Thursday, January 27, 2005

Y R U FAT?

Dieting is interesting. It seems that all of the crazy diets that are available have a few things in common. Do you know what they are? Have you been exposed to enough of these diets to figure this great mystery of life out for yourself? OK, I'll tell you what it is, but I think your reaction will be, “Well duh!”.

At the risk of sounding like Captain Obvious, the common things that all diets mention is to drink plenty of water and exercise at least 20 minutes a day three times a week. See? Another "duh" moment from yours truly.

Before you go on any bizarre diet I want you to do something for me first. And that's drink plenty of water and exercise 20 minutes a day at least three times a week. I'm willing to bet by just adding these two things to your daily routine you will start to lose weight all by yourself.

There's no need to radically change your eating habits, or buy hundreds of dollars of products, just do these two simple things.

Now I'm not suggesting you can eat meals at fast food restaurants 4 times a day and drink some water, go for a walk and you'll be healthy. This is assuming you're not over-the-top yet and consuming a whole pie for desert at every meal. Just maintain your current normal eating habits and throw in the water and exercise.

In fact, if you want to start with baby steps begin by not drinking anything other then water. No soda, no alcohol, no nothing other then water. Many of you I know hate that thought, but once you drink water for about a week or more you'll find that it's much better then soda ever was, and has the added benefit of keeping you healthy rather then tearing down your health.

Important safety tip: Too much of anything can be bad. For example, too much water and you'll drown! But seriously, it is possible to actually drink too much water, so please be healthy, not stupid.

Most people I have found do not drink enough water each day. Many of us walk around on the verge of dehydration. This is bad for the body and all of its various processes.

As you read this the one thing going through your mind over and over is most likely, “I know all of this!”. And isn't that a sad thing? We know what will keep us healthy, yet we refuse to do them. Instead, we order soda, and king size fries along with our grease burgers. We get fatter and fatter, and complain more and more.

I'm one to talk. Like a lot of people I could be thinner. Not anorexic thin, but I could stand to lose a large number of pounds. I am going to take my own advice and drink more water and start to go for walks for 20 minutes a day. In fact, I am also going to cut down on my daily Pepsi intake, and go for the healthier items on fast food menus. Cutting out fast food altogether might be a better plan, but one of my issues is that I enjoy going out to eat, and getting away from work, on my lunch hour.

I would love to hear from anyone else who is either undergoing a struggle with their weight, or has persevered and won the battle of the bulge. If you have gone from fat to healthy let us know how you accomplished this wonderous feat.

Perhaps you may want to undergo a life change as I try to do the same. If you're interested, let me know and I'll post my progress and you can post yours.

Is this a New Years resolution? Nah, this is a personal affirmation. I am not doing this for you, for my friends, or because some national study says I should. I'm being selfish, as usual, and doing this solely for me! One of the nice things about this selfish action, however, is that hopefully the father of my children will be around a little longer and be able to enjoy a long life.

Besides, technology has come such a long way just in my lifetime, that I really want to be around to see what will happen in the next 42 years of my life.

Who's with me?

Friday, January 21, 2005

Are You Good Or Evil?

For those of you who were wondering about me, I took a little test and here are the results.


How evil are you?

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Does God Need New Lawyers?

I was watching one of my current favorite television shows, “Boston Legal” and was a bit disappointed with their treatment of the concept of the separation of church and state.

The storyline went something like this.

The school board decided to make the science teachers teach creationism in their science class along with evolution. The person on the school board hired the law firm to represent his stance on forcing the teaching of creationism in the classroom. Of course, rightly so, the law firm said they would not win a case such as this, but they would try.

During the court appearance it was brought up that you can't teach creationism in a science class because it is not science. There is no scientific evidence that the world was created in 6 days a short time ago, and that man just suddenly popped into existence.

The arguments for the evidence that God does exist was that they claimed scientists everywhere are starting to believe in God because when they see the complexity of cells they know that some greater power had to have designed them.

This reminds me of a quote from Arthur C. Clarke which says, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

A great quote, and can be viewed from the creationists position by arguing that because God's work is so advanced, it looks like magic to us. How true, and I'd be willing to accept this if it wasn't for the fact that I take a different position.

I would submit to you that something as complex as nature itself, the natural order of things and the natural evolution of life, appears to be magical to us. It is because of this appearance of magic that some humans believe that it can only have been created magically, by some all powerful supreme being.

Let's take a step back to Biblical days shall we.

This is the time when many cultures believed in all manner of God's and Goddesses. They believed that the God's made the sun rise, and the crops grow. Deities brought the rain, or caused a drought when they were unhappy with their worshipers.

People sacrificed everything from people, to livestock and food to appease their deities. Why did they do such things? We now know that these deities do not exist, and that this was just the way ignorant people tried to make sense out of their lives on this planet. In place of science they inserted magical and make believe stories to explain how nature worked.

Do you truly believe God exists and controls your life here on Earth? Did he create the world in 6 days, because after all, how else could it have happened? Are you merely following the teachings of your family before you, and their family before them because that's the way everyone always believed?

Let's take a real quick spin around history to see why Christianity is one of the prominent religions of the world today.

When Christianity was just the new kid on the block as far as religions go, they had a tough go of it. They had to hold secret meetings for fear of being killed for their viewpoints. Luckily, over the years the religion grew because of the faith of their followers and their determination. Soon, people began using God as the reason for their leadership. Leaders, such as Kings and Queens, decreed that they ruled countries because they were put there by God himself, and that theirs was a divine ruling family.

To further this position the monarchs of the world poured their support into the church, and made the church a powerful force in its own right. With the backing of royalty, armies began invasions based on religious beliefs. Taking their lead from the stories in the Bible, which talk of killing entire cities, men, women children and even all of the animals, the crusaders did nothing less and slaughtered entire cities who did not believe in God.

Christians the world over tortured and killed non-believers until amazingly enough, most of the world now believes in God. Does this seem odd to you?

I get tired of hearing that this was just in the past, and that Christianity is not like that these days. That's not the point. The point is that their religion got the way it is today because of its past!

The power base of the Christian movement is as strong as ever, and they get downright self-righteous with anyone who does not “see the light” the way they do.

The belief in God is as man-made as the belief in all of the other deities throughout our history. The power of the church is a scary thing, and the confused sheep that follow it may mean well, but they must one day wake up and truly analyze what religion means in this world and why it is killing humanity, not saving it.

Armageddon may very well become a reality as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Not because God planned it all, but because our ignorant attachment to ancient religious ways continue to cause too much bloodshed in the name of our gods.

If this information is the foundation of creationism, then it's more in the realm of psychology and history then science. If the writers were not so busy trying to make their case for creationism, they should have stepped back and not even brought this one in the courtroom because it was an extremely weak argument.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Off The Deep End

Michael Newdow, the now famous atheist that is trying to have “under God” removed from the pledge of allegiance for the United States of America, is now going after the President of the United States by attempting to prevent a minister from delivering a Christian invocation during his inauguration.

In a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Newdow says the use of a prayer is unconstitutional.

OK, those of you who read my site often know that I am no religious fanatic, but what you may not realize is that I am not an anti-religious fanatic either. While I do agree that “under God” should be removed from our national pledge, I disagree entirely with this latest volley fired by Mr. Newdow.

If there is to be any ceremony in your honor, I feel you have the right to invite any religious part of it you desire. After all, the ceremony is about you, and honoring you in some way. If a Christian is having the ceremony, then by God they should be allowed to have prayer there if they so choose. By the same token if a Buddhist becomes president then they too should be allowed to have a Shaolin monk perform some sort of ceremony in their honor. If an atheist ever makes it to the White House, then they should also have the right to have a ceremony void of any religious trappings if they so desire.

This is what this country is founded on, the freedom to do things such as this in front of everyone if you so choose.

Now if the inauguration becomes something that has the president swearing to uphold the Bible and the teachings of Christ, while combating all who appose Christianity, then there would be a problem with the separation of church and state. To deny someone to practice their own belief in a ceremony specifically for them does not flow well with allowing freedom of religion.

An atheist is no better then any other religion if they go overboard and attempt to deny anyone their basic right to practice whatever religion they choose. People can say a prayer in a government setting, but the government cannot make everyone present at an event pray. Can you see this simple difference?

This would also be the same for gaining government employment as well. As soon as someone does not get a position based solely on their belief system, then I would be the first to stand up and complain. The same holds true for the religious fanatics.

I have heard things that bother me such as one religious group actively working to seat nothing but their followers on a school board so that thy could control what was taught in the school system, and to prevent the religious cleansing of the school curriculum. This scares me, and should scare the hell out of you.

It makes no difference if this group is of the same faith as you, the fact that they are actively trying to squash the freedom of other people should make you stand up against this sort of action.

Recently I had some correspondence with someone who said, “I will pray for you and your daughters who I am sure have not gotten an unbiased religious education to equip them to make an informed decision for themselves. I find that so tragic.”

To this I replied, “...let me address the fact that you think my daughters have not received an unbiased religious education. I guess by this you feel bad that they have not been indoctrinated into only one religion, that of yours. The dictionary says that unbiased means, 'Without bias or prejudice; impartial' and I submit to you that my children have probably received a more 'unbiased religious education' then families that have only one view of religion. Would you disagree?

“My degree is from Wayland Baptist University, and I venture to say that I have probably studied your own Bible deeper then you have. I was raised as a Christian until I was old enough to start asking the right questions. The answers never satisfied me, and so I proceeded on my own journey to discover more about various religions. The journey is still going on.”

So you see, there are those who feel so strongly about their own belief, that everyone else is a poor unenlightened and misguided sheep. In fact, I recently heard a talk radio host that was discussing this whole Michael Newdow thing say something like, “the atheists just don't get it”. Get what? Religion? That is sort of the point of atheism I think, the fact that they don't get religion at all.

No matter your belief, this country was founded on the right to allow you to follow whatever path you choose. Michael Newdow, in his own lust for the media attention that he is getting, has lost the true meaning of what he was trying to initially accomplish.

Fighting for the freedom of all the people is a noble goal, but when that fight becomes so misguided that you start trying to prevent others from expressing their belief during a ceremony that is being given in their honor, it's time to reevaluate your motives.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Winter Wonderland

A Picture from my PCS Vision Camera


As you can see yesterday and today we have got dumped on with snow. It's nice to see everything clean and white. This is a shot with my camera phone out of the back door at work. It was starting to get a little dark, but I think it turned out good enough.

I went to Best Buy today and heading back to the Bronco I slipped on this little hill and landed on my back. No damage to me other then my pride. I got up, dusted the snow off, then looked around to see if anyone was laughing themselves into a giggling fit. Luckily, I may have avoided to much embarassment.

Those of you who visit this blog will occasionally start getting little tidbits such as this that I don't have on my website.

I'll start to throw in a few more pictures as I travel through life. I think I may even start something like posting pictures and letting you guess what they are.

- Enjoy!

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Count With The Count

According to some Washington state voters we should just throw up our hands and declare Gregoire the winner because we don't want to be bothered to go through another election.

You know, I would be all up for the whole apathy thing if this election didn't smell so bad. It's silly that the Democrats were allowed to recount until they came out on top, then suddenly that was the error-free version they went with.

If you have three counts, and all three are different, it's time to try this thing again. I don't care if we have to recount 27 times. It either needs to be recounted until we consistently come up with the same numbers, or another election is in order.

When you're balancing your checkbook, and get three separate totals do you just stop on the third one and say that's the one you're going to use as your balance, or are you going to check it out one more time to make sure that last count was accurate?

If you can't produce at least two results the same, or really close like 49 votes different and 53 votes different then how in good conscience can you call it an honest recount?

Sure it'll be a little inconvenient, but we should not settle on election results because it will be inconvenient to do a recount.

Another thing I am wondering if it's accurate, is the claim by the Republicans that King county had 8500 more votes in the recount then they had registered voters on the books. What the hell is that all about? Am I the only one who is amazed with this number?

If this is true people should be going to jail! One of the things you should not be allowed to mess with in this country is voting. This should be as sacred as life itself.

The right to vote in this country is an important right. Perhaps one of the most important rights we have as United States citizens. If there are people in this country messing with the legitimate votes, then there should be some harsh penalties levied on these slime-balls.

Democrats wonder why nobody said anything from the Republican camp when they were winning. Well duh, why would you cut off your own legs? Of course, when you win an election, then win the first recount, and then suddenly you not only lose the second recount, but by a hugely different amount, wouldn't anyone be suspicious something else was mucking up the works?

I hate politics, it drives me crazy because it drags out the sleazy side of people. On the other hand, politicians are a necessary evil. Someone has to step up to the plate and put their neck, life, and reputation on the line for the betterment of all of us. When something like this election comes along though it latches onto a nerve and just tugs on it continuously.

I really feel the only way to make this election seem legitimate is to do it again. If Gregoire feels so strongly that she honestly won this election then she should have no problem with this, but if she knows she achieved her victory through dirty pool, then of course she will be against this.

From my limited understanding of the process different counties were using different rules on how to count and treat the ballots. This is not acceptable by any stretch of the imagination. In any game, and don't kid yourself life is a large game with several rulebooks, you must have a standard rule for something like an election. Otherwise let's just make up our own rules for each polling place. Whoever has the most money each district gets to decide what the rules will be for that year. How does that sound?

I'd really like to hear from others on this subject of whether or not we should have a another election in Washington state. What do you say? Do we “shut-up and color", or demand an honest election?

Monday, January 03, 2005

United States of Giving

You know, one feature of my personality that I think is a strength is that I don't give a damn what you think about me, how I look, how I dress, or what I believe. When I go to a gathering where everyone is drinking, I proudly get water, soda, or anything without alcohol. When I'm with my daughters, you might just see me skipping along the sidewalk in front of Target and giggling with them at how silly their Dad is. When I am surrounded by self-righteous religious types, I admit that I don't believe in God.

This outlook should extend to our country as well. I am so tired of hearing about how the United States is not donating enough money for this or that, and the recent Tsunami disaster has put me over the edge.

As the top dog on the food chain, the United States takes crap day in and day out from countries around this world that would not even be here in their current form if it was not for the assistance of this “stingy” United States of America.

The United States makes up over 40% of all aid that goes out internationally, on top of which we also have to defend most of the planet!

In addition to the official money the country gives to others, the charities that our citizens belong to, as well as our businesses, dump billions more dollars on top of the official support, and a good part of our citizenry is deployed around the world building homes, drilling wells, providing medical care, and much of this is simple volunteer work.

I am proud to be a citizen of this country. The United States has compassion and gives more then we should for the way we are treated by most of this world. Before you open your mouth about how stingy or arrogant the Untied States is, do some research and a little thought. It's easy to sit and abuse the United States, because they are a huge target.

Like it or not, if the United States retracted back to our shores, recalled all of our military who are dying daily to defend ungrateful nations, kept all of our wealth to spend on nothing but our own poor people, and did not spend a dime to help anyone else, this world would truly be a sad place.

Is this arrogance? No, it's a reality.

I am not so blind as to think that everyone feels this way towards us. Certainly the people we help are immediately thankful, and normally tell us so. Once the need is gone, however, they quickly forget what saved them, and turn on us like a rabid dog.

Why does the United States and its citizens continue to help ungrateful people? Because we simply cannot look the other way when people of this planet are suffering and in need. That is what makes the people of my great country great.

We get abused daily how the United States focuses more on making money then most other nations, rather then distributing their funds to all of their citizens like many other countries do. It's this one thing that makes the United States a great country! It's because of our freedoms, and our ability to make money, that we actually have more money to contribute to helping others then countries who are trying to do this all through government channels.

Freedom enables prosperity to thrive. And a prosperous people want to help others who are living in less fortunate conditions.

Can we help everyone all the time? Unfortunately no. It is sad to think of the billions of dollars that leave this country to help other people in other nations, yet we still have people dying of hunger in our own country. But it's the way things currently are.

One of my favorite lines from a television show (which you may hear me use frequently), is from the old show, “Mork and Mindy”. Mork is still new to the Earth and has found a carton of eggs. Where he is from, eggs fly (I have no idea why). So he takes a few eggs from the carton, throws them into the air and yells, “Fly and be free!” Obviously the eggs splatter on the counter top. Mork says in frustration, “How can I help you if you won't help yourselves?”

The United States cannot help countries unless they also try to help themselves. Iraq is a good example. We are trying to train their people to fight for their own freedom, and to defend it, yet during combat some of them run away. Their voting administrators are all resigning because they are being threatened by the insurgence.

Our soldiers are dying on a daily basis to attempt to bring these people freedom, yet I can only think of the saying from Mork to those unfortunate eggs. “How can we help you if you won't help yourselves?”