Thursday, January 28, 2010

Poetry - Self Knowledge

And a man said, "Speak to us of Self-Knowledge."

And he answered, saying:

Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights.

But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart's knowledge.

You would know in words that which you have always know in thought.

You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams.

And it is well you should.

The hidden well-spring of your soul must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea;

And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes.

But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure;

And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line.

For self is a sea boundless and measureless.

Say not, "I have found the truth," but rather, "I have found a truth."

Say not, "I have found the path of the soul." Say rather, "I have met the soul walking upon my path."

For the soul walks upon all paths.

The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed.

The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

8 Lessons All Dads Should Teach

This is from the Oct 2009 Men's Health magazine. Now before anyone pipes up about why I'm sharing parenting advice from a men's interest magazine...just examine the material before dismissing it. I found the article of personal worth. Some tips are obvious, but all are worthy of review and application in our lives.

1. Words Are Valuable
Speak up: Your kid is listening. In families with two working parents, fathers have a greater impact on their children's language development by age 3 than mothers do, according to a study in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology. Provide a creative, dramatic play-by-play of the activities you're engaged in and your surroundings. Use big words, even if they're unfamiliar to your kid. Children learn a lot by context.

2. Tantrums Earn You Nothing
"When your anxiety visibly rises, you add fuel to the fire," says Hal Edward Runkel, a family therapist and the author of ScreamFree Parenting. And if you simply hand over a piece of candy, you encourage more bad behavior. Instead, when your kid starts shouting, be calm and attentive. Don't ignore it. This signals that you will not be rattled and the child won't win—ever. It may not work for the first tantrum, warns Runkel, but it's magic by the fifth.

3. Competition Leads to Confidence
Children as young as 4 start to compete with their parents—sprinting to the car, wrestling on the sofa, stuff like that. Roll with it. Let them win a lot, and then slowly ramp it up so they have to work harder for their victories. "It's a way for kids to develop a sense of strength and to let them test their muscles," says Justin Richardson, M.D., who teaches psychiatry at Columbia University. They'll start to walk more confidently and be less of a mark for bullies.

4. Quitting Is Hard
When his son wanted to quit baseball at age 8, Runkel said to him, "Sure, but you have to tell your teammates and coach." The boy couldn't do it. He's played for 7 years since. Show kids the pain of quitting, and they won't make those kind of decisions lightly, Runkel says. "If your kid says a school project is too hard and that he wants to give up, that's okay," says Runkel. "But say, 'Tell your teacher you're quitting and that you'll take whatever grade is appropriate.' Trust me, he'll stick it out."

5. Other People's Feelings Matter
It's easier to connect with others if you understand their perspective, so nurture that instinct in your child. Start with the child's own feelings. "Say, 'Man, it must be hard being 8 years old. What's the hardest part?' " suggests Runkel. Then mention people your kid knows who are having a hard time—say, a friend whose dad lost his job. Ask what he thinks it's like for that friend. "They won't always have an answer, but they're thinking about it," Runkel says.

6. Fights Can Be Resolved
Unless one kid is dangling the other out the window, don't say a word. "As soon as you become involved, they no longer care about a solution. They'll only try drafting you to their side," says child psychologist Anthony Wolf, Ph.D., the author of Mom, Jason's Breathing on Me! The Solution to Sibling Bickering. If they pester you, say your solution will be bad for both of them. They'll learn that pleading is fruitless. More important, they'll learn quickly to compromise.

7. Independence Is Earned
When your kids ask to stay later at a friend's house, ask what time would work for them. Then ask why. If you don't hear a good answer, it's okay to say no. If you do, try it, says Pennsylvania-based psychologist Janet Edgette, Psy.D. When parents give children freedom and responsibility, studies show, the children develop stronger morals more quickly.

8. Success Requires Focus
Maybe you don't wish for a prodigy, but our competitive society suggests otherwise. That's why so many kids have trouble focusing, says C. Andrew Ramsey, M.D., a psychiatry professor at Columbia University. Make sure your kids know your expectations. Celebrate improvement first. And explain the value of slow mastery. "Whether your kids love Tom Brady or Beyoncé, let them know that these people succeeded because they mastered one skill," says Dr. Ramsey. "Learn to go through one door and many others will open for you; try to go through five doors at once and you'll go nowhere."

Saturday, January 16, 2010


I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it.

Edith Sitwell

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How Do You Rate?

The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.
—A. A. Milne

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Books I Read in 2009...

Books I Read In 2009

1. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
2. The Godfather's Revenge - Mark Winegardner
3. American Gods - Neil Gaiman
5. Painkiller Jane: Things Explode - Jimmy Palmiotti
6. JLA - Deluxe Edition, Volume 1 - Grant Morrisson
7. The Wild Within - Paul Rezendes
8. Teen Titans, Volume 1 - Geoff Johns
9. Watchmen - Alan Moore
10. Ethics in America - Lisa Newton
11. Avengers Assemble, Volume 5 - Kurt Busiek
12. Fables: War & Pieces, Volume 11 - Bill Willingham
15. Avengers Disassembled - Brian Michael Bendis
16. Ultimate Spider-Man, Volume 10 - Brian Michael Bendis
17. Act of Treason - Vince Flynn
18. The Holy Secret - James L. Ferrell
19. The Book of Lies - Brad Meltzer
21. Slavery Attacked: The Abolitionist Crusade - John L. Thomas (Editor)
22. Superman: Peace on Earth - Paul Dini
24. Zorro, Vol 1 - Isabelle Allende, Matt Wagner, Francesco Francavilla
25. Superman of Tomorrow, Vol 1 - Brian Azzarello
26. Superman of Tomorrow, Vol 2 - Brian Azzarello
28. Punisher MAX Vol 5 - Garth Ennis
29. The Lone Ranger, Vol 2 - Brent Matthews, Sergio Cariello
31. Astonishing X-Men, Vol 1 - Joss Whedon
32. Astonishing X-Men, Vol 2 - Joss Whedon
33. Y the Last Man, Vol 9: Motherland - Brian K. Vaughn
34. Batman: Knightfall, Part I: Broken Bat- Doug Moench, Chuck Dixon
36. Rasl, Vol 1: The Drift - Jeff Smith
39. The Lost Symbol - Dan Brown
40. Dark Avengers, Vol 1: Assemble - Brian Michael Bendis
41. Batman: Knightfall, Part III: Knightsend - Chuck Dixon, Doug Moench
42. Criminal, Vol 4: Bad Night - Ed Brubaker
43. Man's Search For Meaning - Viktor E. Frankl
45. The Lone Ranger, Vol 3: Scorched Earth - B. Matthews, S. Cariello, John Cassady
47. Three Shadows - Cyril Pedrosa
53. Flight, Vol 1 - Kazu Kibuishi (Editor)
55. Ultimatum - Jeph Loeb
56. JLA, Deluxe Edition, Volume 2 - Grant Morrison
57. Batman: Hush, Vol 1 - Jeph Loeb
58. Batman: Hush, Vol 2 - Jeph Loeb
60. Ultimate Origins - Brian Michael Bendis
61. Bone - Complete Edition - Jeff Smith
62. Superman Batman - Finest Worlds - Michael Green, Mike Johnson
67. Conan, Vol 7: Cimmeria - Timothy Truman

Sunday, January 10, 2010

My New Favorite Band...and they only have one album out.

You tell me how this superband can fail?

Them Crooked Vultures is comprised of:

*Josh Homme - lead vocals and guitar (former lead singer of Queens of the Stone Age)

*John Paul Jones - bass guitar, keyboard, piano, keytar, slide guitar, mandolin, vocals (former bassist and keyboardist for Led Zeppelin)

*Dave Grohl - drums, vocals (former drummer of Nirvana, former frontman and songwriter of Foo Fighters)

*Alain Johannes - performs with Them Crooked Vultures during live performances on guitar (founding member of Eleven)

New Fang:

No One Loves Me And Neither Do I:



Scumbag Blues:

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Too often, we lose sight of life's simple pleasures. Remember, when someone annoys you it takes 42 muscles in your face to frown, BUT, it only takes 4 muscles to extend your arm and bitch-slap that motherf****r upside their head.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Years Thoughts - Family, Mormonism and Bishop Dave Kelly

January 1,

I am now 33 years old. I have been married to my love for a decade. I have 3 beautiful children with #4 on the way. I am happier than I have ever been but can see room for improvement. That being said, I think some changes will be required.

Regarding this blog, I think it has run its course. Initially it started out as a fun way to share funny YouTube clips, music and family updates. Well, I can post YouTube clips on Facebook (which I am also bored with). Very few share my tastes in music so why bother with that. And you can find family updates at my wife's blog site.

Then my blog morphed into a sort of online diary that was open to public eyes. I went through a sort of crisis of faith and turned to my blog as a way to find others in the blogosphere who were hopefully experiencing what I was going through or to find support from those who had already passed through and remained faithful church members. I also used it as a way to explain my dilemma to those who thought I was inventing issues to justify my desires to sin.

(My friend, The Faithful Dissident, posted something awhile back that I had been compiling but upon seeing her post decided that I couldn't improve upon it and deleted my drafts. It shares many (not all) of my concerns with Mormonism.)

Alas, neither goal was really actualized. I found that most who communicated with me were on either side of the extreme. I found family and friends who refuse to deal with "deep doctrine," church history or inconsistencies in doctrine and, hence, couldn't realize why I was perplexed since there is not one iota of doubt that could possibly be found in Mormonism if I would just read scriptures, pray and get in line.

On the flip side, I mostly found those who had walked my path and, ultimately, decided Mormonism was ridiculous and typically were bitter and resentful towards the Church. They saw conspiracy in every Church movement and ascribed evil and/or malicious intentions to Church leaders.

I don't really fit into either category. Either way, the blog hasn't helped. I'm preaching to the choir on one side and alienating family and friends on the other. It was not my intention but I have a fiery personality and regularly call a spade a spade. I think debate brings healthy dialogue and progress but I realize not everyone wants further knowledge and understanding or progress. Some people are content with tradition and status quo.

As a friend or family member, I will respect that...on an individual case basis.
As a father, citizen and human being, I will always stand up for principle and integrity.

So, speaking of principle and integrity, I have an amend to make.

It's been roughly six months since I took Bishop Kelly's public remarks to me and posted my response to him as a blog entry. While it didn't generate much public commentary, my email inbox was aflame. The very next day, I had some regret and felt like maybe it wasn't the right thing to do. I reread my original post, his comments, and my subsequent reply. It all seemed to fairly accurately portray my emotions and opinions.

As I've had a couple of months to reflect, I see now that my emotions may have gotten the better of me. Not that I disagree with anything I said, just the approach. I portrayed Dave Kelly as an uncaring ego maniac, drunk with the presumptive power of his local authority.

I'm sorry Dave that it's taken me six months to see that. Dave Kelly is a great man. As I reflected on what I knew about Dave, a story of true Christian service came to mind.

Years back, there was a widow in our church ward who had a very old kitchen floor that desperately needed to be replaced. She bought the floor boards and Dave organized the extration and installation effort. Unfortunately, if memory serves right, not too many people showed up on the morning of the task.

By the time I got there he already had a game plan and though we ran into a few difficulties, he was cheerful and joking throughout the entire day (as he frequently is). And this was by no means a rush job, he was a perfectionist and wanted it done right or not at all. This much I do know, he was the first one there and the last one to leave.

I always admired him for silently practicing the gospel instead of being one who simply gave lip service.

I don't suppose his criticism was any different than anyone else in my life at the time. I'd already heard it from many sources that I was obviously a sinner who just needed to repent to gain the clarity I desired. He just caught me at the tail end when I'd reached my breaking point.

While we will continue to stand apart on doctrinal issues, it was wrong of me to question his intentions. Here is a man who spends 40+ hours a week voluntarily serving the people of his congregation. The Dave Kelly I knew would do so with the purest of intentions. They are lucky to have him serving as their shepherd.

My best wishes that all will have a successful and happy 2010!

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. ~Dr. Seuss