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my big book of little catastrophes
I ate WHAT?
falling forward 
3rd-Apr-2005 12:34 pm
Spring forward,
Fall back.

This is the first year where the DST change caught me totally by surprise in, oh, many years. I've been very tired and out of it lately. It's so at odds with the spring weather, where I want to be running around and doing yoga and going out with friends dancing etc. Not sleeping well sucks. Now, can I just say how lame DST is? I'd rather ditch the whole thing and let my body deal with the seasonal changes naturally. Of course, artificial light has screwed up all our natural circadian rhythms. I do find that when I go camping and I don't use artificial light I am so much better rested. I wake up around dawn, eat dinner around sunset, sit by the fire for a bit, then sleep early. I wonder what our culture would be like if we didn't have lights at night. Probably a lot scarier!

I did manage to get to the farmers' market yesterday. saintmichael and I trekked down to the Ferry Building and bought lots of yummy things. I like getting to interact with the growers there. After buying 1/2 lbs. of shitakes (for only $3.30!) I asked the guy at the mushroom stand what his favorite mushroom was. He recommended the king trumpet, and gave me one as a sample to try for myself.

Today I'm supposed to help a friend with his website. I'm probably going to work on my sister's site this evening too. I seem to have transformed from the family computer expert to the family website expert. At least it's easier to do the tech support calls when I can look at the site online!

The pope is dead. Now that Terry Schaivo is dead, he's all people can talk about. I know this pope was one of the most loved and respected people on the planet, but I can't find space in my heart to love or respect a man who has harmed me in so many ways. His refusal to allow Catholics to use birth control has a significant effect on world population, and population growth continues to be a big problem for the planet. I wonder how many unwanted children might not have been raised in poverty if this pope had relented and done the moral thing. I also found every single thing he said on homosexuality to be ignorant and hateful. The list goes on.

As is common with many people raised Jewish I have a strong, adverse reaction to most things Christian, especially Catholicism. Spanish Inquisition anyone? The Catholic church has possibly caused more pain, suffering and death than any other institution ever to exist on our planet. Its missionaries and crusaders have destroyed entire cultures and civilizations. And yet, as with any powerful institution, its potential to do good is vast. Undeniably it has also helped feed the poor, educate the ignorant, heal the sick, and advance the cause of human rights in a number of ways.

To get philosophical... If you see a man drowning and you can easily throw him a line to save him, but you don't, is that not tantamount to murder? At the least it is an act of evil. The Catholic Church and through it the Pope has the ability to throw a line to so many drowning people, and yet most of what the world gets is a nonsensical lecture that we should be moral enough to learn to swim. I find this failure to act when action is possible to be evil, and I condemn the man and his institution for that evil. In my own heart I know I must be at least a little selfish and cruel to be able to refuse the panhandlers that ask me for money almost every time I leave my home. I tell myself a little handout won't make things any better for them as they'd probably spend it on drugs and there are so many places to get fed in this city. And I make donations to organizations that provide care to them. And I have taken in a few strays now and then, let them live here when they didn't have anywhere else to go, even though I didn't know them well. Like anyone I am just human and contribute to the extent of my ability. A man can't take care of the whole world, at least a man such as I. But the pope, by virtue of his position, can take care of many people. He could have done so much good, but he did not. I know he's said to have done a lot for peace, but have his calls to end fighting ever made a difference? Can someone tell me what JP2 actually did that was worthy of his office?

They say, "After a fat pope, a thin pope." Perhaps we'll get someone more forward thinking next, though JP2 had a long time to appoint a lot of conservative cardinals. I don't follow Vatican politics, but it's hard to avoid the shadow of an institution that comprises something like a billion people. If I were religious I might pray for a more caring Pope, one who would actually follow the word of Christ rather than work mainly as a defender of an outmoded institution. </rant>

Work continues to be more than a little wacko - we had multiple outages last week, all due to systems we depend on having problems. Still, that's not a good thing. The best thing last week was giving one of my employees a $1K bonus (after tax) for doing a good job. I get to give a second one out in a couple weeks when another employee completes his project. I like being able to do that. Reward is one of the best ways to manage people. I should remind my own manager of that sometime, heh.
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