Skank

My prediction? Dead by 30 from a drug overdose, or more likely, a self-inflicted accidental gunshot wound, since he’s apparently trying to be all gangsta these days…

Which of course, is laughable.

Hey Justin, reality called. Your fifteen minutes is up.

Why Your God Doesn’t Exist

Stolen in full from Rosa Rubicondior:

It’s quite easy to prove logically that your god doesn’t exist.

The proof is a simple deduction from certain basic assumptions which themselves are only assumptions in the sense of assuming the description you use for your god is true in the first instance. It goes without saying that if your description of your god is false then the god you are describing is also false.

Let’s assume your god is real and has the following notional characteristics.

God is:

  • Omnipotent – all powerful – there is nothing your god can’t do.
  • Omniscient – all knowing – there is nothing your god doesn’t know.
  • Omni-benevolent – all-loving – there is nothing your god wouldn’t do to defend and protect its creation.

Okay so far? Is there anything you disagree with here? Is there something your god can’t do if it has a mind to? Is there anything your god doesn’t know? How about all loving? Is there anything or anyone your god doesn’t love and for whom it has anything less than the greatest possible concern?

And yet we can see suffering exists.

For suffering to exist, your god must be deficient in at least one of the above. At least one of the following must be true. God is:

  • Unable to prevent it, so it isn’t omnipotent.
  • Unaware of it, so it isn’t omniscient.
  • Unconcerned about it, so it isn’t all-loving

So, the existence of suffering in the world proves your god as described above does not exist.

Strange then that so much of your time is spent asking your god to either stop, reduce or prevent suffering, which is nothing more than tacit acceptance that an omniscience, omnipotent, omni-benevolent god doesn’t exist.

Of course, you can escape the above logic by saying your god isn’t omnipotent, isn’t omniscience and/or isn’t omni-benevolent, but a god who can’t change things, doesn’t know when they need to be changed and/or isn’t bothered anyway isn’t much of a god and certainly not one worthy of worship. In fact, it’s hard to imagine how we could distinguish such a god from a non-existent one.

I love these simple little proofs that gods don’t exist. They are so much more elegant and simple than the cumbersome, convoluted and illogical ‘proofs’ which religious apologists have to try to get away with. That’s the great thing about being supported by evidence, reason, logic and truth, and so not needing to fall back on the fallacy of faith and having to employ charlatans to make you feel better about being superstitious.

I am Officially Irrelevant

I’d never even heard—much less knew the definitions—of more than half of these (in red)…

Oxford Word Additions for February 2013

appletini
Baggy Green
biosimilar
blootered
braggadocious
burrata
cane corso
cruft
dumbphone
feature-complete
flexitarian
FOSS
friend zone
hump day
metabolic syndrome
omnium
range anxiety
schlumpy
sillage
social sharing
SSD
touchless
tray bake
tweetable
upcharge
voluntourism

(Source)

Meh…

It wasn’t bad. I mean, I knew going in that it wasn’t going to be a life-changing experience, but more just mindless fun; something that both Ben and I desperately needed to get us each out of our own heads for a few hours, and to a large degree it was exactly that. Every alien abduction trope used in the last thirty years was given screen time, with more than one overly obvious nod (that had audience members—all 15 or so of us—giggling) to Close Encounters.

Overall, it really wasn’t anything we hadn’t seen before, but it was entertaining enough—and Josh Hamilton provided enough yummy, scruffy eye candy—that it was worth the $6.50 we paid at the matinee.

My only real complaint was that there were a few glaring continuity issues and that they could’ve easily left off the last ten minutes of the movie. There was enough of a resolution at that point that they should’ve simply walked away and ended it there, making for a much better film. All those additional “three months later” minutes did was leave the door open for a sequel of some kind or another.

So I’d give it a 6 out of 10. Good enough for an afternoon romp, but definitely not worth paying full ticket price if you can avoid it.

Too Many Questions

– How tall are you?
Shorter than Ben. Taller than a Hobbit.
– Sexual Orientation
Gay. Duh. Have you looked at this website?
– Do you Smoke?
No.
– Do you Drink?
No.
– Do you Take Drugs?
Other than prescribed medications, no.
– Age you get mistaken for
Usually about 10 years younger than I actually am. (see 2, 3, and 4 above)
– Have Tattoos?
Yes.
– Want any tattoos?
One more, yes.
– Got any Piercings?
Not any more.
– Want any piercings?
Been there, done that.
– Best friend?
My Ben.
– Do you like anyone?
What is this, high school?
– Top 5 favorite bands?
Bands? Are the 60s calling? I have eclectic tastes. I like Jazz, Classic Rock, Old School Disco and Pop. So let’s say Duke Ellington (currently grooving on “Blues in Orbit”), Chicago, Elton John (from the 70s), Alec Costandinos, and the Pet Shop Boys
– Top 5 favorite songs?
Of all time? the last week? Impossible to answer because it would probably change before I finish this post.
– Biggest pet peeve?
Willfully stupid people. Clueless drivers. The entire Republican party. Hateful “Christians.” People who are famous for being famous, i.e. the Kardashians. (Now there’s a Venn Diagram for you!)
– Story from your childhood.
In sixth grade I’d just discovered the wonder of scientific thermometers. While at recess one day I snuck back into my classroom determined to discover the boiling point of water. The minute I put the thermometer in the boiling water it broke into two pieces. I had a witness to the deed, but I swore her to secrecy, and while she almost turned me in weeks later when the broken thermometer was discovered, I never fessed up and never got caught.
– I wish…
I had a new career and job that I actually looked forward to going to in the morning.
® – Favorite foods?
Mexican
– Story about your day.
I spent most of the morning composing the last blog post. Then I went out and had lunch with Ben. And then the alien invasion began.
– Top 5 CILFs (Celebrities I’d Like to Fuck)?
Well, I guess based on this that Seth Rogen is on the list. But if you’re talking about the other four (I only get 4?) they’d be Eddie McClintock, Channing Tatum (jeez, who wouldn’t?), Skylar Astin, and lastly—Darren Criss (who I envision being a very pushy bottom).
– Top 5 favorite movies?
Personal Services, Blade Runner, Auntie Mame, Koyaanisqatsi, and a toss-up between Vicror/Victoria and 2001: A Space Odyssey.
– Top 5 favorite TV shows?
Doctor Who, NCIS, Chelsea Lately, Being Human and American Horror Story
If you count shows that are no longer aired, you can add Battlestar Galactica, Fringe, and Falling Skies to the list. It’s more than 5. Deal with it.
– Random fact about yourself.
I didn’t have my tonsils removed until I was in my 40s. (And NO, that’s not a euphemism for anything.)

A Boy Grows Up

It has been said that a boy doesn’t fully grow up and enter adulthood until his father dies. If that is the case, I grew up two days ago.

My dad’s passing did not come as a complete surprise. A month ago my sister called to tell me that he’d suffered a major heart attack and the attending physician told her that, “Anyone who needs to say goodbye needs to come sooner rather than later.” The next day I got on a plane and flew down to Phoenix.

It was the first time I’d been to the group home where we’d moved him shortly after my last trip to Phoenix in December. All I can say is I hope that when the time comes and I find myself in a similar situation that I end up in such a warm, welcoming place.

When I arrived, Dad was weak, but in good spirits. Surprisingly, he actually looked better than the last time I’d seen him. And despite the fact his chart read “actively dying,” he was eating like a horse. I called my friend Cindy—a lifetime nurse—and told her about this and she said that was pretty common; that the body was rallying for one last hurrah. She had seen this many times before and said it could be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks until he passed on.

My sister and I mended the rift that had opened since my previous trip, and—since apparently no one had actually told Dad how serious his heart attack had been—had “the talk” with him. We told him that if he wanted to go, he could. We would both be all right, that he raised two great kids, and that we loved him. In typical Arthur fashion, he looked at us and said, “What if I don’t want to go?” We laughed.

My dad worked as chief architect and designer for Hallcraft Homes during the peak of their business in the 1970s. His residential designs changed the face of Phoenix—if only through the ubiquitous presence of the homebuilder in the valley. Today you cannot drive anywhere in Phoenix without seeing his work, even if his name is totally unknown by the people living those homes. (Ben’s grandparents actually live in one of his designs.)

On my second—and last—day in Phoenix, on the way to the group home I took a detour through what I consider to be the high point of Hallcraft’s reign; a subdivision called Biltmore Highlands. Our family had even considered moving there—going to far as to actually pick out one of the homes—as I was about to start high school, but for one reason or another it never came to fruition. I don’t know if it was overall cost of the house, or the school district we’d be moving into, or the fact we could get a bigger home for the same amount of money elsewhere, but ultimately we ended up moving to a new place (in another Hallcraft development) on the west side about a mile south of where we were currently living.

I’d driven through the Highlands back in 1998 and was surprised at the changes, but for the most part the homes were still instantly recognizable to me and my heart swelled with pride knowing that my dad had designed them. But driving through the streets that morning was more of a shock. Major remodelings since 1998 seemed to be the norm, and in fact, entire homes had been razed and replaced with horribly ugly McMansions. What surprised me the most, however, was that the house we’d initially chosen to move into remained virtually unchanged. Yeah, it had been painted, front doors replaced and a small wall had been erected out front, but otherwise it looked the same as it did back in 1972:

Alternate timelines, bitches. The mind reels at how different my adult life might’ve been if we’d moved there instead of where we ended up.

I got to the group home before my sister that morning, so I had some quality one-on-one time with Dad. We reminisced about everything from his days in the Navy during World War II and the Korean War to those days at Hallcraft to his brief stint in San Francisco. I said everything I needed to, and it seemed he did the same. Tears welled in both our eyes as we said goodbye several hours later, knowing that this was probably going to be the last time we would see each other.

I flew back to Denver that afternoon, knowing that the next time the phone rang and my sister’s name appeared on the display it would be that call.

Several days passed, so I called her and she said that Dad had made an amazing comeback; he was even out of bed and sitting out on the home’s front veranda. I called him a few minutes later and he said he was tired but feeling good.

And that has been the situation until last Tuesday. I realized it had been a week since I’d last spoken to him, so I called that night. He again reported feeling a bit tired, but my god, he sounded amazing; stronger and more vibrant than I’d heard in months.

So it was a bit of a shock when I got the call from my sister at 8:30 the next morning. She never calls me at work, so even before I answered I knew what what had happened.

She said he was fine before breakfast, but when they returned to get his dishes he was gone, laying there peacefully with his eyes closed.

I’m not flying down this time; Dad had the foresight about ten years ago to get everything set up beforehand with the Neptune Society (something, ironically I’m going to do for myself with some of his life insurance money) so neither my sister or I would have to deal the actual disposition of his body. My sister will keep the cremains at her house until next fall, when we’ll all gather to scatter the ashes in southern Arizona as he’d requested.

My dad had always been an excellent father. Though I know over the course of my life I caused him untold financial and emotional distress, he never stopped loving me. When one of my cars blew up, he was there with credit card in hand. When I lost my job in San Francisco in 2002, he opened his doors to me. I don’t know if that was strictly the father in him speaking, or if it was because—some thirty years earlier—he’d found a kindred spirit in his son.

In 1976, when I came out to my family, several days later, my dad took me aside and came out to me. Like so many men in the 1950s, he had become—as Bette Midler might say—”trapped in an act, not of his own design.” While there was no doubt that he loved my mother, he was still a gay man living a double life, and my coming out allowed him to finally let someone—family—know who he really was. I can’t even begin to imagine the weight that fell from his shoulders that summer, but I know from that point onward our whole relationship changed. He was no longer simply the authoritative father figure I’d grown up with; he was also rapidly becoming my friend.

And maybe that’s the reason I’m finding that his death is hitting me much harder than when my mom passed several years ago. I don’t know if it’s because Alzheimer’s robbed us of much of who Mom was long before her passing, or if in addition to losing my dad, through his death I also lost a really good friend.

Arthur
March 23, 1926-February 20, 2013

The One Where…

…I had an almost sex dream last night featuring Seth Rogen. Yes, that Seth Rogen.

And by almost sex dream, I mean there was making out and some boner rubbing through our pants but no nekkid man-on-man action. Unfortunately.

I have no idea where this came from because I don’t think I’ve ever seen any of Seth’s movies, but obviously he’s made a some kind of an impression on a subconscious level.

And seriously, can you blame me? He is rather adorkable.

A Little Late Posting This

Last week, Jeff Weiner gave every one of his employees at LinkedIn an iPad Mini.

Yes, every one of LinkedIn’s 3500 employees received one for a job well done. While I’m sure the employees would’ve preferred a pay raise or a big fat bonus, this little gesture no doubt created quite a morale boost among the workers.

This is what a good company looks like.

On the other hand, at my company, one—one—iPad Mini was given out today to a single employee—out of the 49 who bothered to play and had correct responses to a stupid scavenger hunt on our intranet website. But I guess the morale boost that the $87K for 250 iPads would generate here isn’t nearly as important as…oh, I dunno…a guaranteed bonus for anyone with a corner office?

Priorities, after all.

Quote of the Day

“Hey Catholics, newsflash—if the Pope can quit, it’s OK for you to quit, too. As you all know, this week Pope Benedict told Vatican radio—you know Vatican radio, playing the hits from the 8th century, the 9th century and today—Benedict told them he was going to resign because the church needs a fresh young face somewhere other than a priest’s lap.”Bill Maher, who has the readers of Daily Caller ever so pissed.

(Source)

Photo Walk

Friday afternoon I was looking through my Flickr account and realized that with the exception of a bunch of Instagram crap, I haven’t taken any “real” photographs in months. Walking around downtown Phoenix—and day trips—used to be one of the things we regularly enjoyed prior to our move to Denver, and with very few exceptions, we haven’t done any of that since we got here. Since the weather for the weekend was supposed to be nice, it took very little to convince Ben that we needed to get out and take advantage of it.

So yesterday morning we hopped on the train, headed downtown, and after a decent but not review-worthy lunch at BD Mongolian Grill, we set off to see if we could find any inspiration.

Nothing really screamed out at me, but this is what I finally came home with… (click on any to embiggen)

Teh St00pid, it BURNS

At my last job, those of us in I.T. used to joke that the company hired by simply going out onto the street and asking random people if they wanted a job. This is because it was painfully obvious they were hiring folks who had no qualifications whatsoever.

Well, that’s nothing compared to the place I work for now—and I suppose it speaks more about me that I’ve chosen to remain there as long as I have instead of going somewhere else than it does about the quality of their candidates. I learned yesterday that in order to come work for us, not only do you not need any technical skills, apparently you don’t even need to know how to type! Seriously. The new hire (a concurrent review nurse) demanded a new keyboard because the letters had worn off the one at the workstation she was assigned to. “I can’t type if I can’t see the letters.” And then I watched in disbelief as she hunt-and-pecked her way into the system.

Seriously.

This came on the heels of them hiring—and then, less than a week later—firing an administrative assistant who came preloaded with an “I.T. is here to do my job” attitude and so incapable of actually doing the job that she didn’t even know how to schedule appointments in Outlook.

Seriously, how do these people even get in the door?

And while we’re on the subject of work (sorry, I need to vent, and I have no peers there that I trust enough to share this with), why is it that anyone with an “O” in their title such a flaming asshole?

With very few exceptions (most notably at my last job while working for the Health Plan), this has been the case everywhere I’ve worked, but it seems especially true at my present place of employment. I’ve never seen such a pampered, self-important group if ignorant, arrogant disagreeable assholes concentrated in a single building.

When the CEO (who reeks of alcohol every time I see him) went off on me yesterday for something I had absolutely no control over, I said that was enough. I smiled, nodded, and after he walked way, I flipped him off with both hands and immediately went on Monster to reactivate my profile and update my resume.

I’ve been doing this work long enough to know that I’m going to run into this kind of stupid no matter where I go; I suppose that’s the main reason I haven’t put more effort into finding another job. I think, “Why bother? Same shit, different company.” But yesterday pushed me over the edge. And as Ben pointed out to me after this happened, if I go somewhere else at least it will be a different stupid.

Never mind actually looking forward to going to work; all I want is to be able to wake up in the morning without my first thought being, “Well, what kind of assholery am I going to have to deal with at that place today?”

Is that asking so much?