Friday, December 30, 2011
I got nothing to say today. Just wanted to mark the passing of spam comments.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
It's now officially winter. And that means we just entered our last year. In less than a year the Mayan calendar runs out. Know what that means? A lot of stupid shows on TV trying to make money on something that no one really knows anything about, that's what.
Anyway it's late and I'm tired. I'll have a real post soon.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Once upon a time there was a beautiful fairy princess that lived in an enchanted woods. Everyday she would go out and walk through the woods and talk to the animals. One day she came upon a talking donkey. "Fair maiden," said the donkey, "I am widely known as the best piano playing donkey in all the lands. But alas, the times are tough and none want to hear me play. If I don't play the piano I don't eat. Will you please let me play for you?"Morale of this story: Sometimes I'm just a talking ass that thinks he can make something beautiful.
"Good Sir Donkey," she replied. "Come back to my house and I will gladly feed you and listen to you play."
So they returned to her house and she laid out a feast for him to eat. And once his hunger was sated he proceeded to play the piano. From the piano came the most horrific jarring noise imaginable. The donkey's hooves slammed down on the keys breaking them as the noise was tortured out of the piano. After he had pulled every agonizing sound out of the dying piano he defecated on the floor and ran out the door never to be seen from again, and leaving the fairy princess with a table full of dirty plates and half eaten food, a destroyed piano and one hell of a mess to clean up.
I used to know this girl that liked to hear me create these stupid little romantic fairy tale type stories. I guess I'm a little out of practice.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”OK, so in my last post I mentioned this passage and how I wanted to talk about something. I meant to write this up days ago but I've been lazy lately. Anyway on to the point.
I hate the Catholic Church. I have many reasons for this and most of them are unimportant and petty and I know. But the one main reason I hate the Catholic Church above my general dislike for all Christian Churches is this. A Christian church is supposed to help the poor in the community and I'm sure most do. But the Catholic Church in particular is a massive world world organization that weekly asks its members to tithe their 10%, meanwhile the Vatican sits on millions, if not billions, of dollars worth of art and books and gold. If the Catholic Church was serious about wanting to help the poor in this world just think of all they can do with all that money?
The other point I wanted to make was this. Capitalism and Christianity don't really go together. At least they shouldn't if you actually believe what Yeshua taught. Of course Christianity has absolutely nothing to do with what he taught. So capitalist Christians are nothing but hypocrites.
OK, so this post didn't come out anywhere near how I wanted it to. But oh well. I don't really care that much. For those people who can think for themselves you can get what I'm trying to say I hope. And for those people that can't think for themselves, what are you doing at my blog anyway?
Friday, November 25, 2011
Well now I saw I'm going to renew my efforts to post something new more frequently. I won't go back to daily posts I don't think. However I will make a real effort to post at least one new thing every week. And with us going into an election year I'm bound to get more political than I have been in the past.
I'm too distracted right now to write the post I wanted to today. It comes from something I heard Rush Limbaugh say on Wednesday. I'll just leave you with this thought for the mean time and I'll hopefully come back and write it soon. Read Matthew 19:21-24 for a preview of that post.
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Not only that but every time you try you are just encouraging people to no longer use your services. I recently watched a documentary about the MPAA trying to shut down the torrent site The Pirate's Bay. After they did that and it got into the news, The Pirate's Bay site went back online and had even more visitors than ever before. When I was hearing about all the cases where the RIAA was suing people for downloading music for free instead of paying them, I stopped buying music. There are plenty of ways to listen to music for free and legally. The radio still exists, and Pandora. Plus I hardly listen to any of my old CDs anymore anyway, why should I buy new ones? Same goes for my DVDs. I rarely sit down to watch them anymore. Might as well just rent them from Redbox when I do want to watch one. Netflix can kiss my ass! But that's another issue.
The fact is the Internet is here to stay. Free exchange of the information on the Internet is here to stay. You can't change these things. There is an entire generation of kids growing up thinking that its their right to download what they want for free, and whether that's right or wrong, they are going to outnumber you someday and they will get their way. People will continue to make movies and music because it's what they like to do, even if they have to give it away for free one the Internet. The question is can your business model evolve with the coming age or will your business go extinct like the dinosaurs?
Friday, September 16, 2011
I managed to kill my power supply in my computer a few weeks ago. I was in the middle of checking things on Facebook and suddenly I hear a weird noise and my computer turns off. I look over and see smoke coming out of the power supply. Luckily I had a spare computer sitting around to use while I waited for a new power supply to be shipped to me. But man it's old and slow!
I bought a tent and sleeping bag and went camping with a friend and his family. Now that I'm more awake during the day I find I have more time to hang out with people. Of course he's getting married and moving twenty some miles up the road so not sure I'll get to hang out with him much for awhile.
I created a Skype account and got that set up on my computer. Not sure how much I'll use it, but a few friends are talking about trying to do some roleplaying via Skype and it has been awhile since I've been able to roleplay and I kind of miss it.
Anyway I'm tired and going to bed. I just wanted to post something since it's been so long since I've updated.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Sing me a song little birdieNAO 8/6/2011
One that is light, cheerful, and true
Sing me a song little birdie
One to help me get through the day
Sing me a song little birdie
To lighten my day and take the away the pain
Sing me a song little birdie
To let me know there is nothing to fear and that you've stopped the rain
It's simply amazing to me how in the minute between composing this in my head and writing it down I forgot most of it. I'm pretty sure I had more ready to go for a third verse but now I don't know any of it. There was a little tune that went with this but I have no idea how to describe it. Plus the second verse kind of broke away from the tune in the writing down. It seemed better in my head anyway.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
nauv ccub tuqh hxku jbpa bcdf krja tfjb nnap iaxj bugq dqvi auxj apdq vfqo ekpa enva bpgd annq x
Edit: There was a screwed up letter in there. I guess I forgot to actually run that letter through the cipher. Oops.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
In other news I applied to be a part time student at Kirkwood Community College. It's really close to where I live anyway and hopefully work will pay my tuition fees. I applied for the Geographic Information System program. So assuming I'm accepted, and I've never heard of Kirkwood turning anyone away, I get to learn about maps during the day and then go to work working on GPS all evening. Sounds fun doesn't it?
So why go back to school now after seven or so years you might ask? Well firstly, as I said above, my work area is just miserable to be in right now and I want something different. Secondly, in theory, work will pay my tuition so why not take advantage of that. Thirdly, I've been meaning to go back to school ever since I moved to this town six years ago, but lack of money and then lack of knowing what I wanted to go for held me back.
So why GIS you might ask? Well because while looking up other GPS related jobs I might apply for one of them mentioned cartography, and when trying to find where one might go to learn about cartography I discovered it's usually in GIS programs at colleges now. Plus I've always liked maps, and been good at reading them. GIS is of course more complicated than just reading a map but I'm only going to be taking one or two classes a semester, so if it gets boring or heads in a direction I don't really care for I should be able to see that and stop after the first few semesters.
In other news, I've gotten my refund for my defective robot I bought off eBay. Not that I put anything about it on my blog before this, but awhile back I bought a LEGO Mindstorm robot off eBay. It didn't work so I returned it and got a refund. And then promptly spend most of that refund buying random stuff off eBay all over again. I bought a small painting and 100 year old map of Iowa that I plan on framing and hanging as a piece of art. I also bought some other odds and ends, including some brass wire I plan on using for a crafts project I want to do.
I want to make a torc. I practiced with some short pieces of copper wire I still had from the last time I was in college. Back then I used it for building eletrical circuits. This weekend I used it to make mini torc rings. Since the copper wire I have is already in precut lengths, I didn't have the length needed to make a full sized torc. The different techniques I tried ended up making my mini torc rings either to big or to small for my fingers but at least I worked out the technique I think I want to use. Now I just need to figure out the right length to use when my spools of wire show up. I should have enough to make two or three if the first one doesn't turn out right.
Anyway that's my life right now at a glance. I might make a road trip to the Grand Canyon this week since I don't have to work. But more likely I'll just stay home and save my money. I plan on having all my credit card debt paid off by the end of this month and a road trip would just add to that, plus cut into my money I have set aside for paying off my credit cards in the first place.
Monday, July 25, 2011
People like to think it's a black and white world. You have the good guys and the bad guys. Good versus Evil. But that's not how I see the world. The truth is if there were any superheroes left I'm not sure they would bother trying to save this dump. I'm no superhero. I'm just a guy. A guy that comes out here night after night trying to do what's right. Many have labeled me a vigilante. They say I'm no better than the scum I sweep off these streets every night. Maybe their right. But I bet they still sleep easier knowing there is one less criminal loose on the street.The opening monologue to some dark, gritty, twisted comic book or comic book based action movie. To bad I know absolutely nothing about this comic book hero that's giving the monologue. If I did I'm sure I could whip up a few storylines and try to sell the idea to Marvel or DC.
Oh and for the record, when he says "scum I sweep off the streets," he actual means dead bodies he leaves for the police to clean up. This guy really isn't any better than the criminals he's removing from the streets, hence the it's not a black and white world. This guy is clearly psychotic and thinks he's doing the world a favor by killing whatever low lifes he can get his hands on, or bullets into, whatever the case may be. It's hard to label him a "bad guy" when he's going around removing the threat other bad men present, but can you really label him one of the "good guys?"
Someone I know told me not to logn ago he had this theory about how all of America's heros are criminals. I'll let him talk about it if he so chooses. But it did give me something to think about. If he's right with that theory, what does that say about our society? I can't say this post came about from thinking about that, but it did remind me of it.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
These questions have been in the back of my head for weeks, if not months, now. The only reason I haven't asked them before is that I was hoping to expand on the ideas a bit more first, but nothing is coming to me. The problem I think is I don't believe in 100% predestination. I believe that there are just some certain events that are fixed in the probability matrix and have to happen, but that for the most part the daily lives of people are left to chaos and free will. As for what I mean by probability matrix, I'll just have to get back to you on that. The term just sort of came to me as I was typing it so it doesn't have any real thought behind it yet.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Awaken from the Dreaming darkly----------------
Heaven sent torments knocking at your door
Earthbound with gossamer wings
In a cold calculated world
Over the precipice
And drifting in the wind
A shooting star
Racing towards the end
Rejoice cruel world
The fireworks are in the sky
So dance the night away
And have no fear of the coming day
I haven't done a word flow in awhile and then suddenly the first few lines came to me and I knew I had to write it down before I forgot it. I can't say it's any good but it felt nice to write something new again. As usual there is no real meaning here that I'm aware of. I know what I was thinking for each line but they don't really mesh together well.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Then recently I bought a book all about Judas and how the way people have understood and portrayed him has changed over the centuries. I still haven't gotten past the first chapter so I can't say if its a good book yet or not. But it gave me an idea. The way I figure it Judas is the most important disciple of Jesus, because without him Jesus wouldn't have died and the whole Christian religion wouldn't be around today. I know people won't agree with that statement but that's how I see it. So I figured his name would be one of the most used through out the gospels, behind Peter whom I knew was most named.
So I set about to write down and count the number of times the names of the disciples were used through out the four gospels. Peter came in first of course with about 50% of the times a disciple is actually named. Most of the time the gospels just say the disciples after all and not their names. Judas came in fourth with about 7% of the time disciples names get used. I hadn't counted on James and John, the sons of Zebedee, to be mentioned as often as they were.
What really surprised me, though it shouldn't have had I stopped to think about it, was how the list of names for the disciples is not consistent between the gospels. Mark, Matthew, and Luke all list the twelve at one point, and for 6 of the disciples this is the only time there name is mentioned in that gospel. John on the other hand only lists seven of the disciples by name, then adds the sons of Zebedee without actually naming them, and says "and two others." But even more oddly three of the disciples named that get more face time in John are ones just mentioned within the list of the twelve in the other gospels and nothing more is said about them.
There is of course so debate about the actual names of the twelve. After all each gospel lists the name slightly differently. Is Levi, the tax collector; Levi, son of Alphaeus; and Matthew the tax collector all the same person or were their three different people the gospels were talking about. And how is he related to James, the son of Alphaeus? Wikipedia has a listing of the twelve with their various names and how tradition has reconciled the differences in the lists of the gospels.
Twelve was obviously an important number to Jews. There were twelve tribes of Israel originally after all. But considering how there seem to be no surviving stories about half the twelve in the bible I'm left wondering if these people actually existed at all, or if the names were just made up to fill out a list of twelve disciples just to reach that magic number twelve.
There are stories about them that aren't in the bible though apparently. I don't know any of these stories and can't judge how trustworthy any of them are. According to Wikipedia though eleven of the twelve were martyred before or during the time period that most scholars think the gospels were first being written. If the twelve were important to the early Christians, and they had just been martyred, don't you think someone would have written that down?
Anyway that's just my opinion. I doubt most of what's written in the bible anyway. This was just my most recent adventure at trying to dig for any truth in the bible.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Somewhere else I once heard these same things, but on top of all that they said that because the universe is expanding at faster and faster rates, eventually it will reach the point where other galaxies are so far away that light from them can never reach us because the rate of expansion is actually faster than the speed of light.
In the show it talked about two galaxies colliding and how the visible matter reacted in a predictable way given physics as we know it, but that the dark matter, which they likened to scaffolding around visible matter several times through out the show, continued on moving in a straight line as though nothing had happened.
Now here is my problem. From several sources I hear that the universe is expanding, and that it causes all other galaxies to be moving away from our own, and yet its possible for these other two galaxies to collide and for scientist to study them? An analogy they used a few times for the expansion of the universe was dots on the surface of a balloon getting farther apart as you blow air into the balloon. If that is true how do galaxies collide? Why aren't they constantly moving away from each other?
I'm not an astrophysicist. I don't really understand any of this stuff. I was once really interested in all of this stuff but as much as I like math, I don't enjoy it that much. If dark matter is what is helping keep matter together, and dark energy is what is pushing everything apart, and there is so much more dark energy than everything else, how are we still together? It seems to me that every time a scientist gets an answer to a question then suddenly just have a dozen new questions to answer based on what they just learned to answer the last question.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Any code invented by someone can be cracked by someone else eventually. Just look at how many times lately in the news there has been a story about a group of hackers breaking into another company's system and crashing it and stuff like that. Now I don't condone what those groups have done, but it is a perfect example of how some one's "secure" code can be cracked by someone else. Everyone of those company's had computer security systems of some kind I'm sure.
One of my favorite movies of the 90's was Hackers. And as grossly unrealistic as some of that movie was it did point out something. There are some groups of very smart people out there on the Internet that it is unwise to mess with. And if you do poke the sleeping bear prepare to have very expensive paper weights because your computer will soon be garbage.
Anyway all I really wanted to say is I hope to have some updated posts soon. The decoding challenge, and anything else I might remember I wanted to put on here.
Monday, June 6, 2011
Sadly, while it is possible to teach logic, most people seem unwilling to learn it, preferring to live passionately and let their emotions rule their actions. And while it may be possible to teach logic to those willing to learn, common sense is something that can't really be taught.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Why do I tell you about this? Well because there was one very interesting experience through it. That totally exhausted but unable to get restive sleep state I was in meant my dreams and reality blended in odd ways. Firstly let me say I had been playing Fallout 3 in the days before my illness struck and for some unknown reason I started to think about the movie City of Ember. Now both these things involve escaping from an underground settlement. So my exhausted, feverish mind really dug itself into this idea of being trapped in an underground settlement.
I can't tell you the overall story my mind constructed in these dreams, but even as I was crawling in and out of bed for whatever reason, I just couldn't stop thinking about. I'm not sure what exactly I thought of it, or if I truly knew the difference between my dreams and reality at that point even though when I was awake I was aware I wasn't underground. It made for an interesting day until my stomach settled enough to be able to get some true restful sleep. All I can remember for sure was there were different factions fighting for control of the settlement, and for light. There was a big squabble over lighting the main cavern.
The other odd thing was the name Sesshomaru. The name kept popping up but I can't say for certain I ever stumbled across this character in the story, or who's side he was on. The whole time I was aware the name came from an anime show I'd seen in the past. At the time I thought it was a character in the show Rurouni Kenshin but in trying to get the spelling right just now I came to find out it was actually from the show InuYasha. That would certainly explain my difficulty in trying to figure out exactly which character from Kenshin he was. Being has it has been years since I've seen any anime, let alone those particular shows I'm confused as to why my brain dug up that name to throw into my dreams.
One more oddity of being sick that first day. Water tasted horrible. I knew I had a fever, about 100 degrees at that point, and being sick had purged me of a lot of the water in my system, so I knew I had to drink plenty of water even though it tasted bad. The simple joy when I finally woke up feeling better and that glass of cold water actually tasted good again. It is very hard to stay hydrated when water tastes bad, but I managed. Plus now I know I really can survive not eating for a day. Hell, even that second day I barely ate anything.
Anyway I spent a couple of days sick, and that led into a long holiday weekend for me to recover. Yesterday when I drove to the grocery store everything seemed just a bit off. It was so odd to be leaving my apartment after so many days shut up inside. I came out of all this with a bit of a cough and sometimes it seems like my body hasn't figured out just yet how to completely regulate my body temperature.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
No I can't say for certain what that something is. After all I'm still not certain I exist. Descartes still has me beat there I guess. And while I was thinking about this I realized I kept using the word "certain." That got me thinking about the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. And the basic idea came to that the more one focus's their attention on one detail of the world around them the less detail the see about everything else, and the converse to that, the more they try to see everything around them the less details they see in any of it.
Now one thing I've never been certain about is that I perceive the same world as anyone else. How do I know that the color I see as red isn't really blue, or seen has green by someone else. And maybe you'd say well because you can say "Hey this is red." to which others would reply "No, it's blue." But I also don't know that the language I use is the same as anybody else's. I know on several occasions I've gotten into long drawn out debates about a particular topic only to find out in the end we were both trying to say the same thing but were using different definitions for the words we were using, or something like that.
So what am I getting at with all this? I don't know if I exist and I don't know that you exist. And if the universe exists is still a complete mystery to me, but I can say with some certainty that something, somewhere definitely exists. After all modern science now seems to say quantum fluctuations can create something out of nothing for brief periods of time. So given nothing and quantum mechanics, apparently you get something sooner or later.
Monday, May 23, 2011
None of us can even know there is an afterlife. By definition its what happens after this life, and as we are still in this life we can only guess at what lies beyond. And anyone who tries to tell you different is trying to sell you something. I have my ideas, but there is no way I can know for certain.
One thing that I always find odd is that in all the gospels there is at least once where Jesus tells his followers that the Kingdom of Heaven will come within the lifetime of some of the people hearing him speak those words. It didn't come to them then and yet millions of Christians are certain that its still just around the corner. You got stupid creationist that want to take the creation myth and histories of the bible as literal facts and then conveniently ignore the very words Jesus is said to have spoken on this other matter.
Anyway we still have about 20 months before the next doomsday. A bunch of idiots misinterpreting Mayan legends and now we have the idea that the world will in 2012. Let me just say this now. Nothing is going to happen!!!
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
But I say to you that I believe in effect without cause. At the heart of chaos would be such an effect. I have heard that modern science has shown that at the quantum level particles can come out of nothing. They are short lived and quickly blink back out of existence. It is believed our own universe may have come into existence in just this way, only instead of blinking out of existence suddenly exploded outward with a great expansion.
Anyway back to my original point. Both religion and science seem to say that some outside unknown "cause" started our universe. Religion has it's answers and science is constantly striving for it's. But I ask why must we believe that all effects have a cause? What actually causes the mutations that drive evolution? Honestly I don't know. I hated biology in school and we never studied evolution anyway. My point is there are infinite effects happening in every moment, but can anyone truly know that their are an equivalent infinite causes?
Thursday, May 12, 2011
The point is the few visitors I get seem to care nothing about reading the rest of my blog. And no one ever comments on anything leaving me to wonder why I bother. Is it good enough that I put my thoughts out there? I'd like to hear what other people have to say on my thoughts. Debate helps me refine my thoughts. So today I write this nonsense. Maybe in the days to come I will write more of my thoughts down. Or something about the new story idea I'm working on. I still need to figure out the plot though.
In the mean time, continue to ignore my blog world. There is nothing to see here I guess.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
The thing that strikes me as odd about this is apparently there is in fact something that can move faster than the speed of light, which there isn't supposed to be according to modern physics. If the universe itself can expand at a rate faster than light itself does that other things can going faster than the speed of light? What does that mean for Einstein's theories of relativity? If I remember his theory correctly moving faster than the speed of light would make it seem that time in the rest of the universe had stopped, or something to that effect.
I've been thinking about this concept of the universe expanding faster than light can travel and it got me thinking about other times that stuff seems to break through this supposedly impossible barrier. And I started to think about black holes. Once anything goes passed the event horizon of a black hole it becomes impossible to escape. Even light can't escape the gravitational pull of a black hole it is said, thus the name black hole. A hole in space that is black because no light escapes.
Now I don't know much about the physics of black holes. Maybe the gravity there is able to slow light down to below it's max speed. I don't know. But it seems to me what is happening is in a black hole the speed at which stuff falls towards the center is faster than the speed at which light can radiate out, thus not even light can escape. Thus we have another instance that something is traveling faster than the speed of light.
Now I'll be the first to admit that I'm no expert on this stuff. But it does give me something to think about. The first step in making new scientific discoveries is questioning the theories and mysteries around us. Maybe someone will read this and start thinking about it and figure out a new theory that explains everything in a nice neat new way. If they do I'd love to hear about it.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
So I started to read about nothing, and recently watched a whole hour long show about nothing, and I now have come to the belief that nothing is hard to prove to exist. First off let's get some simply ideas about nothing out of the way.
"The emptiness of space is full of nothing." Couldn't be farther from the truth. There is all sorts of light and energy flowing through space, so while it may be empty of matter for the most part it does still have stuff in it.
"The space between electrons and the nucleus of an atom is full of nothing." Well as it turns out that while there is indeed no matter in there, there is truly vast amounts of energy packed into that tiny space. I am probably wrong here but I think I read somewhere that the amount of energy packed into one atom, were it to be released all at once, would make the atom bombs we've detonated on this planet look like firecrackers. Let's hope that I'm wrong or that we never figure out a way to make that happen.
According to the show I watched about nothing, in same way that was never clearly explained as it would probably take untold hours of highly complex physics lectures to truly understand, the closer you get to a space of nothing tiny particles of matter and antimatter can pop into existence for the tiniest amounts of time and then annihilate each other back into nothing. So apparently something can be created from nothing.
So this begs the question for me of did nothing exist before the Big Bang? That I'm afraid will have to come another day as my thoughts on that matter are still trying to arrange themselves into a semi-coherent format.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
I once read a book that said a lot of the early biblical stories, Genesis and Exodus especially, can be directly correlated to ancient Egyptian mythology, just with the names of the Egyptian gods changed into the various characters in the story. And I know there was a brief time in ancient Egypt that was monotheistic, which maybe close to the time believed to be when the Hebrew people were in Egypt.
Then after putting my groceries away and getting something to eat I sat down to watch some TV. Now I prefer educational documentaries more the most part and was watching a show about the different technologies ancient cultures invented. And within the show, while talking about the process of making mummies, they said the mummies were laid out to dry with natron for forty days.
Now I'm not one for coincidences. I don't know at what time in ancient Egypt exactly mummy making was done by this process, versus when exactly the Hebrew people would have been in Egypt, if in fact they ever were, versus when Egypt experimented with monotheism. I don't know enough about Egyptian mythology to be able to speak towards any similarities with biblical stories. But to me there is definitely something going on here.
Here is one thing I do know. The first five books of the bible are traditionally believed to have been written by Moses. In Exodus it tells us that Moses was raised within the Egyptian court. He would have known Egyptian mythology better than Hebrew mythology. Now if he just happens to be trying to leave Egypt about the same time that the Egyptians monotheistic experiment is coming to an end, then it only makes sense that Moses would have wrote the stories he was more familiar with adapted for a new audience.
This may even be supported in some fashion by the biblical stories. After they fled Egypt the Hebrews got in trouble several times with their god because quite frankly they seemed to start worshipping any gods they came across. It seems to me that Moses could have easily convinced them to stick with his version of stories even if that wasn't particularly what they had believed beforehand. At this period they don't appear to be a very devoted people.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
The act of observing the world around us changes the way it behaves, at least on the quantum level.
I was going to say more about this, but right now the words have left me. I'll just have to come back another time to finish this.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
And what I was was way more typos then I thought I'd let slip by. No so much spelling errors since there is a spellchecker to use in this blog editor. But mistyped or missing words. Stuff that is properly spelled words but the not the word I meant to use, or words that I just forgot to type for whatever reason. One reason for missing words is that I just can't type as fast as I can think so sometimes I get ahead of myself. As for using the wrong words all I can say is when, if, I proofread a post my brain must automatically correct such words to what I meant without telling me as I'm reading it. Hopefully my readers can makes sense of what I was saying to.
So upcoming projects for me:
Proof reading my entire blog and fixing all the mistakes. Not sure when I'll get around to that, but it will be more of an on going project than something I will just bang out in a weekend or something.
I have a post idea about reality vs perception. Here I will quote a text message I sent a friend when I first started thinking about this post. "If something exists while not being perceived, what might exist that we fail to perceive? And what is the nature of perception? Of existing?"
My other post idea was about nothing, and what I can build from my undoubted foundation of "Nothing exists." To make that foundation easier to understand for people and less confusing, though I like it being potentially confusing simply because I think it's fun that way, I might start saying the foundation is "Nothingness exists."
If I had another posting idea it has now fled my mind so it will just have to wait. Anyway that's what I hope to work on in the near future.
Current weight: 306lbs
Pages written: 0
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
For example this issue with the Wisconsin senate and unions and stuff. I have lots I want to say about that, but for one thing I don't live in Wisconsin so why should I care? The other is I'm no expert on the politics involved so is one more loud mouth idiot that doesn't know what he's talking about really what the situation needs?
Or maybe I should bring back some bashing of the church? Do you know that if you want to believe the bible is literal I can show that God is Satan? It's true. It's in the bible. But I've done enough post about that stuff. If you have read through my blog and think you can take the bible as literal your an idiot and I've done a post about that before. I don't need to keep doing it.
Maybe I should talk about history? I am immensely fascinated by the medieval time period, or the barbarians conquests and the fall of the Roman empire. But all I would be doing is copying stuff I've read or seen in documentaries. If you are really that interested go read books or watch those documentaries. They say it much better than I could anyway. And not being a historian and not having access to the old writings of those times, not that I could read them anyway, it's not like I have anything new to add to the subject.
I could write about my writings. The novel or short stories I keep saying I'm trying to write. Only the thing is I haven't actually wrote anything yet. I have some ideas but I never put them down. And the ideas I have don't form a full story yet. All I have so far or a few random excerpts at most.
Or maybe I could tell you about my diet and exercise routine, since I'm trying to lose weight. Only the thing is I haven't actually started any diet or exercise routine. In fact since the beginning of the year when I said I wanted to lose weight I think I've put on about 5 more pounds. With spring approaching maybe I will get out and walk more at least but who knows what will happen.
So see, while I have a lot I could talk about there really isn't much for me to say.
Pages written: 0
Current weight: 308lbs
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Anyway the basic outline is this.
I still need to flesh it out some of course, but that's the basic frame work for how I see the universe having been created. I was going to say more today but I forgot everything else. Sorry, you'll just have to tune back in another day.
First there was nothing but the Void, stark vast emptiness of nothing. And brought into the Void were the Primal Forces, Order and Chaos. And where these Primal Forces first collided the Universe was created. Now the Primal Forces of Order and Chaos exert themselves on the universe to each reach their own ends.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
The terrible truth that so many people don't want to see is that we are all one. We put up so many walls between us and them, between me and you, between white and black, etc. But the simple truth is we are all the same. We are all one on this tiny ball of matter flying through the vast nothingness of space. All those walls are meaningless.
The greatest question of them all is what happens to us when we die. Personally I don't believe in an afterlife. I'm more of a fan of reincarnation. But the concept of the afterlife is pretty impressive if you stop and think about it. Where did it come from? Damn near every culture that exists or ever existed on this planet seems to have an afterlife mythos.
My favorite is something I once read about the Celts. I have no idea if this is true, but I like it all the same. The idea is this. There are two worlds, this world and the otherworld. When you die in this world you are born in the otherworld, and when you die in the otherworld you are born in this world. To that end they mourned at births and celebrated at funerals. For when some one is born here they must have first died in the otherworld. And when they die here you can celebrate knowing they will be born in the otherworld.
Now I don't believe that's what actually happens, but I like the idea. The underworld, the land of the dead, Sheol, whatever you want to call it, was not always looked upon has the utopia of the Christian heaven. Nor was there always the concept of a separate place for the good and bad peoples to go like heaven and hell. Each culture had its own myths about what happens in the afterlife and what the rules are. And I think you could learn a lot about a culture by studying these myths alone.
I've said before that I don't believe in the Good vs Evil view of the world that is so dominate in our culture. I blame this viewpoint on the Christian Church and the scare tactics they have used of the millennia. I don't want to turn this post into another rant against the church though so I'll just leave it at that statement of opinion.
Personally I think it's more of a Order vs Chaos that drives this universe. And we must struggle to seek the balance in ourselves and in our cultures. Societies of too much order or too much chaos have both fallen throughout all of history. Good and Evil or directions on a moral compass, and every one's moral compass is different, having been defined by the way they are brought up and the culture they lived in and by their own personally experiences in live. But Order and Chaos I feel can be more universally defined. I'm no expert and not an arrogant enough philosopher to try to define that myself right now.
Take a moment and stop to look at your life and the events in it. Try to see the key events in your life and determine if they were orderly or chaotic, and then just as an experiment try to define them as good or evil. Just see what you come up with. Personally when I look at my life I don't see much I could define as good or as evil, though certainly I have had moments of both throughout my life. But I do see a balance of orderly and chaotic. A prime example is elementary school with the orderly class rooms and studies, and the chaotic recesses.
I wish I knew more about the teachings of the Buddha. It seems to me that I would agree with a lot of what he had to say. But like all things in this live there are some things I'm sure I would disagree on too. For one thing I eat meat, and I'm pretty sure Buddhist are supposed to be vegetarian.
I think I had more that I was going to say but I'm going to cut it short here for now.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
It works like this: every one is dealt 7 cards and then try to make the best hand they can by trading with other players or drawing from the blind or discard piles. What makes it interesting, at least to us that designed it originally, is that when you are making these trades you not only don't have to tell the truth, but are encouraged to lie about what it is you are trading. The interesting thing is when oddly enough both sides tell the truth in what they trade because that usually is exactly what you didn't want.
For example: Say I have the 3 of hearts in my hand and I want to get rid of it. And lets say what I could really use to help make my hand even better is the 7 of clubs. I might propose a trade to one of the other players saying "I will trade you the queen of spades if you have the jack of diamonds." Now the other player is pretty sure I am not really trading the queen, nor am I really looking for that jack, so now he has a choice: he can gamble that what I'm saying is a queen is actually some card that could help him and in turn get rid of some card he doesn't want hoping that hurts me even more than the card I'm getting rid of; or he can decline. And if he happens to have the jack and its not helping his hand he can trade that to me knowing that it isn't likely to help me out at all or I wouldn't have asked for it. The other player could counter offer a different card if he so chose but since it's just as likely to be a lie the only real point to that is to confuse the issue.
Confused yet? It takes playing the game a few times before you figure out what's going on really and how you can best try to fool the other players to doing what you want them to. I can't give away all my secrets here, and truth be told I can't remember most of them anymore anyway since it's been so long since I've played the game.
Originally it was designed as a gambling game for a D&D world we were playing in. Eventually after many revisions and refinements to it we figured out how to actually add said gambling into the game. We were playing with poker chips denoted with 5 and 10 at the time so that was the scale we used. When you propose a trade you put forward a 5 chip and if the other player accepts he puts forward a 5 chip as well into the pot. If you buy a card off the blind instead of trading that cost you a 10 chip since you aren't trading with anyone. And taking the top card off the discard pile costs you 15, since not only are you not trading with someone, but you know exactly what you are getting. My notes don't seem to say but I believe we also had an ante of 5 to start out the pot each hand.
After you deal out the cards to the players you deal out a 6 card blind and start the discard pile out with a 7th card before removing the remainder of the deck from play. We found limiting the blind like this promotes trading, which was after all the whole point of the game, while still leaving a few more extra cards that can be brought into play if the trading stalemates. See eventually people just keep trading the same bad cards around so the blind offers a way to change them up a little. Since you can only have 7 cards in your hand drawing from the blind or discard pile requires that you then discard a card.
The game moves in turns. Starting to the left of the dealer and going around clockwise each player decides to propose one trade to one other player or draw from the blind or discard piles. If the trade is declined by the other player that's too bad, you used up your turn all the same. Play continues for as long as everyone is willing to keep trading. Eventually someone will declare they are happy with their hand and call an end to the hand, preferably at the end of their own turn but I can't recall if that was firm in the rules. Each remaining player gets one more turn to try to better their hand, but obviously the player that declared they were done will no longer trade, so if it's a two player game that just leaves the blind.
Scoring the hand: This is where we had to do the most refining which took hours of playing and seeing what was most fair. Each card in your hand can only be scored in one set and must be used in a set if possible, so choose your sets wisely. Sets can be pairs, 3 or 4 of a kind; or straights of 3 to 7 cards. The ace card can be either low or high in a straight, but can not span the gap. So a straight can be ace, 2,3; or queen, king, ace; but not king, ace, 2. There is also the full house set, which is a 3 & 4 of a kind in the same hand. You also get bonus points for a flush set, all the cards in a particular set are the same suit; and a full flush, all 7 cards in your hand are the same suit regardless of if they are used in a set or not.
A pair is worth 5 points, 3 of a kind is worth 20 points, 4 of a kind is worth 40 points, and a full house is worth 75 points (20 & 40 points from the 3 and 4 of a kind plus 15 bonus points).
A 3 card straight is worth 15, a 4 card is worth 20, 5 cards is worth 30, 6 cards are worth 40, and a 7 card straight is worth 50 points.
A flush set is worth +5 points per card in the set. For example a 4 card flush straight would be worth 20 for the straight and another 20 for the flush (5 points per card times 4 cards).
A full flush is worth 50 points plus the value of any of the sets that might have made it up plus the face value of the remaining cards unused in the sets.
(This is where my notes become less clear. What I have written down is opposite of how I remember us playing it so I will first tell you how I remember us playing it. And then in brackets after that write down what my notes actually say and you can make up for your own mind which is better.)
Cards not used in a set are worth their face value, face cards are worth 10, and the ace is worth 15. This means that most cards are actually worth more outside of a pair then inside so watch out.
[Only face value of cards used in set.] This is what I have written down and would mean cards not used in a set don't score you any points, which is counter to how I remember it. But it every well could be that we changed that particular rule the last time we played and I took these notes and since it was the most recent change I just don't remember it. It does however mean that sets of higher valued cards are worth more than sets made of lower valued cards, because you get the value of the set plus the face value of the cards in that set. That would be the reason we changed that particular rule, but I still can't remember for sure.
That's the end of the hand. The person with the most points wins the pot. If you weren't playing for money I suppose you could just have a running total from one hand to the next and the first person to a set number wins. I'd set that number at 500 for shortish games and 1000 for longish games. It all depends on how long each hand takes you and your friends to play through.
That's the game. It can be lots of fun to play and unfortunately for me I haven't had a chance to play it in a long time. I just found my notes from the last time we played and thought I'd type them up here so I also knew where to find them in the future. And now other people can play the game if they want to. It would be particularly interesting for me to find my notes on the scoring from 5 years ago when I first wrote them down so I could compare the changes made. If I do I will probably put them in a comment so you can see the evolution of the game.
And please, if you do play the game with your friends, leave me a comment on what you thought of it, and any changes you can see that we should make to it. I'd just be happy to know other people are playing it. Any one with kids who play I'd love to know their ages. All games have a 5+ or whatever for recommend age for kids to play, and I have no idea at what age, if any, you would want to encourage your kids to become better liars. My totally uneducated guess would be to not recommend this game for play by kids under the age of say 10. But I'm not a parent so do I know.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
And experience also tells me that the first writing session is usually all I get for a story. Once I break off the flow of ideas I can never quite get it back to continue writing later. That's why my writing history is full of short two page, or so, beginnings to stories but hardly any full ones. The other problem is I sometimes come up with great beginnings, or at least I think they are great, but have no idea where the rest of the story should go.
As for my weight lost goal, I bought a Kinect for my Xbox 360. I had some difficulties when I was first trying to set it up but eventually got that figured out. My next problem is room to play. With the way my living room is currently set up and with how far back you need to be for the Kinect to work properly I'm right up against my couch. So anything that requires me to move my feet back doesn't work well. And with the way my apartment is laid out I'm not sure I can rearrange the furniture to give me more room. And rearranging would mean cleaning, which is something I desperately need to do but just keep putting off until another day.
Pages written: 0
Current weight: 305lbs
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
The first is simple, and common. I want to lose some weight. Currently I weigh right around 300 pounds. So one of the things I might do in upcoming blog posts this year is put my current weight as encouragement to lose some. The idea being if it's constantly here for people to see and doesn't change maybe that would be enough of a push to get me to work harder at losing weight. Or maybe I'll still just keep slacking off.
The second thing I want to do this year is write a novel. Currently I have zero pages written. Something I plan on doing for future posts is include the number of pages written at the bottom of every post until my novel is finished. I have no idea how long a novel really needs to be but I'm aiming for at least 200 pages. Of course it will take some time to get my ideas formed and do any research I might need to do, so the page count my be stuck at zero for the next month or so.
Currently I have two ideas for where to begin things in two different stories. The first idea is based off an old Dungeons & Dragons campaign I tried to Dungeon Master years ago. It involves a king seeking the help of all available heroes from near and far to help rid his cursed lands of the evils that plague it. It had a really awesome twist to it that never got seen since the campaign only lasted a couple of playing sessions. It has been years and I don't I have any of my old notes, but the basic plot outline is still in my head even if all the details have been forgotten. So I have a little bit more to work from on this idea then I do the next.
The other idea is loosely based on a short bit of story in one of my Dungeon & Dragons campaign settings books, called DragonStar. In the intro to the book it had brief story about seeing space ships from the Dragon Empire coming down and landing on a primitive planet and how the people reacted to it. I never really liked how technological that setting was and never actually played in that setting. And lately I've been toying with the idea of writing a story where modern people find out that dragons are real, but that they live in space and are some how immune to effects of the vacuum of space and the extreme temperatures. I could never quite figure out to explain the science behind that idea though.
Transplant that idea back into a fantasy world where I need not worry about science and just claim its magic, and now I have a story idea of invading armies from other worlds flying on the backs of giant space faring dragons. Unfortunately that, and a possible first few pages, is all I have for this idea. No plot outline or anything have I yet devised for this story idea. And those first few pages I mentioned? Pretty much a direct rip off from the beginning of the Conan the Barbarian movie from my childhood. I hear they are making a new one. Can't wait to see how that comes out.
The third thing I wish to do this year is simply find some time to take a long weekend away and see something new. For instance I haven't seen the Grand Canyon yet. I imagine I would find some other cool stuff on the drive there and back with out much planning too. Even cheesy roadside attractions of the nature "World's Largest ______" can be interesting. Mostly I just want to get out of Iowa for a few days and see what there is to see. As of right now I have plenty of vacation time saved up at work, so I'd just need to start saving up some money for expenses.
Current Weight: 300lbs.
Pages written: 0