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Beliefs

Theism vs. Atheism vs. Agnosticism

I thought I had it all figured out. I had the comforting knowledge of my beliefs. I was at peace with my beliefs and myself.

Recently, I desire to join a fraternity of men: a group of individuals who in the knowledge of life, are like-minded, philanthropic, and believe in a SUPREME BEING.

My strong desire to be a member of this group, this brotherhood of men, cannot, and will not, nor should it, compromise my personal integrity and beliefs. A quandary? At this point it may be, or indeed it may not be. I have spoken to learned members of the craft/society/group/cult, whatever you choose to call it, and have received counseling and advice. I think the bottom line is, I have to be true to myself. Right now, I am fairly certain what the tenets of the organization are, and that my beliefs agree with them. However, I have to make sure before I have my date with the goat.

Herein lies my discomfort. Not the supreme, not the like-mindedness, not the fraternity or the spirit or philanthropy, but the ?being? thing. ?Being,? indicates a consciousness, at least to me. I mean, I believe in an order to things. Shit happens, for sure, but STUFF, LIFE, THE UNIVERSE & EVERYTHING have a reason and order. In my limited knowledge and existence as a human on a small planet in the middle of nowhere lost in the vastness of the unknown quantity of what we call ?space?, I prefer to call it Nature or DNA so that it makes sense to me, but I still believe that there is a power that is a regulatory force for existence. Is this a ?being?? Does it have Sentience? Am I getting hung up on semantics?

Do I believe in GOD? No, absolutely not. The thought of a ?god? is ridiculous to me. Do I believe in a power or regulatory force? Absolutely. This, for me, leaves "god" in the dust. Is this a ?being?? I hesitate at that. Therein lies the crux of the problem. However, with the arcane language of centuries old ritual, perhaps semantics is the case here. It may seem so, and so masters of the trade have told me. Indeed perhaps there is no dilemma at all.

So, is this theism, or atheism? I mean, I don?t agree with theism as organized religion is repugnant to me, but am I an ?A?-theist, AKA Anti theist? I suppose in a sense based on this definition I am, but in another sense I believe in a power, force and organization that I don?t, and probably can?t in my limited existence, understand. Does this then make me an ?Agnostic?, rather than an ?Atheist?? Does this make me a "Believer" rather than an "Agnostic"? Am I really then a "Theist" after all?

Food for thought.

Filed under General, Dec 4, 2005
 

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Teenage Pant Hell

Do you have a child who is now a teenager? Yes? Too bad! I have two. Imagine how I feel! Do you ever go shopping with them? To buy (shudder) clothes? Then you know what I?m about to talk about.

OK, my 16 year old son, who was such a cute baby, (lol, what happened? I must say that on the whole he?s still a really great guy though) decides he needs some new pants. Apparently the pants I think are good aren?t good enough, not ?fashionable? enough. --OH Ghohd, --Don?t buy those?You know the story. Soooo I think to myself, we have to spend money on fashion rather than durability and practicality (well, OK, fashion is in there but I want them to last more than a month or two). OK, I?m enlightened (sort of, but not at all according to 16 year old pant boy), so I?ll go along as long as it fits in the budget.

Mistake.

Apparently pant boy has specific things in mind, but no matter what we show him, or where we go (my poor suffering wife, who is actually their step-mother is with me) nothing is good enough. We show him all the jeans, all brands, blue, black, stone washed, distressed, regular fit, loose fit, straight leg, boot cut, you name it?nothing is right. We get the ?wrong? colour (its? a BLUE jean for Christ?s sake!)

The wrong cut, not quite right?& THAT?S when he actually tells us anything! We ask him what he wants?

?I don?t know?

What?????

Can you show us what you want?..

He stands sullen & silent.

Show us what colour you want?

He stands sullen & silent

Do you like these?

?Um, not really??

How about these?

?Um, not really??

This happens store after store.

We find a pair of pants that may work (I wanted to get a couple of pairs, but will settle for anything at this point)

OK?he goes to try them on. He emerges 10 minutes later?. they ?sort of fit? but I have lots of black pants already!

AAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRFGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

Apparently (this is great), he thinks Blue Jeans don?t ?go with? anything. Amazing. The singular, most popular pant in the world, because it goes with ANYTHING, isn?t good enough because it won?t match the rest of his wardrobe.

After several stores of the same thing I lose patience & say, OK?this is over! We drive home?pant less.

After an angst filled confrontation at home where we are showed the EXACT shade of blue jean should be (whatever happened to fading them in the wash???), I concede to take pant boy back tomorrow & look at a pair that he saw that were 2 sizes too big (he?s a 31 waist, these were a 34) that were the only ones he liked.

Did I cave, or is this just stupid? Man; Teenagers. They were so cute when they were babies. LOL

Filed under General, Nov 20, 2005
 

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Threes

I guess things happen in threes. You?ve heard this right? Well you know, I think it?s true.

Last weekend my wife & I went to the big smoke for the weekend, reservations postponed from a few weeks back because my poor sweetheart contracted pneumonia. It was for her 50th, erm I mean 39th! She was feeling much better now though, so we went for our postponed weekend getaway. The weekend was great, blogs to write, but this is about three?the number that things happen in. It?s a weird thing.

OK, so we?re driving home, the car has been a bit iffy lately on the radiator front. Small leak, I poured some ?stop leak? crapolla into it a few weeks back & topped up the anti freeze. I've monitored it since then & checked it before the trip & all was fine. The trip in went well. The trip back however??.

It?s about 170 klicks from DT to home base, I hit the highway & booming along at 100 klicks SMOKE starts pouring out from the back of my vehicle. What the???? No idiot lights going off, gauges normal?OK?I decide to keep on driving, eyes on the gauges. The smoke stops. I?m particularly interested in the temp gauge as the coolant problem reared its head a few weeks back. I turn on the heater full, with full fan to make sure it keeps cool. The air coming out is hotter than I have ever felt. I have to make it home! Eventually, 30 or so klicks later, it feels cool?OH OH?no more coolant in the rad? The temp gauge starts rising?.a few more klicks & it starts rising rapidly! I pull off at the nearest exit, which fortunately appears almost immediately. Smoke is now pouring from the engine compartment as I make my way off the road to the nearest place where I can stop. Fortunately this was a rest area with restaurants (and washrooms!). I open the hood & hear the hissing of antifreeze hitting a hot engine. Hopefully it?s only a rad hose, but we?re still 120 km away from home with a dead vehicle.

The tow was a hoot actually, (no charge to me: auto club, just a tad over $400 if I wasn?t a member) but perhaps more on that later. Anyway, my vehicle sits at my mechanics, which because he?s REALLY REALLY GOOD, is understandably busy & can?t look at it for almost a week!

That?s ONE

I?m at work, a day later, and being a driver as a profession, I have some serious sunglasses. Prescription, even though I don?t need them as a condition for my license, I have them because they make driving easier. Street signs are soooo much easier to read.

I?m in a building, taking my hyper expensive glasses off to put them in their case & then safely in my pocket, when the tiny screw that holds one of my lenses in, has worked loose & lets go. My expensive, prescription, glass lens falls in slow motion to the floor, which of course is made of concrete, and smashes into a thousand shards.

That?s TWO

A few days later in the week, I get up & take my morning ablutions. I turn on the sink to shave. The plug is closed. The sink starts filling up. I push the rod to open the plug & nothing happens. Oh Oh. It?s been acting up, but so what?well now it doesn?t work?THAT?S so what.

Crap!

Now I have a sink full of water, full of shaving hair. YUK! I brush my teeth in the kitchen.

That?s not quite three. Just wait.

I manage to get the water out of the sink at lunchtime by removing the plug from the bottom. The rod that moved it up and down had rusted through. There?s a plastic piece that the stopper screws on to. After work I think that I should put this piece back in the sink to prevent toothbrushes & the like from falling into the trap. I position it over the hole (which is supposed to have the remnants of the rod that pushed it up & down still there, at least it did when I took the sucker out!) & PLOP, down into the trap it goes. Now?

That?s THREE!!!

Go figure

Filed under General, Nov 18, 2005
 

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Halloween is for Kids

Halloween. I have fond memories of it as a kid, going from door to door in my costume. I also have fond memories making costumes for my kids. Pouring hours into elaborate things that were worthy of a movie set or a stage somewhere. I?ve been living in the same house for over 17 years now, and over that span have seen many a great costume greet me with the traditional ?trick or treat?. So, when this year came around I went dutifully to the grocery store & bought dozens of bags of potato chips to hand out to the creatively dressed children that I anticipated knocking on my door. Camera at the ready I awaited their arrival, thinking I would make a collage of all their costumes to post on flickr, my favorite photo sharing site.

I am?disappointed.

A witch and her baby first greeted us, cool enough, at least they were both in costume & Mum was getting into the spirit by dressing herself as well as her youngster up. We wait some more & another timid knock, it?s a bee, another youngster whose parental unit waits at the curb.

Now it gets sad. Time goes by, I?ve got a mountain of chips in individual sealed bags specially sold just for this occasion here. An hour or so later, closing in on 8:45, a group of 4 teenagers, one of whom you can barely even tell has a costume on (I think it was an inside out sweatshirt) arrive & hold out their bags. I pop in the chips & the guy in the sweatshirt turns to leave. Camera in hand I say woah, hold on there, the price for the chips is a photo. He stays & I capture the group for eternity.

9:00 comes & goes and about 9:15 another knock on the door. I?m blown away. It?s some woman easily in her 30s, and another probably mid to late 20s, both are smoking, no costumes, with a baby stroller in which sits an infant who?s only costume is a cap with ears on it. Some guy stands at the end of the driveway, a cigarette glowing in his hand. Trick or treat they go. Well, I pop a bag into the younger womans bag (for the infant I suppose, still he/she looks far to young to even be awake at this hour). I ask them to hold on while I take a snap of the baby. The guy at the end of the driveway starts to approach, the women wave him off saying that I?m just taking a picture. (Like I?m an axe murderer or something). Once done, the older woman asks me for another bag of chips for her daughter. Well, huh? Where's your daughter? Why isn't she here, in costume? I hand one over anyway(I mean, I?ve got lots).

Now, this kind of bugs me. Two obviously un-costumed adults, who make my entrance hall reek of cigarette smoke, out with an infant who is barely costumed, demanding more swag. Gimme a break. What ever happened to Halloween being for kids?

?

Filed under General, Nov 1, 2005
 

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Visited Countries

Visited countries. Indeed. I came across this great utility today while surfing Flickr, my favorite photo-sharing site. Here?s a map of Countries I have been to in my lifetime.


create your own visited countries map

Cool eh?

Filed under General, Oct 26, 2005
 

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