Bracing For Superstorm Sandy

Storm preparations:  Guns, knives, ammo ... check, check, check. Mormon neighbor with year's supply of food ... check. Storm Survival Tips #413: Lhasa Apsos are nicely marbled, but mini-dachshunds have more actual meat. Kiddinnnng!When Hurricane Irene made landfall in August of 2011, I lived in a nice, safe farmhouse well above floodline. We even had a fireplace, so if the power had gone out, we'd be warm and might have even finagled a way to cook. … [Read more...]

The Passing of a Loved One

Greta Christina recently lost her father. My father died on October 1, 2012, at the age of 79.My dad, like me, was an atheist. And when you’re an atheist and a non-believer, and the people you love die, you don’t get to tell yourself that they aren’t really dead. You don’t get to tell yourself that you’re going to see them again someday, in some hypothetical post-death existence that somehow both is and is not life. You have to accept that death is really permanent, and really final.This may … [Read more...]

Sorry, Way Too Busy to Blog

I just started a new class today, and I was studying hard for almost half of it. I know you'll understand the sometimes exhausting demands of higher education.Official school picture below the fold (click to embiggen): … [Read more...]

First Person Revolutionary — Part 4

[ First read Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3 ]All the civilizations I ever heard of had this in common: Somewhere right near each one’s heart was religion.It seems impossible to get away from. And yet it shouldn’t be. After all, it’s never been true that religion is ALL people do.And it’s not as if religion is food, or water, or air. It’s just this ... idea. Hideously embroidered, massively wrapped in confusing, fanciful language, aggressively forced upon people in their vulnerable years and momen … [Read more...]

Thoughts On My Upcoming 60th (!) Birthday

Okay, fuck it. I’ve decided to celebrate.To explain why I actually had to decide that: I had a thing happen a few weeks back. Was at a dinner party and a close friend happened to mention the date of my birth right out in public. I was peeved at him for several minutes.For years now, I haven’t liked people knowing my birthday.I’ll tell you why. It’s a glitch left over from childhood, but apparently I’m still carrying it around. (I’ve just apologized to my good friend, who puts up with my cou … [Read more...]

One in Five Americans Stricken With Crippling Mental Illness

Well, it’s a crippling mental illness if you’re a religious authority. Otherwise, it’s Freedom.Nones Climb to 19 Percent America’s “Nones” — the nonreligious — are at an all-time high, now comprising nearly one in five Americans (19%), according to a new study by the Pew Center for the People and the Press. The 19% count is based on aggregated surveys of 19,377 people conducted by the Pew Research Center throughout 2011 and reported by USA Today. … [Read more...]