Tag Archive for comentary

only love can do that

Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.  Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.  Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction.

 

– Martin Luther King, Jr

this post was edited to correct the quote

Hi, my name is Brian and I am a vegetarian.

I made a decision almost three years ago that I no longer wanted to consume meat as part of my diet.  I made my decision based on my personal moral and religious beliefs.  I did not become an evangelical vegetarian that tries to convert everyone around me nor did I become a militant vegetarian that fights to keep others from eating meat.  I am more of a libertarian vegetarian that feels each person must make his or her own decisions about the food they eat, except the consequences of those decisions and not interfere with anyone else’s decision making process.

While I did remove all meat, meat products, eggs and anything made from animal flesh from my diet “cold turkey” (ha ha) three years ago, I have been slowly moving toward a vegan diet by removing more and more items made with dairy and egg products.  My one weakness will always be chocolate chip cookies.  Only ones made with real eggs, real butter and real chocolate will ever do.  I have accepted this and made peace with myself in this matter.

Since I am the lone vegetarian in a house of carnivores, I don’t ask my wife to make a special meal just for me.  I usually make my own dinner and she takes care of herself and the boys.  By the same token, she does not ask me to cook for her and the boys when there is meat involved.  This arrangement has worked out pretty well.

Last night things changed.  My older son, along with three of his classmates, were doing a project for social studies on the African country of Namibia and my son’s job was to focus on the food and drink of the country.  For their presentation, they decided that he would prepare a traditional Namibian stew and let everyone in class try some.  I thought it was a great idea.  Since the stew took four hours to cook, I had to start the meat cooking early.  This was the first time in three years that I had handled meat.  More surprising though was the way it made me feel.  It felt wrong cutting up the meat.  I mean the kind of deep down inside, right at the core of your being wrong.  Even though all I was doing was cutting up stew beef from a cow that had been “processed” days before and many miles away, it felt as though I was killing it all over again.  I have to assume that’s what it felt like, having never “processed” an animal before.  I finished the job and while it was cooking, I had time to think.  Is this going to effect how I interact with my carnivorous family and friends?  Am I going to stare at people’s plates in restaurants and feel sick?  Gosh I hope not.  Since I became a vegetarian, I have never had a problem watching people cook meat, eat meat or enjoy meat.  The smell of cooking meat or the sight of raw meat never bothered me.  I guess I now know what my limits are, and I hope that they don’t become more “limiting”.

I guess my point in writing this, other than the cathartic rewards, is to ask the question, “Is this normal and have other vegetarians gone through something similar, or am I just a wing nut, pansy and I need to grow a pair and quit wining?”

I told my wife about this when she got home from work and took over the cooking duties and while she did laugh a little, she said she understood.  This is why I love her.  She gets me.    

A Female Doctor Who?

I saw an article yesterday entitled, Women in science group want a female Doctor Who, (Thanks BoingBoing) and it got me to thinking. 

My family has fallen in love with the latest incarnation of the Doctor Who franchise.  While none of us were fans when the only way to see the show was to catch it on PBS, we all enjoyed the last four seasons on BBC America.  In our eyes, David Tennant is the perfect Doctor.  He is funny, passionate, quick, has that air of mystery about him and it doesn’t hurt he is good looking.  It is a shame to see him go but time marches on.  With his departure, thoughts logically turn to who will step in and take over his role.

The idea of a woman as the Doctor is interesting to me and my family.  Doctor Who is one of the very few shows that we watch and for us it is important to find things that we all like to watch together as a family.  We don’t want anything to happen to the show that will cause it to loose that special place in our lives.  We only want to see the show get better and better and if a female Doctor will make it better, then we are all for it.  We don’t want to see a female lead only for the sake of seeing a female lead.  We just want to see the best person play the Doctor, male or female, black or white, young or old….

This show has a unique ability to change its leading character at any time, through the Doctor’s process of regeneration, and continue on without missing a beat.  We all agree the idea of a female Doctor may not be a bad idea at all, and if things don’t work out she can always regenerate.  My family all enjoyed the two part finale of this past season where Donna was given the powers of the Doctor and we were all sad to see them taken away and her memory erased.

We are excited and can’t wait for the new season to start in 2010.  This year we came close to having a woman in the US Vice-President’s office, came close to having a woman represent a major political party for US President so maybe the time has come to have a woman play Doctor Who.

Movie Stuff

BoB BluRayOne of my favorite movies / miniseries is Band of Brothers.  I have watched it many times and while it may not be the most historically accurate portrayal of the Second World War, it has found a very special place in my heart and in my very exclusive dvd collection.  Other than Band of Brothers, I only own 4 other movies.  I have Saving Private Ryan, Serenity, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and the entire Firefly series.  These are the only videos that I have enjoyed enough that I felt it would be cheaper to buy than to rent more than once.

I saw on Amazon today that they are taking preorders for the new Blu-ray version of Band of Brothers.  I am not sure I am going to buy it though because my dvd player does a great job of up converting regular dvds so they look good on the big screen tv.  Christmas is coming so I will have to keep this one in mind.

While we are on the subject of Band of Brothers, I have to tell you that one of the best things about this movie is the music.  I think I may like the music even more than the video itself.  It is the one album that is on everyone of my computers, every portable music player, on my thumb drive attached to my keychain and even stored in the cloud online in case a tragedy occurs and all other copies are lost.  (Don’t mind my OCD)  If you have never heard it, you are really missing something special.  Here is a link to Amazon.

If that is not enough B of B news, check this out.  The folks involved with the production of Band of Brothers are about to release a new miniseries about World War II in the Pacific theater.  It is called The Pacific and is due to come out some time next year.  Here is the Wikipedia link.  I am so looking forward to this production.  I only wish that  Michael Kamen, the composer of the amazing Band of Brothers score, were still alive to do the music for this one too.

a couple quick thoughts

I came across a couple of things this week while looking around the Internet and thought I would share them.  I found this pearl of wisdom from our United States Attorney General while reading an article about the hiring problems that occurred at the Justice Department.

"Not every wrong, or even every violation of the law, is a crime.”  Robert Mukasey, Attorney General

Now I agree that not every wrong is a crime, but I always thought that definition of a crime was a violation of the law.  Webster Dictionary defines a crime as; an act or the commission of an act that is forbidden.  Seems pretty cut and dry to me.  I wonder if this will lead to defendants being acquitted by using “The Mukasey Defense” in court.  This is our “Top Cop”.  Here is a link to the whole article.  LINK

Another article I came across was about President Bush looking to weaken the Endangered Species Act.  You can read the whole article here.  The two sections that caught my eye and made throw up a little in my mouth were this one;

The Interior Department said such consultations (with the Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Service) are no longer necessary because federal agencies have developed expertise to review their own construction and development projects, according to the 30-page draft obtained by the AP.  "We believe federal action agencies will err on the side of caution in making these determinations," the proposal said.

We have seen what our federal agencies have done when there is no oversight or consultation these last eight years.  The second little gem was this one;

In 2005, the House passed a bill that would have made similar changes to the Endangered Species Act, but the bill died in the Senate.  The sponsor of that bill, then-House Natural Resources chairman Richard Pombo, R-Calif., told the AP Monday that allowing agencies to judge for themselves the effects of a project will not harm species or habitat.  "There is no way they can rubber stamp everything because they will end up in court for every decision," he said.  But internal reviews by the National Marine Fisheries Service and Fish and Wildlife Service concluded that about half the unilateral evaluations by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management that determined wildfire prevention projects were unlikely to harm protected species were not legally or scientifically valid.

I think I will let you ponder that for a while, and remember, just because it violates the law, it is not always a crime.