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Showing posts from June, 2004

Defending beliefs

I find it humorous to engage people in discussions of why they believe things to be a certain way. Oftentimes there is no real logic or rationale, just an arbitrary decision to support or not support something. I am guilty of it sometimes too. But the problem stems from the laziness of some people. They are unwilling to put in the time to figure out why they believe things to be a certain way. It is a good intellectual exercise to do the opposite of the slackers and spend a few minutes with yourself. Why are you a Democrat? Why are you a Republican? What values are important to you and why?

Technology News: Science: Cassini-Huygens Spacecraft Set for Saturn Tour

I am old enough to have watched Armstrong and company land on the moon, not that I can remember it. :) I find the idea of space travel to be very exciting. Not to mention the idea of being weightless.When I was 20 I was able to grab the rim on a standard basketball court, but I could never dunk. I figure if you put me on the moon I might be able to do a fair impression of Michael Jordan.

Life is challenging

More random thoughts about my life in general with no particular order or meaning. My father had a younger brother who died in February of 1994, he wasn't quite 50 when he passed away. He was gay, but not the stereotypical flamboyant gay man that you see portrayed on TV, there was no birdcage. I was just short of 18 when I found out that he was gay. I had never bothered to consider that he could be, it never occurred to me that he was anything but my uncle. But my middle sister must have been thinking about it because she asked him. We were in San Francisco on a youth group trip and he had dinner with just the two of us. One moment I had the cool uncle who bought a beer for me at dinner and the next, he was gay. He laughed when she asked and answered that he was. Suddenly I was posed with a dilemma as I had grown up hearing gay jokes in school. I may have even told some. I never heard them around the house, but I knew that it was something that many people frowned upon. I

The Credit Card Prank

I am glad to see that I am not the only one who plays this game. If only I had thought to document it, oh well. When I graduated from College they gave us cards to fill out with our names as they supposedly appeared on our diplomas. My friends and I had a field day filling out our "real" names and then some. Lot of interesting graduates were found that day. Not to mention that some jackass got into it with one of my fellow graduates. Basically he was there to see some family/friend graduate. In his efforts to film the ceremony he blocked our view. We yelled and asked him to move, apparently this irked him enough that he threatened to come kick our rears. Not only that, but he said that he was going to put the camera away and that he would return to inflict said punishment. The funny part is that he pointed at us and said "I'll remember you." I am sure that 1000 of us dressed all dressed in black caps and gowns looked very different from each other.

Dennis Prager: SO, WE'RE HATED

Again, I agree with Mr. Prager. One more point. When you look at the roster of the America-haters and realize that none of them hates France or Sweden, this assessment of America-hatred is rendered even more obvious. America, largely alone, calls these groups and regimes what they are — evil. America, largely alone, wages war against them. America, largely alone (with Israel), prevents them from assuming far more power. How very true.

Thoughts about war

Just some basic thoughts to throw out. For anyone who has been reading the board for any length of time now it should be evident that I support the war in Iraq. I think that we did the right thing and I am happy that we did it. I am not going to run off and provide all of the reasons that I think we did the right thing. I'll say that I am disappointed in how some things have been handled and that I think that we have fumbled the ball several times. And I also want to add that I do not buy the argument that by going in we created an environment in which millions of people are going to crawl out of bed and become terrorists. I think that it will create new terrorists and that this will be a good recruitment tool for AQ and friends. But I think that many of those people are predisposed to this behavior and not likely to have been friendly towards us to begin with. There are lots of ways to disagree with people/politics and most ways do not involve violence. I don't th

Wow

What a busy time in my life. Today my father was released from the hospital. He went in on April 28, so just short of 2 months later the big man has been paroled from the joint. It was a combination of pneumonia, heart trouble and a few other odds and ends and he beat the odds and came through. I am excited by I feel spent mentally and emotionally. The problem is that there is no time to sit back and mull over these things. It won't pay the bills and it won't keep work from piling on my desk. On days like this I think that I should clone myself 2 or 3 times so that I can always be working on the things that need to be done. And since it will be my clone I won't have to worry about being in three places at once, I will be. and better yet, sorry, not sure what the better yet would be.

Beheading

It is a sad day and I feel badly for the family and friends of this poor man in South Korea. I feel badly for the family of Paul Johnson too. Slaughtered, they were slaughtered like animals. It is ugly and it is only going to get uglier. Violence will be needed to solve this, they need a boot to the throat and an understanding that they cannot achieve their goals in this manner. Once they capitulate there may be room for further negotiation and hopefully we can take a stance that allows for education and more progressive thought. A lot of contradictions in that paragraph, but that is life.

A few thoughts

So it is another Saturday night and I am feeling kind of funky, not particularly unhappy or melancholy, but not ecstatic either. Not that there is anything wrong with that, so do I sound like Jerry Seinfeld. In a short few weeks my second child will join my family in the "outside world" and I'll have one more person under my care. Some people are really concerned about the world, they live in fear of what could happen, what might happen not what will happen. And I am just so thankful that I am not caught in that trap. I cannot blame people for feeling a certain way, but I cannot accept such a negative view of the world. In part because I had the good fortune to be born in the US and to have done something with my life. When I look at history I cannot help but be optimistic, there is less brutality and senseless death in so many ways. We do not live in the Dark Ages, but it does feel like it sometimes. OTOH, we see medical advances enable our friends and family to

But It's True - Torah.org

But It's True - Torah.org : "'I'm not speaking Lashon Hara--its true!!' " So much to consider when we discuss being honest and forthright with people. At what point does honesty become brutal and at what cost does that honest come. Sometimes our words are like the stones that drop into a still pond causing ripples whose consequences we cannot predict.

If I am not for myself, who is for me?When I am for myself, what am I?If not now, when?

: "If I am not for myself, who is for me? When I am for myself, what am I? If not now, when? �Hillel" Worth the whole commentary: Commentary [1:14] Today Hillel’s famous three questions are usually taken rhetorically, meaning: Look out for yourself, stick up for yourself, or no one else will; but if you are only concerned for your own selfish interests, you are unworthy; and now is the time to act. Rabbinic commentators give a similar but more pious interpretation: only I can carry out my responsibilities to do good, and get merits by which God will judge me when I die. Maimonides adds psychological insight: a person acquires habits of doing right or wrong—virtues and vices—while young; youths should do good deeds now, and not wait until adulthood. Hillel put these sayings in the form of questions, I believe, because he intended them to be asked and answered when we face important decisions. If I am not for myself, who is for me? not only implies that it is

"Choose yourself a mentor;Acquire yourself a friend;

acts of kindness, Pirkei Avot : "Choose yourself a mentor; Acquire yourself a friend; And make it your habit to judge every person favorably. �Yehoshua ben Perachia" The first two lines are sensible and easy to do, or one would hope. One can never have too many friends. It is always good to have people you can trust, who you can share your hopes/dreams/fears with. Community is important, we are communal creatures. A mentor is a good idea as well. Very few of us try activities in which no one else has ever engaged in. So it makes sense to try and find a trustworthy person who can share their experiences with you and hopefully assist you in avoiding some of the pitfalls that can hit you. The final component is really tough. It is just hard not to judge people. We are consistently forced to evaluate people and it is not easy to just ignore your first impressions.

Pirkei Avos - Torah.org

Pirkei Avos - Torah.org : "Only we can fulfill that most basic and fundamental commandment of all: Know thyself. " And that is the real challenge that we face through life, trying to understand who we are and what we stand for. This is something that evolves through time as we grow and evolve. At least you hope that you do not stagnate and that you do continue to grow. We can find guides and recommendations on how we should live, but we cannot let others live our lives. They may share in it, but they can never truly feel our feelings or understand our thoughts. In some fashion we are always alone. But this is not a bad thing.

Life

Spent a few minutes considering what the last year of my life has been like and came up with the following list. Since May of last year I have had/experienced the following: The company I was working for split into two new companies.I was sent to work for the prince of darkness and his evil consort for 8 months after which they let me go. No surprise, it was expected. For that matter it was a race to see if I could find omething better before they let me go.My grandmother died and my grandfather moved into my parents home. My wife got pregnant with our second child. My other grandmother had a series of heart issues including a major heart attack and managed to survive, but the docs are questioning how long.My sister had her third child and my parents flew out to meet the newest grandchild. While they were out there my father had a heart attack and some other major health issues. We were told that there was a very strong chance that he wouldn't make it, but he proved them wrong a

Cleveland

What can I say about that place except it is fortunate that they have a competent fire department. :) Ok, I can tell you that it is superior to at least three other places, Buffalo, Detroit and Blythe, which could be called Blight. They haven't any sense of decorum and are not in touch with reality. Most of the people I meet from cleveland are short and have inferiority complexes. Not sure why, they must have some normal people there. On the other hand they probably have all fled the city. Funny, I keep receiving these silly comments from angry clevelangelenos about their fair city. So, I'll agree on the scale of evaluation it is fair. Not great, not good, not poor, but fair.

Reagan

Reagan Domestically I think that there were a lot of questionable policies, but from a foreign policy perspective he was more formidable than many realized.