Saturday, December 24, 2011

Keeping the X in Xmas

Happy Holidays
Merry Christmas
Season's Greetings
Feliz Navidad
Joyeux Noel
Merry Xmas
Happy Hanukkuh 

Six of the seven above mentioned just offended the "Keep Christ in Christmas"crowd. You familiar with this crowd? The "Jesus is the Reason for the Season" crowd? The "How dare you eliminate my savior from "our" holiday" crowd? They pretty easy to spot....anyone who list a Facebook status as Merry CHRISTmas! Is feeling the social pressure of understanding that Xmas is a holiday for ALL to celebrate,with or without recognizing that a supernatural baby was born of a virgin on who knows what date (The actual birth date of the Christian savior is not known).
These are the same Christians that incorporate Pagan rituals into their religious rituals as well. You'll find it hard pressed to find a "Keep Christ in Christmas" rep that does not have a Xmas tree in his or her home,and of course adhere to other secular rituals during the holiday season. How many people down at the local baptist church does not play the Santa game for religious reasons? You never hear a secularist campaigning for the end of Xmas trees or Santa rituals from the Christian home. But reverse this and notice how easily the "Jesus is the reason for the season crowd" is offended by a denotation of Xmas. It's like a personal attack on their religion. and We are treated as though we just rejected the Jesus Lord and Savior and just booked a first class direct ticket to hell fire.
 I personally don't have issues with saying Merry Christmas. If I know you celebrate Christmas in a Jesus kind of way or even in a secular fashion you'll get a Merry Christmas from me. Its only when I address a large group of people that I'll announce a "Happy Holiday's" I just so happen to know a large diverse group of people and I like to include ALL in that greeting. It's not like anyone is purposefully trying to offend anyone by "excluding" Jesus. It's merely an acknowledgement that during the Holiday season there are multiple ways for people in this world to celebrate. The "Keep Christ in CHRISTmas"crowd sometimes fails to notice this world they live in is extremely big and full of diversity. Its easy not to notice or even acknowledge when this crowd is used to surrounding themselves by people that only think and believe as they do. Once you block out the rest of the world...and view them as nothing more than lost souls and sinners it becomes a little more clear why the "How dare you eliminate my savior" crowd gets offended.
Their total lack of understanding that, well, Jesus may be "THE" reason for the season. (even though I would submit that even Christians;at the very least really don't believe this either considering the Pagan rituals they subscribe to. It would be more fair to suggest a more suitable motto like : Jesus is A (one of many) reason for the season.)
So as for me...I'm keeping the X in Xmas and I'm wishing everyone a happy and joyous holiday season. Season's greetings to one and all..Yes..even to you dear Muslims and Hindu's...and Buddhists...and atheists....and secularists....and Jews...and Christians :)

One of my favorite aspects of the holiday season is how everyone you meet tends to be a little more polite, more friendly, more willing to help their fellow man. It is indeed a certain type of (for lack of better word) spirit that fills the air. And I don't care how you celebrate the holiday season you'll have no trouble in agreeing with the idea that this world would be a much better place if the spirit of Xmas lingered for 12 months of the year. You don't need a Jesus type figure in the world to figure that out.

Happy Holiday's everyone!! 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mission Accomplished

 Well, a year of blogging has come and gone. I set out to post an entry a week for the last 52 weeks and I have just about raced across the finish line. This entry and my next will be a completed task and goal that I set forth in 2011.
I was having breakfast with my dad a little over a year ago and the conversation we had that morning was a helpful tool in determining what my blog set out to do. He explained to me this idea and fantasy he had about writing about his life,a memoir if you will, because he understood personally that  no one knew him very well. He is such a quiet and private private in fact that I dare say even his three sons doesn't know him very well. He isn't exactly the kind of guy that opens up and communicates very well either. I know this because he has passed on those genes to me. Anyone who has ever dated me knows I don't speak my mind when I should. It's a suppressed feelings gene and the Weaver's have it!
So, That lead me to take action and create a blog to create some openness between I and the people that know me best. I saw that I was living the same life as my dad and that I do not always speak what I feel. So a blog was born. My opinions and ideas are shared to all those that care enough to read. 
I would like to thank everyone that has read an entry or two in the past year. Some of you have read every one of the entries and to that I say're the best! Thanks!
All the thumb's up,comments, and concerns were greatly appreciated. To date I have 5505 total hits for the 50 current entries....and counting.

I will continue to blog in 2012 but at a more random schedule. I still have a lot to say and open up to and I didn't get to approach every subject that I set out to comment on. I hope every one has a great holiday season and a Happy 2012!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Poor College Football Fans

Well, another college football regular season has come to a close. I would love to be able to tell you that 2011 was an exciting and thrilling season but I never watched a single minute of any of the games. What's the point knowing the end game is always a disaster. By end game of course I'm referring to the travesties that await at the end of the season. A final time of booting up the BCS computers to see which two teams finally qualified for the BCS Championship Game. Everyone knows the story. A complex computer formula for determining the final 2 colleges. The formula has to do with a few polls,added in with a win/loss record...perhaps influenced by a touch of strength of schedule...and who's got the prettiest cheerleaders I think is a factor...after all that is determined then you divide all those results by the square root of average attendance. Top two teams plays for the title. 
The bottom line is pretty simple. Once your favorite college team suffers its first loss of the season....Their season just ended. So it could be said that the NCAA college football playoffs starts in week one of the season. Its a shame that college football is so popular. Fans don't seem to mind the lack of a playoff system and no one seems to be allergic to all that wool the BCS has used to cover the eyes of the fans. 
It just doesn't seem right to me. College water polo is settled through a final NCAA tournament. Until college football adopts a playoff system,I'm officially boycotting the game. Enjoy the 6 week break before the "big game" fans. Seems to me that is plenty of time to have a top 10 playoff system. Keep your user friendly ranking system intact and use it for this playoff system. If there is a controversy...and there will be a the very least let it be between the 9th-12th ranked teams. Leave the finger pointing and blame out of the top 3 or 4 ranked schools.
Every year fans piss and moan about this team and that team not be worthy of going to their respected bowl games. VA Tech caught a lot flack for being assigned the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans this year. A playoff system would most definitely  be the best way to prove the VA Tech Hokies are not deserving of this. They lose in the first round and only have themselves to blame.... they win...well off to the next round. I won't waste any time bashing VA Tech or and other college I said I don't keep up with college football. I don't want to upset any Hokie fans out there...I understand Beamer walks on water. I get it. Go Hokies!!

Meanwhile I'm gonna go watch the NCAA Women's volleyball tourney to get my December madness fix.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Don't Call Me Daddy

I wonder what life would be like being a father? I spent some time this week day dreaming on the idea that I had a son or daughter running around this world and contemplated how much my life would have changed as a result. I wonder how or what approach I would use to raise such a being into adulthood. It is at the very least an 18 year commitment. I know that the days of sleeping in would be gone. I'm quite sure I would have to buy all their meals. Less tennis to be played.Eventually trying to figure out Algebra all over again. I've never considered being a parent to be a very enticing job description. I'm pretty sure its very rewarding but I wouldn't know if I were up to the task. 

One of the problems facing society is a result of natural selection. It's pretty simple really and there is nothing that can be done about it. Its a given in the world you were born into. The simple fact is: If you can get can become a parent. This by the way, is not a good thing. There are plenty...PLENTY of unfit parents in this world. Anyone who has googled images of child abuse will see true evil in this world. Some parents aren't fit enough to even supply the bare basics to their children. At times this is at no fault of their on. They refuse to use birth control and out come the babies. Unfit parents can barely manage their own lives and it complicates life more to try and supply children with proper shelter,food and clothes. Its a harsh reality we live in. Sad.

If I Were a Daddy::

If I became a dad my child would learn about the realities of the world as soon as he/she became old enough to understand them. My child would know at a very early age that he/she has it much better than millions of children in the world,and that understanding how lucky we have it and consider helping those that have less. I think that's a very good first lesson in sharing. I would want a child that finds it more fulfilling to go pick an angel off the angel tree at the mall during the holiday season rather than haul ass to Santa's lap to selfishly start naming off a list of 20 different wants for his elves to consider. In fact, I wouldn't play the Santa game at all..My child would know from a very early age there is no Santa that makes dreams come true. The Santa game is just awful. Lying to your kids about a fictional character that shows up once a year,delivering gifts to kids that's been good. Nonsense. How do parents react to their children when they lie to them? Usually punishment of some form. Double standard really. Society lies to their kids about Santa,tooth fairies,Easter bunnies,etc. How about the magic of reality? Nothing rewarding about that? Might as well tell your children that we are here on earth because Adam and Eve are responsible for populating this entire planet...or depending on your fictional beliefs Noah's family considering they were the only survivors of the Great Flood. Oh, What a sec. That's another thing people lie to their children about.... But to quote the great George Costanza "It's not a lie, if you believe it!"
My child would understand and (hopefully) accept evolution. And also ( I apologize in advance) be the kid at school telling your kids the wonderful truths of the world. Science and math would be of the utmost importance living under my roof. Education couldn't be emphasized enough. Yes dear society,what I'm saying to you is...My child would be taught how to think,not what to think. I guess that means presenting both sides to the arguments. But that's nothing to worry about knowing that critical thinking and reason wins the day. Just look to the evidence right?!

I have in the past considered donating sperm to have a little Weaver running around out there. I don't think that would be a lot of fun knowing I couldn't have a hand in raising him/her. Then again I'm not so convinced raising a son/daughter would be fun. Who knows....
I know the actual act of donating would be a lot of fun. I've had plenty of practice runs at that activity. I wonder if there's is an audition......

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sam's Greatest Hits

Sam Harris is an author,neuroscientist,and co-founder and CEO of Project Reason. He has a Bachelor of Arts of philosophy from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA. He is a proponent of scientific skepticism and is the author of "The End of Faith"(2004),"Letter to a Christian Nation"(2006),"The Moral Landscape"(2010),and"Lying" (2011). He has written numerous articles concerning the criticism of religion for the Huffington Post,Los Angeles Times,The Washington Post,The New York Times,Newsweek,as well as scientific journals such as Nature.

Many of the blog posts that I have written are concerning my disbelief in the supernatural. More so the disbelief in religions and gods. I will admit that most of the ideas are not original or new to anyone but by all means I have made every effort to reference and quote when necessary. I have also added my personal experiences into my blogs as well as my on ideas. Sam Harris is by far my favorite influence and I love to quote him as much as possible. He,among many other free thinkers have really shifted my way of thinking in the last several years and I wanted to give an collage of quotes this week to highlight some of my favorite Sam Harris quotations. Some of which may have been used to previous blog entries but is worth re-reading. I have yet to hear a more rational,reasonable,articulate,well-mannered voice in the world of atheism. If you have the time he is well worth a youtube adventure.
Ladies and gentlemen.....Dr Sam Harris:

"All of our scriptures were written by people who, by virtue of their placement in history had less access to scientific knowledge and to what is now basic common sense than any person in this room. In fact, there's not a person in this room,who's ever MET a person,who's world view is as narrow as the world view of Abraham,Moses,Jesus or Muhammad. These people knew to nothing of the facts that are now reverent to us in the 21st century. They knew nothing about the origins of life,the relationship between the mind and brain.They didn't know that mental illness was even a category of human suffering. They knew nothing about DNA,or viruses,or computation,or electricity.None of this is in scripture.They had no idea why people got sick and died.Unless you saw someone stabbed with a had no idea why they died."

"Our situation is this:most of the people in this world believe that the Creator of the Universe has written a book.We have the misfortune of having many such books on hand,each making an exclusive claim as to its infallibility."----The End of Faith

"Science is not in principle committed to the idea that there is no afterlife or the mind is identical to the brain. Or that materialism is true. Science is completely open to whatever in fact is true. And if its true that conscienceness is being run like software on the brain and by virtue of ectoplasum or something else we don't understand can be disociated from the brain at death. That would be part of our growing scientific understanding of the world if we could discover it.There are ways we could in fact discover that if it were true.,the problem is there are very good reasons to think that it is not true. And we know this now from now 150 years of neurology where you damage areas of the brain,and faculties are lost and its not that everyone with brain damage has their soul perfectly intact...they just can't get the words out. Everything about your mind can be damaged by damaging the brain. You can cease to recognize faces,you can cease to know the names of animals but you still know the names of tools.The fragmentation in the way in which our mind is parcellated  at the level of the brain is not at all intuitive and there is a lot known about it,but what we are being asked to consider is: You damage one part of the brain and the mind and subjectivity is lost,you damage another and yet more is lost...and yet if you damage the whole thing at death! We can rise off the brain...with all our faculties intact recognizing grandma and speaking English!"---debating the afterlife

"Religion as we speak of it. Islam, Christianity,Judaism is based on the claim that God dictates certain books.  He doesn't code software,He doesn't produce films,He doesn't score symphonies...He is an author. And this claim has achieved credibility because these books are deemed so profound they could not have possibly been written by human authors. Please consider for a moment how differently we treat scientific claims,texts and discoveries."

"Consider: every devout Muslim has the same reasons for being a Muslim that you have for being a Christian. And yet you do not find their reasons compelling.The Koran repeatedly declares that it is the perfect word of the creator of the universe. Muslims believe this as fully as you believe the Bible's account of itself.There is a vast literature describing the life of Muhammad that,from the point of view of Islam,proves that he was the most recent Prophet of God. Muhammad also assured his followers that Jesus was NOT divine. (Koran 5:71-75;19:30-38) and that anyone who believes otherwise will spend eternity in Hell.Muslims are certain that Muhammad's opinion on this subject,as on all others,is infallible.
 Why don't you lose any sleep over whether to convert to Islam?Can you prove that Allah is not the one,true God? Can you prove that the archangel Gabriel did not visit Muhammad in his cave? Of course not.But you need not prove any of these things to reject the beliefs of Muslims as absurd. The burden is upon them to prove that their beliefs about God and Muhammad are valid. They have not done this.They can not do this. Muslims are simply not making claims about reality that can be corroborated. This is perfectly apparent to anyone who has not anesthetized himself with the dogma of Islam.
 The truth is,you know exactly what it is like to be an atheist with the respect of the beliefs of Muslims. Isn't it obvious that Muslims are fooling themselves? Isn't it obvious that anyone who thinks that the Koran is the perfect word of the creator of the universe has not read the book critically? Isn't it obvious that the doctrine of Islam represents a near-perfect barrier to honest inquiry? Yes, these things are obvious. Understand that the way you view Islam is precisely the way devout Muslims view Christianity.And it is the way I view all religions." ---Letter to a Christian Nation

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Blessings from Above??

blessing: n. 1.The act that one blesses.2.A short prayer said before or after a meal.Grace.3.Something promoting or contributing to happiness,well-being,or prosperity.

luck: n. 1.a force that brings good fortune or adversity. The events or circumstances that operate for or against an individual. 2.Favoring chance.

My life is full of blessings. And for this I am very lucky. During this time of year everyone is taking personal inventory of everything in their lives that they are thankful for. I too am thankful for everyone that blesses my life. Blessings can be defined as nothing more than a smile on someone's face when you're having an off day. Someone buys you a cup of coffee,or just being thoughtful enough to hold the door open for you when entering a building. Many times over in my life people have blessed me continuously. I am truly blessed. 

The problem for me is I absolutely hate using the word(s) Bless(ed)(ing). This word comes with a lot of baggage and implications. I for one have refrained from its usage over the years. There seems to be religious implications by using this word(s) 99.6% of the time once used. The religious among us has "hi-jacked" this word for their heavenly justification that blessings come from above. I realize this is not always the case but the word(s) have become synonymous with God's goodness.  Let's pause here and reflect on the term "hi-jacking":

It seems to me that the religious crowd have adopted the word bless as a direct and divine cause. Ok...I'm cool with that. You can have it. I'm quite sure the bible mentions blessed many times over. A simple definition of the word takes on a completely different meaning once the word is "hi-jacked". Take for example the word gay. The homosexual community has completely re-defined this word to a completely different meaning than its original definition. 99.6% of everyone that uses the term gay is referring to homosexuals.

gay: adj. 1.happily excited.Keenly alive and exuberant:having or inducing high spirits. 2.homosexual;of,relating to,or used by homosexuals.

Somewhere along the way the homosexual community "hi-jacked" the word gay to re-define themselves. You rarely ever hear anyone refer to their happiness as being gay. Only on the Flintstone's cartoon do we ever hear "We'll have a gay ole timeeeee!" at the end of the theme song. Therefore the heterosexual community has discontinued the use of the word gay when describing their happiness. 

Just as I, the non-believer in deities, have discontinued the usage of the word blessed as so no one will mistake or confuse me for being religious. But this wasn't always the case.

I was living out my early to mid-twenties and still proclaiming how blessed I was from God. As my twenties came to a close I started to wonder with plenty of confusion why God would continue to bless a man that is full of skepticism,doubt,uncertainty, and disbelief. I mean....Consider this: There are people sitting in his house of worship on any given Sunday that are far more less fortunate than I am. And yet I receive more blessings than they.

Consider: The church I grew up in. The entire congregation was on the same sheet of music as far as our religious beliefs. We sang the same hymns,prayed the same prayers,heard the same sermons,etc. And yet there were families in that church (...and yours too) that were more "blessed" than others. A family on welfare...a middle class family...and an extremely rich family. The entire economic spectrum was represented in that congregation and yet God was showing favoritism when issuing out blessings. Someone explain this! Was one family out praying the other?  

Dr Sam have the floor:
  "This kind of faith,is really the perfection of narcissism....
"God loves me,don't ya know? He cured me of my eczema.He makes me feel so good while singing in church. And just when we had given up hope,He found a banker who was willing to reduce my mother's mortgage"... 
Given all that this God of yours does not accomplish in the lives of others.Given the misery that is being imposed on some helpless child at this instant...This kind of faith is obscene. To think in this way is to fail to reason honestly or to care sufficiently about the suffering of other human beings"

The message should be crystal clear. Your blessings do NOT come from above. Considering this world you live in if full of suffering and human misery at any given moment. You would think this would give Christians pause before they add fuel to the arrogant fire that drives the belief that God wants them to be completely blessed. Take a moment this Thanksgiving to realize your blessings are purely by chance. Luck. Consider yourself lucky that you have what you have. Whether its a little or a lot. And perhaps take a little time to bless others. Without human blessings...We'd have no blessings at all!

Have a gay Thanksgiving everyone! :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Risky Business

"Evolution Happens whether you Like it or Not"
"Ron Paul 2012"

My ex-boyfriend Tyler had a little too much to drink last night. Somehow he made his way over to my place( I won't disclose he was drinking and driving). In his lack of judgement and impairment he decided it would be funny to slap a "Ron Paul 2012" bumper sticker on my car! Grrrrrr!
Now, his current boyfriend is a huge supporter of Ronny and my brother wants him as prez as well. I get it. I like Ron Paul, he makes more sense than the other complete idiots that are running for the GOP presidential nomination for 2012. I just think he hangs out with the wrong crowd. Drop that republican from your name Ronny and we have a deal.
This year's grab bag of GOP presidential hopefuls are a piece of work. Watch their debates and one wonders if there is any education standards represented at all. They are complete history and science deniers. I know our Constitution states that there are no religious tests to hold a public office in the good ole USA but c'mon! How about a educational test to qualify because these GOP clowns running for president act like...and sound like...they never opened a text book there entire lives. All of them do,however, sound like the graduated the top of their class in Sunday school. 
Bachmann denying the advanages of HPV vaccines,and praying the gay away. Newt Gingrich thinks that stem cells floating in a petri dish have souls and that destroying these cells is killing children.
Listen to Rick Santorum speak. You'd think he wants his country back to the days of the Old Testament.

How many evolution deniers are there? They still denying global warming being a fact.
 Rick Perry wants to eliminate the Dept. of Education. That sounds about right. Everything he's ever learned and needed to know came in church. This country needs a standard of learning and educational requirements to hold its highest office. But since the GOP's base are science deniers as well, you might as well cater to their ignorance.

The Bachmann's,Palin's,Bush's,Santorum's,Cain's,Perry's of the world think that its quite possible for Jesus to return from the clouds like some damn super hero sometime within their administrations. It seems to me this would drain their motivation to improve the way of life for all Americans while we sit here waiting on Jesus to show us all his magical powers. I could never vote republican for their "Christ"-ie ways and complete disregard for science and education in this country. Investing in proper education on our children is investing in this country's future but all they seem to care about are faith based policies on pro-choice,abstinence,terrorism,and creationism. They think Jesus is republican and anyone like Bush is an honorary 13th disciple for the next 4-8 years.

But sadly for this country,as Sam Harris points out:
 "You can't possibly get elected if you don't believe in the God of Abraham.....if you openly doubt that one of our books was written by the Creator of the Universe...that's the end of your political career"

"The God that our neighbors believe in, is essentially an invisible person. He is a creator deity who created the universe to have a relationship with one species of primate. Lucky us! And he's got galaxy upon galaxy to attend to,but He is especially concerned with what we do. And he is Especially concerned about what we do while naked! He almost certainly disapproves of homosexuality......Can you believe in this god ...on bad evidence? Which is to say on faith...And if you can you will win an eternal life of happiness after you die
And its precisely this sort of god this sort of scheme that you must believe in if you're going to have any kind of future in politics in this country. No matter what your gifts, You could be an unprecedented genius.You could look like George Clooney. You could have a billion dollars.You could have the social skills of Oprah,and you are going no where in politics in this country unless you believe in that sort of god."

Given this much reason and rational thinking....I'm writing in Sam Harris for Prez!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mee Maw Ruby

My friend Tyler and I took a road trip to "the country" one afternoon. Back to my hometown in Bassett,VA. I was taking him to meet my grandma Ruby. I was interested in showing him a part of my family's history and heritage by letting him explore the house and the land that my mother grew up in and a place I used to hang out when I was younger.  My grandpa and grandma Cockram were for the most part farmers. Gardens on every side of there house growing just about any fruit or vegetable one could think of. I grew up seeing cows,chickens,and yes,even honey bees. My grandparents "made"everything from the farm.  Eggs,butter,honey,apple cider,"preserves". It was a regular Food Lion (a local grocery store chain) around there. Trips to the farmer's market every weekend was a must considering the volume of food they produced. 
 Production on the farm slowed down once my grandpa Noel died in 1994. Well, sorta....My Mee Maw Ruby was a worker. A very hard worker. It was all she ever known in her life. She belonged to a typical country family who saw it necessary to quit school at a very early age to tend to siblings and farm land. These days people like grandma simply don't exist. Work like my grandma performed her entire life is discarded and deemed too hard for the American way of we give the work to Mexicans.

My friend Tyler and I was sitting around grandma's kitchen table carrying a conversation about the old days. Grandma showed Tyler some old family photos and was talking about life when she was our age. All the sudden she asked Tyler if he wanted some apples to take home with him to Roanoke. Of course he did! At this point I'm expecting grandma to open the refrigerator door and grab some apples...or perhaps open the cupboard  to fetch some. No....She grabs a bag and instructs Tyler to follow her...walked outside her back porch and proceeded to the nearest apple tree. 
 "Hold this" grandma says. Handing Tyler the bag. She climbed that apple tree what seemed like 2 stories and proceeded to throw apples down to Tyler in that bag. It was though she went to work. She stepped into her office! Working on a Sunday. name it. It was funny to think maybe it should be Ty or I in that tree...Geesh Grandma was in her mid to late 70's! Doing what she did best and wouldn't take no for an answer. 

Grandma Ruby was a rock. Climbing rooftops to clean gutters,mowing yards,fetching fire wood and of course climbing apple or cherry trees til the last few years of her life. Once cancer came knocking at her door it forced her to slow down. 

Once she went to war on a band of Japanese hornets. Lured them in a well lit back porch in the dark of night. Her back porch was enclosed. She trapped them in...closed the door behind her and started swatting away her hornet at a time. No military fatigues required. Tough as nails Mee maw Rubes!

Cancer has a way of softening even the hardest body...the super heroes we have become mere mortals when cancer is in their path. She fought it and fought it...never wanting anyone to know she was suffering a losing battle....she had her ups..her downs...her good days...and her bad...She wore it all with a smile! A very tough smile!

Grandma would have been 85 last Monday....her one year death anniversary is Nov 8,2011 and of course its a time to reflect and think of sweet mee maw :)

R.I.P. Ruby Cockram 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Handwriting my Blogs

 This week I'm taking the time to hand write a few letters for National Mail a Hand Written Letter Day on November 1st. Thus this blog is taken a short recess this week so I may concentrate on writing a few letters to friends and family. I hope that each and everyone reading this will take the time to write a friend a hand written note or letter just to let them know you are thinking of them. 
See y'all next week!
Happy Halloween everyone....

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Walmart Complex

I was reading the paper a couple weeks ago when I stumbled upon a story about a couple driving along and as they started to drive through an underpass they encountered a jaywalker,who was merely just strolling along like she owned the road and had every business being out in the middle of harms way. The couple,perhaps frighten by the sudden sight of a woman lolly gagging through the street, blared their car horn at her as to alert her of the danger of oncoming traffic. Well the jaywalker actually took offense at this and proceeded to cuss out the couple driving. As the woman in the car drove by the jaywalker bitching a mile a minute,she found it curious that the jaywalker wasn't concerned for her life. Or even making a solid attempt to move out harms way. The jaywalker's biggest complaint she yelled out to the couple driving by....
 "Can't you see I'm on the phone!!"
Apparently the loud horn being echoed in an underpass makes it even harder to yak to friends on a cell phone as you conflict traffic patterns.

 I was driving home from Vinton one evening this past week and a couple attempted to step out in the middle of the road to cross the street. Now to their defense there was no crosswalk for them to use seeing how I was using local roads or "back roads" as I refer to them (Besides...all roads leading out of Vinton are "back roads" right!?!?)
This couple had to second guess their timing once they saw me quickly approaching and the took a quick step back onto the curb. As I passed by them and looked their way. The shot me a death glare like I had some nerve driving on the road they wanted to cross.

Ladies and Gentlemen, The behaviors and attitudes I just described above is due to a phenomenon I refer to as... The Walmart Complex. 

Anyone who has ever driven through a main entrance of a Walmart,Target,or Kroger can tell you that pedestrians have the right of way. I,myself have darted out of these stores and without even looking for oncoming traffic just stroll through the parking lot knowing I have the right of way. The trouble is, this carefree crossing the street has carried over into the real world of jaywalking. Attitudes intact! 
I see this all the time when driving downtown. People stepping out in front of you knowing that they do not have the right of way. Staring and daring  you to do something about it.   Jaywalkers are suffering through the Walmart Complex and someone's going to end up in the hospital as a result. Hopefully not the driver when he/she is just merely in the right place at the right time. I like to put scares into jaywalkers..I hit the gas! Give them something to think about. If they give me the attitude and my car window is down...."This is not Walmart pal! You don't have the right of way...."
I'm under no obligation to stop. Guess the only reason I would is I'm not interested in serving time for involuntary manslaughter. But, in worse case scenario; As I'm serving my time...I wonder: Will I be losing any sleep over taking someone out whose suffering from the Walmart Complex?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Voice Said to Be He

 "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth...And God said,Let there be light: and there was light."  -Genesis 1:1&3

"And God said unto Noah,The end of all flesh is come before me;for the earth is filled with violence through them and behold I will destroy them with the earth." -Genesis 6:13

 "And the Lord said unto Moses,Lo,I come unto thee in a thick cloud that the people may hear when I speak with thee,and believe thee forever..." -Genesis 19:9

"And God said (unto Abraham), take now thy son,thine only son Isaac,whom thou lovest,and get thee into the land of Moriah;and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of." 
-Genesis 22:2

God said this and God said that. The Bible is riddled with quote after quote from the Almighty. In "biblical days" God was as common a voice as any modern day news anchor. God was around every street corner and directing traffic in the world that He created. Every story you read in the Old Testament was pretty much dictated by the voice from above. As a kid growing up in Sunday school class every week I couldn't help wonder...Why would a voice heard so often in the Holy Bible be so silent in the year 1983. If God is so animated and interactive with his humanoid creations in "biblical days" why then, can't I "see" Him or hear him in more modern times. This was my thinking as an eight year old.
I'm not sure how old I was when I figured out there is no actual voice of God,but it has taken me even longer in life to make this bold claim:
Ladies and gentlemen, God has never said jack shit! No one who has ever walked the face of this earth,including but not limited to,all those "characters" in the bible, has ever heard the actual voice of God.
Let's rephrase that so there be no misunderstanding: 
God has never spoken to anyone that's ever walked the face of this earth. EVER. 
Not Adam nor Eve,Noah,Moses,Abraham,Wesley Smith,the Pope,Jerry Falwell,Bin Laden,Andrea Yates,Matthew,Mark,Luke or John,David Koresh,Jim Jones,nor Mother Teresa. NO ONE!

Mankind has been shoving words down God's throat for thousands of years. God said this and God said that, God spoke to me...,God speaks...,God has lead me to do this or that. All these claims are false. To anyone that would like to dispute this claim I would submit to you that you should thankful for there not being an actual voice of God. The bible is littered with "stories" with so much killing and barbarism and completely wiping out entire cities of "corrupt" people which, you have to assume included the innocent lives of women,children,and unborn fetus'. It should tame one's mind that this is merely men doing these acts of violence in the name of God or perhaps claiming that God commanded this violence. Once you realize there is no voice descending down from heaven and instructing a mere man in commandments and violence;Its actually a big sigh of relief.

I guess the big draw back in admitting this lack of voice over from heaven is not knowing where your morals or goodness towards man comes from. I'll refrain from mentioning the evolutionary process of man has spawned acts of kindness towards others. This is another blog entry in itself. Your morals does not come from a reading of the bible. Period. Stay tuned for this entry coming soon.

I saw an interview with Bill Maher on the Conan O'Brien show once when Maher was promoting his movie "Religulous" and he made a comment on the voice of God. 
 "God,I mean why? If He's all powerful,why does He always tell his important stuff to one prophet,alone? He always takes some guy up on a mountain,or out in the woods where nobodies around. Why don't He just stop the world and go "Hey! Hi everybody! Its God! And the correct religion issssss...Shinto!"

This is hitting the nail on the head. Moses was asked to climb Mt Sinai alone. Wesley Smith had a conversation with God alone in the woods. No one was around to witness the voice of God when Abraham was being instructed to sacrifice his only son to show loyalty. The same can be said for Andrea Yates when God told her to drown her 5 children in that bathtub. Anyone who has ever claimed to have heard a voice of God should be treated as needing lots of medication. They are borderline insane once they act violently from the voices they hear. 

Most Christians thinks its wonderful when they hear such testimony that God is calling someone into the ministry or as a missionary. The trouble is God has never spoken to anyone. Their claim that God instructs them is false. I hear a voice inside my head every day. Its called my conscience. And my "voice" says there is no God. I guess to the believer that's the voice of Satan. 

So let's approach this divine voice with extreme caution. Rational and reasonable people understand that once someone makes bold claims (as our world's religious leaders so often do)about hearing a voice from the heavens its a free for all. The sky's the limit. You can make any claim you want and make it believable by simply telling your followers you're under divine instruction. But sadly since there are no gods talking to us. That claim is made by man. And man has spawned so much lunacy in the name of an imaginary voice.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

My Top Ten List of Top Ten Lists


Top Ten Guests I'd Want at My Cocktail Party
10. Mary Carillo
9. Roger Federer
8. Sam Harris
7. Richard Dawkins
6. Martina Navratilova
5. Larry David
4. Wanda Sykes
3. Ellen DeGeneres
2. Elton John
1. Mark Wade

Top Ten Food Items I'd Want Served As My Last Meal
10. Garden salad with 1000 island
9. White bean chicken chili with cheese
8. Dinner rolls from Red Lobster
7. Filet Mignon (medium well)
6. Mashed potatoes with chives
5. Steamed broccoli 
4. Cheesecake
3. Vanilla ice cream
2. Vodka
1. Mountain Dew!

Top Ten People the World Could Have Lived Without.
10. Kim Jong Il
9. Queen Mary I
8. Joesph Stalin
7. Osama Bin Laden
6. Timothy McVay
5. Jim Jones
4. Pol Pot
3. Ruhollah Khomeini
2. Attila the Hun
1. Adolf Hitler

Top Ten Places I Want to Visit Before I Die
10. Hawaii
9. Australia
8. Toronto
7. Berlin
6. London
5. South Africa
4. Prague
3. Bangkok
2. Tokyo
1. Rio De Janeiro

Top Ten Favorite Activities
10. Volleyball
9. Poker
8. Travel
7. Video games
6. Internet
5. <censored>
4. Eating
3. Sleeping
2. Tennis
1. Sex

Top Ten Musts to Be Surrounded By on My Death Bed
(if applicable)
10. Family
9. Pet(s)
8. Laptop
7. Smartphone
6. TV
5. Music source
4. Alcohol
3. Water
2. Meds
1. Scented candles

Top Ten Things I'd Rather Not Be Doing
10. Shave
9. Cut finger/toe nails
8. Work
7. Pay Taxes/Bills
6. Nursing a cold
5. Cleaning
4. Reading
3. Talk on Phone
2. Walk in the rain
1. Deal with snow

Top Ten Favorite TV Shows 
10. Golden Girls
9. Saturday Night Live
8. Cheers
7. Night Court
6. Cleveland Show
5. A-Team
4. Will and Grace
3. Family Guy
2. Seinfeld
1. Curb Your Enthusiasm

Top Ten Favorite Video Games
10. Dante's Inferno
9. Mario Kart
8. Wii Sports
7. Ice Hockey
6. RC Pro AM
5. God of War Series
4. Ratchet and Clank Series
3. MegaMan Series
2. Tiger Woods PGA10
1.Mario Brothers Series

Top Ten Most Visited Websites
10. Yahoo
9. eBay
8. Tennis
7. Overstock
5. VA Lottery
3. Blogger
2. Google
1. Facebook

Sunday, October 2, 2011

National Mail a Hand Written Letter Day (Nov 1, 2011)


Almost 14 days ago I dropped my phone at work and it completely stopped working. Living without a dial tone and text messages has been quite a chore. Imagine! No iPhone means no hand held email,youTube,Facebook,sports scores,Angry Birds,Words with Friends,texts,calendar,alarms, you name. My convenient pocket guide to life is gone. I jokingly made a reference on facebook this week about anyone needing to reach me should write me a letter and sure enough in my mailbox this week was a hand written letter from my youngest brother. It instantly put me in a reflective nostalgic mood. It felt totally 1980's to receive this. It has literally been years since I had seen this form of communication addressed to me. I thanked him the best way I know how. Through Facebook of course. I joked  "If only I had a pen and paper...I'd write you back!"

Consider this: There is a generation among us that has never seen an envelope in a mail box with their name on it. We live in an age of texts,emails,facebook,tweets,etcs... Sitting down and actually writing letters to friends or even family...those days are gone.

It's weird to think that there are twentysomethings out there that has never felt what its like to even experience what a nice hand written letter will do for the "soul" ....assuming souls exist,....but you know what I mean.

This gave me an idea. I'm declaring a National Mail a Hand Written Letter Day for Tuesday, November 1,2011. Your goal should be to write to someone who has never had this experience to receive one. I'm not talking about a greeting card, I'm referring to a pen and a sheet of paper...complete with stamps and addresses. Our demographic to reach should be someone 24 or younger. 

I will spread the word with a more modern means of communication. Facebook. I will be creating a "National Mail a Hand Written Letter Day" page and making it public for all to attend. Hey, if a page getting started to campaign for Betty White to host Saturday Night Live could achieve success, why not this?!

I'm off to buy a book of stamps....Peace