Archive for November 2006

Why I’m having trouble with this.

This being blogging. I’m just not feeling it recently. I’m busy at work, and when I’m not at work I have a new(ish) house to work on. I could blog about work or the state of my new(ish) house, but when I’m not doing one of those things I’m usually intentionally not thinking about one or both of them because I feel like I should get off my ass and do one or the other. Not thinking about something makes it hard to sit down and write about it.

So… What am I doing when I’m not working on work or home? Well, tonight I had a couple of hours and I… surfed.

I started at ScienceBlogs, and after a quick review of a few articles found myself following a link to BeliefNet, where I read “Why I Am Hostile Toward Religion“, an excerpt from “The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins. This lead me to an interview with the same, then an interesting Q&A with Karen Armstrong on fundamentalism and Islam. I had now spent awhile on this site, and decided to look around a bit, which quickly lead me to the Belief-o-Matic. I answered their 20 questions and, no surprise to anyone, I am 100% Secular Humanist. This lead to the American Humanist Association, and then, inevitably, the Wikipedia entry for Humanism. After editing the entry to correct a very minor misspelling I clicked on a user page, which in turn led me to the entry titled “List of songs deemed inappropriate by Clear Channel following the September 11, 2001 attacks”, then “Censorship in the United States“, then something called the “1943 Surprise Hurricane“.

At this point, seeing that I was about to go wikabout (sorry), I stopped myself and thought, I’ve just looked at an interesting bunch of stuff, how could I tie some of this together into a blog post? Maybe I could think of some amusing biographical anecdote, my history with religion, my… no. Nothing there. Maybe something more serious, I could go from the humanist to the fundamentalism to the 9/11 and end it with the list of songs. No, too much work, I can’t put all that together, and even if I could I don’t really want to.

Now, I don’t want to get too pseudo-psychological, but I think that the intentional suppression of home and work thoughts in an effort to “relax” have actually had the opposite effect on my subconscious, making it work to avoid certain topics and, in short, stressing it out. I’m going to limit what I think about but to make that a finite list I’d have to think about what I’m not going to think about, so I can think of nothing or I can think of everything, but not in much depth. Either that, or it’s 1:45 in the morning right now and I can’t sleep. One or the other.

Either way, I succeeded in writing a post. A long, rambling, insomniac’s post. Do people even still believe in the subconscious? I think I’ll go check Wikipedia.

Folding@Home

Go here. Download it. Start running it. Join my team, so we can compare our results. Everybody’s happy.

I found this…

…to be rather hypnotic.

This is what’s starting to play on radio. Right now.

Voted.

I was in line for an hour this morning to vote because they had to reboot the electronic voting machines twice. There was a crazy woman about 6 people behind me who was sure there was something going on.

Nice old precinct volunteer lady: I apologize for the delay, but we are having to reboot the system, as one of the machines didn’t come online this morning.
Crazy Woman: Is this voter fraud?
NOPVL: No.
CW: Are these Diebold machines?
NOPVL: No, they’re [unintelligible].
CW: Are you SURE this isn’t VOTER FRAUD?
NOPVL: No, but it’s unlikely, as no one has voted yet.

CW then got on her phone and started telling the person on the other end about how she was pretty sure she was witnessing voter fraud, and at the very least they were attempting to keep people from voting by making it take forever so they would get discouraged and leave. SHE was going to have none of it, though. She waited in line (with the rest of us, no one got discouraged and left), and when she got to the front took the opportunity to complain again, quite loudly, about how this process was flawed and she wanted to know who was responsible for choosing these terrible machines. To their credit, the NOPVL and the rest of her cohorts were polite throughout, taking her concerns seriously and apologizing for things they had no control over. To top it all off, the man she was with, upon having his ID verified and getting his small, green “verified” card which allowed him to move to the next station, started making jokes about how he’d finally gotten his “green card” (har har) and he didn’t know why people complained because it really wasn’t as difficult to obtain as he’d heard.

I guess if there’s any moral to this story it’s this: Morons vote. You should too.

Vote.

My group of friends and acquaintances are generally some pretty liberal people, however, the majority of them don’t vote. They bitch about the state of government, but when election day rolls around they do nothing. I’ve got theories as to why this may be – we live in Texas and are surrounded by Republicans, most Democrats are losers, and I need better friends. All of these theories have some merit. Regardless, I’m asking nice here. Will you please go vote?

Find out today where your polling place is. Take a little extra time out of your day tomorrow and go use it. Might I suggest Chris Bell and yes on all the bond propositions? No, Chris Bell won’t win, but some of the bonds could be approved, and that’d make you feel better. Give it a shot.