August 1, 2014
I was having this conversation with someone online the other day and he said something that I found pretty difficult to believe. Somehow the conversation turned to wealth. The gentleman that I was talking to asserted very strongly that if the average person became rich, they would become bored after only a few months if they didn’t have to work. He made it very clear that he would feel that way personally, but that he wasn’t talking about just himself. It was his belief that pretty much everyone would want to go back to work within a year or two.
So, I thought about what an “average” person’s life is like. You are startled out of a sound sleep by the clanging and clamoring of an alarm clock, cursing the person who set up this cruel torture device, only to remember that it was you. Still bleary eyed, you stumble into the shower cursing alternately as it starts out too cold and then gets too hot for comfort.
After the ritual dowsing of water and whatever other super secret things you do in the bathroom, you emerge covered in different, clean scents and dress for the day. You pour yourself a “cup of ambition”, as Dolly Parton would say, and head out into gridlock on your way to the cubicle farm.
Click here to read on and see the rest of my point of view on this.
July 29, 2014
The late great George Carlin, one of my all time favorite comedians, used to do a bit about growing up Catholic. He would relate a lot of his experiences many of them as things that just didn’t make sense to him. After all that’s really what comedians do. They talk about things that don’t make sense and share with their audience the wrongness of things. And that wrongness makes us laugh. It is literally what humor is.
But sometimes once the laughter dies down and you’ve had some time to think about things you realize things don’t have to be that way. Part of making the world a better place is about first observing that something is wrong with it. And then doing our best to make it right. The particular conversation that he has about the Bible that has stuck with me the most is about the ten commandments.
He would go down the list a few times and each time he would show how one commandment was similar to one or two others. He would then say if the commandment in question was already covered somewhere else there was no need for redundancy and it could be removed. It was very well done. At the end he would have just one or two commandments and decided that they could be summed up by one simple all encompassing commandment.
What is that one commandment? Click here to read on and find out. As an apology and a quick word of warning, there is an expletive used in the commandment. But it is not my word. It is part of Mr. Carlin’s bit and really does help to sum up the whole thing.
July 24, 2014
Most of what I write has a clear positive message. I do not enjoy complaining just as I know others do not enjoy hearing complaints, so I tend to do as little of it as possible. As a word of warning, I am looking for the lesson in this story, what I can learn from it. So, I apologize in advance, if there is nothing positive for you to take away from it. Also it is a bit long and I just didn’t feel like splitting it up. So, here it is.
A few months ago, back in January, I wrote about what a wonderful internet provider Comcast is (http://lnk.to/oFc0m) . Since January, we have paid them over $1500 and our internet still does not work properly.
When we call in and talk to the tier 1 representatives, most of them have no idea what we are talking about. What they are trained to deal with is people who have no internet signal at all. We get asked to do things like make sure the cable modem has power and that all of our cables are connected properly. When we inform them that the problem isn’t whether or not we can connect to the internet, that the problem has something to do with lost packets, high ping times and signal degradation they start drooling and jiberring like their brains have been totally blown and are now oozing slowly out their earholes.
Each time, they want to walk us through this inane and completely useless set of steps that is designed to discover why you have no signal at all. Then once we finally get it through their heads that we do in fact have a signal, just that it is a crappy one, then they move on to asking whether or not we have a wired or a wireless network set up. When we tell them that our network is wireless, but that for testing purposes we have set up one computer that is hard wired and that it is getting the same results they latch on to the wireless portion of the conversation and then claim that they can’t help us troubleshoot because our network is wireless which they do not support. We could just lie to them and say its wired. But, then we would be lying.
The rest of this is really just more of the same. So if you are totally like TLDR, believe me I get it. It’s fine. But if you want to read the rest of the Comcast saga, click here to read on
July 22, 2014
When going about our daily lives people often ask us questions. They may want to understand what it is that we are doing or to understand why we are doing things a certain way. Perhaps they see something that they like and want to emulate. Or maybe they see a better way of doing things and want to suggest them to us.
We respond to these queries and suggestions in many different ways. But there are three response in particular that do not serve us. They are not empowering and do nothing to make the situation better.
When asked why we are doing a certain thing or what we think about something, especially when it is something that we need to make a choice about, a pretty common reply is I don’t know. When asked to do a thing in a new way, something that we have never done before frequently we will agree to try. And then after a few unsuccessful attempts we will reply that we can’t do that thing or can’t do it that way.
To me these three responses should be stricken from common usage. As a matter of fact, I think we should remove the words from our vocabulary altogether. Why do I feel this way? Click here to read on and see.
July 19, 2014
Most organized religion teaches that this life is merely a precursor for that which is to come after it is over. We are told that it is just the blink of an eye as compared to the eternal life that follows. The actions of our short now, will be used to judge us and determine whether the forever that we get is one of reward, punishment or limbo.
Because we don’t want the punishment or limbo we are urged to live the best lives that we can. We are instructed to do good things. We are told to be good people. That way we can get the reward. And to that end many people go beyond what is necessary even to the point of putting themselves through great misery and suffering to “ensure” that they get that reward in the end.
There is, however, no proof that such an eternal reward exists. It is entirely possible that this life is all there is with no reincarnation afterwards and no heaven, hell or limbo. If that is the case, then what reason is there to do good things? If there is no penalty for being evil, why not be evil?
That seems like a reasonable question. Click here to read on and see what I think about that.
July 17, 2014
Today I want to talk about the past. Most people tend to look at their past deeds and either use them to bolster themselves up or to hold themselves back. Think about it.
There’s the guy who thinks he is better than everyone else because of who he used to be in high school. He was the letter wearing football star and he’s still lording it over everyone within earshot about how he is better than them. Look he even has proof! There’s his signed mvp ball. And he was homecoming king. Or how about the local chess champion? He’s smarter and more important than you because of that one tournament that nobody thought he was going to win.
Or how about the girl who was the head cheerleader? She’s prettier and better than everyone else, yes even you and again she has proof. Look at all her trophies. She was uncontested queen of the “in” crowd and acts as if she still is.
And what about all the other guys and gals, the ones who were just middle of the road and didn’t accomplish anything great while the others were busy being superstars? A lot of those people look at their lack of accomplishments and beat themselves up about it. They point at their past deeds and say, see I’ve not done anything of note yet and nor am I ever likely to.
What do I think about that? Click here to read on and see.
July 12, 2014
Sure, homosexuality is a sin but so are all of those other things. What’s that saying again? Oh yeah, let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Measuring them just by their actions and the directions in their own book, few if any Christians have any right to say anything about what anyone else
is doing, other than to observe that the other person is ALSO not following the Bible.
Now let’s talk about those Christians that just want to follow the New Testament. After all if you’ve read both it almost seems like the Old Testament and New Testament God are two different guys. The Old is full of fire and brimstone and punishment. The New is a more loving understanding God. Who wouldn’t want to just skip the icky part?
But is that really okay? I mean wouldn’t that be like if your Dad handed you a list of chores that he wanted done and it was two pages long and you just decided to do the second page because it was shorter? But it’s okay though right? You did the whole second list, every item on it.
Yeah, that really didn’t work when I was a kid. Though I tried it a few times just to be sure. Click here to read on and see Jesus’s summary of the word of God.
July 9, 2014
Today I want to talk about intolerance and ignorance. There is a great deal of it in the world and it comes from people around the world that follow many different religions. From what I have seen the biggest amount of intolerance comes from Christian and Islamic teachings. I am not as familiar with Islam. So for now the discussion will primarily revolve around Christianity.
During the time that I was a Jehovah’s Witness, and indeed for several years afterwards, I spent many hours reading and cross-referencing passages in the Bible. I have read it from cover to cover and have a better memory of and understanding of it than most people that I have met and talked to.
There are Christians, a great many of them in fact, who believe that if you are not following the whole Book down to every last letter and detail that you are not a true follower of God and that you are going to end up in a not so pleasant place after you die. Most of those people have no idea what is in their Bible, at least not anymore than whatever their local preacher tells them on Sunday.
Don’t think that’s true? Click here to read on and see.
July 9, 2014
Society in general abhors abnormality or so we are led to believe.The LGBT community is out of the ordinary so we should hate them right? Well what about celebrities, people whose lives we celebrate. Their lives are abnormal. Why don’t we hate all of them?
I am a heterosexual male. Many of my friends are either gay or bisexual. In my local group my preferences are abnormal. Should my friends tear me down for my choices? They are open and loving and accepting of my way of being just as I am of theirs. Having different sexual preference just means that we are not compatible sexual partners. We can still be good people and good friends.
My point of view, I realize is very liberal. As long as you aren’t trying to enforce your way of being onto me and saying that I have to be just like you, I really don’t care what you do behind closed doors. And I don’t think anyone else should either. It’s not like homosexuals are going to out breed the heterosexuals. So what’s the problem?
Click here to read on