Tuesday, November 27, 2007

At least I'm not like Hitler

Sometimes people post stuff that scares me! Ok, Morgan, I'm just kidding!

Apparently I'm mostly like JFK...


Monday, November 26, 2007

Selling your Soul

So I have a couple of topics I thought about blogging about today, but this one seemed to have the best sounding title. I may save the rest for later in the week.

OK, so I may have shared in the past some of my views on Religeon. I'm have some pretty unique views and generally just offend people when I open my mouth. Yesterday in church was one of those times I got the look from the wife to keep my mouth shut. In hind sight, I probably should have shot her a similar looked when she decided to share my turkey story from Thanksgiving but that's a topic for another day.

So there were are sitting in an Adult Sunday School class. It's the first time in about 8 years that we have actually been able to sit together, although with a squirmy 1 year old on my lap, that is a relative term. I forget the topic of the lesson, but the discussion drifted around to the things we are willing to sell our souls for... Money, pleasure and a host of other things were brought up. Ironically the lesson then turned to submitted yourself to the gospel and giving your soul to Christ.

When we were done I asked my wife a question... Is there a difference between selling your soul, and voluntarily giving it up to someone else? She didn't have an answer and I suspect it may be because she doesn't like what the answer is.

My thoughts are this...

First, you can't sell your soul, you are your soul, and will always be.
Second, you can lose focus of the goal and be distracted, and I guess this could be considered losing your soul, but you can always get refocussed.
Third, surrendering your soul to someone else, no matter how perfect they may be is a HUGE problem....

One of the readers of this blog often refers to people who have sold their souls to Jesus (for want of a better term) as having an invisible friend. Understanding who God is, who Christ is (A topic for another day) and who you are, solves this problem and brings them all into line without surrending your soul and freedom to another entity, real or not.

I'll probably have to explain that last bit a little more, but I'd like to see the reaction I get first....

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Utah Poverty out of Control

I know I'm going to offend people with this post, but to be honest I really couldn't care less, if you're offended maybe you should do something about it.

For the last couple of days it seems like there has been a constant stream of ads promoting Jiffy Lube and their efforts to support the Utah Food Bank. I'm not against the idea of a food bank, but there are a few things that really hack me off on this issue. It is a clever marketing gimic, so I'll give them that.

The ads keep saying that 1 in 10 people in Utah lives in poverty, and then insinuates that all of those people are on the verge of starving to death.

OK, first of all, poverty is living in a mud hut with nothing but a dirt floor and an old ratty blanket to sleep on. I've met people like this, and have yet to hear one of them bitching about not having enough to eat, even though they may have spent the day going through trash cans to find food. Haven't met any in Utah yet...

Second, according to the government, up until a year ago, my family and I were considered below the poverty line. Funny thing is that we lived really well. We didn't have cell phones or cable TV, but we had enough to eat and be comfortable, and my kids even had a really good christmas each year (Well, except for one year, but that was a good character building experience!!)

Third, as long as McDonalds is hiring (And they are... You don't have an excuse to whine about being poor) I've worked at McDonalds. I've also supported a family on a little more than minimum wage. It can be done!

I like the idea of a food bank or similar non-government run program that provides a safety net for people who run into unexpected problems, but that's all it should be - A safety net. A government run program that feeds those who feel they deserve or are entitled to welfare is a huge problem.

The final thing that bugged me is that pride is mentioned a few times in the ads as well. For some reason people think pride is a bad thing. My pride drives me to be a better person every day. It helps me get a better understanding of who I could be if I try. It makes me get my hands dirty and work. It prevents me from sulking at home, whining that I am a hard worker and I just can't get enough money to feed myself.

Cancel your damn cell phone, get your designed jean covered butt off your government supplied furniture and go get a job. It's really not that hard.

Back To School

I took part of the afternoon off work yesterday to watch my son in a Thanksgiving play. It wasn't half bad! I am concerned about the competency of the principal though. As we were leaving he made an announcement to remind kids that there would be no school today...

What kind of idiot thinks kids need reminding that they have a day off school!

On a more serious note, I then read an article last night on the influence of the Real Estate Industry on politics... That was pretty disturbing, especially since I just paid out a nice healthy commission on the sale of my house, and ended up doing most of the leg work for it myself. And then I read about the way the Pentagon is wasting money through their purchasing program...

It reminded me of a poster I saw at my dad's office when I was a kid. It read,

"It's hard to soar like an eagle, when you're surrounded by turkeys"

I'm glad to associate with a lot of eagles, but sometimes the turkeys in government just really get me down...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Obesity Epidemic

Well, having now completely ruined any chance of keeping up my 1 a day postings for the month... Let me just say that I had an incredible weekend. I feel like I have most of my life in perfect balance, almost a state of zen - I say almost because I have kids and I still have to work for a living!

So I got an email today talking about the obesity epidemic facing the US. As someone who has the potential to become of obese, and has been close to it in the past, I take an interest in this kind of thing.

From what I understand, an epidemic is something like the black plaque or one of the many flu epidemics. I would classify it as something that people don't have a choice about and that it is random in who it picks as victims.

The problem with the Obesity Epidemic is that it isn't an epidemic. Yes, it is a huge problem (Please excuse the pun!!) but it's not random, and it's 100% preventable.

I think people choose not to prevent it because it takes effort, and the more obese you get, the harder it is to escape it's grasp, but it is possible.

The problem is it takes the realization that it is possible, that you don't have a disease and that you need to make the choice not to be a victim of it. Calling it an epidemic almost seems to take you out of the equation, and when you have no control over you, that's a pretty helpless and pathetic situation to be in.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Light of Doom & The Clark Brothers

The Mrs never reads my blog - or so I thought... I was greeted yesterday when I got home last night with "Hot Babe Trifecta eh?" I had a couple of funny stories to share, but at the risk of spending more time on the couch...

OK, so I'm not a big fan of reality TV. I liked Survivor until people figured it out, and all the people with real skill were getting voted out first. I like the amazing race, and actually still like that one. American Idol - well... It just seems like it's a lot more scripted than they would have you believe, and there's only so many snot faced kids with no talent and attitudes bigger than buddha that I can take...

A few weeks ago, a new series started on Fox - The Next Great American Band. I wasn't going to watch it, but it was on, and I didn't feel like moving off the couch. The first episode was a little over dramatic. John Reznik from the GooGoo dolls is one of the judges, so that is something that they have going for them. The host is Dominic Bowden from New Zealand, no clue who he is, but I like the Kiwi accent - better on a girl, but I'll take what I can get... Actually I'd prefer a female host with an Irish Accent, but that is neither here nor there.

Anyway, didn't like the first episode, but as I watch week 3 or 4 tonight, I'm actually fairly impressed. Let me tell you about two of my favorites...

#1 is Light of Doom. I think they hail from Las Vegas and they are a group of 12 and 13 year olds. They cite Iron Maiden as their main influence, and they rock. Now it is a little disturbing to see little kids acting like veteran Rock Stars, but these guys can play.

#2 is The Clark Brothers. These guys got their start playing for their dads religious revivals with several other siblings... There are three of them. No drummer, but one sings and plays violin another plays mandolin/accoustic guitar and the final brother plays the Dobro Guitar. These guys are amazing and have a passion about them that is hard to describe. Apparently they're not too bad looking either which helps my case in the Hot Babe Trifecta trial...

The other bands are pretty good too, but I hope either of these guys win.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Hot Babe Trifecta

I have a list of the top 3 hot women which I like. If the name of this list sounds familiar, I stole it from a local radio DJ. "The List" just doesn't sound as cool as "The Hot Babe Trifecta"

My wife was hasseling me a few years ago about not having a favorite actress, and so I started trying to seek one out. I think she's fine with it as long as there is no-one of the list who could reasonably be considered to give me the time of day. I told her that pretty much knocked her off the list too, but I think she's OK with that.

So the Urban Koda's Hot Babe Trifecta - not necessarily in order of preference.

1 - Kiera Knightly (I take some heat on this one, but she was my first... Saw her in Pirates and then Domino and then a few other shows. Something sexy about a female Bail Bondsman and the accent drives me wild.)

2 - Natasha Bedingfield - Not an actress, but a singer. Just take a look - nothing else needs to be said.

3 - Rachel McAdams - The Notebook and Wedding Crashers - Ooooh Yeah!!

Honorable mentions go to Nicole Kidman, Rachel Hunter, Christina Aguilera and probably a few others too...

Gentleman, you may post comments in support.

Ladies, you may adress comments and condolenses to my sweet wife - the lovely Mrs Koda.

Anyway who wants to argue about Kiera Knightly, I'll meet you out at the flag pole.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

No More Koda's

I had a pretty good day at work yesterday... The drive home wasn't bad, but anytime you have to commute for more than a half hour it's not good either.

Pulling into the street, I see that my wife's friend has decided that my side of the driveway looks like a good spot to park - which means I get to move my car before going to bed.

I open the door of the house and am greeted with a cacophony of screaming mutant kids. There are 5 of them ranging in age from 7 down to 1. There is one other in the TV room, but he can't walk yet. So 5 of them are running around the stairs, sometimes in the same direction, sometimes in opposite directions, all times screaming at the tops of their lungs. Then they run over and jump on the new couches. My stress level approaches 8 out of 10 - It was 2 when I walked in.

Walk into the kitchen. It's trashed and they've left the milk out - again. Look down into the TV room to see wife and the friend. Kind of get a wave from the wife, who kind of pauses in the conversation but not really. Turn the laptop on. Looks like the kids have been playing on it again, and one of them had some candy... 9 out of 10.

I haven't eaten all day... There's no food - well there are some rolls, but the kids left those out too - so they're kind of stale. Grab a couple, smother butter on them... Stress level back to 8, 7. Kids run in screaming. 3 year old and 1 year old run into each other. The playful screaming is now mixed with 2 of them crying and screamin from pain. 7, 8, 9, 10. I calm them down, hand off the 1 year old to the wife. She tells me she wants to take care of a Church thing tonight. Church not high on list of things I care about right now, but I need to stay out of the dog house. "Sure!!"

Went back to laptop. Pull up the page for my health insurance. Click the provider list. Look up Urologists. Damn programmer did a lousy job programming the search feature. Finally find a list of urologists in Ogden. Find the one recommended by my buddy a year ago. Dial the number, walk up stairs, and hit Talk. Phone rings, automated voice tells me which buttons to push.

Little voice inside says "Are you sure?". Door to my bedroom flies open. Kids run in screaming. Kids see my face. Kids run out screaming in terror. Door slams. "Yes, I'm bloody sure!!!" Sweet nurse answers the phone. I'm sickly sweet in return. No openings till February. That's OK, I think I may just go celibate until then, just to make sure. Appointment Scheduled.

I go down stairs, give the wife the thumbs up, and then show the phone and make a scissor type motion with my other hand. She smiles - FINALLY.

Yep, not planning on any more little Koda's in this household.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Winning Presidential Ticket

I'm a little concerned about who the next US President may be. When Bush got into office, I felt very optimistic about the future especially in the wake of Clinton's little scandal.

Bush didn't do much, but I think everyone figured it was because we needed a Republican Senate and House of Congress.

Well, we got both of those too, and still they did nothing. Well I can't say nothing, since they have been spending money like crack whores, as well as causing all kinds of problems in the middle east.

With all that in mind... I'm not sure Bill Clinton was that bad of a president, and going forward, I'm not sure how much impact a President can have on the country, unless a new president also means a replacement of both the Senate and Congress as well.

As I look at the election though, there are two people I like. Ron Paul, because he believes in freedom and he and I agree on 95% of the issues. The other is Barrack Obama. He's a little too socialist for my liking, but he appears to have some integrity and not be caught up in always being right - he seems to care what people who oppose him think as well.

I'm not sure if either Obama or Paul will win the primary vote, but what if the two where to join forces and run on a separate ticket... Aside from the idiots who vote strictly on party lines, I think the majority of Americans would like to see 2 men with opposing view points who could work together.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Flapper

I had the day off work today... Sleeping in was nice.

I had to go to Walmart to buy some stuff though, including a little piece of hardware to fix the toilet in my kids bathroom. The piece I needed is apparently called a flapper - Funny name if you ask me. The old one was disintegrating and came apart in my hands as I pulled it out for the last time. There was also a bunch of funky stuff floating around in the tank...

The day did get better, and I am excited to return to work in the morning.

Happy Veterans Day!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Mutant Pets, Roast Chicken and Utah County

I'll be the first to admit that last nights posting wasn't the best, but when you only have a few minutes to coe up with a topic, whilst flying downstairs in your underwear to come up with a blog posting for the day... I don't think I did to badly - And as usual, my apologies for the mental image ladies!

So, today was Sunday, and it was also the last week of us attending religious services at our old place... So to celebrate I made pancakes using a mix which I won at a 5k race about a month ago. Now, you may not think that pancake mix is much of a prize, but having eaten the resulting pancakes this morning, I'd gladly brave the rain and chilly morning air again.

The mix itself was from the Lehi Roller Mills, and was the Cinnamon flavor, packaged with their Apple Cider Syrup. It was excellent. I suspect that we may well be headed south sometime to pick up some more mix... Anyway, Lehi Roller Mills is in Utah Country, Utah. This area of the globe is sometimes referred to as 'Happy Valley' and is generally a place I choose to avoid. My initial intent when coming over to the US about a decade ago, was to attend a private religious university in the County, however after an hour or 2 on campus, I pretty decided that it was not for me. Anyway, so with that background, the breakfast conversation turned to what good could one find in Utah County. We have a couple of things that we came up with:

1 - Lehi Roller Mills
2 - Hines Mansion Bed & Breakfast - We suspect they use Lehi Roller Mills Pancake mix as well
3 - Simple Utah Mormon Politics - A blog by Utah country resident Frank Stahelli. Not only is it an excellent blog, but I think Frank may read this occasionally, and I would hate to lose a reader!
4 - Carabba's Italian Grill - Italian Food that may well cause me to eat myself to death if they open up any closer to where I live.
5 - Cabela's Outfitter - An outdoor living Super Store that has to be seen to be believed!!

And well, that's about it!

Anyway, following the highly successful breakfast and celebratory religious observance, I returned home to try out a new Roasting Pan with a 6lb chicken purchased last night. I don't really have a good idea on how to roast chicken, and so I took tips from a few online sources. I first coated the chicken with a mix of butter, olive oil, crushed garlic, salt and freshly ground pepper. Following that I sprinkled some more salt and pepper over the bird as well as a little Thyme. The body cavity was then filled with a couple of loosely chopped garlic cloves, some chopped celery and a sprinkling of more salt and pepper. I placed the bird in the roasting pan, surrounded it with carrots, celery and some Yukon Gold Potatoes and stuck it in the oven at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. I then reduced the heat to 375 degrees and left it for a little under 85 minutes. In hindsight that may have been too long, since the drumsticks and thighs came off as I pulled it out of the pan. I then turned it upside-down for 10 minutes to let the juices run back into the breasts, whilst putting together a nice thick gravy from the drippings. We served it with peas and chopped corn, and had I not been surrounded by kids, I would most liekly have followed it up with a good long nap!

OK, final topic for the day... I suspect that I may be screwing up my kids. The realization came to me as we cleaned out my youngest daughters beta fish tonight. This fish has been in the family a couple of months and just barely in the last month has received a name - Monkey. I said it was wierd that we now have Monkey the Fish, but my wife responded that I started it with Moose the Dog. Now granted his name is actually Musa (M-oo-s-ah), but since I'm the only one that speaks Zulu... I think I've started them down a path that cannot end in good.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

His Dark Materials

So I'm part of a group call NaBloPoMo - National Blog Posting Month - I've mentioned it before but the basic idea is that as a member you are supposed to add a new post to your blog every day for a month.

It's Saturday. I cleaned up our garage today, tried to find a store that sold some calf sleeves so I can hopefully return to running in spite of shin splints, bought a bunch of clothes - including a new compression shirt - Believe me, you don't want pictures!! and finally ended up at Walmart.

In the past few weeks I have received a number of dire warnings from friends and family members about an 'evil' film about to be released in theatres. You may have seen my posting about The Golden Compass last week. Morgan the Dancing Mouse mentioned in a response to that posting that she had read the book by 'Phillip Pullman' (I think that's his name!) and found them very good. So there I was at Walmart, and they have the Pullman Trilogy for sale...

So I purchased it, and am so far on page 3. While you can't judge a book by its cover, the cover does look good. In addition, the first three pages have been good to. The author appears to have an easy to read style, and I am already feeling drawn in. That was, until I looked at the clock and saw it was 11:45. I HADN'T DONE A BLOG YET!!! Lucky for me I set my clock 10 minutes fast - Interestingly enough, even though I know it is fast, it still helps me get going quicker - I don't know why....

So the good news is, I will not be dropping the ball on NaBloPoMo, and the even better news is that it appears a handful of well meaning yet ignorant warnings from friends and family have allowed me to discover a new book as well.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Sign Language

I had an excellent topic in mind earlier today... For some reason what that topic was escapes me right now...

Anyway, this is something I wrote at the beginning of the month as a backup blog in case I had a day when the creative juices weren't flowing. The original version is on my work computer, so this is what I can recall from that one.

OK, so I like languages... I speak 3 and know little bits of a few others. The thing I like best is that often you can compare words and their root elements, and it helps me better understand concepts.

I got thinking of this a few weeks ago, as I watched my wife teach a song to some kids, using sign language. I noticed a few interesting things. The signs for strength and trust are very similar. Both involve slight variations on bring your hands up towards your upper torso. The sign for obedience is pretty much the opposite action. Taking both hands from your upper torso and moving them down and away from your body.

Here's what it got me thinking about. To trust others is a strength. By moving your hands towards your body you could say that these ideas strengthen the individual. To trust another takes some courage but it strengthens us.

Obedience is a sign of weakness. But blindly following another, we diminish ourselves and lose our inner strength.

This is of course just my opinion...

[And below is the original piece which I wrote a week or 2 back - I thinks it's a little more succinct]

My wife has been teaching song to some kids in Sign Language. Sometimes a different language can help you see things differently since you don't take the root words for granted.

As I watched her on Sunday I saw something very interesting. The signs for strength and trust as very similar. Both involve bringing the hands up towards your upper torso.

Trusting other people is definitly a strength, and just like physical strength adds to your physical stature, I think trusting others adds to your spiritual stature, hence the bringing of the arms up and towards the body.

Obedience is the complete opposite. You take your hands from the upper torso and move them away from your body. Obedience dimishes your spiritual stature as your surrender an important part of yourself to someone else.

I could be completely up in the night on this one, but I thought it was very interesting.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Damn Immigrants!

First off... Before you get all upset with me, remember that I am an imigrant, therefore endowed with complete immunity when insulting immigrants!

Ron & Jessica (Actually I think it may just have been Ron) made an excellent comment in response to my call on Saturday for the government to follow through on their plans to build a fence on the Mexican border. Basically they questioned the need to spend millions of dollars to put a band-aid solution in place over a major heamorage. I thought it a rather good argument, and well thought out!

I would like to, if you would indulge me, to take a quick look at the problems with immigration, and what possible solutions I can see.

So first the problems...

1. There is not currently a legal way for normal people to enter the United States. You either have to have a substantial fortune, or else marry an America Citizen. There are also other options to do with work visa's and stuff, but I am not as familiar with those. I came in on option 2 fortunately.

2. The Mexican government supports emmigration into the United States as it brings in substantial income for Mexico. I have heared it is the fourth largest source of income, but I can't confirm that.

3. Many immigrants aren't here to become American's, they're here for free welfare and to send money back to Mexico.

4. America was founded on Immigration, and so it's pretty important that we continue that tradition, attracting all who seek liberty.

I'm sure there are many other problems, but those are the main ones I see.

For solutions, I would suggest the following:

1. All illegal aliens currently here are given a time period to get back to Mexico, or face fines and deportation. That is really what amnesty is - You've broken a law, and we'll let you get off. The Bush amnesty plan is more like an incentive program for illegals.

2. The Mexican government need to held responsible for their part in this. Until they stop marketing illegal emmigration and enforce their side of the border, no more aid, no imports, nothing.

3. Put in place a way in which anyone who want to immigrate can qualify. I support the availability of basic English courses and other materials to help teach potential immigrants English and the basic principles of the constitution. Immigrants would be expected to pass a basic English test, basic civics test and be able to enter the country with enough money to support themselves until they can find work.

4. The border needs to be secured. I would be in favor of stationing military units along the border. This is a security issue and a humanitarian issue. Illegal Immigrants are generally underpaid and the crossing of the border is sometimes very risky due to the desert conditions.

I thinks that's about all I can think of for now. Basically I believe that America should keep her sovreignty, secure her borders, but continue to be a shining light of freedom to the world and open to those who seek those ideals.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

What is the V?

I thought on today's posting, I might tackle the topic of some of the meaning behind the symbol that I use for my blog.

Many of the more perceptive and highly intelligent of you will recognize this as the symbol for the character V in V for Vendetta. Let me say that while that was an incredible movie, it is not the reason I chose this symbol.

Some time ago a friend and I were discussing a particular concept, I tried to draw a symbol to illustrate what I was saying - strangely enough the symbol was the same as the one you see above this...

Let me start by saying that this will likely offend 90% of the readership of this. It would have offended me up until a year ago. All I would ask is that you read it, and then consider it with an open mind - It makes far more sense over time than does when you first hear it.

I shall start by discussing who we are... We are amazing creatures, and by we, I am referring to the spirits that exists inside our bodies. These spirits are phenomenal, each possessing infinite potential. My personal belief is that this comes as a direct result of us being the offspring of a God, by whatever name you may choose to call him. Atheists may not believe that, but the bottom line is, that you are somebody special.

OK, so we have these amazing spirits, and then we get born. The problem with living in a physical world inhabiting a physical body is that we start to think we are our bodies and think less and less about our spiritual selves. It was at this point in my conversation with my friend that I drew a circle on the white board, illustrating the complete human condition. There are no doubt countless influences in dividing us against ourselves. The biggest is our physical existence, as I stated before, but there are many others. The effect of these influence is a metaphorical wedge driven into our minds that causes us to forget the spiritual side. I then drew a large wedge or V through the circle and the symbol is as you see it above.

Religeon plays an interesting role in this process at this point. Through practicing various things, we are given a glimpse through the wedge onto the other side. I won't get too far into this, lest I lose people, but I think that any time you "feel the spirit" it is those times that we get a brief glimpse through the wedge onto the other side. So it would appear that religeon helps to connect us to our spiritual sides and help to make us whole again.

Now this is where things go a little crazy... While religeon should help break down the wedge, unfortunately religeon has become the wedge itself, appearing to control the individuals access to the spiritual side. Using this power, religeon can then be used against the individual and the result is much of the hell we see in the world today.

When I think of pure religeon, I believe it to be something that allows you to see your spiritual side, and then moves aside so that you can become whole again, ready to discover your full potential.

I'd be happy to field any questions which you might have....

Tomorrow's topic - Solutions to the immigration problem in the US!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Survey Says....

So on Sunday I proposed the question as to the most important value to instill in kids...

My two contenders were Humility and Gratitude.

After a plethora of responses, we have added a couple more...

Tolerance and Good humour.

To love god with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself.

The comment was also made on the last one that with those two covered, everything else would fall into place.

When you think about it, all of these of interrelated. By teaching one, you'd almost unavoidably have to touch on the others.

I'm going to wait a bit longer and see if any more results come in... Perhaps next Sunday will see a discussion of the pivotal value - In my opinion of course!

Anyone in Salt Lake or the neighboring area's like to adopt a half grown puppy? He's a lab/pointer mix, very energetic and he's going to be huge. He really likes knocking kids over and sitting on them. I think it's hilarious, but for some reason the wife and the kids don't enjoy it as much. He's a man dog, bred for hunting and really smart.

I may be losing the battle over keeping him, so in case I do - I'd prefer to send him to a good home than stick him up on KSL or something.

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Golden Compass

I have received a number of forwards in the past week about a new movie being released in December. The email basically describes the movie as an atheist plot to teach children not to believe in God, and all kinds of other insidious and evil purposes.

My first thought is... Bloody Hell People! Its a freaking movie! Not a teacher at school or church or something.

I saw the preview on TV last night, and I've actually seen it a few times at the theatre too. One of the characters is a cool looking polar bear! Cool in the sense that he could probably wipe out 100 men with one swipe of his paw, not cool as in the dark shades and a martini cool.

Anyway, so the main plot all these well mean people are concerned about is that the entire story leads the main character to killing a senile God who is making all kinds of crazy decision with the world.

The more I think about this, the more I think that this isn't a bad idea. Let me introduce you to the God that I would like to kill, and like my kids to kill to...

There is a God that apparantly tells people to blow themselves up or fly planes into buildings - Not a bad one to get rid of.

There is a God that thinks one group of people of better than another and will let one group kill another. He can go to.

There is a God that initiated the Crusades for the good of his church, and perhaps more importantly to help enrich the King of England. So long dude!

Any God that divides people against themselves, controls peoples lives at every level and causes war and bloodshed can be wacked as far as I am concerned.

There is one God, that I think I blessed me phenomenally. He made me and gave me the ability to make my own decisions. He leaves me alone to succeed or screw up as I please, both of which I achieve frequently. He's not interested in controlling me, he just wants me to have opportunities to learn and grow. I'm have no need to fear him, and he has no need to fear me.

I don't think the Golden Compass is in anyway against him.

I think my kids are going to enjoy the movie immensely!!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Sunday Post

You know, It's a lot more difficult to write these on the weekend! The other problem I have is that it takes forever to think of a topic, and then invariably when you get a good one, you get several at once...

Today's topic was one that I thought of as I was wondering around the outside of our Church building with my 1 year old on my shoulders - My experience has shown that 1 year olds don't appreciate hours of sitting and listening... Come to think of it, neither do I really - we have a very mutually beneficial relationship, my son and I!

A very good friend made a comment this week that has got me thinking... She said that she had only ever met 1 true Christian. I am pretty much 100% sure I'm not in the running for that position, but I started thinking about what exactly that meant and if it was something that I would like to aim for.

Actually the more I have thought about it, I think that a true Christian might actually appear the same as a true Muslim, a true Buddhist, maybe even a true Atheist.

My wife and I were discussing this the other day, that sometimes we seem to form the opinion that people who don't subscribe to the same belief system as us, don't have any morals... Problem is I have met plenty of Christians, Hindus, Muslims and a host of others who are all really good people. I have also met a bunch from the same groups that are not good people.

I think the key comes with being true to yourself and honestly seeking truth. I think that journey will lead you to a greater understanding of who you are and who God is. With that understanding, I think you develop a greater respect for all around you, and that makes you a true Christian, Muslim or whatever flavor of religeon or no religeon you choose to follow. Athiests could probably leave out the part about understanding God, but I think the rest of it would probably hold true.

Finally in parting a quick question: A friend and I are trying to determine the most important value which we can instill in our kids. Our finalists are gratitude and humility - mine is humility. Does anyone have any other ideas for top value and why? I'm hoping to blog on it a little later this week.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Pakistani Writers

OK, so this post isn't really about Pakistani writers, but it will cover the topics of the writers strike in Hollywood, as well as the recent events in Pakistan. This first will be an attempt at humor, the second likely more serious, crtitical and sarcastic...

So the writers in Hollywood have decided to strike. It appears that the first casualties will be the daily comedy shows like The Late Show with Jay Leno and Letterman with David Letterman. I guess we'll see how funny these guys are really when they're up on the stage trying to ad lib through their monologues themselves. I actually don't find Letterman all that funny. Well, the top ten list is occasionally, but other than that I just don't get his humor most of the time, either that or it isn't funny. My moneys on option 2 though. I did however see an interview he did with Paris Hilton a while back... Rumor had it that she stormed off the stage, but unfortunately that wasn't the case. The first half of the interview was really good though, as she tried to talk up her product lines, and Dave kept hammering on her time in prison. I would highly recommend watching it, if you missed it... Heck, even if you did see it, it's worth a second viewing!! Click here to watch it on YouTube!

The second thought I had tonight was on the situation in Pakistan. I know very little of this situation, except what I saw on the news, although it does seem to follow a familiar pattern. Basically Pakistan have declared a State of Emergency (Not sure why, but their president said it was necessary) and the US (Condi Rice, and Bush) are very upset about it and doing all kinds of things to stop it from happening. Way to stand by your friend Bushy! Wasn't Musharraf one of the few in that region that backed your in your war plans despite taking remarkable heat from his population? But that aside, it really hacks me off the way the US Government feels the need to dictate how the rest of the world handles itself. Islamic Extremest Terrorists attack the US, and we launch attacks on Afganistan and Iraq (Who wasn't really involved). Another country attacks Isreal (who supported our attacks) and we feel we should tell them not to overreact. Pakistan calls a State of Emergency and now we tell them they can't... What the hell?

Mr President, please explain why you throw your weight around overseas, but you can't even build a simple fence on the Mexican border, or tell the Mexican border to quit supporting all the illegal aliens escaping their country. Don't even get me started on the rapist that Bush is trying to get freed, simply to try and appease the corrupt politicians in Mexico. I'll stop there, lest I offend younger readers...

Friday, November 02, 2007

Drug sequel and Chinese Food

So I just came off two weeks of having daily high doses of Pseudoephedrine... The effects of this drug are a lot like ephedra which used to be a great weight loss tool before it was pulled from the market for killing people. It's sad that stuff has to be pulled because people neglect to follow guidelines on the packet and then kill themselves, but this is supposed to be a funny entry.

In the last 3 months I have dropped over 20 pounds... This was in large part due to a diet I made up consisting mostly of protein shakes - No Whey!! is the joke in the office. Any about 80% of the weight came off the first month, and as my fat reserves have dropped and my will power weakened, that curve has leveled off.

My doctor put me of the stuff to clear up large deposits of thick slimy green and yellow stuff in my sinuses - I probably should have clarified to begin with that the humor in this post could likely be categorized in the "Bodily Functions" category, and it will get worse... As a side effect, I was pretty excited about the prospect of souping up my diet with the supplemental help. I'm not normally a drug man, but hey... You've got to follow the doctor's orders. Anyway, in the midst of this, we moved house. Ferrying several truck loads of junk from our tiny house of the last 8 years to our new one that I am not planning on moving from ever!! kind of put the brakes on any working out. In addition I found I was getting minimal sleep each night, which increases cortisol production, and really hammers your chances of losing belly fat... Three days of McDonalds, Burger Kind and Taco Del Mar probably weren't helping either.

On the last day I was on it, so old colleages too me to PF Changs in Salt Lake for lunch. It's a chinese restaurant, and I was pleasantly surprized to find the food absolutely excellent. Lettuce wraps, mongolian beef, sweet and sour chicken and some Singapore Street noodles, and I was a happy man. I was even planning to bring the wife down for a date some time. Then I walked a mile or two back to work and tried to finish up friday... That's when the discomfort started. I endured a couple of hours and then went home. I love seeing my family when I get home, and they seemed extra loving when I walked through the door. With two kids hugging my legs, a wife who needed some adult speak and another 2 kids excited about what had happened at school time stood still. Fortunately I was able to extricate myself from the mob without too many hurt feelings and tore upstairs to my fortress of solitude.

I'm not planning on going to PF Changs again any time soon. The food was excellent but the after effects were less than desirable. As I went running on Monday with a group of friends we discussed our weekend exploits. My description was a subtle description of events describing how I was feeling much better. 1 person not as familiar with the cause as the other asked if the food had tasted as good coming back up. I quietly replied that that had not been the particular problem I had faced, to which another young lass, well know for her ability to tell it how it is responded - "Nope, it came shooting out his butt!!"

The lesson from all of this... The drugs didn't really help with the weight loss like I had planned, but I think that PF Changs did help with a half pound of so. The other lesson that you are likely all hoping I had learnt prior to writing this, is that I really need to start putting content warnings at the tops of my stories.

Country Music and the Pains of Hell

I wrote and posted this a few days ago. It contained a lot of personal stuff that I thought best not to impose upon the rest of the world, however someone did a search on "Mickey Avalon is Stupid" and this post was ranked 4th on Google - Seriously - have you ever seen a Mickey Avalon video? The fact that it was 4th really shocked me. So I have stripped the personal stuff (The pains of hell part!) and left the rest, which actually wasn't that bad - There was still a fair amount of self-loathing, but it fits I think!

I generally don't like country music... When I was a kid there was a joke about backtracking a country song, the punch line being that the guy would get his dog, wife and his truck back - Not a really funny joke, but it pretty much sums up my view of that genre of music. Some years back I would occasionally get the urge to tune into the country station... I sunsequently learned that I am not a pleasant person after listening to it for any amount of time. Kind of like when I used to listen to Michael Jackson - There's self loathing point #1.

There are a handful of country artists that I do like, Toby Keith writes and sings some excellent stuff, and I really like Trace Atkins. My wifes likes some of his stuff too, although I think she's toned that like down a little after she caught my 3 and 1 year olds shaking it to Honky Tonk Badonkadonk... To be fair the look I got on that one was better than the one I got when my 5 year old started singing Mickey Avalon's Jane Fonda as we walked into Church one day - Self loathing point #2

Anyway onto the matter at hand... I was thinkin of a song by Garth Brooks yesterday - He's the only other country guy I like, mostly because he's got Friends in Low Places, but thats another story.

He has a song called The Dance that kind of ties into what I have been thinking about the last few days, but then again not really. It's a typical country song, kind of mellow and sad, so I don't listen to it much. Bascically the story is this... He's married and whilst taking his wife to the local football game runs into his old girlfriend from high school. He talks about how they have changed, and how grateful he is for the prayers which God hasn't answered, since things have turned out better than they would have if he had answered them.

Sometimes though, I think we can look back and find that is isn't so much a case of unanswered prayers, it just that our decisions take us in interesting directions. Not necessarily for better or worse, just different.

I'll no doubt still think back occasionally, but I defintely think the best course is to continue forward and hopefully not make those same mistakes again. I'm grateful in the extreme for second chances though.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Patriotic Banking

There are some things in my life that I am a control freak about. One big thing is my finances... The area I'm freakish over, isn't the spending and that kind of thing, it's just knowing where my money is, and being able to move it around as I see fit.

I currently have money with 2 Credit Unions. For those not sure what a Credit Union is... It's kind of like a bank, except it is member owned, so any dividends come back to the member. I have found the interest higher, the fee's non-existent, and I like their level of customer service.

Anyway, so a couple of times a month I'll sit down and do my bills. I'll set up the auto payments, transfer money from my savings to my checking, pay any other bills, double check my calculations, and generally by the end of the night, I've made 5 or 6 transfers back and forth to make sure all my accounts are in synch.

A few months ago while transferring a couple of dollars from my savings, I noticed that message saying that I had just completed a Regulation D transfer. Subsequent investigation revealed that it is part of a Government Program that tracks all my transfers and limits transfers from a Savings account to any other account (except loan payments) to 8 transfers a month. It was hard to determine if this is a plan on their part to encourage people to save, or if it has to do with the war on terror and trying to track money used to fund terrorists, but if I remember right I think it kind of tried to cover both.

For the NSA and CIA agents who read this post when it gets flagged for using the words terrorist, funding and government in the same piece of writing...

I'm not a freaking terrorist! I'm just a normal guy trying to manage his money and contribute to the American economy. Putting these restrictions in place makes it harder for me to save money, and why the hell are you concerned about my banking decisions when you can't even secure the Mexican border?

Regulation D is one of the dumbest pieces of legislation that the boneheads in Washington have passed recently.

America, land of the free - free to be abused by an out of control government that is...