Thursday, March 21, 2013

School's Out For Summer

I was recently directed to an interesting partnership between a church that belongs to the denomination I grew up in and Alice Cooper.

Here's the video...

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Proverbs XV

"When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth". Sherlock Holmes (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

Sometimes the simplist truth is the hardest to accept.

Friday, March 15, 2013


I like to learn new things.

I've been on a fairly intensive learning spree the last 6 months or so. I've discovered things I never knew about things I never knew about. I've also discovered new things about my self. I've learned new skills and am about to learn more new skills. I'm excited. Next month is going to be a month of self discovery. I can't wait.

It's good to learn. It's good to acquire new skills. It's good to grow.

I may disappear from the interweb for a while but I'll be back eventually.
(There may be some sporadic posting)

When I return I'll be better than ever.

Sunday, March 10, 2013


One of the most important things you can do in life is have a goal.
If you don't have a goal you'll never achieve anything.
The second most important thing you can do is have a plan to achieve your goal.
Without goals you will float meaninglessly through life.
Life will simply happen to you and you will be forced to react.

I am very intentional about the things I do, in most areas of my life. Recently I've decided it doesn't make sense not to live life more intentionally in all areas. The first step is to have a goal. If you don't have a goal you will never achieve the things in life you want to achieve. I always set the bar high with my goals. I figure that even if I don't achieve my goals I'll achieve much more than if I set the bar low and accomplished the minor thing I set out to do.

The second step is to have a plan. A goal, although extremely important, is useless without a plan. The plan is the process you plan on using to achieve the goal. I usually start at my goal and work my way backwards figuring out what each preceding step is required to be where I want to be. Each step in the plan now becomes a mini-goal. If you want you can break those down into separate plans again.

When I decided I wanted to be a pilot I didn't just say, "I want to be a pilot," and then sit on my butt hoping it would happen. I started phoning around and doing research online to figure out what was actually required to achieve my goal. I found out that to fly for the major airlines I would need my Airline Transportation Pilot's  Licence. To get that I would need to pass 2 major standardized ATPL exams. To write those exams I would need to study and have a certain amount of flight experience in several different categories. To gain that experience I would need my Commercial Pilot's Licence. To get that I would need to get my Private Pilot's Licence. To get that I would have to pass certain intro tests and start taking flying lessons. And  to finance all that I would need to have some money saved up or loans available to me. So that's where I started. Today I have my ATPL and the option to fly any plane anywhere in the world I choose.

I'm now in the preliminary stages of planning for the goals I want to achieve in other areas of my life.

So my message to you, if you want to get a promotion, change careers, lose weight, get married, complete a triathlon, renovate a house, or simply live a more fulfilling life, is to make a conscious decision to achieve your goal, plan on doing it, and then do it. That is all. And if you fail, I guarantee you will be much closer to getting what you want than if you did nothing at all. Try again. It will be easier than the first time you tried. I promise.

I'll leave you with a quote from Wayne Gretzky:

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."

Sunday, March 3, 2013

If It Was Meant To Be

or Sour Grapes and God's Will

More thoughts on the will of God.

Have you ever heard anyone say, "Well, if it was meant to be..." or "If it's God's will..."? I have. It's meant to be reassuring, usually to someone who is disappointed in what has just happened or uncertain of what will happen in the future. It is usually followed up the the ever popular, "Everything happens for a reason." What is implied is that everything that happens, whether desired or not, was going to happen anyway and it was God's will for those events to unfold as they did.

I have to say I whole-heartedly disagree that everything that happens was meant to be. Meaning implies concious application of value by a sentient being. In the whole scheme of existence only true meaning can be applied by God. Only those that believe in some sort of God can use the "If it was meant to be," without falling into paradox. However, to say something was meant to be is to say that things happened a certain way because it was God's will.

Either the sayer of such things doesn't believe it and is simply lying to offer comfort or support to the hearer (see my Ugly Babies post) or they believe it and are spreading a lie they think is the truth.

Let me tell you a story. Actually let Aesop tell you a story.

Pleasures are dear and difficult to get.
Feasting the eye, fat grapes hung in the arbour,
That the fox could not reach, for all his labour,
And leaving them declared, they're not ripe yet.

The Fox couldn't get the grapes he wanted so he consoles himself by saying the grapes are sour. Even if he could get them he wouldn't want to. It's similar to the "meant to be" meme. If he could have got the grapes he would never have told himself the lie, but the lie was hollow reassurance that even if he got his way, the result of not getting the grapes would be the same. In other words, "it was meant to be."

You didn't get that new promotion at work.
   I guess it wasn't meant to be.
   I guess it wasn't God's will for you.
   You probably wouldn't have liked the additional responsibilities.
   Those grapes were sour anyway.

Don't those excuses all sound the same? What I really don't like about the whole "If it was meant to be" thing is that it absolves us of responsibility and others of the consequences of their actions.

The fact is, everything does happen for a reason. That reason is not always because it was God's will for it to happen (or not happen). It is because of the actions of ourselves and others. The story of Creation is the story of God giving humankind free will and history is the result of that free will interacting with God.

I have heard the "If it was meant to be" and the "If it was God's will" used to explain away almost everything from starting/stopping a relationship, passing/failing a test, getting a job or not, and finding a parking spot. I am always careful to say I don't exclude God from inserting a miracle here and there or pulling some divine strings. I'm just saying perhaps you didn't pass your test because you didn't study hard enough, not because it wasn't God's will. Perhaps that parking spot became available by no other reason than co-incidence, not because it was meant to be. Perhaps you got the job because you were the most qualified, not because God was in there jury rigging the HR department.

My conclusion:

"If it was meant to be" and "It wasn't meant to be" are excuses to absolve people of the consequences of their actions and pass the blame or credit undeservedly on to God when God's will may not have been played out in a certain situation at all. Those phrases and those beliefs are an abdication of the authority and responsibility God has given us to live the lives He has given us.

Friday, March 1, 2013


I've said it before, but I will say it again. I am fairly oblivious to flirtation. As an introvert (INTJ Meyers Briggs personality) I just don't pick up on those social cues. I have compared my self to Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory in the past and that comparison is valid in this particular area.

This video is just for fun. (Sheldon is rumoured to suffer symptoms of Asperger's Syndrome which is a type of Autism. I have never been diagnosed with anything like that.)

The point is that I've had to make an effort to understand how social interactions are supposed to work. I've had women bake me things, give me things, ask for my phone number, offer to help decorate my house, etc... I suspect some of that was flirting. Then there are physical cues and double entendres slipped into conversations. For the most part I've been immune to that kind of thing or at the very least non-comprehending. I once had to do some ceiling repairs in a suite who's tenants were university students. The girls where going to a Halloween party. They dressed up in their skimpy costumes and paraded back in forth in front of me all night posing and taking pictures. I tried to be the "nice" guy and keep my eyes on my work and not get caught up in their presentation. However, I now suspect that the whole show was solely for my benefit. After I was finished one of the girls came up to me and said, "We're so sorry you had to see us running around all night dressed like that." At the time I thought she was sincere but now I suspect she was actually trying to draw my attention to their display. If they really didn't want me to see, they could have stayed in their rooms. I'm sure what I said next sounded exactly like something Sheldon Cooper would say. I replied by saying, "That's ok. If anything you should apologize for all the hair spray fumes. I can barely breathe." That was probably not the smoothest move on my part, but it was true. I suppose if I was a little more suave and a little more of a jerk I could have said, "Yes, it was horrible seeing you dressed like that. You should probably take those costumes off and try again." I'm not a jerk though and I don't go for girls like that. But I digress...

Back to flirting, or talking about flirting. I think I kinda understand it, but to explain it would make me look like Sheldon Cooper explaining the Drake equation. Always knowing but never understanding. I know there have been girls that have flirted with me in the past. Unfortunately it usually takes me long after the actual event to realize that's what that was. I'm sure I've flirted with girls before too, although mostly accidentally.

If you've read my blog for any time now you know that I've spent considerable time trying to understand friendships, relationships, romantic relationships, etc. I've been a part of all those things but never really understanding the dynamics of them. I've been thinking about such things again lately and I think I've had a few insights. Any way, that's why I wrote about flirting.