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imperfect/unbroken

9th March, 2011. 8:59 am. Arguing with Zealots 1 postmortem

I'm preserving a debate I had with someone on Facebook. The purpose is not to demean or malign the other party, but to analyze my responses and see where I could have done better. Names changed to blah blah blah.

Started with this link about the Supreme Court's support of Fred Phelps right to make an ass of himself: http://www.wistv.com/Global/story.asp?S=14171235

Grey:
True freedom of speech is neither easy nor pleasant. It requires us to tolerate speech that we find abhorrent. It amazes me how few people seem to realize this.

Person:
‎@ Grey - Then why is Christian -true Christian, not the Westboro type - speech or conservative speech not tolerated? Why does that seem to be okay? Why is it fine for them to offend me, but I can't offend them with the content of my ide...as? Is it because real truth is the enemy of those who are behind PC speech? Why is it fair game to mock and deride those whose world view is based on an unchanging, consistent set of ideas? I will not take a back seat to those who would silence me and I'll defend the right of anyone who has a coherent thought process to speak his mind - as long as he is not trying to limit MY speech.

Person:
They (Westboro) obviously serve a different 'god' than bible-believing evangelical Christians. My God loves the sinner and rejoices greatly when he turns from his sin and follows God Almighty Who loves His creation. But He will deal ever so severely with those who teach His children to do wrong things and lead them down the wrong path.

Grey:
First off, "no true Scotsman" fallacy. Secondly, this ruling clearly shows that 'Christian' speech is tolerated. Persecution complexes are unbecoming. We live in a nation where every leader since it's founding has identified as Christian. I'm not exactly sure where your 'Christian...speech or conservative speech not tolerated' is coming from, but in my own experience, there is plenty of it out there.

Person:
I don't know where you live, Grey, but if you're in the south, you probably haven't seen the intolerance in your "own experience," but believe me, it's out there. Have you not heard of Columbia University shouting down conservative speakers, or out right canceling them when students protested for even being scheduled? But it's okay for liberals speak because they have 'approved' speech and ideas.

Person:
And let's not forget about all the conflicts that arise when someone wants to display a cross in his own property. No persecution complex here.

Grey:
Sorry Person, but I remain unconvinced. You can repeat the "Christians are percicuted in the USA" canard all you like, but it is simply untrue. How many non-Christian presidents have we had? How many non-Christian congressmen, governors? ... What organizations that receive public funds openly and loudly exclude Christians? The evidence simply doesn't back up your claims. If we were in the middle east, I'd tend to agree with you. But here, in the USA, Christians have it easy, especially when compared to other belief systems. I mean we are arguing in a thread about an extremist Christian cult's spewing of vile hate being judged as protected as free speech by the highest court in the land. That doesn't really support your argument.

NOTE: At this point, our conversation moved to messaging.

Person:
I didn't think the public forum on someone else's thread should be the place we have our debate.

Persecution is not a word I used. It's much too strong a term for what I originally talked about. You call this group (Westboro) and "extremist Christian cult". They are the farthest thing from being Christian I can imagine. There is not one Christian principle they espouse. That the Supreme Court upheld their right to free speech, hateful as it is, hardly qualifies as protecting Christian ideals.

Using your logic about having Christian presidents and congressman, governors, etc. as proof that Christians are not mistreated, I suppose that now that we have a black president, there is no more mistreatment of blacks our country.

Public schools, receiving public money, have more and more changed Christmas concerts to "Winter" concerts and have banned even Christmas colors. When students have decided to write Christian oriented papers, they are told to write about something else, even though they were told they could write about anything they wanted. Valedictorians are told they are not to mention God or Jesus in their commencement speeches. Prayers before football games have been curtailed or neutered. City council meetings that open with prayer are being attacked if individuals pray in Jesus' name. These aren't rumors. These things actually happen and have been happening now for some time.

Why is it okay for kids to recite Islamic prayers in school as some sort of cultural education, but they are not allowed to say Christian prayers? If you're going to prevent one religion in the name of "separation of church and state" (a phrase that isn't even in the constitution,) then all should be prevented.

Why are the Ten Commandments deemed offensive and have to be removed from sight, but when Christians say some television programming is offensive, they just say "change the channel if you don't like it."? Why are we not allowed to tell them to look the other way if the Ten Commandments are offensive to you?

There are plenty of things happening you may not be aware of if you get most of your info from the main stream media. They just don't think it's newsworthy. Unless, of course, some pastor is caught doing something wrong with their finances or a woman or another man. Then it's a front-page, top-of-the-lead story.

Grey:
Person,
I agree that if we are to continue our debate, it is better to take it here rather than cluttering up Unrelated Person's Facebook.

The Westboro Church present themselves as Christian and went before the Supreme Court as a Christian Organization defending their right to free speech. You keep saying they aren't Christian, what is your basis for this statement? Do they not believe in God, do they deny that Jesus was his son and sent to die on the Cross? They are espousing that homosexuality is wrong and unrepentant homosexuals will go to hell. That seems pretty conservative Christian to me. I think it is the 'godless liberal' churches that are accepting of homosexuals.

So again I say, the rights of Christians (and, by the way, everyone else as well) to speak their mind was upheld and I'm at a loss as to how you thing this ruling somehow indicative of intolerance to Christian speech.

As to the whole 10 Commandments and Prayer in school thing, if you can't see the difference between private individuals sharing their beliefs in a public place and government indoctrination in a particular belief system, I can't help you. And if it offends me that the 10 commandments are on your front porch, or the back of your car, or even tattooed on your forehead, then you can tell me to just look away. But the last thing I want is our government in the religious business. Sure it sounds great, but what if the government's religion isn't yours. What if Phelps and company got into power? Or a Muslim? All of us are better off with a government that remains strictly secular. You believe what you wish, I'll believe what I wish, and Uncle Sam can stay right out of it.

I would suggest you take a look at rabbi Arnold Resnicoff's Prayers That Hurt: Public Prayer in Interfaith Settings ( http://www.justwar101.com/journal/archives/Curtana%201.1%20Fall%202009.pdf#page=27 ) (the link is to a pdf). I think that much of his thoughts apply not just to prayer in an interfaith setting, but to religion in the public square.

Person:
How is a student writing a Christian oriented paper for a class assignment even remotely considered government indoctrination? How is a student speech honoring the abilities God has given, a government endorsement of religion? The school system has gotten so hypersensitive to even the concept of God, they try to keep even mention His name out of their buildings. And I suppose you haven't heard about pastors who have been arrested on public property

As far as Phelps and company - you can't see they aren't Christian? They may be Old Testament zealots wanting a very strict interpretation and application of the "Law", but nothing they do exhibits the love and grace offered by Jesus. They never say anything about repentance and being saved from the fires of hell, they only condemn people, which is not their job. Their job as Christians, real Christians, is to reach out to people telling them the truth in love, not this vile garbage they spit out. God hates the sin, but loves the sinner.

They believe in a god that hates people that don't acknowledge him. How far from the truth! Romans 5:8 says "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Matthew 7:15-17 says "“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit." I don't think they exactly dress up in sheep's clothing, but they sure act like ferocious wolves. And think about these qualities of a Christian described in Galatians 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." I don't see any of these attributes on display with this group. No, sir, they are not Christian.

Yes, I agree they have a right to free speech, and in my initial comment on Unrelated Person's page,

NOTE: Looks like his comment got cut off by Facebook, no idea what else he was trying to say.

Grey:
What students? What pastors? Where is your proof. You keep making wild paranoid claims without backing them up.

How, exactly, is "Christian...speech or conservative speech not tolerated"? Who is keeping you from "offend(ing) them with the content of my ideas"? What "conflicts that arise when someone wants to display a cross in his own property"? Which school "banned even Christmas colors"?

Book stores have whole sections of Bibles and religious books. There are even bookstores dedicated to purely Christian literature. Talk radio is dominated by Conservatives. Turn the television to a local channel on a Sunday morning, most likely you'll see a Church service. There are numerous conservative pundits with widely syndicated columns. Fox News is conservative 24-7, 365. There is no lack of Christian/Conservative speech.

Phelps' protests have been met by counter protests in many environments. You are free to grab some poster board and make your own sign in protest. Join the Freedom Riders, no one is stopping you.

A man in Pennsylvania man was ordered to take down the cross on his private property. It was 24 feet high and lit up until after midnight. Can't violate zoning laws for Jesus. Admittedly I'm guessing here, but I suspect a 24 foot star and crescent wouldn't have gone over too well either.

The Florida school banning Christmas colors, simply not true. http://nation.foxnews.com/culture/2010/11/29/school-bans-christmas-colors Lying for Jesus is still lying.

You have equated posting the Ten Commandments on government buildings (a tacit endorsement of a particular religious view by the government) with television, which is private industry. This is disingenuous at best and outright deceptive at worst.

http://www.rawstory.com/rawreplay/2011/03/watch-christian-protesters-surround-muslim-man-at-white-house/

Person:
Calling me paranoid doesn't help keep the discussion on an intellectual basis, now does it. However, you're right in calling on me to cite evidence.

I'm much better at producing scriptural evidence for my views on Phelps & co. with which I see you didn't have a problem. Maybe I should clarify something: I said they weren't Christian. I should have said more correctly - If they are Christian, they sure don't act like it and I can't find any evidence to convince me they are. I can't know for sure. Only God knows that.

By your statements, you think I'm saying that the Christian faith is being prevented from operating in this country. Not so. I am only stating that there are several incidents of restrictions of Christian expression in the country. I understand we can have Bible book stores and libraries and secular book stores have sections on religion that include Christian books and authors. What I am saying is that there is a segment of society that is bent on quashing any expression of Christianity including the public display of Christian symbols.

Here is a short list being handled by one law firm representing Christians all across the nation: http://www.rutherford.org/pdf/2009/2009RutherfordCaseReport.pdf

As far as the colors being banned in Florida - my bad. I had not heard the follow-up. My apologies. I sincerely hope you were not calling me a liar with your closing statement after the Fox News link. If one operates on the assumption the information they have is correct and repeats that information, does that make them a liar? I think not. Lying is the willful and purposeful dissemination of known falsehoods which I did not do.

http://www.rutherford.org/pdf/2009/2009RutherfordCaseReport.pdf

Person:
Here is another link with more information on the valedictorian in NV.

http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive/ldn/2009/nov/09111704

Grey:
http://www.ethicsscoreboard.com/list/mccomb.html
http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2006/Jun-17-Sat-2006/news/8014416.html

Her speech was edited by the school and she agreed to abide by their changes and then when she broke her word, the school pulled the plug.

Once again, lying for Jesus is still lying.

Person:
The point is her ability to speak her mind about her faith was curtailed. Sounds like censorship to me. Even if she agreed to it ahead of time, the school was telling her what she could or could not say. The whole point of our discussion was my assertion that there some who are trying to suppress the expression of Christian concepts and/or Christian language. I think I've proved my point, whether you want to believe it or not.

Lying is not a good thing to do. Neither is refusing to acknowledge the truth.

Grey:
Yep, the school was giving her a platform from which to speak, as such they have a right to dictate the terms. As long as the terms are the same for any speaker, the school is within their rights. "'We review the speeches and tell them they may not proselytize,' Hoffman said. 'We encourage people to talk about religion and the impact on their lives. But when that discussion crosses over to become proselytizing, then we to tell students they can't do that.'" Doesn't sound like they are singling out Christians. Seems like a pretty blanket statement on how religion is to be handled at school functions. Not intolerance of Christians.

Public schools are extensions of the government and as such should not be espousing a specific religious viewpoint.

You seem to be backing away from your initial assertion, which was much broader than "some are trying to suppress the expression of Christian concepts and/or Christian language".

"Then why is Christian -true Christian, not the Westboro type - speech or conservative speech not tolerated? Why does that seem to be okay? Why is it fine for them to offend me, but I can't offend them with the content of my ideas?"

Have I misunderstood the change in your stance?

Person:
I think no answer will satisfy you. There are plenty of people, not the majority of course, but plenty none the less, who would just as soon have the Christians shut up and shut down. You seize on one example to try and thwart my position, all the while ignoring the listing of nearly two pages of lawsuits being brought for religious discrimination from just one law firm. That debunks your assertion that I am making "wild paranoid claims" regard regarding Christian bashing. Most of them will probably win in court - a few may not - but that is because constitutional law will back them, which is a good thing. I never asserted the law was against Christians.

However, are you aware of the Hate Speech law in Canada that prevents pastors from speaking out against homosexuality, even though it is directly addressed in the Bible? I'm sure if you do a search, you'll be able to find out about it. There are those in this country who would like to see a similar law passed.

Grey:
"There are plenty of people, not the majority of course, but plenty none the less, who would just as soon have the Christians shut up and shut down."

And Christians are unique in this? I think the atheists, Jews and Muslims might want to have a word with you about that.

You have not come anywhere close to demonstrating that "true Christian...speech or conservative speech is not tolerated". I don't see a "not tolerated by some" in there, just a broad blanket statement that you have failed to back up. I've provided plenty of examples of how conservative/Christian speech is not only tolerated, but thrives.

Any socially active group can find plenty of people who want them to sit down and shut up.

"However, are you aware of the Hate Speech law in Canada that prevents pastors from speaking out against homosexuality, even though it is directly addressed in the Bible? I'm sure if you do a search, you'll be able to find out about it. There are those in this country who would like to see a similar law passed. "

What does this even mean and how is it relevant to the conversation. "There are those" is pretty vague. I can play the non sequitur game too. There are those who think the moon landing was faked. There are those who think the earth is only 6000 years old and a geocentric universe.

Your argument is either so vague as to be meaningless - "Some people don't like Christians" or so broad as to be unsupportable - "Christian speech isn't tolerated." Pick one, because I can't tell what you are trying to argue anymore.

And please, before you hit reply, put some thought into your argument. You seem to be anti Fred Phelps ( a pastor speaking out against homosexuality) and anti Canada's hate speech law, which is exactly what we'd have to have in America to shut Phelps down.

Person:
see ya. It ain't worth the trouble.
------

And that, as of now, is the end of the exchange. I won't be responding. At some point, I plan on doing a post mortem. I'm getting less patient with the reams of BS I see and need the practice if I'm going to try and stem the tide.

Make Notes

13th August, 2010. 9:32 am. Tomorrow

Greyson is going off to college tomorrow. He'll do fine but I'm not really ready for this.

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3rd June, 2010. 8:42 am. Congratulations

Greyson graduates from high school today. He's off to Clemson in the fall. I am truly proud of him.

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27th May, 2010. 10:18 am.

Greyson graduates from high school next week. He'll be going to Clemson in the fall.

I am so not ready for that.

Make Notes

12th March, 2010. 7:42 pm.

It is done.

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26th February, 2010. 9:15 pm. The experiment has ended.

I gave my two weeks notice today. I'll be returning to my old job for hopefully a short stint (6 months to a year). There was too much stress at the new job and I spent most of my time trying to cover my weaknesses rather than working my strengths.

I've got a plan. This is a "pull back and regroup" rather than a "rout".

Make Notes

21st February, 2010. 9:03 am.

Spent yesterday wanting to punch people in the face. Especially the parents who let their four year old daughter wander out of a sports complex unattended and into the street in front of an oncoming car. Thankfully the driver was paying attention.

Today I want to curl up into a ball and die.

Yeah this new job is working out great.

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10th February, 2010. 1:10 pm. Getting the word out.

From WebMD, which has a pretty substantial section on depression:
"Major depressive disorder (depression) is not just a temporary mood, and it's not a sign of personal weakness. Depression is a serious medical condition with a variety of symptoms. Emotional symptoms can include sadness, loss of interest in things you once enjoyed, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, restlessness, and trouble concentrating or making decisions. Physical symptoms can include fatigue, lack of energy, and changes in weight or sleep patterns. Additional symptoms of depression may include vague aches and pains, irritability, anxiety, and thoughts of death or suicide."

Make Notes

8th February, 2010. 10:21 am. Coping

you're doing it wrong.

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1st January, 2010. 12:27 am. Happy New Year!

Happy new year everyone. This marks four years I have been in this house.

And now a news burst.

First, why do stray animals follow me home. This time instead of a cat it was a Cocker puppy. Cute and well socialized. He had a collar but no tags. He tried to follow me inside, and like the Halloween cat, hung around my door looking pitiful. Being that this is not a night for a dog to be wandering the streets what with the drunk drivers and loud noises from fireworks, I led the dog around the neighborhood hoping he'd recognize his home and go to it. He didn't. He's obviously well trained as he either followed right beside me or wandered within 10 feet or so and always came right back. I left him at my door when he followed me home. I can't take a stray in. I really hope he finds his way safely home.

Second, work is stressful.

Third, last night I dreamed that I was visiting my grandmother and all my relatives were there. My cousin Mark was sitting in the carport and I was really happy to see him and we were talking excitedly when it dawned on me that he was dead. Mark died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head several years ago. I don't remember what he said to me, but it ended up being a painful dream.

Fourth, Gigs is sick. Pancreatitis. Hopefully she'll be better this weekend.

Fifth, my biological parents got me The God Delusion for Christmas (it was on my list and the #1 no-one-will-ever-get-me-this choice). I'm enjoying it greatly.

Make Notes

25th December, 2009. 5:45 pm. Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone. Hope Santa was good to you.

Make Notes

4th December, 2009. 9:56 pm. New Job

The new job seems to be going well. Tuesday was getting settled in and screwing around with a mysql database. Wednesday was flying to Washington D.C. a brief meeting with a client and another meeting (over a very tasty Chinese dinner) with a potential business contact. Thursday was a longer meeting with a client and flying home. Today I finished with the mysql database and got my changes into production by EOB. I set up a simple database, wrote php to update the database, integrated the php into an existing website, tested and deployed in about nine hours without having any real prior experience with any of these things.

Go me. I just hope I can keep it up.

Make Notes

29th November, 2009. 10:33 am. Two days

Tomorrow is my last day at the job I've held for about 10 years. Tuesday I start a new job. Wednesday I fly to D.C. with the HMFiC to meet with a client. We'll be back Thursday evening.

It is fair, and probably an understatement, to say I have a lot of anxiety over this change.

Make Notes

21st November, 2009. 10:09 am. National Adoption Day

Hmm. I didn't even know we had one of those, but apparently today is it.

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18th November, 2009. 8:59 am. I can has...

new job?

Yes I can.

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17th November, 2009. 10:28 am. An offer has been made.

I'm going to take it. The new position will definitely be a challenge. It isn't a step up in money from what I'm supposed to be making (we took a hefty pay cut in January), but it is a step up in title, responsibilities, and opportunities.

Make Notes

15th November, 2009. 7:15 pm.

That went well I think.

Make Notes

14th November, 2009. 7:54 pm. Nerves

I get way too nervous and worked up over interviews.

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2nd November, 2009. 8:27 am. Hallowe'en

I took Red trick or treating through our neighborhood with two families from his Cub Scout troop. About two blocks from home we came across a cat in a driveway. The cat was too old to be a kitten but not fully grown, had no collar and was very affectionate. It also followed us for the rest of our trick-or-treating. The kids would go up to a door and the cat would sit on the sidewalk and wait for them. It was like we had picked up a familiar. The cat followed us for the whole two blocks back to my house (we took the long way), where we broke up for the evening. Gigs tried to name the cat Pumpkin since it had a orange-ish undercoat, but I discouraged that, because we didn't need to adopt another kitty. We gave it some water, played with it for a little bit and went back inside. I had to shut myself in my room so I couldn't hear it's plaintive mewing at the door. I think the kitty glommed onto another trick-or-treating group. I hope it made it back home.

Although I keep looking for it when I drive through the neighborhood. If it had stuck around, I wouldn't have been able to resist taking it in.

Short version - cute cat follows the kids around trick-or-treating.

Make Notes

24th October, 2009. 8:13 pm.

Is sick and tired of being sick and tired.

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14th August, 2009. 1:07 pm. I case you are worried

I'm feeling a good bit better. The black moods kind of ease their way in gently and then build to a crescendo and then pass. But it is frightening when they are at their worst.

Make Notes

11th August, 2009. 11:14 am.

If you breakdown and no one is around, does it make a sound?

No because someone might hear and interrupt the process of falling apart.

Make Notes

10th August, 2009. 7:52 am. Cici n'est pas un appeler au secours.

When you see yourself in a crowded room
Do your fingers itch, are you pistol-whipped
Will you step in line or release the glitch
Can you fall asleep with a panic switch


I feel thin and tattered. Being on 60% pay for eight months with an uncertain job future in a wrecked job market is taking it's toll. My insurance company is still being a bunch of dipshits over a claim from last year. Having the boys gone with their mom for most of the summer isn't the vacation you might think. I'm not ready to have a son who is a senior in high school, although I know he will make me proud. The ac is out in my black suburban and this city's slogan is "Famously Hot". There's burnout at work although I think most of us are trying to manage our attitudes lest we all pull each other down. I've been at Gigs' throat for most of the summer. I've been taking Xanax off and on, debatably as needed, for anxiety. Sometimes it helps. Insomnia isn't helping. Taking the Suburban out Saturday to gas it up, I turned left to the station rather than right to self-admit.

I.am.trying.to.manage.it.

But I want to lose my shit, it's too exhausting holding it together.

grey

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27th July, 2009. 10:14 pm. Where the Wild Things Are

No matter how badly the final film sucks, and I suspect that it will suck terribly due to the Max doesn't like mommy's new boyfriend and that's why he acts out plot, it won't change the fact that the Where the Wild Things Are trailer is a thing of beauty.

I'd also like to note two things. One, I'm sick of daddy issues in films, can't we come up with something different. Two, they've made movies of two of my favorite children's storybooks, Where the Wild Things Are and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. I still have hope for WtWTA, but CWaCoM looks like refried ass. If anyone so much as looks sideways at Cars and Trucks and Things that Go, I'm going to have to hurt somebody.

Make Notes

17th July, 2009. 8:08 am. Writer's Block: 5//7//5

Sum up your day in the form of a haiku.


It's supplemental!
Primary is primary.
Stupid insurance.

Make Notes

2nd July, 2009. 8:31 am. Dreams

Last night I dreamed that the Muppets were asking where Jim Henson was. No one had had the heart to tell them he was dead.

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1st July, 2009. 1:15 pm. Back from the woods.

I took Red to Weblos Woods Sunday and we just got back. I'm not a camping kind of person, but Scouts is what I do with Red, so I went. Even if I seriously considered throwing myself down some steps to get out of it.

Gigs helped me pack. She's the camper. Gigs even offered to come out to help us set up. I declined since I'd like to keep up the idea that I can raise a tent myself. We rode out to camp Sunday morning and met up with the other three boys from Red's pack. We found out the campsite (the local Boy Scout camp) had tents already set up for the campers, which makes sense given that this could be the first camping experience some of these boys have. The tents were old style canvas things with no built in netting. So we snagged one of the Adirondacks. I should also mention that we had the best campsite available. We were closest to the Dining Hall and the showers.

Red had a great time and earned four pins and some other stuff. I enjoyed myself too, much to my surprise. While it was hot as hell Sunday night and most of Monday, the humidity dropped late Monday night/early Tuesday morning and from that point on the weather was perfect. The food was good and plentiful. The other boys were generally well behaved and the people on our half of the camp site (with whom we were grouped) were easy to get along with.

So I'm back and at work for half the day. Partially to get my paycheck, partially to conserve vacation hours, and mostly to keep myself from taking a nap and ruining my sleep schedule for days.

Make Notes

24th June, 2009. 10:14 am. Missing Governor

Could Mark Sandford and his staff have handled his "trip" any worse than they did?

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17th June, 2009. 9:06 am. I did not know

I was unaware that my anniversary was also Igor Stravinsky's birthday. Thanks Google. Had I but known, I would have put at least a snippet in our reception music.

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17th June, 2009. 8:01 am.

Three years.

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9th June, 2009. 8:01 am. Nightmares

I'm having recurring nightmares again. Woke up at least three times last night.

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30th May, 2009. 3:32 pm. Up

Go see it.

That is all.

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24th May, 2009. 6:35 pm. Creamy Chicken Chipotle Skillet

Tonight for dinner we had Creamy Chicken Chipotle Skillet. It was tasty, but when I make it again, I'm going to put some garlic and fresh ground pepper in with the chicken and onions while they are cooking. I wasn't sure how hot it would be so I removed the seeds from the chipotle peppers before chopping them up. It was just right.

Make Notes

29th April, 2009. 8:14 am. Cnidophobia

I am afraid of stinging insects. I don't scream and run around like a fool when I see one, it isn't that type of fear. Besides that sort of behavior will just entice the insect into aggressive behavior. But they do cause me a large amount of anxiety and I have recurring nightmares about being trapped in an enclosed area with a bee or wasp and not being able to escape. I don't wake up until I've been stung.

My drive into work this morning was even more tense than usual because a fucking hornet (or something) was crawling all over the inside of my windshield for most of the trip. I'm surprised I didn't wreck the car. And the horrible little bastard is still in the Suburban.

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27th March, 2009. 9:06 am. The weekend

What's going on this weekend? Greyson is up at Clemson for the First Robotics:Palmetto Regional ( http://www.clemson.edu/tlt/stream/frc/ ). Scout has merit badge university for Boy Scouts. Red has pinewood derby for Cub Scouts. And Ali...we love Ali.

Gigs and I will be helping with the pinewood derby. I signed up to MC, no idea if that's gonna happen.

Busy weekend, but the fun busy, mostly.

Hmm... the mayor of Clemson is opening the ceremonies and just pulled up his right pant leg to reveal that he has a robotic right leg from the knee down. That's kind of moving.

Make Notes

26th March, 2009. 8:23 am.

Now that we have abstinence vampires (see Twilight) we need some vegan zombies.

Make Notes

25th March, 2009. 1:39 pm. Nice beaver

Red's scout leader is taking Wood Badge, which is the highest level of training the leadership can undergo. The leadership training mimics the scout program, so all the leaders are divided up into dens of their own. Red's scout leader has asked me to come up with a den cheer or song for his den, the Beavers.

Had to nix my first few ideas since they weren't appropriate.

This is what I've come up with:

First cheer and variations
Turn away from the audience and chant:
"Pat, pat, pat" while shaking your rear to the left three times
"bam, bam bam," while shaking your rear to the right three times
"We are the beavers" turn around to face the audience on this line
"and we give a dam!"

Admittedly that one might still be too risque so I have some variants. The movements stay the same.

"Pat, pat, pat"
"bam, bam bam,"
"We are the beavers"
"and we give a ... hoot!"

"Pat, pat, pat"
"bam, bam bam,"
"We are the beavers"
"and we give a ... barrier to obstruct the flow of water!"

Right, don't like that one? Try this song (to the tune of Rainbow Connection):

Why aren't there any songs about beavers?
We're nature's engineers.
Beavers are rodents, cousins to squirrels,
With large hairy tails on our rears.
We live in houses out in the river
Made out of mud, trees, and stones.
We're well protected from wolves, bears, and tigers
Safe in our custom built home.

I think I might have a sickness.

Grey

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20th March, 2009. 11:16 am. Just for Today Part II

Just for today, fuck it all.

There was more, but it might be taken the wrong way, so it is gone now.

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16th March, 2009. 8:10 am. I'm not the only one who needs this...

Just for Today

Just for today, I will try to live through this day only,
and not tackle my whole life problem
at once. I can do something for twelve hours
that would appall me if I felt that I had to
keep it up for a lifetime.

Just for today, I will be happy. This assumes to
be true what Abraham Lincoln said, that
"most folks are as happy as they make up
their minds to be."

Just for today, I will try to strengthen my mind.
I will study. I will learn something useful.
I will not be a mental loafer. I will read
something that requires effort, thought and
concentration.

Just for today, I will adjust myself to what is,
and not try to adjust everything to my own
desires. I will take my "luck" as it comes,
and fit myself to it.

Just for today, I will exercise my soul in three
ways: I will do somebody a good turn, and
not get found out. I will do at least two
things I don't want to--just for exercise.
I will not show anyone that my feelings are
hurt; they may be hurt, but today I will not
show it

Just for today, I will be agreeable. I will look
as well as I can, dress becomingly, talk low,
act courteously, criticize not one bit, not
find fault with anything and not try to improve
or regulate anybody except myself.

Just for today, I will have a program. I may not
follow it exactly, but I will have it. I will
save myself from two pests: hurry and indecision.

Just for today, I will have a quiet half hour all
by myself, and relax. During this half hour,
sometime, I will try to get a better perspective
of my life.

Just for today, I will be unafraid. Especially I
will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful,
and to believe that as I give to the world, so
the world will give to me.

-Kenneth L. Holmes

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9th March, 2009. 9:08 am. Hallelujah

Saw Watchmen this weekend with Greyson and some friends. His first R movie in a theater and there was copious sex and violence. One of the sex scenes was scored with Leonard Cohen's Halleluja. And I giggled because it seemed so inappropriate and out of place among the movie's many other excellent musical choices (keep an ear out for Everybody Wants to Rule the World in a perfect context).

But going back and listening to it again and checking out the lyrics...holy shit that is one sad and sexy song.

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28th February, 2009. 12:05 pm. In August and Everything After

you get a little less than you expected, somehow...</i>

I've gone and made myself very depressed. I had an idea. And idea for a gift for myself and my family.

One day you're Daddy's little angel,
The next day you're everything he wanted you to be


Greyson graduates from high school next year. That's the start of my family evolving into its next incarnation and I wanted to commemorate the change with something big, something everyone would remember for the rest of their lives. And I got excited about the prospect. And it made me happy, for a few hours at least. But there's just no feasible way to make it happen. Not with my job where it is and the economy still headed down. And now I'm depressed and disappointed and I've no one to blame but myself. Got my own hopes up.

I've explained it poorly, so I guess this is just word vomit on a screen. Maybe I'll feel better for getting it out.

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14th February, 2009. 12:23 pm.

Chick-fil-a had heart shaped biscuits this morning. It was very cute.

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13th February, 2009. 10:48 pm. VD

Since the kids are all gone this evening, Gigs and I went out for Valentines tonight. Had seafood from a local place we had heard good things about. Was pretty tasty. I ate entirely too much. Now I'm going to take some heavy duty meds and hope to sleep through the night for the first time this week.

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11th February, 2009. 7:53 am.

Don't forget: you're here forever.

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6th February, 2009. 12:38 pm. Writer's Block: Seven

Which of the seven deadly sins—sloth, greed, lust, gluttony, anger, envy, and pride—are you most likely to commit?
Anger. I am a rather angry person. Can't say anger is my favorite of the seven, but it is the one I'm most likely to commit.

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5th February, 2009. 8:44 am. Last night

I took Gigs out for dessert last night after choir practice. It was a surprise. Went to an excellent local Greek restaurant where we always eat too much to have dessert.

Red and I also went to the dedication of a library at a nearby Hospice. His Cub Scout den had collected a crazy amount of books as a service project.

Busy day. Now I have to catch up on Lost.

Read 2 Notes -Make Notes

4th February, 2009. 1:27 pm. Lunch

Meeting Gigs for lunch today (happy birthday to Gigs) and I'm running up behind her. I go through some shade and my left foot hits ice. I have just enough time to think "Shit, that's ice" before gravity teaches me a harsh lesson. I recover quickly, stand and take a bow. Nothing harmed more than pride.

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14th January, 2009. 4:10 pm. No. 6

Number Six has finally left the village for good. Rest in peace Patrick McGoohan.

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5th January, 2009. 8:31 pm. Bad day

I won't say this is the worst day ever, but I'd guess it is in the top 20. 40% pay cut and a pretty good possibility of no job in three months. Yeah. And we were actually getting our finances under control.

I hate job hunting. Nothing else triggers my anxiety and depression quite like it. Most of my behaviors are at least defensible if not totally sane. But the job search makes me irrational.

Hopefully we'll manage. Just need to figure out what career I want to go after. Programming isn't for me.

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1st January, 2009. 10:21 am. Happy

New Year

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