Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Measure of Men

Warning bit of a ramble..

We recently had some areas of our organization that went through some changes on how they were evaluated that has created a bit of a headache. It reminded me of this famous archaeologist that I remember hearing about in anthropology many years ago although the his name escapes me the story went something like this...

"He decided he wanted to motivate his team so he offered everyone on his team two bits for each piece of bone and pottery they brought him. As you can imagine everyone on his team began to break everything they found into smaller pieces to get more money."

Sitting in this meeting listening to the cluster fuck that we had just unleashed at work on found myself dwelling on one line, "You get what you measure for."

How profound! What in my life can I measure for to be happy? Does this apply to everything in life?

Relationships seem to be measured in time. We have been together x many years. I have known him for x many years, but missing is the quality in this equation. The only other measures of time I could think of was how long of a sentence did you get and how long have you been there(company) neither things I want as hallmarks to my life.
What if the next time someone asked me how long have you been together for and I said for 59 memories I will cherish and counting or I have woke up holding the woman I love x times.... I started to think how do you measure the quality so you know things are getting better or worse and even better is there something you can measure so that you will always be inspired to keep improving your relationships and fulfilling your life?

(An interesting aside is I started thinking about all my friends that I have know for 20+ years and if I added up the actual quality time that we have spent together it is probably more like I have known some of them for only three months...but I guess that is one of the watermarks of a good friend is that they are always back there no matter how much time has passed)

I started looking at examples..

If life is measured by how much money one makes? Does that lead one to make more money...yes since that is the primary pursuit but does that make one happy?

If a life is measured by how many women you sleep with? or how many drinks you can have do you turn into a drunken whore? Maybe?

What would happen if one started to measure ones life differently?

What can I measure in my life that will lead me to not waste any precious time? That will lead me to happiness beyond just a tangent material illusion of it?

I have started to work on a calculation actually a couple of them that I am hoping will lead to a better life. (They are still in the rough phase mind you)

First one I will call my general measurement. When I am happiest in life it is because of a few things.

1.) I learned or tried something new. So what if I made it my goal to learn at least one new thing everyday, vary my routine in some way everyday and to try something new everyday. And turned this into a metric everyday I do all three I get one point
I divide this over 365 for the number of days and get a ratio that I can monitor. (This can also help me cope with negative behaviors because they are to be viewed as new experiences and variations of routine not as an inconvenience)

2.) Relationships - What do I like about them? Being able to talk to someone openly, kiss, touch, sex, having someone there to help you and share with you, little thoughtful gestures...what if everyday at least one of those things happen you mark a point down and then divided it by 365 again you would have a ratio you could monitor how your relationships are doing and if you are improving or not...you could even subtract points for negative behavior.

3.)Even I can't escape this one - Financial - I need to include this because lately this has been a source of stress that is effecting the other two. It is also necessary to help the other two...for this I am going to stick with net worth I think one of the best overall indicators of financial health. I will use this as a tracking indicator for year to year.(Hopefully I will be trending back into the black this year.)

I would say for me these three indicators need to move in tandem in an upwards direction in order for me to be happy. I am going to actually start keeping track of these starting today and see how it goes...I will keep you posted.

How do you measure your life? How do you know if it is getting better or worse?

Monday, February 26, 2007

The moment when you can say it all...

A story from class...

There is a monastery on Montserrat Spain. It is halfway up a 4,000 foot mountain, it offers incredible views and isolation. The monks there maintain a vow of silience except for once every two years, when they may utter exactly two words......

Can anyone guess what mine would be?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Progressive vs.. Blasphemy

I have been soliciting several publishers of religious publication to engage in a discussion that I feel is of great importance for our culture. It is the surrounding the debate that seems to be lacking in our country around religion. From my point of view I think there is a general apathy in our country around an issue that effects the very quality of our lives and how we are going to advance in the future.

The problem I have come to suspect comes into the divide between the progressive ability to question ones beliefs and the line people think that questioning becomes blasphemy. As an atheist I don't actually have a problem being blasphemous it does not even occur to me but I am beginning to see that I need to find that line in order to me able to meet with and debate the issues.
Where does this line exist?
Why does it exist?
What are the ramifications of crossing it?
Not crossing it?
Is this not the problem?

I think another thing that stalls this debate is passivity that most god fearing people have been indoctrinated in. Ministry these days tends to consist of listening to a person talk to you rather then a discussion that allows issues to be more explored in depth. I have yet to be in a church yet and see a parishioner stand up or raise a hand in question of what is being said. It is assumed true and the right to question is is assumed to be wrong. It is an assumption I would like to turn on its head so to speak.
On the flip side most athesist don't partake in the discusion seeing it as a waste of time talking about a bunch of superstiious non-sense.

Just some random thoughts I was wondering if anyone had some input on?
I understand that most religious publication would not want to put anything I write in print, but then where do we go to have this discussion? Have it respectfully?

Any comments?

Friday, February 16, 2007

Why Does Evil Exsit?

Why Does Evil Exsit?

Here is a comment I left on the Prodical Son Website that I really liked...

Here is the full post

I propose the following only for discussion sake I mean no offence to anyone and my intent is nothing less then healthy discussion with that being said I respectfully put forth the following..

I think a more fulfilling question to ask here in this context is why would God create anything at all? A perfect being has no need for disequilibrium. There is nothing needed, nothing desired as nothing is missing. A perfect God does nothing except exist. If there is desire to do something, even good, that means the presence and knowledge of evil already exists. If there was nothing but God in the beginning and God created everything that would lead us to believe that God has inherent evil within him already and is not in fact perfect. The very act of creation shows that a perfect God is an impossibility. It is put forth here that God created evil to give us freewill. Free will being the decision to choice between multiple things does not need evil to exist. We could have been created in a world of free will where our decisions are to choice between several positive options that would lead to varying degrees of happiness without the negative integers of evil.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Pull on the rug here >>>>Subprime

I have this sneaking suspicion that we are about to pull the rug out from under underneath the entire economy. The mortgage industry is struggling particularly in the subprime market for borrowers with low credit scores or adverse histories. As mortgage companies are taking loses they are also constricting guidelines for who can get a loan. The most recent constriction was around piggyback loans where borrowers can essentially borrow with no money down and get a first and second to avoid mortgage insurance.

I fear that in cutting off these products you will increase loan default. Borrowers who took an adjustable rate mortgage will no longer have the means to convert to fixed rate loans after their payments go beyond their ability to make the payments. This increase in default and constricting of the market of who can afford a home will have a ripple effect throughout the economy and I believe if not bring it to a recession at least stall growth. I would suggest to other lenders to focus on the problem of decreasing the amount of payment option arms, increase income verification and increase liquid reserves to ride out losses. This could actually be a good time to be in the piggyback product as other lenders exit the business and the demand to convert to fixed rate loans is growing.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

22 months left

What an exciting election this is going to be. For the first time in our countries history we have a real possibility that our next president could either be a woman or and african american. It is going to be a dirty contest and I am going to love every minute of it. I also think we should have some sort of reality show dedicated to the behind the scenes coverage. It is the ultimate survivor episode!!

My early favorite is Obama after just finishing his book but I will have to check out what Hillary has too, so stay tuned

Friday, February 09, 2007

Who Said That?

Some interesting things on Copyright from my publisher AuthorHouse. The notable things to mention here is that everything you blog is copyrighted. The very act of publishing something to the Internet makes it your material...so when so asshole uses one of your poems on their site and tries to say it is theirs you can file an injunction to have them remove it. Copy Right does not apply to facts or ideas. Only protects you from plagiarism if someone copies how you present them...My lesson learned the hard way. If you want to talk about an idea get it patented first!!


What is a "copyright"?
Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright covers both published and unpublished works.

What does copyright protect?
Copyright protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed.

When is my work protected?
Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form (written down).

If copyright is automatic, then why do people register for copyright?
Copyright registration is voluntary. Copyright exists from the moment the work is created. You will have to register, however, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement of a work. Registration is recommended.

What is “fair use”?
Under the fair use doctrine, it is permissible to use limited portions of a work including quotes, for purposes such as commentary, criticism, news reporting, and scholarly reports. There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission.
What qualifies as fair use depends on all the circumstances — including the purpose of the use, the nature of the original work, the amount used, and the effect on the potential market value.
Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission. The safest course is always to get permission from the copyright owner before using copyrighted material. If there is any doubt, it is advisable to consult an attorney.

If it is published on the internet, isn’t it available to use?
No. Material on the internet is covered by copyright law.

Why do I need to get permission to use a picture of myself?
The person who snapped the picture holds the copyright to a photograph

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Get me out of here

Our bi-pedal adaptation that left us two legged and hairless on the desert Savannah of Africa and Mesopotamia does not jive with this -40 degrees below shit in Minnesota. We are not meant to live here. There is a place in Russia called Siberia where they send their criminals to be punished...I bet you could not tell the difference between pictures of it and pictures of the upper Midwest. (It actually looks exactly like the Dakota's but out of fear of vengeance from Team Chipoltle I will not make that comparison) I am sick of the cold. I am ready to go and sit at the airport and wait for my flight to Mexico for two weeks...



Until then looks like I will have to continue sticking my dick in the heat lamp...

PS... If anyone is bored and too cold to go out side now would be a perfect time to give my book a review on Amazon

Sunday, February 04, 2007

A Short Histoty of Nearly Everything...

With this weekends cold weather I found myself curled up on the couch with more then a few good books. My favorite was by far the tile of this blog written by Bill Bryson. What I learned just astonished me... from his insight came a better understanding of our place in this world, the growth of knowledge and just how fragile of a balance we maintain on this floating rock. It truly was an eye opening discovery about the importance of not hastening global warming, the dangers of lead, CFC's our own species fight for survival. At 500 pages not an easy task but well worth its weight in perspective if you take the time to digest it. I would highly recommend it.

What really caught my attention was how little I understand the big picture of the world I live in. It gave me more then enough desire to stay in school for the long haul...