Friday, April 24, 2009

Bible Self-invalidation

Its funny when the bible is read in parts, its easy to make general statements about the validity and unity of its overall message. However, when taken on the whole, its message just falls apart. As a child, I remember learning the scripture at Proverbs 30:5 that says that every word of God is true. Essentially, the message I was taught that this god can do anything except lie. By extension, the bible consists of his words, so the bible is true without exception.

The problem with this is that the bible's god does lie, and these lies are actually recorded in the bible. This would be irony if it wasn't unexpected. Isn't that ironic?

Several scriptures specifically say that their god either lied himself or caused others to lie, including
1 Kings 22:23, 2 Chronicles 18:22, Jeremiah 4:10, Jeremiah 20:7, Ezekiel 14:9 and 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12. To reconcile this contradiction, believers in the bible will often just excuse it off with a comment like, "God cannot lie, but is able to cause others to either lie or tell a lie." Not only does this not explain the discrepancies where their god is actually said to lie, but it is completely illogical to make this distinction. Their god is said to speak to believers through prophets. If his prophets lie because of his inspiration, that is no different than himself telling the lie.

I don't point all this out to show that the bible is flawed. Its flawed nature is fact. It doesn't need to be pointed out unless someone starts trying to argue that it is some sort of perfect holy book. I point out the flaws to show that the bible cannot be used as justification for beliefs in gods. The god of the bible is just an idea that is used for agendas of individuals or groups of people. That god doesn't really exist; at least not in the way bible believers think.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My Girl, the new Ride

From Junya's Photos of Matt's car

Here's me enjoying my girl on 280 this last January. Some of us G8 and GTO owners got together for a ride from Downtown Campbell to Alice's Restaurant up in the mountains. It's been a long time since I've had a V8, and this is the most powerful car I've every had. She's a lot of fun. It's just too bad I don't have more excuses to driver her.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Leave It!

Allie and I are getting a new puppy. This is our first pet together. We pick it up from the breeder later today. The day before yesterday, we were buying a dog tag at the pet store. While standing at the engraving machine, this lady and her dog (I think it was a Golden Retriever or something similar) walked by us. As this lady's dog passes me, it moves its head towards me and sniffs my shoe. The owner instantly gives the command "Leave it!" and continues walking.

Now, I know the command "Leave It!" is in vogue right now (thanks to the likes of Cesar Millan), and the the lady was simply addressing her dog with a command to which it was familiar, but I was actually offended for a second at being referred to as an "it". It was a little disconcerting even though ultimately her command had nothing to do with me as a person. I'm not one to be offended easily. When I realized I was mildly offended, a couple seconds later, I was rather amused at myself.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Leveraging their online community (Pontiac?)

My wife and I were recently profiled in G8 version of Pontiac Performance. This is a magazine that is sent out to owners of Pontiac vehicles. I’m not sure why I, as an owner of an awesome new 2009 G8 GT, would need a magazine full of articles pointing out the greatness of Pontiac cars. I already get-it. That’s why I bought the car! (Maybe they are hoping I will buy another model right away?) Anyway, the magazine does have its use, and I’m getting to the point soon. First, if you want to see my profile article, I believe the magazine is carried by Pontiac dealerships. If one feels so inclined, go in to a dealership and ask to see if they have copies of the G8 version of Pontiac Performance Spring 2009 edition. (It will have to be the G8 version since they actually put out slightly different versions of the magazine depending on which car it is for. ) Depending on the version, the article will be somewhere between pages 9 and 14. Then, maybe check out the G8. I’m actually not being sarcastic when I suggest this.

Anyway, back to the point. In the magazine is another article called Car Camaraderie about how online forums are bringing Pontiac drivers together. They did a whole article about online resources being utilized by Pontiac owners. As far as I know, none of these resources are directly related to GM. The writer of the Pontiac article understands the Pontiac’s online community well enough to mention the most popular sites for each of their models. This is just one article in one magazine that doesn’t have public distribution. It’s a start for them, though. Sure, OnStar has been online based for awhile now, but that is a paid service. The act of actually profiling users on several of the forums (even mentioning their user names) is something that is not that common yet. Like many other old-school companies, they are starting to understand the
Information Age, finally.

The Pontiac G8 community site that was mentioned was, of which I am a fairly active user.

Monday, April 13, 2009

New doggie member of the family soon

Allie and I have a new member of our family that will be joining us soon. It's an adorable Rat Terrier. While we wait for it, I guess it can be said that we are paper pregnant, but in terms of buying a dog and waiting for it to reach 8 weeks. (No reputable breeder will release a puppy before 8 weeks, so I've been told and have read from multiple sources.)

So, there will be hours and hours of time invested in a new member of the family. We both grew up with pets, but this is our first pet together. We are excited. We are going to be putting a lot of effort into preparing for him. Even though we haven't seen our little Rattie in a few weeks, we've already named him. Per my usual, I will likely come up with an alias for him on the blog. I'll post some pictures once he's settled in to his new home in a couple of weeks.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Birthday bash

The "birthday" BBQ near my house turned out to be a lot of fun. I was surrounded (at one point quite literally) by friends and family. One thing I am honored by is the fact that everyone in my life together represents tremendous diversity, much like myself.

It was my fortunate luck to have my BBQ scheduled (by my wife) on the first non-rainy weekend in months (scheduled over a month in advance). The day was gorgeous, with barely the slightest hint of tiny white puffy clouds once in awhile. As the day approached, we discovered this was going to be a great weather day. Knowing it was going to be the first good weather weekend in a long time, I got up early to claim the ideal BBQ spot at the park.

At about 11:30AM, friends and family started to trickle in. It was funny that the only people to actually show up at the start time was Allie's co-workers and friends. "MY" friends didn't start showing up till about 12:30PM (as I expected anyway). Overall, about 20 people showed up.

Over the week leading up to the BBQ, I asked Allie if we had everything we needed for BBQ'ing, including all necessary utensils. In particular, I was concerned about us having the grill brush. She assured me that we did indeed have everything. Well, at about 12:30PM, I started to get the BBQ started. Coals - check. Lighter - check. Lighter fluid - check. Kindling - check. BBQ fork - check. BBQ spatula - check. BBQ grill brush - ???. Again, BBQ grill brush - ??? No brush! OMG! So, here I am at my birthday party having to go out to buy the tool. I head to the local Safeway. No luck. Fortunately, we have a Home Depot kinda close by. They had plenty of choices. After getting back to the BBQ (after like 20 minutes or so), I found more people showed up. Good. "I can get help with the BBQ'ing," I commented to myself.

Once we got the BBQ'ing going, it soon became apparent that Allie had marinated the chicken to perfection. They where a big hit. We had planned to BBQ without BBQ sauce, so this was a welcomed surprize into this brave new world.

Another hit was the large size Blizzard ice cream cake from Dairy Queen. The whole thing was gone in minutes. Of course, even though my birthday (which was earlier in the month) was only the excuse to get everyone together, everyone felt inclined to surround me and single "Happy Birthday". Dear lord!

My only real complaint is that I literally spend 12 hours in the Sun, without so much as a freckle to show for it. Normally, I would have tanned and reddened significantly. However, on this day, I used some SPF 70 stuff that Allie had on hand. I only applied it once early in the morning. I was as white as ever at the end of the day. I've never seen that before. I'm a little bummed about that. Here I am having a great time and I have no sunburn to show for it. ;-)

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Expert's Prediction about Italian Earthquake

The central Italian earthquake was apparently predicted a month in advance by Gioacchino Giuliani, an employee at a physics institute at Gran Sasso, near the badly-hit city of L'Aquila. His warnings where scoffed at by Italian authorities. They even forced him to remove information about his prediction from his website. I can see why someone would be ignored, but in a free country, it seems a bit extreme to inhibit one's basic freedom of speech. He's now demanding an apology for the legal assault upon him.

From my memory, there seems to be a series of solo scientist that are able to score one accurate earthquake prediction. Sometimes, they kinda get a second prediction right too. However, I've never seen these scientist able to continue their predictions accurately in a way that can usually save lives. Gioacchino Giuliani feels like he could've saved lives if the authorities listened to him. The problem is that even if his method proves to be repeatable, this is the first successful prediction he has made, at least that I've heard about. First time for anything is an occurrence; second time a coincidence; the third time is a pattern. For him to be recognized, he's got to get it right three times in a way that is repeatable by others and useful to authorities.

The difficulty with this is that earthquakes happen very infrequently in any one location. The factors that lead up to earthquakes vary from region to region and even quake to quake. What may be an indicator for an earthquake in one location may not work in another location.

In my opinion, I do think the authorities owe the expert an apology for violating his freedoms. However, it is understandable as to why they ignored him. There's a lot of crackpots out there making predictions all the time. The authorities have no idea who to listen to until some method (not a particular person) provides to be successful repeatably.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Back to life

This blog just may be getting back to life. There's more stuff going on that I'm comfortable blabbing about in the public eye; not that I have much of a public following me these days. :)

There's a few of stories I'll be writing about soon, including some cool about additions to my life.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

I actually have a Bestseller, of sorts

Well, as funny as this might sound, I have a #1 bestselling book on No, I'm not raking in millions of dollars from hundreds of thousands of books sales. I think the book has reached something like five sales total, ever. However, in the set up in, this is enough for me to have the bestseller for one particular category, Le Fanu, Joseph Sheridan. It's a Kindle electronic book called Ghost Stories of Olde Vol 3. As of right now, it is actually listed as "#27,893 in Kindle Store" overall. Not bad for public domain content that is buried deep in's listings.

I actually have five listings currently on for the Kindle. I'm not making any substantial money. In fact, as of right now, I've not earned enough to even quality to receive any payment. Hopefully soon I'll earn my first $10. Joy. At this rate, I'm earning roughly 16¢ an hour (that's $0.16 for those who've never seen the cent ¢ symbol before) for the time it took me to make those books.