Saturday, August 17, 2013

Always an Obstructionist

I had to go into work today to complete an emergency project. Kristine was working, as well, so I drew the short straw to get all the kids.  As we were driving to the office, the kids begged for tunes.  I knew they wanted me to turn on a hit music station, but I didn't feel like it.  I elected for Classical Minnesota Public Radio, 99.5 FM.  As a score played, the following conversation ensued:

Felicity (6): "Hey guys!  This song is real."

Frederic (8), without skipping a beat: "No it's not!!!!"

Me (33): "Um...what does "this song is real" mean and why would you say "no it's not"?

I pestered the two with this question in several different ways because it seemed to confuse them quite thoroughly that they were being asked to explain themselves.

Felicity: "Um...I don't know.  I actually forgot."

Me: "Fred.  What does "real" mean and why did you disagree?  Felicity doesn't even know what it means."

Fred: "I don't know."

Just as I thought.  It didn't matter what Felicity said.  All that mattered, to Fred, was that there had to be a clear opposing position to any statement that she made.  He was ready, at a moment's notice, to disagree.

The boy has a job in politics.  I should start grooming him now.  

Friday, August 16, 2013


Yes.  Like any good company that looks at their bottom line, the health of their owners and employees, and their overall efficiency, among other factors, Kristine and I are changing up a few things.

The details don't matter, except to say that our life will potentially become a bit more relaxed.  And no, if you work with me, I am most definitely NOT quitting my day job.  Never in a million years would I consider that - unless of course, I was offered a job on the moon.  That would be fun.  I've always had a soft spot for cheese.  

Speaking of cheese, one of the only cheeses...that word really sounds like Jesus, when you say it out loud, fast, and a few times.  This might be why cheese isn't popular in the super-Christian southern United States.  A few poor blokes probably got a hankering for some cheeses and invited a few other poor saps over for a tasting party.

To make a long story short, the invitees mistook their verbal invitation to taste some cheeses as a vulgar swipe at their most revered holy man.  After tying the chaps to a few large trees and whipping them with straps of Fruit of the Loom underwear waistbands, they let the young lads go, having thoroughly scared the cheese out of them and ruining any inroads of cheese culture from entering the south.

I love history.

I work for a really great company

I work for a company of about 50 people.  Every last one of them knows that I love Pearson's Salted Nut Rolls.  The company provides perpetual snacks and drinks (purchased from one of my favorite retailers - Costco) to keep us all satiated, fat, and happy.  Better yet, they care about individualized tastes, provide gluten-free items, gourmet coffee, and, when possible, nut rolls.

Today, I received a personal delivery of three nut rolls.  A co-worker (one of the original half-dozen employees) opened my door and threw them at my head.

Those were the best three bruises I have gotten in a long time.

Well...other than the bruise that my wife gave me when we were...oh, nevermind.  I'll keep that one to myself.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Hi, my name is IC, and I throw tantrums

Libby Anne is working through a critique of the Pearl's "To Train Up a Child".  She's off to an excellent start with her second installment, where she writes the following words:

Being a parent involves a lot of inconvenience. You have to be willing to have your reading interrupted and your coffee spilled. If you treat your children right and set good patterns—things like communication, listening, cooperation, and constructive compromise—your life with your children will be a bit harried at times, but it will also be rich and fruitful and not out of control. 

This point was a big deal to me, a father of six rambunctious coffee spillers.   I throw a lot of tantrums.

If you have been following this blog for the past month, you may be aware that we recently got a dog.  I hate dogs.  I hate all pets.  I hate fish, gerbils, snakes, alligators, unicorns, and ant farms.  Any pet that gets in the way of my clean house and immaculate children ticks me off, disgusts me, and makes me want to ship myself off to the Humane Society to compensate.

Nonetheless, we got a dog.  And she is perfect.  She's a pit bull/fox terrier/black lab mix, gentle as a flea, and is very responsive to verbal training.  She never does something naughty more than a few times before she learns to do that which is required of her.  I'm falling in love with a pet for the first time in my life. This is a new feeling for me.

And then there's Analisse.  She's our three year old.  Every step forward that Luna (the dog) takes, Analisse, aka "The Freak" takes one backwards.  She is fascinated with Luna's water bowl.  She fills it to the brim, allows it to overflow, pours it all over the floor, dumps the dog food into it and then sits there, watching it expand (that's actually REALLY COOL to watch, so I don't blame her!), fills the bowl with tennis balls, and on and on.  More than once, I have walked into the office with socks on and stepped in a puddle of water.

I hate wet socks.

If you were a fly on the wall, this is what you would hear:

"RENAYA!  LAURA!  FREDERIC!  EVERYONE!!!!!  What in the h*ll is wrong with you kids!?  Aren't you watching your sister!!  Hey Freak!!!  How many times have I told you NOT TO TOUCH THE DOGS WATER BOWL!!!!!!!  Kids!  Clean this sh*t up!  Get towels,!  Just get it done now!!!!"

Yeah.  So, is it true that I expect all the kids to monitor Analisse in everything that she does?  Do I expect Analisse to dump her innate fascination with all things water bowl?  After all, this is new to her and she's a wonderful little kid, experiencing new things in life.  Is it right for me to get mad at the kids and make them run around, frantically trying to make me happy?

The answer to all the questions above is pretty obvious.  I'm not being fair to my children and I know it.  The dog even knows it, as she cowers in her kennel until I am done waving my arms and jumping up and down. For all she knows, it's her fault.

Anyway....that's why that quote hit home for me.  Much to improve.  Many steps to take forward.  I cannot afford, at this point in my parenting career, to be complacent in my attitude and parenting, nor can I afford to take any steps backwards.

This ends today.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Where is God when most people die in their sins?

This video recently came to my attention when Bryan Fischer spoke about it on the air a few days ago. I watched it and couldn't help feeling a welling up of...rage?  I'm not sure if rage is the correct word.  Maybe I confused my eyebrows hitting the ceiling with an audible "WTF!" with seething hot anger.  I'm not sure, but nonetheless, my raw emotion got the better of me.

The story goes like this:

Dude drives to work, has a heart attack.  Drives himself to the hospital.  Passes out in the waiting room.  Docs and nurses try for 45 minutes to revive him to no avail.  The head doctor walks out of the room and hears a voice in his head telling him to go back and pray for the poor dead sap.  He does (reluctantly) and prays the following prayer: 
"Lord, if this man has not asked Jesus to be his personal Lord and Savior, please bring him back to life." 
Then, he orders one more paddle zap and BOOM!...dude wakes up, spends a few days in the ICU, and voila, is healthy as a clam - nary a sign of heart damage to be found aye, now or ever.

It's a sweet story, and one that many Christians would find fascinating and "proof" that their god raises people from the dead, as was the conclusion by Bryan Fischer.

Whether or not their god does in fact raise people from the dead (which I highly doubt, especially in this case, being that empirical research could easily explain why a perfectly explainable course of events caused this "miracle" to take place...I's not like the bloke just POOF! came alive again.  They used the paddle zappers, after all) doesn't matter to me one bit.

What bothers me is that this man received unfair treatment by a god who is preached from the pulpit as an all-powerful, albeit hands off, being, who has given mankind the free will to choose god or...not god...and, if they choose the latter, they get to burn in hell for eternity.

If this is the case, why does this gentleman get a second chance while millions, yea billions, of deserving souls have only one chance to make their decision and yet die in their sins?  

If this story is remotely true (which it isn't, of course), then this free will idea is bullshit.  There is no free will.  If there was, every single burning soul could come forward with a case against this god with a simple question:

"Where in the hell was my doctor to pray me alive again?" which god would obviously reply:

"Who put you in charge of the rules of my kingdom?  Did I ever say I was fair?  After all, my cause and effect eternal promises never work anyway - paving the way for millions of clauses that trick people into believing that I am still relevant."

No.  This story is poppycock.  And if it isn't, I want nothing to do with a god that will work overtime to save this poor bloke, whilst giving my grandfather exactly one life to decide to burn in hell, which this god is happy to oblige him.

Oh...and why does god need some idiot to beg him to raise some dude from the dead.  Hell...if I had all the power in the world, why do I need to go through a surrogate?  If this doctor hadn't had "faith" and played this god's little game, would we have a YouTube video of the dead guy that never came alive again?