Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Yet another quick question for you

This cricket player from India...

called this dude from Australia...

a "monkey" and received a "3 Test suspension" for the racial slur.

First off, isn't "monkey" an evolutionary slur??? And does or does not the offended dude look like like an idiot in blackface?

Pics poached from this article.

And besides.... monkey? He called you a monkey? Oh puhlease!!! Is that the best insult he could come up with for this guy? I mean look at him! And dude! Seriously... couldn't you have a fancy comeback about the knob he's got on his forehead?????? I know cricket is a gentlemen's game and namecalling is childish. But jeez louise!!! Get over yourself!*

*I freely admit that I know fuck-all about the politics behind this. I'm speaking strictly as an American, looking in on a situation getting a ridiculous amount of press coverage in another country and genuinely wondering....WTF??????

"Only a racist would be personally offended by a racist remark."~Richard

revisiting the past and revitalizing my blogging

I have been lax with my blog over the last while. When I first started blogging I commented on just about everything that got said on my blog and treated it like a conversation.

For awhile now when the comments got really deep, I wasn't sure how to contribute and so backed off allowing the experts to post without comment by me. What that really did was get me in a bad habit of just reading my own blog instead of participating in my blog.

I'm going back to the first of this year and taking a second look at all the old comments and putting in thoughts that I should have said back then, but didn't.

Death to inertia!!!!!!!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Laskas is wrong, it's never too late!

Awhile back I wrote a blog entry called "Jeanne Marie Laskas is a fundy bitch" about being able to make things right even after a long period of time.

Johnny asked, "Was it hard to ring your schoolmate after all that time to apologise? I think I would think about it a lot but never get the actual gumption to do it."

Yes, it was hard. Really hard. There were several times over the years when I would google her name and get a few different results with email addresses but nothing that I could for sure guarantee was her. A couple of times I even sent off a tentative "Hi, did we go to highschool together?" email but I never got a reply and I'm positive the person receiving them thought they were a bizaare spam of some kind.

Over the years, instead of getting better, the guilt and need to apologize really started to bother me more and more. It was actually our 10 year highschool reunion that finally got me to get off the pot and give her a call. I found out that she wasn't going to be attending and I had been counting on seeing her there to apologize in person.


There are so many things that I want to say, I hardly know where to start. I just got off the phone with
[a dear friend], and she says you aren't going to be able to make it to our class reunion. You wouldn't believe how disappointed I was that you won't be there. I contacted Harry Wahlbanger,[school guidance counselor, french teacher and general cockhead] many months ago to get your e-mail address so I could write you a letter. Then I chickened out and thought I would wait until the class reunion and talk with you there.

I owe you a huge apology for my behavior our senior year. I would give anything to go back and show you the support you deserve and that our friendship warranted.

Maybe it is because this is our 10 year class reunion that I am looking back on some things with regret. And the way you got hosed our senior year is one of them.

...The rest of the email continued with personal details about what I'd been doing with my life since highschool.

Jeez. I just went back and read her reply and I'm teared up all over again. She hadn't ever understood what happened during the last year and a half of school or why everyone turned on her and my reaching out to her meant a great deal to her. Over the course of a few more emails we were able to bring each of us some closure to an issue that while it didn't impact our present day-to-day lives, definitely tainted our memories.

So yes, Johnny, it was hard, and very much worth the effort.

It's never to late to go back and say you're sorry.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Strawman Alert

My understanding of a strawman is that it is a logical fallacy where one side inaccurately represents the opponent's position and then proves the distortion false and claims victory. I googled the term and found the link above and that my paraphrase is... sufficient.

It showed up on an old post of mine, "religious indoctrination = child abuse". In that post I listed 10 (though I accidentally skipped the number 9 and listed 11)examples of the evil concepts espoused by religion.

Well Ladies and Gentlemen, we've got another fundy on my blog who doesn't have the slightest idea what it means to be an atheist. But, they have pulled their very own list of "evil concepts espoused by atheism" straight from their sphincter and in a show of maturity copied my missing 9 and numbered it through 11. Not only that but this fundy has the temerity to misquote my dear Thump in a dramatically obnoxious fashion.

Without further ado... behold... a fundy revealing the true depths of their ignorance of what it means to be an atheist.

Evil Concepts Espoused by Atheism:

1- accidental origin- you are an accident and any love anyone has for you is also an accident

2- no afterlife- all of your strivings are dust and the horrendously evil go to the same oblivion as the generously good

3- no justice- the horrible things you see will never be redressed. Never.

4- might makes right - there is no one who can decide what is right or wrong that doesn't back it up with force

5- solipsism- you can never now anything else is real. your family, your friends, they could all be meaningless manufacturing of your own mind. You can't know for sure.

6- meaninglessness- nothing you do ever means anything. you can artificially ascribe it meaning, but deep down inside you know it's a lie.

7- selfishness- everyone else is less important than you, take from them all that they have, all that they are

8- objective human value is non existent- you are worthless, all that you are comes from nothing

10- there is no good or evil- whatever others tell you is good or bad is only a matter of opinion and their ability to enforce it.

11- superiority complex - you are superior to all those foolish religious people who believe in fables

THAT is what is meant when a religious person says, "atheist indoctrination of children is child abuse." Atheist indoctrination abuses a young and developing mind, warping and twisting it at its most vulnerable, and setting up mental habits that can take a lifetime to overcome.

As Thumb said, “The whole idea of atheist indoctrination is abuse, to stifle morality and meaning cannot, in my mind, be considered anything else.”


Will you take the opportunity?

Notice that this fundy has also declared himself the winner of the argument and to not bother fisking his 10 pseudoconcepts. Poor deluded fundy. He takes especial exception to the cannibal issue I addressed as did several other fundies.

Jesus said, "This is my body, broken for you. TAKE AND EAT!" And also, "This is my blood, shed for you. TAKE AND DRINK!" Hello! Jesus, whom they believe is the human son of God who would shortly be tortured to death, die and be raised from the dead is saying EAT ME! Cannibalism is the consumption of one of your own. Jesus was human. Jesus wants you to eat him. Communion is representative cannibalism. Get over it.

Bullying and our Decision to Homeschool

EvolveIntoBirds asked, "if the bullying you experienced (me too) affected your decision to home educate your kids?"

In a word...yes. Though that is not a complete answer and certainly not the most compelling reason we decided to homeschool.

There are many who feel that the emotional and psychological bumps and bruises that one experiences in a public school setting are all a part of growing up. That they make one a stronger person and build character. That they toughen you up for the real world and provide the experience necessary for sticking up for yourself and learning to be your own person regardless of peer pressure. For some people, maybe for most people, that is precisely what happens. But it doesn't happen that way for everybody. Sometimes the hurts suffered can damage the young and developing individual, warping the person they might have become.

I grew up in a small town population 900 with a graduating class of 20 students (10 boys, 10 girls). More than anything else, school was about fitting in with the group. The main issue being of course, which group you belonged to. I have no idea how membership was decided. It would have been a fascinating thing to observe from the outside. But as I look back on who was friends with whom, groups were established almost from the very beginning with very little variance between them throughout our 13 years together.

There were 2 girl cliques in my class: the cool kids and the nerd herd. From about 3rd grade through 6th grade there were a variety of wars: factions split off, insults were exchanged, feelings hurt, and backstabbers crossed back and forth between enemy lines. Teachers and the Superintendent would be obligated to intervene several times a year when emotions got really out of control.

To add to that delightful mix of squabbling, the class ahead of mine was populated with jocks, jerks and jackasses who took great delight in making the life of the underclassmen a living hell, mine in particular but not exclusively. The class below mine was populated with losers, lame-asses and lemmings who would follow along and join in with the aforementioned upperclassmen and participate in the haranguing of anyone coming into their line of fire.

School sucked. Pretty much every single day for 13 years. And the lousy education that I received did not make up for it.

Does everyone experience school that way? Nope. In fact some people have marvelous experiences in school and receive an outstanding education. Good for you!!!! I am genuinely happy that you made it through the system unscathed.

Some parents are able to ride close herd on the school and insure the quality of their child's experience. Some just throw their kids in the pool and hope for the best saying, "It was good enough for me, it's good enough for you." But there is no guarantee that a child will have a good teacher or receive a quality education. I want that guarantee. So, I teach my kids and their education falls on my shoulders. Well.... mine and the Kids' Dad. Our kids, our responsibility.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Another quick question for you

Which came first the chicken or the egg?

My son asked me this question just a few minutes ago and I laughed remembering speculating upon that very subject as a child.

Christians would of course say god created chickens which laid the first egg.

My son shared my daughter's answer with me and I had never thought of it in that light before.

Have you ever speculated upon which came first the chicken or the egg? Did you have a good reason for your answer?

My daughter's answer was




the egg.

Because the ability to lay eggs evolved before the chicken did.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Jeanne Marie Laskas is a fundy bitch.

Who the hell is Jeanne Marie Laskas? Before today I didn't know either. You see, I'm a bit behind on my toilet reading material, which is why I'm just now reading the Ask Laskas column from the Reader's Digest December 2007 edition. Normally I don't give this column much time, but the first question really caught my eye.

Q: I just found an e-mail address for my first girlfriend, someone I treated poorly. I'm happily married -- so is she -- and I have no romantic interest in her. It's been years, but my conscience bothers me. Should I write and apologize?
~Troubled Mind

That could very easily have been written by the boy who dumped me after my senior year of high school. I have always wanted to talk to him about what happened and have never had the courage to reach out and contact him. The only contact info. I have for him is his father's phone number and while I've thought about it for years, I've never come up with the right words to say to either of them. So I was fairly interested in her reply.

A: Dear Troubled,
So you feel guilty--deal with it without burdening her. Dump this on a priest or a shrink or someone who can help you find resolution. She got over the old you years ago; maybe it's time you d id too.

What an absolutely Christian position to take. Just go to a priest and pray about it. Get forgiveness from god. And just to cover the people who don't believe in god she suggests alternatively he could go to a psychiatrist and resolve his old issues there. *rolls eyes*

According to Laskas, it's too late. You can't go back and you can't make things right.

And to that I say "BULLSHIT!" If you've wronged somebody, it doesn't matter how long ago it was, you go the person and say, "hey, I fucked up and I'm sorry I hurt you."

When I was in high school I treated my best friend like shit our senior year and we drifted apart. I felt horrible about it for years and years afterwards and finally contacted her and said, "Look, I was shitty to you our senior year and I'm really sorry. I don't even know why I acted that way, and I shouldn't have. You didn't deserve it and I really wanted you to know I'm sorry."

It's never too late to say you're sorry, unless the person is dead. Until they croak, you can always apologize. Even if they've completely forgotten they are going to be flattered that your conscience bothered you that long and you finally talked to them about it. If they haven't forgotten, maybe it will help them move on with their life too. It may not fix things, it may not mean you will be friends again, but it helps you get on with your life.

And THAT'S how you get over things. You don't go whimpering to a complete stranger about a mistake you made with another person. You find the other person and tell them you're sorry.

Friday, January 11, 2008

proof of god

There will never be proof of God.

For if there is proof
...then where is faith?

If there is no faith
...then where is religion?

If there is no religion
...then where is god?

And what, afterall,
...is the point of god?


It is a common and favorite debating tactic of atheists to demand of the Christian proof that there is a god, evidence for a supreme being, something that will satisfy the rational, reasoning brain. There are even offers of monetary rewards for scientific evidence or proof of god’s existence:

The James Randi Educational Foundation has a One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge “to anyone who can show, under proper observing conditions, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event.”

GodsReward.com offers $100,000 for proof God exists and has extensive details about what does and does not constitute scientific proof and details the claims that have been submitted thus far.

I thought I remembered a prominent atheist (Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris) had also offered a reward for god, but couldn't find the link or remember any more details and in the five minutes I spent looking for it, I came across a very different reward.

Aus. $3 million dollar reward offered for a live and uninjured specimen of the Thylacine or Tasmanian Tiger. It’s funny, I have a book on Australia, published in 1964, by LIFE (before it became the mega corporate media monster it is today: AOL Time LIFE Warner) that refers to the thylocine as the Tasmanian Wolf (through convergent evolution it has many canine-like attributes). But for the Aussies, because its hind quarters are tiger striped, they went with Tasmanian Tiger. Good ole Aussies. :)

Now where was I? Oh yes, proof of God! How did I get onto Aussie Tigers? That's right, because the reward for a Tassie Tiger is actually greater than the reward for proving god exists! *snerk* And I was talking about proof that god exists because of the juxtaposition between proof and faith.

What is faith? "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen"(Hebrews 11:1).

And why does the Bible say a person must have faith? But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)

While looking for the Hebrews verse on faith, I came across these two articles discussing faith and the evidence for god.

The first: What is Faith? by Keith Sharp.

In his bit Keith asserts “Saving faith is not a blind acceptance of unprovable opinions. It is not based on feeling, emotion, or a "blind leap." It is conviction supported by evidence.”

So I’m thinking, hmmm, wonder what ole Keith has to say, what his evidence is, how convincing his conviction is? I pulled apart his article, was in the process of fisking it when I realized it was dull as dirt and could be summed up thusly...

Proof there is a God (according to Keith Sharp)
1- the universe
2- the Bible (which “not only tells me about God, it gives evidence to demonstrate that there is a God, that the Bible is the word of God, and that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.")

And I’m thinking oh come now Keith, ole boy! What specifically about the Bible proves all that? “Some of these powerful proofs are the harmony of the Scriptures, fulfilled prophecies both about ancient nations and about Christ, and the evidence Christ has been raised from the dead.

He got a different translation then I did.

So when an atheist says, "Prove there is a god." Keith replies, "Sure no problem. Look a tree! Look the Milky Way Galaxy! Look a cat! And check out this gnarly book divinely inspired by god himself." Uh huh. I guess I’ll be seeing everyone in church this Sunday. NOT! Unless it is to leaflet the cars with some atheist tracks from NormalBobSmith.com. Now that would be a good time!

The second article: Substance and Evidence: A Study on Faith by John Wright Follette.

My mind instantly turned that into John’s Right FullO’It- naughty Fiery! Obviously I'm approaching this one with an open mind! *snerk*

According to John, “There are three things which must be established and settled in any situation in which faith is to be exercised.”

Ok, good. Lists. Lists are good. They proceed logically.

“First, the object of our faith must be beyond our ability to achieve. If it were not so, faith would be unnecessary as human effort could accomplish the desired end. Natural impossibility is the atmosphere in which faith works.”

Right- so with faith, you want the impossible. Check. I want $1 million.

“Second, the unseen object of our faith must be hoped for through a yearning heart with a pure motive.”

As the driven snow, mate, as the driven snow! Of course in Minnesota we are often plagued by snirt so the purity part might be a bit tricky.

“And third, there must be a personal conviction that the object believed for is as real as if it was already attained.”

I know what $1 million is, and I believe with all my heart that it is real. Plus, I know exactly what I would do with it, oh please oh please!!!!!!

"Faith is that exercise of mind and soul, which has for its object things not seen, but hoped for. And instead of sinking under them due to their difficulty or uncertainty, it stands firmly under them and sustains their becoming reality.”

So I should start writing the checks now? Sounds to me like faith will drive you insane. It demands that you believe in that which is unreal and encourages you to act as if it is real.

My favorite quote from John concerns the faith it takes to walk on the water as Peter did. “We should never venture out upon the water until we have the divine "come" under our feet. We must listen for His voice, and once we have heard, we have substance upon which we can walk into the impossible.”

May you go forth with the divine “come” under your feet, may it be as a light upon your path.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

religious indoctrination = child abuse

Saying this will garner you gasps of shock from believers and even a fair number of nonbelievers as well.

Child abuse is the physical, emotional or sexual abuse or neglect of children by parents, guardians, or others.

So how can religious indoctrination possibly be considered child abuse? How can “teaching kids about Jesus" be as bad as convincing a child he is utterly worthless, or raping a seven year old girl, or beating a four year old boy to death? Religious indoctrination is child abuse because it goes so much further than just "teaching kids about Jesus".

Saying that raising a child to believe in a "Supreme Being" is child abuse is strong, fairly harsh language. The other forms of child abuse are much more immediately devastating. The effects of religious indoctrination are much more subtle but the impact can be as long lasting. The problem lies in the damage that faith based education can do to a developing mind.

Evil Concepts Espoused by Religion:
1- original sin- you are an evil sinner and nothing you can do will change that

2- hell- a place of eternal, everlasting, never-ending misery and torment that is yours by right of birth

3- cannibalism- to avoid hell you must eat the body and drink the blood of your savior: the once dead, now living, human yet divine son of god

4- sex is shameful- do not touch yourself in pleasure, do not touch your opposite-sex-spouse in pleasure unless it is to procreate, then you may enjoy sex briefly, but only the appropriate parts of the body.

5- guilt- you deserve to suffer for eternity because you were born evil and only the death of another can save you so you better behave lest that redemption be taken from you

6- martyrdom- lay down your life for others and for god and earn rewards in heaven

7- self-sacrifice- everyone else is more important than you, give them all that you have, all that you are

8- pride is a sin- you are worthless, all that you are comes from god, without him you are nothing

10- infallibility of god and by extension his appointed here on earth- god never makes mistakes, you are not morally superior to god, you cannot judge him sinful for his actions in the old testament, if something bad happens in spite of prayer to the contrary, it is all part of his plan and we cannot know what that plan is. Pastors, priests, ministers, cardinals, bishops, the pope, etc… are gods anointed and appointed here in on earth. They have a direct connection to god that you don’t have.

11- thought crime- someone is always watching you: judging your every thought, word and deed for which you will be held accountable.

THAT is what is meant when an atheist says, "Religious indoctrination of children is child abuse." Religious indoctrination abuses a young and developing mind, warping and twisting it at its most vulnerable, and setting up mental habits that can take a lifetime to overcome.

As Thump said, “The whole idea of religious indoctrination is abuse, to stifle logic and reason cannot, in my mind, be considered anything else.”

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

just for fun

The Ultimate Shopping Bag!

I would buy something ... ANYTHING... at this store just to come home with this bag. WOOHOO!!!!!!

This next one is a game. Read all the directions before beginning, but instead of looking at a blank wall just shut your eyes, then tell me what you see.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Dear Protium:

This is your snowman.

This is your snowman after 750ml of the finest imported German Beer.

Any questions?

Good luck with your New Years Resolution!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

new blogs on the block

Many of the commentors on my blog have their own which I make a daily read. The newest one to my list is Thump Thump Eyes who has just recently gotten her own blog up and running.

Head on over and give it a look-see! Welcome her to the neighborhood! :D

Friday, January 4, 2008

Baby Eleanor

John & Cynthia Burke, married for 6 years, decided to adopt a baby boy through a New Jersey state adoption agency. Adopting a baby is never easy, there are a dizzying array of hoops to leap through including personal evaluation forms you have to fill out, references provided, past history checked into, etc... Basically, the feds go over your life with a fine toothed comb looking for lice.

Their "processing" went along just fine until the investigator got to the "religious affiliation" line on the forms. It was blank. *GASP!!!* Blank? The horror! What kind of person would leave the religious affiliation line blank? Everyone has a religious affiliation. Do they? John is an atheist and Cynthia is a pantheist. The investigator promptly got out the big stamp he kept in his bottom drawer for just such occasions and the red ink pad, his favorite, and firmly pounded **REJECTED** across their adoption application.

Not being the type to submit quietly and meekly, the Burke's immediately began court proceedings to appeal the decision. Fortunately for the happy couple, the bureau reversed their decision and changed their policy, allowing the happy couple to adopt a bouncing baby boy- David.

Thirty-one years later, John and Cynthia decided to adopt again.

Now my immediate reaction is of course, "Are you barking mad? You are in your 50s at least, what the heck are you thinking of wanting to raise another child?" I certainly would not want to start over being a parent in my 50s. But that is just me. I would never tell them that they couldn't adopt a child now. So, if they want to adopt a child, give it a loving home, raise the child as their own, love and care for it.... well go for it! The world needs people like the Burke's!

Last year the Burkes presented their adopted son, David, now 31, with a baby sister, Eleanor Katherine, now 17 months, whom they acquired from the same East Orange agency. I'm including this quote from the article so you get a sense of how long baby Eleanor has actually been with this family: long enough to learn to talk a bit, walk a bit, and form strong parental attachments. This baby just opened her own christmas presents!!!

Now, knowing what you know of today's society, guess which of the two issues has become a bone of contention in her adoption: age or atheism.

*DING! DA-DING DING DIIIIING!* Move to the head of the class! That's right, the religious affiliation line has come to the fore again.

Superior Court Judge William Camarata in an effort to be named the biggest prick on the planet has denied the Burke's petition to adopt Eleanor Katherine because John and Cynthia do not believe in a Supreme Being. He quotes the New Jersey State Constitution, "no person shall be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshiping Almighty God in a manner agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience."

Even though the person in question is only 17 months old, Judge Camarata believes, "the child should have the freedom to worship as she sees fit, and not be influenced by prospective parents who do not believe in a Supreme Being."

What I find truly horrifying about this is first of all, a state constitution that commands respect for a person's right to believe without categorically stating that the practice of that belief cannot infringe on another's life, liberty, or property. All it has to do is be agreeable to the dictates of the believer's conscience. How about the religious nutballs who walk around with "God Hates Faggots!" signs or "Kill the Queers!" posters? Is that their "inestimable privilege"???

The second aspect that bothers me is that a Superior Court Judge has now implemented a defacto religious test for all parents wishing to adopt a baby in New Jersey.

Question 13. Do you believe in the Almighty God?
___ YES- See question 14

___ No- See question 666

Question 666. Are you sure you don't believe in God?

___ YES- Please return the form and exit the building as rapidly as possible.

___ No- Seek religious counseling and return with the sponsorship of a pastor, priest, or rabbi from the list provided below.

The judge has ordered that baby Eleanor be removed from the only home she has ever know, never again to see her Mother, Father, or older brother and returned to the New Jersey adoption agency.

The Burke's, with the help of the ACLU are appealing the decision to the New Jersey Supreme Court, which has agreed to hear their case.

Should the Burke's fail, the agency will place Eleanor with a family that meets the religious qualifications that will have been established by court ruling for all adoptive parents in the State of New Jersey.

What a horrifying precedent!

Fortunately, their appeal, granted 1 July 1971, was successful.
The judgment of the trial court is reversed. Since the sole ground for denying the adoption was the Burkes' beliefs regarding religion and it is clear from the record that they are otherwise fit, we grant the adoption in the exercise of our original jurisdiction. See R. 2:10-5; In re Adoption by B, supra, 63 N.J. Super. at 104.

Judgment is entered in accordance with this opinion.

Reason prevailed. This time.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

naughty and nice

The following, dated 26 December 2007, was received on 31 December 2007.

Dear Santa,

You must be surprised that I'm writing to you today, the 26th of December. Well, I would very much like to clear up certain things that have occurred since the beginning of the month, when, filled with illusion, I wrote you my letter. I asked for a bicycle, an electric trainset, a pair of roller blades, and a football uniform.

I destroyed my brain studying the whole year. Not only was I the first in my class, but I had the best grades in the whole school. I'm not going to lie to you, there was no one in my entire neighborhood that behaved better than me, with my parents, my brothers, my friends, and with my neighbors. I would go on errands, and even help the elderly cross the street. There was virtually nothing within reach that I would not do for humanity.

What balls you have leaving me a fucking yoyo, a lame whistle and a pair of ugly socks. What the fuck were you thinking, you fat prick, that you've taken me for a sucker the whole fucking year to come out with some shit like this under the tree. As if you hadn't fucked me enough, you gave that little quiff across the street so many toys that he can't even walk into his house. Don't let me see you trying to fit your big fat ass down my chimney next year. I'll fuck you up. I'll throw rocks at those stupid reindeer and scare them away so you'll have to walk back to the fucking North Pole, just like what I have to do now since you didn't get me that fucking bike. FUCK YOU SANTA. Next year you'll find out how bad I can be, you FAT COCKSUCKER.

Little Johnny

The following reply was mailed on 3 January 2008:


Dear Little Johnny,

I was indeed surprised to receive your letter. I am afraid, dear boy, that you have been rather hideously misinformed.

Studying in school prepares your mind for the future. It shovels the mental pathways so you will be prepared for whatever career you choose, whichever dream you want to follow. It provides the mental discipline to learn new information and helps you to know what your own strengths and weaknesses are and where your talents lie. Education is not about topping other students, it's not about being the best in your school, it's about reaching your own highest potential.

Now, on the nature of "being good". "Being good" is not something you do to earn a few Christmas presents. It is not a point-based system where an A in school is worth 5 points, helping a little old lady across the street 3 points, and not hitting your brother when you are angry 1 point, where the first kid to 100 gets a new bike. It just flat out doesn't work that way.

"Being good", son, is something you do because it makes your life better. You treat your brothers kindly because they in turn treat you kindly. Keeping the peace in your house makes life better for everyone, including your parents. When the other people in your house are happy, your life is enhanced by that.

You help little old ladies, my boy, because it is the right thing to do. Because someday you will be a little old man who would very much appreciate a kind, thoughtful lad to give you a shoulder to lean on as you cross the street.

As for the presents under your tree, maybe you should take a long hard look at your life. Your parents bought you those presents, all that they could afford. With growing boys in the house, it's not easy to make ends meet. But you would know that, if you weren't so busy "being good", but instead genuinely cared about those around you.

Why not take this opportunity to make an effort to get yourself the things you want, instead of waiting for them to be given to you? If you apply yourself to finding ways to earn your own money instead of trying to force my hand at Christmas time you will be much happier.

One final point, Little Johnny, genuine goodness is revealed when a person encounters hardships. I find it rather telling that one setback, however large you may perceive it to be, has shown what you are truly like as a person. How disappointing. You might, Little Johnny, want to spend some time deciding what type of person you want to be: the kind of person who manipulates others into giving him things, or the kind of person who goes out and earns what he wants and finds joy in the doing.

All my best to you and your family this upcoming year.

~Santa Claus

PS- I will take the personal threats under advisement. Fair warning to you, little friend, Santa packs a taser and as the moral compass of naughty and nice, I'm authorized to use it.

pseudoephedrine hydrochloride

The directions on the box say "Take 2 tablets every 4-6 hours. Do not exceed 4 doses in 24 hours." Yeah right. My body metabolises sudafed so weirdly. If I take two of those little red cherry bombs it makes my heart pound really hard. Not fast. Just hard. It becomes a physical sensation and I can hear it beating against my ear drums. It also makes them ring something fierce. Unfortunately, it's also the only thing that puts a dent in my head cold, another first for 2008. Yippee! (not!)

So I only take them one at a time. But then they only last about 3.5 hours. *sigh* It's fine during the day time, but at night, once I wake up (which I always do), I lay in bed staring at the ceiling. If I close my eyes, my thoughts, which should be peaceful, drifty, and sludgy, instead, crash and roil like the pounding surf against a cliff base. They become something I can see when I shut my eyes except they are words in images swirling in my mind. Shattered bits and pieces of thoughts going nowhere but tumbling about in a crashing, never ending jumble.

No wonder they make meth out of this stuff, if just one little red dot does that to me. sheesh!

Note to self: orange juice for breakfast.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

first fortune cookie of the year

One of my favorite things to do with the Kids' Dad is to go out to eat, preferrably at a buffet restaurant, and just sit and talk the afternoon away. I would have to say the ultimate time was about three weeks ago at the Pizza Ranch where he had me laughing so hard I'd taken my glasses off because tears were running down my face and I was pleading for mercy because my stomach muscles were absolutely aching from laughing so hard. :D

Today we went to a Chinese restaurant (bet you hadn't guessed that from the title of the post!!!!), specifically the King House Buffet. :) The food was.... well there was a lot of variety and the types of food offered had changed a lot since the last time. The taste was really quite good, but it wasn't very hot, which was disappointing and probably not up to code. The problem might have been that the plates were really cold to start with. Didn't stop the visiting from being AWESOME though!!!!!

On the way out the door they have a bucket full of fortune cookies on the back of a statue of an Asian Elephant (trunk up of course) and we each grabbed one. Not a bad tasting cookie, either, which is nice. Sometimes a fortune cookie can be stale or just naff tasting. Blech. Not the place for a Chinese restaurant to skimp on as it is the last impression you will have of their establishment. The last thing a restaurant owner should want is a customer walking out the door trying to scrape the taste off their tongue with their teeth while saying, "Ewwwww that was just... nasty!" So, I cracked it open, nabbed the fortune and popped the first half in my mouth. YUM! And the little paper said....

You will be travelling and coming into a fortune.

SEE!!!!! I knew 2008 was going to be a fabulous year!!!! lol

The funny thing about fortune cookies... so often they tell a person what they want to hear about themselves, or offer general good advice. Others are just plain ridiculously inappropriate for the person receiving it. I rather miss the ones that used to say, Confucious say, 'He who farts in church, sits alone', or some other such wisdom of the Orient. But I suppose that would be as politically incorrect as children on the playground playing "Cowboys and Indians".

How about you? Have you had a fortune cookie yet this year? If not, what is the most memorable fortune cookie you've ever received????

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

First Post of 2008

The whole year ahead of me.

The first day of the year is an arbitrary designation based on an inaccurately calculated calendar, and placed, for no discernable reason that I've ever heard, smack dab in the middle of winter (at least where I live, summer for my Aussie friends).

So while the first is an artificial seperation between the old and the new, without any inherent magic, mystery, or need for attention, it can still be used as an opportunity. A time to do things differently. Time to make changes and a clean break with past bad habits and start afresh with new behaviors.

When I think ahead to the upcoming year, I wonder not only where I will be on January 1, 2009, but where I will have been during 2008. The possibilities are staggering. Back in April 2007 when I started blogging I thought my life was mired down into a never-ending routine that wouldn't let up until the kids left home. What a tremendous difference in 9 months!

Now I sit and contemplate the opportunities to try new things, the time to be spent with new friends and family, and the changes that can and will take place in my life in the next year and it makes me shiver with excitement.

What a great time to be alive! And hey! If you stick around, you'll get to be a part of it! WOOOHOOOO!!!!!!!

open forum 9

Here it is again, the start of a brand new month and that means another open forum. Your chance to probe the inner workings of my mind. Sometimes when you're out and about in the blogosphere reading away on a blog you think, "hmmm would love to ask the blogger a question, but how?"

Well with me you have two options:
1- E-mail me directly atheisthomeschooler @ yahoo.com or
2- Post the question in the comments section of the current month's Open Forum post.

It's your chance to ask a question that may have been niggling in the back of yours: personal, atheist, homeschooling, whatever you can come up with.

Consider it like truth or dare.

You ask, I'll answer. :D