Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Few Random Notes To Self

**On June 23rd I celebrated my 36th birthday. Three dozen years of learning and experiencing everything I can (Just in case I don't get another 3 dozen ) My life is anywhere from 40-99.9% over. It's time to write a few reminders and requests to myself. It's getting harder to remember things without writing them down :) ***

Dear Five O'clock Shadow,
 I'm not sure when you decided to add a few silver (gray) streaks to your hair,but I don't like the new look. You are forcing me to shave more often then I prefer. You have never fully grown to your completion so growing a beard has never been an option for me. My love/hate relationship with you has taken a new twist. How am I supposed to pull off looking 28 with this silver sprouting out everywhere. Mr. Gillette will be pulling overtime in the future.

Dear Ears and Nose,
 Since when did you decide to start growing hair? You have been so easy to get along with in the past and now all the sudden I got whiskers sprouting from you. Are you mad at me for piercing (ears) you three times in the last three years? I know that hurt for a few minutes but I hardly call a lifetime of trimming a reason for punishment. You are causing me extra time spent in front of my mirror. You are in a no win situation and I thought I should know that. Good luck.
Yours truly,

Dear Receding Hair Line,
 At first I thought my forehead was getting bigger.Then I started to spot my scalp through my thinning hairline . What gives? I know what you're thinking: "Be lucky I've stuck around this long. Many men your age are bald by now!" OK, so you have a good point here. I would just like to plead to you to curb your retreat. Any thing you can do to help would be greatly appreciated.

Dear Wrinkles,
 You are becoming public enemy #1. My previous letters addressing my body hair maintenance is an absolute piece of cake compared to how you are making your mark(s) on my body. As I understand it, an aging body fails to fully replicate its DNA. And albeit a very slow process I understand this is why we wrinkle,grey,bald,and sag as we gradually get older. Well, I have no idea where to go out and buy new DNA,but I can promise you this: I am staying out of the sun as much as possible (thank you night shift) and I visit the Clinique counter every chance I get. You may win the war....but this battle is mine! I'm quite sure in 10-15 years I will be introducing you to my friend Dr Botox....until then....
Your enemy,

Dear Penis,
 You,of course, are my favorite. It goes without saying. I can't say enough good things about our relationship. You have always been there for me. You get along very well with others,and you have never let me down. You are by far the healthiest part of me. You workout with me on a regular basis (sometimes even while I sleep). You do seem to have a mind of your own and have made a few bad decisions in your lifetime but, overall we get along.
 Now rumor has it you will shrink with age and sometimes stop performing all together. Please don't. So far I haven't noticed any demise in your stance and your performance level is great. I am very thankful for you. Some people are born without one,so I realize how lucky I am. Your shrinkage is on demonstration anytime I leave a swimming pool or a shower on a cold winter's night. If this is a preview I shudder to think what you will look like over time. Oh my! If you shrink be subtle about it please. Thanks in advance. See you very soon.
With love,

 I have very little to complain about in my three dozen years. I'm in good health,great shape,and I seldom over indulge in anything. I would say natural and sexual selection has favored me very well in my life. I'm a very lucky guy :) Just thought I poke fun at myself....

Sunday, June 19, 2011

You've Met Me Half Way

 On June 17, This blog has officially hit 2500 page views. I did not know what to expect when exploring the idea of starting a blog back in January. It's something that I have been wanting to try for at least three years and so I thought,"Here goes nothing." My 2011 New Year's resolution (goal) was to submit one entry a week for an entire year. So far so good. I have met my "deadline" (post every Sunday afternoon) every week with the exception of one entry in which I bit off more than I can chew that required a lot of editing and research when writing a piece on evolution.

So, you have met me half way in reaching my goal. Thanks to everyone that is reading this blog on a regular basis. Your continuous support and comments are very much appreciated. It's a great feeling to be approached at work or through facebook chats and listen to every one's comments regarding the week's subject.

The website I use for blogging ( allows the user to track how many hits the entire blog is receiving as well as the number of hits each individual blog has received. The following is a list of the top ten most popular entries so far (statistically speaking)

  1. Baptist,Republicans,and Vegetarians  [374]
  2. You Had To Be There  [306]
    April 24
  3. Showing Some Skin and Bringing It  [103]
    March 6
  4. My Tattoo Evolution   [83]
    April 17
  5. Coming Out of the Closet.....Again  [67]
  6. The Power of Prayer (Chapter II) The Great Call Center in the Sky  [61]
    May 22
  7. The Power of Prayer (Part I)  [59]
    May 15
  8. I'm Sure To Offend (Reader Discretion Advised) [58]
    Jan. 30
  9. My Promise to Society  [56]
  10. An Open Letter to P.B.S.  [49]
    Feb. 27
Statistics are current from 5:30pm June 17,2011

The Top Ten Countries viewing the blog. (Google searches)
  1. United States of America   [1400]
  2. India  [147]
  3. United Kingdom  [128]
  4. Canada  [112]
  5. Philippines  [96]
  6. Australia  [61]
  7. United Arab Emirates  [51]
  8. Saudi Arabia  [26]
  9. Jordan  [23]
  10. South Africa  [23]

The second half of the year should prove very interesting as I complete this goal. 2011 is flying by and this blog will complete just as fast as it was started. A few topics I want to tackle in the second half of the year:
Pledge of Allegiance
Santa Claus
Blessings (from above)
College Football
Hearing Voices

Stay tuned.... :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Power of Prayer (Chapter V) ; Raining Frogs and Final Thoughts

 When I first set my goal to blog this year the topic I wanted to tackle the most was the power of prayer. Or the lack thereof. I think prayer is the number one driving force that fuels Christian arrogance to new heights. The notion that your personal God loves you so much that he will give you, the believer, a healthy baby,a sunny day,an unseemly cure for an ailment,or that wonderful generous offer on that house in such a terrible market. While,yet, so many of the same exact prayer requests go unfulfilled for many other believers. The believer will sit in the same pews with his/her fellow church goers and claim certain prayer success stories and also claim numerous blessings all the while the others in the same church...the fellow believers of the same sheet of music will go without. Is this taboo to notice this? It seems to me that if I were a believer in this prayer system I would find it very curious as to why some of my fellow Christians ask for the exact same requests only to have them unfulfilled by the same God. Does God like/love you more than others? Surely not! But it appears so....lets add fuel to the arrogant fire.

One of the most bizarre in the elements of the power of prayer is this bronze age belief that still survives in the year 2011 that the Almighty dictates weather patterns around the world.  Need rain!?! Simply pray...and the rains will come. Oh my!
 OK, I just planted my crops for the year. I desperately need rain. I go to the nearest high school,kidnap a suspected virgin, drive to the nearest volcano and toss her into a lava pit.  I need to appease the gods to ensure my family will have enough to eat this winter. And I will just simply do what ancient civilizations used to do to ensure rain. Or, I can just pray...get it?
And yet at least two governors in the United States have declared "days of prayer" for the needing of rain in the last four years. (Gov.Sonny Perdue,GA;2007, and Gov.Rick Perry,TX;2011)
 Governor Rick Perry of Texas recently declared Easter weekend as "Days of Prayer for Rain"

"I,Rick Perry,Governor of Texas,under the authority invested in me by the Constitution and Statutes of the state of Texas, do hereby proclaim the three day period from Friday,April 22,2011 to Sunday,April 24,2011 as Days of Prayer for Rain in the state of Texas. I urge Texans of all faiths and traditions to offer prayers on that day for the healing of our land, the rebuilding of our communities and restoration of our normal and robust way of life"

Proof that rational,reasonable intelligence is not a requirement for political office in the United States. Does Gov.Perry also believe that spitting on a flesh wound would help cure it? Do toads or small dwarfs living in our bodies cause cancer? What other iron age philosophy does he subscribe to?

To me, prayer causing rain or a heat wave to cease has the same implications and a second side of the coin. If you think that God is causing and dictating weather patterns around the world then you have no problem acknowledging his handy work  in tsunamis,tornadoes and earthquakes that kill thousands of people every year. Yet no believer will acknowledge the negatives of the Almighty. You deny "God's wrath" in devastating hurricanes and tsunamis (Unless your name is Falwell or Pat Robertson),and you deny still borns,and miscarriages as God's handy work but at the same time give him credit for much needed rain and a beautiful healthy new baby boy/girl. Of course to make complete sense of this all one has to do is understand there is nothing in the power of prayer.Problem solved.

To quote a scene in the movie "Religulous" with Bill Maher:

Bill Maher: You know you live your life in the same sorta mundane coincidences as everybody in the world. It's not like,you know,if it rained frogs,I'd say you'd have a point.But it rains and it stops raining...

Steve Burg:Well, when was the last time you asked for rain and it started to rain within ten seconds?

Bill Maher:I don't know,I don't ever ask for rain. But, if I asked for it really bad and it started to rain. I wouldn't think it was because I asked for it...I would think that it sometimes rains!

Steve Burg: God is not that busy where He can't spend time listening to you when you really want to talk to him. Anytime.

Bill Maher: If Santa Claus can hit every house in the world....

Steve Burg: Well..I don't believe in Santa Claus.

Bill Maher: Of course not! That's ridiculous! That's one man flying all around the world and dropping presents down a chimney. That's ridiculous! But one man hearing everybody murmuring to him at the same time....That I get!

When all else seems to fail,when all is lost and in the dire desperation we encounter....We turn to prayer. We pray knowing we live in an uncaring world. An unforgiving,hateful,cruel world.We watch children die of cancer,witness mass killings throughout our histories.The meaning of life seems less meaningful without "Big Brother" to watch over us. I personally feel that our prayers do not reach the height of our ceilings. The thinking and belief system surrounding the prayer concept is simply wishful. I do not wish to change the minds of the believer.We are very fortunate to live very fortunate lives. Prayer has not made it this way. You may pray until your hearts content. I will NOT pray....and the results of the circumstances in which the way our lives will play out; Will be exactly the same. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Power of Prayer (Chapter IV) ; Dictating the Health of Babies

Recently, I reconnected with an old high school classmate whom I haven't spoken to in almost 20 years. In fact, I don't really remember ever speaking to him at all during those high school times. I thought it was pretty bizarre to even receive a friend request on facebook from a guy that I barely knew almost two decades ago. What's more bizarre and actually astounding is how he immediately tried to recruit me as a prayer warrior.

  "If you could,please keep the health of my unborn nephew in your prayers.I'm looking forward to finally holding him this April."



My reply: "Listen "Amos", I don't pray. I don't believe in prayer,but I hope natural selection favors him well..."
Amos:" What is natural about selection?"
Michael: <sigh>

I left it alone. I did not proceed and cater to his sheer ignorance. But so many thoughts running through my head. Are you kidding me? I have two nephews and a niece of my own and not once did I utter a single prayer on behalf of their health before they were born. What makes Amos think that my prayer plate is so empty that I have the time and immediate concern about your request. What would this prayer even sound like?!!?

Dear Heavenly Father,
  Some guy i haven't spoke to in 18 years just asked me to pray for the health of his unborn nephew. I'm not sure of the expecting mother's name but I think she lives somewhere in North Carolina. I know the birth is a couple months away and in case you haven't decided the outcome of this birth I would like to put in a good word for little unborn to be healthy. I know you have a quota to meet. You cause so many birth defects in any giving year. At least 10,000 babies are born in the United States every year with cerebral palsy. Countless other babies are still born. Some are born with holes in their little hearts in which case many never survive. Countless statistics on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS),cancers,muscular dystrophy,diabetes...the list goes on. Now dear Lord, I would never suggest to you that just because a child is born with a clef palate or down syndrome,that he or she is considered unhealthy. In fact they are perfectly healthy, and we thank you for that. I just think that if your followers are praying for healthy babies this is not something they would have in mind. I think they just want to play the odds and for you to keep the status quo. It is curious as to why your followers even think you play a hand in regulating the health of the unborn. But it seems to me that if they pray to you and actually believe you are fully responsible for the health of the unborn and you're getting 100% of the credit and praise and glory for the perfectly healthy son or daughter then it would make sense to fault you for the unhealthy babies born in this world also. I would even go as far as asking you to stop causing so many miscarriages as well. So please be gentle to pregnant lady "x" in central North Carolina (I think). I'm sure you'll get all the credit when its a perfect bundle of joy. But you can be damn sure that if its "unhealthy" (by our standards anyway) that crickets will chirp....No one will acknowledge you had a hand in this....I guess us unbelievers will call a spade a spade and point this out to them for you. Thank you in advance dear Lord.....Amen!

If you believe that God dictates the health of the unborn then you have a lot of explaining to do. I've mentioned this stat in previous blogs but it deserves to be repeated and repeated to the believer.

Every year,9 million children in this world, will die before they reach the age of 5.

At the very least, that's 9 million unanswered prayers. You can go ahead and stop praying concerning the health of your unborn. And while you're at it, you can stop giving credit to the Almighty for "answering" your prayers when your babies are born perfectly healthy. Your God is either powerless to stop these deaths,or He simply does not care to.
Natural Selection is the one and only driving force that regulates health of the unborn. Consider yourself lucky. Your prayer is a result equal to chance. You,the believer can not claim answered prayers regarding this and then simply turn a blind eye to the fact that many of the worlds babies are born with birth defects. If you need a reminder of this I challenge you to google birth defects and scan the images of "God's handy work" It will be an humbling experience.