Friday, November 19, 2004

Faith Post

Listening to: 11.19 - The Dawn & Drew Show

I have maintained a separate faith discussion blog for a little while. Since I have now made this a more personal blog, I am going to move the contents (only 3 posts) to this blog. Here is the first entry, I will be posting them in chronological order:

Ironic that tonight's episode of my favorite show, Nip/Tuck tackled the notion of faith. Ironic because faith is the area that I have become most preoccupied — specifically with the notion of faith vs. spirtuality. Although most think that they are one in the same, they are not.

After many years as a atheist (the mormon religeon drove me there, as it does many others), I recently embraced the idea of a GOD. I guess that the original problem that I had with the idea of GOD was the fault of religeon. I didn't have a problem with the idea of something bigger; how could you? This didn't all just appear out of nowhere. Unfortunately though, religeon dictates that there are conditions that must be met and maintained to enjoy the splendor of GOD — that essentially our GOD is a discriminating GOD. I have always had a problem with that idea as well as the idea that a GOD that interferes with what goes on down here would let the atrocities that we see everyday happen.

I was compelled to research the idea of GOD a few months ago. It was so intense that I could think of nothing else. As if on queue, my mom found GOD and shared with me the music of Michael W. Smith that moved me at my core and a friend mentioned a class/course called Alpha, "A practical guide to the Christian faith." I took the course, which I won't explain the premise here (click on the link above) and was truly moved. It answered the questions that most skeptics have and eventually led me to surrender to the idea that maybe I didn't know it all. Maybe, in the same sense that the most brilliant men of their generation thought that the earth was flat and the center of the universe, I was wrong in assuming that it all had to add up nicely in a neat, little, logical way. Maybe, just maybe, there was some reason or logic behind all of the suffering.

One afternoon Tiffany and I were watching PBS during their fundraising week when a special came on by Dr. Wayne Dyer. We watched most of it and were both so impressed that we bought the "whole enchilda" which included his latest book, DVD, CDs, etc. Dr. Dyer spoke about the notion of GOD, or Source as he sometimes calls it, in the terms that had always made sense to me. He spoke of us all being connected to GOD at all times because we all come from GOD....

I have to go now, but will continue this in the next posting...

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Can a marriage survive the battle over faith?

Listening to: 11.17 Daily Source Code w/Adam Curry

Can a marriage survive the battle over faith? If one person in a relationship is Christian and the other is Agnostic, can they bring it all together and be happy?

Just a question.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Podcasting, the itch, and Vioxx Lawsuits

Listening to: Kyrie - Mr. Mister (what an great and underrated song)


Michael and I finally spoke via phone last week. I am not going to share too much about our conversations, who he is, or how we met here because it is going to be in our Podcast. I am going to contact him tonight and hopefully we can record our first one -- I can't wait!

The Itch

I have felt the "itch" lately. I feel like we need a change in our lives. It is hard to explain it exactly because I don't understand it exactly. I feel at wits end with this suburban life that I knew that I never wanted. I know that we have a plan and that when she is done with school, I can quit corporate America and move on. That all just seems so far away. I want to LIVE. I want my kids to LIVE. We do great with them, we really do but I want to show them the world. Hell, I want to show ME the world. I know that from friend perspective it will be hard but I think that the benefits of moving around the world would be much greater. Imagine instead of reading about Africa, living there! Imagine experiencing cultures first hand instead of on the pages of a book -- from the perspective of one person.

The trouble is that do we do it poor or do I sacrifice some of my values by making a lot of money (I have always known that I could pretty easily if I wanted to) and go from there? The more that I think about it, the more I realize that maybe I have been wrong all along -- money does matter. In today's world, money is the only real freedom. There isn't anywhere that you can live without it so you have to acknowledge that. Of course this doesn't mean that it has to consume your life. You can still help others and make a difference which is what we have always wanted to do.

I am fascinated by how non-Americans, especially Europeans and some Latin Americans can live such extraordinary lives without much money. Maybe it is an American, media & movie-fed view of other countries but it seems that they live so freely and much more stress free -- even without much money. Who knows? I guess that I will just have to go there and see if it is true.

I want to climb Everest. I want to explore the wonders of New Zealand and Thailand. I truly want to suck every bit of life out of this experience. Knowing that there is no GOD in the traditional sense and certainly no heaven, I feel even more compelled to live NOW, before it is too late. Maybe heaven is people's way of dealing with uninteresting, trapped lives. If they convince themselves that there is something better after all of this, then their lives won't seem so desperate or hopeless -- you will have all eternity to live in heaven, have whatever you want, and be happy. I am sorry but I just don't think so. Imagine if they are wrong -- a life wasted. If they are right then they will have lived an incredible life and have even more to look forward to. Hmmm...

Either way, I need to get a move on.

Vioxx Lawsuits

I don't want to go off on a rant but it angers me to no end that Merck has known for years that Vioxx (which I have taken for my knees) is incredibly deadly - 28,000 + deaths - and are barely now pulling it. Even more disgusting is that the FDA allowed this to go to market without conclusive testing. The FDA is supposed to protect the American public. Instead they are lobbied by the pharmaceutical companies to get their companies drug to market regardless of the risk. By the time they get caught or can no longer play dumb, the companies have made billions - enough to cover all of the lawsuits tenfold. How do we continue to allow our government to work this way? And I say we intentionally - this is our country. When there are continuous problems, we have no one to blame but ourselves. Why should Merck have to pay anyone? We let them fuck us. We, as a nation, are too fucking lazy to do anything about the FDA or any other government agency, so it is no surprise that the 1% with the most money and initiative to actually get involved get their way. We are just interested in sitting on our asses and watching mind-numbing sitcoms on our new plasma screen that we financed for 50 years at BestBuy. Well I for one am sick of it. Maybe it is time for a revolution. The French did it. We did it. Maybe it is just time to clean house, elect Jon Stewart president, and MOVE ON!

I guess that was a rant after all. Ooops.


I never knew this, did you?

Historical information you need to know about shipping Manure:

In the 16th and 17th centuries, everything had to be transported by ship. It was also before commercial fertilizer's invention, so large shipments of manure were common. It was shipped dry, because in dry form it weighed a lot less than when wet, but once water (at sea) hit it, it not only became heavier, but the process of fermentation began again, of which a by-product is methane gas.

As the stuff was stored below decks in bundles you can see what could (and did) happen. Methane began to build up below decks, and the first time someone came below at night, with a lantern, >BOOOOM! Several ships were destroyed in this manner before it was determined just what was happening.

After that, the bundles of manure were always stamped with the term, " Ship High In Transit" on them, which meant for the sailors to stow it high enough off the lower decks so that any water that came into the hold would not touch this volatile cargo and start the production of methane. Thus evolved the term "S.H.I.T," which has come down through the centuries and is in use
to this very day.