Sunday, January 25, 2009


This past Friday I had to work. Not many other people at my company did so I was relatively alone. It felt like a Saturday and the fact that my wife stayed home from work added to that feeling of, "what the hell am doing here?

I have to drive a golf cart between buildings and given that it had just rained, the roads were all wet and there were some pretty big puddles. The kid in me got out that day. What is it about splashing puddles that is so gratifying? File this under "Simple things in life I enjoy" for later reference.

Sent from my Jailbroken iPhone

Friday, January 23, 2009

Rich Food - Blurbs

You would think the rich would eat like Kings. Whatever happened to the fat cats like Henry VIII? Now, its all about complex, colorful crappy tasting fancy food.

I've eaten that shit. Do you have to develop a taste for it? If so, why? You have to develop a taste for expensive, unhealthy, unsatisfying stuff that barely passes for food.

Give me a plain old burger over caviar or shark fin any day.

Do any of you actually like that stuff? Do people eat before they go to these so called "luncheons?"

A Follower

One of my followers JeaneBee, from Alphabet Soup wrote an interesting blog about the history behind some old expressions. Here is a sample.
In the late 1700's, many houses consisted of a large room with only one chair. Commonly, a long wide board folded down from the wall, and was used for dining. The 'head of the household' always sat in the chair while everyone else ate sitting on the floor. Occasionally a guest, who was usually a man, would be invited to sit in this chair during a meal. To sit in the chair meant you were important and in charge. They called the one sitting in the chair the 'chair man.' Today in business, we use the expression or title 'Chairman' or 'Chairman of the Board.'

If you would like to read more, please go visit her blog, Alphabet Soup and don't forget to comment. Doing stuff like that takes some research and the least we could do is show our appreciation for the entertainment.


What better topic to discuss on my 200th blog than my favorite topic to discuss.

One of my favorite bloggers, Vivienne, recently posted a blog about religion. She saw some atheist propaganda in a subway that inspired her to write. It was the following question;

"Why can we not look at a beautiful garden without putting fairies at the bottom of it?"

I thought it was a great question because the answer to the question is found within the question itself. I will explain what I mean but first a little background.

I was raised in a relatively strict Catholic home. It wasn't until later years that Church became a small part of our lives. As a youth, I had many questions. I firmly believe it was the lack of answers that led me on the path that got me to where I am now.

We allowed Mormon's to enter our home in an attempt to preach their gospel. They quickly became frustrated with me. I couldn't help but express my dissatisfaction with their vague all encompassing answer of "faith." Jehovah's witness members also couldn't satisfy my need for a solid response. Catholicism and Christianity's typically unwavering closed door policy towards doubters only served to push me even farther away from religion.

So I went to college. I studied religion, philosophy, argumentation and debate as well as Astronomy and Physical Anthropology. That really fucked me up. The blinders that religion had placed upon me didn't allow me to properly prepare myself for the mind blowing I was about to receive from cold, hard facts. Ironically, it was in these same courses, taught mostly by proud and angry atheists, where I truly found myself.

At first I was a little scared to be completely honest. I felt inside that reading and discussing these topics was blasphemous. Pointing out "factual mistakes" in religious texts felt like I was doing what the Bible taught as evil. Then I started noticing connections in it all. The similarities in so many religions that couldn't always be attributed to historical connections. The intriguing connections between all sciences and religions. More importantly, the simple miracle that life exists at all in the universe.

The more I read about how life came to be and how life continues to exist, the more captivated I found myself with the unanswered mysteries. Keep in mind that by this time I had long since given up on any idea of an omnipotent, omniscient being. I still saw something in life that made me feel wonder.

After a decade or so of skepticism I again contemplated the possibility that there might be a small chance that there was some sort of design behind it all, and I felt great. I wasn't aware until then that I had felt so bad, bland and empty for so many years.

So why can't we not look at a beautiful garden without putting fairies at the bottom of it? Well, because we can't. There is something in our nature that needs wonder and fantasy. Some desire for protection and/or need for spiritual guidance. This is why I believe so many people that leave their faith and stop believing in some sort of God start looking quickly towards alternatives. Tarot, numerology and other equally fantastical studies. It becomes a faith of convenience.

"My religion tells me that smoking and drinking is bad so I will find a religion that doesn't." Or even worse, these people search for something trendy to follow. It's not cool at all to follow an old boring faith right? Hey, I don't blame or judge them too harshly for leaving. I stopped going to church for different reasons but the point is I stopped too so I can't say much about that.

Many atheists refuse to believe in any form of deity, obviously. That's all fine and dandy. Its a free planet and you are welcome to believe as you wish. I can't help but notice though that many of the atheists I know harbor some kind of animosity towards anyone and anything remotely religious. Why this hatred? Why so much anger? Why so much contempt?

They aren't ALL that way sure but a WHOLE LOT of them are. As logical and intelligent and skeptical as you may think you are, there is one thing that religion could stand to teach you still. That is to be a bit less judgmental and more accepting of people for what they are.

If there is one thing that pisses me off it is when religions fight amongst each other or when religious groups argue with non-religious individuals. It is that reason alone that chases me away from many of those groups. There is no "winning" that argument and the millions who have died bloody deaths fail to have proved their points to this planet full of ignorant savages.

Religions are meant to teach compassion, patience and understanding. Just because religion also teaches about omniscient beings doesn't mean you should disregard everything all religions have to teach. As an atheist, if you consider yourself skeptical and logical then you are familiar with the fallacy of composition right?

I try to make an effort to learn from any text that has a positive message to teach. Whether it is from a book written by a schizophrenic individual that believes he spoke to Jesus Christ himself or a person who completely misinterprets what the original authors of those religious texts intended. They could all teach you valuable lessons. It is important to take from life what most fulfills you.

I can't see myself giving into any sort of group communion wholeheartedly. I can attend the events whenever I need to but when groups start chanting, I can't help but imagine the pagan and tribal traditions that inspired them. I also can't help but giggle at the terrible old lady singers that just don't care.

My point? Some people need religion, some just need faith. Others, feel they don't need anything. I was there for a decade or more then I realized that faith in a specific church was a completely different thing than "faith" by definition. As long as what you believe or don't believe makes you a better person, then more power to you. I'll give you three R's that should be taught in school. Respect yourself, respect others and respect the Earth.

Some people like to feel that there is a plan and some order to the chaos of daily life. Some people choose to revel in that chaos. I can't pretend to know ANYTHING about the way the world works. I know what we humans understand about the history of creation and I know what a lot of us humans understand about the morality behind our purpose. I don't necessarily believe that they conflict with each other.

I sum it up in one sentence.

Bibles and other religious texts try to teach you the moral significance of why, while science tries to explain how.

Religions try hard to explain to us the purpose of our existence as well as justification and vindication for good behavior. The exact history and factual dates and numbers are insignificant to the greater purpose. The sciences try to teach you how all these seemingly miraculous events brought us to where we are now. The moral significance of it all is irrelevant.

I think it all makes more sense together than it does apart.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Mrs. Fatty

Consider yourself warned. This blog was written for the shallow man in your life to read in a way he could understand. Perhaps later I will write the female version, as best I can. But for now... Let the gloves come off.

My family is fat. It runs in my blood to be fat. Those of you that know me personally possibly couldn't even picture me fat. BUT...those of you who have seen my baby pictures and seen and/or met my family could possibly see it. This isn't like a "some of my best friends are fat" message though it may sound like it.

Its more like a, "I DO have to work to stay thin." I'm not really one of those eat whatever I want type people. I DO eat whatever I want, I just don't eat HOW MUCH I want. For more on that subject, read any one of my MANY weight related posts starting with my personal favorite, "Tough Love for the Happy Heifers."

This particular post could be viewed as a guide to help shallow men find happiness. After all, doesn't everyone deserve to find it?

I would love to hear the opinions of everyone else. If you feel like sharing yours, click here to read more.

If appearance is one of your major concerns when searching for a female life partner, be aware and wary of the following tactics used by the shallow females you will inevitably encounter on your quest.

Hiding the Mother

Yes, though proud and full of great stories about the fantastic mother they have, you may not meet her until you are already too deep into the relationship to turn around. Be sure you meet the family early. Don't be afraid. Just because she brings you home to mother doesn't necessarily mean she plans to start shitting out kids with you overnight. You have nothing to fear. (Unless she's a minor you dirty bastard.)

Take a good look at the mother, and father for that matter. It is highly likely you will be getting a combination of both. Are they overweight? Do they argue? Does she cook? Does the father look worn and desperate for some sort of escape? Does the mother insult the father openly even with guests present? Get ready for that.

Is the mother ugly? Be honest with yourself here. Don't expect a "pretty" old version of your wife. Seriously take a good look at her and ask yourself if she will be too distractingly ugly to deal with. In other words, will her ugliness make your angry arguments worse simply because she's ugly. Be honest with yourself, you know you are nicer to a person if they are better looking. The opposite goes for the inverse.

Don't expect beauty, just look for acceptable. Remember that you are young and the whole MILF thing is an old wive's tale. Take a good look at that lady. She's not a catch. Don't expect to find astounding beauty in an old woman. Look for kindness and a loving relationship. That is what will count later on, believe me.

Rushing to Marry

Females do not age gracefully. It is a known fact that they acknowledge. If they are accepting of premarital sex and even call you back after the act, expect pressure about "the next level" within the next few months. If they are in a rush, take a good look at the parents. She may be aware of what she is well on her way to becoming and be trying to trap herself a man.

It is HARD to stay fit. HARD! Some women, as history has shown, give up soon after the wedding ring is placed on the hand. It is a victory. You can't really blame them for it. They feel they have finally found "true love." You are contracted to stick with them through THICK and thin. Mostly thick. If you can't deal with that, then move on.

Pregnancy Changes

Some women try really hard to stay fit. The biggest, greatest challenge though is child birth. It is rare that the female form returns to its enticing shape after a child has ravaged and even restructured their freakin' BONES! (MAGIC WORD WAWAWAWAWA~!) Take a good look at their female siblings, cousins and again, mother to see what the results of child birth can be. If you can't deal with it...move on.

Accepting of You

Lets be honest. You are a jerk. You probably don't take care of yourself as well as you should. You probably already even farted around her and blamed the dog. The woman you find will have to accept you for who you are in the future. She will pretend to be OK with it now but she won't later. You are leading yourself into a life of nagging unless you work hard, even AFTER you marry her.

Yes, this means that not only will you have to accept her changes, but you have to work hard to change too. Just to keep it peaceful and happy. Unless of course you want to pay alimony for the rest of your life and watch some other younger, cleaner, nicer guy doing your ex-wife in front of your kids.

For the rest of your life. Accept the reality that men were designed to work until they die. Its only fair that you both die happy. Working is easier for men anyway. Ever take a good look at the female "business suit" / torture mechanism? Heels, all day????

Mini Miracle at Work

So I had a huge task dropped on my desk today. The task though was "reportedly" requested months ago. Fortunately it never got to me but unfortunately people don't care that it never got to the right person, me.

They had a map. The map was wrong. Instead of it becoming an "Oh well, just get it done" deal, it became a "This exact person who created the map made a huge mistake so I can't do a thing even if I wanted to but I'm ready to jump at it once _____ fixes his/her mistake."


I love it when a plan falls apart.

Modern Breakfast

Until I met my wife, I wasn't really a breakfast kind of guy. In fact, breakfast was rare. I would only eat it at night at a place like Denny's. I love French Toast and eggs and stuff like that I just wouldn't eat it. I would skip breakfast. (During High School I would skip lunch too.)

I often work long days so making time to sit down and have a big healthy breakfast isn't something I can afford easily.

Because of this I have tried a lot of little quickie breakfast solutions. My wife packs them for me when I can't sit down and have breakfast with her. Currently one of my favorites are these Pillsbury Toaster Strudels.

My wife regularily packs a banana for me to eat and they taste great together! You heat them up much in the same way you would a pop tart but it tastes much better. Like many things I enjoy, (Cinnamon Toaster Strudel, A.1. Thick & Hearty,) they are quickly discontinued.

I thought I would share this treat with everyone before it is no more.

I also really like McDonald's Egg McMuffin's but they are so freakin' expensive for what they are. I tried the Jimmy Dean frozen variation and while convenient, they are nowhere near the delicious flavor the the McDonald's variety.

Do you guys have quickie breakfast favorites?

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Modular Car

The Modular Car for a volatile economy.

Everyone by now knows about the moving assembly line popularized by Ford back near the (other) turn of the century. The automobile industry is struggling and I have some radical ideas that could possibly help keep them afloat.

No bail-out included.

Lets begin by listing the problems I see from a non-industry perspective.


Research and Development keeps spending a LOT of money on new ways to do the same old thing. New ways to jack up the price on vehicles that should not cost as much as they do. To help you visualize the way I see it, try to think of your car as a computer.

1. The computer case. With a PC you can technically put almost any computer into it. Most computer cases are designed with all the holes and component grooves for standard PC equipment to fit. Hence the term PC - Compatible. GM did this a little and Nissan/Acura as well with the engines but I propose a more universal type variety of chassis that would allow customized vehicles to be made quicker, easier and more importantly, cheaper.

2. The motherboard. If you've ever looked into your computer, the motherboard is the largest circuit board in there. Its the one in the back where everything plugs in. There would be some variation allowed in different ranges. This all depends on the type of car you are looking for. There would be some types of vehicles with customizable engine horsepower and fuel efficiency ratings. Some requiring different parts. They should all be designed to fit within certain parameters of size and specs. Difficult, but not impossible. The benefits would far outweigh the difficulties.

3. The components. Hard drive, memory, keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc. All these things are the little extras that would be interchangeable with all other modular cars. Some would actually be only visual or ergonomic modifications and others would actually affect power and fuel efficiency. Want to reduce the size of your gas tank? Fine, you will get better mileage but will have to refill more often. Want to consider replacing your external shell of your 2008 Altima to the one on the 2009 Maxima, no problem.

So how would something like this be cheaper? Well, IN THE LONG RUN it would be cheaper simply because it would increase the life span of your average vehicle. A LOT less waste would be generated. Every single part of the vehicle would be used until it is dead. Why is there business at junk yards? That should be where cars go to be recycled, not fester. Nothing should be left of the vehicles that are no longer used.

You won't have to buy a new car every time your transmission dies on you. You won't have to buy a new car every time a new body style is released. You won't have to buy a new car simply because the manufacturer doesn't carry parts for it anymore.

Your classic 2009 Mustang could fit a brand new 2029 Mustang engine.

The auto industry would experience a more constant flow of income from people who upgrade their cars a little bit at a time instead of buying one complete new one every 10+ years.

You could imagine a scenario where a person who loves the look and feel of his Mercedes-Benz would replace all the inner workings of his car because he is sick of dealing with the water pump and faulty electrical system. There is NO reason to replace his pristine out shell or the leather seats.

"But this conversion would take forever." Well, it would take a lot less time if we start now.

A consortium would have to be created to set a few standards with acceptable spec ratings that would make all the automakers pleasant, not happy.

Cars would be designed in this order of priority.


Yes, SECS sells ladies and gentlemen, SECS sells.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Meme - The First of 2009

A Meme for the new year posted originally by Angela.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
Swam in the Atlantic Ocean!

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Yes I did. I gave up caffeine and I believe I will greatly reduce my pork intake if not eliminate it altogether as well as clean out that entertainment room.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Why no, not in 2008 they didn't. Yesterday they did though.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?
None. But I'm TOTALLY cool with that. I'm not ready to die yet.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
Job security. Sick pay. Vacation time. Performance reviews. Raise.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Well. Changing my mind about something. I rarely do that about major life changing decisions. Being able to do that was both challenging and gratifying.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not getting the yearly raises I was accustomed to since I first started working.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing really terrible I don't think. Actually I think I'm healthier than I've ever been.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Tough one. Probably some "cute" clothes for the wife. It's the gift that keeps on giving.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Wife's. Just when I think she couldn't be the more perfect wife she just surprises me time and again.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Apalled, perhaps...depressed, I think not. I slayed that dragon during college. That would be humanity in general.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Mortgage and car payment. I probably spent less on entertainment this past year than any other before it.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Probably movies and games. Yeah...I can be pretty shallow but sometimes you just have to let yourself make things fun.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
Anything by Kerli, Katy Perry, Metallica's new album or even Pink. Or any of the songs from the iPhone commercials.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Worried-er
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner, for sure.
c) richer or poorer? Both. ;)

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Traveled a bit more for the wife. Italy was next...

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Procrastinated. Well, maybe not that but done other things that were equally important yet somehow less memorable.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Home alone with the wife for the first and last time.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?
For sure I did. Wasn't the Honeymoon supposed to be over by now???

22. What was your favorite TV program?
The Office and Family Guy. Yeah I'm late on that Family Guy thing...

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I'd rather not think about that right now.

24. What was the best book you read?
Flowers for Algernon. I didn't read much last year. Or was that the year I read Harry Potter? If so, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince would be my favorite.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Kerli probably though her second album won't be as good, they never are.

26. What did you want and get?
No comment.

27. What did you want and not get?
I didn't get a raise. I didn't get a promotion. I didn't get the pay. Therefore I wasn't able to get a new home for the wife.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
It wasn't a "great" year for films but I did find Wall-E entertaining.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
We went on vacation to Miami.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I will copy Angela's response verbatim, "More time, more sleep."

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Comfortable. That's it. If it doesn't looks especially terrible, I'll wear it as long as it is comfortable.

32. What kept you sane?
That's easy, my wife and best friend. They are one in the same.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
This isn't really a question I could answer in the context intended by the author. An actor's performance that I enjoyed this year was the entire cast of Wicked at the Pantages Theater.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Prop 8 was interesting.

35. Who did you miss?
The opportunity to really get to know my Grandfather and my wife on those Mondays that I wasn't around her. Yeah, I'm a sap.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
I don't know if I met any new people this past year. How odd.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
There comes a time when restraint strictly for the sake of pacifism must come to an end. Though I made and will make a few more angry family members this year, keeping quiet hasn't worked and it will stop.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Portishead: Third - Deep Water
"I’m drifting in deep water
Alone with my self-doubting, again.
Try not to struggle this time
For I will weather the storm"