Sunday, December 27, 2009

So Christmas is over. I spent some time with my family. Helped my step-dad get his Wii working and set up Dad's new computer, which took much more effort than it should have. Anyway I still have nothing to say. Watching football today as its the final game of my fantasy league and I'm fighting for first place this year. Might go play some Xbox too. Its odd watching TV on my small old TV and playing video games on my big plasma TV at the same time. Who knows I might even get around to cleaning up my living room and rearranging things so I can hook my computer up to my plasma TV too. The idea when I built this computer a year ago was to get a big new TV and hook up my computer to it as sort of a home theater system. I will need to get better speakers for it at some point. And a Blu-Ray drive in it now that I have a HDTV. Anyway I hope everyone had a happy holiday season.

As much as I'm not a Christian and don't celebrate Christmas, it is the one time a year that I get to hang out with my family usually so I always like the holidays. Except of course how crazy simple shopping gets around this time of the year.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Well it's Christmas. Not that I really care. Anyway I just wanted to say I finally got that plasma TV working. Been playing Xbox on it and watched a DVD earlier. But I can't get my cable hooked up to it since I don't have a cable box. Oh well that's life. Guess I'll have to call the cable company and start paying for digital cable again if I want to watch it on my new TV. Anyway I'm not writing much tonight. Got to get some sleep so I can go spend the weekend with my family and stuff. Just wanted to say something and update my readers about my TV. I will have to remember to go back and comment on my earlier post about it now that it's working.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Take two of these and call me in the morning.

Ok, so Saturday I braved the crazy madness that is trying to shop on the last weekend before Christmas. I survived to tell the tale, which is actually really boring so let's skip it. What is important about this weekend was that on Saturday night I had a fever of 103°F. It wasn't very pleasant. At one point I felt like I might have vomited at any moment and ended up curled up on the cold tiles of my bathroom floor taking a short nap. Oddly enough I think that was one of the best things for me. The cold floor sucked some of the extra body heat out of me and brought my fever down I bit I'm guessing.

Anyway I drank plenty of water and rested as much as I could and by the time I woke up late Sunday morning I felt much better. I have no idea what my temperature was because my digital thermometer broke at some point during the night, but I felt like I was back to my normal temp.

It's strange. I normally don't get the flu, but I got it last year at one point, and by that I mean it was some point last winter because I think it might have actually been this January. And it certainly seemed like the flu this weekend, but not quite so bad as last year. And both times I've recovered in about a day. Yet I hear of these people that are sick for days. Now I'm not in that great of condition healthwise. I'm overweight and under exercised. I have a terrible diet most of the time and never drink enough water it seems like. And yet I seem to recover from being sick way faster than people in better shape than me.

Anyway I didn't really have a point to any of this. Just wanted to say something.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The nonexisting post

What does it mean to not exist? Philosophers have debated for centuries the nature of existence, but have any ever thought about nonexistence? I'm sure some have but I'm not a philosopher student so I know none off the top of my head.

Some people want to believe that to die is to slip into nonexistence. But they do still exist don't they? The body still exists in some form or another until nature finishes recycling it. Memories and records of their life would still exist for a while too. Is that enough to still be in existences? How exclusive is this nonexistence? What does it take to get passed the bouncer at the door?

Because if all it takes is a single thought in a single mind to say that something exists, then for something to not exist every mind in the universe would have to not think about it for all eternity.

And if existence means physically being there, then my thoughts don't exist. And if my thoughts don't exist do I? Does the disruption of physical matter by nonphysical sources, such as thought, count as physically existing? Prime example of what I mean: Sound is just the disruption of air molecules. Is that disruption then a physical existence? Because if it is not than spoken language doesn't exist right along with my thoughts.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Nanwuht Giedd

Abandoned church yard, frost encrusted
Golden eye starchild lost

Shadow serpent, nightshade beast
Hellborne spirit of spite and rage

Citadels fallen in hunchback grief
Stone faced angels weeping over lost brethren

Soul taker, spirit thief, nightborne
Arcane marks scar your soul

Eldritch symbols of power tattooed onto your body
Twisted pain seared into your mind

To and fro the cosmic winds drift
And eternal fright do they bring

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

I have no idea what any of that really means or how it relates to one another, if at all. It's just what came to me and I felt like sharing. If it makes any sense to you please comment so that the rest of us might understand it better.

Monday, December 14, 2009

According to one source there is roughly "a quarter of a million distinct English words." I don't feel like hunting down the answer to the question "How old is Modern English?" as a simple Google search didn't immediately find me the answer and I'm tired. Maybe another day I'll hunt down that answer and put it in a comment to this post so we will know for sure. In the mean time lets say the answer is 400 years. I'm just picking a number at random here for the sake of my argument, which is this:

Just about every sensible combination of English words has already been uttered or written down somewhere at sometime. So everything is plagiarism. It has all been said before by someone else. Maybe not as a unified whole, but all the little bits, all the atoms of thought.

Incidently 400 years is 146,100 days, so if Modern English were that old thats about 2 words a day. I wonder how big our language will get over the next century?

Friday, December 11, 2009

In the beginning...

From Grandmother Earth, from which all things bloom and all things one day return, was born Father Sky and Mother Night. And Mother Night gave birth to Sister Moon, and Father Sky sired Brother Sun. And so our world was born.

We set ourselves the equal our siblings, we the StarChildren, we the HeavensBorne. Upon our grandmother we all walk, upon her we rest, but among our siblings we nightly soar.

--==--==--==--==--==--==--

Just something I wrote last night while I was reading a book before bed. Not sure yet if I will use this creation myth in some story or what. Anyway I just thought I'd share it for now.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tips for driving in Iowa winters.

Ok so we have our first good snow storm of winter and of course people are driving like idiots. Here are some tips for driving in Iowa during winter.

  • Do not fear the ditch. Drive carefully and shouldn't end up in the ditch anyway, but if you fear it you are going to panic when you hit an ice patch and lose control for a moment, and when you panic you might do something stupid that ends up putting you in the ditch or worse. Drive with confidence and don't fear the ditch and you shouldn't panic and it will help you avoid the ditch.
  • Drive the right speed. The speed signs no longer really apply in winter as you will likely never get going that fast anyway. Don't drive to fast, but also don't drive to slow. If you feel you can only drive 20mph stay off the interstates because that is still to slow usually.
  • Be courteous to your fellow drivers. This really should apply all year but it applies doubly so during winter. If you piss off the other drivers on the road they are more likely to do something stupid which could adversely effect you. Prime example, on the way home last night there was someone that what to go faster than the car I was riding in was driving. When they tried to pass they spun out and ended up sideways across the road with more traffic approaching them. They had never managed to even get beside us, but what if they had? For the record we were probably going a little to fast for the road conditions as it was last night and still we had idiots like that guy trying to pass us.
  • There are still two lanes. Even if you can't see the lane markings anymore, they do still exist and you need to stay in your lane. Don't drive down the middle of the road.
  • Mind the gap. Leave a larger gap between you and the car in front of you, and behind you if you can manage that, though sometimes you have an idiot following you who still thinks it's summer and he can stop on a dime. If you can let these idiots pass you so they aren't behind you anymore.
  • Slow down well before you have to actually stop. You can't brake and stop in short distances anymore without sliding into the intersection. You have to slow down ahead of time.
  • Carry supplies. At the very least you need a blanket in your car in case you have to spend anytime in the ditch before you can catch a ride. Extra change of clothes, some granola bars and water are some other nice things to have just in case. I'm sure there is a list out there for just what all you should have in your car in case of emergency, but I feel the most important is a good warm blanket. Also note that unless you can access your trunk through your back seat, you need your supplies in the back seat where you can get to them. In an accident you might not be able to get into your trunk.

I had a few more thought up while I was driving to work yesterday but I can't remember them now. All that said, I did drive carefully on the way to work and still managed to ditch my car. It was on a cloverleaf exchange between two interstates and my car just started to slide off the road. I made the decision to not try to correct it because there was traffic right behind me and I didn't want to end up sideways in front of them. Less than a minute after I went off the road a girl drove her car off the road right behind my car. It was just that slick there. I got a ride to work in the back seat of a sheriff's car, so I can't no longer claim I've never been in the back of a cop car. There was a state patrol car that drove her where ever it was she had been heading. Luckily no one was hurt.

Anyway, I just wanted to put that out there for people to think about. I'm sure there are better more thorough lists out there on the Internet. Everyone drive safe out there.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I'm not dead yet!

So it's been a week or so since the last time I posted anything. I'm still alive. I just have nothing to say. My Netflix account reactivated and I've been watching movies some. I got my Xbox mostly working so I've been playing some video games. Still having some trouble with the hard drive on my Xbox and the one wireless controller doesn't always want to sync for some reason. I haven't really looked into what's going on yet, but I'm sure I will get it all figured out sooner or later.

Also got my Cyber Monday purchase delivered today. It's a extra battery/case for my iPhone that's supposed to double the usage time on my iPhone. Now I can listen to music and play games all night at work and not have to worry about the battery being dead on the drive home and stuff like that.

Anyway the reason why I haven't been posting has nothing to do with any of that. I was just letting you know general stuff about my life really. The real reason I haven't posted anything was because I was only getting half thoughts. For instance my last post about uncertainty. I had started out with about half thought out post of what I was going to write and as I wrote it up the other half just floated away leaving with nothing to really say.

Every day since I've had some idea for a post, maybe a story excerpt again, maybe a few lines of a poem, maybe some crazy theory about time and reality, but none of the ideas ever fully formed into anything. They were all half thoughts. And before I could try to finish the thought I lost interest or got distracted by something else, or just fell asleep. Basically I just haven't been able to think of anything worth saying. Still haven't. But I thought I'd post smoothing anyway to try to at least keep up the habit of posting on here. Anyway here's to hoping I have something to say tomorrow. Until then, laters.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Uncertainty

According to Wikipedia:

In quantum mechanics, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle states that certain
pairs of physical properties, like position and momentum, cannot both be known
to arbitrary precision. That is, the more precisely one property is known, the
less precisely the other can be known.

I had some seemingly wise insight into good vs evil to go along with the uncertainty principle but my brain is not working for me very well tonight so you will just have to wait. It had something to do with not being able to know with any certainty whether the consequences of an action, be they judge good or evil, will turn out in the same direction has the original action. By that I mean just because an action is judge to be a good action now doesn't mean that the eventual outcome of that action will have good results.

Any way this is all you get for tonight. Maybe some other day I can come back and fill this in a bit more.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Just an idea

Ok, so I just got this idea. I by no means think I'm the first to come up with this idea but I shall share it none the less. Every house with indoor plumbing has a vent pipe that allows sewer gases to escape instead of stinking up the house. Sewer gases primarily consists of methane gas, which is apparently a worse greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, which, along with water, is what you get by burning methane. Methane gas is also the primary component of natural gas, which is used in many houses already to burn in furnaces and water heaters and stoves. It's also used in some power plants to produce electricity.

So every house in the industrialized world already has a pipe that has methane coming out of it, why not harvest it? Why not build a little device that carefully controls the burning of those escaping sewer gases to produce at least a little electricity that the house uses and thus reduce every one's power bill by some. And in the process we also let less methane into the atmosphere to do its greenhouse effect.

It's just an idea. Not sure if it would work as simply as I'm making it sound there, but that's for the engineers to figure out. There is also the issue of the other gases in sewer gas and what would happen to them in this whole process. I also have no idea just how much methane comes out of those vent pipes and if there is enough to make any significant power offset to the cost of running the device that burns it to convert it to electric power. But as I said, that's an issue for the engineers.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Excerpt of horror 2

Carter stood before the largest most massive set of double doors that he had ever seen and wondered yet again if this wasn't all just some horrible dream. But his legs were too sore and he was too unsteady on them after that never ending descent of stairs. Here at the foot of those colossal stairs was a truly gigantic cavern whose only feature Carter could see was these odd doors.

They had to be over a hundred feet tall and at least sixty feet wide. The two doors fit so closely together that Carter couldn't even fit a hair into the crack between the doors. And the stone they were made out of was like nothing he had seen or heard about. Some sort of blue and white stone with bits of crystalline green speckled throughout and all it strangely luminescent. For that matter Carter couldn't determine where any of the light was coming from but he had not trouble seeing. It was just another strange dream like quality that seem to be his reality now.

Covering the entire surface of the doors was strange carved symbols that were like nothing he had ever seen. Somehow he knew they were strange foreign languages long since forgotten and completely undiscovered by archaeologists. He saw on the doors what looked like literally hundreds of different languages, based on the variety of their symbols. But no where could Carter see any mechanism to open these massive doors leaving him with an overwhelming sense of awe and horrific dread at the beings that had the strength to move these massive stone doors.

--------------------------------

I was going to write more but I just can't seem to find the words anymore tonight. I have no idea if this is the same story as the other excerpt of horror I wrote. Anyway I hope enjoy it. Feel free to leave any ideas or comments about what I've wrote.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The further adventures of Girl Lost and her sidekick Charlie

"Are we there yet G.L.?"

"Of course not! It's just over the horizon."

"That's what you said three horizons ago!" Affecting his best whiny puppy voice, Charlie says, "I'm tired and I'm hungry and my tail's froze."

"Oh please! You don't even have a tail Charlie. Besides," she exclaims exasperatedly, "we haven't even made it over the first horizon yet."

"I know! I just channel Lucky when I feel like whining about something. Or was it the fat one? It's been too long since I've seen that movie I guess. You know who always cheers me up? Gus Gus! Who isn't cheered up but a stupid fat little mouse I ask you?"

"Evil step-sisters," she answers quickly.

--------

Anyway I have no idea where that all came from but I felt I needed to share it. I think I might try to make the adventures of Girl Lost and her sidekick Charlie into a comic strip. It will suck at first because I can only draw stick figures at the moment really, but maybe over time I'll get better.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Scarecrow

With black eyes and dead heart it stares
Caricature of life
False hopes of life reborn, of death conquered

Mask of sorrow on soulless husk
Propped up for eternity
Beast of burden most unfair

Languid are its final days
Dust to dust
We remember thee

NAO 11-25-2009

Just another one of my word flows. That's what I call them. I start with just some random words and see what flows out of them. Anyway I hope you enjoy.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Projects renewed, projects completed, and projects abandoned

Well I bought a new Xbox 360 from eBay today since my other has become unrepairable. It happens sometimes with electronics. And the truth is it might still be fixable but when half the board is shorted out mostly by a single bad part and you have hundreds of parts to remove one by one to try to figure out which is the bad one, and then replacing all those you removed... Well yeah it's just easier at this point to get a new one.

And my other project, the 42 inch plasma TV I found a few weeks ago, well it has a short somewhere too. However it has far fewer parts to sift through to find the bad one. I'm just to lazy to do it this weekend as I was working overtime instead. Over time that is paying for the new Xbox I just bought.

And for the final tech project I've been working on, I finally got Windows installed back onto my new hard drive. I bought the drive months ago and had been trying to dual boot Windows and Linux on it but kept running into problems and just went back to my old drive with its uncorrupted Windows install. Anyway I finally got around to trying again only this time I'm not bothering with trying to install Linux.

Anyway that's the update on what I've been up to this weekend.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Reciprocation of the soul

I can hear the chains jangling
Coming to drag me away
Where no earthly ships roam

Howl, howl, O jackals of time
Spirit me away from this pain
Awaken to a new dream

Silver keys and serpentine dreams
Washed onto distant shores by the tides of fate
The sleeper, the dreamer, the master of reality

Behind closed eye lids new worlds await
Every blink an eternity of the multiverse
Every eternity just a heartbeat

NAO 11/22/2009

Ok just another poem for today. But at least I like this one better. It twisted on me a little bit while I was writing it but I think it came out all right. What do you think?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Necromancer

With orb of crystal
And unclouded mind
Future seen, disaster averted

Foggy nights of walking
Sinister and ghostly your haunts
By your side I remain

Circle around and around
Your mystic texts reveal
Arcane teachings best forgotten

Foul creatures of shadow
Clawing their way through the divide
The Abyss open in your mind

Unleash on the world its reaping
Purge the unworthy
Cleanse weak and reward the mighty

NAO 11/21/2009

Yeah this one didn't come together right at all. Of course it didn't help that the apparent story behind it changed at least three times while I was writing it. Anyway this is all you get for today, even if it is horrible and makes no sense. This is what I get for thinking about Cthulhu mythos while half asleep I guess. Anyway tomorrow I'll try to post something real for once.

Friday, November 20, 2009

To post, or not to post...

That is the question. Whether it is nobler to post garbage when I have nothing to say, or just keep my mouth shut and wait until I can think of something worth saying. Not something I have the answer to tonight, but I got nothing to say either, so I'm just going to leave it at this for tonight and go read some more Alice's Adventures in Wonderland before bed. It always seem to give me such crazy dreams even if I can't remember them when I wake up. Anyway have a fun everyone and until next time.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Emo Whiny Bitching

Apathetically I sit and wonder, am I so apathetic because I have lost my heart, or did I lose my heart because I was so apathetic?

I once gave all my heart to someone I wished to spend the rest of my life with. They have since given it back, more or less whole, but yet I sit here feeling nothing. I cultivated apathy in my person to survive, or so I said, yet was it maybe always there and that why my heart was not good enough?

Further more does it matter? It was not meant to be so does any amount of reminiscing or whining on my part provide me with any constructive base to work from? Is my emotional foundation that much more unstable for this, or shall it be the cement that steadies my fractured history and provides me with stable footing to learn from my mistakes and move on and become a better person?

Such a difference a few years makes. Well enough with my whiny emo bitching. This was brought on by a conversation I was having with someone and I thought aspects of it would be enlightening to someone else potentially. If you can make sense of it good for you.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I really suck at this. I can never seem to think of anything to say on here anymore. And honestly I'm a bit disappointed that when I do manage to think of something to write I never get any feedback from anybody. I know I don't have many readers right now, but any feedback would help me write more really.

Any way it's late and I have nothing to say. Hopefully tomorrow I will have some idea about what to write about. And then maybe people will have something to say.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Adventures of Girl Lost and her sidekick Charlie

The Adventures of Girl Lost and her sidekick Charlie

"The question is not where we are, but where shall we go from here?"

"But how do we know where to go from here if we don't know where here is?"

"Certainly we know where here is! It's right here after all. Why it's right here by this tree. And about that far from those hills over there. Such a silly thing to say we don't know where here is. There," she said pointing to the horizon in a random direction. "There is there we don't know where there is. Here, we can say quite certainly is right here. Now follow me as we find where there is," she tells me as she sets off in another completely random direction.


----------------------------------------------------------------------
Just a little something I wrote last night. This is what I get for reading Alice's Adventures in Wonderland at 3am.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Send forth thy Ravens, O Lord!
The Serpent slithers out of the sea,
We be not afraid of Death,
For we wear its mark upon our breasts
As we ride forth into battle for you, O Lord.

O Lord, your Ravens soar into battle,
Our cruel talons tear the flesh of your enemies.
Command us, O Lord, and we shall slay them all.
Let all thy enemies fear the coming of thy Ravens!
O Lord, we shall not fail thee in our solemn mission.

NAO 11/10/2009

Ok, so unlike most of my random poetry this one has a story. More specifically it's for a story I'm going to try to write. The Ravens are a squad of skilled soldiers fighting for their king, and this is part of their song. A song they would sing before a battle to get themselves psych themselves up and hopefully instill some fear into their enemies.

The story will probably take place in a high fantasy type setting which means you can expect magic and dragons and epic battles between good and evil and all that sort of stuff. Of course that is if I ever get my act together and write something.

Life all around us

What is life? What makes me alive and the chair I'm sitting on not alive?

Well first off I have no idea how biologists define life and I don't care to look it up but I know by their definition I would be considered alive. But what am I? I'm a collection of trillions of tiny living cells. Let us think about that for a moment. I am a living being made up of trillions of tiny living things, each autonomous yet dependant on its neighbors. I survive the death of any individual cell yet they all die if I die. How strange is that?

I quick Google search tells me the live span of most cells in a human body is a few days to weeks, while a few last months and even up to years, and according to this site some of my bone cells might still be the ones I was born with, as they can live up to 30 years. Let us stop and think about that. Just about ever cell in my body has died and been replaced already, some countless times already. No wonder I can feel like a totally different person from day to day!

Anyway that was not the point of this post. The point is every living thing we see around us, other people, pets, plants, etc, are all themselves made of smaller living things. So why can't it go the other way? I say Earth is alive! Every person, animal and plant is one of its living cells. This is not a new idea in and of itself. I have heard for awhile now about the Gaia Theory. Now I haven't really researched into this theory all that much, but I do know that its overall statement is that the planet Earth is a living thing.

I don't really have more to say about it right now. Just wanted to get the idea out there.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Paradise Ahoy

River of tears
Lake of sorrow
Mountains of desperation and pain

The landscape of my soul
Stretches out for all to see
Under glorious light

Dark clouds on the horizon
Cause me no fear
Lightning hath already struck me down

Flowers of joy
On hills of love
Illusions of hope long since dead

Climbing up the sheer cliffs
Fingers bleeding
I struggle to the top of my own mind

Lost in a sea of doubt
Hurricanes of damnation
Hold the course, lands in sight.

NAO 11/09/2009

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Nightmare

Blood spatters on the wall
Feathers gliding on the breeze
Angel wings are not bullet proof

Mirror of the universe
Darkly twisted and stained red
Hands trembling, knees quaking

Running down the hallways
Labyrinth in sterile light
Blank faces of grief

Soul light fading in your eyes
Holding you tight
Banshee screams in the night

NAO 11/08/2009

A few of these lines have been running through my head for days and I finally decided to write them down.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Disposable Society

Ok, I've been failing on this writing every day thing. I'm to easily distracted and have several different projects that I'm trying to work on. I started collecting some pictures for making another image for one of my tarot cards, this time The Phoenix.

However my main project of late is what I am going to talk about tonight. About a week ago I was walking out of my apartment on my way to hang out with some friends and I saw a large widescreen flat panel TV sitting by the dumpster. Now one thing I know that most people fail to realize when they have problems with electronics is that most electronics have fuses inside them that blow out before anything major inside gets damaged. I figured one of these fuses was likely the cause of whatever was wrong with this TV and hauled it into my apartment for later investigation, and then went off to hang out with my friends as planned.

I'm now going to give out some technical information on the TV and the problem that I have found so far, for anyone that might find this blog in a search for a similar problem and how to fix it. For those not interested in the technical details skip to the next paragraph for the actual point of this blog post. The TV in question turned out to be a 42" Maxent plasma HDTV, model MX-42HPM20, retail price unknown, and the problem as I could see it was that the power light would come on but the screen was blank. Some quick Internet searches lead me to believe the Y Sus board (or Y Sustain), part number EBR31872801 in this TV, about $150 part on eBay, was bad. Removing the board from the TV and taking some quick measurements I found that indeed one of the fuses, T4AH250VP ceramic time delay 4 amp fuse, had indeed blown out and would need replaced, about a $0.50-$1 part. Further more there was a transformer that appeared to be shorted but on removal from the circuit it measured ok, meaning something else in the circuit was causing the short. Looking around we found there was a small blue ceramic disc capacitor, 102K 1KV, which is apparently a 1000pF (picofarads for non-electrically inclined folk which is a measure of capacitance, a property of electricity, pico- meaning 1*10^-12 or 0.000000000001), and 1KV in this case means 1 kilovolt (volt being a measurement of electric charge, kilo- meaning 1*10^3 or 1,000; for reference house wiring in USA is 120 volts, a car battery is 12 volts). Anyway I got off topic a bit there. The point is this tiny capacitor was blown out and causing a short. This part has a cost of about $0.20-$0.40. At the point of writing this I have ordered a replacement fuse and capacitor, but have not yet been able to test if replacing these two cheap parts will fix this big expensive TV. I'll leave a comment when I know if it did or did not fix it, which should be within the next week.

Ok, for those that read that last paragraph I'm sorry for the monstrosity of which it became, and for those who skipped it welcome back. Now on with the point. We live in a disposable society. When something breaks we don't try to fix it, we just throw it away and buy something new to replace it. This is great for the economy I'm sure, and makes the companies that make this stuff tons of money. But it also means they stopped creating a quality product. Why create a product that will last 20 years when you can make one that will only last a few months past the warranty you put on it and then make the people come back and buy a replacement from you? That seems to be the way companies think anymore.

I work in a electronics factory. The end customer on most of our products is the government and they demand high quality from us, and I'd like to think we provide a high quality product. We do pretty much give a lifetime warranty on some of our products, or at least 100+ year warranty. Anyway when ever me or one of my coworkers take apart consumer electronics we can't help but notice the poor quality of them. I won't bore you with all the details but a lot of the consumer stuff we see is poorly worked and would never pass audit at our factory or be sold to our costumers.

I'm a bit of a pack rat and don't throw away everything that I often times should, but a lot of the time I realize that things can be fixed for cheap if you are really inclined to do so. In the case of this TV I have no idea how much the original owner paid for it, several hundreds I'm sure, but it could have been less than a $1 to fix it. And even if the two parts I talked about above don't fix it, the $150 for a replacement board is still cheaper than a equivalent new TV. I mean for me a 42" plasma TV for $150 sounds like an awesome deal. A 42" plasma TV for $0.80 sounds unbelievable but here's to hoping that's all it's going to take to fix it up and get me a working new TV. Just in time for my fixed Xbox 360 to be up and running, but that's another story.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Guy Fawkes Night

"Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot."

More to come after work tonight I hope. As is I better get going or I'm going to be late.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I sit and wonder sometimes what it is that I am trying to actually say. What is it that I actually believe? I mean so often I make arguments about things I don't personally believe in just for the sake of furthering a debate on a topic, both here on my blog and other people's, and in discussion at work with my coworkers or at home with my friends and family.

I seem to drift through life without any set believes, always changing how I think about the world around me and my own place in it. I think it's good to not tie yourself down to one set of believes and never change them as you grow and understand the world around you differently. But at the same time I don't think it's good to constantly change what you believe either. There must be reason to change.

I know my outlook towards politics has changed greatly over just the last few years. And personally I'm pretty fed up with politics in this country. No politician seems to be able to do any of the things they promise in their campaigns and all seem to get corrupted to some level. There is no such thing as a corruption free government I don't think. But our government is far more corrupt now than it was 200 years ago I think.

It used to be that people went into politics because they wanted to make a difference, to make changes for the betterment of the country and its people. Now people seem to get into politics to get rich and famous and to wield power over their fellow people. The role of government should be to serve its people, not for the people to serve their government.

To that end I would like to remind everybody about the movie V for Vendetta and Guy Fawkes Day. I know we don't celebrate Guy Fawkes day here but I like to remember it all the same. I by no means am suggestion we blow anything up, or any acts of violence or civil disobedience, just know what's worth fighting for. I'll leave you today with a quote from the movie, "People should not fear the government. The government should be afraid of their people."

Monday, November 2, 2009

Tarot card project revisited

So today I had some time to talk with a friend and come up with a list of Major Arcana for my custom Tarot deck. The list, in no particular order, goes as follows: The Jester, The Hermit, The High Priest, The Emperor, The Sun, The Moon, The Dragon, The Phoenix, The Storm, The Trickster, The Hunter, The Raven, and The Gladiator.



Now that is 13 cards, but I am thinking I might remove The Hermit and the The High Priest and replace them The Druid and then I would need one more card to fill out the set. On my DeviantArt I submitted an image I pieced together quick out of some stock images I found for the card The Storm. It is a rather plain card at the moment with dry, cracked ground with just a bit of grass and storm clouds in the sky with a tornado and lightning bolt.



It was my first attempt at doing a photo-manipulation and as such it doesn't look that good, but I'm hoping in time I will figure it out better and be able to make it look nicer. I also need to bring some other little minor objects and themes to it so when using the card for fortune telling there is more imagery to go off from.



What I need now though is to figure out what I want the imagery on the card to really be saying. The lightning and tornado seem to be a destructive force, but the rain on the dry, cracked ground would be pointing to much needed nourishment, and the little bits of grass clinging to the ground would seem to indicate hanging on and surviving a tough situation. At least that's what I'm getting from it so far. I just decided to upload the pic as it is at the moment so you can see what I'm talking about.


Any suggestions as to what more I could add to the picture? And please comment and tell me what this image says to you.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween time

This is my favorite time of year. It's fall and the leaves look pretty. There is a chill in the air announcing the coming of winter, which I personally prefer to summer as I'm fat and fat people warm up better than they cool down, or at least I do. Plus, best of all is Halloween, a vastly over commercialized holiday that has long since been stripped of all it's Christian meaning, which fits me just fine, as the Christian only celebrated something this time of year to steal the pagan harvest festivals and try to claim them for Christianity.

According to Wikipedia there seems to still be some scholarly debate on the matter, but my basic understanding goes something like this. The Celtic peoples of western Europe didn't really bother to follow the four seasons with their calendar. They split the year into a dark half, winter, and a light half, summer. This is like how a day is split between the dark night and light day. And Celts, and many other ancient cultures I think, started their "days" on the dark half. So sunset marks the beginning of a new day that lasts until the next sunset. This makes vastly more sense to me than our own current method of having the day start at midnight.

Though personally, unless I'm referring specifically to calendrical dates, my day ends when ever I happen to get some sleep, unless it is just a short nap for some reason, and the new day starts when ever I wake up and start my activities for the next day. Some of my days have been known to stretch out over 30-40 hours. When I use words like "tomorrow" or "yesterday" this is usually what I mean.

Anyway, back to the matter I was talking about. So the Celts also started their year on the dark half, which starts at roughly November 1, as their calendar was lunar and it actually started at the full moon roughly at the midpoint between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice. Our solar calendar doesn't translate that very well so Halloween is always October 31 for us. So the sun sets on October and the festival of Samhain starts. Samhain translates to "summer's end."

Samhain was a harvest festival to celebrate that bounties of the fields they just finished harvesting. A festival to remember the dead was often held on this same day, as pagans believed this time marked a point where the border between this world and the otherworld was thinnest. As this is the point in the year when the summer grass stops growing to be able to feed the livestock, and the winter cold starts to freeze so meat will keep longer, they would slaughter some of their livestock at this time. The bones from these slaughter animals would be thrown into the big bonfires, or bonefires, of the festival, and I think this is what caused some later Christians to think they were sacrificing these animals to their pagan gods, which of course Christians always seem to think is Satan.

So how did Samhain become Halloween you might ask? Well the Christians decided to put their holiday of All Saint's Day on November 1. All Saint's Day is also called All Hallow's Day, and thus the night before is All Hallow's Eve. At some point along the way All Hallow's Eve got shortened to Halloween. So thus Halloween is the only holiday I know of that people celebrate the day before the actual holiday they are supposed to be celebrating and then forget to celebrate the actual holiday.

I generally consider myself to be pagan and I have a great respect for the ancient Celtic people and their believes. So as such Halloween is the only holiday I ever really care to celebrate. I still call it Halloween instead of Samhain because it's what I've grown up knowing the day as. I would have liked to have a bonfire, minus the bones since I have no livestock I need to slaughter for the winter, again this year like I had with a friend last year, with no accidents leading to the breaking of his puppy's leg this time and the ending of the night early to take care of the little guy, but the weather does not seem to want to cooperate with us this year. We'll find alternative methods to celebrate in our own way.

Note: Halloween is not a time to dress up and run around acting like an idiot to me. That's what the rest of the year is for after all.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The religion about Jesus

Excerpt from the Conclusion of chapter seven "Who Invented Christianity?" from the book Jesus, Interrupted, written by Bart D. Ehrman:

"What we might think of as traditional Christianity did not simply drop from the sky, full grown and fully developed, soon after the ministry of Jesus. Nor did it emerge directly and simply from his teachings. In many ways, what became Christianity represents a series of rather important departures from the teachings of Jesus. Christianity, as has long been recognized by critical historians, is the religion about Jesus, not the religion of Jesus."

I read that paragraph last night and it seemed to make so much sense to me about why I have such a problem with Christianity. Firstly let me say I did not grow up in a religious household. In fact I was the only one in my family to not get baptized. I never went to church and my understanding of Christianity in my early years was pieced together from what I heard people say and what I saw on TV. So to me many things that are traditionally believed by church goers is new and strange to me at times.

Nothing made that more clear to me than when I was talking with a friend about a novel I was reading back in high school. There was a scene in the book where the main character was taken back in time by the devil to point where the devil was tempting Jesus in the desert after his baptism and the devil was talking directly to God in Jesus about how the devil had been exiled from heaven for the exact reason of coming down to Earth and taking human form but now that's what God was doing.

To me the idea that Jesus was God was new and surprising and just plain wrong at the time. I had always pieced together that Jesus was the son of God, not God himself. So to find out in this talk with my friend that this idea is actually the tradition view of Christians, that Jesus and God are two aspects of the same being or however you want to look at it, was a little shocking to me at the time. I think that's when I decided I needed to know more about what the Bible actually said, which of course lead me to many of my own current theories and thoughts and ultimately lead me to deciding I can never be Christian, at least no traditional orthodox Christian.

So back to the excerpt from the book above. When I read what Jesus supposedly said, I believe it is currently impossible for us to say with any accuracy what he might have actually said two thousand years ago but will take what survives in the bible as at least the general message he was trying to say, I have to say that most of the time he was saying some pretty interesting and important things about how people should live their lives and treat other people and what not.

But when I look at the history of what the church, and when I saw that I mostly mean the Roman Catholic church since they are the ones that invented and maintained most of the traditions of orthodox Christianity through out the ages, has done and continues to say and do in some instances, I'm appalled that these people claim to follow teachings of Jesus. Never more so than when I look at history of the Crusades.

I have long ago realized that Christianity has nothing to do with the actual religion of Jesus, he was a Jew after all. But instead it has become more of a religion about him. And personally I believe more a religion about thoughts and ideas and traditions that had nothing to do with what Jesus himself preached.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Regret not a Life Spent

The ghosts of decisions past
Haunt my waking dreams
In a trance I wander through life

Jack in the box sprung
Can't turn back now
Onward through life I trudge

Knuckles dragging, back bent
Put to task, over hot coals walking
A life less interesting there is not

Spin around, arms out
Fall down and stare up
Clouds drifting by, rabbits in the sky

A lone tree in a forest
A lone wolf in a pack
A fish swimming against the stream

NAO 10/28/2009

Do any of these short random poems I write mean anything to any of my readers? Do they speak to you in any way?

I often seem to have only the vaguest of ideas, if indeed I have any, while I'm writing theses as to what they might be trying to say. Mostly I'm just letting words flow through my fingers and the keyboard and let them do all the talking for themselves. Anyway I was just curious what people might think of these odd poems I write.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Okay, so I'm not sure why I forgot to write a post before I went to bed last night. I even had an idea at the time about what I wanted to post, which of course I can't remember now. So instead I guess I'll just tell you what I was doing all last night.


I was playing around in Photoshop designing a new theme for my iPhone. I still have plenty of work to do, mostly because I'm not happy with the icons I made last night completely. And that has a lot to do with the fact that I'm not very good at drawing in Photoshop yet. I have lots of fun messing around and making what is essentially colorful backgrounds, but when it comes to actually drawing something I'm no good.


For those that don't know, on a jail broken iPhone or iPod Touch (hacked iPhone or iPod that can run third party apps that Apple doesn't allow on their App Store) you can get an app called WinterBoard that allows you to change all the system images and sounds. Some themes go so far as to even change all menu colors and what not. Most just change the icons for the apps and the background so its not just a boring black.


I like the background I created yesterday but I need to work on the icons a bit more I think. And I also want to change the battery charging images and the lock screen images. The lock screen background is the one thing you can change on a normal iPhone, but I also want to change the slider image and stuff like that. That is a screen capture of what my iPhone currently looks like. As always comments and ideas are welcome.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Evils of existence

So yeah, I forgot to post anything last night because yesterday was just a weird day for me.

Here is a brief look at the classic problem of YHWH's supposed love and power versus the existence of evil. I've never really read any of the classic arguments in this long debated topic so I'm sure there are other out there that know more about this than me. My understand of the problem is this: If YHWH is all powerful and all loving as Christians would have us believe why does evil exist. The classic response to this from the Christians is because he gave us free will and we choose to do evil to each other.

I'm sure I'll come back more in depth on this topic at some later time. But for now I want to let you think about this simple analogy: Suppose there is a puppy that chews on your favorite shoes everyday, and you punish this puppy and try to show it that chewing on your shoes is wrong, but everyday it chews them again. Who is at fault here? The puppy for doing what it wants or you for not training it better in the first place?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

One Day at a Time

By fires' light and crystal orbs
Streams of silver night streaks
Mighty heavens tremble and quake

Faces most familiar in far off lands
Music and laughter universal
Stare from the past into the future

Ride the winds through the sky
Dip and roll and twist and dive
Dreams through out history lived

Crowded hallways and daily commutes
Life lived on an other's clock
Cookie cutter lives stamped out

The sky is falling and you cry wolf
Cower little sheep and ignore it all
Heads buried in the sand see nothing

NAO 10-25-2009

As usual I have no idea what it is really suppose to mean. Anyway here it is.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tarot card project

So I think I want to make my own deck of tarot cards. Tarot cards for those who don't know are a deck of playing cards, usually numbering about 78 as opposed to the 52 you are more used to I'm sure.

They have 4 suits - swords, wands, pentacles and cups, instead of spades, clubs, diamonds and hearts - and each suit has 14 cards - 10 numbered and 4 "face" cards, the King, Queen, Prince and Page. The 56 suited cards make up whats called the minor arcana. Then there are the 22 major arcana cards - the Fool and 21 numbered cards each with their own name. These 22 cards are also called the trump cards when used to play games with a deck of tarot cards. The names of the suits and face cards as well was the names of the trump cards may defer from deck to deck depending on when and where the deck originated.

Wikipedia seems to say that the cards were developed for games first and then later adopted by occultists for fortune telling and what not. Other sources I read years ago said it was the other way around I think. Either way the point is at different times in history they have been used for different things. Most people today know them as a fortune telling method and many different card layouts have been used to read one's fortune from the cards. Decks used for fortune telling as opposed to game playing tend to be more scenic on the numbered suited cards as to give them more graphical representations to be read than just a certain number of pips on a card, as modern playing cards have.

Now if you are really interested in tarot cards and their usage and history please go look up more information on your own. The purpose of that was to give everyone a basic understanding of what I mean by tarot cards when I saw I want to make my own. I of course will change everything to fit my own desires for my deck, otherwise whats really the point of making my own. I already own two "normal" tarot card decks. One has just pips for the suited numbered cards and therefore is more suited for game playing. The other has some beautiful photomanipulation artwork, that being the primary reason I bought that particular deck, and as such gives me wonderful imagery to draw from when trying to do some fortune telling. I also have a third deck that can be loosely considered a tarot card deck, at least a fortune telling/game playing deck of cards. This is the deck of cards that comes with the Everway roleplaying game, but its structure is completely unique and its game play ability is limited to its use within the game of Everway.

So for my deck I want to make some changes, and some pretty major ones at that. Firstly I like the number 3 more so than 4 so I'm removing a suit, I haven't decide yet what suits I want. Secondly I don't want plain numbered cards so I'm only going to have face cards. Thirdly I'm going to have 7 face cards ranked low to high as follows: Squire, Knight, Baron, Count, Duke, Prince, King. Fourthly I'm going to redo the number of major arcana, change their numbering scheme to that of prime numbers (just for the hell of it) and change the actual list of names for these cards.

So here are my problems with all this at this time. Firstly I suck as an artist so if I tried to draw the images for these cards it would look like a 5 year old made them. But that is a relatively minor issue to me for right now. The main problem I have at the moment is I need to decide on the list of major arcana and for aesthetic reasons this list must be fewer than the 21 card minor arcana. I'm currently thinking it will number 13 or 15, giving my deck a total of either 34 or 36 cards.

So any artist out there willing to volunteer there talent to help me out that would be much appreciated. And everyone please comment and tell me what you think of this project and leave any suggestions as to what cards I should have and any image ideas for cards you might have. I'm sure I will post more on this as the project progresses.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Um... I got nothing

I was going to post something last night since it's been awhile since I've posted anything but for some reason I couldn't get into my account. And now that I can I've got nothing to say right now. I'll try to get something posted tonight and get myself back in the habit of putting something up everyday. Until then have a nice day and feel free to read the older posts and comment on them if you have something to say.

Monday, October 19, 2009

oops

I guess I've sort of forgot about this for a few days now. Sorry guys. It all started a few days ago when I was feeling kind of sick when I got home from work so I went to bed early before I actually got around to writing a post. Then the next couple of days I was working weekend overtime at work and just plain forgot. I'll have a real post later tonight. Just wanted to explain why I've been gone recently.

Friday, October 16, 2009

13 Bells

Thirteen bells chime
On the horizon orange skies
The setting of the final sun

Darkness descends upon the land
And the stars twinkle out
Fireflies in the night

One day after the next
Foot soldiers marching in line
Procession throughout time

Gremlin in the gears
Halting celestium
Look up upon the last

Stolen fires reclaimed
Orbs in the heaven
Frozen perfection

Breathe of life
A fog in the universe
Seeping into everything

Open yourself to that which will come
See that which has been
Be that which you are

NAO 10/16/2009

I have no idea what this means as I quite literally just wrote it as I typed it. Comments welcome.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Risk taking

Living your life without taking any risks might be the safe way to live your life, but doesn't that seem pretty boring? Yet a live spent taking risks everyday is a pretty sure way to live a short, if exciting, life. So the question is what is the right balance of risk to safety living your life?

I usually try to live more on the side of safety than risk, but it seems like on those risk taking days I might over do it some times. Not that I'm saying I'm out there trying extreme sports like skydiving or anything like that. But it seems to me like I need to learn how to balance out this risk taking versus safety mindedness better than I am currently.

Anyway I couldn't really think of anything good to talk about today so this is all you get. And if happen to have some advice on this idea of balance please leave a comment.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Excerpt of horror

So driving into work today I suddenly had this scene for a horror story in my head. I tried to write it down as soon as I could and typed it up here for you guys to read. It needs some work still and I don't even have a story idea in mind for it, but I like the scene so here it is. Enjoy.
---
The thing stood about three feet tall at its bony shoulders. Its dark skin, looking to small and stretched taunt over its wrong looking skeleton, had patches of long fur randomly covering it, giving it a rather odd mottled appearance that was most unsettling. It had the skeletal frame of a feline, but one as drawn by a child who has only ever seen the most god awful excuse of a starving diseased alley cat.

Its snarling visage reminded me of nothing but the most vulgar evil demented Cheshire car. Only this is no Wonderland and I’m no Alice. Even while hacking and coughing and vomiting up some strange gray fleshy like sack, that seems way to large to come out of this abomination, that snarling grin never left its face, and its eyes never left mine.

The hairs on the back of my neck stood on end when I noticed that whatever was in that strange flesh sack was moving. The creature to one side of the freshly vomited object, with that demented grin of a snarl still, staring at me with its cold unnatural eyes. Its over large fleshy ears perked seemed to be scanning the area for any threats.

Just then a strange muffled howl arose from the vomited sack and a sound similar to that of a chef honing his knives as whatever was inside started to stretch and tear the fleshy material of the sack.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

UFOs in the skies over Moscow..

Okay, not really, but there was a funky weather phenomenon that caused a strange halo like cloud formation over Moscow some time last week I guess. And many people have many different theories about what it really is. I don't care really but it does give me a chance to talk about the general theory of intelligent life from across the stars coming to visit Earth.

I know there are more theories as to the potential motivation of aliens coming to Earth then there are people that actually believe in alien life coming to Earth. Okay that might be a slight exaggeration but the point is there are lots of theories. I just have one question though. Why would they want to visit this back water mess of a planet? There is nothing here worth seeing if you come from an advanced society with the technology to travel the stars. Farther more chances are good they would do exactly what we do to explore in planets, send robotic probes first.

So all those little bug eyed grey men in popular culture are all wrong as far as I'm concerned, unless that's the form of robotics from whatever culture made them and sent them out. At which point the supposed abductions are likely biological experimentations much like we might try to capture new species of life found in the rainforests or something for study. Or like how NASA is trying to find any signs of life on Mars with its robotic probes might be a more apt example.

Anyway the point is that I personal believe that there is life out there among the stars but I see no real reason why said life would actually come here. After all we are a very violent planet and distrust strangers of our own specie let alone ones from outer space. And that's something I would think these aliens would be able to monitor before ever coming down to our planet. But what do I really know?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Story Challenge part 3

Okay, I know it has been awhile since I wrote parts 1 and 2 to this story, and just now I realized that the last paragraph of part 2 for some reason did not get posted so I will start there and try to finish off the story now. Also I realize that I don't think I can come back to tie any of this into the original paragraph I was given as the challenge, so I guess in many ways I have failed this challenge. Be that as it may though I like this story and plan to finish it here. So let's begin.

But the strong giants did hear the screams of the wounded and stopped their sport to go defend their young and elderly. And our people had to flee the battle for they had already accomplished what they had set out to do that day. Now Xanchentes climbed up on one of the many big rocks that had been hurled at him and did let loose another mighty roar. And then he said this to the giants, "My name is Xanchentes and I am pack leader of my people. We have come out like ghosts and slain many of your young and elderly this day. We will continue to be like ghosts and slay all of you until you are no more and we can live at peace again in our homes. If you value your lives flee from these lands now for we will come back again and again until all of you that remain are slain."

Now back into the forest our people fled and Brother Wolf did find them again and when their story they did tell to him he had this to say, "I am pack leader of many wolves and today you put our teachings to great use but our ways are not the ways of war. For they are the ways of hunting, and when hunting we do not wish to slay all our prey for then we would have nothing left to hunt and would starve. As pack leader I am first among the pack and get the choicest meats from our prey. However the position of pack leader is not one of luxury. It is the responsibility of the pack leader to look out for the well being of the pack. If the pack starves then they will be too weak to hunt and then the pack leader would have no meats to choose from in the first place. He must always make sure the pack is well fed and taken care of before he himself rest...

Sorry folks. I allowed myself to be distracted by something and now my mind is a total blank on what I was going to write. I guess I'll have to finish tomorrow or another day

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Alright my adventures in trying to dual boot Windows and Linux have come to an end. At least for now. Seems like something would get screwed up every time so I finally just gave up and plugged my old hard drive back in. See I had it unplugged the whole time so as to not screw it up and thankfully I had. So now I have a big hard drive and in the course of three days have had to reinstall windows on it three times.

The oddest thing is how after messing up one install of Linux none of my bootable DVDs or CDs seemed to want to boot properly. I'll have to look into what exactly it was that I screwed up eventually. But for now I'm just going to get Windows installed on the new drive and copy over all my files so I can format this hard drive.

Maybe after I have everything set up on the new drive, and properly backed up just in case, I'll try to install Linux again. Only this time I'm planning on putting it on a different physical drive instead of just a different partition. I can't help but wonder how much simpler everything would be if all the various operating systems would compromise and use the same boot loader so everything was compatible across the board. But that will never happen because there is no profit in that, or at least not as much profit.

Anyway it's way to late so I'm going to bed. Just wanted to fill everybody in on how my computer issues were coming along.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

More work ahead of me than planned.

Okay, so I got my new hard drive today and installed it into my computer. It's a 1.5TB and I wanted to split it into multiple partitions to install multiple operating systems because I'm just that kind of a geek at times. So first I installed Windows XP, my default OS of choice. Then I tried to install Ubuntu Linux and it installed fine except I didn't set up the boot process right for a multiple OS computer. And some how in trying to fix that I managed to remove my Windows partition so now I have only Linux installed.

I like Linux well enough but I am more familiar with Windows at this point and I didn't plan on going without it. So I have more work ahead of me tomorrow to get my computer working the way I want it. For now its time for me to go to bed. Hopefully tomorrow everything will go smoothly for me and I will have time to write a longer post.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

New computer toy

So I got my tablet that I ordered a few days ago today. I tried to write this post with it but I guess I don't have the right software to go from handwriting to text to make this post. But that's okay. It hurt my hand a little to try writing on the tablet for too long.

It's got a 5"x3" work area so it's one of the smallest tablets on the market, but I hope it still helps me work with drawing and photo editing programs like Photoshop. Not that I'm skilled at all at working with these kinds of programs, but I'm trying to teach myself the basics.

Anyway I don't have anything to say tonight but I want to try to get back in the habit of posting something everyday so I thought I'd tell you all about my new toy. Hopefully tomorrow I can my story challenge story for you all. Until then, have a nice day everybody.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The greatest trick ever

The first five books of the bible are referred to as the Torah, which is often translated as "law," and traditionally believed to be written by Moses, even though the end of the fifth books describes events after his death. Moses is traditionally said to be a lawgiver. Let us take a quick look at his story and see what it is people believe he wrote about himself.

Well first off his own mother abandoned him and set him adrift in the Nile, supposedly to save his life, but realistically what chances does a three month old baby in a basket in the Nile have of surviving?

Then he was found by an Egyptian princess who gave him back to his own mother to raise until such a time as the princess came back for him and adopted him as her son. So he was raised as a Egyptian prince.

As an adult he killed an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew slave and when the news got out he fled so he could not be arrested and punished for his crime. Some lawgiver you have yourself there. And this is the story he wrote about himself?

So no he is living out in the desert where he lived with a priest and married the priest daughter and started a family. Now this prince turned fugitive was tending the flock one day and went into the mountains, and there find a bush on fire and stared at it like an idiot forgetting all about the flock. And then the bush starting talking to him. So now we have a crazy fugitive prince slacking off on the job. And people have been listening to this guy's story for four thousand years? People really believe this guy?

So then God in the form of this burning bush tells him to go talk to the Pharaoh and tell him to let the Hebrews go and Moses says "But who am I to appear before Pharaoh?" (Exo 3:11) Well for one you idiot you are a prince. You grew up in the same household as the Pharaoh according to your own story so I think appearing before the Pharaoh shouldn't be a problem.

So Moses as an argue with God about why he isn't the right person to do this and no one will believe him. And one of the things God tells him to make believe he is a messenger of God is God's true name that God never revealed to any of the Hebrew ancestors before. How is a name they have never heard before suppose to convince the Hebrews that Moses is a messenger from their God? This is far more obvious if one were to read the bible in Hebrew I guess since in English translations God is always called God or the Lord or some such and you don't realize that at every point up to this on in the bible God has gone by different names to everyone He supposedly talks to. And of course Moses wrote it that way according to tradition!

But Moses continues to argue with God that nobody will listen to him so God gives him signs to preform to make people believe. The first sign to make people believe is the turning of his staff into a snake. (Exo 4:2-5) Um, wait a second! I seem to remember something about God and snakes from Genesis. Let us go back and take a look at that quick. Genesis 3:14 has God cursing the snake, that supposedly tricked and tempted Eve into eating the apple, to be man's enemy for all time. And now God is using a snake as a sign for Moses to preform so people will know for which god Moses is a messenger of? And people really believe this story? Moses wrote both of these books in this way?

The second sign given to Moses is the ability to stick is hand in his robe and when he pulls is out its "white as snow with leprosy," but when he puts it back in his robe and pulls it out a second time its healthy like the rest of him. So this sign is what exactly? He can give himself skin disease and heal it in an instant by repeatedly sticking his hand in his robe? What's in his robe I wonder? A bag of flour and a towel would do that trick I would think. Nothing real special there.

The third sign is pour river water on the ground and some how it was turned into blood. I have to wonder at this point how any of these signs are related to the god of the Hebrews? I don't seem to remember anything like these signs ever having been done to prove to anyone that its the Hebrew god before in the bible. So why are they the signs now?

So Moses eventually goes to Egypt to do God's bidding. But on the way God was going to kill Moses, except his wife preformed a circumcision on their son and God was appeased. (Exo 4:24) So why would Moses write that God was going to kill His own messenger before the message was even delivered? People really believe this story?

So Moses and his brother, who is a better talker than Moses, get to Egypt and preform their signs and tell their stories of what God told to them and the Hebrew believe them. I would like to point out at this point that time and time again during the exodus story the Hebrew people worship whatever god they and it always angers the Lord into killing some of them, so why would it be any different for them to believe what Moses had to say now? They seem to believe anything at this point.

So then Moses goes to the Pharaoh to plead his case to let the Hebrew people go. An interesting thing though, he tells the Pharaoh that they just want to go out into the wilderness for a three day religious festival. (Exo 5:3) Seems to me like God was talking a permanent leaving of Egypt and here Moses, His messenger and lawgiver, is lying to the Pharaoh about what the purpose of the trip really is.

Well Pharaoh is angered and refuses and starts to make the Hebrews make bricks without giving them straw. So now the Pharaoh is an idiot because what use would those bricks be? They would crumble apart. So because he is punishing them he punishes whatever project it is that those bricks were intended for. That right there is one of the dumbest punishments I've ever heard of.

Anyway Moses argues with God some more and God then says something really amazing. Exodus 7:3 "But I will cause Pharaoh to be stubborn so I can multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in the land of Egypt." So now Moses writes that God is a show off. That God could cause Pharaoh to do anything means He could have just made Pharaoh let the people go, but instead He makes Pharaoh hold them longer than Pharaoh actually wanted to just so that He could show off some more. Some god Moses has there! Ever time Pharaoh refused to let the Hebrews go free he punished them more, therefore God was the direct cause of the punishment of the Hebrews that He was in the process of trying to free all for His own ego.

I was going to go a little farther into the story but it's late and I'm tired so I'll jump to my theory on all this. It is said that, "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist." I think this is wrong. I think the greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world that He was God and getting trillions of fools to believe in Him over the millenniums and cause countless pointless deaths over petty things like religious believes.

I know this is a theory that is going to anger a lot of people. Quite frankly I don't care. I have tried to read the bible with open eyes and an open mind and the more I read it the more I am convinced that my theory is, if not entirely true, at least closer to the truth than that which is preached in church.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Story Challenge part 2

OK, so here is part two of the story. There is atleast one more part to come to finish this story. A quick recap for those people to lazy to go back and read part one: There were a people that lived peacefully who were ran out of their home by jealous giants. They fled to the forest and their met a mighty bear god who gifted them with part of his mighty roar to help the people try to scare off the giants. So that was part one and this is now part two. Enjoy.


Now Xanchentes went out to face the giants and let loose his mighty roar. When the giants heard the mighty roar they were afraid. But when they saw it was just Xanchentes they laughed and started hurling big rocks at him. Xanchentes danced around the hurled rocks and fled back to the forest and that is why to this day there are many big rocks scattered through the fields around our village.

Xanchentes then told this to the bear, "I let loose a mighty roar and the giants did fear, but when they saw that I was so small compared to them they laughed and threw rocks at me. How great god of the forest do we scare off the giants when they are so much bigger than us?"

The great bear then said this, "You must go talk to Brother Wolf for he knows how to take down larger prey. Ask him to teach you his secrets so then you could fight off the giants."

So our people went into the forest and found Brother Wolf. Now Xanchentes told this to Brother Wolf, "Oh great and noble Brother Wolf, giants have driven us from our home and we are a peacefully people and we don't know how to defend ourselves. Brother Bear gifted us with part of his mighty roar to scare the giants but they laughed at us and hurled big stones at us. Brother Bear told us you have secrets of taking down larger prey, Oh great and noble god of this forest, will you teach us your secrets so that we may drive off the giants and go back to our home."

And here is what Brother Wolf said, "I am but the pack leader of many wolves. Our secrets are many but here are a few. We stalk our prey quietly and get in close unnoticed. We attack from many directions at once, confusing the prey and causing panic. We do not attack the strong but instead the weak, the young or the elderly or the sick. We bite their legs with our sharp fangs so they can not run away from us for long and chase them until they collapse. In this we reduce the numbers of our prey and terrorize them."

Xanchentes then said this to the wolf, "Thank you great and noble wolf for teaching us your secrets. Surely now we can drive off the giants and return to our homes." So our people made spears to be their fangs and plotted the attack on the giants from many sides.

Now Xanchentes went out to face the giants again and let loose his mighty roar. When the giants heard the mighty roar they remembered what fun it was to hurl rocks at him and went out to do so again. And as Xanchentes danced around in the field all the strongest giants hurled their many rocks at him. Only this time Xanchentes did not flee but kept dodging the many rocks. And while the strongest of the giants were hurling their many rocks, many young and elderly giants had come out to watch the new sport.

Now our people leaped out and started their attack from many directions on the young and elderly giants, using their spears as sharp fangs to bite into their prey and spreading confusion and panic among the giants. And as the wounded giants tried to run away from our people, they continued to stab their spears into any giants they could find. And many of the young and elderly giants were thus wounded and did eventually collapse from the chase and were slain.

Monday, September 28, 2009

lazy bum

Okay so I wanted to post part two of my story challenge story but I'm being lazy. I have some of it written and I know exactly what I want to say, but I don't feel like typing anymore right now. I didn't get a chance to relax this weekend as I was working overtime all weekend. So I will try to finish that story in the near future. I just wanted to let everyone know that I was in fact still working on it. Anyway everyone have a great day. I'm going to go relax and sleep now.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Story Challenge part 1

The story is being written but it's becoming longer than I had first thought it would be. So I will post it in parts as I write it. This the first part. I hope you enjoy.

---

Can you guess what this is? I bet you would like to know. Mysteries tend to intrigue the populace, but they give up too easily. If only you had seen what I know to be true. For me, I
had a choice, and I was an idiot; I could have been a part of the ignorant masses. That was too simple for me. This is my story....

It is said the in the times long ago that gods and giants walked the lands. And in those days our people were happy and plentiful. On the hill overlooking the river to the east of this very
village was a great old tree of many fruits. All our ancestors had but to ask of it and it
would lower its branches and they could pick from its ever ripe fruit as they pleased.

And one day the giants grew jealous, for they had grown so tall to reach up into the trees of their homeland to get at the pleasant fruits, for their trees did not heed to their calls and
lower their branches to them. So the giants brought war onto our people to take the tree. And in those days our people had lived peacefully with everyone under the sky and knew not how to defend themselves against this attack and were driven from the land.

Into the forest they fled, but the trees of the forest did not yield their fruit as easily as did the great old tree of our home. Then one day the great bear god of the forest came to our
ancestors and said to them, "I have heard your laments for your lost home and see that my
forest does now welcome you as one of its own. Why do you not take back your home where you were so happy and your great old tree god took care of you?"

Now Xanchentes, our greatest leader of all time, stepped forward and told the bear, "Oh great and powerful god of this forest, we driven from our home by the giants, who brought war upon us for they were jealous, and we are a peaceful people and know not the ways of war."

The great bear then said this, "I, too, am peaceful and do not like the ways of war, but when someone brings war into my home I stand tall and let out my mighty roar to scare them off so that I do not have to fight. If that does not scare them I swipe at them with my powerful claws and rip them open for being so foolish to not be scared of me."

Now Xanchentes told this to the bear, "Indeed you are big and strong and scare off many, but the giants are bigger than us and stronger than us and scare us. How then should we fight them?"

The great bear then said this, "It is true that you are not so big and you do not look so strong, but I shall give you part of my mighty roar so that you can scare them off and then you should not have to fight them."

So Xanchentes accepted the gift from the great bear god and told the bear that our people would honor it for all time. The great bear then set its likeness in the sky so that we would always look up and be reminded of the great gift that it gave to us when we had no home and were wanderers in its forest.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

An old story retold

There are many stories and theories about what happened in a city on the fringe of the Roman empire some two thousand years ago to the leader of a group of radical religious Jews, but there is little to no real historical proof of any of these stories or theories. So I've decided to write my own story based on no historical proof and just a mixing of the various stories and theories I've heard over the years.

Yeshua was born into a Jewish household, of a teenage girl, whom others later claimed was a virgin, and who was married to older man who worked whatever random jobs he could in the area around the town of Nazareth, be that harvesting fields or constructing walls or herding sheep. Now this man was widower and already had sons and daughters from earlier wife, so Yeshua had older siblings, and undoubtedly as he grew up gained younger siblings as what husband would not lay with his wife no matter later claims to her eternal virginity.

Now Yeshua grew up as any poor Jewish boy would in that time, but I have no idea what that really means not being Jewish or living 2000 years ago. When he grew into manhood he undoubtedly work many random jobs as did his father and brothers. He found a wife and tried to raise a family. Something happened.

Now Yeshua is around 30 years old and goes to see this crazy guy in the wilderness that is preaching and baptizing people. He likes what he hears, gets himself baptized and goes out to start preaching his ideas to others. People like what he has to say and start to follow him as he goes from town to town to spread his ideas. He spoke messages that gave people hope that things would get better in their lives and did things that people thought miraculous. In those days there were many such wandering preachers with their followers, all with their own ideas and own interpretations of the scriptures, and some more violent than others.

What ever it is that Yeshua preached, he ended up going to the temple of Jerusalem and causing trouble for the priests there and he did so during Passover when the Romans were always more wary of trouble in the city that may start an uprising and riots. So Yeshua was arrested, tried, convicted, sentenced and crucified.

Undoubtedly I will be coming back to this story and filling in more details over the next few weeks, but I just wanted to lay down a general outline of the story for now.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Story Challenge

OK, so I've taken a few days off from writing anything here. I'm getting lazier. I used to write something every day. I had hopes of writing sections of short stories and posting them here and getting my writing skills up. But it seems instead I sit here staring at a blank text box trying to think of something, anything, to write until I finally give up.

So I propose I new challenge of sorts. I know I don't have many followers on this blog yet but maybe you can still help me in this. Leave a comment, a sentence or two, or whole paragraphs, that starts a fictional story of some kind, and I will try to develop it into a short story within the next couple of days.

And maybe I won't be able to write an ending to the story, so I will post what I can and then you or some one else can come along and add a few lines to get me started again, or even finish it themselves if they so choose.

So who wants to be first? Some one throw out an idea and we can see what will come of it.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Shattered Prophecy

Game track through the bramble
Soaring souls into the night
Horsemen upon the horizon
Justice prevails by Thunderbolt light

Balance and Sword hefted high
March the fields of Mars
Twist in the vortex
Lose yourself to the pain

Crumble the edifices of a rotted city
The hills heave up and toss off the false chains
The skies are crying bloody revenge
Washing away all the sins spring rains

NAO 9/19/2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

Metaphoric vs Literal

There are those people that believe the bible is the literal factual truth of history. And there are people that believe the bible is a metaphorical story to teach us how to live our lives without having to necessarily being factual true in terms of history.

Personally I think its far more metaphorical than literal in nature. When it talks about God creating the earth in seven days that is a metaphor, not a literal story claiming the earth was created in seven days. And lets not forget that the people 4,000 years ago when this story was first going around had a much smaller view of the size of Earth. And that's something worth noting for Noah's flood too.

Ask a child whose neighborhood got flooded last year and to them it may well have seemed like their entire world got flooded because everything they knew was suddenly under water. Who do you think would have passed on the story of the biblical flood? Would it have been Noah? Or would it have been his children and grandchildren?

An interesting thing to note about Noah's flood. Methuselah, the oldest man in the bible, died at the age of 969 years old in the same year as the flood. I did the math once just because I was bored, and confirmed it now when I looked up is name online. Just a bit of biblical trivia for you if you didn't already know that.

One thing to remember about the bible is that it wasn't written by one person. It was written by dozens of authors over hundreds of years. What does that mean? It means each one of them wrote in his or her own way, and for a different audience. So its quite possible, and quite likely, that parts of the bible are historically factual. But it is also quite likely that parts of it are more metaphorical than factual, where the lesson of the story was more important than recording the truthful events. And then there are parts of the bible that can be proven to not be historically factual at all.

The truth of the matter however is that whether or not the events of the bible literally happened as they were described shouldn't matter. When one is looking at the bible as a religious document what's important should be the message it tells in the stories, not whether or not those stories ever actually happened. And when one is looking at any book as historically accurate you most always compare to other sources. To trust one source and only one source when it comes to history is just a bad idea. And when it comes to biblical stories, there quite often is no other source, so to use the bible as a basis for the truth of history would not be a good idea.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

4 tales of 1 story

I have been lazy and have left my blog untended for several days now and for that I must apologize. The truth is that I could not think of anything that seemed worth talking about. I am reading a new book and it got me thinking about a few things.

As my previous posts on my biblical interpretations seem to garner the most response I am planning a few more posts along those lines. But first I feel I must get a few potential arguments out of the way first. So the first thing I am going to tackle is the idea that some people out there have about the bible being 100% without error, every word placed there by God's divine hand exactly as He wants them.

If you believe this you are an idiot who has obviously never actually read the bible for yourself and you might as well leave my blog now. I have no sympathy for your believes because you are either dumb or your God is. In either case I don't wish to placate to your idiocy. Maybe you think I am being too harsh here but let me quickly illustrate my point.

A quick and simple example as to why the bible can not be said to be 100% without error. It's so obvious and yet most people never catch it at all. What are Jesus's last words on the cross before he dies? Well let's see what the four gospels say on the matter:

Matthew 27:46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"—which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

Mark 15:34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"—which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

So far so good, but let's see what the other two say.

Luke 23:46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last.

John 19:30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

So we have four accounts of Jesus's death on the cross and yet have three different accounts as to his last words. Why does this matter? It doesn't really except they can't all be true. It's only possible for a person to have one "last words" and yet the bible has Jesus having three. Therefore the bible is not 100% without error. And if God placed each of those words Himself, He is obviously an idiot.

This is just one example of how the different books of the bible don't always agree with each other. There are literally hundreds or thousands more examples. Whole books have been written to collect them all I think, but this one example should be enough to prove my point.

If you wish to prove yourself an idiot try to prove me wrong, but the facts are clearly on my side.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Nihil timeo

I have always liked the phrase "I fear nothing." I see two ways to interpret this phrase. Firstly you can take it has most people mean for it to say, "There is nothing that I am afraid of." That's boring and nothing but false bravado and/or stupidity on their part I feel. The other way in which you can take it to mean is, "I am afraid of the concept of nothing."

This second way is vastly more interesting to me. I mean the concept of nothing is pretty interesting to me. Just think about it. What is nothing? Try to imagine a box with nothing in it. No air, no light, no heat, no thoughts, no feelings, no emotion, not even the idea that there is an existence outside of the box, or the idea that there is even a box. The complete lack of anything and everything. Now I can see why some people might be afraid of that, but personally the idea intrigues me.

Something else that could not exist in that box of nothing is time or spatial dimensions. The idea of nothing existing, without time or matter or energy or consciousness or scale, it's almost to much for me to comprehend. It's from this point of nothing that almost all creation myths start, from ancient Egypt to modern science and its big bang. So does that mean even in this box of nothing there is potential for something? Can potential exist within nothing?

This just reminds me I wanted to do a post about Pandora's box. Maybe that will be next time.

Friday, September 11, 2009

From which stories are told

Okay so there is an apocryphal gospel called The Protevangelion in which the author claims to be James, the step brother of Jesus, and he writes about the birth and life of Mary leading up to the birth of Jesus. Now why do I mention any of this? Simple, the other day I was scanning through the radio stations and caught some program about it being Mary's birth and how she is the mother of all of us or some such. Now I'm not going to go into the story of this gospel much. I just want to state one thing from it. Chapter 7 describes how Mary and Joseph met and it states that she was twelve years old and he was "an old man."

Now as apocrypha its not part of the Christian canon and therefore not part of the official story, but it was what people of that time, and Wikipedia says that time was roughly 150AD, believed and accepted as true. So when exactly I wonder did the tradition become what is so often depicted around Christmas time of Joseph and Mary being the same age, of what roughly mid-twenties?

At one time I had the links for a Jewish story about the birth of Jesus that some one wrote to counter the Christian movement. In that story Miriam (that's Mary's real name for those who don't know) was raped by a Roman soldier before her marriage to Yosef (Joseph's real name) and gives birth to Yeshua (Jesus's real name, which everywhere else in the English bible gets translated to Joshua). Anyway they flee to Egypt and there Yeshua learns some Egyptian magic and they come back to Judea and he some how steals the Name of God which gives him power to preform all sorts of tricks and false miracles, etc. It is an anti-Christian story after all so he's portrayed as a bad guy.

What's the point of me bringing that up? Well mostly to show there are all sorts of stories out there and there really is no way for us to know what really happened. The victors get to write the history after all. And so that if there is anyone out there that knows this story they can point me back to it.

Many of the failed Christian believes are actually quite interesting. The ones that got declared heretical by what later became the Catholic Church. What most people fail to understand is that an organized church didn't just spring up after the resurrection. It took centuries before it become what exists today. In the beginning there were many competing ideas and believes all claiming to be the true teachings of Jesus.

And maybe some future post I'll will write about some of them. For now I'm tired and I feel I've probably already stirred up the hornets' nest enough for one day.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

WTF....!!!

OK, so I had something else in mind to talka bout tonight but on my drive home from work I heard a news story and now I can't remember what it was I was goign to say because I feel I need to comment on this.

OK, so apparently in a high school here in Iowa just a few weeks ago $100 came up missing from a students purse in her locker. First off what is she doing with $100 at school, I mean seriously. Anyway on to the really shocking part of this news story. A school administrator apparently suspected these five girls of having stolen the money and ordered them strip searched.

Since when do school officials think they get to see naked teenage girls for a theft investigation? Should that not have been a matter left to, I don't know, maybe the police? Oh and to top it all off, they didn't even find the money!!

I think something else that should be said is Students, if you are going to have some of value with you at school keep it on your person or lock it up! All lockers I have ever seen have the nifty little tabs with the holes in it that are the perfect size to fit a padlock through. I'm pretty sure they are put there for a reason.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Try to learn something new

So for at least half of my life now I have tried to life by the idea that I should learn something new everyday. It doesn't have to be anything significant. Maybe it's just some new vocabulary, Maybe it's some new scientific theory that explains the universe. What ever it is the important thing is to try to learn something new, to never stop learning from the world around me. And with the infinite expanses of the Internet to be pulling information from it shouldn't be too hard to learn something new most days.

Today I was reading some articles about genetic evolution. One of the things I learned is that many people involved with researching human evolution are, for lack of a better word, afraid to think there might actually be genetic evolutionary differences between the "races" of humans beyond the obvious skin deep differences. And why are they afraid? Because it might hurt the feelings of people from ethnic groups that have historically been treated as inferior and supposed biologically scientific "facts" used to support said treatment.

I have heard for most of my life that Africans are better runners because they have an extra tendon in their ankles or some such thing. I have no idea if this is true or not and don't really care to look it up but if its true that would definitely seem to indicate some sort of genetic evolutionary change to set them aside from people that don't have that tendon. Does that make them superior or inferior in any way? Well at most it seems to make them superior runners.

So why are scientists afraid to study a subject just because it might hurt some feelings? Every new discovery has the potential to hurt some one's feelings. If we stopped all actions that might hurt some one's feelings we would never get anything done.

I say let scientists study whatever theories they want and when they come back with proof of one idea over another its the job of society as a whole to learn from it and interpret what that means for that society.

Friday, September 4, 2009

You have the right to...

http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/ -- UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

I saw something today where people were claiming health care is a right, not a privilege., and it got me thinking.
"Article 25.
(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. "

And according to the UN they were right I guess. But the thing I don't see there is anything saying the federal government has to pay for you just because you are too lazy or incompetent to get a job that has health insurance benefits. Called me cold hearted if you want, but I went to college, and will be in debt for many years to come because of that, so that I could get a job that had health care benefits, among many other reasons.

And now I get to see the government take 25% of my earnings every pay check. And you know where that money is going? In part it's going to pay for people that are capable of working but are to lazy and just want government hand outs because that's easier. Yes, there are plenty of very deserving people on government programs, and I have nothing against those that are trying hard but need a little assistance. My problem is the large group of lazy people that have figured out ways to cheat the system so that they can sit back all day doing nothing and get a portion of my hard earned money.

So you have the right to get off the couch and educate yourself so that you can go out there and get a good job and start paying into the system so that your hard earned money can go to some lazy bum too.

(I was going to write a post about what exactly rights are but I still haven't figured it out myself so I guess that will have to wait. Look for it in the future.)