Random

Getting back in the saddle….

Posted on November 10, 2011. Filed under: Personal, Random |

I’m back.  Sort of.

I took a few months off from blogging partially because  I took a new job that limited my time to write proper posts (I spend several hours crafting an average post- this fact likely surprises several of you who feel I talk out my ass most of the time), and partially because blogging started to feel like actual work.  I spent two weeks combing through multi-level marketing resources and woo-filled new age nutritional sites trying to hobble together a well crafted response to Neil’s ridiculous noni juice claims.  I still haven’t published those posts yet, but I will publish one this week.  I do this to myself at least once a year, where I take on a subject that bores me to submission.  (See last years astrology debacle)

So anyhow, this post is just to announce that:

  1. I’m still here, and now employed at a job that pays me twice as much as before.  I expect that now that I’m officially upper-middle class by income standards- I’ll immediately become a conservative or libertarian obsessed with hoarding my hard earned money.  Fairness was all fine and dandy, but the world looks different on the other side of the counter at the Soup Kitchen folks- so don’t come crying for a full bowl cuz I’ll beat you with the ladle.
  2. I should be able to post at least twice a week.  This will be, for some, a stark improvement over my previous few months of a post whenever the fuck I felt like it.  For others, this will be not often enough- and to you I say “live with it”.  To still others, this will be of no consequence at all- either because they don’t read my blog or they just click on a post and assume without reading it what I was going to say.
  3. For those who know me, my wife is doing great and our new daughter is due to arrive some time in December. Her name will be Geneva Belle, and we are planning to use a midwife for the first time because you don’t have any continuity between the OB you visit and the one who delivers the baby in the city we live in. Plus the OB we have is a douche. A midwife will be a big improvement for me over driving 2 hours to a small town hospital so that the doctor my wife likes can birth our child. Seriously.  We did that 3 times already.

So welcome back.  Thanks for your patience.  I’ll try not to disappoint.

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A Three Sentance Book Review Of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Posted on April 30, 2011. Filed under: Atheism, Atheist Ethics, Canadian Politics, Humour, Random |

This is the best thing I have read on the internet ever!

 There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

From the comments on this site (originally attributed to John Rogers- thanks be to Mary for the correction…)

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An Epidemic Of Abject Idiocy….

Posted on March 16, 2011. Filed under: Canadian Politics, Humour, Random, Truth...In Pictures |

So my wife and I are watching T.V. the other night, and we are watching the tail end of the St. John’s Newfoundland newscast, when I see a story that piques my interest.

I think to myself,”George, this would make a great little lighthearted piece for blog fodder.”

One More Reason To Be Afraid Of Clowns

So I Google it this morning, thinking that it should be in the news in the appropriate local paper.   I couldn’t find the original story I saw on T.V., but was surprised to learn that I had stumbled across an apparent epidemic…..

It’s not the first time a Newfoundlander has been arrested for drunk driving by falling asleep in a McDonald’s Drive-Thru.

Police in St. John’s said they arrested a man for impaired driving at an unusual location: the drive-thru lane at a McDonald’s restaurant.

Staff at an unspecified outlet called police early Monday morning when the man fell asleep at the wheel of his vehicle, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary said.

The man, 37, was held pending a court appearance on charges of impaired driving and driving while prohibited.

It isn’t the first time it has happened in Canada.

On Sunday July 29th, 2007 at about 5:54pm County of Wellington OPP officers responded to a report of a man asleep behind the wheel in the Drive-thru lane of McDonalds located on Tower Street, Fergus.

Officers attended and found a 1996 Pontiac Transport van in the Drive-thru lane and the driver asleep. The driver was awakened by police and found to have been drinking.   Malcolm Ross Woods aged 25 years of Elora has been charged with Impaired Driving and Over 80 mgs. Woods is scheduled to appear in Guelph Court on August 20th, 2007 to answer to the charges.

A Sign Of The Times....

 

IT ISN’T.…….. EVEN………THAT UNCOMMON………………SERIOUSLY:

Preston Parker, a Florida State wide receiver, is the latest “victim” of the trend, and most embarrassingly, he was in the McDonald’s drive-thru when he got busted.

According to police, Parker had fallen asleep with his car’s engine running and the transmission in drive. When he woke up, according to police, an officer smelled alcohol on his breath.

Parker, 21, needed to lean against his car to find balance, struggled through a field sobriety test and admitted that he had smoked marijuana either Friday night or early Saturday morning, police said.
Oddly, Parker still “passed” a breathalyzer test, registering only a .054, which is below the Florida legal limit (even though he failed a field test; I assume this is the grounds for the DUI).

This is proof positive that our civilization is in decline.

 

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It Gets Better

Posted on October 6, 2010. Filed under: Personal, Random, Social Justice, Uncategorized |

I began writing this post over a week ago, and it proves to be a difficult subject for me to express my thoughts about.  This is an issue very near to my heart, and I must have rewritten this post 20 times.  In the end I am glad I did.  So many really great initiatives get off to a quick start and slowly die off after the initial buzz wears off.  I hope that posting this a week or more late will help to remind people who may have missed it the first time or thought “yeah, that’s a really good idea” but left it at that how important this issue really is.

I wish that everyone I knew would blog about this.

I wish every person would take the time to care about this.

We stand to lose an awful lot by sweeping the issue of teenage suicide under the rug.  The teenage years are hard, fraught with hormones, urges, self-awareness, and personal growth.  It is our chrysalis moment, our emergence from the cocoon of childhood safety into the harsh reality of self-dependence.   Oh, and did I mention you have to try and manage all this while maintaining a calm and cool persona, or face being a social orphan to your peers.

Now imagine that same difficult time, that same awkward stumble between childhood and adulthood, from the point of view of a homosexual or transgendered youth. How difficult is it for us to keep up appearances and walk that tightrope of peer acceptance when you are what your peers call “normal”?  How much worse does that same struggle rear its ugly head for someone who has feelings that do not mesh with what society deems “acceptable”.

The kids I went to school with mocked and bullied people for having the wrong kind of shoes, the wrong clothes, the wrong friends, the wrong parents, the wrong house, and just about anything else that made you less than them.  It is a horrible experience, it is the last childish throes of the adolescent mind before we learn that the world cannot be easily separated into false sub-categories like nerds, geeks, stoners, losers, fags, dykes, queers, etc.

Don’t get me wrong, there are those out there today, at 33, who want to separate the world into simplistically unfair labels, but they are the minority; for the most part we don’t have to suffer their abuses, life is very different outside the fishbowl of high school.  You go to college, you meet people who are just like you, you make closer friends; you realize that the labels that assholes give you don’t really count for shit, you learn to redefine your worth outside of the narrow lens of a few nasty words and actions.

It gets better, really it does.  Take it from someone who has been through most anything you can imagine.

I saw it all, and I came out the other side a better person for it.  My story could be your story.  It could have been ‘geek’ or ‘nerd’ or ‘loser’ or ‘fag’. I count as close friends at least one of each of those people.  I don’t know your specifics, but I know your story…..

 

My tenth grade school photo all but cemented my reputation....

 

When I was in high school I was a notorious fag.  Not because I was gay, because I am not.  No, I was a fag because I was the president of the drama club, because I hung out with the “wrong people” and because I stood up to the “right people”.  I was a fag because I didn’t much care for the politics of high school, I knew who I was and who I was not.  I was a fag because I was a little too charismatic to be a “nerd”, a little too normal to be a “freak”, but not popular enough to be spared the humiliation of a bunch of insecure bullies with adult bodies and child brains.

I say this because I want you to know that I kind of understand what some gay kids go through in high school, and it’s not pretty.  What I am not aware of is how hard it must be to be facing truths and emotions  that you have no control over and the added pressures and confusions at a time when life is already so filled with pressure and confusion even for those of us who fit in.  In many ways I don’t understand because I embraced my differences; I never desperately wanted to fit in.

  • I had “FAG” written on my locker in marker, and teachers didn’t seem too alarmed.
  • I was referred to as “The Fag” by several people for the duration of high school, even shouting it at me in the hallway between classes
  • I was threatened physically on numerous occasions
  • I got regularly scheduled ass-kickings from some of the jocks

I can’t say that my feelings were never hurt, but I was always able to take it in stride.  I also had the benefit of having lots of friends who made me feel accepted, and my outgoing nature spared me from suffering in silence.

Life after high school is a completely different world. I still live in the city I attended high school in, and I still run into some of the people who ostracized me in high school.  Some have apologized, some just avoid talking to me at all.  I have never faced what I went through in high school since I left there; the few times I have seen some ignorant washed up jock try to make a homophobic comment and everyone around him looked at him like he was retarded.  People in the real world generally value differences, and the ones who don’t know better than to make themselves look stupid.  The geeks, the nerds, the  freaks, and fags rule the world out here.  Believe me, it gets better.

I can understand why someone might feel all alone in high school.  It’s part of the emotional arsenal of the popular kids.  The people who fly under the radar are too afraid to say anything for fear of being lumped in with the ‘unpopulars’, even the ‘unpopulars’ turn on each other from time to time for fear of going down another rung.  Trust me that if you really stop to look around, you are not alone.  There are people out there who honestly care about you.  It’s just hard to see past that huge pile of bullshit that people have lumped down in front of you.

I am at 33, a moderately successful father of four kids, I married the captain of another schools cheerleading team, and I have a tight knit group of friends.  Each of these things: father, husband, friend, mean infinitely more than ‘fag’.  I still would happily wear that badge though, because the people who I met and the person that I am because of that adversity make me a better person.  I love being that ‘fag’ from high school.  I wouldn’t change a thing.

Dan Savage is a crusader for LGBT issues.  He has started a campaign via YouTube to help spread the word to gay teens who are bullied in school: It Gets Better.  I implore everyone to support this initiative.  We have lost too many people to bullying related suicides.  The LGBT community is at a greater risk than anyone else.  Help in any way you can- spread the word: It Gets Better.

 

On October 20th, I'll look like this guy. But infinitely less "douchey".

 

Also, October 20th, Project Queer is asking everyone to wear purple to help raise awareness of the issue of teen suicide among the LGBT community.  On the LGBT rainbow flag, purple is the colour associated with spirit.  I will be wearing purple on Oct. 20th, will you?

If you don’t know where to start, look for LGBT organisations,  or straight-queer alliances (I will plug HSSE here, also found in my sidebar), and ask what you can do.

This is something we all need to care about.

Thanks to Pharyngula, Cafe Witteveen, and my Minion for the info

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Daily Horoscope: Polaris Software- A Critical Analysis.

Posted on August 23, 2010. Filed under: Astrology and Related Bunk, Irony in the Title, Random, Science |

Note From George: Many of you already know that for the last several days I have been wading into the astrology debate over at Jason’s blog, Lousy Canuck.

During the original debate, we were invited by Jamie Funk to join in on the discussion at his astrology blog where I first encountered James Alexander and his brief explanation of Polaris; a computer software developed for “rectification”.  James has now joined the debate on Jason’s blog, and has once again brought up Polaris as evidence of astrology’s ability to make falsifiable predictions.  During this debate, I have offered James the opportunity to test Polaris as a proof of astrology and he seems genuinely interested in putting it to task.  In the interests of giving a fair shake to James, I would like to give him the opportunity to guest post his own interpretation of Polaris, which I will not edit save a disclaimer that the views are his, and post it on my site.  I welcome his comments about my interpretation, which I am offering here.  I would forewarn readers that this is a 4000 word post with no jokes and little pointed language, and will likely be a tl;dr for anyone not interested by astrology or with vested interest in our ongoing discussion.  Feel free to read my Summary  just above the fold to get a brief overview of this post.  Unless you are James.  Then you should read it and explain in some detail what parts are factually wrong, as well as proofread it for spelling and grammar.  (that’s my only joke folks, you have been warned)  All quotes or information attributed to James is available at the Polaris link or in comments on my blog and Lousy Canuck.  I will be happy to clarify the source upon request.

Jason has offered to post on his blog the parameters and eventual results of this test of Polaris on his site, once James and I have agreed on terms and begun the test.

Overview

  • Rectification can cause “warm readings” as opposed to “cold readings”, the potential for non-astrologically gained information and/or the discounting of information should be considered as fostering confirmation bias.
  • It is feasible to create a PRNG (Pseudo-Random Number Generator) that would perform better than chance without the aid of astrology.
  • The odds quoted by James are fundamentally flawed
  • Many of his corollary statements are misdirecting, flawed or incorrect
  • By widening the scope of what would pass for a “hit” for Polaris, the odds of the “uncanny” become far better.
  • Polaris is deserving of a test in spite of my basic criticisms (more…)
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How I miss Z-Denny!

Posted on July 6, 2010. Filed under: Humour, Personal, Random, Trolls |

I need to buy some time while I mash together a whole string of margin notes into a post about cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias for my multi post series on Apologetics and Apostasy.

While I was feeling unmotivated today, I got curious about Z-Denny, a fantastic little troll who always seemed to frequent the same blogs as me.  So I googled him.  I reminisced over some of his tripe at Cafe Witeveen, then, in a weird sort of way…kind of missed him.  I have now decided….

I need my own pet troll.

I have no idea how to find one.  I guess I should just spurt out a bunch of blasphemous things and hope I get a hit.  Oh well, until my pet troll finds me, I guess this will have to do:

Editors Note:  I plan to name him Cornelius.  I don’t care what he calls himself-his name is Cornelius.  If it’s a girl I’ll call her Agatha.

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Welcome to My Blog!

Posted on June 10, 2010. Filed under: Personal, Random | Tags: , |

As some of you know, I have a nasty habit of creeping around other people’s blogs and occasionally putting my two-cents in.  Well now that I have my own blog, I guess I can expand my thoughts a bit more and keep beating dead posts that I really didn’t think were finished on other blogs.  My first real post should be coming soon but I need some time to sort out my ideas.  Maybe to keep you busy I’ll just link to some stuff I think is pretty cool.

The pressure to be interesting is really too much to take……

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