Ayn Rand, God, and Marijuana

Objectivism holds that reality exists independent of consciousness; that individual persons are in direct contact with this reality through sensory perception; that human beings can gain objective knowledge from perception through the process of concept formation and inductive and deductive logic; that the proper moral purpose of one's life is the pursuit of one's own happiness or rational self-interest; that the only social system consistent with this morality is full respect for individual rights, embodied in pure laissez faire capitalism; and that the role of art in human life is to transform man's widest metaphysical ideas, by selective reproduction of reality, into a physical form—a work of art—that he can comprehend and to which he can respond emotionally.- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objectivism_%28Ayn_Rand%29

Adherents of the Christian faith, known as Christians,[4] believe that Jesus is the Messiah prophesied in the Hebrew Bible (the part of scripture common to Christianity and Judaism). The foundation of Christian theology is expressed in the early Christian ecumenical creeds, which contain claims predominantly accepted by followers of the Christian faith.[5] These professions state that Jesus suffered, died from crucifixion, was buried, and was resurrected from the dead to open heaven to those who believe in him and trust him for the remission of their sins (salvation).[6] They further maintain that Jesus bodily ascended into heaven where he rules and reigns with God the Father. Most denominations teach that Jesus will return to judge all humans, living and dead, and grant eternal life to his followers. He is considered the model of a virtuous life, and both the revealer and physical incarnation of God.[7] Christians call the message of Jesus Christ the Gospel ("good news") and hence refer to the earliest written accounts of his ministry as gospels. -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity

Those who know me, but don't know me well, never really know what to think of me. I embrace Christianity, yet I also embrace a philosophy which would seem contradictory to that religion. And on top of that, I have no problems with a substance which likely groups in both the religion and the philosophy would say isn't a good thing (though only those in the religious category would outright try to forbid me from doing it.) On a side note, I have never had any actual contact with pot entering my system, nor am I likely to until such time as it becomes legal. I'm not against such things, the opportunity has just never come up where I've been able to try it. Something else always seems to come up at the last minute the few times where I've made an attempt.

So how can I believe in a philosophy which extols the the rational mind, yet at the same time, embrace a religion which that philosophy is against because it embraces faith?
“Faith” designates blind acceptance of a certain ideational content, acceptance induced by feeling in the absence of evidence or proof.
-The Ominous ParallelsLeonard Peikoff, The Ominous Parallels, 54.

While the philosophy may take issue with the religion as a whole, Christianity only takes issue with the philosophy in the areas that they don't agree. However, I do not believe that faith and the rational mind are mutually exclusive.

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."
- Galileo Galilei

Rather than go into a rather long and complicated list of why I believe as I do, I will simply state that the largest reason is from my interest in studying the beginnings of the earth, both from reviewing evolution and creation. After looking at the evidence for creation, and the evidence for the Big Bang, I have concluded that God created everything. And since I have concluded this, I therefore believe that everything belongs to God. If everything belongs to God, then he must have some rules, and it'd be a good idea to figure out what those rules are.

Yes, these realizations came later in life, however, I had questions which evolution couldn't answer for. The two largest questions I have revolve around the the Laws of Thermodynamics.

First Law:
Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only change forms.

If in the beginning there was basically nothing, then where did the energy come from to cause this big band? Where did the material come from? If it's from the Universe constantly expanding and contracting, what caused this to happen in the first place?

Thus, if entropy is associated with disorder and if the entropy of the universe is headed towards maximal entropy, then many are often puzzled as to the nature of the "ordering" process and operation of evolution in relation to Clausius' most-famous version of the second law, which states that the universe is headed towards maximal “disorder”. In the recent 2003 book SYNC – the Emerging Science of Spontaneous Order by Steven Strogatz, for example, we find “Scientists have often been baffled by the existence of spontaneous order in the universe. The laws of thermodynamics seem to dictate the opposite, that nature should inexorably degenerate toward a state of greater disorder, greater entropy. Yet all around us we see magnificent structures—galaxies, cells, ecosystems, human beings—that have all somehow managed to assemble themselves.”

Or Lamen's Terms, order tends to disorder, which the above quote also shows my question: If order tends to disorder, how is it that everything on this earth, this galaxy, and this Universe have such an ordered existence?

Now this is where true evolutionist and I agree: God can not have created the Universe if it's as old as evolutionists claim. A god which used evolution would be a god which was imperfect and cruel. Further, if you add up the dates within the Bible you come to the conclusion that the earth is only a few thousand years old, not trillions. The God portrayed the Bible is practical (if at times harsh) and if you read the creation story, God created plants before the insects. Now, insects are vital in the reproduction of plants, and so having these plants around for millions of years before insects were around to help them reproduce really doesn't make much sense. Where as if it's just a day, no trouble there.

Ultimately though, everything will boil down to faith. You either believe that in The Beginning God, or in the beginning nothing. I came to the conclusion that in The Beginning God made more sense.

As to Marijuana, to put it simply, I see it as no different from tobacco or alcohol. Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding, and yes, they used wine to make water drinkable back then, people who use this argument overlook the fact that it was done at a wedding, which means the wine would have been celebratory, and therefore a bit more potent than regular drinking wine, indeed, one of the guests lauded the wine as being the best at that wedding. Marijuana does much the same thing as alcohol, and as I have no problem drinking alcohol, I have no problem with people choosing to smoke marijuana.


In the past, I've felt a little guilty for not updating my blog more regularly, occasionally I've had things which I've wished to post about, but kept putting off, and for that, I feel responsible to myself. However, I don't feel guilty anymore about not updating more regularly, simply because this is my blog. I write on my blog because I enjoy writing, and when I write I like to share that with people. However, it's my blog to do with as I wish. If I wanted to everyday just write the word magniflorious and leave it at that, I can do that, no one is going to stop me. Just as anyone who reads my blog has the choice to not read it. I'm not writing for you, I'm writing for me.

With that said, I am coming to the point where I have more to write about, though I think I'll keep updates to weekly rather than daily. There may be weeks where I update more frequently, and there may be months where I update less. You're welcome to read it when its up. Until then, Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Fred Astaire!

Working on a new largish post

This weekend I'll be covering my beliefs regarding the odd mix of Objectivism, Christianity, and Liberal tendencies that I seem to have, and why they don't necessarily contradict one another.

Oh, that's so nice.

A woman from Alabama and a woman from Manhattan were both sitting in the airport. They realized they were both going to be waiting for a while and struck up a conversation. They soon learned they had things in common: both women were married, both women had 3 children.

The woman from Manhattan (WM) says, " When I gave birth to our first child, my husband bought me a new car."

The woman from Alabama (WA) replies, "Oh, that's so nice."

WM: "When I gave birth to our second child, my husband bought us a new apartment overlooking the park."

WA: "Oh, that's so nice."

WM: "When I gave birth to our third child, my husband bought me a new 6 carat diamond ring."

WA: "Oh, that's so nice!"

WM: "Did your husband do anything for you?"

WA: "Oh, yes! My husband sent me to Finishing School."

WM: "Oh? Did it do any good?"

WA: "Oh, yes. It taught me to say 'Oh, that's so nice' instead of 'Fuck You'."


A Simple Creed

I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.


A Haiku for you.

Haiku's are easy,
But sometimes they don't make sense.


Ayn Rand on Altruism


What is the moral code of altruism? The basic principle of altruism is that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that service to others is the only justification of his existence, and that self-sacrifice is his highest moral duty, virtue and value.

Do not confuse altruism with kindness, good will or respect for the rights of others. These are not primaries, but consequences, which, in fact, altruism makes impossible. The irreducible primary of altruism, the basic absolute, is self-sacrifice—which means; self-immolation, self-abnegation, self-denial, self-destruction—which means: the self as a standard of evil, the selfless as a standard of the good.

Do not hide behind such superficialities as whether you should or should not give a dime to a beggar. That is not the issue. The issue is whether you do or do not have the right to exist without giving him that dime. The issue is whether you must keep buying your life, dime by dime, from any beggar who might choose to approach you. The issue is whether the need of others is the first mortgage on your life and the moral purpose of your existence. The issue is whether man is to be regarded as a sacrificial animal. Any man of self-esteem will answer: “No.” Altruism says: “Yes.”

Philosophy: Who Needs It “Faith and Force: The Destroyers of the Modern World,”
Philosophy: Who Needs It, 61.

There are two moral questions which altruism lumps together into one “package-deal”: (1) What are values? (2) Who should be the beneficiary of values? Altruism substitutes the second for the first; it evades the task of defining a code of moral values, thus leaving man, in fact, without moral guidance.

Altruism declares that any action taken for the benefit of others is good, and any action taken for one’s own benefit is evil. Thus the beneficiary of an action is the only criterion of moral value—and so long as that beneficiary is anybody other than oneself, anything goes.

The Virtue of Selfishness “Introduction,” The Virtue of Selfishness, viii.

It is your mind that they want you to surrender—all those who preach the creed of sacrifice, whatever their tags or their motives, whether they demand it for the sake of your soul or of your body, whether they promise you another life in heaven or a full stomach on this earth. Those who start by saying: “It is selfish to pursue your own wishes, you must sacrifice them to the wishes of others”—end up by saying: “It is selfish to uphold your convictions, you must sacrifice them to the convictions of others.”

For the New Intellectual Galt’s Speech, For the New Intellectual, 142.

Now there is one word—a single word—which can blast the morality of altruism out of existence and which it cannot withstand—the word: “Why?” Why must man live for the sake of others? Why must he be a sacrificial animal? Why is that the good? There is no earthly reason for it—and, ladies and gentlemen, in the whole history of philosophy no earthly reason has ever been given.

It is only mysticism that can permit moralists to get away with it. It was mysticism, the unearthly, the supernatural, the irrational that has always been called upon to justify it—or, to be exact, to escape the necessity of justification. One does not justify the irrational, one just takes it on faith. What most moralists—and few of their victims—realize is that reason and altruism are incompatible.

Philosophy: Who Needs It “Faith and Force: The Destroyers of the Modern World,”
Philosophy: Who Needs It, 61.

Why is it moral to serve the happiness of others, but not your own? If enjoyment is a value, why is it moral when experienced by others, but immoral when experienced by you? If the sensation of eating a cake is a value, why is it an immoral indulgence in your stomach, but a moral goal for you to achieve in the stomach of others? Why is it immoral for you to desire, but moral for others to do so? Why is it immoral to produce a value and keep it, but moral to give it away? And if it is not moral for you to keep a value, why is it moral for others to accept it? If you are selfless and virtuous when you give it, are they not selfish and vicious when they take it? Does virtue consist of serving vice? Is the moral purpose of those who are good, self-immolation for the sake of those who are evil?

The answer you evade, the monstrous answer is: No, the takers are not evil, provided they did not earn the value you gave them. It is not immoral for them to accept it, provided they are unable to produce it, unable to deserve it, unable to give you any value in return. It is not immoral for them to enjoy it, provided they do not obtain it by right.

Such is the secret core of your creed, the other half of your double standard: it is immoral to live by your own effort, but moral to live by the effort of others—it is immoral to consume your own product, but moral to consume the products of others—it is immoral to earn, but moral to mooch—it is the parasites who are the moral justification for the existence of the producers, but the existence of the parasites is an end in itself—it is evil to profit by achievement, but good to profit by sacrifice—it is evil to create your own happiness, but good to enjoy it at the price of the blood of others.

Your code divides mankind into two castes and commands them to live by opposite rules: those who may desire anything and those who may desire nothing, the chosen and the damned, the riders and the carriers, the eaters and the eaten. What standard determines your caste? What passkey admits you to the moral elite? The passkey is lack of value.

Whatever the value involved, it is your lack of it that gives you a claim upon those who don’t lack it. It is your need that gives you a claim to rewards. If you are able to satisfy your need, your ability annuls your right to satisfy it. But a need you are unable to satisfy gives you first right to the lives of mankind.

If you succeed, any man who fails is your master; if you fail, any man who succeeds is your serf. Whether your failure is just or not, whether your wishes are rational or not, whether your misfortune is undeserved or the result of your vices, it is misfortune that gives you a right to rewards. It is pain, regardless of its nature or cause, pain as a primary absolute, that gives you a mortgage on all of existence.

If you heal your pain by your own effort, you receive no moral credit: your code regards it scornfully as an act of self-interest. Whatever value you seek to acquire, be it wealth or food or love or rights, if you acquire it by means of your virtue, your code does not regard it as a moral acquisition: you occasion no loss to anyone, it is a trade, not alms; a payment, not a sacrifice. The deserved belongs in the selfish, commercial realm of mutual profit; it is only the undeserved that calls for that moral transaction which consists of profit to one at the price of disaster to the other. To demand rewards for your virtue is selfish and immoral; it is your lack of virtue that transforms your demand into a moral right.

A morality that holds need as a claim, holds emptiness—non-existence—as its standard of value; it rewards an absence, a defect: weakness, inability, incompetence, suffering, disease, disaster, the lack, the fault, the flaw—the zero.

For the New Intellectual Galt’s Speech, For the New Intellectual, 144.

Altruism holds death as its ultimate goal and standard of value.

The Virtue of Selfishness “The Objectivist Ethics,” The Virtue of Selfishness, 34.

Since nature does not provide man with an automatic form of survival, since he has to support his life by his own effort, the doctrine that concern with one’s own interests is evil means that man’s desire to live is evil—that man’s life, as such, is evil. No doctrine could be more evil than that.

Yet that is the meaning of altruism.

The Virtue of Selfishness “Introduction,” The Virtue of Selfishness, ix.

Observe what this beneficiary-criterion of [the altruist] morality does to a man’s life. The first thing he learns is that morality is his enemy: he has nothing to gain from it, he can only lose; self-inflicted loss, self-inflicted pain and the gray, debilitating pall of an incomprehensible duty is all that he can expect. He may hope that others might occasionally sacrifice themselves for his benefit, as he grudgingly sacrifices himself for theirs, but he knows that the relationship will bring mutual resentment, not pleasure-and that, morally, their pursuit of values will be like an exchange of unwanted, unchosen Christmas presents, which neither is morally permitted to buy for himself. Apart from such times as he manages to perform some act of self-sacrifice, he possesses no moral significance: morality takes no cognizance of him and has nothing to say to him for guidance in the crucial issues of his life; it is only his own personal, private, “selfish” life and, as such, it is regarded either as evil or, at best, amoral.

The Virtue of Selfishness “Introduction,” The Virtue of Selfishness, viii.

Even though altruism declares that “it is more blessed to give than to receive,” it does not work that way in practice. The givers are never blessed; the more they give, the more is demanded of them; complaints, reproaches and insults are the only response they get for practicing altruism’s virtues (or for their actual virtues). Altruism cannot permit a recognition of virtue; it cannot permit self-esteem or moral innocence. Guilt is altruism’s stock in trade, and the inducing of guilt is its only means of self-perpetuation. If the giver is not kept under a torrent of degrading, demeaning accusations, he might take a look around and put an end to the self-sacrificing. Altruists are concerned only with those who suffer—not with those who provide relief from suffering, not even enough to care whether they are able to survive. When no actual suffering can be found, the altruists are compelled to invent or manufacture it.

The Ayn Rand Letter“Moral Inflation,” The Ayn Rand Letter, III, 13, 2.

Some unphilosophical, eclectic altruists, invoking such concepts as “inalienable rights,” “personal freedom,” “private choice,” have claimed that service to others, though morally obligatory, should not be compulsory. The committed, philosophical altruists, however, are consistent: recognizing that such concepts represent an individualist approach to ethics and that this is incompatible with the altruist morality, they declare that there is nothing wrong with compulsion in a good cause—that the use of force to counteract selfishness is ethically justified—and more: that it is ethically mandatory.

Every man, they argue, is morally the property of others—of those others it is his lifelong duty to serve; as such, he has no moral right to invest the major part of his time and energy in his own private concerns. If he attempts it, if he refuses voluntarily to make the requisite sacrifices, he is by that fact harming others, i.e., depriving them of what is morally theirs—he is violating men’s rights, i.e., the right of others to his service—he is a moral delinquent, and it is an assertion of morality if others forcibly intervene to extract from him the fulfillment of his altruist obligations, on which he is attempting to default. Justice, they conclude, “social justice,” demands the initiation of force against the non-sacrificial individual; it demands that others put a stop to his evil. Thus has moral fervor been joined to the rule of physical force, raising it from a criminal tactic to a governing principle of human relationships.

The Ayn Rand LetterLeonard Peikoff, “Altruism, Pragmatism, and Brutality,” The Ayn Rand Letter, II, 6, 3.

The social system based on and consonant with the altruist morality—with the code of self-sacrifice—is socialism, in all or any of its variants: fascism, Nazism, communism. All of them treat man as a sacrificial animal to be immolated for the benefit of the group, the tribe, the society, the state. Soviet Russia is the ultimate result, the final product, the full, consistent embodiment of the altruist morality in practice; it represents the only way that that morality can ever be practiced.

Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal “Conservatism: An Obituary,” Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 195.

America’s inner contradiction was the altruist-collectivist ethics. Altruism is incompatible with freedom, with capitalism and with individual rights. One cannot combine the pursuit of happiness with the moral status of a sacrificial animal.

The Virtue of Selfishness “Man’s Rights,” The Virtue of Selfishness, 95.

From her start, America was torn by the clash of her political system with the altruist morality. Capitalism and altruism are incompatible; they are philosophical opposites; they cannot co-exist in the same man or in the same society. Today, the conflict has reached its ultimate climax; the choice is clear-cut: either a new morality of rational self-interest, with its consequences of freedom, justice, progress and man’s happiness on earth-or the primordial morality of altruism, with its consequences of slavery, brute force, stagnant terror and sacrificial furnaces.

For the New Intellectual For the New Intellectual For the New Intellectual, 54.

It is obvious why the morality of altruism is a tribal phenomenon. Prehistorical men were physically unable to survive without clinging to a tribe for leadership and protection against other tribes. The cause of altruism’s perpetuation into civilized eras is not physical, but psycho-epistemological: the men of self-arrested, perceptual mentality are unable to survive without tribal leadership and “protection” against reality. The doctrine of self-sacrifice does not offend them: they have no sense of self or of personal value-they do not know what it is that they are asked to sacrifice—they have no firsthand inkling of such things as intellectual integrity, love of truth, personally chosen values, or a passionate dedication to an idea. When they hear injunctions against “selfishness,” they believe that what they must renounce is the brute, mindless whim-worship of a tribal lone wolf. But their leaders—the theoreticians of altruism—know better. Immanuel Kant knew it; John Dewey knew it; B. F. Skinner knows it; John Rawls knows it. Observe that it is not the mindless brute, but reason, intelligence, ability, merit, self-confidence, self-esteem that they are out to destroy.

Philosophy: Who Needs It “Selfishness Without a Self,”
Philosophy: Who Needs It, 50.

The advocates of mysticism are motivated not by a quest for truth, but by hatred for man’s mind; . . . the advocates of altruism are motivated not by compassion for suffering, but by hatred for man’s life.

Philosophy: Who Needs It “An Untitled Letter,”
Philosophy: Who Needs It, 102.

The psychological results of altruism may be observed in the fact that a great many people approach the subject of ethics by asking such questions as: “Should one risk one’s life to help a man who is: a) drowning, b) trapped in a fire, c) stepping in front of a speeding truck, d) hanging by his fingernails over an abyss?” Consider the implications of that approach. If a man accepts the ethics of altruism, he suffers the following consequences (in proportion to the degree of his acceptance):


Lack of self-esteem—since his first concern in the realm of values is not how to live his life, but how to sacrifice it.

Lack of respect for others—since he regards mankind as a herd of doomed beggars crying for someone’s help.

A nightmare view of existence—since he believes that men are trapped in a “malevolent universe” where disasters are the constant and primary concern of their lives.

And, in fact, a lethargic indifference to ethics, a hopelessly cynical amorality—since his questions involve situations which he is not likely ever to encounter, which bear no relation to the actual problems of his own life and thus leave him to live without any moral principles whatever.

By elevating the issue of helping others into the central and primary issue of ethics, altruism has destroyed the concept of any authentic benevolence or good will among men. It has indoctrinated men with the idea that to value another human being is an act of selflessness, thus implying that a man can have no personal interest in others—that to value another means to sacrifice oneself—that any love, respect or admiration a man may feel for others is not and cannot be a source of his own enjoyment, but is a threat to his existence, a sacrificial blank check signed over to his loved ones.

The men who accept that dichotomy but choose its other side, the ultimate products of altruism’s dehumanizing influence, are those psychopaths who do not challenge altruism’s basic premise, but proclaim their rebellion against self-sacrifice by announcing that they are totally indifferent to anything living and would not lift a finger to help a man or a dog left mangled by a hit-and-run driver (who is usually one of their own kind).

The Virtue of Selfishness “The Ethics of Emergencies,” The Virtue of Selfishness, 43.

[Intellectual appeasement] is an attempt to apologize for his intellectual concerns and to escape from the loneliness of a thinker by professing that his thinking is dedicated to some social-altruistic goal. It is an attempt that amounts to the wordless equivalent of the plea: “I’m not an outsider! I’m your friend! Please forgive me for using my mind—I’m using it only in order to serve you!”

Whatever remnants of personal value he may preserve after a deal of that kind, self-esteem is not one of them.

Such decisions are seldom, if ever, made consciously. They are made gradually, by subconscious emotional motivation and semi-conscious rationalization. Altruism offers an arsenal of such rationalizations: if an unformed adolescent can tell himself that his cowardice is humanitarian love, that his subservience is unselfishness, that his moral treason is spiritual nobility, he is hooked.

The Objectivist “Altruism as Appeasement,” The Objectivist, Jan. 1966, 2.

The injunction “don’t judge” is the ultimate climax of the altruist morality which, today, can be seen in its naked essence. When men plead for forgiveness, for the nameless, cosmic forgiveness of an unconfessed evil, when they react with instantaneous compassion to any guilt, to the perpetrators of any atrocity, while turning away indifferently from the bleeding bodies of the victims and the innocent—one may see the actual purpose, motive and psychological appeal of the altruist code. When these same compassionate men turn with snarling hatred upon anyone who pronounces moral judgments, when they scream that the only evil is the determination to fight against evil—one may see the kind of moral blank check that the altruist morality hands out.

For the New Intellectual For the New Intellectual For the New Intellectual, 45


Peacecore and The Appalachian Trail

I've been debating for some time, though mostly in the back of my head more than anything else, about joining to peace core. I figure now would be the time to do it, as I don't have that many responsibilities in my life other than those in regards to myself. I'm a very handy person who's quick to learn, but more importantly, I have a desire to help people, and this would be another way for me to do so. The next step will be to talk to a recruiter, and after I've done some more research I plan on doing so.

Something I've started saving for is to go on the Appalachian Trail at some point within the next few years. I've got some things I need to take care of first, but they're very minor and will easily be taken care of by the time I have the money to go. Last year I spent five months driving most of the the United States to the west of Georgia, and I want this to be my next big trip, backpacking through the Appalachian Mountains.


Faith of the Fallen pt. 2

Another small excerpt from Faith of the Fallen, this time speaking on life.

Faith of the Fallen, by Terry Goodkind (pg. 749-750)

"'Evil is not one large entity, but a collection of countless, small depravities brought up from the much by petty men. Living under the Order, you have traded the enrichment of vision for a Gray fog of mediocrity--the fertile inspiration of striving and growth, for the mindless stagnation and slow decay--the brave new ground of the attempt, for the timid quagmire of apathy.
You have traded freedom not even for a bowl of soup, but worse, for the spoken empty feeling of others who say that you deserve to have a full bowl of soup provided by someone else. Happiness, joy accomplishment, achievement. . .are not finite commodities, to be divided up. Is a child’s laughter to be divided up and allotted? No! Simply make more laughter!
Every persons life is theirs by right. An individual’s life can be and must belong only to himself, not to any society or community, or he is then but a slave. No one can deny another person their right to their life, nor seize by force what is produced by someone else, because that is stealing their means to sustain their life. It is treason against mankind to hold a knife to a man’s throat and dictate how he must live his life.
No society can be more important than the individuals who compose it, or else you ascribe supreme importance, not to man, but to any notion that strikes the fancy of that society, at a never-ending cost of lives. Reason and reality are the means to just laws; mindless wishes, if given sovereignty, become deadly masters.
Surrendering reason to faith in these men sanctions their use of force to enslave you--to murder you. You have the power to decide how you will live your life. These mean little men up here are but cockroaches, if you say they are. They have no power to control you but that which you grant them! This is what the Order offers you: death.'"


Faith of the Fallen

I find myself frightened lately. Scared that America is becoming a Socialist State. Already we hear how the Federal Government has taken control a private bank, and of a certain privately owned car manufacturer. Socialism in political thought refers to economic theories of social organization advocating collective ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods, and a society characterized by equality for all individuals, with an egalitarian method of compensation.

Basically, the government controls everything and then redistributes money, food, housing, etc to based on need. Those who are able to work do so and help provide for those who are unable to work. Everyone works together for the good of everyone. Sounds great, doesn't it? Well it isn't. You see, in such a society, the ones who benefit most are the ones who can't work. Eventually what happens is people start to figure this out, and come up with reasons as to why they can't work, whether they're valid reasons or not. What ends up happening is that no one works. Those who can work have no reason to, because what will eventually happen is that their entire wages will be taken from them to feed those who "can't" work. Below, you'll find a conversation between Richard and Nicci. Richard is trying to teach Nicci the difference between Self-sacrifice and being selfless.

Faith of the Fallen, by Terry Goodkind (pg. 548-549.):

"'Self-sacrifice for a value held dear, for a life held dear, for freedom and the freedom of those you respect--self-sacrifice such as mine for Kahlan's life--is the only rationally valid sacrifice. To be selfless means you are a slave who must surrender your most priceless possession--your life--to any smirking thief who demands it.

"The suicide of self-sacrifice is but a requirement imposed by masters on slaves. Since there is a knife to my throat, it is not to my good that I am stripped of what I earn by my own hand and mind. It is only to the good of the one with the knife, and those who by weight of numbers but not reason dictate what is the good of all--those cheering him on so they might lap up any drop of blood their masters miss.
"Life is precious. That's why sacrifice for freedom is rational: it is for life itself and youur ability to live it that you act, since life without freedom is the slow, sure death of self sacrifice to the 'good' of mankind--who is always someone else. Mankind is just a collection of individuals. Why should everyone's life be more important, more precious, more valuable than yours? Mindless mandatory self-sacrifice is insane.'

She stared, not at him, but at the flame dancing on the pool of linseed oil. 'You don't really mean that, Richard. You're just tired and angry that you have to work at night, too, just to get by. You should realize that all those others you help are there to help society, including you, should you be the one in desperate need.'
Richard didn't bother to argue with her, and said only, 'I feel sorry for you, Nicci. You don't even know the value of your own life. Sacrifice could mean nothing to you.'

'That's not true, Richard,' she whispered, 'I sacrifice for you. . . . I saved what millet we had for you, that you might have strength.'

'The strength to stand upright when I throw my life away? Why did you sacrifice your dinner, Nicci?'

'Because it was the right thing to do--it was for the good of others.'
He nodded as he peered at her in the dim light. 'You would endanger your life to starvation for others--for any others.' He pointed a thumb back over his shoulder. "How about that thug, Gadi? Would you starve to death so he might eat? It might mean something, Nicci, if it was sacrifice for someone you value, but it isn't; it's a sacrifice to some mindless gray ideal of the Order.'

When she didn't answer, Richard pushed the rest of his dinner before her. 'I don't want your meaningless sacrifice.'

She stared at the bowl of millet for an eternity.
Richard felt sorry for her, for what she couldn't understand as she stared at the bowl. He thought about what would happen to Kahlan if Nicci wer to fall sick from not getting enough to eat.

'Eat, Nicci,' he said softly.

She finally picked up her spoon and did as he said.
When she had finished, she looked up with those blue eyes that seemed so eager for the sight of something he could not make her see. She slid the empty bowl to the center of the table.

'Thank you, Richard, for the meal.'

'Why thank me? I'm a selfless slave, expected to sacrifice for any worthless person who presents their need to me.'"



I let it get away from me again. In an effort to actually live my life I completely forgot about my blog. I've got something I've been working on, mostly in my head. I've got to get up t 4am, however, so expect something by nightfall Sunday.


Final Fantasy Distant Worlds

Tuesday Night I went to Devos Hall where the Grand Rapids Symphony was performing music by composer Nobuo Uematsu, which is conducted by Arnie Roth. The evening was fantastic, and I would recommend it for anyone.

Final Fantasy Distant Worlds




So I found out Saturday night that my grandmother had passed away on Good Friday. She and my Grandfather had gotten married on April 21, which that year was also Easter, so they kind of considered Easter their anniversary as much as 4/21 was. She was also a kind and positive person. She once made me promise that I'd tell the girl I loved how I felt about her, not because she thought things would work out between us necessarily, but because she knew that it was something that would be good for me. And she was right. She would ask if someone was up when they were in their room, and when they said yes, she'd ask, "What, up on the bed?" I'll miss talking to her on the phone and receiving her wisdom, but I know she's in a better place.


Merry Christmas!!!

Okay, so Saturday Night is the Staff Christmas Party at my job. That's right, four months from the actual event, we're finally having our Christmas Party. And on Easter Weekend, no less. I was told that I ordered steak, though I don't recall ever being asked if I wanted steak or chicken, and even better, if you didn't choose one of those two, you get vegetarian lasagna, though I didn't find any of this out until yesterday at work, which is much too late to fix anything. Let me state quite simply that I am morally against the killing of plants for the purpose of eating. I think it's cruel to eat something simply because it can't run away, nor show signs of pain. So if I end up with the vegetarian lasagna, I will walk out of there without a second thought.

In Azeroth, Noxx attempted two dungeon runs this week, both which ended up featuring much higher level players running the rest of the group. In the first dungeon, a level 70 mage proceeded to attack everything, not with her spells, but with her dagger. My guess is that she didn't train with dagger much, because I was repeatedly able to steal aggro (enemies) off of attacking her and to then start attacking me, which resulted in numerous deaths on my part. She then proceeded to lecture me on watching my threat generation (Threat which is too high causes you to steal aggro). Now, if there's one thing I became intimately familiar with when playing Aneska, it's how to watch threat generation, and to make sure that no one overpowers the tank's threat level and thus steals aggro. We made it through this dungeon, but it took about half an hour longer than it should have.

The second dungeon run was led by a level 58 DK (Death Knight [read; Dumb Kid]) who proceeded to stand around and do nothing, resulting in a four man dungeon run by those too low in level to attempt it. Once the rest of us died, the DK would then begin attacking the enemies resulting in us not receiving experience points. This group I dropped out of along with one other person (others anted to stay) and signed on with Aneska and ran the other guy through the dungeon without a hitch. Noxx had made it through this dungeon in the past, so only went for the experience points. I think in the future, until I reach higher levels with Noxx, I'll start cashing in on favors owed to Aneska by having them run Noxx through those dungeons.

PUGs (Pick Up Groups) are hell, and more so when either the tank or the healer have no clue what they're doing.


Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle

Aneska Update:

After Dozens of attempts, I have finally been able to beat Utgarde Pinnacle on Heroic Difficulty. Every other time I've tried my group either had insufficient DPS, or Skadi the Ruthless would glitch and restart itself. The glitch is a known issue, and has been since people first started running this dungeon as a Heroic. Yet Blizzard has been unable to fix this issue in over four months. Now, I understand that there are going to be issues with online games, but when you've got a bug as severe as this one (you can't complete the dungeon without going through this guy) it should be one of the top priorities to fix. Sadly, the sword I wanted didn't drop(only an 18% chance), but with this success I'm confident that I'll be able to go back at another time to get it.

Meanwhile 3.1 is still due to come out, it was supposed to be back in January, however they're still in testing with no release date yet given for the new changes or the new raid. From what I can tell about it, you still won't be able to fight the Lich King, which seems kind of odd, considering the expansion is called Wrath of the Lich King, yet here we are months later, and still no word about taking him to task. I'm beginning to think he's just too scared to face my awesome tankadin skills.

Tankadin: A Protection Specced Paladin. Basically a self healing meat shield for the rest of the group.


A Work in Progress

I haven't left, I'm still here. Yes, I can hear the groans of despair as some of you realize this. The fact of the matter is that I don't post as much as I'd like to, because I like to wait until I either have something to say, or something I feel is worth sharing. Blog Father Harvey makes a good point that a blogs name says who you are. While I do consider myself a guardian of honor, I don't feel that such a thing is necessarily proper for this blog, as the subject matter tends to deal with other things entirely.

My weight is starting to drop, though I do still crave Dr Pepper like you wouldn't believe. Moving strictly to water with an occasional juice is hard to do, particularly since most businesses when you eat out don't offer much to drink besides soda and alcohol, and only with soda do you get free refills.

In the gaming world, I've been playing World of Warcraft for the most part. I've started working on Noxx a Night Elf Druid, and have to say that I find the class quite enjoyable. I started playing the game while I was driving the edit truck for Supercross during Spring of '08 as a way to avoid dealing with the people who were around the truck all day. I was expected to be on hand in case anything went wrong, even though the only things which might go wrong were things which I couldn't fix. And so I created Aneska, a Draenei (Drah-Nye) Paladin. And from there, I've been playing off and on ever since.


Gaming Console of the Future?

First heard about it here, the original post is below, with the link before it. This pretty much sums up my thoughts on Onlive quite well, usually I'd comment on an article rather than just repost it, but there's really nothing I could add to it.


So obviously OnLive is causing a pretty big stir in the video games community, and with good reason. It's a fascinating concept that could revolutionize gaming. However it also stirs up a lot of fears and concerns and doubts that are all perfectly legitimate.

The implications and possibilities (and possible failures) of a system like this are too numerous to explore completely here (at least within a reasonable amount of time), but I do want to share some of my thoughts on it, as well as concerns and what I've heard.

When it was first announced, my initial reaction was "Wow, that's amazing" followed immediately by "But I don't want to give up that much control over my games.". And I don't. I don't want to rely on so many X factors to access and enjoy my games. I don't want to rely on the OnLive service functioning, as well as the internet service to deliver it. What if I wanted to travel somewhere that doesn't have internet? I could take my console. With OnLive I'd be completely cut off.

I don't want to not "own" the game I'm paying for. I know more and more things are going digital these days, but there's still a lot of comfort in owning a physical copy of something you paid for. You know it's there when you need it. I imagine it's the same reason people purchase the Ctrl+Alt+Del collection books even though all of the comics are available for free online. Sometimes you want tangible stuff that you know can't disappear with an internet outage or a corrupt hard drive.

I also don't like the idea of losing control over a game that I've bought. While I cannot honestly think of a time in recent memory where I chose not to patch a game because I didn't agree with the patch changes, I'm not sure I want to relinquish that option. I'm not sure I want to start playing a game, and then have it disappear because the developer decided it wasn't selling well enough.

So those are some of the things, right off the bat, that turn me off about the idea. They mirror some of the general concerns I've heard murmered about the concept.

"What about lag and internet/service outages?" Exactly. OnLive says they've developed new tech that all but obliterates latency but... honestly, haven't we all heard that before? The bottom line is, the service will be prone to hiccups and lag. Now most of us have come to accept this as a fact of life when we play multiplayer games online. But do we really want to introduce this variable into our single player experiences as well?

Additionally, not everyone has great internet speeds, and not everyone has uncapped bandwidth. These are additional speedbumps the service has to deal with.

However, there is incredible potential for a service like this. It's huge for people who can't afford the top-end gaming PCs, or who can't afford three different consoles just to play all the available games. That would be a fantastic advantage. Imagine it, having all games available through one service. How convenient would that be?

But who says there's only one service? Yes, OnLive is the first, but does anybody honestly think that, if this actually works, that other companies aren't going to launch their own versions of the service? Of course they are. And then this idea of a utopian, console-free, one-stop video-gamescape goes right out the window, because we're back to different services competing for subscribers, and competing for exclusive rights to various games. Want to play the new Call of Duty? Sure thing, it's on this network. Oh, but you want to play the new Starcraft? Sorry, it's exclusive to this other service.

And that's not even mentioning all of the companies who have built their business around asking us to purchase new hardware every few years. I cannot see nVidia or ATI lying down while a service says "Hey everyone, you don't have to buy a new graphics card, we'll run the game for you!". I can't see Microsoft saying "Sure, don't buy our console, we don't want the revenue from XBL, etc anyway."

I won't pretend to know the architecture of the intricate web of licensing and exclusivity deals that ensares the entire games industry, but I do suspect that some pretty strict arrangements would start popping up between developers and the console manufacturers. And I also know that a lot of development studios are owned by console manufacturers, or other publishers. I doubt Microsoft spent so much time and money acquiring a lion's share of the industry to turn around and let Bungie's new Halo game show up on a service that costs them console sales.

And Nintendo... Nintendo shits money and they've had an incredible case of explosive diarrhea for the last few years. What incentive do they have to license their titles to a start-up service that, once again, doesn't sell their hardware?

I agree that OnLive is a really novel idea. A streaming version of the all-in-one console we've all dreamed of. But it's an idea whose fate ultimately rests entirely in the hands of developers, and there are a lot of considerations and loyalties (and legalities in some cases) some of these developers have to come to terms with before they license their games to the service.

And the console manufacturers aren't just going to pack up shop, either. If anything, all OnLive will accomplish will be adding a fourth "console" option to the market. Which is actually really great, because as mentioned, some people miss out on some games because they don't have top-end PCs, etc.

However a lot of people seem to see this heralding a complete overhaul to the gaming industry, practically overnight. The "Death of the Console", and I just really, really doubt that. To be honest with you... I'd be surprised if it gets past being the Netflix of gaming. A great service, a great alternative... but not the end-all of gaming platforms.


Obama Gives England the Finger

No, he didn't absentmindedly flip the British off, but he did remove the bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office, which England gave to us after 9/11 to show that they were with us, and has in fact returned it to the English. "But when British officials offered to let Mr. Obama to hang onto the bust for a further four years, the White House said: 'Thanks, but no thanks.'" What sits in the place of Churchill? A bust of Abraham Lincoln. Guess no one told him about the letter Lincoln wrote where he would have allowed Slavery to continue. . . But then, they don't teach the true history of the Civil War in the North.

Could someone please explain to me how a man who proclaims Lincoln for as one of his heroes then go against much of what Lincoln stood for?

As if that wasn't enough, Obama decided to give the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown a DVD box set of America's great movies. Too bad the Prime Minister can't watch them though, you see, their DVD players can't play most of America's DVDs (They use a different style of player over there). Primer Minister Brown gave America a "pen holder fashioned from the oak timber of HMS Gannet, a Navy vessel that served on anti-slavery missions off Africa." Which of course goes great with the Desk they had already given us, made from the HMS Resolute, which symbolizes British-America goodwill (The queen has a twin to our desk, minus the door placed on by FDR to hide his wheelchair). The other gift is a framed commissioning paper of the HMS Resolute, the significance of which was previously mentioned.

Barak Obama's actions are nothing short of arrogant, and the audacity he has to treat America's long standing friends the British should not be overlooked. Obama needs to apologize to Great Britain for his actions, not that the Obamessiah would ever do such a thing.

If you wish to send a message to the embassy in America, they have a facebook profile which you can find here.



I got rid of my Nintendo Wii, traded it in to Gamestop for store credit. I don't play it anymore, there are no games out for the system that I want to play anymore. . . I'm actually kind of peeved about the whole thing. I mean, I've known about Nintendo's decision for a while now, but I didn't really focus on it. I think the Wii is a great system, and Nintendo came up with a great concept with it's Wiimote, the mii's, and a few other things. What peeves me about it is the fact that Nintendo said a big, "Screw you," to it's gamer base and has started coming out with titles exclusively for the casual gamer. Now people who would never have otherwise picked up a video game have done so, which is great, but at the same time, Nintendo is pretty much churning out garbage. I've seen the wiifit, and it's great that people are actually using it to get into shape, but it's a rather low quality product, much like most everything else that comes out for the system these days.

But again, what peeves me the most about the whole thing, is that I've supported Nintendo since I was a 5 year old kid playing NES. Through the years of Super Mario Bros, Legend of Zelda, these were the titles I kept coming back to even when technology far surpassed them. I have owned every Nintendo console to ever come out at one point or another in my life, stubbornly stood by the Gamecube when others said it wasn't that good. And then Nintendo came out with the Wii, and it very quickly became evident that Nintendo no longer wanted us.

I understand that in some ways I'm comparing a video game company to an ex-girlfriend, and I understand that there are more important things to life that video games. But there's also a decent chunk of history in my life that Nintendo was a part of. I still remember unwrapping the box on Christmas day and seeing the NES, which was the fist console I had which was actually mine. (I had an Atari for a while, but that belonged to my Grandpa, he let me borrow it for a while.) I still remember playing Duckhunt in my living room, and placing the gun directly onto the screen to try and shoot the ducks in the higher levels. I think I even still have my Nintendo gun at my parent's somewhere packed up.

Well, tonight was the end of my friendship with Nintendo. I don't imagine that I'll be supporting any of it's products in the future. It may happen, but I don't think it will be too likely.


End of the Vacation

Well, I'm back in Michigan after a week in Maryland visiting my family. I'm not quite sure I'd call it a vacation, but it was paid time off of work, and I got to catch up on some sleep, though I still have years left before I'm completely caught up. I think I'll be dead before that happens. I very much enjoyed Rush Limbaugh's first ever televised address to the nation (look lower for the links) I hope to see more of them in the future. I originally saw it in the airport waiting to get on the plane from the Washington DC Airport, amidst a few liberals who looked disgusted, and a few of my generation, perhaps a bit younger or older, who were actually paying attention to what he had to say.

I hope that people will start actually paying attention to what people say, as well as what they do. The tendency we have today is to just ignore whatever is around us that isn't good, unless we are cynical, in which case we tend to ignore the good. I try to see both, though with my history of customer service, I lean more to the cynical.

Amidst trying to figure out how I'm going to break things off with one girl, my mom has been working at setting me up with a different girl. While I haven't actually met her in person, I have talked to her online and we'll see how things go.

Tomorrow is going to be my first day back to work in over a week, we have new BP/Pulse and Temperature machines that were implemented while I was away, as well as SOP changes that I learned before I left but have since forgotten. I understand that we need to go over them, but 90% of what I read of the changes I end up forgetting about two days later, unless it was a change to an SOP that doesn't yet apply to me, in which case I forgot about 5 minutes after the fact. Much of the time they either change one word to another which means the exact same thing, or they add something to it which either A. doesn't apply to our center, or 2. It's a change which our center had already implemented. My job becomes increasingly mundane each day, which doesn't help someone who becomes rather impulsive when they're bored. I don't think there's anything more dangerous on this planet than an impulsive human who has become bored.


I don't know who came up with the name twitter, maybe there's some kind of internet lingo behind it or something. I don't really feel like looking it up, it's not that important to me. I do have twitter now, I'm not quite sure why, but you can find me here:


It almost seems like they took the whole facebook status bar and made a website for just that.


Rush Limbaugh @ CPAC

Much of what I believe about this nation, and what I believe politically, is covered in this speech given by Rush Limbaugh. I know it is not very likely to happen, but in 2012, I would love for this man to run for President of the United States of America.


An End

How do you go back to just being friends? I started a relationship with someone I had been friends with for a while, and now I realize that I just like her as a friend. It's still a fairly new relationship, but I really have no experience in ending things amicably. Any suggestions on how to talk to her? (Obviously it'd be in person.)

I had thought about buying her a copy of He's just not that into you, the book the movie is based on, and then highlighting the appropriate chapter, but I'm really not the kind of guy who'd do something like that.


Weighing In.

Currently I weigh somewhere in the neighborhood of DAMN! My goal is to lose the weight by the end of the summer. I'll be changing my diet up to help accomplish this. I've cut out soda except for once a month. I've limited myself to water (purified from Brita) and Sobe or V8 splash (does not taste good). I won't be eating out quite as much, no matter how much I might crave an Oreo Sundae Shake from Burger King. I'm also adding in exercise, speed walking and stair climbs, which will be in addition to the walking I do while at work. My short term goal is to enter the Fifth Third River Bank Run, It's only going to be the 5k, but it's also in May, which is 3 months away. Longer term goals include entering the Grand Rapids Marathon. While running in these is merely a step, the main reason I want to do this is that I am sick of putting it off. I let myself grow too far out of healthy shape, and I'm tired of it.


Out With a Bang?

I think a real feather in the cap for Bush's final day in office would be if Osama were captured before the end of the day.


Go to urbandictionary. com and type in your answer to each question in the search box, then write the definition it gives you.

1) Your name?

The boy's name Andrew \a-nd-rew, an-drew\ It is of Greek origin, and its meaning is "man, warrior".

2) Your age?

The age at which one can finally rent a car in the United States without being charged enormous amounts of money and without having to sign thousands of papers for that matter.

So, a half-blind 70-year-old just got his license, rents a car a kills 5 people is more acceptable than a 24-year-old who has been driving for up to 10 years without an accident.

3) What should you be doing?

The act of defiling one's eyes to malicous, or mind-boggoling content.
Did you see how red John's eyes were? He must have been reading.

4) Favorite color?
Carolina Blue

The name used to describe the school color of the University of North Carolina.

5) Hometown?

(2007) population: 367,995=Cultural center, andCapital city of North Carolina in Wake County. Home to many research firms due to it's proximity to Research Triangle Park. Home to Singer Clay Aiken, Rappers, Petey Pablo, Small World(of DTP) and Brolic D of DTP. Home Of NC state University, Shaw, Meredith, and Saint Augustines colleges.

6) Month of your birthday?

a female of wise words. Often regarded as a "panda" person. These types of females are very energetic and friendly, and when you see these types of girls down, you feel down too.

7) Last person you talked to?
one who is seemingly innocent.

Mary is commonly known as a good girl, for example: the virgin mary ... however Mary is a bad girl who never gets caught.
person1: ...christian cheerleader? a Mary?!?!
person2: yeah, at practice and church is a goody good... but you should've seen her at the party.

8) Your Last name
undefined currently

9) Your most recent car.

The worlds largest hell hole.
-"My parents are moving to Dakota"
-"you poor fuck.


Another Trek Through Insanity

And so it is that, after knowing Anessa (no where near her real name) since we both worked at Meijer a little over three years ago, I have officially journeyed back into the realm of insanity known as dating. I've found that the trek is different each time.


Fire Breathing

Okay, first, I want to caution everyone who isn't smart enough to realize this already, but firebreathing is extremely dangerous. Equally important, don't tell Boudicca's kids about this post.

Since I've moved back to Michigan, I have; either at Ren Fairs, or at Swing dancing (not sure what fire breathing has to do with swing) seen numerous examples of good fire breathing. I've also seen some really bad examples of it at a bar not to far from here, where in one case the side of a guy's face caught fire because he did not wipe the excess fuel from his face after breathing it.

I have decided that this is something that I want to learn how to do, as it seemed a natural step from making campfires become towering infernos of fire. My first few attempts have been great successes, or rather, they didn't end with me in the hospital or badly burned. In talking with some performance artists, I have picked up the basics and can only say that it's a technique that's both easy and dangerous in it's simplicity. While rather exciting to do, I initially found in my first attempts that having a flame that close to my face is also a little scary.

When I feel that I am good enough, I'll be sure to post video of my attempts.


A Riddle.

There are four men in a room sitting around a table. Scattered around the room are 53 bicycles. One of the men has been shot. Why?


Most Memorable Event

I think the most memorable event from my trip was traveling through the mountains of Montana with zero visibility during a snowstorm. It got to the point where I thought about risking driving into open air to pull over to the side of the road. At the worst part, I could no longer see the road, the rumble strip wasn't making the rumble sound, and the safety markers were completely covered in snow and thus perfectly camouflaged. What makes this truly memorable during the worst of it, a wiggle wagon passed by me, and I was able to follow its tracks the rest of the way through the worst part of it and to the next truck stop. Needless to say, once my heart finally settled back into place I slept really well that night.

A good joke

"See, there were these two guys in a lunatic asylum. . . and one night. . . one night they decide they don't like living in an asylum any more. They decide they’re going to escape! So they get up on to the roof, and there, just across the narrow gap, they see the rooftops of the town, stretching away in moon light. . . stretching away to freedom. Now the first guy he jumps right across with no problem. But his friend, his friend daren't make the leap. Y'see he's afraid of falling. . . So then the first guy has an idea. He says, 'Hey! I have my flash light with me. I'll shine it across the gap between the buildings. You can walk across the beam and join me.' But, the second guy just shakes his head. He says. . . he says 'What do you think I am, crazy? You'd turn it off when I was half way across.'" -Joker (The Killing Joke)

A bad joke

a pirate walks into a bar with a paper towel on his head. The bartender, seeing this, asks why it's there. The pirate answers, "Arrr! There be a Bounty on me head!"


I'm Back

Suffice to say, it's been an odd year for me. I spent most of 2008 on the road with AMA Supercross, effectively placing my social (and blogging) life on hold while I drove a truck so that those who enjoyed watching it on TV could actually do so. Needless to say, I've learned a lot from that trip, some of which I'll share a little later on this week and on down the line. An additional deterrent from keeping up to date with my blog was a lack of internet at home, due mostly to a lack of interest in getting internet, as I had many books and games to catch up on, as well as getting back in touch with friends, and a lack of ability to access blogger while at work. Suffice it to say that my life has settled back to a semi-normal reutine, and that I will be able to better devote time to you, my reading public.

Also built into this time were two complete uprootings of my life and moving down to Georgia, then deciding to move once more back up to Michigan. So now I'm back in Grand Rapids, living in a much better apartment than I was previously, and will be much better about keeping the dust off the blog than I have been in the past.