Tuesday, December 05, 2006

National Get In Matt's Way Day 2006

Today must be National Get In Matt's Way Day 2006. For me to declare such a day nowadays is amazing, since my commute is so short now.
On my way to work today, I got into a Left Turn lane with a few cars ahead of me and a green light. Well, this one work truck from the lane next to us decides to cut into our turn lane, stopping everyone beyond his merge. He pulled up to the light and stopped just as it turned yellow. Had he just waited, the turn lane would've been clear, and he'd still be in front of the lane on that yellow light.
So, I make a quick action to get out of the turn lane and precede on the straight ahead green to make a U-Turn just past the divider island on the other side. Well, just as I get to the U-Turn point, this truck is in the land fast lane. I wait for him to pass before I turn. I pull around into the slow lane ready to make my right turn on green. Well, just as I am pulling up to the intersection, that truck decides to pull right in front of me to make a right turn. Of course, he does this and practically stops at a green, waiting for it to turn yellow. It does. Then he waits more until the traffic in an unrelated direction starts to go. So, we both make our right turn, but just 100' down the road, the Train Xing bars lower, again, as he pulls up to them. ARG!
Anyways, I finally get through this maze of stupidity and get to work.
Home the way home for lunch, I enter onto the freeway behind this other car, within All of a sudden, this this big mover truck makes an abrupt move in front of the car in front of me into our lane! So, the car in front of me gets over, but then goes the same slow-ass speed as the truck. My problem is that I need to be in the lane because it becomes an exit only lane and I take that very next exit.
No, it doesn't end there. He exits, and so do I. I decide to turn in the opposite direction as he, because both directions can take me to where I want to go in about the same time. Right turn is more direct, but with less cooperative traffic lights. The Left turn is longer, but with less traffic control. He turns right, so I get into the left lane at the light. As soon as it turns green, I head off! ...only to run into another Train at that same Xing! This train blocks all the roads leading to where I'm going. The end result, that stupid-ass truck ends up a couple blocks ahead of me in the direction I'm going.
So far, that's the extent of thangs today. I hope National Get In Matt's Way Day 2006 doesn't become National Get In Matt's Way Week 2006. I did have some trouble with trucks yesterday too, now that I think about it. ARGGGGG!!!

My perspective, not well explained

My experiences have taught me about many facets of this Universe and life of which I previously stood in complete denial. These lessons have not been someone saying that I should believe one thing or another. I believed a great many things in my youth because I was told so. Without realizing, I had been raised to adopt certain metaphors and took them as reality.
Here are examples.
• God is a divine individual with a distinct personality and particular methods of communication.
• God created the Earth and Universe as they are now.
• There are rules that people are given by God which we must strife to obey.
• Adam and Eve where the first two people. We die because Adam sinned (broke the rules) and by him, we all sin.
• There is no continued existence once one dies.
• Christ was God’s first creation and come down to Earth in human form to die to pay for all of mankind’s sins. One perfect man’s death corrected another’s corruption.
• The world will end soon. In fact, by my old beliefs, the world should’ve ended by now.

My experiences now stand in complete opposition to those original beliefs.
• God is a metaphor for the unknowable or hidden workings of the Universe. I do not have any particular beliefs about God.
• Earth and the Universe have come into existence by particular and knowable processes.
• All life is governed by Karma.
• Our existence on Earth and our death are necessary components of Karma.
• All life lives through cycles of reincarnation. These cycles are closely linked to Karma.
• Everyone is responsible for their own actions. No one can remove responsibility for someone else’s actions.
• Old systems within this world will end and new ones will replace them, but the world itself will not end suddenly as the result of divine interference. Earth is and will always be governed by the same processes as it was when it first came into being. It is those processes that will eventually destroy it, in like a billion years.

Of course, some people who have not shared in the kind of experiences I have may say that I’m replacing one set of metaphors for another. I would agree with them. I understand that the concept of Karma is a metaphor. I have adopted it, not because I’ve been told it is the truth, but because specific events in my life have served as my teacher. The Karma metaphor is simply a better metaphor than old metaphors of organized religion.
Why do I need a metaphor? Well, those same events in my life which freed me from my old metaphors also presented no solution in the reality of science. Someone that has turned their back on the old metaphors of organized religion for different reasons than mine may find it hard to accept any other metaphors. They may gravitate towards factually verifiable truths. “There is no God because I see no verifiable evidence of such a being.” But for my experiences, science only forms part of the solution.
Science makes it easier to understand the physical world around me, and it is adding many conveniences in my life. Science doesn’t explain the spiritual aspect of our existence. It’s direct observation of this spiritual aspect that has forced me along a path where I accept both scientific facts and spiritual events, though I’m responsibly critical. I’ve come to the point where I am curious about nature and the supernatural, but I don’t hold firmly to beliefs about either. I continue to search for more understanding. However, I’m not frustrated by what I don’t know.
So, what are these events which changed my perspective about life, the Universe and everything? I’ve come to the conclusion that each person must experience these types of things for themselves, and they will when the time is right (no matter how much they believe they won’t…hehe).

Monday, December 04, 2006

Alcatraz by phone camera photos

Alcatraz Island is interesting to read about and makes for entertaining ghost hunting documents. Actually visiting is more of a novelty than an actual adventure. Allie and I went cuz we haven't been. It would be just a little funny having lived in the area and never seeing it.

Teepee and ruins This first photo was taken by Allie's phone camera. The tepee was put up by Native Americans who claimed the island as Indian Land for 19 months from 1969 to 1971. I'm not sure what the ruins above at the top of the cliff used to be. There is a lot of rubble left all over the island, with large sections closed off to the public. Some areas of the island appear to be a park of pills of down concrete structures, more than a famous prison or old fort.

Prison from lower level This photo cover more area of the island from the lower level looking up to where the prison stands. It's an interesting shot that reveals the contrasts that make the island what it is.

Allie took this third photo with her phone. Me in  Cell Block A I believe this is cell block A. She wanted me to pose for it, though I'm not exactly sure why she needed me in the shot. hehe

The infamous Solitary Confinement Cell 12 in Cell Block D A finally, this is the infamous solitary confinement cell #12 in cell block D. Some say #12 has a less than friendly ghost. I walked inside for a minute. I did get that feeling that I always get when "something" is present. I also stood in cell #10, and felt something there too, but the feeling wasn't too strong.

Overall, the place is a bit underwhelming. Allie and I did pass on the audio tour, so maybe that robbed us of some of the experience. :) It was interesting to see up close some of the artifacts that one hears about over the years. I saw the cells that were broken out of and the dummies used by the escapees to go undetected. They were crude, and even at night, I'm not sure how the guards where fooled. It almost makes me think that perhaps the whole story was never told.

I think I would have a lot of fun joining one of those night time ghost hunting shows at Alcatraz, if not for any other reason but to mess with the show's stars and crew. ::evil laugh::

Sunday, December 03, 2006

SF Alcatraz

Allie and I took Friday off. She needed a day away from work, and I needed to take time off cuz I'm at my limit of vacation time at my job. We drove up to SF. For the first time, I visited Alcatraz. The visit was underwelming, but I'm glad we did it. It was fun and interesting. It was amazing just how small the prison was. The individual cells where amazingly tiny. Ick.