Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Perhaps a Celebration is in Order...

Do you know what last Sunday was? It was three months since May 30th.

May 30th is very significant to me. Sunday, May 30th, 2010, I skipped sacrament meeting as usual and then went to Church and taught my Sunday School class of 12 and 13 year olds.

The lesson went well.

I ended it by giving each of them a full size candy bar.

The I skipped priesthood, which I've been doing for almost 2 years now, and went home.

At noon I returned to the Church.

I waited outside the Bishop's Office for almost 40 minutes.

Finally he had an opening and invited me in.

He chatted a little about my training and such - fluff really.

And then he asked if I had made a decision about baptizing my daughter.

I've shared this before, but the deal was this... I haven't had a temple recommend in over 2 years. It wasn't a problem when I baptized my son. Beginning in 2009, I exercised my right, not to hand over 10% of my income to a corrupt organization.

Not paying into the coffers seems to be the big problem, although he hid it behind, my not having a recommend.

He wanted me to pay tithing in order to be allowed to baptize my daughter.

It's eerily similar to this and I think borders on extortion as well.

I told him that if I paid, I would compromise my integrity and would thus make myself unworthy to have a recommend anyway. I don't think he got that, because he brought the discussion back to tithing.

I didn't give him anything to work with, even though he tried to dig as much as he could to determine my real concerns.

Finally he asked if he could do anything for me.

I told him that I felt it best that I take a break from the Church for a while.

He gave me a long speech about coming to sacrament to resolve my concerns, and then said that as a favor to me, when the ward talked about me behind my back, he would tell them that he was working with me on my problems. He also said they would only do this because they loved me. I think it was a veiled threat, appealing to a desire to conform which I lost a while ago.

I handed over my manual, told him that my teaching partner was covering the next week, and after shaking his hand, I walked out of the building.

I had to go back in to watch my daughter getting baptized by someone else a few weeks later. It didn't hurt as much as I thought it would. But aside from that, and a couple of cub scout things, I haven't set foot in the building again.

So it's been 3 months of freedom from Sunday services.

Maybe I'll wait until a full year passes before I throw the party though!


OK Folks, I have a challenge for you.

Glenn Beck has been sharing 'The Truth' with the world, that the inhabitants of the ancient America's where descended from the Israelites.

Since most of his audience have unfortunately lost the portion of their brain which enables them to think things through, they've become accustomed to just accepting what he says as gospel.

I suspect that Glenn may have been called as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and as such is taking very seriously the role of teaching Mormon Doctrine to his viewers.

Back when I was a missionary, we used to teach a series of discussion to people who were interested in Mormonism, or people who were too nice not to let us visit with them.

The first discussion went like this:
  • God is cool, and lots of people believe in him, and so do we

  • Jesus is cool and we believe in him as well

  • God wants to talk to you, but you have to have a prophet to tell you what God wants to tell you

  • God has a prophet, and one of those prophets was Joseph Smith

  • Joseph Smith was awesome, because he translated an ancient record. It was the history of the Native Americans

  • Read it, and then ask God if it's true, and he'll tell you it is. And then we want to come back and ask you to join our Church

Now, they've changed the discussion a little since I went through the training program, and I'm sure in Glenn's case, he's had to adapt them a little to suit his audience. I know I had to when I was teaching someone who's third language was English, and they believed in Ancestor worship.

So this is the approach Glenn is taking...

He started his discussion with a little BRT. I left that out, but it's an acronym for Building Relationships of Trust. You want the people to like you, so you find something common which they believe in, which you can build on... Nice flowers you have, I used to garden before I was a missionary. Those red ones sure are pretty!

In Glenn's case it's fear and hatred of Islam. I must admit he did a phenomenal job.

Then he gave a quick summary of his belief in God and Satan. Don't have to dwell too long on this, since it's likely a sure bet that 99% of his audience is Christian and subscribe to that belief already.

Now the whole prophet and God speaking to us thing... That's a little tricky with Glenn, since he wants the world to follow him. He actually made a comment about people following him, as he led them too the truth. Talk about an ego.

Anyway, so we've covered God, and then Glenn who is somewhat of a Savior to mankind, and also the prophet who will teach us God's will.

(Comment: This is a sarcastic, hyperbolic type post, but I wish I was being more sarcastic than I actually am with that last paragraph.)

Now the problem Glenn faces is that if he refers to the Book of Mormon, he'll probably lose most of his audience... he needs to be subtle.

Nothing was worse to me as a missionary, than whipping out a Book of Mormon, and all of a sudden seeing the terrified look in a person's eyes, as they realized they were being spoken to by 'MORMONS!'

Anyway, but Glenn's smarter than that, and so he frames the next part inside a conspiracy theory, and uses old books to teach that the ancient inhabitants of the America's were in fact Hebrews.

If you'd like to learn more about why this is all a load of crap, I would highly recommend this series of blog posts by an actual archeologist.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

OK, but now the fun part... I have a challenge for you...

Most of Beck's audience are fundamentalist, uber-zealous Christian types. They likely hate Mormons, but make an exception in Glenn's case, since he hates Obama.

What if they realized he was teaching them about Mormonism?

Can you imagine the look on their faces?

I can kind of imagine it, but I want pictures and videos, because that would be SWEET!!!

So the contest is... Find some die hard Glenn Beck fan, get your camera out, and then share with them the real truth, that Glenn is indoctrinating them into Mormonism. I would be happy to provide more info for you, like a copy of the Introduction to the Book of Mormon and quotes from Mormon prophets about the native Americans, or Lamanites.

I'm looking for that look in the eye. The second their brain pops a blood vessel and they realize they've been had.

I'm not sure what prizes I can offer, which brings me to part two...

Anyone want to sponsor this contest with something cool?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Trifecta Shakeup

OK Folks, I think it's time for a shakup of the Trifecta...

The Hot Dude Trifecta!

So while I still think Channing Tatum is a stud, I think I've developed a bit of a man crush on this fellow...

I showed Mrs Koda this video over the weekend...

She agreed.

In fact, the first words out of her mouth were something to the effect of...

Serve me up a piece of that!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Wow!! It's been a good day in the blogosphere, which is a good thing...

Quick side note... I got a headache at work around 2 this afternoon. I think it's related to the avoidance of caffeine this week, due to a big race on Saturday.

So I took some Ibuprofen... Didn't touch it.

Drove home, squinting into the sun and trying not to cry.

Got home and had two large bowls of rice Chex covered in sugar... Nothing.

Finally I could take it no more and so I grabbed some Tylenol with Codeine, back from when I had the lump removed from my head (My most popular blog post of all time too - aside from my ill-conceived rant about the Utah Horizon Card system)...

Anyway, ended up at back to school night with the kids, and I think it finally went away, but by that time...


I'm still not totally with it, but like I said, that's all a side story.

Oh and to top it off, I ran into some fellow bloggers as I left... Sorry guys if I seemed a little spacey... My brain was somewhere between Mars and Jupiter... Any Train fans here? Don't you just love the song Drops of Jupiter?

ANYWAY! It seems like I've picked up at least 3 new followers today, a couple of which seem to be new bloggers in Outer Blogness - The internet realm occupied by those who have, or are thinking about leaving Mormonism.

To all I say... WELCOME!!

I try to keep this blog lighter, with the occasional rant about Glenn Beck and politicians who do dumb things.

I have another... The Koda Think Tank. That one deals more with Religion, and especially my personal departure from Mormonism.

P.S. Mrs Koda suggested I tap into my secret stash of Vicodin and wash it down with some Vodka... I'm questioning her judgement, but just for the record... I didn't.

At least not yet!!!

If there are some interesting posts later tonight, you could probably guess why.

Two Tea Parties

I do kinda like the thinking behind the Tea Party...

The problem is that the Tea Party is actually one name, given to two distinct groups.

The original group and perhaps the smaller, less obnoxious of the two groups consists of people who genuinely believe in freedom, libertarianism, and a form of capitalism which attempts to remove corruption from the system we now have.

In many ways I agree with these folks, and where I don't agree, I can definitely understand their rationale.

The second group are the loud obnoxious freaks who worship Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck. These people are not Libertarians, and the only parts of the Constitution they care about are the parts that help them suppress the rights and beliefs of others.

The tricky part is trying to determine which group you're talking to, because both claim to support the Constitution and both claim to be patriots.

FOLKS! I have the million dollar question which will help you determine which is which...

"So, how do you feel about the Cordoba Mosque going up in New York?"

If they freak out about it and start whining about sensitivity and Islamofascism, you can be 100% certain your speaking to a hypocritical sheep from group number 2.

Why you may ask....

I'll let Mr. Ron Paul explain here. I still maintain a Presidency consisting of Mr. Paul and President Obama could bring to pass some excellent change in America. The may seem to be polar opposites, but they're both reasonable men, with a sound understanding of their positions, and both are very articulate. I think some great compromises could be worked out.

In other news... Has Glenn Beck been called as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

I'll elaborate more in a day or two, but wouldn't it be an absolute riot to watch the faces of all of his fundamentalist Christian fans, if he were to give them the first Mormon Missionary discussion on his TV show, and then they were to find out about it after the fact?!?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Perfect Combinations

Every so often 2 artist from different genres will combine to create something new, unique and oft times... AWESOME.

So it is with Love The Way You Lie by Eminem and Rihanna

I'm thinking that I may need to find a way to justify purchasing Mr. Mathers new album.

And speaking of perfect combinations... Pearl Jam and Cypress Hill did a great one a decade and a half ago.

On Dancing

An old prospector shuffled into town leading an old tired mule. The old man headed straight for the only saloon to clear his parched throat. He walked up and tied his old mule to the hitch rail. As he stood there, brushing some of the dust from his face and clothes, a young gunslinger stepped out of the saloon with a gun
in one hand and a bottle of whiskey in the other. The young gunslinger looked at the old man and laughed, saying, "Hey old man, have you ever danced?"

The old man looked up at the gunslinger and said, "No, I never did dance... never really wanted to."

A crowd had gathered as the gunslinger grinned and said, "Well, you old fool, you're gonna dance now," and started shooting at the old man's feet.

The old prospector --not wanting to get a toe blown off-- started hopping around like a flea on a hot skillet. Everybody was laughing, fit to be tied.
When his last bullet had been fired, the young gunslinger, still laughing, holstered his gun and turned around to go back into the saloon.

The old man turned to his pack mule, pulled out a double-barreled shotgun, and cocked both hammers.

The loud clicks carried clearly through the desert air.

The crowd stopped laughing immediately.

The young gunslinger heard the sounds too, and he turned around very slowly.

The silence was almost deafening.

The crowd watched as the young gunman stared at the old timer and the large gaping holes of those twin barrels. The barrels of the shotgun never wavered in the old man's hands, as he quietly said, "Son, have you ever licked a mule's ass?"

The gunslinger swallowed hard and said, "No sir..... but... I've always wanted to."

There are a few lessons for us all here:

Never be arrogant.
Don't waste ammunition.
Whiskey makes you think you're smarter than you are.
Don't mess with old men, they didn't get old by being stupid.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Glenn Beck is a Freaking Genius!!

I'm going to include a clip from Monday nights edition of The Daily Show with Mr. John Stewart. There is a lot of really good stuff in this clip...

First there is the number one reason I think Obama might lose his bid at re-election. He's trying to cater to both his supporters and his critics and in so doing, pissing both sides off. Mr. President, if you happen to read this, please just stick to your guns and do the right things. Nothing you can say, can or will please any of the narrow-minded idiots on the right side of the aisle. They're upset you're in power, and that you're both black and a Democrat. Unless you can bleach your skin, switch political parties, produce video of your birth in a New York hospital, start a war in at least 3 middle Islamic countries, further destroy our economy by giving increased tax breaks to the rich, and then giving Sean Hannity a blowjob, I don't think you could ever please them, and even then, success would be doubtful.

Next he shows the complete hypocrisy of the pseudo news station which is Fox News. And in so stating that, I should point out... The Daily Show is a comedy show, not a news show, but despite that key difference... Mr. Stewart and his crew are actually consistent with how they cover events.

And finally, he engages the comedic genius of Mr. John Oliver for a fun look at political correctness and religion. The playground and the cathedral comment was perhaps the highlight of this exchange.

But in the midst of all of that, he showed two clips of Glenn Beck. Now here's where I struggle a little. I used to be a HUUUUUGE Glenn Beck fan, even after I started leaning left, and then all of a sudden I just couldn't stand him any more. For a while now, I've been wondering why it was that I experienced such an extreme shift in my feelings and thoughts. However as I watched the two clips shown of Mr. Beck, I realized that it wasn't necessarily me that changed.

I've heard bits and pieces of this theory before, but it wasn't until laying in bed last night that it hit me... Glenn Beck is a Genius!

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Let me explain...

The Glenn I used to like... He's the guy in the second clip. The one wearing jeans and with his tie loosened. He's also not wearing glasses, and I think each of those things are significant here.

I didn't have to agree with Mr. Beck to appreciate his arguments, because he actually made arguments and backed them up. He wasn't stuck following a set agenda and was willing to investigate and question things.

I liked that Glenn.

But he's transformed himself, and that is where the genius comes in.

Pause for a second, and lets look at Mormonism, to which Mr. Beck converted several years ago. Here is a religion, which in exchange for eternal salvation (or at least the illusion of it), can get it's followers to give up:

10% of their gross income
Additional donations in offerings and charitable support
Underwear choice
Freedom of choice
Significant portions of time every week.

The religion controls most of it's followers political thinking, and gets them to live a strict health code - although the "health" portion is debatable, especially when you look at the considerable girth of some of the more faithful. I've heard it rationalized that it's not so much about health as it is about obedience, but I think that only makes my point further.

I think Mr. Beck has realized the key behind Mormonism, and is using it to promote his career.

Let's go back to the clothing... When I like Mr. Beck he was pretty casual. See the jeans and no glasses comment above. He used to be one of the people, the everyday guys who was on your side.

Now it's suits, ties and glasses. It conveys an air of professionalism, as though he knows more than you do... And if you listen to him, he thinks he does. Mormon leaders are the same... You will never see a Mormon leader, especially not the high up ones in anything other than a dark suit, white shirt and conservative tie.


The biggest secret to the success of Mormonism is fear. Fear that you'll lose your family, fear that people in your community will think less of you, fear that your going to be attacked for your beliefs and fear that when you do, you won't have the courage to defend your beliefs.

Glenn lives and breathes fear into the hearts of his audience.

President Obama isn't a man with a socially progressive approach to politics... Far from it, he's an evil, socialist, nazi, who wants to kill old people and abort as many babies as he can. He's not going to be happy until we're all communist slaves, with no freedom, and we're forced to live Sharia law.

OK, that might be a slight exaggeration, and then again, it may not be that far off...

Gotta hand it to the guy though... It's worked phenomenally well for him. His followers are devout and in general can be counted on to use Beck's own words in defense of their positions. You cannot discuss controversial things with a Glenn Beck fan, just as you cannot discuss controversial things with a Mormon, and if you start making sense to them... You become the enemy, someone to be shunned and hated.

I can always tell when I have one on the line, because they manage to include socialism, communism, fascism, the constitution, God and how much the love their country, all in the same sentence.

But back to the topic of this post... Mr. Beck... Sheer Genius... If only he could use his mental capacity for the common good, instead of to promote hate and fear.

I can honestly say I miss the guy who used to host the Glenn Beck show.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Check this out... I'm not sure how to deal with the friction aspects of this project, but I'm sure these guys have some ideas!

Monday, August 16, 2010


So I just heard back from my lending institution... Apparently they've known since last Wednesday, but have been too chicken to call... It took some prompting from me...


Anyway, so we thought our home had probably lost about $30k since we purchased it a little less than three years ago...

We weren't happy about it, but everyone is hurting, so we're all kind of in the same boat.

Anyway, after some prodding, the guy finally called me back. I sensed it would be bad news simply because of that...

Turns out that our home got appraised for less than 80% of what we paid for it. And we worked with the appraiser when we bought it to get that initial value as low as possible.


That also means that I think we're officially upside down in our home as well.

I joked to the banker about walking away and letting the bank take the hit.

I don't think he was amused.

On the plus side... I can now use this to contest my property taxes!

Huge Loss....

So I posted a link on Facebook this morning...

It was to this

It's basically an article by The Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon for the National Council on Churches USA Chapter, addressing the issue of the mosque which is being proposed for construction near the site of the 9/11 Trade Center Attacks.

Despite not being religious anymore, I really like Dr. Kinnamon's approach.

Less than 10 minutes after posting the link, I was down 1 friend on Facebook.

I can't figure out who the friend was, so obviously it's not a big loss, and to be completely honest, if that offended them, I'm not sure I really want them on my friends list anyway.

There is a douche-bag politician in Utah, who made a comment some time back about how the Gays are the greatest threat to America. He now claims he was tricked into making that comment, because one of the camera men was wearing a BYU shirt... Perhaps he was worried it was a task force from the LDS Church gestapo like, Strengthening Church Members Committee :-)

Anyway, I've been thinking about it, and I'd like to state for the record, that I think there is another group which is the greatest danger to the USA and it is an actual threat.

I think the greatest danger to the world is members of any religion who take a fundamentalist approach to it.

The greatest threat to the United States is fundamentalist Christians.

Hey folks... Christianity has had it's shot at running things, and it was one of the prime reasons why people fled England to seek out a better life here.

Friday, August 13, 2010

On Anonymous Comments

If you have a blog and you've been the recipient of anonymous comments - as have I - I think you'll find this true.

It was a tweet by Andy Borowitz

Anonymous blog comments are the Internet's version of flaming bags of shit left on a doorstep.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hey Santa Claus!

So you know how I had a wee technical issue at work a few weeks back, and ended up playing Jane Fonda for all to hear? Well it turns out that no-one really heard it, fortunately, but I was reminded of a similar incident I had as a kid.

Before I get to it... Sorry the posts have been scarce this last week. I had a pretty grueling race weekend, and that combined with lack of sleep, stress from numerous sources and other crap has left me pretty wiped out.

And then also... The language used in the following clip is most certainly NSFW (Not Safe for Work). Actually if we're being honest, it's not really safe for anyone with sensitive ears.

The artist is an Australian gentleman by the name of Kevin Bloody Wilson.

So there I was, probably about 15 or 16, and a friend at school had given me a tape to borrow. I forget what the first album was on the tape, but I do recall having it in the family stereo, and cranked up loud enough that I could hear it outside.

I'd heard about the Santa Claus song by Mr. Wilson in the past, and I do recall that my friend had mentioned that he'd grabbed some of Mr. Wilson's music. Anyway, so I recall, walking out of our garage and hearing a melody, and hearing... "Hey Santa Clause you....".

That was when I realized what it was. I sprinted like nothing else to turn it off...

I don't know how long it had been on, or how many members of my family had heard it.

I suspect that had anyone heard it, I would have been given a stern talking to, but who knows.

Anyway, with the NSFW warning in mind, here's Mr. Wilson...

Thursday, August 05, 2010

2 Ladies

Today is an interesting day... It started yesterday actually, when I found out about Prop 8 being overturned, and if I may say...


The thing is though, as soon as the facebook notes went up about it, the usual crap from the so-called Christians started. I commented on a post or two, and even considered putting something up on my Facebook page. On one hand I want to make sure I stand by what is right, but on the other hand, I'm learning that you just can't have a rational discussion about an issue with people who have no rational reason for believing as they do, and quite honestly, I'm getting really sick of hearing Mormons express their love for their gay brothers and sisters, and then start bitching about how they don't want the gay lifestyle shoved in their faces.

On that note, perhaps a few words of advice...

1 - If you're a Mormon, and you're going to bitch about having someone else's lifestyle or beliefs shoved in your face... It may be a good idea to quit doing the same thing. Thinking you're right, doesn't necessarily make it so!

2 - If you're a Mormon, and you're going to whine about Muslims who want to build a mosque some place (I had this conversation on Tuesday with someone), please understand that by so doing, you should probably also give up bitching about communities who protest temples.

3 - If you're going to go back to the argument (Like the LDS PR folks did) about how the popular vote has already declared Prop 8 to be law... How about we have a national vote on whether you guys should be allowed to keep your tax-exempt status and yet refuse to divulge your finances, or how about a national vote on whether you should be allowed to go door to door pissing the rest of the country off. If that did happen, I suspect you'd be crying about the Constitution and your rights louder than any of the LGBT organizations.

Moving on... Today the residence of the Koda family is going to receive a visit from an appraiser. It's a bit of a gamble we're taking to try and reduce our monthly living expenses, because we're just not making it.

We're going to find out just how badly we got screwed by the economic crash, and hopefully discover, it wasn't enough to prevent a refinancing of our mortgage.

It could go either way... If it doesn't appraise for as much as we need it to, well, we'll be out $400 and have to find other ways to try and make it through.

If it does, we'll get a small infusion of cash now, but it could end up costing us an additional couple of thousand over the life of our loan. Of course on the plus side, we'll be getting a RIDICULOUSLY low interest rate, and so it may actually work out for the best.

So, with nerves on edge - Oh - and I'm doing the BAD ASS series of races in Midway this weekend... I figured today's post needed to be light...


So these two ladies die and go to Heaven.

(I know I'm an Atheist, but this is a joke, and it doesn't work without heaven. Actually if we're being honest, when you review the subject matter, perhaps heaven isn't the place they should be, but anyway....)

1st woman: Hi! Wanda.

2nd woman: Hi! Sylvia. How'd you die?

1st woman: I froze to death.

2nd woman: How horrible!

1st woman: It wasn't so bad. After I quit shaking from the cold, I began to get warm & sleepy, and finally died a peaceful death. What about you?

2nd woman: I died of a massive heart attack. I suspected that my husband was cheating, so I came home early to catch him in the act. But instead, I found him all by himself in the den watching TV.

1st woman: So, what happened?

2nd woman: I was so sure there was another woman there somewhere that I started running all over the house looking. I ran up into the attic and searched, and down into the basement. Then I went through every closet and checked under all the beds. I kept this up until I had looked everywhere, and finally I became so exhausted that I just keeled over with a heart attack and died.

1st woman: Too bad you didn't look in the freezer---we'd both still be alive.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

The Piggies

This is a 'cute' post. My apologies to all my more masculine readers.

My daughter purchased a guinea pig for her birthday this year, and in an effort to avoid having the little rodent get lonely, Mrs. Koda purchased one at the same time. My daughters pet is still hovering with respect to names. Some days she's Little Miss Speedy, and others it's Hannabelle. Mrs. Koda's pig is named Miss Bennett.

Miss Bennett ended up being the more dominant of the two, and was largely responsible for us having to purchase two cages. She is also the more friendlier of the two - far less skittish and very curious.

I'm working from home today, and one of the little Koda's brought Miss Bennett over to the table where I am working. She took a while to adjust to me, the laptop and the table, but after a few minutes, she's managed to get on the keyboard and open an additional 20-30 help windows in my browser.

I pushed her off to the side, and all of a sudden, she mellowed right out. Her amble belly seemed to sink and spread out on the table, and it almost looked like she might be going to sleep. I ignored her for a while, but it seemed a little unlike her... And that's when I realized...

There is an air vent on the side of the laptop and it gently blows out nice warm air from the processor -> right where Miss Bennett was sitting.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Gay LDS Leadership?

I'm not going to accuse LDS Leadership of anything, since I don't really think this is something which is an accusing type thing. It's just kind of sad that the men who could do something about the environment which prevents people from becoming who they really are, are under siege from themselves.

Below is an abstract from a study conducted at the University of Georgia.

Full Study Here

The authors investigated the role of homosexual arousal in exclusively heterosexual men who admitted negative affect toward homosexual individuals. Participants consisted of a group of homophobic men (n = 35) and a group of nonhomophobic men (n = 29); they were assigned to groups on the basis of their scores on the Index of Homophobia (W. W. Hudson & W. A. Ricketts, 1980). The men were exposed to sexually explicit erotic stimuli consisting of heterosexual, male homosexual, and lesbian videotapes, and changes in penile circumference were monitored. They also completed an Aggression Questionnaire (A. H. Buss & M. Perry, 1992). Both groups exhibited increases in penile circumference to the heterosexual and female homosexual videos. Only the homophobic men showed an increase in penile erection to male homosexual stimuli. The groups did not differ in aggression. Homophobia is apparently associated with homosexual arousal that the homophobic individual is either unaware of or denies.