17 January 2013

Life is Hard...

I want to point special attention to the title of this blog.  Life is hard.  Not unfair but rather hard.  Life is what you make of it.  Your choices establish the foundation of what eventually leads to your life circumstances.  Argue that it is the circumstances that lead to determine your life outcome all you want but your circumstances don't force you to choose one way or another. You do.

Here are some examples...

Two teenagers are in a relationship and end up making choices that lead to pregnancy.  Was it circumstances within society that lead to this?  No, of course not, it was a choice that both teens made that lead to this circumstance.  They each could have made a different choice that led to an entirely different circumstance.

A man desperately wants (does not need) a new car.  The man doesn't have much money, but decides to take out a loan that he's unsure he'll be able to make payments on regularly for the life of the loan.  A year later he loses his job and is unable to make payments on the car. One might argue that he had no control over the circumstances that led to him not having enough money to continue making payments on his new vehicle. That very well may be true, but this man knew that he did not need this vehicle and knew there was a risk associated with purchasing this vehicle.  It was not his previous employer's fault that he made a risky financial commitment for the next 4 to six years.

We all take calculated risks.  No, we don't sit down and assign a number value to each variable and determine the actual numerical risk value.  We think about (well, most of us) the probable consequences to each action we take.  Sometimes we don't think through our actions and rather seek the instant gratification that is supplied at that exact moment and completely ignore the inevitable circumstances that are the eventual result.

Here's the thing though, we can do one of two things here.  We can cry about how unfair life is and how evil corporations seek to destroy you... Or... You can do something to break the cycle... Fully weigh the consequences of your actions and take steps to minimize your exposure to adverse circumstances.

You control your destiny.  You don't have to live within the confines of what you think society demands of you.

10 January 2013

A Blog a Day...

...Keeps the blues away.

I never do New Year's resolutions.  Never have.  Why?  It's ridiculous.  All that ever happens is you start doing the resolution then... OH! SHINY!

Why wait til the New Year?  If do something you need to change, why not resolve to change it immediately.  Especially if it is something that hurts yourself or others.  Makes sense, right?

My resolve has always been to improve who I am as a professional, a son, a father, a husband, a Christian, an American and a human being.  Not a New Year resolution, but rather a lifetime resolution.

What do you resolve to do every day of your life?  What do you resolve to change? How do you strive to make the world around you a better place?

The world becomes a better place when we all do little things for each other to brighten each others days.


09 January 2013

Star Trek: Into Darkness

Have you seen the teasers for the newest Star Trek movie?

Yes, obviously, I have.

Questions burn inside of me...  Who is Benedict Cumberbatch playing?  John Harrison? Orci and Kurtzman have eluded in the past that the villain will be one from classic Trek cannon...

So who in the world is John Harrison?  I double checked cannon lore, not mention of a John Harrison...  So is John Harrison a "red herring"?

I think the BEST speculation I've seen regarding who Cumberbatch is playing was from an associate in my Star Trek Online fleet... Garth of Izar.

Yeah, Google him... I had to (hey, I cant remember EVERY Trek name... certainly know the episode though).

Garth of Izar, from the 3rd season TOS episode "Whom Gods Destroy". (http://movies.cosmicbooknews.com/content/star-trek-darkness-synopsis-reveals-benedict-cumberbatch-garth-izar)

I don't know.  I would rather a new, unique nemesis rear it's ugly head.  But this has the potential to be a good "bad guy" for this film. We'll see.

As usual with the new Trek films, expect a whole lot of Fiction and not so much Science (or Philosophy). 

(Did I mention that I miss my old Trek?)

DISCLAIMER!!!!!!!!

Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations... The Meaning of the Vulcan Idic... Yes... I'm a Trek fan... Call me a Trekkie or Trekker... Whatever... Booo to Star Trek 2009 and bring back the prime timeline!  My fellow Trekkies know what I mean.  Star Trek 2009 is a dumbed down version of Trek that caters to those who dont like thought provoking concepts and ideas, both philosophical and scientific.

I'm an avid gamer. Yeah, one of those guys... But I don't live in my mum and dad's basement (mainly b/c they don't HAVE a basement).  Seriously though, I don't live with my parents. I'm living proof against the fat, looser, pimple ridden gamer stereotype that's ingrained in many by Hollywood.

I'm a conservative.  Except I'm not rich, and I struggle to make ends meet like many others in the United States.  Yet another stereo type unjustly and unfairly bestowed upon those of us who believe in smaller government and less spending.  I am also well educated (two degrees) so there goes the other stereotype of an uneducated redneck.

I do not believe in gun control.  The Second Amendment reads: "... The right to bear arms shall NOT be infringed upon."  One might argue, like I do, that the phrase "shall not be infringed upon" means that  the Federal government or any other level of government does not have the power to limit what arms we citizens choose to own.  The key to freedom is the right of the individual to have the means by which they can protect person and property against criminals and invading powers.

I believe in personal responsibility.  There should be MUCH LESS entitlement and significantly more personal initiative and responsibility.  People need to have an active interest in their own success.  Entitlement programs encourage reliance and dependence on the government to meet even the most basic needs.  Before you think me cold and heartless, I've been there and I've done that.  Me and my family have lived on virtually nothing with limited assistance from the government.  I'm not an advocate of anti-entitlement/ welfare, some is a good thing.  Too much is a drain on civil society and leads to the debt problems we are seeing develop within our own country as well as the fiscal crisis that nearing the boiling point in places like Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy.

Class warfare is a deplorable and petty tactic that seeks only to place division and resentment between the "haves" and "have nots".  It was a tactic that Barack Obama used in the 2012 Presidential Race.  Obama took the notion of "divide and conquer" to a new level with his campaign against Mitt Romney.  Personal success should be inspiring, not envied and Barack Obama successfully convinced 47% of Americans that success should be envied and despised.

I consider myself a student of history.  Winston Churchill once said that those who do not study and learn from history are doomed to repeat it.  This is a lesson that is consistently and constantly ignored by many on the right and the left.  I also look at history as a intricately woven tapestry where one thread of history sets the base for another thread in history.  It's fascinating to look at these threads and see how they led to the current tapestry of history that we see before us at this very moment.

I am a Christian.  This does not mean I am anti-science.  Take this quote by John Lenox who is a professor of mathematics at the University of Oxford:

"If the atheists are right the mind that does science... is the end product of a mindless unguided process. Now, if you knew your computer was the product of a mindless unguided process, you wouldn't trust it. So, to me atheism undermines the rationality I need to do science."

For those that claim science contradicts the Bible, I ask you this question; as a parent or an adult, how do you describe a highly complex and difficult process to a child?  The answer is that you explain it to the child in terms they can understand.  You don't give them jargon they cannot process.  If you think of the Bible in that frame of reference, things become clear and you realize that the Bible is not meant to be translated literally.  Take Genesis chapter 1, God said "Let there be light" and there was light.  One could argue that this is a description of the "Big Bang".  Who's to say that the "Big Bang" and Evolution were not a guided process? (Ref: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19997789)

This blog is not necessarily a political rant.  Although, I do want to ensure that anyone who stumbles upon this blog knows exactly where I stand on the issues and are not taken back by a post.

This is a place where I intend to speak my mind, share ideas and hopefully learn new things.

The title of my blog says it all... Perpetually Learning.