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...