Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Time to Think Again

I'm about to complete my second month as a blogger, and thanks to some advice from ERV and an unfortunate power outage I've improved my blogging technique. Here is a new post composed completely in gmail.

I'd been noticing over the last few weeks how my passion for analyzing the effects of godlessness and religion on my life was fading. Not that my desire to understand the world as it real is was diminished. I still value truth above most anything else. It was just that I'd made my peace with my world view, and most of the people who wanted to discuss my world view were either bored or convinced I was beyond hope. The action on my blog and Lori's MySpace blog had sort of died down. I even took a break from reading science to get caught up on some neglected fantasy novels. Of course I've had a huge back log on my reading list of science and logic stuff I need to understand, should I ever need to defend rational thinking from the many dogmatists in my life.

Now, it looks like it might be time to dust off those critical thinking skills again. I'd forgotten how much fun it was to uncover flaws in facts and logic. I mostly only get inspired to interact with people I know though. I don't have the energy or skills to lurk around blogs just for the sake of an argument.

Anyway, there have been two new developments in the last week.

The first was Lori got a nice long letter from my cousin who is a pastor. He covered a broad spectrum of topics from evolution vs. creation to the problem of evil. I thought his most compelling argument consisted of the Free Will Defense. Basically that an omnipotent, benevolent god is compatible with evil and suffering because god gives us the option to choose for good or bad ourselves. It is also why he is does not give evidence of his existence. Proof of god would defeat free will I had never taken the time to read up on this. Probably why I found it so compelling. There are many weaknesses to the free will defense, but the most concise came from Jim. Basically if Adam and Eve had free will (the ability to reject God) and proof of God's existence (face to face communication). There was more and maybe I'll be able to post some of it later. For right now it is private correspondences and I don't want to make it public without permission.

The second thing that happened was that Lori got a call from someone at church asking her to teach a children's class. I suppose a little background on that is in order. We still go to church on occasion because I'm on the A/V crew. I'd quit but the team is small and it would mean more work for some of my friends. We also have a strong social network going on there and some good friends we like to see. Church as a social club right. Okay, to get back on track, Lori got a call about teaching a class. Up to this point we hadn't really outed ourselves to anyone at church other than our closest friends. People talk so we didn't think it was a secret or anything, but if they are asking for a skeptic or an atheist to teach a children's class maybe not every one knew about us. So Lori ended up explaining her current stance to the church elder on the phone. I'm guessing it is only a matter of time before some people start calling to save our backsliding souls.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Just to Share

I came across this article the other day. Others have blogged about it, and better than me, so I will keep it short. I always sensed that religion had a problem with sex, but I had no idea that "higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy, and abortion in the prosperous democracies."

I know that correlation is not the same a causation, but some of it makes sense if you think about it. The increased abortions and STD rates probably have a lot to do with religion actively restricting knowledge about the whole sexual process. The reason for the homicide and mortality rates aren't as obvious to me.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Blog Interrupted

I try to post at least something here semi-regularly just in case there are people that actually read what I write. This last week has been a struggle though. I had a my one free evening derailed by a power outage. I'll have to try to resurrect the post that got eaten by the blackout. I think I'll stop using the blogger window for composing my posts as well.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Reverted Has Content

Reverted has finally copied his Epic MySpace blog entries to something more user friendly. Check it out if you are one of my 3 readers that hasn't already seen the posts over at myspace.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Skewed Outlook

I have a body image problem. I've never been able to objectively judge how I look. To some extent I'm sure that is normal. My problem is that when I look in the mirror I still see myself the way I looked when I was in high school - scrawny. By looking at the scale I can tell that I've gained a substantial amount of weight since then, and happily most of that is quality muscle. Despite all that, the mirror still makes me feel awkwardly skinny. On the bright side that helps me with my drive to keep lifting consistently even when I don't feel like being there.

There is more. I have days where I feel fat or that my arms look like toothpicks. This can happen mere hours after I feel like I'm the most ripped guy in town. Usually it the body parts I've just lifted that I feel the best about. My arms look great after arms day and my legs look like trash. But on legs day the legs look fine and the arms seem a little flabby or shrunken.

It gets worse though. There is a certain amount of vanity that comes with the aspirations of being a bodybuilder. I find I'm checking out other guys where ever I go. If they are more built than I am, I get jealous of their superior genetics or feel the need to imagine they use steroids. If they are bit out of shape or stick skinny like I used to be, I find myself feeling superior and wondering how they can stand to be fat or have no muscle.

This all leaves me wondering if I'm mentally stable. I tell myself that I workout because I want to be healthy, because I enjoy how I feel after exercising and that being in shape is good for my confidence. All this other stuff that runs through my mind makes me wonder if going to the gym everyday is turning me into snob. Maybe it would be better to grab some ice cream get a movie, forget about the sore wrist and stiff back and work up a nice pot belly and maybe some heart disease. That isn't really my style though. I'll be taking my chance with snobbery. I'm not that worried though. Something tells me that my attempt at competitive bodybuilding will be plenty humbling.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Blog as Motivation

I'm finally back to sort of a normal routine. After two weeks of business travel, a few days of vacation and some visitors for the weekend, the month of September was not a month of progress. I ate poorly. I exercised infrequently. Now I'm looking to get my groove back.

The good news is I got in contact with the promoter for the Empire Classic. The date is 26 April 2008. There is no novice class, so I'll have to loose a few more pounds to compete with the open light weight men. I still think I'll give this show a shot. The major drawback is that weigh-in is in the morning about 2 hours before prejudging rather than the night before. Less time to carb up. I guess I won't know one way or the other though since this will be my first time.

So, now that I'm pretty certain about the date of the contest, it is time for me to get serious about my research. I have a fast metabolism. A curse when I'm trying to put on weight, but it should work in my favor for the diet. The Diet. I terrified of the diet. I generally eat quality food, but I am useless when it comes to counting calories or even figuring out how many calories I should be eating.

The other problem is I'm not much of a meat eater. I can tolerate chicken, but my experiment with tuna the other day didn't go too well. For now I do okay getting my protein from vegetable sources, eggs and whey supplements. But I'm afraid the rice and beans I usually eat will have too many carbs once I'm getting down to the 6 week mark.

I suppose it will take a time or two to figure out what will work for me. So no matter what, once the holidays are over it will be goodbye beer and ice cream and hello oatmeal, brown rice and egg whites.