Sunday, December 30, 2007


Well... the first annual "Exmo-Expo" took place today. I must say that another 5 hours could have, probably, taken care of all the verbalizing necessary to cover all possible topics which were touched upon.

SE was delightful. She was insightful, articulate, and observant. She listened to that rantings of HH, and and that "radical" anarchist with aplomb, and clarity.

CounterIntuitive was delightful in his questions regarding coping. and restraint of the atheistic compunction to condescend to those who continue the belief-system of religiosity. Further, his declaration of tolerance, and decency were noble and moral (not scientifically moral since there is no such thing... Wink wink... nudge nudge). I was just as awed by CI in person as I was by his writings.

Shane was just his normal self (a pain-in-the-ass, whom, attempted to find the similarities between religion and science {even though he doesn't understand what science is} *wink and nudge*). Yet, that is a topic that I will address in some depth at some point in the future (not Near future). Poor... poor...Shane (insert snicker here.. sounds like "mwa ha ha ha ha"). His desire to overthrow the current system of government through violence, or non-violence, is a bit vague. *wink and nod here*

We all missed Rod here, though. We all thought that He, and Darci were leaving earlier than reality dictated. If we had known, we would have offered him a ride to the festivities.
Rod, my man, you are definitely a part of EXMO-EXPO 2008. It will occur some time between x-mas '08 and New Year '09. We need you. Sorry that we didn't invite you (Thor knows we wish we had known that you would be around). I blame the anarchist here (another wink and nudge).

HH is thinking that a Summer get-together might be as fun. HH has been wrong before, but, only about which species of tree to plant in the ungodly crappy soil of Wellsville, Utah (unfertile clay crap). Don't miss Wellsville much (kind of goes without saying). Mrs. HH might be fun to include (even though BLOGGING is years away from her non-technocratic abilities). What think ye all?

Let's get more people going too. The idea of 10-plus smart people exchanging ideas for 5+ hours is just (as of now) too reinforcing to ponder. It really was a great experience to talk with others who could articulate their thoughts/ideas with such clarity and honesty.

Is it any wonder I have looked so "forward" to Shane's visits? It has been like swimming for months and coming up for air every "now-and-again." I am HH the whale. Hopefully, swallowing all the Jonah's (irrational religionists) that come along. Not much of a meal. We each have our crusades. ;)

Angie and I are watching "Bible Camp" on A&E. The parody of scientific conclusions that they present is fucking ridiculous (and sad). "Do you think we came from ooze?" is a quote from a representative of this sect. Show me the scientist who asserts such a notion.

Some draw false parallels. They just don't work. "How" scientific outcomes should be used, is a different question as to "whether science ought be be used?" My whole point in part of our discussion. (Shane and Ron... go to town).

No matter what was discussed, it was just great to have a discussion with such a brilliant group. I laughed, pondered, and was sad throughout. The poor waitress was wonderful. How people could sit there and chat for 5 hours would stagger most. That we could have chatted for longer is kind of self-satisfying.

After today, I am convinced that voting in the election is ridiculous. Changing society (as a whole) is futile and, savoring the wonder, and awe, of the living experience is the only thing that matters.

Some folks, of my professional ilk, would say that, "how you live today may make every yesterday a dream and every tomorrow a vision of hope."

I hope.

HH =)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Into the wild... the beginning.

I just began reading "Into the Wild" by Krakuer. So far, I must say, it seems as though "Alex" was just a naive kid with bipolar disorder who just didn't seem to understand his limits. Of course, I am only three chapters into the book.

Gotta go pick up the wife's pictures at Walmart.

HH =)

I finished the book. I am still convinced that Chris/Alex was having emotional problems (given his past). However, it seems that he may have confused a wild "potato" for a "wild pea." The pea may have poisoned him. If so, he died in true agony.

I was amazed at how much the tale made me think of Shane. A wayfaring man, stubborn, vulnerable, and smart. Was he deluded with his own abilities to luckily make it through new environments? Was he just the victim of poor luck? He knew that he had killed a moose when the "experts" had, retroactively, decreed it an elk. What else was he "right" about that the others were in error? Was he weak to refrain from establishing any intimate relationships? Or, was he preparing his freinds for a well-thought-out end?

Either way, I can't see how he rationalized his families torments. His parents were unhinged with fear as he faded from their lives. Even the most detached child should understand a parents fear.

It seems an abilivance has swept over me regarding this book. My simple mind attempts to put it into black-and-white. It is not that simple. As Richard Dawkins wrote I am being "overly-reductionistic." Right and wrong are much more complex than I was raised to believe they are. My father and mothers voices scream loudly for a verdict. I find that there is none to give. What was... was. Who the hell am I to judge anyone without having a knowlege of the particulars of thier life?

My head doesn't hurt. Nice to be healing.


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Too funny not to post...

The whole citing may be found here.

"Santa Claus
From Dickipedia - A Wiki of Dicks
Santa Claus (also known as Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle, and Santa) is a historical, legendary and mythical figure and a dick.

In Western cultures, Santa Claus is thought of as bringing gifts on Christmas day, or, as it’s now known, The Day Before The Day After Christmas Sales.

The modern depiction of Santa Claus as a fat man wearing a red coat and pants with white cuffs and collar, and black leather belt and boots was not based on Rush Limbaugh. Rather, it was popularized in the United States in the 19th century drawings of political cartoonist Thomas Nast. It has since become the basis for a notable number of bad movies starring Tim Allen.

One legend associated with Santa holds that he lives in a land of perpetual snow. The American version of Santa Claus lives at the North Pole, while Father Christmas is said to reside in Finland. Other legends say that he is married and lives with Mrs. Claus, while still another says that Santa and Mrs. Claus had a bitter separation over what Mrs. Claus said was a “serious drinking problem,” which Santa Claus maintained was just being “jolly.”

Many accounts of Santa Claus say that he delivers presents to all of the good boys and girls in the world in one night, and that he accomplishes this feat with the aid of magical elves who make the toys and the flying reindeer who pull his sleigh. Such a thing is, of course, preposterous, much like, say, a country invading another country that never attacked it and then being greeting as liberators. But myths such as these are entertaining to children, and, on occasion, adults, who are commonly known as “simpletons” or “half-wits.”

Many Christians are opposed to teaching children to believe in Santa Claus because the tradition detracts from the religious purpose of Christmas. Some Christians also believe there is a so-called “War On Christmas.” This refers to what the Christians believe is an organized effort, led mostly by Jews, to deny the Christians the right to celebrate Christmas as they wish, which mainly involves saying “Merry Christmas” to Jews, or, “being an a-hole.”

Though there is some debate about what leads someone to believe there is such thing “War on Christmas,” consensus is coalescing around the theory that it stems from watching “Fox News” while licking Chinese toys."

I laughed so hard I was crying...

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Siblings and simple minds...

I attended a family party tonight. My older TBM brother was there. He didn't approach and ask about my kids, life, or work. Instead he confronted me with a list of "democratic" convention notes. It was a parody, but frankly it was completly bunk... except for the making fun of Kennedy's drinking issues... But that is another story. But his blatant bigotry made me wince. I am not a democrat. IN fact, I am a registered "Independent." That he refused to hold the republican "Mess" to the same standard is damned hard to stomach. "Selective Observation" is repugnant to any honest intellectual inquiry. But his belief system (LDS) has done nothing but condition him to do just that. THAT is the harm in religion. It teaches one to accept some things without honest skepticism. That looking at the world through non-tinted glasses is wrong and evil. I hate that my LDS family members loath themselves to the degree that that they do.

In the end, I don't hate religion. I hate its effect on honest, decent human beings.


Friday, December 21, 2007

Sad politics and the lack of outrage...

I just read this: "This definitive result of the 110th Congress will confirm the popular feeling that George W. Bush believes in his disaster more than the Democrats believe in anything." - David Bromwich, 12.20.2007. How Effing true is that?! What a bunch of cowards and traitors.

As I research the candidates, and attempt to keep abreast of the political situations we face, it is all I can do to keep my damned lunch down. What the hell is wrong with America? Between MItt ROmney's blatant falshoods (my daddy marched with Reverand King), Huckabee's running for president or evangilcal "pope" (nice phony christmas advertisment you close-minded twit), Barack Obama's uplifting speeches, but pure lack of substance, and Hillary's ever changing opinions, I just want to take a hammer to my head and hit until it somehow may make sense.

IN my America: Fascism is on the assent... Indifference is the norm... Ignorance pervades the citizenal bourgeoisies... And, greed/materialism is at the heart of reinforceing it all! Isn't this the scenario, throughout recorded history, that has preceded the downfall of every great society? Where the hell is my fiddle??? Got it. Now, to just sit back and wait for the flames.

The candidates depress the hell out of me. What a clump of fake "Jesus lovin'", corporate owned, hacks. I am defiantly writing-in a candidate when I vote next November. But whom should I write in? I have plenty of time to think that one through.

I passed a relative this morning. She smiled wryly and said, "Have a Merry Christmas HH(she used my real name)." I smiled back, and said it back. She looked puzzled and stated that she understood that I didn't celebrate Christmas. The Tree in my living room, the major deficit in my bank account, the carols playing on my computer, the decorations on my front porch, and my "Merry Christmas" greetings would seem to contradict that assertion.

Rod wrote a great post on the origins of "Mithramas." You ought read it if you have access. Boy's spot-on! Christmas has lost all moral significance. I know, many think morals are only possible with a picture of a German-looking Jesus portrait hanging on ones wall. But the cultural practice of celebrating our nobler traits has transmogrified into a bloodbath of selfishness, materialism, and shallow callousness. May Mithra forgive us.

The only problem I, personally, have with the holidays is all the socializing. Three family parties, dinner with my wife's high-school friend (and her husband), parties at work, neighbor gift exchanges, family christmas eve meals, family Christmas breakfast (BTW y'all are invited), christmas night dinner, etc. It all sets off my solitude alarm. Too much stimulation. Given my profession, I spend a great deal of time intimately with others at work. For me, a holiday should be a break from other people. Must go... carolers are at my office door. Must adapt... Sheesh...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

okay... how about this.?

What about a yule log and some serious holiday classic tunes to go along??? Bring bak any memories???

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Getting into the holiday spirit

SE has inspired me to start warming up to the holidays. Therefore:

Friday, December 07, 2007

Cyber-world gets smaller and smaller

My boy has made his first blog post. He is a bit entranced by the world of movies. YOu can see it

He is MUCH smarter than his blog would suggest. He might have posted something like this:

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Richard Dawkins... need I say more???

I, through an online friend, asked the world's current most "famous Atheist" a few questions. He actually answered. I was impressed enough to post his replies here.

Question: As a behaviorist, it is difficult for me to get behind the idea of a "meme." Could you enlighten me about how the "environment v phenotype" argument is fulfilled by your assertion?

Answer: "Your question is quite good. It would be foolish to deny that there is a continuum of "inherited" traits to "environmentally" influenced traits. It seems that there are those who wish to paint my arguments with one brush. As a Darwinian, myself, it is difficult to teach the uneducated mind that Darwin's theory was clearly articulating the relationship between the two. It is the Neurologist that will fill the gaps, not the pseudo-psychologist. If one thinks of the Meme as an inherited disposition to do certain things, then it makes more sense. Is does not predetermine anyone's outcome. Instead, it limits the possible responses to the environment which any organism can produce. "

Question: "What are your criticisms of B.F. Skinner's work?"

Answer: "I think he was overly reductionistic. He over-simplified that relationship between the organisms he studied, and their genetic endowment. I am not of the opinion that he considered the impact that "thinking" played in the survival of our particular species."

Question: "What are the implications of a "godless" world?"

Answer: "They are exactly the same as the world in which we live. If there is no deity, then how could the world be different? If one thinks of "God" as another Meme (trait inherited by progenitors), which had survival value in the past, but, no longer has utility, then it makes sense that mankind never had such an entity to tie "belief" to. Why consider an explanatory fiction, that which can adequately be explained by survival belief? Does something need to "exist" in order to be beneficial?"

I have more questions. But, I don't wish to push my luck.


Monday, November 12, 2007


This post was just not thought through. Here is a thanksgiving picture:

HH =)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

How did they find out?

It seems that every time I check my g-mail there are 15 new messages. Of course, 12 of them are spam; and the other three tend to be my DVD service notifying me that they have received the movies we sent back. The other 12, however, seem really motivated by the size of my Johnson.

Now, I don't know who may have referred these pushy folks in their attempts to have me buy substances which may, or may not, improve the surface area of certain organs; but I really would have rather they just stand in the urinal next to me and stare.

Speaking of urinals... I hate public restrooms. Doing my business while other people are hanging around just makes me nervous. Luckily I have identified the restrooms at work which have a small likelihood of being occupado. Hillcrest elementary school has the best. Just in case your in town and looking for a nice solitary place to whizz.

As far as genitals go... I wish that Americans were not, in general, so scared of theirs. Everything which suggests that sexual openness is okay or "normal" is shunned as liberal, and thus, worthy of poo-poing. The longer I am out of the mainstream, the less intelligent the mainstream appear to be. I like my genitals. I like others genitals too. I won't stare at the urinal, but I always hope that you are making the most of your personal time.

We are such a prudish, self-righteous, nation. What happened to the old, "each to his own" philosophy? Why do some worry so much what "other" consenting adults are doing in the confines of thier own bedrooms? I'd be willing to bet good money that if religous leaders yanked their own chains a little more often, that they would worry less about how often I am yanking mine.

Now, if you will excuse me I have some personal business to take care of. Keep your eyes on the wall.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Longing for not-longing...

Been a bit strange lately... Work has simply picked me up, blown me around,and made me dizzy as hell. One moment I am just administering a standardized measure, and the next I am listening to another child coldly verbalize his/her (usually her) experience being brutalized by a bishop, step-father, or mother's boyfriend. There has been a bit of habituation to seeing the healing scars on thier arms, wrists, and ankles. It just doesn't phase me anymore.

My ears have been ringing, and my head has been fuzzy. An audiologist friend finally diagnosed me with "severe eustation tube dysfunction." A 30-day round of steroids and prescription decongestants... just thrilling. Wonder when/if it will end?

I am blessed by nature to have an incredible family. My wife is supportive and loving. My children are bright and kind. The changing of the color of leaves brings bliss to me. My financial situation is VERY positive (BTW invest in LUK).

Is life just a battle between extremes and moderation? Is the dichotomy just a coincidence? It seems that I have lived my life in bliss, and depression (youth); or, in moderation and peace. Peace is better. Strange days indeed.

Sorry I haven't posted much lately. I have been keeping up with my blog reading though.


Wednesday, October 03, 2007


IT has been rather humbling to read the web of late. Shane and Counterintuitive have seemed to been especially inspired to scribble prose which, by any standard, seem to elucidate the most tender parts of the human experience. I am touched with the thought of how much words may be used like musical notes.

It seems that words, put on the proper order... sing to me. There is a rhythm which, like fine music, mezmorizes the reader. It goes beyond inspiration. It simply touches the heart, soul, spirit, being... call it what you will, in a way which transcends the meaning of language. And, which, when invoked by the inspired hand, changes the mood of the reader.

Times like those are reminiscent of the elation experienced after long periods of meditation. When the mind is quiet, desire is gone, and the bodily and mental health are in perfection. It seems the confines of the waking world, for a moment, blend with the world in my dreams. And, so, the other may capture this trance-like state and blend the depth of reality with the sphere of ethereal whimsy. Its interesting how only through disconnection with self one is able obtain greater connection with all else.

MY daughter is having a birthday this week. No longer a pre-teen she is growing into a woman. Funny... she ages, and I get older. She and her brother will soon be gone. Off to university life, marriage, and families of thier own. Geeezzz. little more disconnection would be nice. Better go read ya'lls blogs.

HH =)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Funky Hot Tub and a quiet house

The wife and I were pondering a little Hot-Tubbing action last night. We decided against it (too lazy to go outside, turn up the temp; and change into suits). It has been about three months since I drained, cleaned, and refilled it; so, thought today it might be a good idea to check the chemical levels.

Went outside, opened the cover, smelled a slight funk, and saw cloudy water. I grabbed a test-strip, dipped it into the water and could see that there was NO clorine/bromine left. So, after 30 minutes of dumping chemicals and running the tub, it is crystal clear again. Gonna drain and clean it tomorrow.

I also need to change the oil in the wife's car... Oh, and I need to adjust a few sprinkler heads... the bed needs made... dishes need to be cleaned... need to pay a few bills... ahh screw it...

The house is quiet and I am alone. The wife and daughter are in Provo at a gymnastics camp for the day. The boy is off with a friend eating lunch at a local Wendy's. The peace is quite lovely. It was a long, busy week at work and a few precious moments of silence may give my head the break it needs...

The boy came home... he's headed to a movie with his "group." Okay... just a little lonely here.

Mmmmmmmmmmmm... Better get those bills paid.


Monday, September 03, 2007

Gambling, barfing, and saying goodbye to an old friend.

The wife and I spent the extended weekend in a little dump just inside the Nevada border. We go with her aunt and uncle. They are the same age we are so its not as bizarre as you may imagine it. The visual appeal of the town is akin to God...non-existent. The casinos are really all there is. Angie's uncle has been teaching me the fine art of craps. His knowledge and research in the area is truly amazing.

IT takes 4 hours to get there. The town may be barren of anything remotely appealing, but the drive.... the drive... the drive is so devoid of stimulation that many passengers simply slip into coma-tic states with no other people in the cars noticing. Further, it is hotter than hell. "So, HappyExmo, what is the appeal then?" you may ask. The answer... last visit we walked away over 1500 dollars richer (between the two of us craps playas). Also, the wife and her aunt desperately needed a break from it all.

Well we arrived, did not win any money, I got sicker than hell, and then we left. Sums it up really well. I wasn't feeling good that day we left, but just thought I could wait it out, and things would eventually get better (headache, pressure, queasy stomach). We arrived just int time to catch the tail-end of the brunch buffet (just before the price goes up 5.00 per person). By midnight our first night I was riding the porcelain bus to Ralph town. Was a real downer. Spend the next day sleeping in the hotel room trying to recover. The next day (today), we left. Four fun-filled driving hours later we were home.

There was laundry to do, a house to clean, and a teenage boy who REALLY wanted to practice driving. I got the mail, and the annual tax and license notice for my trusty truck was there. The wife and I had discussed just when we would have to trade it in on a newer car for the boy to drive (given his upcoming driver's permit and inevitable license). So... the boy and I went driving, ran a few errands, and then stopped at a local car dealer to look at the inventory. IT was labor day, so we could just browse without any salespeople. We stopped, got out, and began to walk around the used car lot. I spotted a car that looked quite appealing. Behind me I heard some footsteps. Guess who was open for business today? The salesman asked if I would like to take it for a test drive. I did. The car was perfect for our needs and drove like a dream.

Three hours later we were driving it home. I traded in my truck. My trusty truck has seen me through ten years of good, bad, and ugly. It has needed a new battery, and that is it for 10 years. The sense of loss is hard to understand. It was just a vehicle. Metal, plastic, and petrol. No mind, behavior, hopes, dreams.... nothin. Yet I have emotionally bonded with it (albeit onesidedly). Think I'll just seep in this petty melancholy for a while. I miss my friend, but food is staying down now.



Saturday, August 25, 2007

Wife's laughter, and the kindness of others...

The school year started with a rush. There has been little time to just sit in my office and respond to e-mails, complete testing protocols, read up on research, or return phone calls (which reminds me I have to call a parent)...

Got it covered now...

My wonderful wife ran a half-marathon this morning. That is her on the left (above picture). She averaged 8.5 minute miles. She ranked 10th in her age division (30-40). The most difficult part for her was rising at 5:00am to get there on time. She was bit nervous and arose at 4:45. OF course she had been lying awake next to me for, at least, two hours before that. Thought maybe that the lack of sleep would negatively effect her run. It didn't. Next year she plans to run the full "Top of Utah" marathon. Go WIFE! I married a jock.

MY wife's 20-year reunion has been sneaking up on her. One of her old classmates made a website for fellow alum to post a little biography and pictures. She reads it every day. She will never post to it, nor will she attend the reunion. But she is a bit of a voyer. Just yesterday I walked into our bedroom. There she was with the laptop on her lap. She began to snicker... then chuckle... then outright howl with laughter. "(Happy) come here and listen to this one," she said.

I know more about her high school classmates than I ever wished to. As she reads the posts, she reports regretting not getting to know more people in school. Ignoring isn't so bad. The alternative is to be a dick to some.

I was taught early that treating others with respect and friendship (especially the "weird" people) usually pays off in the long run. There have been times when the wife and I have been out in public and someone VERY colorful, that I knew in High School (or didn't know for that matter) has walked up and start chatting with me. "You were strange in high school weren't you hon," she has said. Some people don't change much.

An old friend works in a local Sprawlmart store. I shop early on Saturday mornings and was surprised to see him one morning about 2 years ago. In Jr. High, and High school this friend was the class whipping boy. Some of my fellow classmates were downright cruel to him. When he saw me he smiled, ran up, and gave me a hug. I hadn't seen him in 20 years at that point. Frankly I was delighted to see that he functioned in society. Some people who take such abuse don't recover. He was recently divorced, and his mother died as well. The resilience of some people just amazes me. Anyway, there was a tinge of pride knowing that I had never belittled him or fell into the peer pressure trap of abusing this decent person. Now the alcohol addicted friend from college is a whole different story. Let's just say I wasn't much of a help to him...

The wife was howling while reading a relatives bio that had been posted. Thought you could get away with not getting involved eh?? Sucker.

HH =)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Worlds colliding....

Being someone that spends a good deal of time cruising the information superhighway it is inevitable that, eventually, anonymity gives way to subtle clues about some who may be lurking just a cubicle, classroom, building, or room away.

I was reading one of my favorite BB's and a person I know (not too well, but pretty well) put up their personal information. My conundrum is deciding whether to "out" myself on the BB; approach this person IRL and chat; or just maintain my anonymous status? Don't get me wrong, this person has not written anything embarrassing. Just went from an anonymous poster using a pseudonym to using their real name and ID.

One of these days, I fear that my wife will learn how to surf the web and she will stumble upon my musings somewhere. Luckily since she has just mastered Windows "Spider Solitiare" and "Word" I don't have too much to worry about. I think back and wonder if I have written anything, of which I ought be embarrassed/ashamed? Probably not, but...

AS with the evolution of species I wonder of the trend toward initial fecundity will give way to moderate reproduction with "fine-tuning"? In other words, as the web contains trillions of bits of information (most of it useless and silly), will users like you and me become more savvy about what information we put out there? And, will we become more discerning regarding the content we read/access? Will the content of the Web be modified by survival value (user interest)? Or will it obey another set of laws? Will the web just continue to fill up, without enough feedback (selection), that useless (poor or factually inaccurate) information will proliferate and, in return, continue to "dumb down" humans?

I find that I tend to go to the same blogs, and websites time and time again. I do have a propensity, however, to go to sites that are very desperate in their views and philosophies. But, what of people who don't? My father goes to, and Any chance that what he accesses will improve his vision of reality? Or, challenge, his false ideas?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Been too busy to reading blogs to post to my own.

It has been a busy week. The wife decided to try a "fund-raising" idea. She has spent the last 3 days at the county fair; sitting in the hot son; NOT selling her wares. Now, one might think, "hey she chose this stuff, its a learning opportunity. However, one would seriously underestimate the investment of her husbands time she makes in such endeavors.

After moving the freezer from Smithfield to Logan. It was Happy's responsibility to carry it to the booth, get the power on, and put the 34 boxes of "otter pops" in the freezer. Further, Happy must make up posters (on the wife's whims), transport the kids back-and-forth from home to Fair, take the wife lunch and dinner, and finally clean up and pack the freezer back to Smithfield.

I know its a "team" thing, but can anyone, anywhere, point to her equivalent jobs to mine? Of course not! I am smart enough to let those "fantastic opportunities" just drive right on by!

I was talking with my wife's grandmother. She is one of the world's most wonderful human beings (those who know her know exactly why). She asked why I did laundry, helped the wife with silly "fund-raising" ideas, did dishes, prepared most meals, and took half the responsibility for parenting. She stated that she was responsible for all the housework and parenting when she was raising children. She is what some of us might label a "good woman."

But, I think that progress has left some of us guys with a shorter end of the stick. I don't demand that the wife support my silly whims. I don't demand the the wife get up in the middle of the night to tend to a child's nightmare. If the dishes need cleaned I don't demand that she clean them. Being a 21st century guy may not be all that it's cracked up to be.

I often think of what it is like to have Shane's life: Drop everything and travel to a foreign country just for the heck of it; party with friends late into the night, have long discussions with mentors and students, look at a female with any feeling other than indifference, and just do what I want to do when I want to do it. Ahh the idea of unfettered freedom...

Yet... I wouldn't give up her gentle smile, the kids hugs early in the morning, shopping just for "them", sharing every idea with Mrs. Happy and anticipating her responses, etc. I see the changes in Lisa's, and Counterintuitive's lives, and see the adventure, and trouble that lay in each path.

How diverse we humans are. How difficult it is to understand what it means to truly walk in the "others" shoes. B.F. Skinner's Autobiography was entitled "The particulars of my life." I am beginning to understand that epiphany's of understanding lie in the details, and not in the crises of our lives. I am just beginning to understand that I am who I am because of the particulars of my short existence. "I ponder the vastness of the universe and see the smallness of mankind. And it makes me happy."-- Albert Einstein.

If only I had his insights into it all.

I am delighted to live vicariously through Shane's experiences (especially the latest ones). I am blessed... err... fortunate... to be effected by the lives of other special bloggers who articulate extraordinary experiences of their own. --- Good for me!

HH =)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

You could actually hear the thud as I posted my last post.

Given the flop that was my last post I have decided to put up a topic more likely to arouse response.

My family just received the new Harry Potter book. DW decided that we are going to read it as a family. We read the first two chapters (between babysitting the wife's nieces and nephew). So far I am not bored. Must say, this is the first fiction read in quite a while. Rowling can weave a tale.

So, what are your thoughts on the last tome of the wizard world? You reading it? You give a poop? Hate it? Love it? Have at it. I will update as we get further into the text.

HH =)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A question...

Having had a number of highly intelligent, and well-read readers of late I put this question before you...

Christopher Hitchens labels his beliefs as "anti-theist." His argument is that even if god was real and religion(s) were true, who would want it? Here is a video of a recent speech. Do you subscribe to this view, the "atheist" view (no god belief), both, or neither? The more I listen to him and read further into his book (God is NOT great), the more I really think I am an Anti-theist.

I look forward to your thoughts.


p.s. if you follow the link above, you really need high-speed since it is a real player video.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Longing to engage, but learning my lessons...

Been following a discussion on another blog. I wish, intensely, to jump in and hammer upon a few individuals who have responded. I spend much of my spare time debating online the whole god/faith concept. And, the rather repetitive, and fallacious argument's that people make to support their "god" belief are so predictable now that I thought I might articulate them here. I will, in my next post, take issue with the real "issue" in it all. And that is "faith." But for now, here is a quick summary of the 8 fallacies I come upon the most.

1. False Dichotomy- This argument involves attempting to put the doubter on the defensive and goes something like this- "Science/Logic can't prove everything so they must be wrong. If Science/logic are wrong then God explains it." The issues here are two-fold. First, Science makes no claim to be wrong/right on anything. Scientists do (because they are people who make claims). But, science is "method" not a belief system (this is part of fallacy 2 below). But even if science and reason are wrong, does the "god" win by default? No. God must stand on its own merit. There also may be other explanations (flying spaghetti monster, invisible pink unicorn, Santa Claus, "E" energy waves, etc.). So the false choice is obvious, it a not between god and science.

2. Straw Man - This involves making up your adversaries position and then demonstrating your caricature to be false. In the god debate it goes like this, "Evolution says we came from monkey's. Since their are no middle-animals between monkeys and men, then it must be false." The problem is that no evolutionist has ever made such an assertion.

3. Ad Homonim - I am going to use an example I just came across this morning. "You are going through a mid-life crisis and that explains the loss of your god belief." First, it is personally insulting. Now sometimes insults are warranted, but in this case it doesn't do anything to promote the argument. Even if someone is going through a mid-life crisis, there is no reason to think that has any bearing on whether or not there is a god. Name-calling is for wussies! *wink*

4. Argument from Ignorance - This comes up every single time. "Nobody was there in the beginning of the universe, and science can only take us back to a couple of seconds into the big bang. Therefore, the scientific explanation won't tell us where we came from, only god explains it." This particular argument contains more than just this one fallacy. But, let's attack it only from this fallacy viewpoint. It is an argument from ignorance in two ways. First, because scientists (physicists) have no explanation right now, does that mean that science won't eventually illuminate the truth? Of course not. Further, why does the universe have to have a beginning anyway? Way can't the universe be eternal? The point is, that just because the opposition can't explain it, doesn't mean another (more complicated, and untestable ) argument automatically will. Arguments from "faith" also fall into this category.

5. Argument from "Special Pleading."- This argument always has contained the words, "yo just don't understand..." In the god argument it goes like this. God is so complex and above our ability to define and understand that you just can not grasp his/her existence due to limitations of human intelligence." See the problem? If the problem is human understanding, then why does the opposition get to assume that he/she does understand? (This includes another inherent fallacy called the fallacy from testimony- Just because some says it with conviction doesn't make it true).
Another example is, "well I was praying one night, and as I was praying I recieved a special witness that my belief was true. I had a warm comforting feeling come over my body, and felt a peace I had never had before." Two problems with this, first, it was a personal experience and bears no relationship to the argument since any information it conveys was only available to the individual. Secondly, there are buddists, atheists, and other non-religious people who claim to have had sensations of calm and peace without reporting that they were caused by anything other than natural events. Finally, there are individuals who worship Allah and report the same things. Any reason to think Allah gave the Christian the personal sensation? What about the devil? Wouldn't the devil give you a feeling of peace if you believed something wrong? Where did the feeling come from? See the problem.

6. Argument from authority- Here I am going to use my own devil's advocate example. "Well Richard Dawkins is an expert on evolution, gene selection, and science. And he says there is no god. So neener neener." As my favorite Cosmologist, Carl Sagan, once wrote, "insane people can make perfectly rational statements, and highly educated folks with lots of research under their belts can be dead wrong on an issue. Authority has no power when searching for the truth." There is a bit of a grey area here in that if Richard Dawkins makes a statement on the selective mutation of fruit-fly larvae size, he carries some weight. Not because he is an authority per se, but because his research in fruit-flies makes him an expert. He could still be wrong, but what makes him an expert is that he can produce data and evidence to support his claims/theories. Claims are justified on the evidence.

7. Arguement from Popularity - " So you think 12 millions Mormons are just plain wrong?" I get this statement all the time. My retort is, "so you think 1 billion Muslims are wrong?" The fallacy here is that just because a lot of people hold the same belief, has no bearing whatsoever that it is true. If truth was truth by agreement here, then we should all adopt Catholicism and be done with it.

8- Arguement from positive behavior - This one was used just recently by Reverend Al Sharpton in a debate with Christopher Hitchens. I guess that Christopher saw it as so transparently weak that he didn't appear to address it. The problem was nicely summed up by Bertrand Russell when he wrote, "that fact that religion has a good effect on a mans behavior, is no evidence whatsoever on its being true or not." There is a foundation in India, founded by Gora (a follower of Ghandi's) which has rasied millions of dollars to build hospitals, feed and care for starving children, generated help to elevate to plight of the "untouchables" to world-wide media. He stated that his Athiems prompted him to do such noble work. Is this any evidence that god does not exist? Nope.

Finally, for my part I accept Carl Sagan's most famous quote. "Extraordinary claims, require extraordinary evidence." God/gods being an extraordinary claim, must be supported with extraordinary evidence. Since there is NO evidence of god, I have no belief. My atheism is therefore, summed up.

My arguments against "faith" will be later. But, let's just say that this is where, in my 8-year long debating history, every argument with a believer has ended up. If there is no reason to think "faith" has merit, then that argument (special pleading) fails too.

For a read that is imminently readable and much better at demonstrating this type of rationalism, read "Atheism: The Case Against God by George H. Smith". In my opinion the best book on the subject to date.

Best Wishes,


Saturday, July 07, 2007

Other People's hormones keeping me up at night...

Was up late last night. You see there were 8 or 9 teenagers chatting in my backyard until 11:30. My son was "hanging" with a few of his friends. They all lazily layed/sat on our trampoline while chatting, laughing, and flirting. Now our bedroom window faces the back of the house. It was freaking hot last night, so we had our window open to let in the night breeze.

I was just drifting off to sleep as the whiff of teenage hormones pierced my nose, and the sound of chit-chat filled the neighborhood. They were rounding the corner just a half block away. The good wife was waiting up (she can't sleep until the boy is safely tucked into bed) and nudged me just a bit as she layed across me trying to overhear their chatter (she is a bit nosy).

I remember those teen aged summer nights as we discussed hopes, dreams, and meaningless stuff in Mrs. Roylance's class the school year before. The almost too intense joy that filled me as I sat close with friends and wondered if that girl in the group was as intensely taken with me as I was with her. Would she let me hold her hand? Would we end the night with a lot of non-committal kissing and snuggling? It was almost too much anticipation for my immature body to contain. Eventually I would make my move. Eventually she would make hers... farther away from me on the trampoline, and toward Ryan (every girl had the hots for Ryan.... Damnit!).

But the sensations, although in memory only, are as fresh today as they were twenty plus years ago (crud! has it really been that long?). I impose these fleeting sensations upon my boy as I faintly hear his voice emerge from the lulled conversations reaching my aging ears. "Can you tell what they are saying," I asked the wife in a whisper.


I could sense her impish grin in the dark of our room. My sons most recent girlfriend was with the group. Did they hold hands? Did they kiss? Did they snuggle just a little bit? My vicarious joy for him was almost as intense as it was for myself in the way-back-when.

Eventually, I drifted off to sleep, because, tiredness outranks curiosity for me every time.

The boy won't stop smiling this morning.


Monday, July 02, 2007

A quickie!

Just recently both of my "LDS" parents noted that their non-religious son (moi) was the one that they depend on for courtesy, respect, and decency. Both remarks came out of the blue.

Also, two of my wives relatives (two I admire greatly) flattered me by saying that they could not have chosen a better father and husband for my kids and wife than me. I blushed.

I have noticed, subjectively, that as people lose their religion, they tend to be more interpersonally decent, moral, and accepting of diverse thought. I could be way off base here, but this came to mind when I cam across a great quote:

Hellmut wrote: "The character of some people definitely improves once they shed the obligations of sanctified bigotry." You may find it here.

You know, I am a better behaved person without religion clouding my mind with bigotry. It just seems easier to choose the morally correct thing to do. Perhaps (follow me here) losing the fear of hell and the hope of heaven has allowed me to focus on results in the here and now, rather than the dogmatic outcomes which always seemed ambiguous and confusing? Could religious-LESS-ness make the world a better place?


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Wife's fury... the story.

Many months back the wife and I had a bit of a rowe. She was mad. And, at the time, I was not a liberty to discuss the details. Now... it just doesn't matter. But, I promised so here goes...

After months of entertaining the wife's visiting teachers the wife finally agreed to have her church membership canceled. You see, she would make an appointment with these two wonderful ladies, and then just blow them off. Now, I really liked one of her visiting teachers (Hi terry), but they were not there for me since I had resigned my membership back in 1997. I smiled and chatted with them and they looked puzzled (and somewhat uncomfortable with the non-member husband) when Angie was never there. They usually brought treats (cookies and brownies) and I was always VERY appreciative (since the wife's baking skills end exactly where they begin). But after a few minutes of hemming and hawing they would make a quick exit. I was left to fume because I knew how uncomfortable it was for them, and how much a waste of time it was for me. Finally, after hearing me bitch about it for the umpteenth time, she caved and said she should resign.

Anyhoo... The agreement was simple. As soon as she agreed I typed up the exit letter... she signed it... I sealed it into an addressed, stamped envelope... and then it was placed on the kitchen counter to wait until we were about to move... and then (and only then)... it would be mailed and done. The wife did NOT want to leave the church while her mother was still living close by and in the ward. She was scared that she would find out and her feelings would be hurt.

The stress came when, about 3 months later, a response letter came from the LDS church. They don't send a response letter unless they have a resination request. Somehow her letter had been mailed out. I got the mail and recognized the letter immediately. When she got home from work I gave her the letter from the LDS church records dept. She was furious. She used language that was not very lady-like. She obviously thought I had mailed her exit letter in order to expadite my wishes for us to be DONE with the cult. However, I didn't do it. I attempted to defend myself, but she was having NONE of it. I walked on eggshells for quite some time. Needless to say we are ex-momormons together, and I LOVE THAT WOMAN!

In the end, no one really cared. The one's that took interest were delighted that she had done it. I don't know if her mother even knows now. I really don't think she would care. My Mother-in-law is one of those great people who has her own opinions... and expects others to have theirs. The wife is still agnostic leaning toward theistic, and that is all her mother would really care about.

So... the cat is out the bag. Its a kitten really. But, boy did it cause me headaches for a while.

I bought a new tree. Its a simple ash (see picture above). Its young and came in a 5 gal container. Throughout the years this baby will grow from the 8 ft. wimp it is; into a 60 ft. shade throwing juggernaut. Exciting isn't it. I gotta go hug that sucker just one more time before bed. MMM....

HH =)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Just passing through

Not much is moving me lately. We just finished up our fence, and the Hot Tub has been in for about two weeks. So much vacation time, and so little to do right now. Ahhhh...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

No such thing as an eternal flame

Cindy Sheehan just gave up the fight. Her exit letter is here. It seems that the fervor after giving up so much for this "disaster of a war in a Iraq" just didn't last forever. She began by attacking the president, and when the Democrats were held to the same standard she attacked them too. The Democratic "Left" began to ignore her. The "Right" will always hate those who dissent, that is the way of totalitarianistic philosophies.

I find myself rather sad at this. I have not openly attended any peace rallies or marches. There has been no "peace" bumper sticker on my car. I have written no letters to senators, congressmen, the white house, anyone. Yet, I yearn for peace. I long for the call to return of our troops from that god-forsaken place. I desire that we take action here at home such as, electric vehicles, reduced consumption of middle-east goods, secularization of our people, and moderatism; that will draw money from economies which feed the real murderers of the American dead of 9/11.

I just thought that if one loses a son in a pointless war, driven by a mindless president, that the raw vulcanized emotion would spew forever and drive a parent frantic with opposition and drive to stop it all. I would not sacrifice my child on the oilfields of political mendacity. The very thought of it now raises the hackles of my paternal love.

In a news broadcast yesterday a clip of a 5 year old child surprised by his military father's surprise return from Iraq misted my eyes. As the soldier entered the room, the camera zoomed in on the boy. He stopped, almost startled, jumped up and accelerated towards the waiting arms of his Goliath father. The boy embraced, was scooped up, and wept. I felt his joy. Then I thought, "how many just-as-loving boys shall never hug their father's/mother's again? How many of those longing children have sacrificed just such a blessed moment so that saber rattlers in Washington can have their ego's fed and their lies perpetuated?"

I am ashamed of my government... Ashamed of myself for doing so little... Ashamed that my small candle of dissent was never even lit. I mourn for the loss of young innocent Iraqi lives, and the young loves of our soldiers. Damn this Administration! Damn the enablers! and Damn the passively acquiescent! I mourn the loss of my own rationalizations for doing nothing. I am, in the end, a coward. Shame on me. At least, I am not alone.


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Things certainly did pick-up at work. Last week I thought that I would slip quietly into a coma in my office and no one would find me until I cam up missing during summer break. I have been meeting, testing, working on crises, and having some good-old training (actually catching up with my colleague. We didn't attend much to the presentation).

Our Fence is almost complete. Half of the posts need to be "set" and then its: wait for cement to dry, put in rails and stiles, and then run around the back yard naked. Should be fun. My wife's new outdoor spa was also delivered last night. I was pleased with how pleased it made her.

As I look at our highly diminished checking account balance I whimper just a little. I am amazed at how much freaking money we have spent in the past 3 weeks. And it looks like we are going to need a new vehicle soon. I hate debt, and don't want any. We have paid for most things from savings, but we will have to tap the home-equity line to get a new vehicle. If I didn't have to take the kids to school I could just ride my bicycle. Darn kids *wink*.

I was reminded of the word "resilient" yesterday. It seems an incident involving a gun, a large black male, and a 10 year-old-boy grabbed my crisis list yesterday. I expected to find a child in fear. Instead I found a young man who had full understanding of what had happened and was completely adjusted to this strange circumstance. I spoke with the boys mother and was impressed with her insights and parenting abilities. This young man had gone through a very traumatic experience, debriefed with his mother, and then slept like a baby. He met me with a smile shining across his face. I asked the questions a psych asks, and watched his non-verbal behavior for any signs of stress/tension/anxiety. Nothing! The resiliency of this child was remarkable.

I often wish adults had the resiliency of children. I know plenty of parents who freak out at the smallest issues that arise. For example, a neighbor of this boy called the school superintendent at 6:00am to notify that this "tragedy" had happened. She kept her own children home from school (even though the incident happened at a park near her home, and nowhere near the school). Finally, she demanded that counselors and myself be available to help children cope with this incident. For the love of Pete! I want to shake some histrionic people until their empty little heads fall off sometimes. The boy who actually went through the trauma handled it better than an adult who had only heard of the incident!? WTF??!!

I had probably get more resilient towards a busy schedule I guess. But, I am adult... I have an excuse.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Check this out!
This is one of the funniest vids I have seen in a while. Its called "Kissing Hank's Ass." Just for kicks and giggles.


Monday, May 14, 2007

A good life and a good wife...

Ahhh... another Monday morning. I am dragging myself around today. Spent most of the weekend outside. My son discovered Tennis. Thus, I played out in the hot sun for the past two days. The boy can play! We played one set (mind you he never set foot on a tennis court until his PE class a week ago) and I barely won 7 games to 6.

I have been taking some antibiotics. Having spent so much time in the sun, I am wiped out. I had a fever last night. Sound like I am whining? Well, I am a little. I have been feeling great the past week or so. Whatever I have had since last Sept. is finally starting to clear. So in the stupidity of feeing good I over did it. Luckily my office is freezing. IT is barely 60 degrees in here. And the A/C runs all day. I keep a jacket with me when the frost sets in.

The school year is winding to a close. For me, it is ending with a real whimper. I haven't had a new case, or evaluation, in 2 weeks. A scattered meeting here and there, and the rest of my week is reading journal articles and wishing for hour-8 to roll around. Gotta say, boredom does not suit me.

Had a wonderful Mother's day. I thought of writing up a little diddy on mother's yesterday, but it really is hackneyed. But I just think my wife is the greatest mother ever. I don't know what lucky star shot past the day I met her, but the proof of my true intellect has been my choice of spouse. Every now and again, I impress myself.

Well, one of those infrequent meetings is in 5 minutes so better run. Happy warmth!

HH =)

Monday, May 07, 2007

Sometimes Happy kicks Right's butt.

Had a wonderful time at the in-laws yesterday. One BIL was outside working on his vehicle, while the other was inside chatting with family. I am often surprised by the sense of "bonding" I have when looking under the hood with a bunch of other guys. It just seems comfy. Perhaps it is a recollection of the times in my youth when my father and I spent real time together. I usually held the light while he used tools and swore like a sailor. It brings me a spot of joy recollecting it just now.

The other BIL and I had a quick chat about politics. He started it by inquiring about the Hannity-Rocky debate. Of which, I was not impressed. To call it a debate it is to spit at Roberts and his "rules of order." They talked past one another. Now this BIL is a die-hard republican and Hannity listener. We spoke about the republican candidates and the Dem. candidates as well. He was a tad irked at Rocky's assertion that Bush deserves impeachment. He stated that Bush gets more crap than he deserves. I, of course, am of the opinion that Bush deserves much more scrutiny and impeacment should be the mildest consequence he faces. "He is a war criminal," I stated.
"I am not going to talk about it. I get too angry, "BIL said. We agreed to disagree. We did touch further on politics later, but that was the only testy period we had.
Now, I think my BIL is one of the kindest, gentlest, most decent men I have had the good fortune of knowing. HE is a loving father, husband, and brother. His character is beyond reproach.
I found myself wanting desperately to appreciate his political point of view. Not agree with it... appreciate it. Cutting each other some slack certainly seems a more ethical and moral thing to do. It makes me wonder why we don't do it more often. It seems that emotions (especially political and religious) are very raw in the USA these days. But every now and again, the wiser of our instincts kicks in, and we try to be happy rather than right.
I was reading online and came upon a wonderful blog post. IT is here. Now I couldn't disagree with Jeff Lindsay more often regarding his contorted apologetics for his mormon faith. But every now again, he deserves a little respect (when he gives a little). Jeff if you read this, as an exmormon, I appreciate your desire for peace in that post. Here is a sample of it:

"Many who leave do not do so because the moral standards were too high or because someone snubbed them at Church or because tithing was too painful or they just got sick of home teaching or were victims of gossip or had a serious moral sin that they wouldn't quit. It is understandable, in fact, that people would get upset over polygamy or several other things in LDS history or even in the Bible that would lead them to reject the Church or organized religion in general. There are certainly powerful arguments to be made and often no simple answers."

It is behavior like this that gives me hope and replenishes my weary American spirit. We need to agree to disagree. I agree that I should stop blogging and get some work done. Disagree all you like, I respect that. *wink*


Saturday, April 21, 2007

The glass completely empty...

For the love of Pete! Would someone please have a chat with Mother Nature and get some warm freakin' weather here?! I LONG for a day out on my patio bbq'ing, reading a good book (okay finishing "A History of doubt"), sunning, chatting with my hunny, and watching the kids run around the yard as though they have overloaded on sugar.

The wife and I have been so busy at work, with kids, caring for the house, and other miscellaneous stuff that we have drifted apart a bit. Perhaps a nice weekend getaway is in order? It just seems that, as time wafts by, we spend less time focused on our "relationship" and more time on our roles as employees, parents, children, homeowners, etc. I was reading Ron's blog and he wrote about a trip to southern Utah. Just him and the wife. I just sounded so... peaceful.

A realization is appearing in my mind. Perhaps... just perhaps... I spend too much time defining my self as a non-theist. It seems that the only books I read are either pro or con on the whole god issue. I can't remember the last time I read a good book about something else. Am I becoming exhausted on the whole subject? Perhaps. I need a good, philosophical fiction read. I read "The incident of the Fingerpost" about 6 years ago. Nothing since. Any decent recommendations would be appreciated.

What is really wanted, is a little blessed indifference for a while. I want to yearn for nothing, dream of nothing, stress for nothing, have nothing emergent happen, just "be." Sound unrealistic? Probably is. I think its a yearning for simplicity. The life uncomplicated by desire.

Just a few more weeks and the Summer will be here. Good.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Coffee, Satellite, bigotry, and off to work....

After moving back into the "city", we added directv. The sheer number of useless channels boggles mind. One could literally soar through 700 channels without finding anything of value to pass the time with. Kinda makes me wish I could just choose 12 channels or so and only pay for those. Alas, its not to be. Yet, as little as there is to watch at any time of day nor night, there is usually something worth watching too. The search is just a bit harder.

I tend to rise quite early in the morning. Usually I am up by 5:00am. I have a VERY consistent routine. I: rise, make coffee, turn on the TV, empty the bladder, pour my first cup, drink my first cup and skip through news channels until the weather comes on. I watch the weather on each channel possible in the following order: channel 4 (earliest weather), 2, 13, and lastly 5. The last three last about 15 seconds each because I gather the 7-day forecasts and then average them out.

After that I turn to Imus on MSNBC, pour my second cup and watch quietly so as not so wake my wife in the next room. Imus seems to be in a bit of trouble of late. Seems that he called the entire Rutgers women's basketball team a bunch of "nappy headed ho's.' I find this amusing, but the rest of the news-world is sure this is earth-shattering news.

4/11/07 Update: The Imus show has just been cancelled on MSNBC. Consequences... consequences. I think it is too bad, but Imus must accept the consequences of his behavior.

4/12/07 Update: Imus has been fired by CBS as well. Also, no real blooming on my trees yet. Damned cold air!

The conservatives are saying his remarks were abhorrent, but forgivable. The Al Sharpton crowd wants blood and Imus' first born son. The liberals are just trying to call it evil and placate the infuriated black crowd. Imus went on Al Sharpton's radio show to apologize. He took quite the verbal beating.

The conservatives, on the other hand are screaming at Sharpton for not calling for the heads of gangsta rappers who say much more bigoted things with much greater frequency. It is hilarious to watch Glenn Beck pretend to be outraged at Al Sharpton's hypocrisy. "How would you feel if 50 cent was rapping about my daughter like that," said Beck. Who gives a crap?

Listen, people say plenty of stupid things! When they do it consistently it reflects poor character and ignorance. Thus, you STOP LISTENING to them. When a person says such things once in a while, it is clear that they are challenging their bigotry and attempting to censure themselves. A GOOD THING. When someone makes no bigoted remarks, that offend no one, then they have stopped breathing altogether and probably need mouth-to-mouth. Either way political correctness has GOT TO GO. Free Speech means tolerating speech disagreed with too. Who is going to be the arbiter of acceptable verbiage? See... once a line is drawn capriciously, it will be redrawn capriciously. The best boundary in speech is No boundary. The words "nigger, Kike, spic, cracker, whore, bitch, asshole", etc. neither pick my pocket nor break my leg.

After watching Imus until 6:15, I get into the shower, prep, wake the wife, ready the kids, make the bed, check my e-mail, and head off to work. Mornings were much simpler before with just the 4 channels available via the old antenna. In our old home I used to just watch the weather and do the crossword in the morning paper. Now that Imus is gone, the crossword is looking awfully attractive again.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Thoughts in isolation...

I had a teacher I admire a great deal approach me today. She wanted to discuss a personal issue. As she and I talked it became apparent that she was truly able to cognitively isolate her work-self from her home-self. She wanted some advice on how to parent her child.

Now, this teacher has amazing (with a capital "A") skills in managing her students behavior in the classroom. Her students are always fully engaged, well behaved, and polite. They also, LOVE being at school.

As I pondered my interaction with her, I was stunned that someone who demonstrated mastery of environmental control at work was floundering so at home. I confronted this apparent paradox with her, and she seemed to beam with sudden understanding. As I began to ask her what her approach may be, she simply began to provide possible solutions that I had seen her demonstrate in the classroom, and apply them to her own child.

MY son has begun, with relationships, to develop tendencies toward jealousy. I felt rather awkward this morning trying to discuss this with him. However, I discuss this very issue with High School students all the time. Holy Crap batman! I have been engaging in the very dissonant behavior by which I am so reviled. Turns out... I am a hypocrite. No... just driven from one epiphany to the next. My conversation with my wonderful son will be different tonight. How wonderful that circumstances often bring us in as the objective observer, and in-the-end, provide such wonderful subjective insight.

I have begun reading a book entitled, "A history of doubt." It seems like an interesting read. It is about the process of doubt as it applies to religious belief and dogma. In my opinion the author goes FAR out of her way to give "faith" an opening. It seems that doubt, via reason and logic, is given a wonderful stand, with an eye toward critical analysis of the limits of doubt. However, "faith" is given a free pass as an essential tool that may be used and not discredited/touched by the author. Thoughts in isolation again. If doubt is given a burdon of justification, then how can one honestly give "faith", an epistemologically empty concept, a free pass to supposedly fill the "emotional blanks" left by logic and reason. I am interested in your thoughts on the value of "faith" (defined as a belief wholly unsupported by fact, or evidence, or in the face of contradictory evidence).

The weather is beginning to warm up again. Our house builder just put 2 new trees (ASH) in our front yard last night. I went right to huggin'. My neighbors think I am my own best patient. The air has been cold enough here that our trees have not bloomed yet (damned cache valley winters). However, I expect great things over the next few days. May have to post a few pictures later on. I love this time of year...


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

One can tell that Summer is coming...

Okay... its probably a little early to be writing about Summer, yet... here I am. You see, historically around the end of March, first of April, educators (whom I work with) begin to completely freak out! You see for 7 months they have not, in any way, noticed that certain of their students are struggling. Suddenly, as the first burst of warm weather hits, they are struck by the fact that little "Johnny", who has been suspended 4 times, failed to turn in any homework, and performed terribly on the Iowa test of basic skills; is in URGENT need of being assessed for problems. And if little "Johnny" does not get HELP RIGHT NOW, he is going to be a complete failure for the rest of his life.

Johnny, on the other hand, thinks things are great. The sun is warm, the playground is fun, and his friends have something now called "cigarettes" that may be very interesting. See everything is new here.? This is where my life suddenly becomes rather...errr... complicated.

E-mails suddenly begin to flood my in-box. Referrals for testing pile high on my desk. My phone rings endlessly with educators asking when I will get off my lazy butt and take care of little "Johnnies" that are multiplying by the dozens. *Sigh*

I remember when I was Johnny. I was a late-blooming Johnny developmentally. I waited until my final year of High School to send my choir instructor into a tizzy. I was also something of a spazz. I was rather "giddy" one day when the principal, assistant principal, and campus police officer pulled me from choir class. They all insisted that I "breath" into their faces. After each successively smelled my breath and shook their head they told me to get back to class. NOpe.. not drunk... just a spaz. They were smelling for alcohol. An earlier incident gave them reason to be suspicious (that is another blog post) but I was just a retarded teenager with Summer-fever hitting into high gear.

Perhaps I needed someone like me to evaluate me, and tell me that my choir teacher was an overzealous, summer-fever infested idiot? I'd like to think that I do that for some students (let them know that the adults are sometimes completely batshit stupid). As a matter of fact, I have. Good for me! Good for the kid! Good for the teacher (reality is always the best medicine)!

Happy Summer-fever (coming soon to a town near you).


Saturday, March 10, 2007

Random thoughts from an IPOD induced buzz...

A recent post from Shane really made my ponder. The image above gives me chills, a genuine sensation of peace, and justs plain soothes my empirical soul. Does this come from some ineffable place hidden deep within the primal part of my amygdala? Is this a purely ethereal experience that I can but describe to you without any pretense of true empathy by you? Can "we" ever truly have understanding of common experiences? Does it really even matter?

My son is outside playing with a neighborhood friend. He and I are much alike. We seek solitude often. The wife and I have worried that his propensity for solitude may stifle his need to seek out time to engage and learn socialization. The wife points to me as a prime reason why he ought to get out more often. She may be on to something there.? However, he always befriends others who are more passive and allow him to dominate them. His current ami is a wonderful kid who is compassionate, socially skilled, and shy.

The market is beginning to worry me. I haven't been actively trading, but the two rather epic days in which the worldwide markets plunged 3 and 2 percent respectively are signaling something. Just wish I could say what that is. For the meantime, I am putting my money into very safe places, and will wait it out.

The weather is beginning to warm up. I downloaded a number of podcasts, (some from here) and have spent most of my day walking around the house/neighborhood listening and completing chores. The IPOD era really is working for me. I don't get bored very much. However, there are some who find my listening habits amusing.

My daughter has gymnastics practice 4 days a week (4.25 hours a session). I pick her up 2 times a week. I love to go and observe the last hour of her practice. As I watch, I have my ear-buds in, and my music/podcast going. I often stand as far from the other parents as possible. This has lead many to remark that I do this just to avoid conversation. They couldn't be more half-right. However, every person who makes this remark sees no contradiction in interrupting my listening/observation to chat with me. If this were my intent don't you think they would get the hint and not talk to me? Yet, it never fails. I spend the rest of my time listening to their issues (most are aware of my profession). Any suggestions about how to politely let them know to Fuck-off would be appreciated. ;). So, can they understand how this truly makes me feel? The Evidence suggests they just don't give a poop.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Tax time

I sit here waiting for the "intuit" site to finish downloading my "Turbotax." Holy shit... could they have made their download site any slower (might as well have been doing it via dial up).

I went to a tax professional today because of the house selling and buying in 2006 and all. Turns out it really isn't going to make much of a difference, so I came home and decided to do it myself, as I have in the past 9 years of my life. However, if this download takes much longer April 15th will have past and I will be screwed. I wonder if the IRS would give me a pass, just for this year???

Things are humming along. We had some warm weather, and then it snowed yesterday (6 inches). I hate living in Utah (most of the time). And, it seems to get off on teasing me with the weather. You see, I love Spring, Summer and Fall. Only because my trees are in bloom. I tolerate the snow for the holidays, but after that, it is just Fu*^king torment!!!

We drove to Phoenix, Arizona last week. The picture (above left) is of my kids at the meet. They were advertising the "chopper shop." My rump is still in agony from the drive. However, the temperature was 80 degrees when we got there. We actually turned on the A/C some of the time. My grandparents used to trot down to Phoenix every Winter. Now, I see why. They lived in Utah! Sorry to be so bleak... the number of clients I am seeing right now for "Seasonal Affective Disorder (i.e., depression) is off-the-chart high! Another kid shows up at my office with suicide on his/her mind and I am going to need a few SSRI's for myself. Luckily we are headed to Boise, ID for the 1st, 2nd ,and 3rd of March. 20 degrees warmer, and pretty liberal town to boot. (I gotta move).

Well, almost 41% of the way there... (damned download site).

I watched Bill Maher a few days ago. You can see it here (about 4 minutes into it). I damned near fell off my chair from laughing so hard. Yes, I think Joseph Smith was a fraud (notice the absence of the word "pious" before fraud). Brigham Young was just a jerk. And the fact that I bought into it for as long as I did makes me furious at times (then I calm down... then get furious again... and then go to bed with warm milk). Will the USA elect Mitt Romney? Kinda doubt it.
Edited: It has already begun. The AP story is here.
Will the USA look into the LDS church a little more thoroughly? DK. But it will be interesting to see what happens when the temple ceremony becomes fodder for the Masses. The aprons and hats alone will set the fashion world ablaze with envy. If you don't know what I mean see here.

I am, politically, looking at Rudy Giuliani, Barack, Wesley Clark, and a few others in the big two parties this year. I will probably vote for Nader again (just so I can sleep at night), but you never know.



Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Looking for more opinions...

A great post on spirituality and consciousness here . Would love your feedback. Here is a sample:

"There is no question that people have "spiritual" experiences (I use words like "spiritual" and "mystical" in scare quotes, because they come to us trailing a long tail of metaphysical debris). Every culture has produced people who have gone off into caves for months or years and discovered that certain deliberate uses of attention—introspection, meditation, prayer—can radically transform a person's moment to moment perception of the world. I believe contemplative efforts of this sort have a lot to tell us about the nature of the mind."