classmates so we can blame guns instead of poor parenting.

I hope you have learned a valuable lesson today kids. When you grow up, you can be uninformed and scared of technology too. Now be a good little boy or girl and go get mommy or daddy right now so he or she can see what you've just read. Specifically point out the next sentence.

*GET OFF YOUR LAZY ASSES AND LEARN WHAT MYSPACE IS INSTEAD OF LETTING THE UNINFORMED FEAR MONGERS AT DATELINE AND THE OTHER "NEWS" SOURCES THINK FOR YOU, YOU STUPID LAZY MORON! Thank you.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Who says systems administrators aren't the new Sith Lords...

You Are 90% Evil

You're the most evil person you know.
The devil is even a little scared of you!


This isn't surprising to any of my regulars is it? Didn't think so.

DSL comes up on the 28th if SBC can extricate their heads from their asses. Otherwise they will also need to extricate my boot.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I am Sys Admin, hear me roar

Behold, the return of the mighty God among Geeks...

I have a new job as a systems administrator for a local company and I am finally getting both pay and respect I deserve. The network here is not large or extremely complex but I have been brought in to fix it and then expand it. My DSL is supposed to get turned on at the house this week so I will be able to return to my old verbose self. Until then, I will post little snippets here and there when I get the chance.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Of Man Berries and Frilly Things

The Olympics suck. I will be more specific. The events covered by NBC suck.

Snowboarding gets a half hour block, not complete coverage.

Speed skating, which involves men slipping into body condoms and showing off their man berries, gets hours of full coverage.

Hockey gets relegated to an obscure channel until finals so a dude in a frilly shirt can execute a flawless triple mocha half-caf (or whatever) to the music of Kenny G.

Ski jump, where idiots speed down a hill and fly through the air aided only by sticks strapped to their feet, gets bumped for curling in which a bunch of guys named Doug can sweep the ice in front of a rock in a glorified game of ice marbles. This is what happens when the Olympic committee is allowed to drink Canadian beer.

I think the new rule should be that no Olympic event not involving a real risk of death should ever be allowed to preempt Law and Order. And no event involving man berries being shown flagrantly should ever see the light of day...still trying to reboot brain from flipping past speed skating...

He he, I said man berries more than once in a single post. You must admit, it is fun to say. Try it. People will look at you weird. Hey, stop looking at me like that. This is what you get when I am allowed to post while drinking...

Friday, February 10, 2006

Of Wolf and Man

The other night Tiff, Denise, Arika, and I all went out for coffee. Then we went to chill at Heritage Park which is a collection of restored historical homes surrounding a beautiful rose garden. We spread out sleeping bags and relaxed, sharing stories and Tiff's book of poetry.

Before I go further, Heritage Park is a place where the paranormal is quite active. The historical homes there are teeming with, well, afterlife. This can lead to some deep conversation for those of us more sensitive to these things. All present that night happen to be very sensitive.

Discussion turned to wolves. You see, I have a bit of an obsession with wolves. Native American tribes might have called it my totem or spirit guide. I have always loved these beautiful hunters. For me my connection goes deeper though. You see I once went on a vision quest. Now it is story time with Mike:
Years ago I lived in Utah out on the Wasatch Front. It was late spring and the weather was spectacular. I decided to go camping in the forests near my home in Pason on the south end of the Wasatch Front. I took minimal provisions including a hunting knife and warm clothing. I took no tent, little extra food, and a canteen.

I fasted for three days and spent much of my time in meditation. I stayed near a small stream in a clearing where I could watch the sun set and see the valley below. On the third day as I meditated I grew weak with hunger. As I opened my eyes from meditation I heard quiet footsteps off to my right coming out of the trees.

As my eyes scanned the woods, I saw a Timber Wolf slowly emerging from the trees. I stayed motionless as he moved closer until we were face to face. He looked me in the eye for a moment that seemed like years. I could feel his breath.

Slowly he left my little clearing, going back the way he came. Stopping once to look back at me and then disappearing into the woods forever.
I truly believe that each person has an inner animal, totem, or spirit guide that molds who they are. I am a wolf. My wife is a cat. Denise, is a fellow wolf. Still not 100% sure about Arika. What is your inner beast?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Free at Last! (Will code for food)

Today was one hell of a day. This morning I woke up like any other. Then we got accepted for a new apartment and quit my job. I am back on the job market and considering I have far more experience than last time I was on the market I actually have a snowball's chance in hell. In the meantime, anyone need a web geek to program them a site in return for rent money? We move in to the new place on the 15th and hopefully all will go well. Till then we are staying with the in-laws. Just think, we can now have the party at our place! If any of my out of town readers are ever in Corpus, swing by for Margarita madness.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Cowboy Butt Sex

I went to see Brokeback Mountain a few weeks ago and thought it was a great film. Afterwards we discussed cowboy butt sex and I decided at that point it would be a great post title. Not only is it catchy but will draw search engines into bringing me the butt sex crowd. Not that I am into that but they are perverts and thus should fit in nicely with my readers. That and you must admit, butt sex is fun to say. Almost cathartic in a way. Go ahead and say it loud and proud with me, "BUTT SEX." See how much better you feel. Now clean out your desk, you just got fired...pervert...

In other news, on the Today show I heard Matt mention a story headline that basically said, "If people could not lie without getting caught, would the world be better or worse?" I say it would make the world far worse. I know you all expect me to go into a big long explanation citing philosophy and moral relativism but instead I will let you come to your own conclusions why I answered like that. Post your conclusions to your various blogs and link back to this post. (See, I just started a meme...)

Micro$oft is back in the news with the Beta program for Windoze Dead, I mean Windows Live. Here is a REALLY bad idea. Lets have Micro$oft host all of your personal data. Your dirty email from you secretary, Micro$oft has it. Your porn favorites, Micro$oft has it. The dirty email you wrote you boss posing as a co-worker, Micro$oft has it. And none of this shit will be free. Just because I am paranoid does not mean they aren't out to get me.

I know this post has been kind of random but that is pretty normal now that I think about it.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Site updates

As you can see I have made some minor tweaks to the page by turning the image from the tattoo I will soon get into a wallpaper and changing my profile image. I never did give proper credit for the portrait that resides as my new profile image. That work of art was created for me by Brock, who I now proclaim official artist of Untitled Life.

Just thought I'd give credit where it is due. If you would like a portrait from Brock, visit here.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The next Moses

I don't have any one specific idea for today's post so I am just going to type my thought stream until someone steals my keyboard.

I designed a tattoo for my right shoulder I think is cool.

I think I did a decent job.

My dad was visiting with the Stake President of our local church who told him I was really close to having my priesthood restored when I went inactive. Please note, I had been waiting for over a year and a half for the paperwork to submit for the restoration of my priesthood and heard nothing but "soon". I almost laughed so hard my Monster came out my nose. That would be a waste of caffeine. Aside from my complete lack of faith, I enjoy beer too much to go back to that crap. Any church that can be so disorganized as to not even be able to get paperwork to me for a year and a half is wasting my time. I guess they are using the same sense of "soon" the Apostle Paul was using when he said the second coming was "nigh at hand" roughly 2000 years ago.

On that note, I am continuing in my philosophical studies and will soon post some of my own philosophical pontification (also read bullshit) regarding the existence of God and my two bits worth on Plato's concept of duality.

Maybe I should even write my own "religious" text.
The book of Michael, 1:1
"And behold in the year one thousand and nine hundred and seventy eight there was born Michael, prophet, windbag, narcissist, and bullshit master and from him poured forth the holy word of a fool. I mean holy word of God. Yeah. God. That's the ticket. Ignore the fool remark. That never happened."
Maybe I could be the next Moses...you don't know...it could happen...

Nobody has taken my keyboard yet so I guess I'll just keep typ

Sunday, January 29, 2006

I am not old...

Jasmine turned 6 today. I feel old. We went to Chuck E. Cheese and will be going to McDonald's tonight for the big party. I still remember when she was so small she fit in the palm of my hand. Now her head won't even fit in the palm of my hand. I was 21 when she was born. Now I am 27.

I have grown my goatee out which is close to the facial hair configuration I had the day she was born. The only reason I even remember that is moments after she was born she reached for my face with her tiny hand and touched my chin. The first sensation she felt was daddy's beard. She was premature and only weighed 5 pounds 6 ounces. She literally shot out of her mother so fast the doctor had left the room and I had to catch along with a frantic nurse. She was then whisked away by the neo-natal ICU staff because her lungs weren't fully developed and the oxygen in her blood was WAY too low. The whole night I sat by her bed in the ICU with her tiny hand wrapped around my finger. I only left the next day when the nurses checked her oxygen and assured me she was out of the woods. Now, six years later, she is a thriving social butterfly. I'd post more but I have to take her to McDonald's now...and then her wedding...kids grow up too fast.

Monday, January 23, 2006

What I'm known for

I just went through my site statistics and an alarming number of people found me by seraching for incest on the various search engines...so I am popular with the pervert set...somehow not suprising...

I am deaf, but I feel so fucking metal...

Last night Tiff and I went to Concrete Street Amphitheater with Sarah and my favorite metalhead, Denise. We saw Bullets and Octane, CKY, and Avenged Sevenfold. We missed the first band, Day of Contempt but came in just as Bullets and Octane started their set. They kicked ass and I bought their CD by the end of the night. Next up was CKY and they kicked ass as well. It is rare to have all of the opening bands burn down the house and still have the headliner live up to the part. Avenged Sevenfold so totally did. Hence the total hearing loss in my right ear and the partial loss in my left.

We stayed by the sidelines for the first two bands but while the roadies readied the stage for A7X Denise and I worked our way to the 4th row stage right, just out of range for the band to sweat on us, just in range to see the AWESOME guitarist that is Syn and bassist that is Johnny Christ. Denise got some awesome photos and the crowd actually behaved like a real metal crowd, there for the music and not to kick each others skull in.

It was so fucking cool to feel the press of the pit screaming and banging my head to real metal, throwing the horns and feeling like I'm back in college down in the pit at Pantera. Speaking of Pantera, A7X covered Walk and I swear to God, Denise looked up at me and we both almost had a fucking heart attack. By the first chorus we were screaming the lyrics.

For anyone who has never experienced a real metal show, I highly recommend A7X. It is a show you won't soon forget. The crush of the pit is something everyone should experience at least once before they die. Especially with a true metalhead like Denise. You rock D.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Fun with HTML and a random resolution generator

Ok, so I took a random resolution generator and created a list of resolutions. Now I just have to do them...
In the year 2006 I resolve to:
Blame Canada.
Be more ganster than Snoop Dogg.
Not lose any pencils.
Be on cops.
Molest more hamsters.


Get your resolution here

Fo' rizzle Canada bes' not be gankin' my pencils o' I be all up ins they shizzle bitches. Now all I have left is to be on cops and give some hamsters Jesus Juice...

And now we return to our regularly scheduled bullshit...

Topping our news, I got an email from a friend (whose tin foil hat I forgot to compliment, it is very cool) about the gross things she and her husband come up with. It reminded me of a conversation my wife and I had with a friend of ours about dead baby.

Let me back up just a bit. Our friend had just gotten back from a speech and debate tournament (lets face it, these kids are warped) where someone had said she was so hungry she could eat a dead baby. Fast forward to our friend getting home and quoting this kid when we met at the Taqueria Acapulco (famous for corn chips fried in crack that keep you coming back even though the food sucks) for dinner and you might have an idea where this conversation went. Your idea would of course be wrong.

To start it off someone had said, "Mmmm tastes like chicken" to which I replied, "Actually it would probably be a red meat" being ever the stickler for accuracy that I am. It was decided that it should be the number 12 and served with fries and a drink... or possibly crack chips and salsa. Acapulco could use the menu upgrade. Soylent Green is people...yum...

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Teardrops of a clown

I want to write something today. I haven't posted of late and wanted to do at least an "I am here" post. I have spent the morning trying to find something funny to write but I can't. My brain is a mess. Events this morning have me analyzing where I am.

In my career I am stuck in mind numbing doldrums. I work for my parents and we live with them. I quit and "voila", it is sleeping on a park bench. I am caged.

In my marriage, my career is destroying it. My wife has zero respect for my job because I am paid with housing. There is little actual cash involved and since she has a normal 9-6 job she cannot see the value of my job. As you all know, I have a big ego and having to swallow it to keep the peace is not an easy task. Add to that we have no privacy and my parents are driving us mad. We had a fight today that went from zero to shit storm in no time flat. My last words to her were "FUCK OFF" and to be honest, I'm not sure why. When I got home I stopped outside and cried. I had no reason to treat her like that. No excuse for that behavior. I feel like scum.

In my spiritual life, my faith is dead. I know my atheist friends are giving a tiny hooray but for me it feels empty. I spent my life believing I had a Father up above looking out for me. I had a brother in Christ who died for me. I had the promise of eternal life with my wife and kids by my side. It is disorienting at best for that to just suddenly end. It hurts to think death will part me from my wife and kids. It hurts me so deep inside I cannot find the source.

My head is swimming. I feel like a caged beast. Thoughts of rage, fear, panic, and hate scream drowning hope and faith.

For those who come here to laugh, I am sorry to let you down today. Now you have witnessed the teardrops of a clown.