Wednesday, October 29, 2008

RANDOM Problems, Random Cthulhu

For some reason Blogger won't let me go on to Illini 6 and then do any thing here. I can come on the blog and read, but it crashes the whole internet connection thingie if I try to do anything. I had to go through Flowers of Mundelein to post this.

So, in honor of this completely random problem I'm having, I give you a completely random Cthuloid image. I shuffled the files around in the folder a bit, closed my eyes and let the Elder Gods guide my mouse-clicking hand. This happens to be a smallish image so I decided to make it an icon for a folder on my desktop.

I've made a folder for all those little shortcuts that you want nearby, but don't want cluttering up your desktop (especially if you have a lovely photo of Cthulhu on there). I called it "Messy Desktop Stuff" so I thought a "cool" little Chulhu could be the god of that folder.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Do You Remember...?

But, do you remember when Pluto was Yuggoth?
I always have fun telling my kids about the future when I would hold my grandchildren on my knee (my artificial knee, btw) and tell them about how when I was in college there was no such thing as the internet.
"That was way back '85." I'd say. They would stare wide-eyed in amazement.
"You mean 1985, Grandpa?"
"That's right, WAY back in the dark ages of the TWENTIETH century. We thought Pluto was a planet, Michael Jackson was a human, oil was for burning, and computers weren't things surgically inplanted into your skulls, no sir."

Monday, October 27, 2008

Stories, HORROR Stories

I've submitted another story to the Mirible Visu contest. This one is anonymous so try to guess which one is mine and vote on it.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Religion and Timeliness

Last week we went to see my Dad, who is getting chemo for Pancreatic Cancer.

I had gone to the Marytown giftshop and told the lady there (I think she is a nun, but you can't tell these days) that my Dad had cancer. She started running around and loading my arms with things, "I needed" some of them, "right away." I got him a Perpetual Mass (they say his name for people to pray for him in every mass at the chapel there, I told my Dad, "they'll be reading your name in the mass..." in homage to The Quiet Man), a couple of candles, a scapular, two prayer cards, and a bottle of holy water from Lourdes.

With my own flagging faith I didn't know if this would do any good, but I figured I didn't want to be like the man in the joke that by passed a 4x4, a boat and a helicopter because he was waiting for the Lord to save him from the flood, never realizing that the Lord sent all those things. My situation is the other way around, but if God was going to save him by Holy water or chemo, I wasn't going to ignor anything.

I also didn't know if my Dad would appreciate the gifts. He and my Mom are donating their bodies to science and neither of them care what happens to their bodies, "when they're done with them." My Mom is a vocal atheist (I don't know if that's the right term, since I think she is mad because God isn't running things the way she thinks they should be run and therefore she refuses to believe in him), so I didn't know if they would just roll their eyes at me. In fact, my Dad said that only my Mom felt that way about God and he was willing to take any and everything. I guess he agreed with my opinion about the man in the joke.

The timeliness I speak of is this, it seems strange that in order for me to really think clearly about the existance of God I need the latest books and articles. Because science is advancing rapidly on the origins of the universe, the presumed territory of religion, in order to counter the very latest arguements against God's existence, I need the very latest information.

I've found two books that might help me in this, both published in 2008. The first is Spiritual Evolution by George E. Vaillant and the second is The Big Questions in Science and Religion by Keith Ward. I haven't gotten very deep into either, but they seem to be acknowledging science and the advances being made and not dealing with the entire issue in strictly a spiritual sense.

I've been reading and listening to the "Skeptic Newsletter" and Skepticality. I know that the usual defense of faith by those skeptics who are still believers is that faith has NO basis in science and is not testable. It is therefore NOT subject to skeptisism. You can choose to believe or not believe, there can be no proof of it either way.

Douglas Adams confronted such an arguement in the first Hitchhikers' book. His result was God responding, "I never thought of that" and disappearing in a puff of logic.

I've never agreed with Adams, but I do need a better logical arguement, and more. I need a way to view God for what God means to us.

I'll let you know how the books turn out later.

4,000 Unwitting Souls Have Joined Us!

Muh ha ha ha ha! Illini 6 went past 4,000 visitors this week, I mean the four thousandth visitor fell under my sway this week.

It's taken almost two years to break that mark, and I've had my ups and downs. Lately it's been a bit up, but I owe that to the Great Cthulhu, I'm sure.

Congrats Illini 6 and thank you Great Cthulhu (Bawk Bawk!).

Friday, October 24, 2008

Dream of the Unknown Administration

I swear by all the unholy gods that I dreamt last night that Barrack Obama won the election. As soon as it was announced Al Quida launched an attack that included nuclear suicide bombers.

What do you suppose this could mean?

Honestly, I did dream that.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Oh the Pain!

When I said I fell off the wagon I really fell hard. Tuesday and Wednesday my legs and arms were terribly sore. Today my triceps are still sore and I can barely bring my hands to my head. I must have hurt them seriously.

It's something of a godsend (Outer Gods-send?) that for the second day in a row our evening activities kept me from exercising. In my program I'm back to a cardio night. That's a mercy. I'll do cardio today and lighten up on the weights a lot on Friday.

Man, my arms hurt. Maybe mommy can kiss the pain away.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Falling Off the Wagon

My daughter read me something the other day about saving money. It suggested adding chicken broth to left-over chinese food. I tried it yesterdaya and it was great. Not at all like this picture.

In other news. I started my exercise program on Monday by jumping right in to Level 3/4 with 25lbs. Ow. I was really sore (still am). I may have over done it, but I was going to soldier on.

I was, until I had to run middle daughter to friend's house for a project they're working on, run knee pads and shorts to oldest daughter, run youngest daughter to Greek school, wait until Greek school was over, pick up middle daughter and then pick up pizza (also a no no on the P90 path) for my family AND my brother's family, because they came by last night to watch oldest daughter's game.

All the running around and such was over at 22:30 last night. Far too late to do anything. I know that this is an entirely valid reason not to work out, but I still feel guilty. I'll have to do my bit today.

BTW, I wrote a short story while waiting on youngest daughter.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Let the Exercises Begin

I started my exercise program yesterday. I started with Phase 3/4 circuit of the Power 90 system from Beachbody.

I have done this program before and went from 242 to 216 lbs. I like it, but it is very hard to stick to when your schedule changes SEVEN times in a year.

I think I will be doing strictly P90 for the first 30 days and then use Muscle Confusion by switching between P90, Slim in 6 (another Beachbody product), Tae Bo and anything else I can think of including Plyometrics, kettlebells (maybe I'll ask for them for Christmas) and medicine balls.
I had photos taken of my starting state. I'll post those tomorrow.

Happy Birthday!

Yesterday was my sister-in-law's birthday and we forgot until very late last night, so I'm sending out this special birthday message. Happy Birthday H!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Cthulhu Workout? Exercise? Health Plan?

Took my blood pressure yesterday for the first time in a while. It was 159/88.

Now remember, I'm taking THREE medications for my BP. I took it again after taking my meds for the day and waiting an hour. 164/92.

GAH!!!!!! This stoopid blood pressure! Every time I go to my doctor he tells me that if I lose ten pounds that it will go down.

Bit of history. When I was in my mid-twenties I noticed that sometimes my blood pressure would be high. When I was in my early thirties it was regularly too high to give blood. Back then I weighed in the neighborhood of 200 pounds. My BP back then was about 150/88.

Now it's about twelve years later and I'm about 240. If a forty pound and twelve year increase didn't really increase the pressure, why would a ten pound decrease lower it?

All telling me to lose weight does is aggravate me and raise my BP.

I am going to start exercising again. When I was exercising like a demon last year my pressure was easier to control (I managed to get down to only two meds). Also, less weight makes it easier to play Rugby and looks a bit better.

There are two very bad things about that. The first is, I don't like to exercise that much. I was never a jock so I have to find novel ways to motivate myself and keep myself interested. The second is, I do like to write, but a heavy exercise routine means no writing. There just isn't' enough time to do both. Also, no camping trips. I've been trying to get the family interested in camping (and sailing, STILL haven't taken my boat out this year) and that takes a lot of effort. If I'm putting my effort into exercising then that goes to the wayside too.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Dream Story

I had a pretty vivid dream last night that I just might be able to base a story on.

I dreamed that I was hearing dogs going crazy outside my front door. When I went out to look, the bushes in front of my house were all torn up, like the dogs had been digging there to get at something. The dogs were all dead around the yard.

Oo, spooky.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sleeping Late

I overslept by an hour this morning. Now I know how Cthulhu feels.

Except for the sleeping for uncounted eons at the bottom of the Pacific in a sunken city built in my wretched honor; except that my alarm clock is not the stars themselves coming right again; except for the carnage, rage, dancing and murder that my waking will wreck upon the globe to the utter horror of all mankind...I understand completely how Cthulhu feels.

And on top of that I ran out of coffee!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Original Cthulhu Image

This apparently is the drawing that HPL made when writing "The Call of Cthulhu."

Looks like something I might do.

Although it is crude, I think artists should take note when trying to make their own images. THIS is the author's vision. Cthulhu is actually only a product of HPL's mind and this is what he had in mind.

[EDIT: Link added to give Jimmy Akin credit for the image and the story.]

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Source of Morality and Other Thoughts

I didn't have time last Sunday to write this, but I took notes at church.

How come people look at you strange when you take notes in church? It's not like I wasn't paying attention, in fact I was probably paying more attention than they were. After all, while I was paying attention and processing the sermon enough to write notes, they were watching me.

The sermon was given by the Metropolis of Denver (Greek Orthodox Bishop of Denver). He said some interesting things that fell right into what I'm struggling with right now.

Where do morals come from, what are their bases if there is no God? The bishop maintained that if there is no God then there are no morals. He said that if you don't have God you have no higher authority to answer to.

I disagree. Secularly you have the legal authorities to answer to. That's enough for some. Otherwise you have your community or the good of all humanity to guide you on the moral path.

Maybe there is such a thing as True Good. If there is, and there is no GOD, is there also True Evil?

I think that if there is a GOD, and G is Love and Good; and G created everything from Gself then everything is basically good and there can be no evil. In this theory I maintain that evil is only an illusion, there so we can have the Free Will to have something to choose from. In the end all will be good, made right.

The Bishop held a similar view that everything will be all right in the end, but he said that God allows evil because He'll make everything all right in the end. He was far too flippant about it.

I also came up with what I think may be a truly original concept / analogy. Newtonian physics is to Einsteinian physics as human experience is to divine experience. Newtonian physics is fine for every day, but at the extreme end of things it falls apart and you need something else, something more. This is something that's completely different, almost unrecognizable from the point of view of the former.

I don't know where that leaves me.

I'll keep thinking and meditating on it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Another Cthulhu Beach "Lady"

Somehow I don't think this one is planning on surfing or swimming.

I imagine that Cthulhu isn't that picky about virgin sacrifices either. Probably a good thing.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Cthulhu Summer

It's been unseasonably hot around here and Cthulhu has taken advantage of it. Personally, I've been busy, Busy, BUSY. I'll just have to owe you Friday and Saturday's Cthulhoid images. I'm evil that way,


Thursday, October 09, 2008

"Clarity" of Purpose

I have a long class today on some new system at work called Clarity. It's supposed to track our work hours and output.

Sounds elderitch to me.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Skeptical Cthulhu

Seems they missed one, or maybe Cthulhu is outside the realm that this depicts.

Anyway I couldn't decide which to put on the tree so I posted both.

I've been listening to the podcast called Scepticality. They've got some very good points and it made me think about the Darwin fish and this Cthulhu fish.

The funny thing is, the Skeptics say that they aren't specifically against religion, but only because religion does not rely on evidence at all and is therefore untestable. I'm sure any evidence anyone ever offered for religion or god would be fodder for investigation.

The previous religious post I put up said that maybe we can look at God as ourselves outside of this dream that we call life. If that is so it fits exactly into what the skeptics are saying.
Whatever scientific experiments you conduct in a dream are only valid within the dream logic and reality. If God is outside that then God is untestable, but not unknowable.

Can't you tell something about a person by examining his dreams?

I dreamt of unknown Kadath last night, what does that mean?

BTW, FSM is Flying Spaghetti Monster for those of you who didn't talk like a pirate on 19 Sep.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Feeling a Bit Green

My youngest has been having assignements lately where she has to collect leaves, flowers etc. so I'm feeling a bit green.

I don't know enough about trees so I'm going to pick up a book at the library tomorrow.

Um, this guy here, although technically "green" I don't think he would make anybody from Greenpeace happy.

Actually, I don't think he could make anyone happy, although:

"The time would be easy to know, for then mankind would have become as the Great Old Ones; free and wild and beyond good and evil, with laws and morals thrown aside and all men shouting and killing and revelling in joy. Then the liberated Old Ones would teach them new ways to shout and kill and revel and enjoy themselves, and all the earth would flame with a holocaust of ecstasy and freedom." From "The Call of Cthulhu" by H. P. Lovecraft

Monday, October 06, 2008

Just Another Cthulhu Monday

I'm just keeping with the girly theme.

That movie was a bit disturbing.

My favorite part was when Ben Stiller mangled Bret Favre's name. I agree. It should be Fav-ray or Fav-er. No way should it be Far-v.


Sunday, October 05, 2008

Religion and Faith: Introducing Lucidment

I mentioned before that my faith had become untethered. I had read an article in the July Scientific American and it shook my faith badly enough to set it adrift.

I had been thinking, "What if Life is the worst it gets?" What if this life that we are living right now is as bad as it is going to get and that Heaven is going to be better. I already said that I don't believe in Hell so that made sense, but I never looked at it that way. If it were true then all the pain and injustice in life is just because this is our lesser existence. It isn't a trial, it just is bad. Some times life isn't too bad, but if it is then don't worry because Heaven is better.

That doesn't address the fundamental problems I was having with my faith, mainly that there is no way that God can be both omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent; and revealed. Science is revealing a universe too complex and random from a participants view to be knowable in the whole.

I had been thinking that God was like a clockmaker and that he had set the rules of the universe and let it run itself. This may have been the reason that increased knowledge in the physical laws made the existence of God less tenable. What if that isn't the nature of God, but then what would account for all that science tells us and still leave room for God?

I recently listened to most of a podcast by the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (OBOD). In podcast 8, the speaker was Tim Freke. He said something that really rang true to me. It also addressed the problem I was having. He said that life as we know it is a dream. Everything and everyone in the dream is really us. This is very similar to the Buddhist view and I had heard it before, but I never looked at it this way.

He said basically that enlightenment is like having a lucid dream. If you are enlightened, you are like a dreamer that knows he's dreaming. When we are not enlightened you are like a dreamer who doesn't know he is dreaming and you think your life is real.

I am going to call this state of knowing that you are "dreaming" as "Lucidment." This will help me understand enlightenment better and help me think of it in terms of "the dream."

This world view means several things to me right off:

1. God is not separate from us.

2. Life can be good or bad but it doesn't REALLY affect us.

3. There are no alternatives (Hell vs. Heaven) to waking.

4. Life can be beautiful. We can enjoy it and we can make it more beautiful.

5. The universe is the dream and it obeys different "dream" logic and rules. All our scientific knowledge is based on "dream" logic and laws. This means that everything science is telling us is about the "Dream" and has nothing to do with God or the "Waking State."

6. "God" doesn't have to be omniscient or omnipotent. We don't know everything in our dreams, but the dreams are us, everything in the dream is us really, although it seems like different people and things happening to us, they are really things we are thinking about and "doing" to ourselves.

This also immediately begs many questions to me, but the questions don't diminish my hope for a renewed faith:

1. Who is the dreamer?

2. What is the nature of the dreamer?

3. If the dreamer is me then am I everyone or am I only me and everyone else is no one?

4. Do we lose ourselves when we wake?

5. What is the goal of life?

6. Do we want to be a remembered dream?

7. Is life outside the dream good or bad?

8. Is the dreamer good or bad or something else?

9. Is there good and evil?

10. Can you make moral decisions (for instance, in dreams you can commit crimes, but you can't be prosecuted for them)?

I will want to address these questions in later posts. Also, because church is a perfect time to reflect on faith, I think that Sunday would be a perfect time to record here my thoughts on religion and faith.

Other issues I thought of today that I want to cover eventually:
- What is religion?
- What is prayer, what is it good for, what is it not?
- Why should you attend church?
- What do you do with Bible readings?
- What about preset prayers, the Creed and the Our Father?
- Why are we not in communion with God?
- If there are no miracles then there can be no transubstantiation, what does this mean?

I Owe You One

I missed yesterday so I owed you one. Here are two Cthulhoid images of ladies corrupted by the Great Old One's influence.
The first one is because I was thinking in church today about the Holocaust. I was thinking that the Holocaust should become part of the Jewish tradition and be honored and remembered by holy days and such.
Isn't Chanuka the remembrance of a siege won with the help of God? Wasn't the story of David and Goliath about Israel winning in a war with God's help? I should think that the Holocaust is on a par with any of what Christian's call the Old Testament. I don't know the Talmud (I think that's where you find Chanuka), but I would think it rivals those deliverances there too.
Who decides these things? What would it take to get the Holocaust into the holy books?

Friday, October 03, 2008

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Cubs Lose

This was from the '04 campaign when the real slogan was either, "four more years," or "four more years?"

It struck me this morning that it could also be similar to the Cubs mantra this past century, next year, next year.

I suppose it could also be political if you consider any Republican win as four more years of Bushism.

I'll have another political one tomorrow, or are there no more tomorrows?

I don't know, ask the Cubs.

A Faith Adrift

As I said, this is a webLOG and this post is the first in what I think will be the log part of my blog.

This will probably change as I go along. I may edit this post, or I may just add more posts.

I put in my PDA some of the things I was thinking about God, faith and religion.

Here it is straight out of the handheld:

"A religion that venerates god, but does not appeal to god for intercession? I never thought god would step in and "fix" everything. Miracles are how you choose to view or experience events AND/OR how they Affect YOU.

09/27/08 more added 29Sep08

I believe:
1. Something or someone started the universe
2. There are powers greater than us
3. Free will
4. Evolution
5. If there is a god who is involved with us then he is good and loves us
6. There are other intelligent races in the universe other than human that are on a similar (IE not godlike) level
7. The universe is nearly infinitely complex and unknowable in the whole (analogy: you can know how bricks work and how to make and lay them, but not have knowledge of all of the Great Walls in China or even all the walls in all the houses in England).
8. Religion was created by man.
9. Religious people are not stupid
10. Non-religious people are not just people that haven't been enlightened (born again etc.)

I don't believe:
1. God is:
--a. Omnipotent, omniscient, knowable, revealed, AND interventionist (he may be some of these, but not all)
--b. Angry
--c. Predeterministic
--d. A conscious earth or biosphere
2. The universe is completely random
3. Miracles
4. Angels
5. Reincarnation
6. Satan
7. Hell
8. Ghosts
9. UFOs have visited us
10. Prayers can have any physical effect (see miracles)
11. Magic (see miracles)

I hope:
1. There is God
2. There is a heaven"

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Are the Stars Right? The Atlantians Wanted to Know

Are the stars right again? Why yes they are. It is Cthulhu Month again. I'll be plopping a Cthulhoid image in a post daily (cross your fingers and hope to go insane).

The stars truely are right! The first of my mythos type stories, (Northern Faerie Ring) has appeared as a podcast on Yog Radio. The said they would be delighted to read aloud: "Bellwether's Asteroid" and "Northern Faerie Ring." I can't wait for Bellwether to show up too!