Feb 14
Is this normal?
icon1 meezy | icon2 facts | icon4 02 14th, 2012| icon32 Comments »

I often feel that I don’t have a normal set of feelings (see what I did there?). So here comes some realness that may not be popular opinion. First a few examples.

  • I don’t miss people when separated. I don’t know if it is lack of memory, or selfishness, or complacency in adapting to surroundings – but if I don’t pay attention, I go a long time without thinking about people if they aren’t in front of my face. One time at college my sister was like “it’s been 2 months, call mom or we’ll both kill you.”
  • I rarely get over one standard deviation from the center of my emotional bell curve. Happy things make me a little happy, sad things make me a little sad, angry things make me a little angry. Mostly I’m just “go with the flow” mellow. (alcohol voids this statement)

So, having set the stage, my latest pondering is how I’ll feel toward my kid. Like I’ve always thought “I could never adopt a kid, because I may just be ‘meh’ toward them”. So on a lesser scale that translates to a biological child. When I bring this up, or hear people talking about kids, everyone exclaims “most love! feelings! emotions! overload! hardest! best! worth it! awesome! greatest experience!”. And all I can think is settle down with the superlatives susan – either everyone is bullshitting me, or my standard deviations are about to change. Because based on the way I describe my emotions, that sounds like hyperbole I would never reach.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to say I think I won’t love my child. I’m just skeptical that it is going to be as crazy as people make it out to be. I suppose I’ll find out soon, and report back.

Feb 10

So my wife always gives me a hard time because I don’t like taking photos. They annoy me for many reasons, but here are my two main reasons against posed photos.

  1. my fake smile comes across as “amused at best”, and if I try to show teeth it looks frightening
  2. the concept of posing is essentially “quick, everyone stop actually doing the thing we enjoy enough to capture for posterity, and stand here for a minute looking awkward”

Granted, not everyone looks awkward. Some people pose really well, but I am not one of those people. So in an effort to prove my point, I am going to start going over some of my photos.

So for this first time, I’d like to do a comparison between a posed photo, and a “real action shot” (gotta think of a less douchey name for the 2nd type).

First the posed photo. Notice the “I’m happy???” (read by Ron Burgundy) smile I’m rocking? That’s actually one of my best, FYI.
20120210-014327.jpg
Let’s examine the scene. I’m sitting there thinking “this is nice to be posing with my lovely wife in front of this football. You know what would be even nicer? Playing fucking football with it.” I don’t remember why we are doing this, or really anything about what was happening. I think it was Christmas.

Now, let’s compare a natural photo. Who is in this photo? Except for it being in the context of my blog, people who weren’t there probably wouldn’t know it is me. That isn’t a problem, it is a conversation starter. If they do know it is me, they must be stalking me and know that is shirt #2 of my 3 nice shirts, and therefore recognize me and know that it is a Monday, Thursday, or Saturday.

20120210-014340.jpg
The scene in this photo brings back a vivid memory (even though I was drunk), and a story for me to tell when people ask “who is that, and why did his wife take a picture of him praying on a dirty garage floor.” New years. Amarillo. Flip cup. Table full of beer just got thrown over on purpose. I laughed so hard I almost pissed myself.

So clearly, you can see that the live action shot is the winner. I’ll present further evidence for my case next time.

Feb 10

So I forgot to post this after I wrote it.  Pretend like you are reading it two weeks ago.

Given the Broncos vs. Patriots playoff football game that just happened, I figured now was the right time for my third installment of ‘Congratulations, You suck!’

You probably think this is about Tim Tebow.  Surprisingly, it kind of isn’t, and here is why.  When it comes to skill, Tim Tebow isn’t as good at football as some other people, but I also never hear him claim that he is.  All I see is him working hard to get better (plus a little jesus-y showboating).

Nope, this installment is about media and belief in a mystical higher power.

Example one:

Congratulations you suck, but because you attribute your partial success to a higher power, you will be the news story.  Do you know the main reason a decent portion of the public hates Tebow?  Because reporters won’t shut the fuck up about him.  If they didn’t bring up the ‘Jesus’ angle all of the time, you would hear his name exactly as often as you hear Colt McCoy’s.  Sure, Tebow is a nice guy, he works hard, is charitable, etc.  Do you know where that would make a great story?  Not on Sportscenter.  Just like people watching Oxygen or the Jesus Channel expect their shows to not have main characters who are good at football but hate women/religion, I expect my sports channels to not have main characters who suck at their sport but are great at Christianity.

Example 2

Congratulations you suck, but I want to believe god helps you, so you are probably awesome. It is pretty easy for me to tangent this into a generic religion argument, but I’ll try and stay more focused.  When the Broncos started winning, my social network feeds turned into angel farts and Jesus kisses for Tebow.  Those people are the reason the reporters behaved like they did — pandering to the audience.  However, when they lost, and badly, it turned into excuses and “Leave Tebow alone, he’s better than you”.  Yep, he is better than me, in a lot of ways — especially ways Christians value, like worshiping god or attributing success to a higher power.  He’s also better than me at football.  But, I’m not in the NFL, I develop software (probably better than him).  Also, you know who he isn’t better than?  Tom Brady.  That game was a classic example of how, no matter how hard you want to believe, quality actions will consistently beat prayers and wishes.  Or in simpler terms “Wish in one hand and shit in the other, see which fills up first.”

So, just to wrap up, here are some facts.  Tim Tebow is a low quality NFL quarterback.  Attributing things to a higher power when they go right, but making excuses when they go wrong is hypocritical.  Thinking a higher power exists that created the whole universe (but also gives a shit about a football game) is annoying.

Apr 6

Seen here [ Hitchens Debate Video ]

Quick note about this synopsis. It may seem like a biased review, and I suppose it is to a certain extent, but my intention was to do the following: Pick out any argument that was particularly interesting (whether particularly good or bad or whatever) to me. In doing this it just so happened that most of the apologists’ arguments were not new or even framed in a new light, and therefore uninteresting. If anyone finds something I skipped to be particularly interesting, feel free to reply.

16:00 – Seven of the faultiest logical arguments you will hear this week

30:15 – Moderator tries to argue that Hitchens’ arguments/philosophies are only applicable to a few people. However, he comes out and says christianity is for the weak and un-intelligent. Even if you assume his argument is correct, still seems like he loses.

37:00 — Hitchens makes a good point (although sidestepping the original question to a degree) about the idea of a compassionate god. And also about the amorality of suffering in this life being ok because it is promised to be rectified in another.

40:00ish — Argument between “believing in god means there will be justice for wrongs in this life” vs. “believing in no god means humanity is responsible for bringing justice, not sitting idly by”.

52:20ish — Hitchens asks a good question about morality. Apologists bring up responses by rewording the question. He says name an action I couldn’t take. They list actions he wouldn’t take.

1:00:00 — Hitchens develops a cold. Then makes a decent point that christianity says “I created you sick and evil, now get right or else go to hell”

1:05:00 — “I’m a Christian and I have a monopoly on morality”. Then an audience member makes a good question. Then the moderator (really are you moderating at this point?) answers for the apologists.

1:08:00 — Hitchens goes off on a tangent for no reason, everyone is confused and silent, answer the question plz.

1:12:00-1:20:00ish — Snapdragon! One of the apologists admits that things are caused by evolution. Then after a long discussion they say that without god music, love, poetry, etc. doesn’t have any meaning. What?

1:33:00ish — apologist says the bible is a practical book, not a speculative book and that we should use it as a practical guide to every day life. Then to prove his point he murdered Hitchens for being a heretic and allowed the panel to rape his daughters.

1:37:00 — Hitchens makes a humorous derisive comment about believers in general. That is what I think is entertaining about him, he’ll say whatever in front of whomever.

1:39:00 — Crazy old guy in the audience demands the microphone based on discrimination, raises argument based on scientific knowledge, then admits he doesn’t understand science.  Also, crazy.

1:51:00ish — Hitchens closing. Meh. His very last thought was amusing.

1:56:00 — Last apologist’s closing statement. Lists 10 arguments that he says Hitchens didn’t refute. I agree, he didn’t directly point out the logical fallacies with each of those arguments. However, it is a good list of arguments for christianity that are easily refuted in a 15 minute logical analysis, or 2 minute search of the internet. He then claims atheism is and has been proven false. Cool. “You didn’t prove me wrong to my satisfaction in this one particular sitting therefore you are wrong.” At least one of the apologists stepped up (unfoundedly) to be directly confrontational at the end.

Mar 22

If you peruse the internet, or tv, or any other information medium, you have heard recently what the pope said regarding condoms, AIDS, and Africa.  Depending on which source you read, or actually what day you read it, you heard anything from the pope saying “condoms were not the answer in the continent’s fight against HIV” to “You can’t resolve it with the distribution of condoms, on the contrary, it increases the problem” to “The traditional teaching of the church has proven to be the only failsafe way to prevent the spread of HIV/Aids.” (if that source was quoting him from back in 2005).

Now all of these are problematic given the ridiculous influence the pope has over a significant portion of the world’s population.  Any person filling a post that has the power to say “Don’t eat meat on Friday or you will go to hell, wait for it, wait for it, ok now you can.” and people actually listen, needs to choose his words carefully.  But I want to focus mainly on the last one, what he said in 2005, because it is a view that many organizations share about abstinence.

Abstinence has been touted as the only fail-safe, the only 100%, the only proven way to prevent lots of things.

  • Pregnancy
  • HIV
  • STD’s in general
  • Promiscuity
  • Emotional problems
  • Future marital problems.

We could logically look at each one of these, but all stem from a similar problem with the conclusion that we can examine as a whole.

False Conclusions

Conclusion: Abstinence is the only proven way to prevent X 100% of the time.  How did we get here?  What premises did we use?  I’ll take HIV as my example, since that is what started all of this.

Premise 1: HIV is only caused by consensual sexual intercourse
Premise 2: Abstinence means never having consensual sexual intercourse
Conclusion: Abstinence is the only way to prevent the spread of HIV 100% of the time

This looks ok until we inspect it a little closer.  Of our premises, one is false, and one is a hidden premise that we are completely leaving out.  And of our Conclusion, we have to use faulty logic to extend it beyond its actual scope.

False Premises

Premise 1 is false.  HIV can spread different ways other than consensual sexual intercourse, such as blood transfusions or using an infected needle.  And especially in the area where the pope was discussing, non-consensual sex is a large contributor.  Looking at the other items on my list they also suffer from false premises.

Promiscuity — To make this work we would have to start with the premise that having sex always leads to promiscuity.  We cannot assume that all people who have sex are promiscuous.  The premise that sex always leads to promiscuity is false.

Emotional Problems, Future marital problems — Similarly to promiscuity, any correlation between emotional or marital problems and sex are just that, correlation not causation.

Pregnancy — The premise that pregnancy is only caused by sexual intercourse is false because it can be caused by several other things including IVF, and god planting a jesus in your belly.  I know that is nit-picking, I just wanted to make a jesus joke.  Let’s move on to hidden premises.

Hidden Premises

The hidden premise is the bigger issue.  We are leaving out the premise/assumption that everyone is able to maintain the practice of abstinence.  Now, in coming to a useful conclusion, we should analyze the world as it really exists.  Abstinence is not a practice that is easy for everyone, especially those in the statistically ‘at risk’ category for contracting HIV through sex, to maintain.  So let us rewrite our syllogism:

Premise 1: HIV is sometimes caused by consensual sexual intercourse
Premise 2: Abstinence means never having consensual sexual intercourse
Premise 3: People trying to practice abstinence still have sexual intercourse with a rate of 26-86% (i.e. greater than 0)
Conclusion: In the real world, abstinence does not prevent HIV 100% of the time

Even if we limit our discussion so we only conclude ‘someone able to absolutely practice abstinence reduces their chance of contracting HIV 100%’ then all we have really concluded is that one ideal example of a person won’t get HIV.  If we look at a real population, and assume a failure rate of say 40% for people practicing abstinence, we get this conclusion:

Abstinence: 60% of the time it works every time (for preventing HIV transmitted through sex).

False Logic

And even with either of those conclusions, we never address the point about abstinence being the ‘only’ way to prevent X 100% of the time.  Just because we reach a conclusion about one method, we cannot immediately rule out all others.  Taking pregnancy as my example, I could just as easily, and wrongly, say ‘Anal sex is the only way to prevent pregnancy 100%’.  Following the same ad-hoc reasoning as before, I could safely say ‘someone absolutely practicing anal sex reduces their chance of becoming pregnant 100%’,  which proves that under the same premises, neither anal sex or abstinence are the only way to prevent pregnancy 100% of the time.

Actual Conclusion

So what is my point with all of this?  Obviously I’m not trying to say abstinence is worthless.  I’m just trying to say that when making conclusions, especially people with attached authority (media, pope, president, scientist), you should validate them logically as things exist in the real world.  Where is the real help to humanity in spouting false conclusions that only further your agenda?  If you are in a position of authority, you have an obligation by those who put you there to not espouse something as truth unless it is a truth in our world as it exists.  As a person of authority, people will actually take your conclusions as premises to build their own conclusions on. There is no help in basing things on conclusions for a Utopian world.  And hey, sometimes you can just say “I don’t know”.

Dec 29

Long story short, if you see:
org.hibernate.console.HibernateConsoleRuntimeException: Could not create JPA basedConfiguration, you may have your workspace and/or project in a path with a space in one of the directory names.

Let me expound:
I recently downloaded the newest JBoss Developer Studio (JDS) and thought “hey I’ll whip up a JBoss Seam application using EJB3.0, JPA, and Hibernate.” I watched a tutorial and saw how awesome their Hibernate Configuration capabilities were. Then I tried to replicate it. I use the wizard to create a new Seam Web Project and boom, the very next step I get an error.

The full error was:
org.hibernate.console.HibernateConsoleRuntimeException: Could not create JPA based Configuration
Could not create JPA based Configuration
<No message>
java.lang.reflect.InvocationTargetException
java.lang.reflect.InvocationTargetException: <no message>
java.lang.reflect.InvocationTargetException
javax.persistence.PersistenceException: java.lang.IllegalArgumentException: Unable to visit JAR file:/C:/Documents and Settings/jmarcum/jbworkspace/example/build/classes. Cause: Illegal character in path at index 18: file:/C:/Documents and Settings/jmarcum/jbworkspace/example/build/classes
java.lang.IllegalArgumentException: Unable to visit JAR file:/C:/Documents and Settings/jmarcum/jbworkspace/example/build/classes. Cause: Illegal character in path at index 18: file:/C:/Documents and Settings/jmarcum/jbworkspace/example/build/classes
java.lang.IllegalArgumentException: Unable to visit JAR file:/C:/Documents and Settings/jmarcum/jbworkspace/example/build/classes. Cause: Illegal character in path at index 18: file:/C:/Documents and Settings/jmarcum/jbworkspace/example/build/classes
Unable to visit JAR file:/C:/Documents and Settings/jmarcum/jbworkspace/example/build/classes. Cause: Illegal character in path at index 18: file:/C:/Documents and Settings/jmarcum/jbworkspace/example/build/classes

Now the “Could not create JPA based Configuration” could be for several reasons, but one that you won’t find anywhere on the internet (except right here, and I know this because I looked) is because of your file location. You can’t have any spaces in the path to your filename. Like by default, JDS will put your stuff in C:\Documents and Settings\yourname\workspace. First off, thanks Windows for putting spaces in my default directories, that helps with everything. Second, thanks JDS for giving me the worst error message ever. Now true, they gave me a hint in the ‘details’, but the main error that shows up is much less helpful.

So anyway, hope that helps some other poor soul doomed to develop on Windows. Word to the wise, if you are on windows and developing using Java, always put your source in a short path (name-wise) that has no spaces. Like c:\source. Same thing for your maven repository. Get that shiz out of your home directory and move it to c:\repo. You can specify where the repository is in your settings.xml in your home directory. This will help in lots of things, like tools that don’t expect spaces, and limitations with windows command length (like if you have a super long classpath).

Cheers.

Dec 28

The title of this is a little misleading. I’m not ranting about Christmas (or at least don’t plan to as of now, who knows where the post will lead), I am just ranting and it happens to be Christmas time.

First, I just read an article in the NY Times that talks about text messages and their high prices. It basically says the providers are price gouging and should be ashamed of themselves/sued. Seriously? “Hi, I provide a service that cost a shit-ton to build the infrastructure for, including hardware and spectrum rights. I just figured out a stupid add on that teenagers love that costs me literally nothing, but I can charge 20 cents for.” “Umm, excuse me sir, that is wrong, if it is cheap for you and you charge me for it, that is unfair.” If you are addicted enough to text messaging that you will pay 20 cents per message, or 5 bucks for 200 or 15 bucks for unlimited or whatever it is, good for AT&T for convincing you to pay for something that email/twitter/facebook/IM does for free if you have a data plan. By the way, I pay 5 bucks a month for 200 text messages (of which I use 9), so AT&T got me too. Next time someone figures out a way to provide goods or services at a profit and you complain about it, slap yourself for being retarded. It is called capitalism and it works (usually).

Second item: Capitalism doesn’t work. Oh my god, I totally contradicted myself there, quick someone point it out. Actually, no one will point it out because only 4 people read this, and they are all too lazy to comment. Plus I just pointed it out. <Inner Rant>Why do I blog? Seriously 4 people read this and I’m sure I’ll bitch about all of these things to each one of them in due time anyway. It must be my delusions of grandeur. <End Inner Rant> So here is the thing about capitalism, she’s a fickle bitch. Economics 101 talks about supply and demand and self correction, and that is all well and good but that is only part of the story. The more important part, and the part that doesn’t “work” is speculation. What do I mean by speculation? No I don’t think you are too dumb to know the definition, I think I am, so I’m telling you what I think the definition is. When I say speculation I am really talking about any leveraging of money based on future expectations. Stocks, Options, Hedges, Futures, Loans, etc. Anytime your economy is based on future expectations, you will have large swings in prosperity/recession. The only way to keep moderate swings is to continually innovate (i.e. produce the same goods/services for less) which is improbable, and have no corruption (yeah right, this is the human race we are talking about), or to have regulations. The free market will correct itself, but only after rising so high that it comes crashing down (see today’s economy). I could have framed this argument way better, and it probably would have actually made more sense, but that would have taken too long. Just believe me, I made a 5 on my economics AP test.

Next, Christmas. Yep, worked it in, the title fits after all. I got in to a twiscussion (i just made that up and it means “discussion over twitter”, the least effective way to converse in depth) with one of my friends over an article saying scientists are pooping their panties over “Ice Age 3 Dinosaurs in Action” (I forget the actual title). They say “excuse me, it is scientifically inaccurate to show Dinosaurs coming AFTER mammoths in the earth’s history, and I won’t stand for it”. The person writing the article is witty enough to point out that said scientists didn’t complain about the scientific inaccuracy that the mammoth and the dinosaurs can SPEAK IN ENGLISH TO EACH OTHER. That is all well and good, but let’s take it one step further. Fiction doesn’t have to be scientifically correct. That is why it is called Fiction. There is a difference between show #1 — fiction that is portraying reality, like “hi, I’m a made up doctor character in the ER, here are some doctor words that should be correct” and show #2 — complete fiction like “hi, I’m a cartoon rabbit that speaks to a retarded hunter, so clearly I am not based in reality, I can shoot him in the face with a shotgun and it will only burn his hat and then I can sprint away leaving dust bubbles”. If you are a doctor and you watch show #1, you can be mad if the character says “I need 500g of pvc bilaterally injected into this smaschmorta stat” because that means they didn’t take the time to research that shit. However, unless you are an illustrated long-eared animal that leaves dust bubbles when you run, you need to STFU about realism while watching show #2.

Sorry, now really about Christmas. Christmas is the second kind of fiction in my opinion. It is a story not based in reality, so it doesn’t have to strictly be realistic. Before you get indignant and say “Jesus is real, you are sorely mistaken and will probably go to hell”, 2 things.

  1. This still definitely applies to the Santa Claus story part of Christmas, so think of it in that manner.
  2. I also believe it applies to the ‘virgin-born, resurrected, flies with angels’ Jesus story as well. If you don’t, just focus on point #1.

Because it is a fictional story, I see no problem in telling it to kids for a fun time. Poops and giggles if you will. But as soon as the kid is old enough/smart enough to question the story and say “that doesn’t seem real”, don’t lie to him. Encourage him to question seemingly made up things, because while fiction is fun, lying and telling them fiction is reality is unfair. Children look up to adults for direction, especially authority figures like parents, it is our nature as humans, and they take their word as truth. So make sure your word actually is the truth and encourage further learning. If you are concerned he’ll ruin the story for other kids, tell him not to, he’s the kid, you are the parent. And if he does, oh well, what’s the harm in making another kid smarter.

Next, parenthetical thoughts. I overuse those mofo’s. Almost every sentence I write has a parenthetical aside written in to it (man this is annoying) and man that is annoying to read. I’m sorry that I do it, I just have so many brilliant thoughts in my stream of writing that I have to try and cram them all in. I’ll try to do it with more literariness in the future.

Finally, damn I forgot my last one. I had a really good one that I was saving for the last, but I completely blanked on it now. Oh well, consider yourself unlucky. Here is a quick and topical substitute. Memory. My memory sucks balls. The other day I forgot my zip code and couldn’t pump gas with my credit card because it required it. Gay. Then, a while back, I forgot how old I was, I was off by 2 years. Yeah, 2 years. Apparently the last time my brain decided to remember my age was 2 years ago. Also, I will say I’m going to do something right as I’m starting to do it, then forget. Or someone will tell me to do something and I will forget to do it within 10 seconds. Example: Wife:”Hey, don’t forget to turn off the light as you come to bed.” Me<walking towards the bedroom from the kitchen, about 15 feet from light switch>: “Ok, will do.” Wife<10 seconds later>: “Damn it, you are in bed and the light is on.” Me<sucking at life>: “Man I suck at life.” So if anyone has any ideas on how I can turn back on my brain memory function, please leave a comment.

Sep 20
The Worst Ever
icon1 meezy | icon2 facts, profane, random | icon4 09 20th, 2008| icon31 Comment »
  1. PT Cruiser:

    The only things worse than the guy who designed this car are the people who signed off on its production and the 9 people who bought one.
  2. Baseball:

    This is by far the most boring sport (golf has Tiger Woods so they’re ok) and to top that off, they stretch the game length out by having short bursts of activity (10 seconds) surrounded by guys standing around for 5 minutes. The shortest baseball game on record was 7 hours and 10 minutes, look it up. In order to play you can be overweight, and only succeed at your job of getting a hit 20% of the time. If you fail a little less than 2/3rds of the time (even after taking performance enhancing drugs) you are considered a god.
  3. Dick Cheney:

    This one probably could have just been ‘The Bush Administration’, but this guy is a bit of a stand out. Somehow while he was heading up the committee to find a VP for GWB, he failed to think it would be a conflict of interest if the guy they chose for VP was a CEO for a company that would get $10 billion in government contracts thanks to the war he helped start by spreading false information. Oh, by the way, his committee decided to choose himself. While his Halliburton illegal-ness (I’ll quit as CEO for $20 million and then give you $10 billion in no-bid contracts where you can fail and get even more contracts) is somewhat (like barely) hearsay, his refusal to obey the law isn’t. He refused to release documents required by congress while fighting to extend the power of the executive branch by challenging laws put in place by congress to oversee the president (bye bye checks and balances, hello dictatorship). He also supports forms of torture considered illegal in U.S. laws and international treaties. Even though he likes to start wars so much, he doesn’t like to fight in them, just make money off of them. He dodged the Vietnam draft 5 times saying “I had other priorities in the ’60s than military service.” I bet this guy did too. I’ve also heard he likes to eat babies while shooting his friends in the face.
  4. Spandex:

    Not a whole lot needs to be said here. Maybe I’m being too harsh on the fabric, maybe its more an issue with people’s decision making skills. Either way, its like locking up your guns to protect you child from shooting himself. If that guy didn’t have access to spandex, he would have chosen sweat pants. Now I’m not trying to be rude to fat people, I am also too fat to wear spandex. So I don’t wear it. I wear t-shirts.

  5. Standard Units:
  6. This is the division of countries for/against Metric before and after World War II.


    This is now:

    At least we are still measuring things against sizes of a human body part. Can someone please tell me what the length of 1 Rod is? One time the US wanted to be a leader in the scientific world, so we shot the Mars Orbiter 4x too fast into the atmosphere of Mars because we use ‘US Customary Units’. Awesome.

  7. Catholicism:

    Catholicism has a long and sordid history of supporting the Nazi’s, molesting young children, covering up the molesting young children, moving to another parish and molesting more young children, making up ‘edicts from god’ that are politically and personally motivated, oppressing people, brainwashing children and adults, resisting critical thinking, resisting scientific progress, swindling people out of their money, and controlling people through fear. Now those attributes aren’t all unique to Catholicism, but I just chose it among other religions/denominations because it stands out for its achievements in these areas.

So these things are in no particular order, and I actually had about 2-3 more that I wanted to include, but this post is long enough already.  Not long like too much reading, long like it took me longer than 5 minutes to make.  Also, I just previewed it in my current theme and it looks like a blind 2 year old cut things from a magazine and pasted them on my webpage, so this thing might be unreadable until I get a new theme.

Sep 14

It has only been 3 short days since the Twin Towers attacks and I can already predict a lot of naysayers, especially people at the JREF will try and convince people that psychics are fake because no one predicted the events of 9/11.  I’m seeing a name, it is something like Steve or Stephen.  I also see a computer, it looks like a PackardBell.  I’m thinking Steve Bell or Stephen Packard.  What, no one named Steve Bell blogs on the JREF site? OK, yep it is definitely Stephen Packard.

Well here is what I have to say to you Stephen Packard — You shut your mouth, you have no idea how hard it is to be a psychic.  First I had to pay for my certification.  And then wait 5 whole business days.  Plus the “specialties” selection was just a radio button, so it took me at least 20 minutes deciding which was my most powerful specialty.  Was it voodoo, or psychic detective work, or spell-casting?  I’m so good at all of them.  Luckily I foresaw that problem with the application and I spent my 20 minutes deciding well before I even reached the page.

Then, I had to enhance my abilities so that I could accurately predict things.  Maybe not everyone is as dedicated as I am.  Maybe they didn’t remember to “start and end [their] sessions with a small prayer”.  Maybe that is why they didn’t predict the 9/11 attacks.

Or maybe they were just afraid of being made fun of.  Like always.  It is almost impossible to make a prediction without letting a few ‘pew pew pew‘ noises slip out.  Do you know how embarrassing it would have been to say “Na nananananana – A terrorist attack is coming on 9/11 pew pew pew pew” on national TV?  No one would have believed us anyway.

So in summation.  FU JREF and FU Stephen Packard for claiming my powers don’t exist.  I bet you will feel really foolish writing this article 8 years from now and then seeing that I predicted it all the way back here in 2001.

*No tricks were used in the making of this blog post.  I promise, and you can trust me, I’m a psychic.

Nov 29
The Circle is a lie
icon1 meezy | icon2 facts | icon4 11 29th, 1999| icon3No Comments »

Death sucks. It comes with a degree of finality our brains rarely encounter in other scenarios. Our brains are great at delusion, acclimation, and routine, and being close to someone who dies wrecks that shop.

I’ll die at some point. My wife will too. I’m (technically my wife is) having my first kid sometime this month, and as morbid as it sounds to mention, he too will die at some point. My brain tries to fall back to its tricks to make me ignore this inescapable truth, but I think accepting and embracing it is a much better option.

Life isn’t a circle. It is an intersection of many short lines. You start, you stop, you encounter people and experience things in between. Make the most of those encounters. Have more experiences.

Our brains make us ignore this because, well, death sucks. So find ways to remind yourself. I’ve made a set of rules for myself anytime I’m reminded of my mortality.

For example, any time I go to a funeral, I do several things that day.

  1. Eat dessert at every meal. Why? Because I might die tomorrow, and I like chocolate, so fuck it, I’m having a fudge brownie for breakfast.
  2. Stop, talk to, and give money to any homeless person I see. Why? Because I’m most likely better off than them, and if they die tomorrow, I at least gave them some companionship and a chance at doing whatever makes them happy that day.
  3. Reach out to my friends and family, Why? Because I’m often lazy at my relationships, and in the end they are all I have.
  4. If something else makes me happy that day, add it to the list. Why? Because the whole point of life is happiness — everyone’s happiness.

It isn’t curing AIDS, or achieving world peace, but to me it seems like a good way to honor someone’s death. By having it be a reminder for me to live.