I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, 'wouldn't it be much worse if life *were* fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them?' So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe. – M. Cole
““We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers… and also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.”
Now, for a more serious answer. I’d like to take a road trip into the Rockies, to satisfy my love of geology. I’ve been to Mt. Rainier, which is terribly cool, but I’d like to see a *lot* of mountains. We have little worn-out things here in Pennsylvania, the roots of several mountain building (orogeny)events over billions of years. You can see the repeated folding and upheaval here.
I’ve decided to do the Bloganuary challenge here on WordPress. I’ll be given a prompt to write about each day.
January 1, 2022 – What advice would you give to your teenage self?
Some background would help, I suppose. I grew up in very rural area in Pennsylvania, USA, first on a farm and then coming home from summer camp found we had moved. My father had finally had enough of his abusive father. Alas, we were still in the same rural area.
High school was tedious and terrifying for me. I was the purple plaid sheep, rather than just the black one. If you might read the origin story over in The Boss’s Office, you’ll also see that my church also tore itself apart during this time. That started me on the journey to being an atheist.
So, what would I tell my teenage self?
1. No one knows what they are doing either. We are all making this up as we go along.
2. You are one of those 20% or so of the population who is highly sensitive, and an introvert. You are also being emotionally neglected but your parents were too, so try not to blame them too much. You are an INTJ woman (valid or not, this describes me very, very well). All of these mean you are different and that is not a bad thing.
3. Crying isn’t bad and no one should make fun of you for caring about things.
4. You were expected to act like an adult since you were as smart or smarter than those adults around you. That wasn’t fair at all.
5. Failing isn’t the end of the world. (I did finally get this when I failed a ridiculous assignment from a teacher who demanded a book report that had to have 30 specifically written sentences in it, e.g. with gerunds, participles and infinitives, etc. I wrote a good book report, on “Brave New World” no less. And finally took control by saying “screw this idiocy”. when I got my paper back and saw the “D”, I just laughed and it felt *so* good.)
6. You will grow up and be a decent, humane, empathic human being despite everything. You will get married to someone who is perfect for you so you won’t feel so alone anymore. You also won’t be the anti-christ as you once thought since you didn’t hear any god talking to you like people around you claimed to do. They are making this up to fit in and to feel special; or they might just be nuts. Don’t waste any more time on that nonsense; you are far more morally good than that idiot god of the bible. No amount of apologetics will make it work.
7. Everything you do is your responsibility. Slow down. Think things through. Choose wisely. Your intuition is better than you think.
8. Occasionally, don’t think at all. Just do. It’s scary, but you can do it. You are strong, brave, thoughtful, smart, and you are the hero you want to be. Captain Kirk has nothing on you.
I’ve played various table-top role-playing games for years. Now its become a thing to make videos of those games and show them on various sites like youtube, etc.
I’ve watched a bit of a few and found them generally unwatchable since my gaming style is not being murder hoboes (a term to describe characters who do little other than kill things and other characters and take their stuff). I did take the time to watch an entire episode of one on the newly reincarnated G4 network here in the US. It is an officially supported game by Dungeons & Dragons aka Wizards of the Coast aka Hasbro (yep the big toy manufacturer), called “Invitation to Party”. You can see the first episode here.
Rather than having a party made up of classic character types – fighter, thief, cleric and mage – we get a warlock, sorcerer, bard and rogue (which is generally like, but not always, a thief). And rather than having humans, half-elves, elves, we get a dhampir (half elf, half vampire), a reborn (someone who is dead but still walking around), a human, and a rabbit person, something called a harengon. With that, all I can think of is the six-foot tall green meat-eating rabbit, Jaxxon, from the early Star Wars comics.
All of the characters seem to be some variant of evil in alignment too, which seems to be required for the scenario which is that criminals who are going to be executed are recruited by a leader of a big city to find evidence for a plot to replace other leaders with duplicates (quite an important plot for third level characters). Said leader has no problem with them killing their way out of the city’s prison, which makes her alignment seem very questionable.
She also has not one way to control these characters and have them actually complete the mission. They have nothing to gain from the mission other than some minor requests for money, or property.
Now, that being said, the actors are pretty good. I call them actors since the patter between characters is suspiciously smooth for a supposedly live game. Sometimes the dialogue is outright hilarious.
There is also the strange thing that low roles are nigh non-existent in the dice rolling. I’ve never seen so many 20s (the best you can get in order to succeed at a action) rolled in such a short space of time.
It wasn’t an entirely wasted evening, but I have to wonder about the choice of story and characters if Hasbro wants this to be an introduction to D&D and role-playing. Evil characters, in my experience, are limited and tedious. When I play, I want to be the hero. I just can’t see these characters growing to be heroes.
I’ve been going through some items my aunties have given me, old craft supplies, a LOT of beads, and Christmas ornaments. Most of what I got was circa early 70s.
Now I just have to wonder what some poor Chinese man or woman had to be thinking when asked to make the manger scene. Look below. I do love the happy face Jesus. The ornament was probably about the same time the proto-emoticon made its first appearance.
There appears to be a happy cow, a hyena (I think it is supposed to be a sheep) and one random duck. Not sure what Joseph is doing, other than winking at the camera about the whole nonsense that some god got Mary preggers (spouse says he has partaken of the weed). Mary herself looks like she’s about to be sick.
An opinion piece in the Washington Times caught my eye. “American’s new religion: Fake Christianity – stop calling yourself a christan if you don’t believe in Christ” It’s by a rather sad little fellow, Everett Piper, PhD. Now, what the phD is in is a mystery since I can’t find what it is and I’ve only found a vague reference that it might be from Michigan State University. Now, who gets a doctorate and doesn’t want anyone to know what it is in, not even on their own website? It seems that Piper might have a secret to keep.
Unsurprisingly, he is a conservative Christian and Trumpee, He was supposedly a never trumper, but surprise! he shucks his morals whenever convenient.
But let’s see what Piper has to say now about Christianity and Chrisitans. I do enjoy some Christian vs. Christian action.
In the beginning he mentions the “Western Journal”, this is not a professional journal, it is simply a conservative Christian rag and website. Its “reporting” is as trustworthy as the rag that Piper writes for, the Washington Times. He also is all about the “biblical worldview” code for “only my version of Christanity, e.g. Christian nationalism, is right”. Of course, every chrisitan thinks that they and they alone have a biblical worldview. Alas, they can’t agree on what that is.
Every Christian calls the others fakes, or misinformed, or Satanists or pagans or heretics, etc. This is nothing new. In this article that Piper mentions, we have an intern deciding she can declare who is a Christian and who isn’t. She is of course sure that her version of Christanity is the only true one. This certainly underlines lack of education she has, which of course is at a Christian (Southern Baptist) for-profit university(aka diploma mill), Grand Canyon U which carefully doesn’t mention that on their TV ads.
She mentions George Barna, the fellow who does some religious research and it’s great to see in black and white just how compromised he is when it comes to that. When a researcher says “Christianity in this nation is rotting from the inside out” one can tell that objectivity is not on his mind. He even goes on ““The moralistic perspective is we’re here to be good people and to try to do good…The therapeutic aspect is everything is supposed to be geared to making me feel good about myself, ultimately to make me happy. Deism is the idea that God created the world but has no direct involvement in it. Basically, according to MTD, there is a distant God who just wants everyone to be nice, and the purpose of life is to be happy. American ‘Christians’ who have adopted this philosophy have… elevate personal definitions of right and wrong above any objective standard of Truth — like the Bible.”
hmm, and all Christians claim that this bible supports their “truth”, and is objective. Now how does that work? As we can see, each Christian, Piper, Barna and Bratton included, have elevated their personal definitions and claimed that their god is agreeing with them.
Each Christian is sure that theirs is the ““the faith that was once and for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude v. 3)”. Piper also chooses to lie about what the founding fathers said about the US too. Patrick Henry never said this “it cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions but on the gospel of Jesus Christ!” Gee, the tell is the term “religionists”. It comes from a 1956 issues of The Virginian magazine. Poor modern Christians putting their words in others mouths and then found out to be liars. Thanks, Piper, for showing again how Christians ignore their bible when convenient.
Poor Piper, he wants to feel so special. He finds he must lie again about how his version is the only right one, ever-so “stable, this historical, this enduring, this deep, or this true.” The poor “doctor” also has no idea what solipsism means. Tsk. It doesn’t mean “don’t worry be happy”.
Of course, Piper and his minions are desperately afraid of anyone not like them. They promptly lie about BLM and the LGBTQ community. ““That’s why so many are siding with [neo-Marxist atheistic] groups like Black Lives Matter and the LBGT movement. They’ll listen to the loudest voice on either side. Enter the screaming woke mob; [those who] promote sin under the guise of ‘loving everyone.’” Hmm, Christians all claim that they and their god love everyone. I guess that’s a sin now. Alas, Christians don’t’ agree on what sin consists of either. So again we have humans insisting that they and they are god’s best buddy and he agrees with them only.
Unsurpsingly our christiansn cite Frank Turek, notorious bigot and conservative Christian failure. Frank wants to pretend that Jesus agrees with him on everything. Alas, per the bible itself, Jesus doesn’t. It’s just another human trying to pretend he’s special.
Alas, no one Christian has a lock on Chrisitanity. They all claim the same things and they all fail, even the ones who aren’t so nasty as those mentioned above. Since none can do what is promised for True Christians, Piper, Bratton et al are frauds per their own holy book.
Thanks, guys, for showing that yet again, Christianity splinters, lies and fails. This is going to a heck of a dent in the numbers of Christians anywhere since they are sure each other aren’t really Christian. So much for a “Christian Nation” thanks to numbers or Christianity being a major religion.
Good morning world! I’ve been doing Noom (a weight loss program based on psychology and calorie counting) for three weeks now and I’ve lost weight, 182 to 178. I’ve also started exercising, doing various dance workouts I can watch on YouTube and I bought access to an older Zumba program for about US$10.
My goal is to be down 40 pounds by the end of the year. We’ll see if that happens, but heck anything is good for me right now.
Thanks to utterly incompetent gym/physical education teachers in elementary school, high school and college, I have to surmount the hate they instilled in me for exercise. They never taught *how* to do exercise or sports, and if I wasn’t good to begin with, they had no use for you at all. I was just a problem for them that they simply were too lazy or incompetent to deal with. The art teachers did much the same, too lazy to teach how to draw, how to think like an artist, etc.
I was very uncoordinated as a kid. I was put in a special class for learning coordination. That was hard since I was very smart for my age (reading at a 6th grade level in 2nd grade), but my physical skills were a bit delayed. So, I was the “other” in so many ways. I also simply would rather read a book than jump rope, and ooooh that was just not “normal”.
So, years later, my husband taught me *how* to throw and gee, I’m not bad at it! I had to learn that damn few can do a 30 minute aerobics routine at the beginning, and after an exertion induced headache that knocked me to my knees and made me sure I was dying, I learned that I have to slowly build up to that.
I still do hate that ignorance and laziness from teachers that I trusted to know what they were doing. It held me back for decades. Happily, I’m now an artist, getting paid for my work, and now I’m working on being as physically able as I am mentally.
Try things even if you are sure you “aren’t any good”. This helps cast off the shackles put on you by others who weren’t worth the time or respect you gave them.
“This patient underwent his own speech neuroprosthetic study via the use of electrodes which were implanted over the area of his brain that controls speech. A computer was then able to analyze his brain’s patterns in saying words such as “good,” eventually becoming able to differentiate between 50 words that could create over 1,000 sentences.
Eventually, the man was able to answer basic questions such as “How are you today?” with words that appeared on the computer’s screen roughly three to four seconds. “
Both my grandmothers had strokes and lost their ability to talk. I’d like to think this stuff will eventually help people like them.
This is just awesome. I’m a big fan of secret agents and supervillains since my mom introduced me to my first James Bond movie. My Myers Briggs type is INTJ which I’ve seen described as the “supervillain” (believe in MB or not, it’s accurate for me).