Thursday, August 31, 2006

pile o' questions

Shannon over at Phat Mommy, after answering some homeschooling questions posed her own list of unschooling questions. I'm taking her up on her offer to answer her questions here at my own little home on the nets. So pop yourself a beer and lets hop on in.


What counts as a field trip? I'm going to use the trip to Birmingham for Momma's roller derby bout. We arrived in town over an hour before the caravan of other teammembers and had some time to roam around. We had a list of restaurants to perhaps visit, but we didn't get around to doing any real planning. Discovering Kelly Ingram Park and the civil rights exhibit was really interesting. We haven't really approached civil rights and America's dirty past before that. I don't know really that he learned a lot, and The Boy, at three, was much more interested on what he could climb, but it is a door that we've opened to something we'll eventually cover.


The Medal of Honor games that we have for the Gamecube have opened up discussion of World War II. These weren't intended as educational, but that's the beauty of the unschooling life. While most of Big Brother's interest in the historical aspect involves the weaponry, we have discussed some of the causes of the war, and it's a beginning.


The kitchen? The computer would probably be a more accurate answer.


Seed is a science magazine that we had never heard of till recieving a gift subscription. I would recomend this magazine to every person that is literate. We also get Popular Science and National Geographic.


Picking produce, which may be the single most valuabe skill one can take away from the grocery store. All the other things one can learn from grocery shopping pales, in my opinion, to knowing to smell the blossom end of a cantaloupe to check for ripeness.


I can't really think of anything. We've seen things that, on first look may have looked interesting but proved to be more crap than not. But I don't know of anything that we didn't buy for this specific reason. More than what we can learn from something we will look at the use we or the boys could get out of it, and as often as not we would pass on something because it wasn't likely to be of lasting quality. I'm more likely to pass on something for being too simple or because it seems like crap.


I have no way of knowing. I've never really considered any curriculum as the freedom from that sort of mentality is one of the bright lights of not schooling for me.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

some chit for your ears and eyes

One of my favorite ways to use You Tube is not so much as a video site. Of all the albums I own, there are plenty more that I don't. Lately I've been finding songs on You Tube that I like but don't own, and instead of watching the video, I'll do my other interneting while listening to the song. This isn't to say that I don't get sucked into a string of videos sometimes. It's way to easy to stay up late link jumping at You Tube. So here are a few of the things that kept me up late last night.

First is some O-U-T Kast, so get up off your ass.

This one is a bit older, but no one but Pharcyde tells us about yo Momma like you need to hear.

Finally is a song with which I wasn't familiar before last night. It's a great song and a great video.

Monday, August 28, 2006

hard part of soccer season

For me, the hardest part of coaching soccer is the initial phone call. We play in the local AYSO league, and I've been coaching Big Brother since his second U6 season. Prior to each season beginning, the coaches all meet at a local church where we get our packet of team info, the info on each player and our practice field and time.

I really enjoy coaching the kids, and I love getting the chance to play even when it is with a rowdy bunch of 6-8 year olds. What I don't like is calling the families. I can call people I know, but I hate that cold call feeling you get when you have to introduce yourself to people you've never met to inform them that you are their child's new coach and when you've scheduled the weekly practice.

I don't know why I so dislike that first call, but I do. Once that first call is out of the way, we meet in person at that first practice. After that I don't have any problem calling them if I need to.

The final parent just called me. I made all the calls last night, but I was unable to actually talk to this family, leaving a message on the mother's voicemail. I don't trust the voicemail in a situation like this, so I've been expecting to call again at some point to be sure I talk to a real person. She called me just minutes ago ending the wait. Now all my team members have been contacted, and everyone knows what they need to know. The weight of the initial call is finally off my shoulders. It's a mild WooHoo moment.

So now that the hard part is over I can look forward to the fun part. One of the mothers even mentioned her willingness to coordinate the snacks as well as the end of season party, two more of my least favorite chores. I can't wait to meet my new kids and get on the field. Practice starts tomorrow night.

I also attended my own first practice yesterday only to learn with some dread that our first game is two weeks away. I didn't run that much, yet I have the sore calves today to suggest either I did run more than I think or that I'm in much worse shape than even I thought. I guess them's the breaks.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

mindless violence meets mindless politicians

Many of my favorite video games are violent, and many of Big Brother's favorite video games are violent. I do practice restraint with regards to certain games that are not at all fitting for my children, and as a parent, that is both my duty as well as my prerogative. Thankfully, many states are willing to accept that it isn't their place to dictate to me what games I and my family may purchase and play.

I'm amazed and a little disgusted that people can actually take this issue all the way to the courts in trying to outlaw the sale of violent video games. Louisiana is the most recent state to send the fools packing, one of the fools being their very own governor, Kathleen Blanco. According to the Gov. it is the job of the state to protect kids, and since the state won't do it, parents are going to have to.

Well no fucking shit ya dumbass sack of stupid. They are my kids, not in an ownership kind of way but in a parent-knows-best kind of way. This is an easy link back to homeschooling, but beyond that mention, I won't take it there.

One year after Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans and the city still isn't even close to welcoming back all the refugees that had to flee the city. Given the debacle that was the aftermath of the storm, given the inability of the city or the state to respectfully deal with the citizens hurt and displaced by the storm and their governor can't think of any better way to spend taxpayer dollars than to try convincing the court that our childrens' mental health is being destroyed by pretending to shoot bad guys. Um, Ms. Blanco, kids grow up pretending to kill bad guys. I grew up watching John Wayne shoot bad guys like it was cool. My brother and I as Captain Kirk and Lt. Spock phasered many a bad guy.

Here's the actual quote from Gov. Blanco as I lift it directly from Wired dot com, to whom goes the hat tip.

I'm calling on all parents to diligently monitor the video games that their children are allowed to play. If the courts can not protect our children, then we need to do it by rejecting the merchant of violence.

This is basically what I was thinking, except that I don't want to rely on the court as the arbiter of what is or is not good for my children. The courts are not our parents, and as a parent, parenting is what you do. Certainly there are instances in which the court should step in and protect children as well as adults. But believe me, censorship is never going to be okay. We are in the land of the free no matter how many sheeple want like hell for someone to tell them what is good and bad.

neato linko

Hat tip to Lynn Point at KnoxViews for this one. This link will take you to a page at Lynn Point Records' website. In 1929 and 1930, Knoxville's St. James Hotel, home at the time to WNOX radio, hosted Brunswick Recording Company. As they did in other cities, Brunswick recorded songs by a number of local musicians. These songs are being made available via Lynn Point Records at the above link. I have yet to fully explore the songs, but I certainly plan to.

Friday, August 25, 2006

attempting the mild derby rant

As any regular reader here will/should know, my wife is a member of our local roller derby league, Hard Knox Rollergirls, who are members of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association. These girls have been working hard to get themselves in shape, strengthen their bodies, better their skating abilities, and they've been working at this for several months now. It's really gratifying, even to me as an (what I'll call) associated observer to see the amount of work these girls are doing. It is work, and it is hard, and I can see so much improvement in their abilities. I know there are some new and strong friendships growing, and I would even wager that many of these girls have developed strength other than physical.

By the way, roller derby is in fact a sport, and I suggest that anyone who disagrees should lace up their skates, put on their pads and try any one of these girls on the rink. Even the smallest of these girls will happily point out the error in the idea that this isn't a real sport.

The Tragic City Rollers put together an amazing team. One of their jammers in particular seemed to have rockets installed in her skates as she zipped around. I do not want to detract at all from the work they've done to prepare themselves or from the spirit they showed, and I respect their efforts no less than the effort of our own local league. They fought just as hard as our girls.

Before I'm completely done I want to reiterate the pride I have for the Hard Knox Rollergirls. There is so much dedication in our league. These girls push themselves so hard at every practice, and I know that every match they play is going to be good. Regardless of the score, they can all hold their heads high. They fought hard. They fought beautifully. They kick motherfucking ass, hard as hell!

Updated to add: I have removed some content from this post. The Tragic City Rollers were gracious hosts and were tough competitors. I regret having made any suggestion that they were unfair in the match described above, which is the content I removed. Both cities were well represented in this bout, and all the girls and staff should be proud of themselves. To all Tragic City Rollers, I am sorry I posted what I did. Thank you to those who commented, and if you'd like, see this post to see some explanation for my change of heart.

money grubbing finks at Amsouth bank

Banks are shitty places to have your money stolen from you. They can set their practices/procedures any way they want, and you can't do much but walk away if you are unhappy. Once they've stolen a pile of your money though, it's a little late and walking away is basically a Pyrrhic victory.

Before we left town this past weekend we deposited Momma's check. We made a few purchases using our debit card over the weekend knowing that we had plenty of money, that along with the check, the sales would clear on Monday night. That was not the case.

Apparently, because the check is not drawn on Amsouth, soon not to be our bank anymore, they deposited only one hundred dollars of it on Monday. They also let all the purchases go through before the check, though the check was deposited at least a day before any of the purchases were made.

So the bank decided that they should charge us almost three hundred dollars for going slightly over, which if the business was transacted in the order it happened would never happen. And when Momma called them today, they decided to be smug assholes about it and offer us a third of the money back as they are content to steal only a small amount.

So Amsouth basically told us to go to hell because they were keeping the stolen money. Momma has had this job over two years, during which time her paychecks have never once bounced. We've had this account for over eight years, and the only other time this has happened to us, completely the fault of the bank, a much smaller amount of money stolen then, we were able to work the problem out. We have never been anything but good customers, maintaining a balance and never bouncing anything. Because Amsouth doesn't give a shit about their customers, they would rather lose good customers than not steal money.

So, thank you Amsouth. I hope you enjoy our money and the knowledge that your greed could really have hurt my children. My family will be fine without that two hundred dollars, but your greed is making my next week really difficult. And as soon as our different bills are through the bank, we will be taking our money and our business to a different bank.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

derby pics

This is a picture taken by the mother of one of our Hard Knox Rollergirls as they prepare for their match against the Tragic City Rollers. Momma is down in the right hand corner. More pictures can be found here. I'm still rolling the post around my head concerning the actual match, and as much as I want to write about it, I'm still not sure of my approach. I may just let the idea go, but I kind of doubt it. So enjoy the pictures, and if you care, keep looking for the post. I'm sure it's coming, but you are going to have to wait for my brain to stop spinning ideas.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

my car might be done and the newest rental

According to the collision center, my car is done. Of course they told me this same thing last week, but that changed to "we didn't get the alignment done, but we'll pay for you to do it." So at my earliest convenience, I took the car to have the alignment fixed only to find that the collision center was not done. They did a beautiful job with the body work, but they didn't look far enough. We needed some more work done, work that was the responsibility of the collision center.

So we rented another car for the couple of days that it took to get our car fixed. It was nice driving the rental to Alabama, not putting the miles on our own car, and I've almost fallen in love with the rental.

I wanted a decent car with space and a cd player. We got a Mazda 6, shiny black and quicker than a swipe from a cat's paw. The trunk, considering the size of the car, is huge. Momma's derby bag fit, the bag that holds two pairs of skates, helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist/hand guards, all with room to spare. It also held the two suitcases for our clothes, a small cooler, four large beach towels, two blankets, the pillows from the sofa, and all that still only took up about two thirds of the available trunk space. As pretty as a shiny black car can be, I would personally not pay good money to own the fingerprint magnet.

We are hopefully done with other people's cars. I want my Honda back, and I want it to be completely fixed this time. I hate driving to the west side of our town, even if it's only halfway west. Once I get past Bearden, the darkness starts to take over, and I hate the west side of our town. The collision center is only a couple of miles past Bearden, but it's far enough that I'll be so happy to be done with this car crap.

So, one poopy butt to wipe as soon as The Boy finishes filling the diaper, and we get to get our car.


I am nerdier than 22% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!
I'm not entirely concerned that I'm not nerdy, but the suggestion that I'm also not hip kind of hurts a little. I first saw this test at COD's place, but I didn't take the test till I saw that Doc had also taken it. Since apparently it's the new thing to do, I had to try and get in early so that I can one day proclaim, "Nerd test? Dude, I was taking the nerd test back when it was cool."

Monday, August 21, 2006

things you may not have imagined

We all know that christians don't all adopt their kids. Some christians even have giant piles of kids. One could debate the concept of producing more offspring in a world of diminishing resources, a world where many children live their lives in want of parents.

I'm not debating those issues. I'm not debating anything here. The point here is that, for all their self righteous, goofy, and too often abusive and wrong minded ideas about sex, especially sex of others in which they hold no stake or share, christians have sex. They get their groove on.

While one might imagine christian sex existing in a lights off world of lifted skirts and not looking, it may not always be this way. And if you are a christian that wants that bootay, and if you are a chrisitan that might want that bootay when you are alone, and if you are a christian that wants that bootay in a way other than lying flat on each other with as little thrusting as possible, then this site might be for you.

Hat tip to Wired dot com up in here.

getting off a quick one

Yet again, and possibly unnoticed by all, I have returned from a short absence. We drove Friday afternoon southwest to Birmingham Alabama. I can't say much for Birmingham. That city, the downtown part at least, irritated the living hell out of me. If you are ever there and on any avenue North and are looking for any avenue South, drive the streets in descending order until you reach First Avenue North, cross the bridge to find First Avenue South, then proceed in ascending order to your street. Whoever Momma talked to on the phone from Sol y Luna was extremely friendly and helpful in getting us to their eatery, and the food was great. Maybe if I lived there, the city would eventually make sense, but it really does seem like more of a driving through kind of state as opposed to a living in kind.

Momma and her Hard Knox Rollergirls teammates had their very first match Sunday night. I'm going to devote a post to that, but I'm not sure how I want to go about it. There is a lot of anger and disappointment over the debacle. My voice is shot from screaming encouragement to some awesome girls that fought a hard battle. I'm proud of everyone of them, and I oddly feel a little more personally invested in the Hard Knox girls.

We missed visiting the Civil Rights Institute because they are closed on Monday. We didn't hit more than one of the restaurants on our list of places to try. We drank from the gas station, so instead of good beer I floated myself in Miller High Life. We, not my family personally but some of the girls, got a warning or several from the hotel management. We left about a metric shit ton of trash.

I got two phone calls while we were driving down Friday having to do with Big Brother's soccer team and my own soccer team. Big Brother and I can start practice as soon as I can get the team info and our practice field. That means that our season shouldn't be much more than a month away. My own team had a practice on Sunday night, so I can pay my fee and get to work hurting myself. Speaking of hurts, Momma has a doozy of a hematoma on her thigh and another on her elbow. There are probably some smaller ones that she has yet to notice.

Momma has driven to her momma's house to pick up our dog. Here's my big thanks to Maw-n-law for dog sitting. I'm really not a dog person in any sense of the word, so travelling with a beast in the car is a no go in my world. As soon as she is back, I'm going to run somewhere and get us some food. I'm ending here, but I've got at least two posts stewing in my head.

Friday, August 18, 2006

tastes like . . .

As many families do, we like to eat the yogurt. I prefer Brown Cow brand with the layer of cream on top. Sometimes, I actually stir the yogurt and fruit together under the cream so that the cream stays mostly whole. Then I can stir it in at the end leaving it in pieces instead of having it become one with the fruit from the bottom and the yogurt itself. It's nice to get a largish chunk of the cream layer in a spoon full.

At the store, I generally let the boys choose flavors. Big Brother tends to like the same flavors as I. Recently, The Boy chose Yo Baby yogurt in a little six pack of banana and vanilla flavored yogurt. The package sports pictures of babies, most likely babies that eat yogurt. Either way, that's what The Boy noticed, and he asked specifically for the "baby yogurt." That's fine. Baby yogurt for him and Brown Cow for the rest of us.

As we turned and walked away from the dairy case, I thought I heard The Boy saying something about the yogurt. I leaned in a little to be sure I heard and asked him to repeat himself. What had he said? "The yogurt tastes like babies."

Thursday, August 17, 2006

howzabout that?

Lucky me, I'm all signed in and posting random crap. I've got a new template to make my goofy ass blog look cool. I think it's cool, and that's all that counts. I have made a couple of other changes that are newly available through the new and improved version. I don't have time at the moment to sit and play too much with this, but I've only dipped my toe into the water of available features. I plan on talking The Boy out of derby practice tonight so that I can sit here and figure it out. I've got errands to run, some sort of supper to plan and purchase and cook, and the possibility that I'll have to tag along to derby tonight as my current plans.

Tonight is Momma's last derby practice before the debut match in Birmingham. I'm sure I've explained this, but I don't greatly relish attending practices. Big Brother goes along, but he mostly stays out of trouble. Plus, if he does get in trouble, Momma can deal with it with no great theft to her efforts on the track. If The Boy decides to go, I must also. She can't very well attend to the crap he can get into, and as is his want, he gets into anything he can, doesn't listen to any idea or talk of limits (stay inside, no playing in the parking lot, no climbing on top of the arcade games, especially no climbing whatsoever while wearing roller skates.) So regardless of my desire not to be stuck for two to three hours wandering dumbly around the roller rink, I go with what The Boy wants most of the time. I'm not above offering a movie as a trap to keep him and me home, but if he really wants to go, I'll suck it up and go.

Anyway, that's the deal. I don't now know what I'll do tonight. I'd love to stay at home and be a philosophyless slacker or figure out how to label all my posts or perhaps write about the new funny/outrageous thing I will have unearthed (read via bloglines) using my amazing web finding things power.

let him die if he wants

From Science Blogs, we get an updated story on the dumb ass hippy family that doesn't accept the accepted medicine. We got this story hot not so long ago, the story of the sixteen year old with lymphoma who prefers drinking root tea as opposed to medicine with actual evidence as to its efficacy.

Seems this fellow was really unhappy with his original round of chemotherapy. He didn't enjoy it, but I don't know that I've ever heard of anyone enjoying chemo. Apparently it was so bad, and he's so smart, that the family has decided to he will undergo an alternative treatment.

When I first heard this story, I was a little unsure of my exact opinion in the matter. On the one hand, sixteen isn't an adult unless you murdered someone. Even then you don't get to vote or buy cigarettes or drink alcohol. Sixteen year old kids make bad and ill informed decisions constantly while at the same time being certain that they are the fountains of all the world's knowledge. There's no indignation like youthful certainty. On the other hand, where does the state get off trying to force medical treatment on anyone ever? I seem to remember having certain inalienable rights.

I feel for this idiot kid and his idiot parents. They don't care much for evidence apparently, but when you choose to forego proof in favor of faith and hope and wishing in one hand, you get what you deserve. And I have no doubt that this kid will be dead soon. But along with our other rights, I believe that we have a right to seek the medical care that we choose. We may not like it, but we have no right to insert our desires into this family's life, whether or not we are 100% certain that they are signing the child's death sentence. Besides, none of us make it out alive; some of us just don't make it out alive quicker.

I dread these situations. No family has ever expected the sicknesses that some of our children must face, and there are so many sick children around the world facing unimaginable sickness and disease. I can only imagine what I would do if either of my children were faced with something so awful as cancer. I would expect that I would seek out doctors that were respected by their peers (not that that is indicative of anything) and I would seek out proven treatments. I don't know that I would drive to Tijuana for a "natural remedy" cocktail of roots and leaves and horse's ass. If I had actually used up every single other avenue, and if I were certain that the "natural remedy" were my last and only glimmer of hope . . . I'd think that the ends of the earth would be mere speed bumps in my drive to save my children. But I'd start out with the doctors and scientists whose life work is proving techniques.

Finally, as I stated in my last post about this hippy family. If the alternative treatment works, then why do they have to go to that most medically advanced of countries, Mexico? Don't get me wrong, I love Mexico, the food, the people. I don't see them having advanced their medicine more than we in the US. But if this therapy works, why aren't we upset that it's being kept away from us?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

crazy durn blogger

I had some trouble the last few days trying to get in here and post. And now I've forgotten everything I thought I might blab about. Not to worry though, I have tabs full of crazy stuff up my sleeve, and I'm sure to share them with you all soon.

As far as my troubles, I haven't been able to log in here, and I have wracked my brain, small help there, trying to figure out which link will take me to the solution. I even tried the email that lets me change my password, as it all stemmed from something seeming to do with the password, or possibly my user name.

I don't know what the hell it means when I see "beta" attached to anything. But apparently this blogging site did something with the word "beta" attached, and it all happened around the time I had my issues. I don't know what this all means, nor do I know what to expect. I'm tired of the help area. I'm sure it means all sorts of new bells and whistles. Maybe they'll retire my polka dot background.

As you may have noticed, I'm back, though it's likely that no one noticed my absence. I don't know when or how it got fixed, but when I tried to get on just now, it went straight where it was supposed to, and I was still signed in from whenever I'd actually last been able to log in, two or three days ago. There's not likely a lesson or a laugh in this poor thing.

So there you go. Another of my painfully boring personal anecdotes.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

train of thought in links

I have a window open with several tabs, each of which is a different video. It's a funny little story how I came upon these videos. It won't be the kind of funny that makes you laugh, the story part at least, but the videos themselves are all funny in their own way.

This little trail starts at Science Blogs with a funny video. In it, Ricky Gervais reads from the book of Genesis in the Bible. If your only reading of the Bible is in a context that is accepting of it as true, this might be a little unpleasant to watch, but you really should anyway.

Our next stop is more Ricky Gervais. He's the actor that starred in the British show The Office, a remake of which was done here in the US. I've not seen the original, but Gervais is funny in what I have seen him do, and Steve whatsit from the American version was mostly painful to watch. That's why we should import the real show instead of the idea.

Anyway, that being said, I went on with the You Tube experience and watched another Ricky Gervais video, this one featuring the soccer talents of a certain pair of English stars being interviewed by Mr. Gervais. Peter Crouch and Wayne Rooney show us why they are the pride of England.

That damned video site being what it is, I found myself watching a delightful music video cheering on England's boys, an easy jump from the previous video and perfectly representative of the curse that is You Tube. I'd have loved to find this before or during the World Cup as it just would have played better then, but it's still pretty damn funny. I love how they so perfectly captured Rooney's monkey face.

So, there you have it. I've managed a post based entirely on videos, showing you all how easily I can get sucked from something seemingly intelligent into some dark and humorous time wasting cesspool of goofiness. Honestly, there were more videos mixed in with these few, but I cull the worst out, personally sacraficing myself to provide you every so often with something of passing humorous interest.

cabinets and refrigerators

Don't you love that feeling you get when you've almost got the plastic wrap into the cabinet where it lives only to find that you are in fact putting up the bowl of food which actually is not only not the plastic wrap but also doesn't go into the cabinet, belonging rather in the refrigerator, which is in fact behind you and not at near ground level, unlike the cabinet, which is.

An even better feeling would be the one that I just had from the spell checker. The only word it decided was misspelled is the word "cabinets" and that only in the title because it always wants me to capitalize that first word in the title, which I don't do.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

corporate shilling via the school

I just saw an interesting commercial for a Clorox product. Apparently we are so overcome with germs that we need a handy wipe that disinfects with one quick swipe. I've seen the commercials for this before, and I've scoffed at this product. I'm just curious how dirty people feel their homes are that this product sells.

The point of this particular rant isn't how corporations scare us into buying products we don't need. Hell, advertising is all about finding a way to convince people they need your product, so it's to be expected that they will attack from whichever directions makes the most sense based on what they are trying to foist on us.

In some cases, a new product is better for some reason. I hate dusting, but my newish duster on a stick works a lot better than the old tech for dusting, basically a bird's ass on a stick. This is a product that doesn't need too much pushing. But a wipe that basically makes things slightly cleaner might be a tougher sell.

But, if in the commercial for the sanitizing wipe we show kids, you know, dirty, filthy, germ laden kids, and if we show this kids wiping their noses and licking their fingers and sneezing indiscriminately, then we can show the wild and crazy germ transmission that is the natural byproduct of a child's existence. And if we set all this in a back-to-school setting, then you know these things will sell. And here's the capper, we can suggest in the commercial that good parents will buy this product and donate it to their child's school. Yeah, that'll push our sales and please the board. Sweet!

Yes, they do indeed suggest that we purchase their product and donate them to our schools. Of course, we trust this product, so we are certainly buying some for our own home. We are filthy people that live surrounded by germs. Thank Clorox there is some large corporation taking our made up by them concerns seriously.

Oh yeah, it's products like this that are responsible for the oncoming super bug that takes out half the population setting us all up for the final showdown between good and evil. Stephen King totally predicted this. Seriously.

Monday, August 07, 2006

dominionist theocratic freaks

For some who are concerned about this, be warned that the first big red link will take you to that blogging site that many christian homeschoolers use and which many diverse homeschoolers choose not to visit or link to. I'm linking because I'm so scared of the attitude espoused in linked post.

Some christians like to argue that the concept of separation of church and state is not in our Constitution. I say that perhaps they haven't read the document very closely. So many of these same people like to argue that they hold some high moral ground and are therefore able to craft laws and punishments in regard to matters that should be of no concern to them.

A quote from a blogger and homeschooler Scott Somerville, I have been categorized as a "dominionist" by my "inclusive" friends--not because I tremble at the thought that God is both just and powerful, but because I think I should do what I can to make our laws line up with His justice.

Scott's last line there is the kind of thing that makes me tremble. I could take us all on a stroll through history and discuss all the different times that theocratic tendencies caused death, destruction, hurt and just general turmoil. Religion is too often forced on people who want nothing of it, like a riot spilling out into the streets leaving a path of destruction in its wake. That is how I see religion and people with dominionist tendencies.

From Merriam-Webster Online we learn that dominion means domain or sovereignty. Some people feel that the earth and all the people on it should recognize their particular brand of god as sovereign and all the earth as his domain. Through their position as his representatives, these same people feel that they should exert in god's stead his dominionist desires.

I think I should do what I can to make our laws line up with his justice is a line that screams of theocracy. With the christians able to draw our lives as they would we would lose all sorts of freedoms and liberties that are our birthright as humans.

Scott doesn't seem to understand atheism. It isn't a religion! It is a complete disbelief in religion and the gods that people all religions. It isn't a crazed raging in the face of god. A belief in god, in my opinion is kind of like believing in a hollow earth.

For a group so interested in their discussion of freedom, it's amazing how many people are left to suffer needlessly by the dominionist theocrats. Screw the weak and the downtrodden. Let he who crows loudest about sin cast the first stone and homeschool their kids to learn how to remove the burden of personal rights and privacy by creating a theocratic government in what was once a great country.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

maybe I can vote again

There's nothing like the feeling of knowing every vote you cast is a pointless exercise in futility. As George Carlin put it so sweetly, on election day, you can go and vote if you want to. I'll stay home and masturbate. We'll both be performing the same basic function, but the difference is that when we are done, I'll have a little something to show for it.

Disagree with me all you want. Call me a bad citizen for thinking that voting is a lie and a cheat, stealing my time and sanity. Don't for one minute doubt that I believe in the concept, because I love the idea that society can make itself what it will, what the citizens deserve. But don't for one minute doubt that it's an illusion that people have more power than politicians and christians. It just doesn't work that way no matter how we long for some halcyon days of years gone by.

We all dissolve and rot the same in the belly of the beast. Even with our myriad skin colors and hair styles and sexual proclivities. In the end, all that matters is the service we perform in the face of the power. It's all about favors, and evil favors evil. Even Bush and Rove and Cheneymort will find their backs to the wall when Cthulhu's reign comes, as they've signed up to serve the wrong evil, and as the blood drips from his majesty's gaping maw, I will shower in that blood in search of a new cleanliness. I will revel in the new evil that outevils even our current stack of assholes that is the Republican party. Evil shrouded in a veil of good or christian would be considered to be worse than evil for the sake of evil, but at least they can pretend to have been driven by a sense of moral outrage.

Believe me, Cthulhu can have it all. I rest assured in my own beliefs that out of the discord will rise a new dawn of Erisian chaos and good times and free steak, beer and pot. Eris will make it all better, perhaps with a nice dash of eros, but even that won't matter. All the matters is the chaos and the rising of a new Discordian era. When that day comes, friends and neighbors, all will be washed clean again, the meanies shuffled forcefully off this mortal coil into a world where the stains on their hands will shine forevermore, never to be washed away or hidden.

Hail Eris! All hail Discordia!

For the theft of the above picture I thank the good folks at Science Blogs. Check them out if you like, well, science blogs. It's all kinds of sciencey and shit.

more on yesterday's soccer game

I meant to mention this yesterday, but I didn't. I kind of forgot. But I wanted to toss out my minor bitch about Freddy Adu. I can see his skill when he gets touches. I can see that he almost tries kind of hard. I'd really like to see him attack more. He lost the ball plenty of times, and each time he seemed to accept it. You just don't give the ball up and allow the opposing team to wander back to the other half. Each time Adu lost the ball, he just turned and walked back to the MLS side of the field, waiting for someone to get the ball to him. Sorry, kiddo, but if you give the ball up, the least you can do is make a token effort at getting it back. Why would you ever let the other team wander nonchalantly away from you? Damn all strikers/forwards that don't play defense when it's time. You don't go into standby mode when your team is on defense, you join them in defense and attack.

finally, another soccer post

If you watched today's MLS all stars versus Chelsea FC and are like me, you had a blast watching the MLS put a stop to the Brits. Actually, watching Chelsea was almost like watching a World Cup all stars match. Either way, the MLS guys won the game.

I'm sure they only won because the Chelsea side was tired and not in shape. After all, this is preseason for Chelsea. You know how out of shape and tired World Cup caliber players get after a month.

From what I saw, if the MLS all stars had practiced together a bit more as a team, they would have done that much better of a job of kicking premier ass. It's nice to see that at some level US soccer represents itself well to the world.

I was happy to see Landon Donovan in street clothes meaning that he was, for some blessed reason, not going to play. Seeing Eddie Pope in the same situation wasn't as cheery, but he played equally as poorly in Germany, and apparently he was not needed today.

Look forward to more soccer posts. AYSO starts before much longer. I have an email about the meeting, the one where we go to the Methodist church and get our paperwork and pick practice locations. I'm going to get excited at some point. This will be our last season playing U8.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

my rant about the stupid big truck

Momma recently had a mishap while driving home after a long and very late night at work. Our poor Honda suffered the physical damage while Momma got all kinds of freaked out by the incident.

We have a Honda that is about ten years old and just now approaching 100,000 miles. I love our Honda. I will profess to wishing our lovely Honda had another pair of cylinders, a little more get in her get up and go. Know what I'm sayin? But that's beside the point. Of all the cars I've ever had, this one is my absolute favorite.

Well, our poor ol' Honda is at the repair shop. The rental agency gave me my choice between the Chevy Aveo and a Nissan Frontier. I chose the damn truck. My moral sensitivities could have screamed louder for the gas sipper from Chevy, but my personal feelings of coolness nudged me harder to the big red truck.

I'm only slightly torn by the "guy big truck" thing. This truck is a boy child dream come true. It sits just high enough, looks just bad enough, is a lovely shade of red. Aesthetically speaking, from a certain point of view, this truck is pretty cool.

And I don't think I'm especially anal. Let's get that out of the way. But this truck outright sucks several ways and some ways twice. First, this truck is a rolling blind spot. On some right hand turns, the passenger door mirror completely blocks the street you are turning onto, an especially sensitive issue in my often hilly home. Driving home today in a thunderstorm, the tires were throwing sheets of water across the windshield, huge blinding sheets of water that should have gone on someone else's windshield driving next to me. It drinks gas like it was the '80's and nobody cares. I've fallen asleep in church pews that were more comfortable than the seats, though there is a very well placed left side foot rest. I feel like a huge tool driving this truck around town.

Before this rant turns into a discussion of my disdain for most suv's and large trucks, I'll have to remind myself that this is all about the one of these things with which I'm now familiar. I really hate this truck more each time I drive it. It does give one a sense of power, of being above those others. It's a generally loathsome feeling that my choice of a car unnecessarily large is somehow indicative of my greater value and worth, you know, just in case, like, we're ever in an accident. But that's not what this rant is about.

Seatbelt laws are a tool of the auto and petrochemical companies. By insisting that families should all wear seatbelts, they've forced people to buy larger and larger cars. I come from a large family. I know how many people can fit into a Volkswagen Beetle (not the new ones actually) or a Ford Pinto wagon. Even if seatbelts do save lives, cars that didn't get into accidents would save more lives. Where's my flying robot car already? It's 2006 already, and my choice in a rental is a gas guzzling piece of bling with eight cupholders for five passengers, or I can pick Detroit's idea of economy, a turd colored Festiva wannabe.

Here I end my rant. When American car makers get serious about making cars that both don't suck and get truly decent gas mileage then . . . I don't know. I just know that America and economy always means suck. There ought to be a way for products from the US to not suck. Of course, chances are my Japanese car was made in the US to some extent, so now I don't know what to think. I do know that when I saw the Aveo that I thought I was going to have to rent, I actually got a little bit sad. Then when I saw shiny red truck, I wasn't so sad. I could be less shallow, but the Aveo didn't have to suck.

Friday, August 04, 2006

holy flaming powerbooks Batman

This post over at the Wired is just messed up. According to their story, they woke to their laptop on fire. That seriously can't be good. I don't own anything from Apple, but the iTunes that came on my computer works better than the other crap that came on it to play music. Anyway, I'd be leery at this point and might have to call up somebody at Apple, maybe send them a letter or something. Did you go look at that picture? Isn't it messed up? Kind of funny too. Dumbasses and their dumb laptop.

As an aside, I just ran the spell checker. When it got to dumbasses it suggested deemphasizes, but I thought, nope, I believe I've emphasized just about right.
and now again, I have to admit that I'd misspelled leery as leary and the damn spell checker didn't catch it, but I did. Stupid dumbass spell checker.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Robin Williams sucks

Wasn't he both funny and a good actor once upon a time? He is on Fresh Air right now, usually one of my favorite radio programs. I'm certainly quite in love with Terry Gross even if, like all radio personalities, she looks nothing like the mental picture I had when she was just a voice. But this isn't about how cool Ms. Gross is.

Robin Williams sucks. Do the damn interview already. Leave the stupid voices and the exaggerated body movements at home for once and just quit acting like an ass. I know it's a radio interview, but he's still sitting in a studio somewhere being an idiot.

You aren't funny anymore, Robin Williams! I don't know what happened over the years to make you suck. And I'm sorry that you now suck, but yes indeed, you do now suck.

As stated, I enjoy Fresh Air and will even plan my kitchen routine somewhat around the radio in the kitchen which sadly gets the best reception in the house as far as NPR is concerned. But today I can't listen. I refuse to annoy myself with Robin Williams, who sucks, I feel inclined to point out.

mowing update

For everyone concerned about the state of my raggedy unkempt yard, it's mowed, go back to your desks. A total of twenty five raindrops may have fallen on the whole of our property before the sun roared back out in a ball of aaaack!

I wish I had a digital camera so that I could show you what a filthy child looks like. The only thing that The Boy likes as much as climbing is getting dirty. Under his clothes there may have been a clean spot, though he needed a bath before he ever set foot outside. At the end of our outside day though, I actually had to wipe the top coat of dirt off before putting him in the bath.

Today is also pretending it might rain. Last time I was out it didn't seem quite as hot as it should be. I could see breezes playing in the tree tops. I'm sure the only moisture we see outside a glass of water is going to be the humidty, but that's what I get for living in the south.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

great day to mow the yard

Yes, today was the today that I convinced myself that the heat wasn't quite as hot, and I could finally attack the yard. The grass isn't especially tall, for the most part, as a near absence of rain has kept the grass from getting too out of hand. However, my yard supports a number of different grasses, most of which grow differently from the others.

So up grows the random patches of tall stuff. In cooler months, this stuff doesn't get nearly as tall, but it grows very thick. It isn't a huge patch in amongst the rest of the smaller growing grasses, so my yard isn't a green wheat field just yet, but parts of it, those little patches, are outrageously tall compared to the other grass.

One neighbor is meticulous about his yard while the other runs it down as is needed. I, on the other hand, in the middle, procrastinate with ease, letting my already ragged yard grow uglier over the weeks till it even hurts my eyes. Then I rush out in whirl of sweat and cursing and drag the mower around on my one day in the sun.

Today was attack day. I noticed the dark cloud, but it seemed smallish and singular, more likely to provide a sweltering kind of shade than to pour out rain. I began as usual with the scooping of dog turds. I sent Big Brother to pick up the sticks blown off the tree last Friday when we got our most recent dousing of thunderstorm. I continued by sweeping up all the ashes and cigarette butts from the back porch.

It was about this time that the distant thunder first sounded, and I cocked my head to hear it better. Was it a passing airplane? or was that thunder? It was certainly thunder I judged. I knew then that this passing cloud couldn't entirely pass. I knew then that was not likely to get the mowing completed nor even begun.

The sad fact is that I could probably get the mowing done. I've seen plenty of these distant storms show every sign of raining here where we actually need it only to wander past, around and even directly over, preferring to give the mountains their rain. And while I'm certain the mountains need rain, they tend to get much more than we in the valley get.

The thunder rumbles ever closer, though a peek out the window indicates that the real rain is yet to come. Before we retreated inside we each felt raindrops, so we know it's real and it's there somewhere. But will it reach us? Or will I be out an hour from now sweating and cursing?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

is parenting really generational?

This Washington Post article mentioned by Chris O'Donnell pointed out to me what I think is the overlooked problem in teen drug and alcohol use and sexual activity. The Washington Post sees it in terms of permissive parents versus overbearing parents. Chris seems to see it in terms of generational differences. Neither source approached the problem as I see it, honesty.

We are always fighting the evil trio of alcohol, drugs and sex. Perhaps some people even see the double standard, the discussion with your children making you a hypocrite because of all the things you did back in the sixties or seventies, or now even into the eighties or nineties. Hell, if you're like me, on into the . . .uuuuhhhh . . .the zeroties?

I think that we are dishonest too often about the evil trio. Perhaps we feel that a good scare will make kids not drink and drive. We can preach the evils of drug use. We can wing it with sex because who the hell really knows anyway. We each preach our beliefs on this one, some of our beliefs being a little healthier than others.

These problems were certainly there in earlier generations, but once upon a time, young, unwed mothers were shipped off to an aunt's house and disappeared from polite society. The drug addicted son went to the asylum or into the business or out on the street, depending on the family, and the same happens today with slightly more parents willing to turn a naive eye and continue to enable. We just lie our asses off and hide everything from everyone.

I'm not sure exactly what I'm trying to say here. I've written and rewritten this entire post at least three or four times. I get some righteous indignation out, and the upon rereading I see how off course I've gone as opposed what I set out to say. I think my own problem writing this may be much like the problem I see with our approach to the evil trio; it gets confusing. We can't make them go away, and too often we just approach it when we have to. And the only time we really have to approach these issues is when it's late enough to have become a problem. That's kind of addiction in a nutshell, the problem with alcohol and drugs. Yet we won't look at the problem of addiction, we just look down on the junky and keep on walking. But if we don't start with addiction, we can never look at the real problem with drugs. We too often miss the signs with kids and drugs, and we've been taught that drug addiction is a sign of a bad person and a criminal offense.

If we need to be honest about drugs, then we should be allowed the freedom of honesty about sex. Sex is so much different than our other two evil trio members. Sex has so much more going for it, and so much riding on it. (heehee at riding on it) I certainly don't have an answer to this one. If we are dishonest about drugs and alcohol, I fear that with sex we aren't dishonest so much as deluded. To some sex is sacred, to others it's a goal, to many people it's just something to do. It's also a great way to draw attention to a product. We are, like many animals, fairly sexually minded. Yet because we are human and like variety and choice, we make things up as we go. Yet to monkey wrench the cogs, we have a huge steaming mound of guilt served up right beside all that sexual wantsomeness.

None of the trio is actually evil. It's just that these are such strong urges for people. There is a certain desire for the lads and/or lasses and the cups, yet the trio can have such dire consequences when taken too lightly. There's a certain something that drives some to do things that others wish they wouldn't. Perhaps we don't want our kids to do some of these things. Condemning doesn't work any better than bullshitting. So where are we left? We have to start being honest with each other and our kids.