Wednesday, October 29, 2008

47 C

Computers get surprisingly hot.

For those of you that read my original post regarding Wagner, you'll notice that I said the CPU ran about 75 C under full load. Most reviews for my CPU say it should run at about 50 C under full load. So, yeah. It was running 50% hotter than it should, and in the CPU world, that's a huge difference.

So, yesterday I decided to figure out why it was running so hot. I changed the clock speed of my CPU (was at 3.6GHz, downclocked to stock at 3.0GHz), reset the CMOS to default, and checked the temps again: slightly cooler at 72C, but still nowhere near the 50C all reviews say it should run at (under load). I decided it must be a hardware issue. I shut everything down and take off the side panel; everything seems to be in working order. Still, maybe the thermal compound on the CPU didn't spread evenly or something, so I took off the heatsink to check.

Only about 80% of the heatsink thermal compound was touching the CPU, the rest wasn't. This could account for the temperature issues. I checked the heatsink and noticed one of the pegs was smashed against the motherboard

Thankfully, not my computer.

and not attached properly; a pair of pliers fixed that. After cleaning and then reapplying the thermal compound (probably more than I needed, but meh), I reattached the heatsink and booted up the PC. It was running at much better temps now, with the CMOS reporting about 40C. Mind you, that's prior to any real activity. So, I loaded up Windows and decided to see how it would perform under Super Pi. Within about a minute of monitoring the core speed I noticed something: it was climbing - and fast. I watched it go from 60 C at idle to 65, 70, 75, 80, 85 C - this freaked me out since that's redlining. It didn't show any sign of stopping so I immediately shut everything down as fast as I could. Looking inside the case, I found the problem...I forgot to attach the CPU fan. It was a rookie mistake and it almost cost me dearly. Still, I caught it in time.

Five seconds later it was hooked up properly and running again. this time reporting temps around 53 C idle. Better than the 60 C, but not great still. I decided that'd be enough tinkering for the night, talked to some friends for a bit, then went to bed.

This morning I powered on my PC and wanted to see if it would be stable. The past few days I've let it run while at work it's either locked up or crashed on me. I assumed this was a fluke of Vista and didn't think much about it. After talking to Will, he mentioned he's never had Vista crash on him. Maybe it was a hardware issue then? When I came back from work it was still on just as I left it: huzzah! I'm thinking the crashes were related to heat issues and perhaps an unstable overclock. I decided to check for sure and downloaded

I love prime numbers.

Prime 95, a great program for stress testing your CPU and RAM. I loaded it up and set it to go while my CPU was set to 3.6GHz; within a minute one of them had failed. I decided to try again; this time, the other processor crashed. Ok, that's not a good sign. I could up the CPU voltage to stabilize it, but upping the voltage raises the temp of the CPU significantly, and I don't want to run it any hotter than it is. I took it down to stock settings and tested it: it was stable for over 2 hours before I ended the program manually. Then I clocked it up to 3.3: stable for over 30 minutes before I ended it. Right now it's at 3.4 and hasn't had any issues. I might try going to 3.5 tomorrow, but I'm not sure it's worth it. 3.4GHz from a 3GHz CPU isn't bad, and as of this writing, it's idling at 47 C; as the thermal compound sets, it works better. Still not what it should be, but nothing to worry about, either.

Tomorrow I might try to go to 3.5GHz, but I'm not sure it's worth it. At 3.4 everything is working well so far; I'm gonna stress test it while I'm at work tomorrow to see if it holds up over a long period of time and make sure, but I'm confident. If it does, I'll try 3.5 the next day.

Best. Series. Ever.

[I'm also happy to note that this is probably why Fallout 3 kept crashing on me; when the CPU pukes, it takes whatever it's running with it. I didn't notice this because I'm not used to multiple core CPUs. I played it for about two hours today with absolutely no crashes or flaws at all.]

Issues

My new PC, Wagner (formerly Clio), is having issues.

I'm working on fixing them.

I should have been in bed two three hours ago.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Everyone, meet Clio

On Monday most of my computer parts arrived. On Friday my processor finally arrived. (It actually arrived Thursday but I wasn't here to receive it; hence why Hell has not been raised and a coup d'etat for the throne of hell has not taken place.)

Friday after work I began assembling my computer. It started out looking something like this:

It's kinda like Christmas.



I then started assembling the whole thing. After about an hour or being pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to connect hard disk drives and Blu-Ray/DVD drives (they literally just snap into place) and running SATA cables (which are about 1/5th the size of IDE cables), I had everything configured. The case looked pretty empty. I got the processor put in, removed the stock thermal compound, put on my Arctic Silver 5, attached the heatsink, and it looked something like this:

Yay for turbines on PCs.



Ok, so you can't really see the inside. Still, it's a nice case, isn't it?


Then I hooked it all up, turned it on...and nothing happened.

I checked some jumpers on the motherboard and tried again; it started to spin a little but the shut off again. Then I messed around with a few more things - didn't actually change anything though - and tried again. This time it worked, but no video. No POST. Just spinning of fans.

After another 20 minutes of adjusting cables and everything, it finally powered on. It looked like this:

It makes a good night light.



I was kinda surprised myself; I didn't know it had blue LEDs on it.


Anyways, another few hours of installing software and CMOS settings, and my PC is now running at a nice 3.6GHz and sitting at about 75C at full load (a little hot, I know, but the thermal compound still hasn't set in). It plays everything nicely.

BioShock, once again, was a pain in the butt to load and get working, but it plays beautifully now. I'm kind of sad the only version of Windows I have is a 32bit version since my processor is just begging for a 64bit, but until I can wine-and-dine Jared into getting me a copy of Vista Ultimate 64bit, this'll do. (Marvia, you and Jared can expect to be taken out to dinner over Christmas.)

I've named her Clio. (Ok, so it's not that original of a name since that's what's on the case, but it's a placeholder for the time being. I'll change the name later when I get a 64bit version of Windows and it becomes a more permanent system.)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

NyQuil and Sudafed...

...are the reason I won't be updating much today.

I just want to be done with work and go to bed.

[if my processor isn't here today I swear I will raise Hell, dethrone Lucifer himself, then use my human-bone chariot of pain to bring pestilence and suffering upon the guy on ebay who sold it to me. He will wish he were a Buddhist and had achieved nirvana as his whole life truly will become suffering as my demonic legions begin their dark work upon his flesh.]

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Enjoy the silence

Into great Silence.

I've had very little to say the past few days.

The most interesting result of this is how others have reacted. People get uncomfortable during silent periods, they think something is wrong. I'm not sure why. I do it, too. I supposed it's perhaps a condition of our society or our culture. We talk. We talk a lot. Conversing back and forth is considered a good thing; lack of conversation a bad thing. This is especially true on dates. If I go on a date and conversation doesn't play out like a tennis match I might as well take her number out of my phone. Truthfully though, I don't believe the best relationships are those where conversation bounces back and forth. I think the best relationships are those where no words need to be said at all.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

February

I was walking around a Barnes & Noble today and thinking about when I worked at the Barnes & Noble in Fargo last winter. I was friends with most of the employees and we'd hang out on a regular basis. We'd watch movies, play games, have parties on holidays. Looking back I think that was my favorite job I've ever had; January and February of last year were two of the happiest months in my life. I was genuinely happy then.

I miss that job.

Friday, October 17, 2008

I am Sol

It all revolves around me.

I'm quite self-centered. I don't think I'm self-centered in a truly bothersome or arrogant fashion. I like to think it's more oblivious and naivity than anything else. Perhaps cockiness and delusion, too.

I was talking to someone today and they said, "yeah, we were talking about you the other day." This caught me off guard: it does not consciously occur to me that people talk to each other when I'm not there. I generally just assume all life that I cannot see or am not in the presence of is on hold or in a null state of existence, simply going through the motions of life. The idea that life continues without me in a similar fashion as it does with me does not regularly factor into my thoughts. It's an entirely foreign concept to me.

This becomes more mind-boggling to me when I realize that people may not only be talking when I'm not present, but that they may be talking about me.

I don't mean to sound paranoid. My anthropomorphic armies of self-esteem are powerful enough to repel any invading thoughts that they may be saying bad things about me. Truthfully this army is perhaps too effective. I'll deal with it later; court marshals will be issued, testimonials heard.

In context with the idea that people talk and interact when I'm not around is the thought that perhaps womenfolk do so as well. Truly horrifying is that they may talk about me. Again, my impenetrable wall of pride repels all paranoid trebuchets armed with rocks of mockery or battering rams of insults.

My impregnable self-esteem.

(The wall blocks the former and a cauldron of boiling self-delusion takes care of the latter.) I am an impregnable fortress of confidence. Yet all this is so self contained that it does not occur to me that while they are talking they may actually be saying nice things about me. In building up so many defenses towards any hostile outside forces, I completely abandoned the concept that perhaps there are friendly kingdoms that wish to trade with my beloved fiefdom. (The U.S. has adopted a similar foreign policy with about as much success.) I tend to treat gift baskets from other monarchies the same way I treat flaming terracotta pots of Greek Fire hurled by cave trolls: both get met with a giant wall of indifference and ignored. Flaming bags of dog poo left on the doorstep are also best handled this way, too.

[is anyone sick of this metaphor yet?]

What this all leads up to is that it never occurs to me that someone may like me. It honestly doesn't. As far as I'm concerned girls don't think about me unless the girl has jumped in my lap or pushed me up against a wall and kissed me; both have historically had success in getting my attention. Most other methods have failed due to my medieval foreign policies.

I should be more conscious of the world around me. Well, not the world around me; I spent four years of college studying the world and I do pay attention to the people around me. I should pay attention to the people who aren't around me.

These things exist.

Of course by "pay attention" I mean "acknowledge they exist," which is harder than it sounds. I can't just suddenly acknowledge somethings existence. Have you ever tried acknowledging that giant isopods exist? It's like learning the Boogey Man exists and you just got lucky that he didn't live in your neighborhood. It shatters worlds.

I think I just compared realizing that humans exist to giant sea bugs. That's probably a good note to end on for today.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Quiz time: Enya or The Clash?

Do you know the difference?

Here's how this goes, I'll post the lyrics from two songs and we'll see who can guess which one was done by the 70's and 80's British, influential, political, punk rock band, The Clash, and which was done by the Celtic, New-Age, day-at-the-spa artist Enya:

[this quiz was inspired by my boss who came into my office today at work while I was listening to The Clash and asked, without any irony, "Are you listening to Enya?"]

Exile:
Cold as the northern winds in December mornings,
Cold is the cry that rings from this far distant shore.

Winter has come too late. too close beside me.
How can I chase away all these fears deep inside?

I'll wait the signs to come. I'll find a way.
I will wait the time to come. I'll find a way home.

My light shall be the moon and my path -- the ocean.
My guide the morning star as I sail home to you

I'll wait the signs to come. I'll find a way.
I will wait the time to come. I'll find a way home.

Who then can warm my soul? who can quell my passion?
Out of these dreams -- a boat. I will sail home to you.


The Magnificent Seven:
Ring! ring! its 7:00 a.m.!
Move yself to go again
Cold water in the face
Brings you back to this awful place
Knuckle merchants and you bankers, too
Must get up an learn those rules
Weather man and the crazy chief
One says sun and one says sleet
A.m., the f.m. the p.m. too
Churning out that boogaloo
Gets you up and gets you out
But how long can you keep it up?
Gimme honda, gimme sony
So cheap and real phony
Hong kong dollars and indian cents
English pounds and eskimo pence

You lot! what?
Dont stop! give it all you got!
You lot! what?
Dont stop! yeah!

Working for a rise, better my station
Take my baby to sophistication
Shes seen the ads, she thinks its nice
Better work hard - I seen the price
Never mind that its time for the bus
We got to work - an youre one of us
Clocks go slow in a place of work
Minutes drag and the hours jerk

When can I tell em wot I do?
In a second, maaan...oright chuck!

Wave bub-bub-bub-bye to the boss
Its our profit, its his loss
But anyway lunch bells ring
Take one hour and do your thanng!
Cheeesboiger!

What do we have for entertainment?
Cops kickin gypsies on the pavement
Now the news - snap to attention!
The lunar landing of the dentist convention
Italian mobster shoots a lobster
Seafood restaurant gets out of hand
A car in the fridge
Or a fridge in the car?
Like cowboys do - in t.v. land

You lot! what? dont stop. huh?

So get back to work an sweat some more
The sun will sink an well get out the door
Its no good for man to work in cages
Hits the town, he drinks his wages
Youre frettin, youre sweatin
But did you notice you aint gettin?
Dont you ever stop long enough to start?
To take your car outta that gear
Dont you ever stop long enough to start?
To get your car outta that gear
Karlo marx and fredrich engels
Came to the checkout at the 7-11
Marx was skint - but he had sense
Engels lent him the necessary pence

What have we got? yeh-o, magnificence!!

Luther king and mahatma gandhi
Went to the park to check on the game
But they was murdered by the other team
Who went on to win 50-nil
You can be true, you can be false
You be given the same reward
Socrates and milhous nixon
Both went the same way - through the kitchen
Plato the greek or rin tin tin
Whos more famous to the billion millions?
News flash: vacuum cleaner sucks up budgie
Oooohh...bub-bye

Magnificence!!
You may enter your choices in the comments section below.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Norwegian Wisdom

"I just... people just suck. Some people. Don't they realize the grass won't be green unless they water it?"
-Jen
I couldn't have said it better myself.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Small effects

Based on the traffic for this site I'd say some people are actually reading my posts regarding Proposition 8. Not a lot of people, mind you, but some.

I hope people share what they've read here. I honestly am not here to force you or even convince you to vote a certain way though my last post may imply that. All I ask is that you vote knowing the facts instead of rumors. Many sites and information

Don't perpetuate falsities.

I've received supporting Proposition 8 are spun or skewed to make it sound worse than it is; all I ask are the objective facts for each person to read and make their own conclusions.

If you choose to support Prop 8 for religious reasons, by all means do so. I won't argue with your right to do that. I will fight against people perpetuating fallacies as facts and skewed news stories as objective. Maintaining and passing on lies is becoming of no one.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Unpopular

[This is probably going to make me fairly unpopular with a lot people who read this, but I'm getting used to that.]
We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may"
-The 11th Article of Faith, written by Joseph Smith
This is not a matter of your feelings towards homosexuality. This is not a matter of your feelings towards gay marriage. This is not a matter of the church or any other institutions views on sexual orientation, preference, or behavior.

This is a matter of freedom and of civil liberties.

You may feel that homosexuality is wrong; that is your right and belief and it should not be taken from you. You may believe that gay marriage is sinful; once again, that is your right and belief and it should not be taken from you. You may believe that Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Voodoo, Zoroastrianism, and Buddhism are incorrect faiths; that is your right and your belief and that should not be taken from you.

We allow all men to worship how, where, or what they may. Does this grant of liberty not apply to people of other faiths that disagree with us? We apply it to Catholics, Protestants, Baptists, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists...we do not force our religious beliefs or practices upon them in terms of religious freedom. Why then do so many insist we enforce our beliefs on homosexuals (who may be members of any of the previously mentioned religions)? Some of those religions would allow gay marriage. Is it just that we will respect their religious beliefs and ask for their respect...except on this issue, in which case we're right and they're wrong? I strongly doubt that is how Joseph Smith intended the 11th Article of Faith and that shouldn't be how we act.

This is not a matter of what you believe to be right or wrong, moral or immoral. This is a matter of forcing beliefs upon those who do not share our faith. We do not hinder the liberties or freedoms of those who choose to drink alcohol or coffee, smoke cigarettes, have permarital sex, or do any number of things we do not believe are right. Why then do so many go up in arms over an issue that is fundamentally an imposition of our beliefs and our faith on non-members?

The principle is the same.

Joseph Smith wrote the Articles of Faith detailing the doctrines of the church in 1842. Those doctrines have not changed; they are still taught in Primary to our youth and still printed in each copy of the Pearl of Great Price. I only ask that we follow what our religion preaches and allow all men (and women) to worship how, where, or what they may. We are allowed our personal feelings and beliefs on all matters; we should not hinder another from their beliefs or feelings on the same matters.

If we wish them to respect our religion and our beliefs, we must also respect theirs.

Timing

I'm in the process of building a new PC. Anyone who has spoken with me in the last week has probably heard me complain about tracking numbers and the torturous pain they inflict. I'm convinced they're only there to make waiting worse, like when your parents would hold a cookie just out of reach and laugh as you try to jump and grab it.

I'll skimp on telling you the specs since most of you don't care and those who do care have probably already heard them. Needless to say, it's very powerful and will be very pretty when completed. I'll post pictures.

However, as with all things, Murphy's Law takes effect. My current PC just puked today. It gave me the Vista equivalent of the blue screen of death, which as it turns out is just as annoying and failurific. I'm gonna tinker with it when I get home and see what I can do to make it semi-functional, at least to a level where I can sell it for a few hundred without having to lie.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Words cannot express the failure


There is actually a Lingerie Football League now. CNN had a little blip about it; I thought it was a joke or perhaps some cheerleader training session they were covering. I didn't realize they had actually started a league where women in lingerie play football.

This is the most sociologically depressing sporting event since Mixed Martial Arts fighting. (MMA being more depressing in that it both misses the point of martial arts and is little more than modern gladiatorial battles.)

By the way, the multiple updates today are because a) I've had things to post about and b) it's been a slow day at work.

Proposition 8 revisited

Hooray for research.

A good friend of mine linked me to the site where much of the information regarding Proposition 8 (the CA proposition to make marriage only legal between a man and a woman in the constitution). The link itself is: http://www.whatisprop8.com/Legal-Battles/Legal-Battles/

I would be amiss
and hypocritical if I did not follow what I ask of others, that is, to educate themselves as much as possible on all sides of issues in this world. After all, you can't say you support one side over another if you don't know both sides. Following that, I checked out the site. Here are the (only) stories and links from the legal battle page.
  • Artist hit for refusal on beliefs - this news article simply states that an injunction was filed, it does not give a ruling or any fines.

  • CA Supreme Court rules doctors must provide treatment that violates their religious beliefs - this article focuses on a ruling by the supreme court of California that doctors cannot discriminate with their patients. The doctors ran a fertility clinic and a lesbian woman was refused treatment after failing to get pregnant using home fertility methods; one doctor refused on the basis that she was a single woman, the other refused due to religious reasons, again stating the marital status of the woman.
    According to an L. A. Times report, Kenneth R. Pedroza, who represented the doctors, said the ruling would probably cause many physicians to refuse to perform inseminations at all. Pedroza said Dr. Brody did not violate the law because it did not bar discrimination on the basis of marital status when Benitez sought insemination in 1999. The state law has since been amended.
    What this implies is that the case was not in relation to her being a lesbian but rather that she was unwed. Of course this ties into the issue of homosexuality as she was not able to marry the person of her choosing. This court case did not revolve around her being homosexual but rather on her marital status.

  • CA Supreme Court threatens medical care and religious freedom, says Americans United for Life - this is another article on the same case as the one I just discussed.

  • Canadian Catholic Priest opposes same-sex marriage, faces possible prosecution - as with the photographer case, this is a case where a priest is being investigated, but no ruling, fines, or lawsuit is given. The title of the article even states "possible" prosecution; there was/is an investigation, but no injunctions have been filed.

  • Christian photographers fined for refusing same-sex ceremony - the exact same case as the previous photographer case I covered. This one does include a ruling, however:
    In its ruling this week, the commission found: "Complainant, Vanessa Willock, proved her discrimination claim based on sexual orientation. The Complainant proved by a preponderance of the evidence that the Respondent, Elane Photography, LLC, discriminated against her because of sexual orientation, in violation of … the New Mexico Human Rights Act."

    The Christian couple was ordered to pay Willock $6,637.94.

    The ADF, however, said the case will be appealed because of the significance of the constitutional issue at stake.
    I don't actually agree with this and hope the appeal does succeed. I do not agree with the discrimination, but I also do not agree with someone being forced to participate in something against their will. I imagine there were other photographers in the area who would have gladly taken this job.

    The article also mentions a congressional bill discussing this topic and homosexual rights that failed in congress due to being seen as unconstitutional and infringing on free exercise of religion.

    One thing to point out is that this is not in fact revolving around or involving gay marriage at all: the event that the photographer was requested to photograph was a "commitment ceremony," not a marriage or civil union. Of course the implications and perhaps meaning of the ceremony are the same, but this occurred outside of the topic of gay marriage and I would argue using it in such a case is dodgy at best.

    Doing a search on the site, I found that on July 8th, 2008 a follow up article was published regarding the appeal and counter lawsuit: no ruling has yet been reported by this case on the site, but it sounds like it has a good chance.

  • Court rules schools can teach homosexuality without parents consent or choice to opt out - basically what the name of the article says.
    Justice Wolf accepted the school board’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that “It is reasonable for public educators to teach elementary school students about individuals with different sexual orientations and about various forms of families, including those with same-sex parents, in an effort to eradicate the effects of past discrimination, to reduce the risk of future discrimination and, in the process, to reaffirm our nation's constitutional commitment to promoting mutual respect among members of our diverse society.”
    I don't disagree, so I have nothing to add.
I must say I find it sad that of the six stories, two are duplicates. It implies there aren't many cases to go off of and they are trying to make it look like a more widespread issue. Listing only four stories, or adding "second source" or "follow up" links to support the story would have reflected better upon their reporting.

I would also like to point out once again that none of those issues involve gay marriage or civil unions. They're all related to gay rights and discrimination, not gay marriage or Proposition 8 in California at all.

Mark, I appreciate you linking me to the site where this came from. I'm always open to further research and education.

One more thing to add: Massachusetts already allows gay marriages and has since May 17th, 2004; in the 4.5 years it's been allowed it hasn't caused any of the issues people are claiming will come from California. I would think if these fears were grounded in reality, the issues would have surfaced already.

Factcheck.org

This is a huge picture.

www.factcheck.org

I've linked this site before on my blog but it was within another post. It is a non-partisan site that looks at the comments and claims by the political candidates and their parties and analyzes whether or not what they say is true, giving you the full story.

I know only a handful of people read this blog, but please, do what you can to educate yourself about these issues and share this with those you know. I don't care if you're voting for Obama or McCain or even Ron Paul as long as you're doing so with the proper facts and knowledge. An ignorant or misled vote is worse than no vote at all.

Here's an excerpt from their analysis of last nights debate:
McCain and Obama debated for the second time, in Nashville. We noted some misleading statements and mangled facts:

* McCain proposed to write down the amount owed by over-mortgaged homeowners and claimed the idea as his own: “It’s my proposal, it's not Sen. Obama's proposal, it's not President Bush's proposal.” But the idea isn’t new. Obama had endorsed something similar two weeks earlier, and authority for the treasury secretary to grant such relief was included in the recently passed $700 billion financial rescue package.

* Both candidates oversimplified the causes of the financial crisis. McCain blamed it on Democrats who resisted tighter regulation of federal mortgage agencies. Obama blamed it on financial deregulation backed by Republicans. We find both are right, with plenty of blame left over for others, from home buyers to the chairman of the Federal Reserve.

* Obama said his health care plan would lower insurance premiums by up to $2,500 a year. Experts we’ve consulted see little evidence such savings would materialize.

* McCain misstated his own health care plan, saying he’d give a $5,000 tax credit to “every American” His plan actually would provide only $2,500 per individual, or $5,000 for couples and families. He also misstated Obama’s health care plan, claiming it would levy fines on “small businesses” that fail to provide health insurance. Actually, Obama’s plan exempts “small businesses.”

* McCain lamented that the U.S. was forced to “withdraw in humiliation” from Somalia in 1994, but he failed to note that he once proposed to cut off funding for troops to force a faster withdrawal.

* Obama said, “I favor nuclear power.” That’s a stronger statement than we've heard him make before. As recently as last December, he said, “I am not a nuclear energy proponent.”

* McCain claimed “1.3 million people in America make their living off eBay.” Actually, only 724,000 persons in the U.S. have income from eBay, and only some of them rely on it as their primary source.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Article of Faith #11



It seems so obvious, yet many miss it. We are fully allowed to worship how, where, and what we may. That is our right as Americans.

When it comes to public policy that effects all Americans, we should not impose one religious view on others or support one religion over another. In public policy we should support that which is objective, which applies to all Americans of all faiths, theists and atheists alike. I would not like to be under Sharia Law because it is not my belief; I would not like to be prevented from practicing my faith by an atheist; I realize these are extreme examples but they follow the line of religious influence in government. If we ask others to respect our beliefs and our faith, we should show the same respect to them.

Joseph Smith wrote the Articles of Faith when asked what our church believes. Number 11 states:
We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.
It is for reasons like this that I stand by my faith so proudly. Religion is a part of my life and I would fight tooth and nail if anyone were to prevent me from practicing it. We should allow others the same courtesy and allow them to believe what they may and not create laws or enact national actions or policies based on a religion.

Objectively researching Proposition 8

Objectivity reveals truth.

I've been receiving and seeing lots of people supporting Proposition 8 for California - the constitutional amendment to make marriage solely between a man and a woman. The argument for this is that California currently grants civil unions and those are the state equivalent of marriage. This is true. However, California civil unions are state level, it is not required to be federally recognized as the same and does not grant the same federal rights.

Many arguments against gay marriage revolve around religion, particularly that churches will be forced to perform gay marriages, could lose their tax exempt status if they refuse to or be seen as promoting hate speech if they speak out against homosexuality. This is not true.

I do what I can to view all issues objectively, to be as informed as possible and to get as many facts regarding an issue as I can. Of the groups I've seen supporting this proposition, none provided objective sources for their information, so I found them myself. The following quotes and news sources are what I found. (Many news sources and articles regarding this were either noticeably biased, such as from about.atheism.com or from www.protectmarriage.com, or were other versions of these same stories.)

From http://pewforum.org/news/display.php?NewsID=15725:
The groups said they feared legalized gay marriage could result in some undesirable scenarios, starting in California with ripple effects from coast to coast:

-- Because California lacks residential requirements for marriage, a flood of gay couples nationwide could travel to California and get married, then return to their home states and demand that those marriages be recognized.

-- California houses of worship would be forced to conduct same-sex weddings or risk losing their tax-exempt status.

-- Christian-based adoption agencies that refuse to place children with same-sex couples could lose their ability to operate.

-- Public schools would be forced to teach the "fully equal status of homosexual and heterosexual conduct."

But gay-rights advocates dismiss such scenarios as a "red herring," noting that the California ruling says nothing about houses of worship, adoption or what is taught in public schools.

Lara Schwartz, legal director at the Human Rights Campaign, called it "the combination of a scare tactic and a desperate move." Churches will no more be forced to conduct same-sex weddings than a Catholic Church will be forced to marry a bride or groom who's already divorced, or a rabbi will be compelled to perform an interfaith wedding.

On the potential for a faith-based institution to lose its tax-exempt status, Schwartz said "the legal issue that they brought up isn't related to marriage rights, it's discrimination rights."
Furthermore, in response to the LDS church - the church to which I am a member and firm believer of - losing it's tax exempt status due to this event in more detail, it has nothing to do with gay marriage. It is an issue of the church being involved in politics and whether or not its involvement in this issue violates the tax exemption status. The legal/tax issue is not regarding gay marriage or the church prohibiting marriage. The current legal conclusion was that since the church is not endorsing a political candidate, only supporting a position, it has not violated its tax exempt status. Of course that is subject to change should this matter escalate.

From http://www.abc4.com/news/local/story.aspx?content_id=97b66a40-0f35-4f4c-b843-32138998993a:
Kendell and her attorney concluded the LDS Church can't endorse a political candidate but can take a position on the anti-gay marriage amendment in California, but added that there may be certain restrictions on the Church contributing directly to the California anti-amendment forces.
I realize many of my fellow LDS friends and church members disagree with me on this. I accept that. The simple fact is that the main reasons people are using to argue for this proposition are unfounded fears that rely on things that "could" happen; not things that will happen or things that are even likely to happen.

If you still wish to vote yes on Proposition 8 due to your feelings about gay marriage that is wholly within your right and I will not hinder nor argue with you about that. That is your right as an American. It is your right to voice your opinion and vote for what you believe is right. All I ask is that you do not claim rumors, lies, or fallacies as facts to convince others to do the same.

Monday, October 6, 2008

I wanted to.

Why did you come with me?

This is one of my favorite exchanges of dialogue. It's from Final Fantasy IX; Zidane is a thief/bandit, Dagger is an exiled princess. I hope no one scoffs at this being from a video game; these days, the writing in games can surpass that of books or movies. Games have been recognized as a form of art, and so while there are games like Madden and Grand Theft Auto that are just senseless gameplay, there are other games that actually build characters and even philosophize about life.
  • Zidane: "It's okay. Keep singing. 'Cause it's our song, right? I'm surprised you found this place. You got the talent to be a bandit! How 'bout you and me team up? We'll call ourselves 'The Betrothed.'"
  • Dagger: "My talent's up to snuff, but that name isn't."
  • Zidane: "Hehehe. You're really something these days."
  • Dagger: "If I am, I must've gotten it from you."
  • Zidane: "Naw... It's all because you made the effort to learn."
  • Dagger: "No, it's because you stuck with me. Without you, I couldn't have made it to Lindblum, much less seen a whole new continent. Everything I tried to do on my own was a total failure. I couldn't stop my mother... At times I almost lost hope... You helped me so much... Not just you, either."
  • Zidane: "Yeah... Vivi and Eiko helped out at the Iifa Tree. Quina was real helpful when we left the continent. Freya, Steiner...and even Beatrix, who I thought was our enemy."
  • Dagger: "I haven't forgotten... I want to believe everyone is alright, but sometimes I just can't. I hope I can live up to the hopes of everyone who has helped me."
  • Zidane: "You don't have to feel so responsible, Dagger."
  • Dagger: "But I do!"
  • Zidane: "Nobody wants you to feel that way. They didn't do it all for you, either. Each was following his own path."
  • Dagger: "His own...path? Well, what about you?"
  • Zidane: "Huh?"
  • Dagger: "Why did you come with me?"
  • Zidane: "Hey, that's Ipsen's line."
  • Dagger: "Ipsen? Who's that?"
  • Zidane: "Ipsen is a character from a play, but he's a real-life adventurer. I think the play is based on his adventures. It kind of goes like this... Ipsen and his good friend Colin worked at a tavern in Treno. One day Ipsen got a letter. The letter was so wet from rain that most of the writing was illegible. The only part he could read said 'Come back home.' Nowadays, we have airships and stuff, but back then, it was really hard to travel. He didn't know why he had to go back, but he got some time off, gathered his things, and set out on his journey home. He walked a thousand leagues through the Mist. Sometimes he was attacked by vicious monsters, but he made it, because his friend Colin was by his side. And then, after much time on the road... He had to ask Colin something. 'Why did you come with me?'"
  • Dagger: "And? What was Colin's answer?"
  • Zidane: "'Only because I wanted to go with you.'"
I think there's something beautiful about this. Far too often in life we make excuses for why we do things. I know I do. I call friends up to play video games or watch movies, I ask girls out to movies or dinner. Sometimes I do so because there's a movie I really want to see or I have an urge to play 'More Than a Feeling' on Rock Band. Othertimes, I might not actually want to play video games or watch movies or go to dinner, I just want to be with person, but I'd never say it. It's a social faux pas to tell a girl "I just want to be with you." Society dictates that we come up with a reason or activity to do with them, something you would both enjoy so you have an excuse to do it together.

Most of the time I just feel like it's a lie. The activity doesn't matter; being with the person does.

I think the only person I've ever been able to call up and say "do you want to hang out" and actually mean "I have nothing planned and nothing in mind, I just want to sit around with you" is Lee. Everyone else I feel like I need a reason to see them. I wish I didn't.

Just wanting to is enough.

I hope someday to meet a girl whom I'm comfortable enough around that when she asks "Why did you come with me?" I can respond "Only because I wanted to go with you," and have that truly be enough of a reason.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

MTV redeems themselves

The past few years, MTV has not been worth watching. It's been a lot of bad dating shows and stupid teenage crap usually revolving around sex or promiscuity. Their awards are even worse and more pointless.

This year, they're redeeming themselves. In Liverpool on November 6th, they're holding the Europe Music Awards and right now are allowing people to cast votes for categories like "Rock Out" (nominees: Linkin Park, Metallica, Paramore, Slipknot, and 30 Seconds to Mars), "Most Addictive Track" (nominees: "Viva la Vida" by Coldplay, "Mercy" by Duffy, "I Kissed A Girl" by Katy Perry, "All Summer Long" by Kid Rock, and "So What" by P!nk) and "Album of the Year" (nominees: "As I Am" by Alicia Keys, "Blackout" by Britney Spears, "Viva la Vida" by Coldplay, "Rockferry" by Duffy, and "Spirit" by Leona Lewis).

There's also an award for "Best Act Ever." Nominees: Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Green Day, U2, Tokio Hotel, and Rick Astley.

Yes. You read that right. Rick Astley has been nominated for "Best Act Ever" by the MTV EMA.

To all who read this, I beseech you, follow this link and vote to help make Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" the best act ever. Because truly it is. Here's the evidence:


Even Barack Obama knows how awesome Rick Astley is:



Now THAT is how you win elections my friends!

Fighting your own leaders

Some people just need it.

From cnn.com:

"The fact is she'll do fine tonight. She has experience, talent, leadership. She has great inner strength. She has an ability to lead that's been proven, taken on her own party," [McCain] said. "Joe Biden and Barack Obama have never taken on the leaders of their party on any issue. She's stood up for what's right for the people of Alaska. And she will stand up for what's right for America."


I'm assuming he's right. I don't really feel like looking through congressional records to check, but I'll take him at his word that Obama and Biden have never stood up against the leaders of their party. Then again, the United States Marines have never stood up against the Navy Seals either. Why?
Because they're on the same freakin' side.

The only time you need to fight your own leaders is when they start running you into the ground. I understand why McCain has "taken on" his own party. I also understand why Obama and Biden haven't.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A model for pet owners

Greg LeNoir: artist's rendition.

Ladies and gentlemen, Greg LeNoir is the role model for pet owners everywhere. Why? The man dove head first into a marina and punched out a shark to save his dog. Seriously. He dove in and punched a five foot shark that was trying to eat his dog, causing the shark to let go and saving Jake, his rat terrier. I couldn't make this up if I wanted to.

This guy is on par with Chuck Norris.