Monday, January 08, 2018

Official Brain Analysis

A careful study was done and the doctor put in the official document that my brain is "unremarkable".  This was based on an MRI scan of my brain as part of the comprehensive health check which I had in Taiwan.  I am surprised that nothing peculiar was found, but I can be thankful I am not a 'genius'.  The full statement in the medical report was given in English and Chinese:

"Essentially unremarkable finding in this study."

Or as Google translate says, "No obvious abnormalities found".

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Old and New

On our travels through the Taiwan countryside we were given a break at what was supposedly a famous temple.  The traditional architecture was expected, but what was really unexpected was to see a 7-11 as part of the temple facility.  Is there a link between Buddhism and 7-11?  I don't want to think too far, especially since there are crazy things that call themselves "churches", never mind that the origin of the word for church is uniquely Christian. 

One explanation offered up was that the statues now have taken a liking to the food available at 7-11, rather than, say, Whole Foods.  The other being that this reflected changing appetites of the faithful, rather than the statues.  The moving electronic signs stood in nice contrast to the traditional calligraphy.  Mainly I am interested to observe, so won't draw too many conclusions from this.

Monday, January 01, 2018

2018: Welcome To The Narco-Republic of California

My main thought is that I probably want to limit my driving and stay away from roads as the legalized marijuana multiplies addicts.  We shall see.  With the current marijuana strains being much more potent due to careful breeding, the end result will be somewhat different than the '60's era arguments anticipate.

The libertarians like to argue that the government should not legislate on such things.  In this case, however, the marijuana is coming in as an act of legislation with the intent of setting up a regulatory and taxation structure around it.  My suspicion is that drug head culture will simply ignore the regulatory infrastructure.  A problem being that drug heads need to earn money to support their addiction, and drug dealing is both a way to do this and to expand the narcotics market. 

But back to the libertarians:  They seem to think that the government shouldn't be in the business of regulating good and evil, vice and virtue.  This ignore the fact that evil is hostile to good and vice is all about overthrowing virtue, while the entire point of human society is to build something greater through the relationships of the individuals.  At some point you can't be neutral about such things, while the leftist gestapo is increasingly interfering in the lives of the citizenry to enforce its pseudo-morality ...  the idea the evil has more public utility than good, and vice is to be encouraged over virtue since the state can earn a greater profit and dependency from vice and evil.

Then there are the war analogies.  "The war on drugs can't be won, therefore it shouldn't be fought."  So what about the war on unsanitary conditions?  We could save a lot by doing away with garbage pickup and eliminate the landfills, just as the homeless have proven.  Some wars have to be fought, even though they can never be one.  But the real war analogy here is the Opium Wars, where the Europeans raped China to earn profits off of their opium business.  As the Bible says, "there is nothing new under the sun", so we see that the California government thinks it can obtain a profit from all this.  The army of government employees is already in place to handle things and make sure people pay up. 

It will all be great fun!  Happy New Year!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Country Roads

Rural Taiwan is usually drive-through country, but we made a pilgrimage to my wife's ancestral home town in the middle of nowhere to hang out for a few days.  The winter is the only time that I care to do this.  The town where we went is losing population, so there is some considerable small town blight.  The local elementary school used to have 300 children, but now is down to only 24.  Jobs are better and easier elsewhere for the young, while the new generation neither marries nor has children.  

Something surprising is that all the country field access roads are paved, whereas they would be gravel or dirt farm tracks in the US or Europe.  Irrigation is all flowing through concrete systems, the countryside is electrified, wi-fi and mobile telephone are everywhere, the toilets are all western style sit-down ones and the water from the faucets is potable.  Country living at its finest. 

Only California would worry about snakes being endangered.

You must first stop, pick up the snake, and ask it whether or not it is endangered.  

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Picking up the Trash

My church I go to is an ethnic Chinese one with about 750 people attending on a typical Sunday.  There are many ways to help, and I have chosen to show up early on Sunday mornings and go around picking up trash from the parking lots, which includes the area around two adjacent businesses in this light industrial area.  Some would say that this is more honorable than helping in other ways, but I feel it is more cowardly to simply pick up trash and arrange things rather than attempt to engage in activities that might involve church politics.  No one disputes with me or challenges my right to pick up trash, even though I was not assigned this task.  I get a little criticism for not doing my duty when I am gone on travel.  No one is perfect.  Otherwise, I walk away unscathed, except for the occasional scratch, which is certainly not the case when some emotional church issues pops up for a church leader.

So what do I find in a church parking lot?  For one thing there are a large number of cats, and I get to pick up the food containers that the cat woman leaves.  Wondering when we are going to have a "Catman" movie.  Then there is the squatter.  This is a young Indian man who has decided that life is better living out of his broken down truck which he pushed onto our parking lot rather than getting a job.  He won't come to church or communicate with us much, but otherwise seems to enjoy our presence.  I get to pick up a lot of trash around his area, which does leave me wondering what is trash and what might be a personal possession.  Some distance is kept to avoid making an error.  It might seem a bit cold that we don't donate to him from our Agape Fund.  The pretext given is that the word of any monetary help would immediately spread and we would have a few hundred homeless squatters on our property.

The trash on the adjacent properties is a little confusing at times.  Was it done by our church attendees or their daily visitors?  If it is a Chinese church bulletin, then I don't have much trouble distinguishing.  A few empty oil cans from someone who decided that their car's oil needed replacement is a little harder for me to judge.  For the most part, I just pick up everything with the thought of being a good neighbor.  The trash picker I use makes it fairly easy to grab lots of small items, so better to do more than necessary.  There was a large stereo system in the bushes this morning which I passed over since it wouldn't fit in my waste basket and the picker wasn't strong enough to move it anyway.

The more curious part of this is the things that I find on the church property.  There are a lot of cups, plates, napkins and plastic forks from our weekly meals, but then there are lots of alcoholic drink bottles and cans which I am fairly certain were not provided by the church.  We don't tell members not to drink, but we never have alcohol as part of our events, even for communion.  Twice I have come across used condoms.  Presumably someone came here at a strange hour. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Moore's Law

I need to clarify that this is about Judge Roy Moore, and not Gordon Moore.  Not that I know much about the situation, other than he offended the Sodomites and is now running for Senate in Alabama.  From what I can tell, he is alleged to be unfit to be a senator because he chased younger women prior to being married, which was 40 some years ago.  My interest here is trying to figure out how the dots are connected between his behavior towards the opposite sex long ago and his fitness for the senate. 

So far, my theory is that the deduction of his unfitness is based on the long time that has passed and that he didn't show any interest outside of marriage.  This is clearly a sign of insufficient initiative, such as was shown by Ted Kennedy, Al Franken, and Bill Clinton, along with many others.  The other reason for this deduction is that the Democrats, who have led the criticism, regard sexual immorality as a religious imperative, so it is inconceivable that they would have criticized Judge Moore for being too promiscuous.  We have standards for our senators here in the US and expect them to comply as well as be role models for the rest of the citizenry.  Clearly Roy Moore isn't up to the task.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

A Catalog of Secession Movements.

The recent events in Catalonia inspired me to do some careful research on the causes of secession movements and produce a more extensive list of the reasons behind the various efforts. 

Catalonia from Spain:  They are upset that the world thinks of Catalan as a dialect of Spanish, rather than the other way around.

Basques from Spain:  They never accepted the Roman/Latin conquest.

Pakistan from India:  To enjoy an Islamic paradise.

Scotland (~100AD):  Romans and their baths were offensive to them, per the historian Tacitus.

Scotland (recently):  When caught molesting a sheep, they want to be known as proud Scots rather than ashamed Englishmen.

Irish Republican Army:  Making bombs and blowing things up is cool.  What more reason would one need than this?

England from the EU (Brexit):  Because foreign rulers have always had the decency to move across the Channel and govern from territory within the UK.

India from the UK:  My Indian consultant on this says he is almost done assimilating the UK, and will get back to me with an answer to my inquiry when he is done.  I could hear him shouting "resistance is futile" as he was hanging up the phone.

US (from England):  The taxes were too low.

Southern US from Northern US:  This topic has been sufficiently explored elsewhere.

Canada from America:  This is a face saving thing.

Quebec from Canada:  Although Canadians have the world's most mild and unoffensive sense of humor, this is still too much for the Quebecois to handle.

Mexico from Spain: Spain wasn't providing governors who were sufficiently corrupt.

Texas from the US:  The same reason that they seceded from Mexico - they were opposed to a government imposed religion.  Catholicism was the previous religion imposed by Mexico and Political Correctness is the new religion that has been established by Washington.

California from the US:  They are offended that Texas wants to secede and must prove that their  moral outrage is greater and more sincere.

Tibet from China:  Too many Chinese are moving to Tibet in order to get away from Beijing.

Those are the ones that I know about.  Would appreciate some info about additional secession movements.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

California's Smoking

Me included.  There has been lots of smoke so that I have skipped my exercises to not irritate my lungs.  The winds bring more or less of the smoke from Napa Valley my way each day.  The attention is finally turning to apportioning blame, and the target in the crosshairs is Pacific Gas & Electric, since it seems that the fires were all started by their downed power lines.  The question is whether or not the trees near the lines had been properly trimmed.  No doubt the lawyers will have plenty to say on this so we will stay tuned.

What caught my attention was a claim that if PG&E were found liable, then we would have a moral duty to disband PG&E and turn it into a public utility.  What amuses me about this is that PG&E is already a public utility, given the level of control.  But leftists can never be satisfied with less than the ideal Marxist control, which must be clear to the public, so we now have a pretext to make the bad situation worse.  Or maybe not.  The other argument is that government control over this kind of phony private entity is greater than it would be over a mere government department, so that the government department would be less subject to destructive regulation, bureaucracy and political interference than PG&E currently experiences.  I am expecting a lot more smoke along with mirrors as these arguments are put forward.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Pondering Las Vegas

Who was Stephen Paddock and what were his motives?  Don't know.  Maybe some more info will turn up after a few days.

Theories I am tentatively considering:  He wasn't a fan of country music, so clearly he wasn't a Tump supporter since all Trump supporters are country music fans.  Given the length of time it took the SWAT Team to find his dead body, I am guessing that he wasn't a donor to the Republican party.  I am a little skeptical of the ISIS link, since he ended his life with a bullet, rather than a suicide vest. that took out the entire Mandalay Bay hotel.

Need more data.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Pondering Protests

There wouldn't seem to be much to add to the rants that are out there about America's football player's protesting.  I will start with two observations:

1. The Great Society began half a century ago with high hopes for eliminating poverty and class.  It failed, which should be obvious to everyone, especially those of us in California who get to navigate through the homeless and their droppings.  As a church janitor, I now have the privilege of cleaning up around the homeless squatters on our property.  Good stuff.

2. The Great Society was organized entirely by "Progressives".  (Progressive is a fancy title that means paleo-Marxist and/or anarchist, but many pose as Christians.)  A fortune was spent and continues to be spent, while laws redirect all sectors of America according to the tenets of the Progressives.  Because it was a "secular" enterprise, anything that would not be offensive to Christians was unconstitutional, this being the current understanding of what "Separation of Church and State" means to the intellectuals running the show.  Since the Bible is all about human character and its deficiencies, this meant that the Great Society was necessarily an enterprise that was in denial about how human beings worked in the real world.  In other words, it was doomed to fail from the beginning, which should have been obvious to anyone with any familiarity with human nature.

So yes, I have sympathy for the sentiments that are behind the protests.  There is something rotten in America.  Unfortunately, the protestors will rage against the innocent for a time, and on behalf of the latest doomed-to-make-things-worse concept that the Progressives have just dreamed up.  The role of the Progressives in all this won't be examined until the Final Judgment.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Susquehanna Overlook

My older brother took me for a 7 mile round trip trek to a point overlooking the Susquehanna river.  The let down was that there was a road and a parking lot that went straight to the point, so that we didn't need to put in all that effort just to get the view, but it was worth it to get the heart running away on the climbs, and risking injury going through the canyon on the side ravine was really enjoyable.

Vally Forge

The iPhone says I did 12 miles in two big loops around the park.  According to, the route was about 13.6 miles.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Missing The Crocodile Hunter

Wondering how I should behave around these.  I really need to focus more on the specific scale patterns so I can determine which sub-species it is.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Laziness Epidemic

Was starting to research this so I could blog about it, but the first article I ran across with Google was by Paul Krugman, who is one of the world's most notable lazy intellects and produces tirades that are specifically tailored to the tastes of the mentally lazy.  Notably, the article tries to argue that there isn't any rise in the lazy deadbeat culture due to excessive government subsidies.  I have my personal take on this since I must weekly gather the trash from around a local squatter who is young, healthy and lives entirely on government benefits.  But maybe I am wrong about Paul Krugman, since it takes a certain amount of moxie to argue the economic equivalent of the flat earth theory.  This is going to take some more work to prepare the real blog post, but I will just highlight this faltering effort and head off to bed.  Too lazy to stay up and finish it.  Goodnight!

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Googling Diversity

This is just pouring petrol onto the fire now.  I would say that most of corporate America, including Wall Street, has been taken over by ultra left wing fanatics who are determined to impose their world view on everyone.  Except that we must also observe that those same fanatics would have no problem with a coder working for them who moonlighted as a ISIS recruiting Imam and advocated genuinely rude behavior towards women.  The elites' concerns are only with American conservative and/or Christian views, which they want to exterminate.

Other than that, I would say that from what I have read - ignoring the miss-characterizations and lies that were put out to justify the lynching - Damore's views are similar to my own:  I enjoy working with my women tech coworkers, and want to treat them with all respect.  At the same time, I believe that biological differences between males and females exist as the result of genetic design, so that women aren't as likely to pursue engineering careers and those who do gravitate towards certain disciplines.  In engineering, that means they tend towards materials science, rather than other specialties, but you will find females in all sub-disciplines of engineering.

I also think it is time to reverse the rhetoric.  It is those who would want to shame a woman for spending some time at home as a mother who are the real misogynists. Biological differences are real, and it is no good to suppress them, and even worse to falsely accuse, defame and punish males in order to achieve some imaginary equality of outcome for females.  Now I must worry about being fired too.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Back from Travel

Not sure what all happened, but the recent events reminded me of another account that someone had to give of his travels:

"And the Lord said to Satan, 'From where have you come?'  Satan answered the Lord and said, 'From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it'."  - Job 1:7

So that is my answer.  Hopefully I can rest a while.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Judging Trump

"Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye." - Matthew 7:3-4

My apologies to any out there who truly do long to see something better out of America's president.

Still, my assessment is that The Left is offended by president Trump because they are convinced that Trump is obstructing the road to Hell.  Most of the Republicans are offended by president Trump because they fear that their reputation for total incompetence will be somehow tarnished by him.  Then there is the news media who constantly accuse Trump of illegalities and collusion, totally oblivious to the fact that the leaks they daily wallow in are illegal acts of criminals with whom they are colluding.

This takes me to one of my Sunday School lessons, where I point out to the youngsters that Christianity is the only religion that teaches that hypocrisy is wrong.  In evolutionary science, the most important scientific principle is that hypocrisy is heroic, provided you get what you want and do not allow any principle to intervene other than success.  Modernism - especially Modernist Christianity - likewise honors hypocrisy as one of its greatest values.  Hypocrisy has always been with us, but as America becomes a post-Christian society, hypocrisy is guaranteed to increase until it boldly goes where it has never gone before.

So getting back to president Trump, no matter how bad he is, at the current time he is the best that America is capable of producing.  The rage at him isn't because people long for something better, but rather they long for something far worse.  Or to put it another way, if they aren't cursing you then you aren't doing a good job.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Sannyasi vs Gotta Keep Working

My ambition has been to die at my desk.  Here is a version of this.  Neither Moses nor Jesus retired.  The apostles Peter and John didn't retire either.  Gotta keep working.  But perhaps we can become spiritual ascetics and embedded in society working at the same time?

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

A California Marmot

The internet says that the only species of Marmot in California is the Yellow Bellied Marmot.  This one seemed pretty cool and care free as far as I could tell, but there certainly are yellow bellies in California.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Giant Sequoia

They grow over 100 meters tall and live for 3,500 years.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Mark Twain Pilgrimage

This is the town of Angel's Camp, California.  Mark Twain's picture is everywhere along with pictures of frogs.  This is where he picked up a story that eventually morphed into "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras Country".  After reading Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer I would never have thought he had started out his writing as a miner here in California.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Pike's Peak

Tomorrow I get to go home with no more travel plans after one month on the road.  Below is a view from the hotel parking lot this morning looking up at Pike's Peak in Colorado.  It would sure be nice to take an extra day and climb this mountain.  Instead, the schedule is packed with meetings.  

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Packing, Unpacking, Packing, Unpacking, Packing, well, lets do the least amount of Unpacking possible.

I am feeling like a traveling salesman the last few weeks as I bounce all over the country.  Maybe that should be a "salesperson" instead of the sexist "salesman".  Or do we need to distinguish "person" from "perdaughter"?  I will de-genderize this with "salesperp", so it is "bouncing around the country like a salesperp".

At least I got to see my grandkids.  I get two days at home and it will be back into travel mode.