Saturday, December 31, 2011

Love and Dying

Here is a story about love and dying.  It left me in tears and yet, let me see all the love that can be found between two people and the legacy of laughter that can be left behind when one person dies and one person is left standing.

It is also a tribute to hard lives that still have their great moments.  Just because people have a hard life doesn't mean that their lives are not worth something to someone.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Winter Watering

Sure, a lot of you out there don't worry one bit about watering your stuff in the winter.  I bet you have had snow or rain, too.  Watering in the winter is really important out here in our desert.  We have had literally no precipitation from snow or rain since early October.  What's a garden to do?

I managed to water a fair amount until around Thanksgiving but it has been tough since then.  That is over 4 weeks of barely getting any water on the garden.

I managed to water these last few days but the East Side Windbreak is giving me fits.  There are some ice chunks in there since some of the tubing is buried and they don't want to melt.  The cloud cover hasn't helped me a bit.  The place hasn't gone below freezing overnight for the third night in a row.  Yahoo!!!  In fact it was 36 degrees at dawn.  This is my third day of trying to water the East Side.  Looks like the water is flowing through the irrigation tubing with a few minor problems that are ironing themselves out as the morning progresses.  I am going to leave the water on for at least four hours.

Gun Laws NV

I offer no legal advice.  I am just a gal who has a little blog.  I don't know the laws of your state and I am not an expert on the laws of my state.  I am definitely not a lawyer. I don't know your level of training.  I don't know your emotional maturity level.  I just like to connect with others so take this for what it is.  An opportunity to discuss, women, guns, self defense and such.

Relevant Nevada Statutes
NRS 200.120 "Justifiable homicide" defined.
Justifiable homicide is the killing of a human being in necessary self-defense, or in defense of habitation, property or person, against one who manifestly intends, or endeavors, by violence or surprise, to commit a felony, or against any person or persons who manifestly intend and endeavor, in a violent, riotous, tumultuous or surreptitious manner, to enter the habitation of another for the purpose of assaulting or offering personal violence to any person dwelling or being therein.
NRS 200.130 Bare fear insufficient to justify killing; reasonable fear required.
A bare fear of any of the offenses mentioned in NRS 200.120, to prevent which the homicide is alleged to have been committed, shall not be sufficient to justify the killing. It must appear that the circumstances were sufficient to excite the fears of a reasonable person, and that the party killing really acted under the influence of those fears and not in a spirit of revenge.

Here are the legal statutes for justifiable or excusable homicide in Nevada.  Now, we all know the law is also subject to political pressures and how a jury of your peers might view the issue.  Here in Nevada, we take a pretty dim view of people breaking down doors or climbing through windows to get at you or your stuff.  Now, I am not saying you can shoot people for stealing your stuff.  On the other hand, it is generally considered that if someone is in your home without your permission that there is a threat to yourself.  Whether or not that threat is imminent is dependent on a number of factors.  Someone who sees you and turns and runs out the door is not an imminent threat.  Someone advancing on you in a threatening manner is.  

I think we can all agree that no one wants to hurt anyone else but that some of us have decided based on the facts at hand that self defense is a viable option and self defense with a gun is also a viable option.  The gun is a tool and if I have gun, then I am going to train with it and read up on the issues.  

NRS 200.150 Justifiable or excusable homicide.
All other instances which stand upon the same footing of reason and justice as those enumerated shall be considered justifiable or excusable homicide.
NRS 200.160 Additional cases of justifiable homicide.
Homicide is also justifiable when committed:
  1. 1. In the lawful defense of the slayer, or his or her husband, wife, parent, child, brother or sister, or of any other person in his or her presence or company, when there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design on the part of the person slain to commit a felony or to do some great personal injury to the slayer or to any such person, and there is imminent danger of such design being accomplished; or
  2. 2. In the actual resistance of an attempt to commit a felony upon the slayer, in his or her presence, or upon or in a dwelling, or other place of abode in which the slayer is.
NRS 200.190 Justifiable or excusable homicide not punishable.
The homicide appearing to be justifiable or excusable, the person indicted shall, upon trial, be fully acquitted and discharged.
NRS 200.200 Killing in self-defense.
If a person kills another in self-defense, it must appear that:
  1. 1. The danger was so urgent and pressing that, in order to save the person's own life, or to prevent the person from receiving great bodily harm, the killing of the other was absolutely necessary; and
  2. 2. The person killed was the assailant, or that the slayer had really, and in good faith, endeavored to decline any further struggle before the mortal blow was given.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

15 Year Old Girl Receives Really Nasty Comments Online

How to incite internet sexism.  You post your photo of you holding a book by Carl Sagan.  You are a girl.  You get disgusting comments.  Nice - NOT!

I was so angry at the attitudes displayed by people who then started talking like women who thought this was sexist and nasty are ball busting feminists.  Get a grip. No man should think it is okay to "joke" about leaving women bloody and hurting from a sexual encounter.  Ha Ha - yeah, that is so funny.  And the men need to quit saying that women who object are ball busters.  In what way?  Geez, women are just supposed to stand by and say it is okay for men [boys] to talk like this?   Men have talked about why women aren't more involved in atheist conventions and such and yet way too many men do not know how to appropriately speak to women.  Sex first, ladies, brains, ability, mutual interests last.

Building bridges of friendship?  Why bother, guys?  When  all you want is to say nasty stuff and, although I would fall off my chair if any woman said yes, and get a gal into bed. It would seem that willingly or unwillingly doesn't matter as it is all good if the guy got some sex out of it. It ends up seeming like with the kind of comments guys think they should be allowed to make.

Here is my little rant [er, comment].  Should anyone care to read it.
I think that anyone who some how manages to think that it is okay to talk about blood being nature's lubricant and other such horrors is disgusting.  I would not have it on my website and would delete such comments or moderate if it were a problem.  There should be some line of decency that when people cross that line then they are not allowed to comment.

I also do not think that the word feminist is a woman only issue having read quite a number of men using the word online. There are men and women that are feminists.  It does describe "equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities" for women.   Feminism has created a better world.  Like atheists, feminists cannot really be put into a box.  Many feminists are stay at home moms or real live men who believe that gender should not be the deciding factor on issues of pay, tenure, running for political office and school sports programs which all went in favor of men for a long time.

The point being that wouldn't it be good to treat one another like individuals instead of this sort of crap where women are automatically targeted for gross comments.  I really don't get it even after hanging out around all guy groups for years.  Is there no other way to prove your manhood than saying weird sexual things about women and each other???  I will never understand this mentality.  Honestly, I've told guys to "knock it off, I've heard enough for one day".

Men who think they are being discriminated against on the basis of their gender will have to simply state that they are being discriminated against due to their gender.  There is no special word for that  Cry me a river!!!!  If it were a huge problem it would have  a name but it is somewhat of a fringe problem, now isn't it?  On the other hand, I think that gender equality [in the respect that each of us should be treated as individuals is a good thing] is the best course for all of us to live the lives that we, ourselves, want to live.  All of us, men and women.

If you are the one making gross jokes, stop and think for a moment.  How would you feel if women were online making jokes about cutting your penis off or whacking your balls with a hammer or any number of nasty sexual comments?  How would you feel if women were saying violent disgusting things about your ass bleeding makes for better f'ing with objects or some awful thing like that?  You wouldn't wonder about a mind that can say those things.

What if men were to down vote these comments or say "You went too far"?  Instead of women are whiners for not expecting gross and disgusting comments when they go online. If men were to say "That isn't right" instead of look at the feminists who want to cut our cojones off.  Women really need to consider leaving the atheist communities that allow this sort of comment.

Do atheists [read male atheists] want more women at their conventions.  Then learn how NOT to act like five year olds or disgusting pigs.  This is a skill that can be learned. Otherwise,  women may just have to band together and have their own conventions and leave the men in the cesspool.  I'm sorry guys.  I know that a lot of you are nice but there is way too many nasty talking men who don't know when to say "That isn 't a nice joke" or "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be so offensive.  I don't know what got into me".

End rant, I suppose.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Self Defense: Violence never settles anything

Robert Heinlein's statement: 
"Those who cling to the untrue doctrine that violence never settles anything would be advised to conjure up the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and of the Duke of Wellington and let them debate it. The ghost of Hitler could referee. Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Nations and peoples who forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms.: 

I have been reading up on self defense lately and it seems there are quite a few people that think that violence never solves anything.  Of course, when you think about it that is not true.  This country had a war for independence.  This country also had a war to keep it as one country instead of splitting us into at least two countries.  The fact of the matter is that violence is often a bad action.  But sometimes, violence does solve the problem at hand.  

This is not to say that violence should be encouraged and certainly is not to be desired.  It is, however, a fact of life.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

What Christmas is All About

Click on the cartoon to enlarge it.

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This is a really cute cartoon.  

The Friendly Atheist where I initially saw this cartoon at says:

By the way, the person who drew that image, Tony Piro, is offering $1 to Doctors Without Borders for every 500 views that cartoon gets, so share it and make sure you link to his site when you do it :)

This is my very first imported cartoon and I am proud of myself for managing to get this cartoon to copy into my teensey weensey blog.  I might get the hang of this blog thing yet:)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

So what does a non-Christian do for Christmas Eve in Nevada?  They go to the desert and try out their new
P-11 Kel-tec semi-auto pistol.  Good times, baby!!!

Hubby and I both liked it well enough.  It is a very inexpensive gun and we bought it partly for the price.  The other reason we bought it was the size.  It is very small.

It has a super long trigger pull and that is taking a bit of getting used to.  I shot 2 rounds, 5 rounds, 5 rounds and 10 rounds.  Accuracy was fair but with any new gun it can take a bit of practice to be really good at it.  The slide was easy to rack.  The gun holds 10 rounds in a clip.  We had one stovepipe which Hubby cleared for me.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011


The warmth of the wood stove as it creates a warm and toasty home is one of the best things to happen to me this year.  My first wood stove.  Every year one should have a few firsts.  Keeps me young.

This year hasn't had a lot of firsts but the wood stove will keep me smiling for years to come and I am happy:)  I'll have to thinks about the firsts I have had this year.  When I was 40 or 41 was my first time skiing.  I kept it up for a good four or five years but finally decided I didn't like heights and I was still scared to death and I wasn't going to get over it.  I am certainly proud of myself for giving it my best shot.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


I hate being sick.  I have had a cold or flu bug for the last several days.  The aches, the pains, the sniffles, the cough - not enough to bring me to my knees but certainly enough to slow me down considerably.  The house is now a mess and I have wasted a full 5 days on this nonsense.

Even worse, hubby has gotten the sickness, as well.  A gal ends up getting the dishes in the dishwasher and organizing meals, somehow, some way, when she is sick but the guy mostly doesn't.  He did make Jello once before he decided he was sick, too.

Oh well, it's a good thing I love that man.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Thought for the Day

“Friendliness, compassion, altruistic joy, and equanimity. These are not static traits, but skills we can develop. So are antagonism, cruelty, jealousy, and volatility. Which are we choosing to practice, moment by moment?” — TSB

I like this quote a lot.  I just happen to like the Buddhist way of thinking.  It is practical.   I don't believe in reincarnation and such but I do believe that we can teach ourselves, learn from others, how to be better people.  For our own sake and for the sake of others.

Garbage in, garbage out.  Good stuff into our brains, good stuff out of our brains.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Thought for the Day

Happy the man, and happy he alone, he who can call today his own:  he who, secure within, can say, tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived for today.   John Dryden

To say that I have lived for today is to say a lot.  The past is in the past, the future yet to come.  Today, I have loved, gotten my chores done, reached out with a kind word.  I have lived for today.  I am content, at least in this moment.

How much time have I spent reliving the past?  Fair enough but I am glad it is behind me now.  How much time have I spent worrying about a future that hasn't come to pass?  Fortunately, one cannot predict the future, for if I had been able to do so innumerable calamities would have befallen me by now.

The house would be burnt to the ground several times over.  I'd be a widow several hundreds of times.  My dog would be snake bit and lost forever in the desert and eaten by a coyote and run over by a car and ...  you get the picture. I and my loved ones have died a hundred deaths in my imagination.

Thank goodness, we humans really don't have the gift of prophesy.  Sad that I would waste a moment of now on an uncertain later or an unhappy past..


A CCW is a permit to Carry a Concealed Weapon.  When the word weapon is used, what is meant is a gun.  Guns carry a whole subset of meanings  to people. Some people think guns are scary.  Some think that guns only belong in the hands of the police.  Some think that guns are what keep America free.  I don't know about all of that.  I know that around these parts, people own guns.

 In the state of Nevada, there are huge wide open spaces.  I feel comfortable having a gun with me.  I feel prepared to shoot a mountain lion or other animal that is attacking me.  I am often alone at camp or sitting in the truck waiting for Hubby to come back from a hunt.  Would I shoot someone whom I think is a direct threat to me?  Yeah, I would.  There is no one else to rely on but myself.

This is actually a big philosophical question.  People should think long and hard about this question before they decide to get a CCW.  The gun is a tool to protect you from bad people but if you have this tool and are unwilling to use it - well, you can be sure that the bad guy that takes it from you will be willing to use that gun to coerce, force, threaten, wound, rape, sodomize or kill you.  It is that simple.

So, this is a question worth considering before you decide to get a CCW.  Do you have the gumption to use the gun if a person becomes a reasonably certain imminent threat of your safety, or the safety of your family and friends or even strangers,  through unlawful use of force directed against a yourself or others?

This is a completely different question than do you want to use force against someone else even in the event that you life is threatened.  I never want to have to stop the threat of imminent harm by another human being.  I reasonably think  that it is necessary when life threatening injuries or death at the hands of another is imminent.

I totally respect that a lot of people would disagree with me.  I think if you are a pacifist of  some sort, fine.  I totally respect that.  I realize that you have your reasons for believing that way.  I, on the other hand, do not intend to go peacefully to my rape, dismemberment or murder nor would I hand my child [if I had one] over to a murdering/raping SOB.  There are a lifetime of consequences for the victim if they live and no lifetime left at all should they die.  How horrible is that?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Obligatory Christmas Article

The Obligatory Christmas Article

The approach of Christmas brings harrassment and dread to many excellent people. They have to buy a cart-load of presents, and they never know what to buy to hit the various tastes; they put in three weeks of hard and anxious work, and when Christmas morning comes they are so dissatisfied with the result, and so disappointed that they want to sit down and cry. Then they give thanks that Christmas comes but once a year. - Following the Equator Mark Twain

Mark Twain doesn't have a whole lot to say about Christmas so I was doing a little research. Okay, very little research. I went to Wikipedia  [I owe you guys a donation] for the Obligatory Christmas Article I am about to write. 

We are all well aware that Christmas is on Dec. 25th.   But did you know, on that date, the Constitution of the Republic of China was signed? That's Taiwan to you and me. The Taiwanese have declared Constitution Day as a national secular holiday and it is celebrated much like Christmas. 

The Twelve Days of Christmas starts on the 25th and runs until Jan 6th.

I noticed that the Armenian Apostolic Christmas is January 6 and the Eastern Orthodox Christmas is on January 7th.  Not December 25th. I don’t know why.

Saint’s Days are very popular this time of year. All Saints Day kicks off the season on Nov. 1st. [We call it Nevada Day and celebrate our statehood although there probably isn't a single saint in the entire state.] St Nicholas [Dec. 6]; St Stephen [Dec. 26]; St John the Evangelist [Dec 27]; St Sylvester [Dec. 31]; St Basil [Jan 1] – they all have their own individual Saint’s Days.  

These two holidays startled me - January 1st is the Feast of Circumcision Day AND the Feast of Fool’s Day.  Probably no coincidence there.  You’d have to be a fool to volunteer for circumcision.

Numerous festivals are celebrated around the shortest day [or is that the longest night?] of the year, Dec. 21st.  Yule, Yalda, Saturnalia and a whole slew of others around the world.  New Agers and Pagans seem to like these holidays.  Australia and New Zealand have to celebrate winter solstice in June.  They’re a little backwards down there.

Humanists picked the 23rd for their HumanLIght Day.  Americans love Christmas Eve and the Brits love Boxing Day on the day after Christmas. Pancha Ganapti isn’t well-known here but the Hindus celebrate the patron god of the arts from Dec 21st thru the 25th.  Kwanzaa starts on the 26th and runs through January 1st. Hanukkah is a confusing holiday unless, of course, if you are Jewish.  It has a different set of dates every year.

Atheists don’t seem to have any specific holidays of their own.  Since there is no creed or specific guidelines when you have a non-belief in god or gods, they tend enjoy whatever holidays are meaningful to them as individuals.

Whatever  you are celebrating this time of year, I hope we can all agree that New Year’s Day holds the promise of bright tomorrows and that New Year's resolutions, like hangovers, soon wear off.  I wish you all a Happy Holiday Season,  whatever  that may mean for you.  Me, I think I’ll start with All Saint’s Day on November 1st and celebrate every day of mirth, merriment, singing, dancing,feasting and getting gifts that I can find well into January. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thought for the Day

If I am walking with two other men, each of them will serve as my teacher. I will pick out the good points of the one and imitate them, and the bad points of the other and correct them in myself.

Read more:

I liked this saying because I remembered back to when I was young and didn't know how to deal with the world in a balanced fashion.  I spent a whole lot of my time putting other people down because I didn't want to ever be like them.  I didn't have good role models.

So, Bob is a drunk and Linda is a slut and Frank is a wife beater and on and on.  I knew a whole lot of dysfunctional people but I didn't know how NOT to be those dysfunctional people.  So, I just tried hard to label people and stay completely away from them.

I could have used this advice sooner, I think:)  I will pick out the good points of the one and imitate them, and the bad points of the other and correct them in myself.  

As it stands, I had to spend quite a few years thinking about what is being a good person.  So, maybe this little bit of advice from Confucius wouldn't have done me all that much good way back when!  After all, one cannot take the good points of some and the bad points of others when you can't figure out which is which.

Eventually, I realized that I had learned how to be a good person and I didn't have to worry so much about being like these people.  I am not like those people.  I have had the good fortune to find my way in this world despite the poor lessons learned from my family early on.  I no longer worry about not being a drunk, a druggie, a meaney.

That is not to say that I have reached perfection as a human being.  Just that I turned out good and decent. Having learned those lessons, they cannot be taken away by knowing a bad person.  I don't hang out with bad people because I don't enjoy drunks and louts, not because they can take my lessons from me.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thought for the Day


“For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” 
― Carl Sagan

That may be quite true for me, as well.  I do think let's grasp the Universe as it really is rather than persist in believing in the myths of yesteryear.   On the other hand, life is what you make it [often times] and to persist in this world, it can be good to look at the good or brighter sides of life.  Is this delusional?

I like to say I live in my own little world and it's a happy place.  On the other hand, when I step out into the "real" world of town committees or dealing with others outside my  normal circle, I find myself realizing once again how dysfunctional many of us are.  So, I like to be a realist that looks on the bright side whenever I can find it.  At least if I am delusional, it is a delusion that is based on some semblance of reality and it is of my choosing and I am the happier for it.  

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Thought for the Day

A jug fills drop by drop. Buddha

So it is with the mind but are you filling it up with garbage or the good stuff?  I hope I put some of the good stuff in there everyday.

Maybe read a good book.

Maybe tell myself something positive or uplifting.

Maybe choose to find the humor or the bright side of a situation.

Maybe acknowledge the feelings I have without being  sucked into the feelings vortex.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Thought for the Day


Unknown Author
Determination, patience and courage are the only things needed to improve any situation.

Myla Kabat-Zinn
Each difficult moment has the potential to open my eyes and open my heart.

What many people have realized at the end of a difficult period in life is that all bad things come to an end, being deternined works and courage comes in small steps out of a dark tunnel.

I don't know who Myla is but it is true that difficult times have the potential to open your eyes to see others in a new light and to open your heart to understand what it is to be human and to understand the love that is inside that heart is waiting to shine forth once that heart is opened.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Child Abuse

Okay, I can't fix you but I can encourage you.  I came from an abused kid background.  I am really doing good now a days.  If  a mess like me could get to a better place, you can too.  Remember, it takes time and effort but you are worth it.

How does it feel to come from an abusive home.  A home where you are shamed and silenced, beaten or sexually molested, hungry or unloved?  It feels like it is all your fault.     It feels like you are unlovable.  It feels like everyone else has friends and family and you don't.  That is what it feels like.

So, what do you do about those feelings?  First of all, remember how young and innocent you were.  Whether you were a toddler or fifteen years old, you were too young to take care of yourself and too inexperienced to realize that most people don't get treated badly like you were treated.  Learn to cut yourself some slack.  You were a kid!!!!!  You are a member of the human race and you deserved to be treated with dignity.  That didn't happen and you will have to deal with that fact but first of all, you never deserved to be hit or sexually molested or left home alone with no food.

Thought for the Day


He is happy whom circumstances suit his temper; but he Is more excellent who suits his temper to any circumstance.
David Hume

No one's really happy anyway, it's not human.
Billie Joe Armstrong

It isn't what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.
Dale Carnegie

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
Marcel Proust

Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
George Orwell

Read more:

Well, there is a lot to be said on the subject of happiness.  Myself I lean more towards contentment.  Like a cat I enjoy a full stomach and a warm fire and not to be held to closely.

I think that happiness is something you make up your mind to have  much as Abe Lincoln says : Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.

I have seen some amazing people that have had atrociously hard times in their lives still manage to be happy.  I might be one of them, although it certainly hasn't come naturally.  I have had to work very hard on having a good attitude.  So, while life may not be a manic whirl of giggles, I am happy.  The cynic in me loves this one:  No one's really happy anyway, it's not human.  Billie Joe Armstrong  We humans do tend to feel that we are not happy even when life is going pretty good.  That is a bad habit!

Does anyone want to add to my list of sayings about happiness or does anyone want to discuss how they have created more happiness in their lives.  Disqus comments await your typing efforts.

Book Review

When Jesus Became God:  The Struggle to Define Christianity  in the Last Days of Rome.

Author:  Richard E. Rubenstein  267 pages

I am well on my way to finishing this book.  A great read that gives a  lot of details about the lives and battles of the Roman Emperors, Caesars and such along with a whole lot of history of the early church.  So far the book has really concentrated on the 300's or the Fourth Century.

It is quite apparent that the Christians have had substantial arguments about the Christ figure and have never gotten along.  When Constantine got involved, the differing opinions about the godness of Jesus were brought into the political arena as Constantine tried to get the differing factions on the same page.  He wanted to unite his empire by using religion.  He may have been quite sincere in his belief in Christianity, as well.

The story is very complicated. The Nicene Creed was being developed.  The anti-Arians described god as "the Son of God, begotten from the Father, only-begotten, tha is, from the ousia of the Father, God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten not made, homoousios with the Father, through Whom all things came into being."  [page 82]

Frankly, it all sounds like gibberish go me:)  Fortunately, the book does a great job of explaining what the controversy was about.  The Arians were thinking that Jesus was a man that became God through his life's work, the anti-Arians  thought that Jesus was God even though he was a man.  After all, who would want to worship a man, even a great man like Jesus.  Nope, Jesus was God but he was God in human form.

There were lots of opinions floating around and some of them felt that Jesus was a demi-god since he was born of a virgin impregnated by God.  Others thought that Jesus might be ranked as an angel.  This was totally unacceptable to those who worshiped Jesus as God.

In my opinion, no one has ever come up with a theological theory that actually makes sense on this issue so there has been a huge reliance on the mystery of God.

I'm on page 197 and so I have a bit more reading to do but if you want to understand more about late Roman history and the early chapters of the Christian story, this is certainly a book you will want to read.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Notable Quotable

We are intelligent because it allows us to be able to adapt better to our environment and thrive.  However, our ability to reason should not be taken as a reasonable proof of a god.  To me, it is all just a happy happenstance.  Besides, when we take into consideration just how screwed-up and thrown together our own bodies are, it is quite hard to claim an "intelligent designer" when a 5 year old with Legos can make something with more design sense.  There is nothing intelligent about how we are put together.  We are cobbled together by evolution into something "close enough for government work" to pass on DNA.  Else why would we worry about choking on cornbread?
Religion is a safety blanket.  As much as I dislike religion, I will not begrudge someone their safety blanket....until they try to smother me with it or start haranguing me for not having one.

Discordia commented on exC


Junior the Cat is back to looking like he owns the roost and the little kitty is nowhere to be found.  I am thinking the little guy moved on.  I wish I would have locked him up when I had the chance but it is so hard to lock up a wild thing.  They so hate being in a cage.  He's made it this far.  Let's hope he finds his way to a nice home somewhere else in the neighborhood.  Somewhere to call his own without another cat living there already.

Lunar Eclipse

Hubby announced that we are having a lunar eclipse tomorrow morning.  Rather than fall down to venerate him for having divine knowledge, I asked how he knew that.  It was published in the newspaper.

Being able to predict an event such as a lunar or solar eclipse used to put you into the Priest category in many cultures.  Of course, there are a few cultures where you would have been said to be consorting with the Dark Forces like Satan so there would be some potential for a bad outcome for the Prophet involved in the prediction.

Being an exChristian, I cannot help but think about how the stories in the Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke stated that the skies grew dark as Jesus was dying on the cross.

Wiki says:  Jesus' crucifixion took place around Passover, the middle of the lunar month and the time of a full moon. Solar eclipses naturally take place only at the time of the new moon. For this reason, medieval commentators viewed the darkness as a miraculous event rather than a natural one. Humphreys' and Waddington's reconstruction of the Jewish calendar, associating the crucifixion with a lunar eclipse rather than a solar eclipse, has been used to infer the date of the crucifixion.[45]

Well, throw in the walking dead and the curtain being torn in the Jewish temple along with earthquakes, well, I think someone would have written something about this at the time that these events allegedly occurred.  Although there were many writers of that area and time frame, not one of them mentions these events.  As is common with the Gospels, Mark had a fairly simple account and Matthew and Luke have additional fluffery to make the Jesus story even bigger and better.

Although there may have been a Jewish man that was killed, we have no evidence for the protagonist Jesus nor do we have any words written about Jesus during his lifetime or immediately afterwards.  Was there a man named Jesus.  I honestly don't think so but even if there was there is no evidence what-so-ever that there was the Son of God living on earth.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


The kitten was gone again last night.  I was worried that he had taken off for good.  This morning when Hubby went out to feed the goats, he checked the trash shed, looked into the kitty hut [a bin with a hole cut in it and some straw for warmth].  There was our new little kitty.  Hubby pulled it out.  The kitten  allowed itself to be petted but was not a happy camper.  He really is a bit feral.

Hubby called for cat food and I ran out into the 10 degree morning in my bare feet and with only a robe on to make sure we fed the little guy.  I picked the kitten up and held it close trying to warm it up a bit.  Its little ears seem cold to me.  He was shaking a bit.  He is probably very scared and yet has found a place with a few comforts so he is sticking around.  Let's hope he does stay here as the desert is a hard place to stay alive when you are a cat.  Owls, coyotes and cars make for some deadly adversaries.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Notable Quotable

Klym says in a comment on an article for

"How can God be "in control" (as proved by His "will" being done no matter what) and all men have free will at the same time?" Logically, that is impossible.

Yep, if God is in control then we do not have freewill.  If we have freewill then God is not in control.  Well put, Klym.


The kitten is still here!!!  Last night when Hubby came home from work he said he thought he heard a dying rabbit in the yard.  I said "Does it sound more like a little meowing kitty?"  Affirmative.

So, we went to look for the little goober and there it was behind the freezer.  We chased it around a bit and then let it be.  We set some food down for it, on the ground inside the trash shed.  [Yes, we have a shed just for the trash can.  The winds howl through here and I got tired of picking up the yard when the trash can blew over in the wind.]

There is a small table inside the trash shed with dry cat food and a bin with a hole cut in the side and some straw in it.  Junior the Cat never uses the bin to sleep in but when Hubby looked for the little kitty this morning, it was curled up inside staying warm.  It was 9 degrees this morning so I was glad to  see that it found a warm place to sleep.

Hubby reached in and touched the little kitty.  Of course, it seems a bit feral so it didn't like that and has again disappeared.  Hopefully it will stick around and tame down a bit.  We need to be able to grab it to get it fixed and get it some kitty shots.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Notable Quotable

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”  - Buddha

Here is a guy from several thousand years ago that says after observation and anlysis, finding anything that agrees with reason and finding it beneficial to all, accept it and live up to it.

Using the mind and the heart and then living up to that information.  I think this quote needs to go on the wall in my office.

What's Cooking?

Elk roast with a little salt and pepper, bay leaf and rosemary [dried], definitely one or two slices of bacon on top.  Home grown acorn squashes.  Baked potatoes.

I have to wrap the baked potatoes in foil as I seem to have a lot of exloding potato disasters.  I know, make sure you poke them or put a metal stick into them. Really, nothing seems to help my problem of exploding baked potatoes except wrapping them in foil.

Our acorn squashes taste good but it was a weird summer.  Spring lasted until the end of May but we didn't get any frost until well into October.  The squashes are really on the small side and haven't got much meat in them.  I like to cut them in half,  put a little butter, brown sugar, salt and pepper on them and then cover them with foil and bake them.  The last time they took about an hour and a half at 325 degrees.


I went out to feed the goats and then I got the cat food.  Junior was being frumpy and wouldn't come over to eat.  I kept hearing this little meow every time I said "Kitty, kitty, kitty" and I got to thinking that Junior headed off to the wooden shed.  The meow was coming from the freezer shed.

Sure enough, I go in there and there is a kitten in there behind the freezer.  I moved the buckets and chairs out and got some food to it.  The kitten decided it was having no part of getting near me.  I finally left it alone to eat after about twenty minutes.  I went out there just now and no sign of the kitten.

I hope it will come back.  It looked scared and lonesome.  It certainly was hungry. I'll have to keep my eyes out for it.  I am guessing that it is about three months old from the looks of it.  Pretty young to be wandering the desert on your own.  I hope Junior doesn't beat the little guy up.

Afternoon update:  The kitten is gone.  Still searching for a home, I guess.  I was hoping to see the little guy [girl?].  Junior was back and ready for his canned cat food.  I don't know if Junior drove the little kitty away or not.  Junior has been a really nice cat and he is a very good hunter so I am glad when he shows up.

Junior would love to be an inside kitty but as much as I like he has been hired to do a job [critter hunting] and I am extremely allergic to cats so he will have to continue to long for the great indoors.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Book Review: The Only Prayer I'll Ever Pray Let My People Go

The Only Prayer I'll Ever Pray Let My People Go  by Donald R. Wright  82 pages

Mr. Wright's book is by a black man and is about the issues of Christianity as, he thinks, it affects the black community.  He states in his forward:

It is very disappointing that the crime rate among blacks in America is high considering we are the most religious race of people in the country.  It is interesting that most racists [white supremist] are very religious.  The ills of the universe cannot be blamed on the non-religious.

And so, Mr. Wright takes a look at Christianity from the perspective of a black man who has turned from religious to non-religious.  He takes a path that many have taken when he decides to study Christian doctrine and the Bible for himself.  He ended up following the yellow brick road, looking behind the curtain and seeing that there is no great Redeemer there.  We have to make a difference ourselves as we humans are all we have got.  

I enjoyed the book and think that Mr. Wright has some very valid points such as the church helping to keep poor people in poverty by insisting that ten percent be placed in the plate every week.  Perhaps it is more fiscally sound to save that ten percent towards a rainy day than to hand it over to someone wearing a nice suit and driving a nice car - using your money.

The quotes are fantastic and we get some quotes from great thinkers who are black like Carter G. Woodson and Frederick Douglas, as well as quotes from Bertrand Russell, Epicurus, Robert G. Ingersoll,  and Albert Einstein.  

I loved the quote from Butterfly McQueen at the top of Chapter 3:  Let My People Go.  She says : 

"As my ancestors are free from slavery, I am free from the slavery of religion."

This chapter deals with how Christianity was a friend to slavery and how slaves in the South were converted to the Christian religion.

If you get a chance to read this book, I say it is well worth your time.

What's Cooking?

Yesterday we had Elk Stir-fry with homegrown veggies - corn, snap peas, Italian green beans, bok choi, white onions and garlic.  I threw in the last of the alfalfa sprouts. They were left over from the elk burgers we had yesterday.

The elk burgers have been delicious.  They are a meal all by themselves with a bun, cheese, avocado, alfalfa sprouts and Miracle Whip [hubby] or mayonnaise and ketchup [that would be me].  Topped with savory bacon.

For the stir fry, I also had the last of the celery from making stuffing for the turkey and I used a store bought carrot, as well.  I spiced the oil with oriental peppercorns, pulled the peppercorns out and threw them away.  Then I used some of our homegrown cayenne peppers and the onions and stir fired the meat using olive oil.  Taking the meat out and putting it to one side, I added  a little more oil then, one at a time, carrots, celery, green beans, snap peas, bok choi, garlic, corn.  Finally the alfalfa sprouts.  Each one got a minute to cook, more or less, before adding the next item.

I stirred the meat back into the mix, added some soy based sauce and a little dried ginger.  I always forget to buy fresh ginger when I am at the store but now that it is stir fry season I will have to try harder.  Done.  And was it goood!  Hubby got to take a bit in his lunch as left overs.  Of course we served that with some jasmine rice.

I made a smoothie with frozen/thawed watermelon from the garden last summer and strawberries, lemon juice,  a bit of sugar and a couple of scoops of protein powder.  Finally, some ice cubes to blend it all together into a smooth cold concoction.

Today, another stir fry since that package of meat was a bit large for two people.

More important,  chocolate chip cookies.  I like the classic cookies with real chocolate chips and real butter.  I am using pecans since not only do they taste great but I think I need to use them up so I can buy a bag of this years crop during the holiday sales.

Here's to simple, great tasting home cooking from the garden.  Not to mention from our own efforts to go out and have a successful hunt.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Buddhism: Practical Applications for Our Times?

TG Baker wrote a bit about Buddhism and did it have practical applications for our time, even as atheists in this article.  He starts with this thought:

'If atheism is the rejection of belief in gods then Buddhism is an atheistic system!  Buddha himself was an agnostic who said in Deer Park, "I can not say whether there is a god, no god or not a not-god. But I can tell you how to obtain enlightenment"  '

Read the rest of the article and see what you think.

A Neglected Atheism: A View from Sam Harris 

TG was an interesting and well read person.  There were some topics I wish we could have discussed before his death.  This would have been one of them.  I don't necessarily agree with everything that TG ever said but I liked that he sparked a reasoned discussion of issues.

My thoughts

"There is much more to be discovered about the nature of the human mind. In particular, there is much more for us to understand about how the mind can transform itself from a mere reservoir of greed, hatred, and delusion into an instrument of wisdom and compassion. Students of the Buddha are very well placed to further our understanding on this front, but the religion of Buddhism currently stands in their way."  [quote from article]

I have gotten a lot from reading the words of Buddha although I would by no means call myself a Buddhist.  Buddha speaks to me of this world and what we can do to live better in this lifetime.  What we can do to calm our minds and open our hearts.  I think those are good things.  

As pointed out by TG, Buddhism the religion is not Buddhism the concepts about the mind.  If there are truths to be found about the human condition in ancient words, and I believe there are, then let them be a part of our new and modern world.  I have noticed upon reading the words written several thousand years ago whether Eastern or Western, Biblical or Buddhist, Sumerian or Greek is that we are really the same then as we are now as far as emotions, thoughts, notions and ways of viewing the world.  

The modern world is fantastic but there is no reason we can't learn from the ancient world about who and what we are emotionally and psychologically.  We are still a the same humans we were then.  Hopefully, we are becoming a little more mature as a group as the centuries pass.