Uncle Roger's Notebooks of Daily Life
My life is, to me, ripe with frequent challenges, occasional successes, spontaneous laughter, adequate tears, and enough *life* to last me a lifetime. To you, however, it surely seems most pedestrian. And therefore, I recycle the name I used previously and call this my Notebooks of Daily Life. Daily, because it's everyday in nature, ordinary. These conglomeration of events that are my life are of interest to me because I live it, perhaps mildly so to those who are touched by it, and could only be of perverse, morbid curiosity to anyone else. Yet, I offer them here nonetheless. Make of them what you will, and perhaps you can learn from my mistakes.
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Wednesday, April 15, 2009
"Some of the women have been wearing their pants so long that some of the men have forgotten their identity. It's time the men put their pants back on," said Ronald Goodwin of Alexandria.
Do you recognize these names?
They are the leaders of the current swelling of unashamed, even outspoken non-believers who are willing to go on record as not subscribing to the mythologies that have plagued the human race for many thousands of years. They are scientists and philosophers and authors who are no longer willing to stand by and let people get away with saying "a magic man done it" without challenging such claims. They refuse to treat believers with kid gloves as if they were Uncle Harry got loose from his room again and going on about how the aliens kidnapped him. Instead, they call upon the faithful to offer evidence and proof, to question their own beliefs, and to use the gifts of logic and reason they claim their God gave them.
They are, if you will, the prophets of the prophetless.
I am proud to follow in their example.
Recently, I made a comment in response to a webcomic and I think the idea bears repeating, even expanding upon. Here's my original comment:
Weíre not really militant, you know. Itís not that we want to stop people from believing in whatever silly stories they like ó if just that if you turn your brain off, you shouldnít have a say in, well, anything. You donít get to vote, you donít get to be in a management position at work, heck, you donít even get to decide what you can have for lunch. You basically have to go through life with a cork on the end of your fork.
My point is that if you can find your way clear to believe the conflicting and impossible stories in any of the so-called "holy" books, then you are clearly not competent to have a say in how things are run. In fact, I would argue, you're barely competent to manage your own life. Would you want someone voting on matters that will affect you based on the shapes of clouds? No? Well that makes as much sense as any other religion.
And believing that the clouds are signs from some greater power is no less daft than believing that an all-knowing, all-powerful God got so upset that the creations to whom He gave free will actually used that free will, that he had to send his son (who is actually himself) down to be killed to fix the mess.
Now, if you want to believe all that, you're welcome to do so, but don't expect anyone with a lick of sense to take you seriously if you do. Further, don't expect anyone to appreciate it when you try to mess around with other people's lives based on what you think the Magic Man in the Sky told you.
You know, when people say they hear voices that tell them to do things, we usually get them some help or, as a last resort, lock them away before they start hacking the cat (or the kids) to pieces. Except when they say the voice says it's God. Personally, I don't see the difference. Either way, I'd just as soon let you play with your toes over in the corner there where you can't do any harm and leave the running of our society to those who have demonstrated an ability to use their brain to think.
Which leads me to my action point. I think we should start a new movement -- the CorkFork movement -- to get those who are unable to process information and who do not exhibit the ability to think logically some much needed help. And if they don't want help, then to make sure they are able to live out their lives in quiet comfort without bothering the rest of us.
Saturday was a big day for everyone. For some reason, on the day the kids didn't have to be up early, they, of course, were up at six a.m. If you're interested, click on through to read all about it.
She came into view as we rounded the curve. She was breathtaking. Beautiful beyond compare. Quite literally, she brought tears to my eyes, framed as she was against a backdrop of trees and bushes. If you've never felt your heart pounding its way into your ears and been unable to breathe for fear of making such a vision disappear before you have a chance to give your emotions voice, you haven't lived. Dare I say it was love?
I had to mail out the taxes and deposit a couple of checks today and both the post office and the bank are right near the thrift shop... Of course I stopped in! I got a few interesting albums -- ones I didn't have on CD by The Rolling Stones, Genesis, and the Dave Matthews Band, along with a half price ($1.50) copy of music from the Lillith Fair. While those are cool, they aren't the awesome score I scored. And no, that's not redundant.
Put some extra peanut butter on top. I like to do that so if it falls on the floor, there is still peanut butter on it.
I'm not left-handed -- I'm both-handed!
Today, Sara had a playdate with one of her friends from school. She had one last week as well, and has another next Wednesday. She also attended a birthday party last Sunday. She's quite the social butterfly.
Meanwhile, Jared is going to the Zeum on Saturday with some friends and the first grade teachers from his school. It was something we bid on at the school auction last year. Sunday is a baby shower for Rachel's friend who's having her third kid (but first boy).
The following Saturday, I'm taking the kids and their friend Matthew to the Hiller Aviation Museum (or possibly to the Niles Canyon for a run with SP 2472). That evening, Rachel's going out on a Mom's Night Out while I watch our three plus two more. Sunday there is a music jam in Brooks Park.
On April 1, there will be a talent show at Jared's school; the day after Jared's class is going to the Symphony (and I'm going with them). Passover comes the following week and then it's Jared's birthday. Looking further ahead, we've got the Mendo trip, Memorial Day camping, camping with Jared's class, Ezra and Sara's birthdays, and, of course, Calistoga. Whew! I'm tired already!
Picture this -- your darling baby boy, his face coated in gooey-ness, sticky green balls of goop the size of peas popping out of his eyes... Yep, we took him to an exorcist, er, the emergency room. We were there all Sunday afternoon and evening while the doctor consulted ophthalmologists and performed tests. In the end, the diagnosis was as expected -- sort of.
Okay, so maybe I find out about a lot of things long after everyone else, but maybe I'm just letting everyone else filter out the crap for me. Did you ever consider that, huh? Well, in any case, I recently discovered Firefly, a fantastic space-western TV series created by Joss Whedon of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame.
It follows the escapades of a group of freelance adventurers who travel about ferrying cargo and doing whatever else -- within reason -- will earn them some coin. They're not above breaking the law, but are basically good people. Kind of like Han Solo. Only not solo.
It's at least as good as early Stargate and much better than the later episodes. (Interestingly, two actresses from Firefly found their way into the Stargate world.) Sadly, it was cancelled after only fourteen episodes were filmed. You can occasionally find the complete series on Amazon for $20; it's quite a deal.
If you haven't seen it, check it out. And before you get too bummed out that the series was cancelled, there is a full-length movie, Serenity, available as well.
A friend recently told me that she had never been to the emergency room for either of her two daughters (who are about the same age as Jared and Sara). I expressed my surprise and told her that we are trying to keep our E.R. visits down to one a year -- a goal we have yet to meet, I think.
I addressed this question in relation to Vivaldi's Four Seasons last year and while it may be possible to have enough versions of that particular work, I don't think it's possible to have too much music in general. And so I continue to acquire additional albums from new and familiar artists.
I picked up a CD recently by The Blind Boys of Alabama from a live concert in New Orleans. I was somewhat disappointed, however, to find that it was not the case where a CD was accompanied by a bonus DVD, but quite the opposite. Much of the music is only available on the DVD, including several numbers featuring Susan Tedeschi and Dr. John, two artists of whom I am a huge fan.
Nonetheless, the CD is excellent -- as is, by the way, the concert DVD -- but what really stands out for me is the version of Amazing Grace. Sure, I had high hopes for it, knowing the Blind Boys' vocal expertise but what I did not expect was that they had arranged the words of Amazing Grace to fit the music from The House of the Rising Sun.
While it caught me by surprise at first, it really, really works. And it's very appropriate, too, if you think about it. So, if only for this one song, I highly recommend this CD/DVD. Of course, the rest of the music is fantastic too.
It's been a long time since I've posted a real update-on-my-life post, so I'll be y'all (that is, both of you) thought you had it pretty good. Well, I'm here to tell you that your luck has run out. Brace yourself for a lengthy and long-winded treatise on what's been happening 'round these here parts. Or don't click on the "more..." link and save yourself the torture.
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