Wednesday, December 28, 2005

"Sorry I haven't posted in a while"

I've noticed that lots of people tend to post "sorry I haven't posted in a while" on their blogs like there are thousands of people desperately waiting for another post. I did a Google blog search for that phrase and came up with 1,347 hits!! Humans amuse me.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Weavers Are "No Earthly Good"

So now I'm gonna do something I never thought I'd do on this blog. Comment on a reality TV show...

Claymama and I watch "Amazing Race" with Caz1996 because it is usually fun to see the different parts of the world that the teams travel to and I'm a sucker for game shows (which is, essentially what this show is).

The most recent incarnation was the "Family Edition" where groups of FOUR relatives raced (rather than the standard TWO). There is typically a favorite or two. Teams who just are likable and you find yourself rooting for them. Occasionally there are teams you root against. This edition's villains were the Weaver family. It's a widow and her 3 teen-ish age kids (1 boy, 2 girls). The problem with this family is that they proved themselves to be mean-spirited, heartless, self-righteous people - all while claiming to be the only family who is trying to "lead a Christian life."

The evidence? Here's only a few examples. They...:

* tried to direct the drivers of other teams' vehicles to go slow (more than once)
* made fun of a member of another team because he is a garbage man
* had judgmental nicknames for every other team (while most teams came up with nicknames for other teams, they were not mean-spirited)
* said "I hate her" after one of the "Desperate Housewives" tried to show one of the girls some empathy while they were at a race track (the Weavers' father was killed on a race track recently)
* and in one inexplicably rude moment, the youngest (the boy, Rollie) yelled (unprovoked) at a bicyclist they passed "You WISH you were Lance Armstrong!!"

The weird thing is that they kept praying to God to help them in the race!! I'm thinking God might have a few more important things to worry about. Now I'm all for people being free to express their religion, but the mom prayed to God to help them through these goofy little obstacles and races so many times that it became almost funny.

I think it's important to note that I'm suspicious of editing on these "reality" shows to make things look like a "good guy/bad guy" situation all the time, but in this case these people SAID THIS STUFF! It wasn't like the editing made them mock a garbage man.

I do feel a little bad about the the Weavers in that I would hate to be filmed 24 hours/day for 30 days and then the footage aired on national TV. I'm sure I would be proven to be the hypocrite/jackass/pervert/dork that only I know I am. I think it's a good lesson to think about what you claim to be to others. Many people claim to be "good" (fill-in-the-blank - citizens, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Carpenters, workers, friends, etc) but really aren't. This family just didn't get away with it.

Another lesson from this show is that the team that won was the team that really enjoyed themselves (whether in first or last place in a race) and didn't fight with each other (some teams seemed to ONLY fight with each other). In life: get along with each other and have fun. I believe in that and this dumb TV show reinforced that belief.

I kept coming back to one of my favorite Johnny Cash songs when watching the Weavers. It's called "No Earthly Good".

Johnny described his motivation for the song. "That's a song I wrote for phony pious Christians." He said people like that "...give Christianity a bad name. And it should have a good name, because it's a wonderful thing. Wonderful. And I don't like it, it makes me very angry, when charlatans abuse and misuse the Gospel of Jesus Christ..." Amen Johnny.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

War on Christmas

So occasionally I have to be in a room where Fox News (including O'Reilly) is on the tv, REALLY LOUDLY!!

Every night they've been bitching about the War on Christmas and they cite stores who tell their employees to say "happy holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" and encourage boycotting them.

I listened to the podcast of last night's Majority Report and Sam pointed out that the Fox News web store is guilty of replacing "Christmas" with "Holiday", including "holiday ornaments". I check out the web site. Sure enough there's a huge banner that says something about "holiday" gift ideas. The "holiday ornaments" have since been changed to "Christmas Ornaments"

Here's my take on the "war on christmas". Why would you wish someone a happy something-they-don't(or MAY NOT)-celebrate? On October 25, 2005, nobody wished me a Merry Sh'mini Atzaret. It's equivalent to walking up to everybody on YOUR birthday and saying "Happy Birthday!". You might run into someone who has the same birthday as you, but for you to ASSUME everybody celebrates because YOU do is incredibly narrow-minded, immature and self-centered.

Granted, Christians are the majority in this country, so you're more likely to run into a Christian. But that's the point - CHRISTIANS ARE THE MAJORITY!!! People are not PERSECUTED for being Christian in the U.S. Christians in the U.S. complaining about being oppressed sounds to me like rich, white guys complaining about Affirmative Action. Trying to be more inclusive of people who are not in the majority, is not an attack. It's about trying to look at the world from other's perspectives.


So here was my evening tonight (11/30/05)
6:22pm - Decide to finally clean out my car trunk. While getting gas near South Park (about 10 miles from my house), stop at one of those do it yourself car wash places.

6:26pm - As I drive away, I realize I may have accidentally thrown away the cord for my camcorder adaptor. The adaptor (the big square thing) is in the trunk, but I don't recall seeing the cord from the wall to the adaptor. Check the trunk, but it's a little too dark in the parking lot to determine if it's there. I must have put it in my camera bag. I'll check later.

9:33pm - I get home from work, check my camera bag, no cord. I look through a cabinet that has more of my camera stuff, no cord.

9:36pm - I quickly check B&H Photo Video to see how much it's going to cost to order a new one. $120!!!

9:38pm - Take Caz1996 to bed, read him a story.

9:59pm - Tell Claymama what an idiot I am and ask if our flashlight is working - Ruby2001 often plays with it and the batteries were dead last I checked. She confirms the flashlight batteries are dead.

10:01pm - Drive to grocery store along the way.

10:22pm - 2 packages of 4 D batteries on sale for $9.29 - wow, my lucky night!!

10:23pm - line I'm in is taking too long, notice the "express" lane has no customers and 3 cashiers - go there. They're chatting with each other. The young female cashier slowly turns toward me (then needs some sort of code to be punched in by the middle-aged cashier). She rings me up - "$18.54"!! I tell the cashier what the tag on the display said. She said she'll have to "get a manager". I tell her "forget it, I can't wait"

10:26pm - after replacing batteries and re-tightening the light bulb in the flashlight, realize that the flashlight is broken. I go back into the grocery store - right next door to a Wal-mart - to buy a flashlight.

10:29pm - pick up TWO flashlights (I've got plenty of batteries for them in the car). Next to the flashlights, I notice that the "sale" tag said it was "through 11/30/05". I was right, they changed it in the computer too soon. Again, the line I'm in is taking too long, I cautiously go to the "express" lane with the middle aged cashier mentioned earlier. She is refunding money to some woman standing behind her. Apparently it's because of a return of a half-gallon of milk. Then the cashier debates with her about the status of the milk carton, very carefully trying to figure out what is wrong with the milk - IN THE EXPRESS LANE!!! The guy standing in front of her, waiting to be checked out looks at me in disbelief. I give him a confirming astonished shake of my head. Eventually, get through the line and head towards the trash can.

10:41pm - begin digging through the trash can - realize that NOW there are huge streetlights on - didn't need the flashlight after all.

10:44pm - after digging through the entire can (including a surprising number of CD jewel cases -without the CDs- for a "Greatest Power Ballads" CD and EVERY CD by the band LIVE, for some reason), I do NOT find my cord.

10:58pm - dejected and frustrated at how forgetful and stupid I can be (why would the cord to my camera be anywhere but WHERE THE CAMERA IS KEPT?) and disgusted with the garbage-y liquid that is on my hands, "Riot Nrrd" by 2 Skinnee J's comes on my iPod and I rock out on the way home. Life's not so bad.

11:23pm - after scrubbing my hands with soap and hot water, start searching on the internet for a replacement cord.

11:55pm - after some research, I find a charger (3rd party brand - not "Canon" - but from a reputable company) for my camera batteries. It's thinner (not as bulky) as the one that came with my camera. Not only does it include a cord from the adaptor to the wall, it also includes a car adaptor AND a European plug, all for $20 + $5 shipping.

By the end of the night, I spent more on batteries and flashlights than I did on this charger that I thought was going to cost me over $100.

The moral of the story? I'm a dork.