It Never Ends

10 Dec 2016 /

I just received an email alerting me that the Irvine Public Schools Foundation’s annual fundraising campaign ends December 31.

Let me guess, the next annual fundraising campaign starts on January 1.


John Glenn, 1921-2016

10 Dec 2016 /
John Herschel Glenn Jr.

When I was a boy, we all wanted to be astronauts . . .

RIP John Glenn


Another Reason I Don’t Believe in God

9 Dec 2016 /
Thomas Merton

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

Thomas Merton (1915-1968) was a Catholic writer and Trappist monk at Our Lady of Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky.

His inspirational quotes turn up on Facebook and elsewhere. (I saw the above quote on Facebook this week.)

It’s a beautiful quote, I have to say that.

Do you know how Thomas Merton died? If you find Merton inspirational, it may be better not to know how he died.

He was electrocuted by an electric fan. He stepped out of a bath and was electrocuted by a fan.

I can’t help thinking about that when I read quotes like the above.

Dear Lord, I know you will lead me by the right road . . .

— Yep no problem Tom, got you covered.

BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZTTTT!

— Oops, watch out for that fan.

I don’t want to ruin it for you if you like Merton . . . but if you believe in this kind of a heavenly arrangement, you’ve got to believe God is one heck of a practical joker.


I Thought Fidel Castro Was Already Dead

28 Nov 2016 /

Maybe I’m thinking of Generalissimo Francisco Franco . . .


When is Refusing to Accept Election Results Not a National Outrage?

28 Nov 2016 /

It seemed like phony outrage at the time, when it was generally assumed that Trump would lose the election . . . wildly out of proportion to what he actually said.

Now contesting the results is considered a principled strategy. What happened to the seamless transition of power? It all depends on which candidate in refusing to accept the results.

Hypocrites!


Huntington Library

26 Nov 2016 /

In a Flash

11 Nov 2016 /

In a flash you could walk by your true love or miss your path in life, and you’d never have the chance to recover it . . .

Tags: ,

Taking the Fun Out of the Game for Cam Newton

1 Nov 2016 /

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton said Sunday that he plans to take his grievance with no-calls on late hits to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

“It’s really taking the fun out of the game for me — honestly, it really is,” Newton said. “At times, I don’t even feel safe. Enough is enough. I plan on talking to commissioner Goodell about this. It’s not fun, and I don’t know what I have to do.”

ESPN

I can’t imagine why this is happening to a fun guy like Cam Newton . . .

No, wait — yes I can! Because he goes out of his way to show up opponents and it’s not surprising that the opponents have started to push the envelope as far as what constitutes a legal hit on this guy.


PANO | LA

26 Oct 2016 /

What am I kidding myself about today? A lot of things, probably . . .

Posted by on 24 Oct 2016

Praying for Sleeping Bags

23 Oct 2016 /
Praying to the Madonna of the Rosary, by Carav...

Praying to the Madonna of the Rosary, by Caravaggio, 1606-1607

I was having a conversation with someone last night about the efficacy of prayer . . .

“Prayers are always answered,” I was informed, “but sometimes the answer is no, or not right now.”

What’s the point of the prayer if God is going to do whatever he wants to do anyway? Your results would be just as good if you offered prayers to me. Some of your prayers would be answered and some wouldn’t.

Has anyone done a study on this? A control group wants things but doesn’t pray for them, a second group prays to God for what they want, and a third group prays to a random entity — me, or maybe a shopping cart.

Would there be any difference in results between the groups? I’m going to say no.

It’s also hard to assess the efficacy of prayer because people never pray for anything tangible . . .

My son as a kid went on a camping trip with a church group where they wound up short of sleeping bags. I asked him did the church leaders pray for more sleeping bags and he said no.

People will pray for so-and-so to recover from brain surgery but they won’t pray for more sleeping bags.

The brain surgery patient being prayed for is going to recover or not. If not, that gets filed under “sometimes the answer is no.”

But everyone knows damn well that praying for more sleeping bags is not going to work.


Madonna Pledges Oral Sex for Clinton Voters

22 Oct 2016 /

Madonna Offers Oral Sex to Anyone Who Votes for Hillary ClintonMaxim

How old is Madonna? Will she have her teeth in at the time? Could I have her gargle a mouthful of Efferdent?

That would be different, like fucking a bottle of club soda . . .

Madonna


What Qualifies One to Teach Leadership?

19 Oct 2016 /

My kid calls from San Francisco to see what’s going on . . .

“Well, I watched the debate, practiced my piano lesson, and now I’m preparing to teach a class tomorrow.”

“What’s the topic?”

“Leadership.”

“What qualifies you to teach that?”

Good question. Because it’s more of a workshop, not a class where I let people in on the secrets of leadership. We exchange ideas based on our own experiences and leave more prepared for whatever happens to us in the future.

I just saw a link to 4 Rules the Most Successful Leaders Live By. People love lists. The idea that there are rules of leadership — four of them to be exact — and someone has written them down?!

Because I have to make decisions in a limited amount of time, with a limited amount of information, and I don’t know what to do! Now here’s a list of four rules! My prayers are answered!

What I find if I click on these links — I can’t resist sometimes! — is not that the advice is bad, but that it’s simplistic and obvious.

For example, here’s the first rule from the link above: Don’t Waste Brain Power on Trivialities.

Is anyone advocating wasting brain power on trivialities? Why tell me not to do something that no one in their right mind would advocate in the first place?

That’s a good way to evaluate advice, by the way . . . if no one would advocate the opposite course of action, that is not wisdom, it’s banality.


EppsNet at the Movies: The Accountant

17 Oct 2016 /

The Accountant

The Ben Affleck character is at the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum, which means, among other things, that he has no social skills.

I also have no social skills. It’s exhausting just to be polite to people most of the time, let alone trying to be fun and interesting.

I’d like to be diagnosed with something that gives me a medical excuse for not having to do that.

The Ben Affleck character also has some cool and useful skills that he learned from his dad, whereas my dad never taught me anything except how to hold a grudge (not always useful).

Rating: 4-stars

The Accountant

As a math savant uncooks the books for a new client, the Treasury Department closes in on his activities and the body count starts to rise.

Director: Gavin O’Connor
Cast: Ben Affleck Christian Wolff
Anna Kendrick Dana Cummings
J.K. Simmons Ray King
Jon Bernthal Brax

IMDb rating: 7.6 (49,321 votes)


My Answer to Creepy-Clown Hysteria

17 Oct 2016 /

Target halts clown-mask sales amid creepy-clown hysteriaChicago Tribune

Anybody surprises me with a disguise, it’s shoot first ask questions later.

Except “Is it Halloween?” … I ask that question first.

All other questions, later.


Clutching Your Pearls

17 Oct 2016 /
Clutching pearls

Oh, little snowflakes, when did you all become grandmothers and society matrons, clutching your pearls in horror at someone who has an opinion about something, a way of expressing themselves that’s not the mirror image of yours, you snivelling little weak-ass narcissists? The high moral tone from social justice warriors is always out of scale with what they are indignant about. When did this hideous and probably nerve-wracking way of living begin transforming you into the authoritarian language police, with your strict set of little rules and manufactured outrage . . .


God Bless Us, Every One

16 Oct 2016 /
Daniel's Prayer

I saw a Facebook status update this weekend asking for prayers for anyone with family problems, health struggles, job issues or worries of any kind who just need to know that someone cares.

The deal is that you have to copy and paste the status to your own Facebook page.

Full disclosure: I don’t believe in God or prayer, although I do believe that a lot of people need to know that someone cares about them.

That being said, depending on how lost I feel at any given time, I’m willing to try things even though I’m pretty certain that they’re not going to work. But I have not tried prayer.

Why would I need to post something on Facebook to indicate that I prayed for you? Because prayer is not a real thing that’s going to produce a tangible result in the world. So you have to tell people that you did it, otherwise they would never know.

Also, if you believe in God, don’t you believe that God is in control of things being the way they are? If you have struggles, as we all do, do you believe that the struggles were given to you by God? If I leave a sack of flaming dog shit on your porch, do you think I’m going to come over and stomp it out for you?

Do you believe that God says to himself, “I’m going to hit this person with a series of devastating blows, but if he asks me to ease up a little, I will”?

It seems perverse to me.


Shut Up About Free Speech

16 Oct 2016 /

Jesus and Mo


What is Life Telling Me Right Now?

15 Oct 2016 /

“You married a crazy person, you got old, there are women out there hooking up with everybody and you missed it, you dumb fucker . . .”


You’re Funny

15 Oct 2016 /

Yeah, I’m fucking hilarious . . . I’m not good at life, I’m completely alone in the world, but I’m pretty snappy with the jokes . . .


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