Random thoughts

One day my last dog will die and I’ll know that I’m too old to see another through to the rainbow bridge; and then what?

How dare thee, indeed.

There is a certain ridiculousness in judging a deity on human terms. Whatever their nature (and if they exist they would have one) something that is all powerful and all knowing, even if only within their own domain, has an existence quite alien from mine. I doubt I could conceive it. I’m limited by human perception. That’s just the nature and price of being a human being. I accept that.

I would expect such a being would laugh at this and if as benevolent as we are told to believe, provide answers that satisfy.

However I don’t believe in this god. For all the reasons Stephen Fry lists and many more along those same lines. If that kind of god really did exist and created all this, than it was foolish to give humanity a sense of judgement that would view it as a maniac and anything but benevolent. Maybe it’s the Cylon in me talking, but it seems just to rise against such a creator.

So no. I do not surrender my sovereignty to such a being.   There are other notions of god I find more acceptable and am more willing to entertain. But for all practical purposes of day-to-day living I’m just going to stick to venerating nature. It’s beautiful and ugly and full of much wonder and much horror. The only things in this great big universe deserving of my bent knee do not demand such of me.

 

I will die free, or not at all.

Sunny and the Case of my Alleged Twin

 

Don’t ask me how… but Sunny is still alive.    The cat hasn’t eaten anything (to my knowledge) in over a week now.    Still drinking water.     I don’t think he’s pee’d in the last two days though, so that’s not good.

Somehow… he persists.    Toughest cat I think I’ve ever known.     Unfortunately his body continues to fail him despite his perserverance.     He’s been having a real hard time moving around the past couple of days as well.

So far, he seems relatively comfortable though.    I don’t imagine he feels all that good, but he isn’t showing any signs of pain or anything.      Still, I sense his time grows ever shorter.    I’m just glad I have the opportunity to be with him during the day and not having to leave him alone while both his ‘people’ hide out in an office.   Working from home is a significant advantage I’m grateful to have the option of.

 

 

I have received yet another report that someone encountered my twin.    Now, for the record, I don’t have a twin brother.    Though the frequency of which I’m told someone saw him is starting to make me wonder.     Parental units?   Anything you want to tell me?

This has been ongoing for years.     I think the first instance was in an airport with my brother who, while walking with me to a gate, spotted someone sporting striking resemblance to me boarding a different plane.     Apparently in an outfit similar to stuff I wore at the time as well, furthering this theory of me having a twin.

I was approached in a Shop-Ko once, when we still had those, by someone who thought I was my brother.    He and I do look a lot a like, so its easy enough for people to mistake us if they don’t encounter us regularly.    But that’s different from what other people have been telling me.

There is a guy, apparently in Carson City (or at least a frequent visitor down that way) that apparently looks just like me… as I’m either asked if I was out and about in Carson City or just told outright “I just saw your twin!”   (such as the text message from my friend Zach yesterday evening).

I really want to meet this guy and see for myself.    

Best Comment Ever

 

Reading the news online is sometimes an exercise in dismay at the level of idiocracy that masquerades as ‘thoughtful commentary’ these days.    It’s the biggest argument I have for returning to actual books.  You can read something without pages of ridiculous comments following it.

There are, however, a few people out there that occasionally make a comment that is actually rather astute.   This is one such comment.

 

I don’t know who made it.    I don’t know what article it came from… but it really struck a chord with me and so I’m going to share it with you.

Re-typed to correct some grammar (because I otherwise couldn’t have put it any better):

 

First, I’m not a liberal or a conservative; but you religious right-wingers are the worst.   You don’t want the government to tell you what to do, but you want the church to tell others what to do.   You’re pro-life, but pro death-penalty.  You don’t want contraceptives, but no abortions either.   You want unfit parents to have children they can not afford, yet want to cut social funds that would help these people.  Then you want to punish the people who knew they couldn’t raise a baby for not raising their baby.   You are a confused and scary group.

 

I wish I knew where to give credit to on this.   I think its an important message that a sizeable portion of the population would get behind.

 

Awhile back, I saw another comment on some article that declared we so-called moderates lack the intellectual horse-power to actually grasp any of the social issues of our time.   Strange, then, how the stronger your critical thinking skills are, the more you gravitate toward the middle.   Generally speaking I see both points the left and right make on any issue.   Neither side is without its merits, or its fallacies.  Often they are simply extremes of one another, billed as the only two possible choices that could be made.   As Worf would tell you, there are almost always other options.   If a Klingon can figure that out, what’s your excuse?  Hubris will only delay solving the complex social issues undermining the very fabric of our society.    Try some humility instead.   (It tastes like chicken.)  

 

I fully uphold the inherent right of each and every individual to shape their destiny in accordance with the tenants of their beliefs (religious and secular).   I also fully uphold the inherent right of each and every individual to reconcile their religions beliefs with their secular beliefs how they see fit.      So if you don’t believe in contraceptives, don’t use them.    Do not think yourself so hallowed, however, that you can make that decision for anyone but yourself.    You can not maintain a society of equals whilst simultaneously upholding that your belief is any more or less valid than the next persons.     I reject such disparity between people, and much blood has been spilt in support of that ideal.

Returners vs. Kickers

 

I was reading an article recently about a hispanic woman who is constantly being mistaken as the baby-sitter/nanny of her own daughter.    In it she had one of the best pieces of thought I’ve come across in recent days:

"I’ve always believed there are two types of people: The people who kick the grocery shopping cart into the parking lot before driving off and those who take the time to walk the cart back to the store. I am a returner."

Its an interesting dichotomy to place American society within.    Those who return their shopping carts and those who don’t.

Like, I imagine, most people I’m not entirely consistent about this but I tend to put the shopping carts in the holding pins they have set up in parking lots across my fair city (and, I also imagine, the rest of the country).    The only times I don’t are when such facilities don’t exist, at which point I do at least make the attempt to ensure it won’t go rolling into somebody’s car.

But that’s all besides the point.    Her statement really got me to thinking.   What does it say about us, as people, on our shopping cart return behaviors.

 

I used to not be so diligent, but one day I had finished my shopping, parked the shopping cart in the midst of the parking lot and was about to get into my car when a man sitting in his made some statement about how he thought only fat and lazy women did that sort of thing.    Or something similar, I don’t recall the exact phrasing—just that what he said struck me as rather derogatory and offensive.  Regardless it was enough to make me reconsider my own actions and I’m glad I did, as the shopping cart I thought I had carefully placed in the lot had started rolling away and would indeed have hit a car had I not noticed and stopped it.     So, embarrassed, I caught it and put it in a shopping cart return pin.   I think back to that every time I’m done with a shopping cart now.    Sometimes even an ass-hole can shame you into being a better person.

Not that I think people who don’t return their shopping carts are bad people.   I do, however, think our behaviors in this regard speak to something deeper and more innate in our society.    Gabe and I talk a lot about the lack of common decency around us, the prevalence of greed and selfishness, and how doing what is right has all but evaporated from the mindset of the population.    I tend to be a bit more optimistic than he about humanity in general.    I think this woman’s dichotomization of our society speaks to this same topic as well.   There are lots and lots of little things—tiny things that in and of themselves are pretty trivial—that take very little of us but cumulatively make our communities a better place to live in.

Food for thought anyway.    Regardless of what you end up doing with your shopping carts, what does it say about you?

 

On a semi-related note, my favorite ‘two-types-of-people’ dichotomy is this:

There are two types of people in the world.   Those who believe there are two types of people and those who do not.

How do I explain this to You?

Its the notion that something like same-sex marriage is going to somehow derail a kid’s childhood…as though they actually spend a great deal of time wrestling with such things in their mind.    Sentiments of ‘How will I explain this to my children?” as though they won’t be able to continue being kids.

Maybe its not your kids that need such help.    Indeed, maybe they can help explain it to you.   Maybe you’re making a mountain out of a mole-hill.

Kids encounter new-to-them situations all the time.   Its called growing up.    It actually happens in adulthood too, yet it seems that children are far better able to roll with this sort of thing than many of their parents.    Or at least that’s a picture being painted.

I’ve witnessed it myself.   Kids are curious, and when they’ve worked it out, they move on… to ping pong or what-have-you.     Unless of course we, as adults, plant bad seeds of thought in their heads.    They tend to just accept, however, without any anxiety.   Like this boy, who reasons it out for himself, based on what he’s been told up to that point about married people.   They love each other.  Boys are husbands.  Girls are wives.     So yeah, two married boys are husband and husband and they love each other.   Makes sense to me.   Makes sense to him.     Not really sure why its such a mystery for other people.

Unfortunately I think this video speaks volumes upon volumes and that much of that will be lost upon the adult-world.

Words and Phrases I think We Should Retire Before the Campaign Season Really Kicks Off…

Mostly because they’re just meaningless buzzwords that now hint at a deep and utter lack of original thought…   Its a new decade, time for new meaningless phrases to distract from relevant debate.

Liberals / Conservatives;  Left / Right – The world is a lot less black and white than these imply.   I have yet to meet a pure-liberal or pure-conservative…  everyone is liberal on some things, conservative on others.    Its called being American.    Left and Right are directions relative to where you’re standing.    Since the world is round, everyone on the right is also to the left of the left.

Activisit Judges – It’s their job to interpret law, not the people who actually wrote them, and certainly not the general population.   Don’t like the interpretation?   We have many avenues to change the laws… try writing them more clearly and straight-forward to begin with.   (Also, considering the general state of the American education system, you might just want to stick with single-syllable words.)    Don’t like that?  Well we have a few avenues to change the constitutional mandate they are carrying out as well.

Tea-bagging – Let’s keep it clean.   Oh wait, sex and politics go hand-in-hand in this country.

Flip-flop(ing) –  Unless we’re referring to the footwear, of course.   (I went flip-flopping to the mailbox this morning.)

Sheeple  – If you use it, you’ve spoken like a true sheeple.   Also, sheep are probably smarter than you.

The [Insert Qualifier Here] Agenda –  With 300+ million Americans, there are 300+ million agendas.  Not everyone is going to get theirs fulfilled.

Republicans / Democrats – They really are the root of all our problems.   Use these words and you’ve secured my vote for someone else.

Really, folks, we’ve spent almost 12 years now hurling insults at each other, thinking such division is going to fix America and put us into a new golden age.    Instead we’ve seen 12 years of issues getting worse, crisis getting deeper, and well…   ask yourself where you are going and why you’re in this hand basket.

That is all.   For now.

(Got any others you’d like added to the list?   Add em via the comments.)

Another reason to love coffee…

And here I was thinking I should cut down…

There is a lot of inconclusive info out there about coffee, but study upon study supports that its not all bad for your health.   

For starters, its the highest source of anti-oxidants in the American diet.  This isn’t really saying much.   There are richer sources of anti-oxidants than coffee that we could ingest, but when you average out what Americans are putting in their gut… coffee is the number one source based, on average, of what is actually getting put in our mouths.   

Lots of people drink coffee, and it does provide us with anti-oxidants, so that’s why.

Of course it also dehydrates us.

 

But now research suggests, but doesn’t conclusively show, that it may also help shield us from Alzheimer’s.  

Check this out:   http://www.latimes.com/health/os-coffee-alzheimers-20110622,0,6059171.story

 

Coffee isn’t all good for you, but based on a number of studies that have highlighted it as a positive variable in several health-related conditions, it would seem that moderate intake on a regular basis is, on the whole, quite possibly a good thing.

Guess I might want to rethink my current daily limit.    Now if I can just get the people here at work to stop brewing these watered-down monstrosities…   seriously folks..  the amount of coffee you’re putting in there is sufficient for roughly half the water capacity of the carafes we’re using.    You need two of those packets, or to hit the half-pot button instead.        (Yes, I’ve become something of a coffee snob.)