Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Military Service

I am a person who goes to a church in the Bible Belt, most people I know are conservatives, and many I know have either been in the military, or are considering it. That being said, I am not a southerner. I don't have the accent, I don't have the big pickup truck, and I don't eat pork very much. A significant portion of our military personnel come from the south.

A little background, my father served in the US Navy back in the late sixties, early seventies. He had been promised that he would not be sent to Vietnam when he enlisted, and when to work becoming a ship's electrician. He did very well. Someone then decided to send him in the bottom of an old boat to Vietnam, or so he tells it. Like I said, he had no plans to do that, so he signed drug amnesty and got an honorable discharge. My grandfather served in the Army Air Corps in WWII. So I do have some military in my family background.

However, it's that experience (from my father) that has particularly shaped my view of the military. The recent wars have done even more.

Let me tell you under what circumstances I would carry and use a gun or other weapon. If the US was invaded by some foreign force with intent to do grievous injury or something else, the first thing I'd do is install my scope on my Ruger 10/22 and get it sighted. Then I would do my best to protect my country and my family as an honorable citizen thereof with that gun and my 12 guage. You don't know how much damage you can do with a .22 rifle and a scatter gun.

Let me also invite you into my mind. You see, we have a whole bunch of propaganda circulating when it comes to the military. We hear all these great things about our service men and women protecting our freedom and our interests overseas.

I think it is a great thing to protect our freedom. However, what our soldiers are doing overseas is not protecting our freedom, it is threatening our safety. How is it even fathomable that protecting our freedom involves blowing up brown people who have never even entered our country. What's more is all the innocent bystanders (also brown) who get blown up too. If our freedom is to be protected, it is to be on our own soil. If our people are to be protected, it is to be on our own soil. We cannot attack other countries and expect anything other than continued violence and attacks. Islam especially is a religion based on a revenge-friendly theological system. No matter what they do to you, the only way to get them off your back is to leave them alone. If you kill someone, his brother will come after you, and his son and probably his wife. If you then kill any of them, you have their relatives to deal with as well. It is a quickly escalating mess. The only way to deal with Muslims is by following what the Bible says. "Revenge is mine says the Lord." If you are a follower of Jesus or believe in the bible, you must not take revenge, revenge must be left up to God. That's why our freedom can only be protected on our own soil. We police, we investigate, we incarcerate the guilty, but it must be here and only here.

And the interests we are protecting are not ours either. It's those darned interests that really get to be the problem. It's the interests of multinational corporations and their paid politicians who are served in wars, not those of the American people. We just want to get along with everyone and not be killing brown people. If we hadn't been dragged into pointless wars, we'd probably have plenty of money for health care and whatever else anyone wants to do. Those are not my interests. Those are not my interests. I have an interest, let's instead of buying Saudi oil or blowing up Iraq, let's rent some desert and put up some solar panels and make some money on clean renewable energy! If the price is right, we can't lose!

Blood is precious. And I'm not just talking about the blood of our soldiers, but I'm talking about he blood of those they kill as well. Human life is precious. Humans are created in the image of the invisible God, the pinnacle of creation. God never intended for them to die, and he certainly did not intend them to kill each other. He intended them to live in peace, in harmony with him, each other, and with creation.

So I'm essentially against service in the military. I for one am not willing to sacrifice my life on the orders of someone I barely know and for a cause I do not believe in, and I don't want to lose any of my friends that way. I believe our interests as Americans are best served in the world by closing the vast majority of our bases around the world. Our footprint should be no larger than the land encircled by our borders and our shores. We could save loads of money with which to pay down our national debt and become a strong nation again, not strong in military power but in influence and in a good way, and for peace. Being American used to mean something, but now, no one gives a cold shit anymore. We're just bullies. Our economy drags the rest of the world down. Our wants drag the rest of the world into working conditions akin to before the industrial revolution.

I just want innocent people to stop dying. I think the military is getting in the way of that goal.

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Case for Racial Diversity

I recently shaved my head because it is summer after all and it feels so cool when the sweat evaporates off my scalp under my helmet whilst traveling down the freeway at 140 mph.

However, I do look a bit like a skin head. Skinheads as we know are stereotypically associated with the white supremacists. I am not a white supremacists, if anything, I'm a closet "me" supremacist. That is, I think I'm better than everyone else, but that's a simple human flaw that I hope Jesus will iron out. It's completely different than thinking I'm better because of my skin color.

Race as many of you know is a touchy subject in this country, and has been since a long time ago. At this point, I hope that at least superficially the issue is as much muted as possible, however, some undercurrents still exist.

To be perfectly clear, I'm white. My parents were white, their parents were white, and their parents were white. On my father's side, my family is English and Swedish of which the Swedish is the most pure. My mother's side is English and "Black" German which is to say dark-haired, dark-eyed. I have light brown hair and green eyes. I sunburn fairly easily but not like my good buddy JSW.

I was raised in a white environment and didn't really meet my first black person until some time around 4th grade. They just weren't around in Southern Oregon. To be perfectly honest, I'm still not used to seeing so many black people around here in Arkansas, and especially in Little Rock. And I do look at them funny, but not because I'm thinking something bad about them, but for the same reason you go somewhere to see something you don't usually see. I look at them simply because I'm not used to seeing them. It's like "hey, a black person!" It's really weird I know, but it's true. It's like I'm standing there looking at a guy going "dang, he's got big lips," not because it's some big racial issue, but because I'm not used to seeing people with that big of lips. There's no racial animosity at all, it's like going to an air museum and seeing an airplane you've never seen before. The same goes for other races. Their facial features are foreign to me and as such, they are interesting to look at.

But I am white. And if you are black, you are black, I don't like the term "African American" because I'm not Swedish American or English American. If you or your parents literally came from Africa, than you can be African American, otherwise, I'm white and you're black. It's a colloquialism. Live with it. I'm colored too, kind of a pink or tan.

I also love some racial stereotypes and some racially based jokes. There wouldn't be stereotypes if they weren't somewhat true. Asians are good at math, blacks like chicken, whites are timid. Indians have an accent. Whooptiedoo. I was talking to one of my pastors yesterday morning and he was commenting on my shaved head, so I commented on his Jewishness (he's half or something.) Jews are good with money. Deep down we all believe these things, it's how we were raised. That's just what I see. We are all to a great extent a sum of our environmental shaping forces. If you are raised by racist parents, you are likely to be racist. If your family likes chicken, you probably like chicken too.

It's the negative stereotypes that really do the damage. Anecdotally, most people who cut me off or slow me down in traffic on my motorcycle are Asians or women. But if you tell any kid from a young age that he is stupid and won't amount to anything, he will probably believe it and become a self fulfilling prophecy. The problem is, there are some groups that receive that kind of stimulus more than others and that's how we get much of the racial disparity we see today.

When Hitler tried to create his master race, he forgot one crucial element. When you breed animals too closely related, it's like dropping a deuce in the gene pool. In nature, the more unrelated the parents are, the healthier the offspring will be and there are plenty of examples. Pure bred dogs especially of certain varieties are extremely susceptible to cancer and other diseases like arthritis. On the other hand, mutts are often quite long lived and useful dogs. The same goes for humans. It was likely the inbreeding of the English royals that resulted in the much famed hemophilia that the previous family was known for.

So if Hitler wanted to create a master race, he should have done it differently. He should have tried to breed elements from all races together. He could have used Tibetans for their lung capacity, Africans for their strength, Swedes for their beauty or any other number of combinations, I'm just being facetious here.

Instead, in his ignorance he was going for extra fingers, tiny testicles, and genetic disorders.

Scientifically, racial diversity is the best idea. Plus, racism does not pass the "love your neighbor" test.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

@#$%&*(!! Swearing

Swearing is in some places in our culture ubiquitous and persistent and in others taboo and hush hush. Specific places and occupations are known for it, while in others you'd be surprised to heard even a replacement swear word. Be forewarned, you may seem some cuss words below, so if you are averse to them, please skip this post.

Still with me? Good.

Many of us as children heard something akin to the phrase "don't say that, it's a bad word." Though the unspoken question loomed, we never asked it. "Why is it a bad word?" Why is it that "darn" is taking the Lord's name in vain as I was told? A very good question.

First, let's look at what taking the Lord's name in vain really means. It has nothing to do with cuss words. The word profane is rooted in the idea of something being exterior to the temple or church. Originally, if you used the word profane, it meant something more like secular, but one thing you need to understand is that languages evolve. Eventually, the word profane came to mean what we think of it today. Profanity is something that is uttered in blasphemy of God or insult to something else. "Taking the LORD's name in vain" on it's own has to do with what LORD means. If you read in the old testament and encounter the word LORD in all caps, it means YHVH, God's "name." Transliterated it matches roughly to "Yahweh." While it could mean using God's name in blasphemy, in my view, it more likely fits more tightly in the manner of claiming to be God's follower, and not following him. If you marry a man, you take his name. We are the bride of Christ, so taking his name in vain would be claiming him as husband, but cheating, as it were.

Evolution, there's an interesting concept. I don't believe in naturalistic evolution, except for in language. Most people do understand that languages change a bit over time, all you need to do is read a KJV bible and that will be obvious, but how much do they change? If you were to go back in time more than about four hundred years, you would barely be able to communicate with someone speaking what is today known as English. The same goes for most languages. Unless there is a solid linguistic work by which everyone gets their stuff (such as some sort of scripture) languages will evolve quite quickly. The language as we know it today didn't really come to be until about a thousand years ago.

Word's meanings change and their use as profanity change as well. For instance, you might think that the top bad word would be fuck anywhere English is spoken. Not so, in Britain, it is cunt. Also on thier top ten list is bastard and bollocks. Bollocks is kind of interesting because I hear "balls" among the guys and some of the girls quite commonly in our church youth group. And bastard is generally a noun. Interestingly enough, "bitch" isn't on their list.

And then there's the George Carlin classic bit "The seven words you can't say on TV" the words you can't say on American TV. And of course, those are shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits. Though breasts and boobs are ok to say. I was quite surprised the first time I heard a teenage girl use the word tits.

But the biggest thing swearing communicates to me is the intelligence of the utterer. It is technically grammatically correct to say "Fuck the fucking fucker" because the word fuck can be used as virtually any part of speech. However, how intelligent would I be if I used the same word for every adjective, verb, and adverb? "Sail the sailing sailor." "Shit the shitting shitter." "Beat the beating beater." "Picture the picturing picture." "Bowl the bowling bowler" etc., you get the point.

I have worked in a number of environments where profuse swearing was commonplace. Thus, it is quite difficult for me not to swear, but I do pull it off. I don't understand how poeple can accidentally swear, for me it is completely purposeful. As with other facets of my speech patterns, I use swear words sparingly and only to make my words memorable. People say I don't have a filter, but the thing is, a filter is a distortion of honesty. It is not necessarily dishonesty, but it hides the true feelings of the speaker. The true feelings are those communicated by any means necessary, including swear words.

I've thought of trying out radical honesty, but I just don't think people around me can handle it. Radical honesty is where you say everything you think, completely and unfiltered. I'm not sure whether if I did that if I would have any friends at all and it is that ambiguity that keeps me from trying it. You see, down inside, I'm a very coarse and harsh person. Properly filtered, people see me as honest and open, but unfiltered, I think people would see me as too much to handle. It's not that I'm mean, it's just that I more clearly think about the things that other people won't say. I mean what do you say when someone says "isn't my brand new baby so cute and beautiful," when inside I'm thinking "that kid is ugly as a mangy bear, and you look just like him/her." See what I mean, people don't like it when you say things like that, so I don't.

But back to swearing. Remember, swear words are words, and while words have power, that power changes over time. The meanings of words change over time. But they are just words. Cool used to mean cold. Queer used to mean weird. Gay used to mean happy. Cock used to mean rooster. Ass used to mean donkey. Bitch used to mean dog. It's not that big of a deal, personally, some valley girl who uses the word "like" too much is just as annoying as people who use the word "fuck" too much. On the other hand, if you have a broad vocabulary and both like and fuck are put in their place, you have a better chance of being an interesting person to talk to.

Harry Bollocks.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Facebook and Twitter can Die and Rot.

Back before I signed up for Facebook, everyone was trying to get me on there. When I finally did, a guy I know said something like "you are finally drinking the Koolaid" or something like that, so I said "well, you've been a tool for months."

Let me tell you why I don't like Facebook or Twitter.

First, though this kind of service seems to increase the volume of interpersonal communication, and connection, it really superficializes what interpersonal communication is. There is so much more to communication than words. Most important are facial expressions. You can tell so much about a person by their facial expressions innately as a function of your natural coding as a human. Non-verbal communication is huge and when you just type, you lose it. Another thing is the voice. Your voice communicates so many things, and not the words, the tone, inflection, timbre, and numerous other characteristics. Something people often forget is hormones and pheromones that are released when we communicate. You may know that oxytocin is released when you hug or touch someone. But there are other hormones that are released into your body when you communicate and you lose those with a Tweet. Smell is a huge factor because your body releases smells and pheromones depending on your mood, attitude and stress level. Also, smells are the sense most tied to memory.

Another reason is the seemingly voluntary loss of privacy. Facebook statuses and tweets tell people what you want them to know is going on. And there is this expectation for you to tell more and more. I also think there can be a draw to be untruthful with them to make them sound more interesting. And I'm tired of people using Facebook instead of email or IM. So now you send me a Facebook message, and Facebook sends me an email so that now I have to go to Facebook and sign in to reply to the message because I can't simply reply to the email. Email me dammit! I've got an iPhone, I get it right away. Stupid Facebook app, told me I had a message for weeks, but I couldn't find it, finally pressed "refresh" and there it was. Then I got updates when Robbie was sick. Everytime there was an update, I got five different updates, two from Facebook groups and two from everywhere else.

There needs to be some privacy, at least for me. There's a reason why I moved out into the country. It was to be away from people who could see what I was doing in my own back yard. But the thing is, if you want to see what I'm doing in my back yard, just come over and ask. I don't know how many people who know me realize, but I'm here all day long and I'll talk to ya. I have a cell phone, and if you call me, I'll talk to ya. If you want to come over and see what the inside of a bee hive looks like, I'll show ya. If you want to fart around in the garden, please do. You can't do any of that stuff on Facebook. Also, you can't get a computer virus in the garden either.

Finally, like with email, it's just too easy for there to be a misunderstanding, but unlike email, it's just too public. When you leave a comment on someone's status or on their wall, everyone sees it and is free to comment on it. And it is just too easy for something to be misunderstood which can cause divides between people.

So I'm done with Facebook, and I never got started with Twitter. If you want to get ahold of me, email or call, or do the unthinkable and write a letter. Drop by my house, there's a pretty good chance I'm here. I'll keep my Facebook account in case anyone wants to contact me for high school reunions or something, but I'm not going to actively take part. And I'm going to stay away from Twitter, because as you can see, I don't do micro-blogging.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Don't Speak Badly of the Dead

I've noticed a number of times how people seem to put on rosy colored glasses about someone when they've died.

Growing up, my mom had some friends who were a couple, were married at one time, and the guy was all kinds of bastard. He was a drunk and was mean and all that. He died in a car accident and his ex-wife starts crying "we were gonna get back together" and other such nonsense. And I'm standing there going "the guy beat you, what are you doing?"

So now Michael Jackson dies and the same thing goes on. Now I understand Paris is a little girl and all, but think about this. She said "daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine."


I'm sorry, I don't buy that for a second. Even with my father's faults, I'm pretty damn sure that he was a better dad than Michael.

All this publicity, all the hype, the coverage on TV. What utter nonsense. The man was a loon. He lied to everyone outside every chance he got. He owned his own little theme park. He liked to touch little boys, and if he didn't, he was sure damn suspicious about it which makes him stupid. He had a secret compartment in his bedroom with extra security and stuff. He slept with a chimpanzee. He was rich beyond anyone's wildest dreams and couldn't keep hold of it. He was addicted to prescription drugs and likely died from them. He grabbed his crotch alot. He named all three of his kids after himself, and called one of them "Blanket." And for the love of all things good and precious, look what he did to his face!!!

Why is everyone celebrating his life like he was some kind of hero? He was a nut job, and smart parent like I am, I wouldn't have let any of my children go near him.

He's just dead, and you will be too some day.

What it's like to be me.

I am selling honey, and I sell it in canning jars to be sustainable. I print labels on mailing labels and then stick them to the jars. Since I haven't sold any honey since last year, I didn't know where the labels were, so I went looking for them.

Brain cell loss somewhere around here.

So I just looked over to the other side of my desk, and there the labels are. I did not remember finding the labels. I picked up the labels and attempted to retrace my steps so as to ascertain where I may have found the labels. I came to the realization that I had searched for the labels and then found them and placed them on my desk. After taking a shower, I again searched for the labels but did not find them. I sat down to check email and such and looked over only to find that I had already found the labels, at which time I retraced my steps to discover that I had searched twice for something that I already found.

I still don't know where I found them.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Movie Review: Maxed Out

Maxed Out is a little documentary about debt. It explores both personal credit card debt and also national debt. It's a fantastic documentary and features some stuff by Dave Ramsey as well as the man himself. I give it 9/10.

It's available online at Netflix. See it. If you don't have Netflix, you're wasting your money watching movies any other way.


Monday, July 6, 2009

To Be Offended

I really try not to blog about my problems because this blog isn't about me, and I don't want to open myself up to attacks on my person. I'm not really the kind of guy who wants to tell everyone how I'm doing or what I'm doing. While I do want to make friends and for people to know me well, I don't think it's the purpose of the internet to broadcast myself as if this blog were my secret public journal. In fact, stay tuned for an upcoming post wherein I (for all practical purposes) give up Facebook. And I detest Twitter.

But something has been happening to me in the last few months and I feel the need to share it so first of all that I can get it off my chest and secondly, so you can know me better and be able to easier forgive me if I do something stupid.

I think it traces back to my childhood, but I'm not sure. I grew up poor. Not starving poor, but you know, one set of clothes per year poor, old breaking down cars poor, wood stove only for heat and no AC poor, late power bill poor, you know, that kind of poor. To increase my chances of growing up a productive member of society, my father decided that we (my two brothers and I) should go to a private Seventh-Day Adventist school even though we didn't have that much money. He did succeed in doing that for eleven years for all of us except my youngest brother who kind of got kicked out or something in like ninth grade, I'm not sure. He did have some help from some relatives and friends who considered it tithing to donate to our "christian education." Though the education was pretty good (I've gotten quite decent grades since then) the Christian part seemed to be a little bit lacking. In fact, about the only thing that I really learned was to have bad self esteem.

Being a private school, naturally, most of the other kids families made significantly more money than mine. That left me in an awkward position especially around times like birthdays and Christmas. I have cried at someone else's birthday party because they got more presents than I did, it's just a fact of life. Because my dad made us do several hours of chores every day and we didn't have a shower, some times we went to school dirty. That left me with the title of "the dirty kid." Just imagine what a name like that will do to a kid.

Fortunately after tenth grade I got to go to a public high school. There were somewhere in the neighborhood of 2000 students in the school and there were things like different class rooms for every period and buses and stoners. Apparently I am a god among stoners. I hung out with the stoners because the crowd that had moved up from private school with me weren't all that welcoming and I eventually just stopped hanging out with them. The stoners were more like me, outcasts and didn't have cars. They also accepted me. Some of them were dirty too, though by that time I was doing my own laundry and taking a bath (still without shower) every morning. We didn't have a drier though and sometimes I went to school with wet clothes, but that's a different story. I dated some of the non-stoners among the stoners and a couple of stoners too, until that played out and I started hanging out in the library my senior year. I had done so well in private school and in my junior year that I had two free periods every day my senior year. With block scheduling, that'd be a lot of time to do nothing. So I fell in with the freshman card playing crowd.

I ended up dating a freshman girl named Jenna and she as a person destroyed me as a person. She was a horrible girlfriend, she cheated on me, she didn't respect my boundaries and she was manipulative. Eventually, I met my wife and got married and moved to Arkansas where my life is wonderful, except for this one thing.

I don't know exactly why, but I get offended easily. And not in the good way like when Jesus got offended at the pharisees. It's the bad way, I like I get offended at thing people say that weren't even directed at me. It's horrible, it's a pain in my life. I feel like my happiness and energy are drained away by this trait. I lose whole days of useful energy and concentration of someone says or does something wrong.

I read the book "The Bait of Satan" by John Bevere. It was good at identifying the problem, and I made some headway with it, to the point where some of the people I know noticed a change in me, but the problem is still here. The book doesn't exactly say "Here's how not to get offended. Or "here's how to forgive in a certain number of quick and easy steps." I found the book to be quite lacking in real content and too loose with biblical interpretation. I don't know what to do here, I don't know how to solve the problem and my personality type really wants to solve the problem.

This paradox often leaves me cussing mad both at the offense and the inability to deal with it. So I'm mad at the person who offended me, and also mad at myself for being offended. As you can imagine, it is extremely emotionally draining and I feel like I lose whole days to it some times. At the end of one of these days I'm physically and emotionally exhausted but yet unable to rest or sleep. I feel like victories in life are few and far between and my trap of offense takes them away from me. I want to be happy and content in life, but I feel like the only way to do that is just to be numb which is no solution either. I want to have grace and peace, and I want the meaning of my given name to apply to me. I feel so lost and I feel like I'm missing something, like some personality ingredient that makes you a balanced person, like I was in the in the bathroom taking a dump when God passed out the part of your brain that makes people like you.

Maybe part of my psychosis is related to the idea that perhaps I blame God for making me with this problem, or I blame him for making me go through the childhood that I had. For what purpose did I go through all that? For what purpose were the tears and the cold and the ridicule and the hurt feelings? Why do I have to be the way I am? Why can't I have some other problem like excessive popularity or really good looks? Instead I am ugly, I don't like people, I'm sensitive, have low self esteem, and to top it all off, I'm a genius, so I am way too self aware about all of it. Wouldn't it be easier if this were all true but I was too stupid to understand it? Ok, maybe I'm not that ugly.

And to top the whole thing off, I don't really feel like I have any really close friends. I know I'm gonna take a lot of heat for that one, but it's true. I can't open up to someone who I think has the kind of personality who can overpower mine. It's like you just don't play with animals you think will eat you. At least I have my wife, the best friend I've ever had. But even then, I don't talk to her very much about my frailties. In fact, there's been plenty of times where she's read this kind of stuff on my blog and was surprised that she'd never heard about it before hand. All this to say I don't feel like I have anywhere to go with this. I'm really angry at several of my pastors right now for falsely implicating me in dereliction of duty, but I'm not sure what to do about it. I feel trapped, and I don't know what to do or how to handle my emotions. I want to be a good boy, but I don't know how.

I really really want to get all of this cleared up as soon as possible. I want to grow more content and peaceable as I grow older, not less. I want to be happy. I want to stop wasting my time being offended at everyone.

I want to be whole.


Jesus Turns the Tables

Someone I know of made a comment recently about when Jesus turned over the tables of the money changers in the temple. There seems to be some misunderstandings running around about what was really happening there. So here's the impression that I get.

In Jesus time, the temple was not the kind of place that it was envisioned to be when it was built. When it was built, it was the holy place of Jewish worship. Jews from all over the world were required to come to the temple once a year and offer a sacrifice. For some, the sacrifice was a bull or a ram. Obviously, more expensive sacrifices were required from those who could afford them. Those who could not afford a sheep were required to sacrifice a dove or pigeon. Another requirement was that the animal be perfect, that is to say, it could have no blemishes, birth defects or diseases.

From the beginning of the temple, there were those who did not have their own animals to bring to the temple to sacrifice. A carpenter for instance didn't raise sheep or doves and therefore likely would have to buy an animal for the sacrifice. Day laborers (otherwise known as the poor) also often didn't have any livestock of their own and were required to buy an animal. Also, people from far away likely lived in a kingdom or area with a different kind of currency than was accepted at the temple, so money changers were employed in the same way they are now in international airports.

What began to happen as time wore on in the temple was what happens in many situations when you leave a ruling establishment in charge for a long period. They started taking advantage of the situation. Money changers started to charge exorbitant fees to transfer into the local currency. Some even say that those in charge of inspecting the animals began to say that the animals were not free of blemishes, requiring the person to buy an animal from the temple staff for the sacrifice. In some cases, they even say that the person's old unclean animal was even resold in the same market as a clean animal.

The net result of all this as in most cases of corruption was the disenfranchisement of the poor. The poor are the most likely to be affected by any corruption since they cannot afford to buy what they may be forced to buy. Later in the same discourse, Jesus addresses this by mentioning the widow's two copper coins and that she had given all she had. The highlight is when we understand that those coins were equal to 1/128th of a denarius which was a days wage. As you can see, it was a minuscule amount of money, yet it was all she had.

So it was not simply the selling of items in the temple that Jesus detested for such sales were a necessity to provide the people with sacrifices. Neither was it the changing of money because that was also a necessary part of temple business. Instead, it was the dishonesty, the usury and the taking advantage of the people who came to worship. The Jewish system of religion required a blood sacrifice for the atonement of sins and it was the "paid religious professionals" of the "church" who were blocking the people from attaining the forgiveness they sought. This is why Jesus called them "thieves" or "robbers" depending on your translation.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Honey for Sale!

Just harvested honey, I have 37 pints for sale at $6 each, and 16 quarts available at $10 each. Some are already reserved, so get some.

This is all natural organic honey, made in hives never treated with any chemical, pesticide or essential oil. I know of nowhere where you can get this excellent honey for this sweet price. You can get great organic honey in NW Arkansas, but not at this price, and you can get stuff at better than this price, but not organic and all natural. You don't know where that Walmart crap has been, but if you come over to my place, I'll show ya where I got mine! It's out in the backyard! I'll even let the bees sting you that made your honey, if you really want. You could do that!!! Can't do that at Walmart.

Check out my beekeeping blog at this link.

Bringing the best of both worlds!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

More Power Consumption Info

I just checked the power consumption on my computer and there are some startling results.

Just using the computer under normal circumstances, no peripherals, 200 watts.

With second monitor on, printer on, not printing, speakers on but not playing, 375.

Running everything at once, including playing TobyMac loud, and printing peaked at over 1300 watts for a second, then dropped to 6-700 until the printer stopped. To be fair, I do have a HP office size laser printer, so it uses a bit of power getting warmed up and printing. Fortunately it only uses 15 watts while in standby, and it remains completely off the vast majority of the time.

Right now, blogging and listening to some music I'm pulling about 270 watts which is far far too much. I bought this computer originally some time around 2001 and have continuously upgraded it from time to time since then. So even if I turn off the monitor (I don't have a screen saver to save power) it still sucks 130 watts. My puter never got the energy efficiency upgrades that all the new ones have like quiet fans and new processors. So we are saving up for a new desktop anyway, I just didn't know how much energy efficiency would play into it. No wonder this room is always about five degrees hotter than the rest of the house.

Another thing to remember is that any power generated in your house also has to be removed by the air conditioner in the summer. So with average energy efficiencies, my 270 watt computer is actually consuming more like 360 watts when you include the AC. An even more complicated system is the refrigerator. It uses 200 watts which means while it's on, it is pushing perhaps 500 or more watts of heat into the house which then also must be removed by the AC at a further cost of nearly 200 watts. Fortunately it doesn't run constantly. As you can see, energy efficiency is especially important in the summer because your air conditioning automatically adds another third to the energy used by any appliance, except the water heater, most of that just goes down the drain.

Think about it, if you have just three 100 watt light bulbs, you are actually using more than 400 watts. It takes only two and a half hours to rack up a kilowatt hour at that rate.

Sam's is very slowly expanding their repertoire of LED bulbs, and they are even better than the CFL's because each bulb saves something like $130 over its lifetime.

More news: I saw a new OLED tv at Sam's the other day and though they still are around $2600, I will have one one day. I walked up to the screen (which was playing Madagascar 2) and my jaw dropped open. It was literally the best picture I have ever seen on a TV ever. It was so clear and vivid and fast. You could see every whisker on all the animals, there was no blur or artifacts at all. The best part is that they are very energy efficient as well as having a wide viewing angle. I have got to get me one'a deez!

Holy crap that was a nice TV.