Christian Love, It’s So Nice When It Shines

So, a girl 8 years old, who is a bit of a tomboy “defied biblical standards by looking like a boy.” So this fine school (Timberlake Christian School) told the grandparents (who apparently have custody of the child) to have the child dress and act more like a girl. Because of some moronic ass backwards smug ass x-ian principles. Damn but those people irritate me.

Why was her hair short? She had long hair to her waist, but she had it cut off for a child with cancer. 

I suppose it is important to note that the family (x-ians) decided to pull the child from this so called x-ian school on their own. The child was not forced to leave, but if you ask me, that is more like what I’d call a gray area. They had labled this child, and and singled her out for some good old fashioned x-ian love. Once you have been identified as some kind of x-ian misfit the odds are pretty good your standard of social acceptance is going to take a sharp nosedive at best, and single you out for all sorts of shunnings and other types of abuse at worst.

The grandparents made the right choice. The child will certainly be better off as far away from her previous school as she can get. 

I Haz Hawks!


Look closely, there is a hawk eye looking back at you. I have known for some time they were building a nest on my property. Have been keeping an eye on their progress, I did not want to get involved in too much activity, say by making a fuss as to their whereabouts too soon. Now I am fairly sure they have eggs in the nest, as it looks like someone is staying home to incubate. I feel like I can start taking a few pics now, without scaring them off.

I only have one good vantage point where there are not a lot of trees obscuring the nest. It is at least 50-60 yards from the tree, and they are probably at least 60 feet up. For anyone interested in my pic taking gear I am using an 80mm apochromatic refractor (that I already have for astronomy purposes) on a home made alt az mount. I am shooting through 17mm and 13mm Orion Stratus eyepieces (that I also already have for astro purposes) and a 12.1 mp Sony Cybershot camera mounted on a homemade afocal camera eyepiece adapter. Which means the camera is mounted to this gizmo that is attached to the eyepiece in the telescope.

Am still getting used to the gear, so with any luck the pics will get better as I go. I can’t wait till their are little hawks getting fed by the parents! As time and weather permits I will be out getting lots of pics. Oh, Red Tail hawks…I am fairly certain.

…the first time I set the scope up to check out my vanatge point, I zeroed in on the nest and one of the hawks was staring right back at me! Full frontal view…I was like “shit!” I didn’t know anyone was home. I do wish I could get up high enough to look down into the nest, but that would be a chore of astronomical difficulty. Gonna have to do this from the ground. Anyway it should be fun.


Jesus Seeds?


We had 20 minutes to kill after calling in a pizza order from Dominoes yesterday. The decision was made to hit the Dollar General for a few minutes, I needed razors for one thing, and grabbed shop shop rags while I was there. As I was wandering the aisles I went past the candy section. My first thought was “it’s friggin Easter already?” Then I saw these…

I looked at the bag, note where it says “Each packet wrapped in a promise of god.” I said out loud, and in no small voice “huh, I didn’t know god was available for that kind of stuff.” Being in the babble belt of Tennessee where the average shoe size is higher than the IQ you can bet your last 50 cents I got some strange looks. Ah well, I fear am moving well beyond that point where one gives a shit about such things.

Jesus seeds, I swear if someone had told me about this I would have doubted it. But I googled them this morning and went here:  Yes indeed folks, that ain’t all! There is all kinds of crappy candy with all kinds of religious messages for all kinds of occaisions. Head…meet desk.

Been Slow

Too much going on lately to find time to be creative, or become inspired to write up a post. I did decide to renew my WP account for another year, so that’s something I guess. 

I have been wrapped up with helping my neighbor, he is building a water wheel, trying to use it to create energy. I don’t think it will ever work in that capacity, having the chasing your tail problem inherent in the design. Which is using an electric pump to power the wheel. By using energy to propel the system, you aren’t very damned likely to get a gain at the other end, be lucky to break even. But I enjoy piddling with stuff like this, I call it brain food. Measuring, thinking, evaluating, finding ways to improve effiency, cutting, welding, general guy stuff with lots of tools. We just got done with a 4 foot wheel that has 36 halved 6″ plastic pipe pieces that are assembled with an aggressive angle to the water supply, it looks like a damn turbine. Gotta say it looks good no matter how this project turns out.

Then decided to do some lawn work at some point, the onions had taken off, and needed to be trimmed. Also changed the oil in the car, washed, vacuumed, and detailed it. Add to these kinds of things general day to day stuff, taking out the trash, cleaning up after the clutter monster, figuring what the hell is for supper, duct taping the children and keeping them in the closet, wait did I say that out loud? Hey I have good kids and they rarely need to even be talked to let alone reprimanded for anything. 

Also have been talking to my old band buddies about getting together and making some noise, plus I have one brat that is attempting to learn guitar so I have been showing him how to do some stuff. He is at the very early stage where every little thing comes with much difficulty. He has a great love for AC DC so Ive been showing him how to play a couple of their easier tunes.

Toss in getting the brats back and forth to school, and the necessity of getting groceries, and gas, and all that jazz, I simply haven’t had much time or inspiration to do much here. I am sure any day now though something will spark my interest, or piss me off enough for a good write up. 🙂

To those of you that have hung with me this far, there will be an upswing at some point. Thanks for sticking with me.

Quote of the Month

This is the opening line from the first in the Quote of the Month series. Thought I would repost it as a reminder why I am engaged in the endeavor. “You know, you see people claiming that this country was founded on x-ian principles a LOT these days. As if an oft repeated lie will make it true. Sorry, repeating what your authority figure says as fact, without any investigation into the matter, is just plain ole laziness. These lies spread like a plague among those who want to hold their preconceptions dear and these false claims are used as a buffer zone to solidify their beliefs, and sadly in some cases to try to influence the laws of this country.” 

This month we have a quote by John Adams.

“The priesthood have, in all ancient nations, nearly monopolized learning. And ever since the Reformation, when or where has existed a Protestant or dissenting sect who would tolerate A FREE INQUIRY? The blackest billingsgate, the most ungentlemanly insolence, the most yahooish brutality, is patiently endured, countenanced, propagated, and applauded. But touch a solemn truth in collision with a dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof, and you will find you have disturbed a nest, and the hornets will swarm about your eyes and hand, and fly into your face and eyes.” 
– letter to John Taylor

Hence the creation of the DI, AiG, and the ICR. All institutions dedicated to the whining and crying foul, as well as a practiced attack on all of science that dares to riddle their faith with holes, based on observable facts. All the while ignoring the atrocities of the past and present heaped upon society at the hands of their religions.

As always, the link to the page I borrow these quotes from:

The Closet Trap

I used to play in a local classic rock cover band a long time ago, there has been some talk of getting a few guys together and making some noise. So I was looking for an old set list to look over what we used to play. It was in a box, buried in the closet. To get to this box, I had to remove at least a ton and a half (well maybe not exactly a ton and a half, but it seemed like it) of other boxes, shoes, coveralls, rifles, old pants, the list goes on and on. Then had to get the vacuum cleaner to suck up a few dustballs that were hiding back there in the abyss. 

Next thing I know I am going through old paperwork, and reciepts for tax purposes, and filling up a trash bag with stuff deemed no longer wearable, and paperwork that no longer had any useful purpose. Probably been at it for nearly 2 hours by now.

Then my neighbor calls me, he wants some help figuring out why his 5 horse Honda engine won’t run. We wound up taking the carburetor apart and cleaning it, after an hour or so we had it up and running again. Then I return home stinking of gas and carb cleaner.

The friggin closet still looks like it has exploded. It takes me another 3 hours getting all of this crap sorted out, and half assed organized, and put back in some orderly fashion. I am just now sitting down and taking a break. Got it all done. That one piece of paper I went in for was found, but it took an entire afternoon to get it.

This is just a warning to anyone headed into the closet looking for a treasure buried there. Run! It isn’t worth it! Think of the children!! I just had the crazy notion of living in your house till it gets so full of junk you can’t find the back of the closet… then burn it down and start over. That almost seems reasonable after experiencing the time warp nightmare that was once a closet, this day.

Addiction is Addiction, Does Not matter What The Delivery System Is

What am I complaining about? E cigarettes.

I was a tobacco addict for around 25 years. Pack a day smoker for most of that time. I tried dip for a while thinking that might curb my smoking, but I soon realised I was just trading off one addiction for another. Same thing with these E cigs. Nicotine is nicotine, it matters not how you ingest it. The addiction is the same. Perhaps the E cig does have the smokeless aspect going for it, but that does not address the real problem which is the addiction.

I have felt this way since I first heard of E cigs, but what got me fired up enough to make this post was this article at the Science Daily feed.

According to the study, E cigs are promoted to help people quit smoking. They Don’t.

Also they are marketed with flavors that appeal to younger people, kids.

Then there is this: “The authors found that the devices were associated with higher odds of progression from experimenting with cigarettes to becoming established cigarette smokers. Additionally, adolescents who smoked both conventional cigarettes and e-cigarettes smoked more cigarettes per day than non-e-cigarette users.”  Wow.

Plus this: “the authors noted that about 20 percent of middle school students and about 7 percent of high school students who had ever used e-cigarettes had never smoked regular cigarettes — meaning that some kids are introduced to the addictive drug nicotine through e-cigarettes, the authors said.”  Again…wow.

So instead of having a device which is marketed to help people quit smoking, we have a device that simply allows them to continue their nicotine addiction, although through a fancy new toy. As well, this toy also encourages young kids to take up the nicotine habit.

I predict a huge court case against the new tobacco industry. It cannot come soon enough.

I did manage to ditch the nasty habit of smoking. Only after many long years of being its slave. I had to reach the point where I was disgusted with myself for being a servant to nicotine. I got to where I would light up a cig simply because it was a habit, and after the first few draws I could not stand the taste anymore. I was also experiencing chest pains and a noticable decrease in stamina. I still did not quit.

The problem with addictions is the rationalizations one develops to make it all ok. “When cigs hit a dollar a pack, I’ll quit.” A dollar a pack came and went. “When cigs hit a buck fifty a pack I’ll quit.” A buck fifty came and went. “When cigs hit 2 bucks a pack, I’ll quit.” 2 bucks came and went. I felt a twinge in my heart/lung, “it will pass.”  I would toss the cigarette butts in the street or someones yard, “they will biodegrade.”  I would jump with a start realising I had only 3 cigs left, and hop into the car to go buy more. “I needed gas in the car anyway.”  These rationalizations become a way of life for the addicted, be it tobacco or religion. You will tell yourself whatever you need to hear in the face of an addiction, or a worlview that does not jive with reality.

Eventually I knew I was lying to myself, I knew I could not take being a slave any longer, I knew it was time. I woke up one day and said “this is the day I make a real stab at quitting.” I figured I just had an eight hour headstart, having been asleep. I went to work that day with cigs in my pocket, knowing that if I did not face them down, I would rush to a 7-11 and buy some after work, because my mind would justify it somehow.

It was very difficult, but I did it. I encourage anyone anywhere close to where I was on that day, do as I did, quit first thing in the morning, stare them fuckers down and do not give in, freedom awaits. But you have to fight for it.


As an addendum, in case anyone stumbles across this that finds themselves ready to quit… The first 24 hours is a hellish mental and physical struggle. One becomes highly irritated and you feel like you could kill puppies and stomp baby chickens for sport. The next 48 hours isn’t much better, but for me those first 3 days were rough. After that the anxiousness and irritation began to wane. Slowly.

The key is to find something to do, something to keep yourself occupied. What helped me was my self employment, the harder I worked, the better I got paid. So easy to say I used this negative energy to my advantage.

After the first week, I felt like I could jump a 3 story building in a single bound. This feeling lasted a few days before it subsided. I don’t know, but I suspect my body was adjusting to better oxygen levels.

Probably the greatest problem is the psychological aspect. During the entire process, and even to this day, although much less frequent, one is faced with all of those addiction rationalizations. The ones that say “it’s ok to maybe just have one or two puffs.” Or “a cig would tastes great right about now.” I have had several dreams even, where I lost my resolve and found myself smoking, only to wake with a start, feeling disgusted and afraid, only to realise it was just a dream.

The other side of the cig addiction is the habit. Six months after I had quit, I still found myself occaisionally reaching for the shirt pocket where my cigs used to be. Or walk into a restauraunt or a bar, and without thinking flip over the little metal ashtray, only to wonder why in the hell I just did that.

To this day, I still love the smell of a freshly opened pack of smokes. A heavenly aroma. I have been free from the habit for nearly 2 decades now, and I still fear a relapse sometimes. I don’t know how many people I have talked to, that had been quit for many months, or even years, only to become a nicotine slave once again. Addiction is a terrible thing. Resolve your best friend.

I find it odd in some way, talking about a tobacco/nicotine habit as if it were a drug. Then it hits me…it is a drug you big dummy. It is just not the kind of drug that will have you homeless, living in the streets, and knocking off liquor stores to support. It is, or used to be, an acceptable drug. Still is I guess in certain circles. But a drug none the less. Good luck and my best wishes to any who look to conquer it.

Oh, Well I feel Better Now

A published correction about the snake handler that handled snakes one time too many caught my eye. The AP reported that 5% of snake handlers die every year, when the actual number is just 5 per year. Well…that’s a relief. I mean, damn, let’s let a statistical error cloud over the fact that these people who handle snakes are friggin morons. And I quote:

“The third-generation snake handler was bitten during a service on Feb. 15 and died later at his home after refusing medical help. Now his adult son, Cody Coots, is taking over the family church where snakes are frequently part of services.”  I didn’t see that coming…oh wait, yes I did. The son follows in the footsteps of the daddy. Isn’t that just so cute? And to boot, the guy that got bit refused medical attention, instead preferring prayer to heal his snake bite. Bloody freakin brilliant reasoning. Religion indeed poisons the mind, nevermind the snakes.

Next up: “”People think they will stop handling snakes because someone got bit, but it’s just the opposite,” said Ralph Hood, a professor of psychology at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, who has been studying snake handlers for decades. “It reaffirms their faith.”  Well of course it does. How, I am not sure, but hey whatever cranks your tractor.

I really like this little quote: “In the 1940s and 1950s, many states made snake-handling illegal (it’s currently illegal in Kentucky), but the practice has continued, and often law enforcement simply looks the other way.”  I’m not even sure how to respond to that one. I suppose it is ok for religious folk to blatantly violate the laws, but a guy like me can get arrested for public ugliness and attempting to crawl.

This is an absolute gem: “Snake handling gained momentum when George Hensley, a Pentecostal minister working in various Southern states in the early 1900s, recounted an experience where, while on a mountain, a serpent slithered beside him. Hensley purported to be able to handle the snake with impunity, and when he came down the mountain he proclaimed the truth of following all five of the signs in Mark. Hensley himself later died from a snake bite.”  Nothing like setting the precedent.

How in the heck do you follow so much stupid? With more stupid of course! “He believes (Andrew Hamblin, who co-starred on “Snake Salvation”) that Coots, 42, would have died Feb. 15 no matter what; If not by a snake, then a stroke or some sort of accident. God’s appointed time of death trumps everything,” Hamblin said.”  

Yep, I am so glad they fixed that stat in the story, that was the one thing that really stood out… but there was no commentary on the insidious stupidity inherent in the mind of the religious that twists and distorts everything approaching rational thought? I guess we are just supposed to read between the lines…