Sunday, June 26, 2005

All's Quiet on the Southern Front

Just as an FYI, this blog will be going dark for a bit. Feel free to leave comments bemoaning how you will be unable to feel complete without the constant wit and humor that you get from this online fountain of Sue's and I's thoughts.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

What are your plans?

As Eric and I have mentioned, we have been watching a lot of Six feet under to catch up on this great show! We just rented Season 2 and have been watching everyday.

Anyway, watching this show makes you think about your own death and that you are not immortal. Eric and I have been talking about it and have discussed our own wishes for when we die. It is sad, but most people don't talk about it because they are afraid and so their wishes are never carried out. Look at Terri Schiavo, if she would have taken the time to make out a living will then she would not have had to spend 15 years trapped in her own broken body! How depressing. If you do not have any legal documents, then at least tell all of your family and friends your wishes. If you have that sticker on your license that says that you want to donate your organs or body, it won't happen if one member in your family disagrees. If you don't want to be buried, tell them! It is important. Sure funerals are for the families to get closure, but you should be able to have what you want done with your body.

My wishes are as follows: If possible, donate all of my organs to whoever needs them. I will have an open casket, if the my body is not mangled, so that the family and Eric can see me. Buy a cheap casket for that, it doesn't matter! Then cremate me, please. I think burying people in the ground is so wasteful. Just take my ashes and spread them in Ireland so that I may return to my roots.

I want bagpipes to play "Amazing Grace" at my service, I am not religious, but I love the way it sounds. It truly touches the soul! Maybe 'tis because me Irish/Scotish blood be flowin through me veins. The whole cd at the link above for Amazing Grace is good, actually. I may want "My heart will go on" on bagpipes too... It is a beautiful song.

I also want Dave Matthews "Lie in our Graves" to be blasted at some point during the service. I want everyone to dance like hippies, and to be free! After my funeral, I want everyone to have a party and to celebrate my life, not mourn it! Have a drink, or five, on me!

So, do you have a plan....?

Monday, June 20, 2005

America, F#$k Ya!

Sue and I went and saw Batman Begins on Friday. My initial reaction was that the movie was much better than any previous Batman expect perhaps the first one with Michael Keaton. But it was a close second. Thank God someone finally managed to convince Warner Brothers that MTV should not be allowed to touch a comic where the hero is supposed to be dark and malcontent. No more of that campy, 1970's Wes Adams Batman with neon everywhere and stupid one liners. We are living in the age of the pissed off, I'll kill you, your mom, your dog, and your dog's favorite chew toy if you get in my way Batman.

Sue and I also watched Team America, World Police yesterday. First off, let me just say what everyone else was thinking about the puppet sex scene: It needed to be longer:) Er...wait...that's not right... What I meant to say was: It needed to be much longer and I love hot puppet on puppet action!

Seriously, I will pay anyone $100 if you can gouge that picture out of mind's eye. I'm begging...

Update: Although this is NOT safe to look at while at work, I had to post this link of an America...F#$k Ya! music video:

Friday, June 17, 2005

Six Feet Under

Sue posted about this in her "Home crap Home" post, but I had to write my own plug for it. It's that good:

While I realize that Sue and I are probably the last people on the face of this earth to watch it, I have to plug a really great show on HBO: Six Feet Under. The show is absolutely brilliant dark comedy; funny, witty, and insanely poignant in ways that I could only dream about being.

So far we have only been watching season 1, so I can't speak to whether the show gets better or not. But if this any indication, I think Sue and I will be making several trips to Blockbuster over the next several weeks.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Medical Community 1 - Insane Frothing Right Wing Nuts 0

Schiavo Autopsy Finds No Sign of Trauma

Wow, what a freaking surprise. The medical community, with there "science" and "medical knowledge" and all that other voodoo was 100% correct when they pronounced that Terri Schivao had about as much chance of getting out of that bed and eating some delicious chicken nuggets as my car does of driving itself around and getting itself an unlimited number of lube jobs (just wanted an excuse to say lube jobs). From the article:

"He said she would not have been able to eat or drink if she had been given food by mouth as her parents' requested...The brain weighed 615 grams, roughly half of the expected weight of a human brain...This damage was irreversible, and no amount of therapy or treatment would have regenerated the massive loss of neurons."

So there you have it. Vegetable. All the whinings of the parents that she might get out of that bed and walk around were complete and utter crap. This is why we let courts and doctors decide these sorts of things when there is an arguement and why 99.9999999999% of the time we keep the f$%king left and right media whores at bay.

For the record, if I am ever missing half my brain, please please let me die quietly after a nice ground up steak is put through my feeding tube and I get one last blowjob from my sexy nurse wife:)

Home, crap, home...

Oh yes, I have returned from my trip to New York/Michigan. It was pretty cool. I think I took the heat with me though. It was in the 90's that whole time in NY and Michigan and I guess it is cooling off up there now. Of course back here in AL it has been in the mid-90s, feels like over 100, DAMN HOT!! I feel bad for the dogs and ALL of the women that are pregnant here which includes all of the wives at Eric's work and one of the women employees. Must avoid drinking their water...

My weekend in New York kicked ass! I got to be a suprise for my friend Sue at her bridal shower! I like being a suprise! Then I got to see a lot of New York I have never been to before. I did not get to go to the city this trip, but it was very cool to see all of the New York landscape. It is very pretty. I was in Newburgh, NY briefly, Central Valley, NY for the shower, Warwick, NY (The home of Paul), Goshen, NY (The home of Sue O.) and from Warwick, NY to Rochester, NY (4.5 hour drive).

The bridal shower was cool since it was held at a Japenese Hibachi Steakhouse called Gasho. The building was an old farmhouse that was brought over from Japan. They had a beautiful garden in the back. You sat around a cooking surface and the cooks made your food right in front of you. Delicious. I also got to meet all of Paul and Sue's family! A lot of family! After that I got to spend a few days with my good friends Paul and Sue who are great hosts!

Paul and Sue introduced me to the greatness of the HBO series "Six feet under" and let me bring the first season home with me so that Eric and I can enjoy it. What a great show!! We have been watching it everyday. It is just so funny and well written! Lauren Ambrose, Claire on the show, is the best character, I think. She was in the movies Can't hardley wait and Psycho Beach Party, two great films. That is my plug. I think everyone should watch it! There is actually still good tv out there, you just have to have HBO. Screw the damn reality tv shows!

After 4.5 days in NY, I flew off to Michigan. I got to see family and friends. I got to hang out with some of the MSU crew! Woot! I got to hang out with my mom and sisters and some of Eric's family. I rented a car that was just awesome. I got a brand new Pontiac bonneyville. It was luxurious! It had a XM radio! How cool! I just love the techno channel "The Station". It played such awesome hard trance! I left Michigan two days early because I could not deal with my family anymore and I missed Eric and the puppies way to much!!! I am home again with my "family" and happy again, except for the heat!

It was quite the adventure and I learned some things about myself. One, I enjoy living far away from family and two, I am done with Michigan. It is my home state, it will always have a place in my heart and I still have great friends and family there, but I am ready to try a new place to live, preferably a blue state. I have grown a lot being so far away and Eric and I have developed a super strong relationship being down here. I recommend to everyone that you should cut those cords from your parents and move away for a least a few years! You need to go off and be on your own to be able to develop into who you really are! Good luck to my friend Nicole who is considering just this!!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Ramblings of Eric: Part 4 - What if I don't have free will?

In response to my second Ramblings post, Paul asked,

"...I think something like this is jazzed up with something more personal. Why do you care so much at an everyday level about free will? How does free will (or lack thereof) affect Eric today? tomorrow?"

Paul is on his way to becoming a psychologist, and it shows in his question:) But it's a very reasonable question to ask. After all, no point in debating something like this if there is not a reason to at the end of the argument rainbow.

This is not why I believe in free will. These are the results in my mind of a world that truly accepted there is no free will.

Lets assume for a second that determinism really is correct. All of my decisions, all my life choices, were decided a picoseconds after the Big Bang (lets ignore quantum mechanics here. Yeah, I know that quantum mechanics PROVES that true determinism does not exist. But something more complicated takes it place that only clouds what we are talking about here). To me personally, that means a few important things:

  1. Our accomplishments in life mean swat. Why feel good about the fact that you got good grades in school, or had that threesome with the twin hotties at camp? You did not make any personal decisions that lead to those accomplishments. They are just a product of the environment. It would be like the Sun being proud of the fact that it shined today, or the Earth being proud that it held 6+ billion people on the ground.
  2. There is no such thing as moral superiority. Moral superiority rests firmly on the ability of some individuals to resist temptations that others do not.
  3. Our mistakes in life should not be punished. What's the point of punishing someone for choices they really had no control over? What I mean to say is, if I was hypnotized into shooting up a liquor store and could prove it, would you still punish me? In general, the law explicitly denies that people under duress should be held accountable for their actions (within some important limits. You can't go on a shooting spree because someone threatens to make you listen to 80's pop music.).
  4. Its very hard to reconcile the lack of free will and a God (especially The God). Why bother creating us if we are just robots? If you really setup the whole universe with perfect knowledge of all our actions, why is there so much evil in the world? (This is most certainly going to be expanded in some future post).

Those are the biggies for me. #1 bothers me a lot more than #2 or #3, because I think I could argue there are other reasons to punish people even if determinism is true. You just can't claim morally superiority for doing it anymore, which does not bother me because I am a relative moralist anyways. #4 is only important if you believe a God (I do, but that is tied into my belief in free will to a large degree. I can't accept one without the other. I'll save that for another argument on another post).

Note that where I see life being utterly pointless in these results, others might see something positive. For one thing, you might feel better that your poor choices were not your fault (although really, that's a small comfort since feeling better in that case is also completely determined by the universe's giant state machine). Also, without free will, you don't need a/the God to explain much of anything (proving this is an exercise left to the reader).

Once again, its after midnight and I need some sleep...

Ramblings of Eric: Part 3 - The All Request Lunch Hour

I was out playing dodge ball with the Huntvegas posse yesterday, and we got to talking about my last rambling post. R (yes, Weapon of Choice R. I've actually see him:)) suggested that I should request topics from my readers, give my rambling opinion on their topic, then see if I can defend said opinion. I instantly liked this idea because (1) I don't have to think up topics to discuss and (2) it's takes a huge ego to think that people give a shit about your opinions. Since I have such an ego, and since I am obviously lazy with coming up with things to blog about, lets give it try and see what the group out there is interested in hearing me ramble on about.

We now return you to our regularly scheduled program of pornography music mixed with dancing clowns who look disturbingly like your high school principal...

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Ramblings of Eric: Part 2 - Free Will

The first of the rambling posts that isn’t about rambling posts:

I’m an ardent believer in free will. So much so that nearly the whole of my belief system about humanity is based on this one idea. My thoughts on religion, the presence of a soul, abortion, gun control, the death penalty, addiction, love, hate, the presence of evil in our world; all of them tie back to this singular belief in humanity’s ultimately free will. So if I am going to put down any other ramblings about these beliefs, I need to start with this one.

To be precise, I’m speaking about what most would call “true” free will. Philosophy majors would call it “internal” free will, making a distinction between external free (whether others allow me to do what I will) versus internal free will (whether I really decide what my will is), so I guess I will do the same. I’m not interested in external free will (at least not here). What I’m talking about is internal free will. It is defined (at least by me) by the ability of an individual to make choices regardless of current or previous external stimuli. This stands in stark contrast to determinism, in which my brain, and with it my identity, is nothing but a series of very complicated chemical reactions.

The main reason I believe in free will really quite simple. Every thought I have appears to stem from this free will. Every thought I have reinforces the notation that my thoughts are independent. And I’m willing to admit that perhaps this is merely a personal delusion. But, and this is the important part now, so pay attention: I am not the only person who has this feeling. Ask yourself if you believe that you are conscious; if you believe that your choice of actions are your own. Every sane person on planet will agree that, at the very least, they have the same delusion that their choices appear free.

So now we come to the crux of the argument. Imagine that you are looking at a tree in the middle of a great field. You see the tree, no denying that. But perhaps you are mistaken, or your senses are confused. So you ask your friend with you if they also see a tree. He also affirms that, yes, he sees the tree as well. Now you get all your friends to come, and lo and behold, they ALL see the tree. To deny that the tree is their now would simply not be rational. This is identical to the argument for free will. The fact that everyone has the same perception of free will should imply that free will must be real. Otherwise, we have to accept that EVERYTHING we perceive is suspect. That is, we have no more reason to accept that the tree we all see is any more real than the free will we all perceive.

Of course, it is not that easy. If it were, every philosophy major would be out of job pretty quickly. I realize there are all sorts of issues with the above. For one, it is obvious that the physical brain has SOMETHING to do with how my thought process operates. Any Friday night that involves consuming large quantities of alcohol should confirm this. I tend to picture the mind as just another filter through which my conscious views the world. It’s no different from my eyes or ears. Both can be damaged, impaired, etc, and this can have a drastic effect on my perception of the world.

I think that is enough rambling for one night. Next time: Religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin: a thesis of everything.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Ramblings of Eric: Part 1

Warning: I wrote this pretty late on a Sunday night with a LOT of caffeine roaring through my system (thank God for the spell checker). So it may come off as a one of those African bushmen who communicate by clicking their mouths trying to type English using only his left hand to type while reading Penthouse stories. Such are the breaks.

I've had a few posts floating around in mind the last few weeks. All of them are really just the random things that I think about on the way to work, or school, while waiting at the dentist, mowing the yard or whatever. I think a lot about politics, religion, society, people's weird obsessions with what other people think (including my own unhealthily obsession with this topic), free will, philosophy, software, that next great idea; All of these are these little random floating ideas that never really become anything. They never become coherent if you get my meaning. That is to say, they are good ideas, but I never build on them in my head, or I distract myself with computer games or TV or radio or whatever else is taking up space in my life.

Did you ever have run one of those thought experiments in a creative writing class where you take one word and you just start writing whatever comes to your head? I was always amazed at the crazy shit my brain would pour out if I just shut up for a few minutes and let it think.

One thing I have noticed lately is that I no longer listen to the radio in the car. I find that if I turn the radio off, my mind can mull for a longer period of time without getting distracted. Ditto for TV. I'm one of those odd people you see in traffic that appear to be holding animated conversation with the sun visor and you think must be on a cell phone that you just can't see. Except that I am not. I'm debating with myself some of these ideas I have about life. It's odd too, because I will often come up with what I think are excellent concepts, only to spend the next several minutes explaining to myself each of the holes in this newly minted idea.

So my goal here is this: I'm going to start writing these ideas down here in the hopes that the simple act of taking time out to put these ideas online will force me to examine them more fully. I don't know how many of these there will be, and I don't really know what they will be about. Just as fair warning, these are not going to be my usual, "make fun of the news" posts. But perhaps they will be interesting. Heck, you might even agree with one from time to time. And if you don't, maybe you will convince me that I am wrong. Would not be the first time.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Star Wars TIE Fighter Case Mod is holding a weekly case mod competition. The picture below is the case mod for the first winner.

Wow... Good lord this is geeky. More geeky than I shall ever attain.

Star Wars TIE Fighter Case Mod

Saturday, June 04, 2005

ABC News: Cruise Company Saws Massive Ship in Half

ABC News: Cruise Company Saws Massive Ship in Half

Ok, as a man and as someone who pretends to have an engineering degree ("My classes were in the engineering building! I took physics!") this is just plain cool to me: Royal Caribbean SAWED one of their cruise ships in half, pulled the two pieces apart, and inserted a new 73 foot wide prefabricated section in the middle of the ship.

Let us join together as men and salute this fine use of circular saws and torches! TOOLS! <insert required grunting here>

No Sue

Sue is in New York this weekend for one of our friend's Bridal shower. After that, she is heading to Michigan for a week to enjoy some time with her parents. So I am all alone here at home for the next 10 days or so. Now I know how Sue feels when I am gone. It sucks.

For one thing, I am bored. Really bored. Bored like I want to read the nutritional fact of everything I eat. Bored like the internet does not interest me after 20 minutes or so. Bored like I want to go to work. You get the idea.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Useful Advice Anywhere

Eric Sink (who usually does very technically posts about source code control systems) wrote a good summary of what to do so that you will not piss off folks in a hurry. Read it.

This post is specifically talking about airports, but I think this sort of logic could be applied anywhere: malls, restaurants, movie theaters, gang bangs, you name it! Oh if only I had the power to zap people with a Tazer when they were moving too slowly in front of me. The world would be a far better place all around.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Condoms get their day!!!

ABC news had a story today about how condom commercials will get to appear on Prime time television tonight for the first time. Trojan condom commercials will appear on the WB after 9 pm and on NBC's 10 pm hour. Instead of "Trojan man" the condom company has decided to use a more serious ad by using sex statistics such as: "40% of people who know they are HIV+ do not tell their partners. Show you care about your partner and yourself. Use a condom everytime." "Trojan, pleasure you want, protection you trust". Go Trojan! You can see the new commercial on the Trojan website before it airs tonight. You can also enter the site and get a free sample! You get to pick the type you want. Girls get Her pleasure or mint tingle! I think most condom company's will send you a free sample. I remeber my first semester at MSU and we got coupon books for various things and one was for 65 free condoms from Adam and Eve. What a fun package. They were different colors, flavors, and textures ;) I was the only one brave enought to get them so people would borrow from me. Plus I worked at Planned Parenthood and got free ones constantly since I was a penis captain and went to safe sex parties all the time! To quote Julia Roberts in Pretty woman: "I'm a safety girl."

Also at Trojan's website there is an ad for their new Mint tingle condoms: "Trojan Mint Tingle condoms feature flavor, fragrance and color for sensual excitement during foreplay and love making." Mmm...tingling sensation. These condoms rule! Well men, now you should have your mint condoms with you at the club and say: "Hey baby, need to freshen your breath? Give me head!" :)

You can also play games on Trojan's web site such as "How far would you go?" and "Trojan Ball buster".

Who knows if Alabama will even allow these commercials since that in Alabama as in several other southern states, it is illegal to teach anything but abstinence in school! Stupid conservative morons!