Insight: Blind Faith

I missed yesterday’s promised first insight, so I’ll get to that now. My Grandmother – for those who asked, and I thank you for thinking of her – seems to be doing ok. They admitted her and she remains in the hospital, but the belief is she can come home tonight or tomorrow. I don’t deal well with hospitals or sick relatives, and in fact, I typically block it all out to the point that I’ve been known to forget entire hospitals stays for family only short months after they’ve happened. Anyways, as I drove late on Saturday night to the hospital I had my new Jars of Clay album in, and a song came on that seemed to help. The lyrics, repeated, were only: “Jesus’ blood never failed me yet; there’s one thing I know, that he loves me so.
After opening up the liner notes I found this very interesting little blurb on the origins of this song:
“We originally heard this song on Gavin Bryars recording. It was a 72 minute loop of a homeless man singing this simple chorus over and over. The contrast of one so lowly expressing such certain and simple faith was and continues to be nothing short of astounding. The power of Gavin’s recording is a testimony to one of this world’s most profound and sacred mysteries: though they suffer… they have joy.”
I’m trying to track down the recording now to hear the original, but the blurb above found in the liner notes speaks a rather honest truth to me. We always seem to want, and want, and want, and want. And when we get, we want again. And then when we don’t have, we turn ourselves back to something higher than us for help. It’s typically around then that I’ll come across someone far worse off than me, but filled with a level of joy that almost makes me envious. Here’s hoping we can all find that way to be unconditionally happy throughout 2004.

Judge Kevin McCarthy: Village Idiot

I had honestly meant to cease with the venting today and post something nice about flowers and birds and pretty girls with naturally curly hair. Then I turned on my radio.

Superior Court Judge Kevin McCarthy, you are an idiot. I hope you read this, and I hope it angers you, and perhaps you send me a fancy cease and desist letter that I can use to clean up spilled tequila during my pending New Year’s Eve party. However, seeing as how you apparently have no actual knowledge of law, this is very unlikely.

As a bit of backstory, when Barry Bonds hit his record-breaking 73rd home run a couple seasons back, a gent by the name of Alex Popov managed to snag the ball before he was sent sprawling to the ground by a trample of Bay Area jackalopes with dollar signs in their eyes. Contrary to the cited article in a moment, Patrick Hayashi physically reached into Popov’s glove and stole the baseball, claiming it as his own. He would have gotten away with it if he hadn’t made an immediate attempt to sell it at which point Popov had his name, filed a lawsuit, and the bitter war over the ownership of this $1,000,000 ball began. It should have been a foregone conclusion – North America does not run on the ‘might is right’ philosophy where I can own everything of yours because I’m bigger or stronger. Possession is 9/10ths of the law – unless, of course, you’re a slack-jawed knob like Kevin McCarthy.

“Their legal claims are of equal quality and they are equally entitled to the ball,” McCarthy ruled. “The ball must be sold and divided equally between the parties.” (Read the report here)

Does this whack-job even realize what can of worms he’s just opened? He’s just made it not only acceptable, but totally within the law, to own something of someone else’s simply by taking it! We can now effectively show up at one another’s houses for Christmas, and immediately upon watching you open your gift, I can take it. It’s mine now, I’m bigger and stronger than you. You want it back? Sorry, let’s sell it to the highest bidder and split the profits.

Many years ago our society took a monster step back when someone of the same ilk as Mr. McCarthy decided that it was illegal to sell coffee without first ensuring the client was aware it came hot. This little atrocity has turned us into a society of laughing stocks to any other nation that fully have the ability to use their minds and act accordingly. Did you know that it’s illegal to sue for your own stupidity in New Zealand? If you go bungy jumping and the chord breaks, tough luck. Yet here, a woman can burn her chin on a pickle in her hamburger and her husband can sue McDonald’s for “lost services”. Bovine corn-fed men can launch lawsuits against the Hamburglar because they’re morbidly obese. And now, we can own at least half the value of something we want simply by stealing it.

In the words of the great Gary Cherone, “stop the world, I wanna get off.”


An Open Letter

Dear Coward,

It must take a large man to cower behind buildings, vans, trees, and hills. It must take a lot of guts to fire a gun upon the heads of innocent husbands and wives, parents, and young children. No doubt this proves some sort of point, right? You have a message for us all, you need North America to feel afraid. You’ve got what you want so far, right? You’ve got your own nickname – the Serial Sniper. You’ve got your work all over every newscast, radio show, and newspaper across Canada and the US. What you don’t have is the scrot to recognize what an insignificant speck you are when all is said and done. Take your 15 minutes. Take the lives of innocent people for absolutely no good reason whatsoever. Attempt to justify it to yourself. When it’s over, you will be captured, and then God have mercy on your soul because there won’t be any mercy on the rest of you.

A month from now you’ll be the same putrid, useless, insignificant life’s loser you are today, you were yesterday, and you always have been.

Absolutely sincerely,

Together Evading All Meaning

Did any of my visitors ever partake in the world of BBS’, or Bulletin Board Systems? For those not in the know, before the World Wide Web, and back when Internet access came via Lynx and had no images, there was still a method of what we geeks referred to as “going online”. A BBS was, for the most part, set up on a personal computer and attached, via modem, to a household phone line. The user would dial the phone number, connect to the computer through the modem, and then got to partake in a community of sorts – something like the Internet, but much smaller. Once in you could chat (if they had multiple phone lines), post messages, download files, and play online games complete with ASCII art (ha!).

Rob and I were regulars on Warped Minds before becoming Co-SysOps (Systems Operators) on Chaos Industries. We then decided, along with a couple others, to start our own and named it Cryptic Dimensions. It was intended to be a skinned BBS (now THERE’S something before it’s time – this was 1992/3) that would allow you to alter the appearance of it depending on your mood. Instead, it became a huge message and file destination until we got hacked by some punks in Brampton and Scarborough. My time with another BBS, T.E.A.M., also lead to my first “band” (for lack of a better word) that I’ve glossed over here before. Upon the advent of the World Wide Web, the Internet seemed to be a natural progression for most of us and BBS’, for the most part, disappeared. It’s a shame, too, because sometimes I do miss the smaller aspect of the “internet” back then. I remember how pumped I was the first time I got to converse with someone from the United States via the FidoNet, one of the first Internet newsgroups to be made available to local BBS’.

The moral of this story? I like stories. :)

Anyone else have BBS experience?

My Aching Head

Last night I was felled by a nasty migraine again. I hadn’t eaten all day, yet the headache was bad enough that I couldn’t muster up the energy to walk to the kitchen and make something. Once I *had* gathered up some energy I decided I was better served going upstairs for a wet washcloth that I could place on my head. Back downstairs I covered my head in enough time to see the 8:55PM ‘unveiling’ on Trading Spaces. The next thing I remember is 10:30, so I thought that was a good thing. Unfortunately the headache hadn’t left yet. These things are right nasty for those of you that don’t get them, and I’m lucky enough that they only seem to come once every month or two, almost always on a weekend. I know some people that get these things constantly and it completely takes over their lives.

Many people wonder about the level of pain associated with a migraine, and how much worse from a regular headache it is. That’s hard to explain, but I can offer this information. In the past I have:

  • been hit by a car and returned to work.
  • had my ankle scraped to exposed bone and returned to work.
  • completed a baseball game with a first inning separated shoulder.
  • damaged ankle and wrist ligaments and gone about my business.
  • broken and rebroken my big toes and gone about my business.
  • broken a rib during a movie and just thought it was a bruise for a week.

But when I get a migraine, I’m out. I can’t move. Stranded wherever I happen to be lying and praying for death. So, you can imagine, migraines kinda suck.

But there is one good thing about them. The dreams. I have no idea if this is the same for all sufferers but I get the COOLEST dreams when I’ve had a migraine. I can’t really explain why, it just happens every time. Last night it started off at sea where I moved along a plank on to a smaller steel battle ship (very small – held about 15-20 people) where we were being transported to some exotic Mexican-ish island. Unfortunately, we were simultaneously being hit by a hurricane of sorts that was sending up enormous waves and rocking these boats (there were others) while the sun beat down like hot summer. For some reason, and knowing me it would be because the waves looked ‘fun’, I decided to bail on this metal deathtrap and dove into the ocean deathtrap. I then attempted body surfing these 50-60 foot waves to shore, and wonder of wonders, I actually did it. The dream was cool in the fact that I was seeing the shoreline from way up high and watching the waves crash down while moving from wave to wave. I do bodysurf quite well when the opportunity arises so this isn’t too fargone, save for the fact that I’m used to bodysurfing four to five foot waves, not forty-five foot ones.

I became distraught when I finally arrived on the shore (via wave) and noticed that my cool Fossil watch had been removed by one crash of the wave that had sent me for a loop. Once on the shore, I made my way to a pool area that was surrounded by an outdoor strip mall full of little shops and restaurants, and of course, this large pool. The one thing I hadn’t noticed was that my watch wasn’t the only thing that had been removed by the large wave – I wasn’t wearing a stitch of clothes, but was luckily hiding under the water of this pool. Someone began yelling about the Deputy Prime Minister of Canada having dissed the Queen and, at that time, I noticed the wave had somehow conveniently dropped my swim trunks on a chair over my head. Back in to them I slid, jumped out of the pool, and woke up.

Uh-huh. Any amateur dream readers are welcome to post in the comments. :)