Runcible Blog

My Car is The Bomb

No really. It is. It has a gas leak that seems to be getting worse. The amount of gas it's lost in just 30 miles would've taken me more than 100 just a couple weeks ago. Maybe I should have it fixed. Today, I drove over a couple of two foot high blocks of ice because I thought they were snow that would crumble under the car. Instead, the ice blocks crumpled the front metal thing underneath the bumper. ouch! It didn't sound pretty either. But I bent it back into shape (sort of) with a hammer. I'm going to run this car into the ground. It has about 184,000 miles on it now. Here's hoping it reaches 300,000!


After a few months of longish hair, I got tired of that useless stuff. Here's the new do:
New haircut
Compared to the old do:
Old Haircut
And here is a bowl of my hair:
I'll keep the webcam trained on this hair bowl just in case anything moves and because it's better than having it point at me all the time.

Changing Minds

I've been thinking about how our minds change regarding certain issues. Well, the issue I'm thinking about is war. Unfortunately, this issue of a war with Iraq (let's not forget that it's a war with Iraq and not only Saddam. If the U.S. wanted to get rid of Saddam, I'm sure they could easily) is turning out to be one of the most important issues in foreign policy in my life thus far. There are lots of reasons that I won't get into, but it's not the point anyway. Since the Bush administration is going to move ahead with war no matter what anyone says, the media's continued insistence on calling it a "potential war" is bordering on ridiculous. But I wanted to say something about changing minds. I was thinking about how, when I was a little younger, I was a big supporter of the military, and G.I. Joe was my Real American Hero. I watched the first Gulf War on CNN at the age of 7 or 8 and then re-enacted the cool bombings and action with my toys. I had pro-Desert Storm shits and wore a yellow ribbon. Even as a teenager, I had all sorts of military paraphernalia and clothing (I still wear combat pants and shorts and jackets simply because they are comfortable and durable). I can't remember specific events, but I'm sure my typical response to foreign affairs during my early teens was "why don't we just bomb them?" But something changed. It wasn't profound, I don't think. I guess I just grew up a little. Sometime during high school, I stopped buying into the glamorization of war and violence. I don't know when it was, and it probably wasn't sudden. But the point is that people change. Even though I went to Catholic schools for 13 years, I've been able to break away from those influences without any problem (though I was ridiculed in 6th grade by my nun teacher and the rest of the class because I believed in evolution...). I suspect most people don't bother to evaluate their beliefs and tend to stick with whatever they were taught at a young age. I won't attempt to explain why that is. It seems to me there are many many grown adults who still hold on to that childish, reflexive "let's bomb them" world view, and I hope there could be some way to change that thought process. Well I think I know one way to change that thought process, but it'll only work if people want to change. So, as long as people continue to succumb to fear of the demon of the day, this self-defeating attitude will remain. Maybe I'll say more later when I remember where I was going with that thought...

oh yes

I got 3rd place in laser tag tonight. Boo-Ya! It was like a scene straight out of "I Wanna Rock With You" minus the glittery jumpsuit.


I think I have time now to write about something I noticed throughout the southern states of our country.

"Christian" radio

It didn't take much listening for me to become worried about the state of our country. Assuming people actually listen to and follow these preachers, I'm now not surprised by much of the intolerance and ignorance we have today. I'm not sure where to start....

The thing I noticed first was the preachers' anger. It's confusing how those who would claim to be religious could speak with such anger towards their fellow man in the name of their god. Flipping through the many Christian radio stations, I noticed the themes of blame, guilt, fear, and unworthiness. Everywhere you go, the preachers are saying, "You are a sinner! You don't deserve god's love! You don't deserve anything! Repent or face his wrath!" One preacher said that god created the universe because he felt like it and created the world's population in order to worship him. That seems arrogant to me, but I guess I'm not worthy of understanding anything.

These people are strictly fundamentalist when reading the bible, yet somewhere along the line they have forgotten the message of loving your neighbor and turning the other cheek, etc.

Another powerful theme you can hear is ignorance. For instance, one reverend spoke of teaching creationism in schools as a legitimate theory. I thought that argument was long past, but apparently there are still many who cannot accept evolution. Teaching creationism in science class would be as silly as teaching basketball in English class. While creationism versus evolution can easily be debated with facts, the intolerance and ignorance that fundamentalists show towards other cultures and religions worries me more. It worries me that these radio (and TV) stations are making listeners afraid of the unknown. They warn listeners of the "dangers" of "cults" and generally don't seem to have even a cursory understanding of any culture or religion other than Southern Baptist. This attitude becomes dangerous when faithful followers rely solely on what their preacher says rather than learning things for themselves. There is no room for freedom in the "religions" they profess. Their world view is absolutely correct, and anyone who disagrees should either be converted or persecuted/shunned, or worse.

Also notably absent in the religious ravings is any concept of helping others. Maybe I just happened to be listening to particularly angry and selfish preachers, but I don't remember ever hearing any of them talk about loving one another. Isn't that odd? Essentially, followers are told to "live for god" above all else. Some say that materialism is great while others say materialism is evil, but they all exhort us to "live for god". But if you think about it, if your god is omniscient and all-powerful, why would he need anyone to praise him constantly? He wouldn't. And throwing all your energy at an invisible deity is a distraction from actually doing something good for other people. So, while you drive your gas-guzzling Hummer to work at the bomb factory, you can feel reassured that there's a place for you in heaven as long as you follow the Ten Commandments (sometimes) and give money to your reverend.