Wednesday, July 31, 2013

[Personal Rant] Just because I'm nice - It does not mean I want to have sex with you.

Somewhere in the last five years or so, I've noticed that if I am nice to a person, particularly a geek male, it seems they will think that I am hitting on them or expressing an interest in them. Not all geek males by a long shot, but its a large enough percentage that I've pretty much stopped flirting with anyone.

In short : I am happily, completely, and madly in love with my boyfriend.

I have no interest in trading him in. I have no interest in exchanging him. I have no interest in any other being on this planet sexually. Okay, maybe John Barrowman, but he doesn't want me so that's immaterial. No, my boyfriend isn't perfect.. but here's a major revelation; neither am I. I am selfish, demanding and an attention whore. I don't want money, I don't want things, I want TIME and I want ATTENTION. Do you know how freaking hard it is to shop for someone who doesn't want THINGS? I don't per say, but I get told it's seriously NOT FUN.

I would rather twenty minutes a day every day than twelve hours on one day. I would rather ten minutes than ten dollars. Not that you can pry my Stitch plushies out of even my cold, dead, hands.. Mostly because that shows he was thinking of me. But, physical gifts that mean something are far and few between.

To get back on topic, just because I drive out to have coffee with you at 0330 because your marriage failed does not mean I want to have sex with you. Just because I spent five hours listening to you talk about problems and being a sounding board when I had no real advice to give you does not mean I want to have sex with you. Just because I did any number of genuine nice person things does not mean I want to have sex with you. Just because I listened to you brag about your sexual prowess for hours, does not mean I want to experience said sexual prowess myself. I did those things because that's what friends do.

It didn't matter than you were male or female. It didn't matter that you are someone I've never met in person. It didn't matter that you just spent the last three days kicking my ass from one end of the battlefront to the other and back .. wait, that one might.. I take my PvP pretty seriously. Regardless, its because I'm a nice person.

I don't have a lot of close friends, people I confide every thought to. Actually, I don't have any of those. Only my boyfriend gets the unfiltered me, and he's the first ever. I don't have much of a filter it has two modes ; on or off. I am either willing to talk about it with most or talk about it with no one, excluding him. The fact that I'm willing to tell you the generals about my frustrating day just means you were one of the first friends to ask, it doesn't mean you're my closest confidant and I'm wanting to change you from friend to naked mambo partner.

I have a lot of people I consider 'general friends' .. the people I'm happy to chat with, do favours for (non-sexual :P ) and basically hang out with. If those people don't ever really return that, then they tend to get shuffled off for new people. If you're one of the new people - it's because you seem to be a genuine nifty person. If you're one of the old people - it's because you are a genuine nifty person. No rocket science is hidden here. If you start hitting on beyond playful banter, you might see me edge away. I will drop polite hints of 'not interested' or 'Boy, I love my boyfriend, he's so awesome.' or finally just say 'You know I don't want to have sex with you right?" The last tends to ruin friendships, but there comes a point where the attention has just gotten creepy and stalker feeling.

I don't think every man or woman wants to have sex with me. I don't even think one percent of the people I've met who could biologically be sexually interested in me are. This is addressed purely to those who think "Hey, she's kinda hot and I think she like-likes me," .. the answer is no, I' really don't. I'm just a nice person and you're someone that is either a friend or I feel could use a friend.

Disclaimer : If you're my boyfriend. I do totally like-like you and think you're hot and that you should be here right now. Everyone else -- no.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

[Consumer Consideration] Kids and cell phone games.

I'm as guilty as anyone - kid is whining, I hand over the cell phone to entertain them. I don't have kids; I have friends with kids. In an aside, these are my favourite kind of kids, I get to play with them, teach them bad habits, spoil them rotten and hand them back when they start getting irritating. Its also my favourite kind of dog and I treat them remarkably similarly, though kids are more dangerous - they have thumbs.

However, before I handed my phone over I told my nephew that I only have a demo of a couple of the games and to not order the full versions please, I can't afford them. He was eight. Now, some would think I was crazy for trusting an eight year old, in hindsight, I think I may have been crazy for trusting an eight year old; BUT, he didn't buy anything, he happily played for thirty or so minutes while his Mom and I gossiped and then handed the phone back. Part, I think, of why I could trust him was his parents had instilled from an early age that things aren't free and you ALWAYS ask permission before buying something.

When I was about that age I wanted an Archie digest but I was pretty sure my Mum wouldn't have bought it for me if I asked. (In hindsight, she probably would have since I'd actually been helpful on the particular shopping trip and not a hindrance.) So, I snuck it into the trolley. I typically had the job of unloading, Mum had the job of packing, so getting it to the cashier was easy, getting to it before my Mum would try to bag it was trickier, but I thought I'd managed it. However, when we were leaving my Mum said she'd seen what I'd done, she wasn't impressed, and that it was stealing. I looked up at her wide-eyed and said it wasn't stealing, it had been paid for. She said I didn't steal from the store, I'd stolen from *her* since I'd used her money without permission. I was very shocked by this and apologized and she said just don't let it happen again. And it didn't for about 9 years. (Another story for another time since I don't come out looking at all well in it!)
And I think, that lesson along with some basic precautions are what you need before you hand over your cell phone or your tablet for the kid to play with. I'm not an extremist, I don't believe kids shouldn't be allowed video games. If it entertains them in the car or while you're shopping, why not? If they want to chat, and interact with you, they will. If they don't, they won't. I think you just need to be open to either possibility. And let's face it, some days you may not want to be social with ANYONE and that'll include your kids. 

First off, turning off the internet isn't difficult. You should know how to do this anyway. Turn it off before you hand it over and problem solved, sort of. Your more advanced kids will, of course, know how to turn the internet back on. Some of the free-to-play games won't work without internet because if they're not showing ads, they're not making money. This is a tough choice, do you take the risk and keep the kid happy or do you find another game? As a non-parent its easy for me to say 'Teach them that you can't always afford to get what you want' .. but I'm sure a parent would see both sides of the question clearer than I.

Secondly, always have a password for your purchasing. Change it every once in a while. I'm not a parent but my observation is kids are ninjas and you never know what lurks in the shadows watching what you're doing. I had a friend as a teen who had a collection of phone cards numbers from watching people punch in the numbers at pay phones. And teens are not as observant as eight year olds! 

Thirdly, turn on your email notification. Almost all apps have a return time guarantee. If X was purchased and you didn't mean to or want to or whatever, you can almost always get a refund. This often has the side effect of your game getting reset back to scratch, but its also not going to cost you the $500 bill in gems. If you get your phone back and you have half a dozen purchase notifications, you better get on returning/requesting refunds while you threaten your child's continued existence. (Jokingly, of course. Or at least, I always assume my mother was joking..)

Fourthly, and probably the most importantly, don't store your credit card info with the Play store or iTunes. If the person using your phone can't just type in a password to approve a purchase, it makes it a bit hard to purchase. I, personally, have this set up this way purely so I can't do impulse purchases! If I REALLY want that game of Bubble Blast (or whatever) I have to go down to Future Shop, buy a game card, and then use THAT.  Let me tell you, it's amazing how many games I don't actually want that badly. (If Guitar Hero is ever available on Android, however, I may be in trouble.)

I don't think this situation is the fault of the OS operators or the app programmers. Its a perfectly viable business model. It's not a trap. You are perfectly able to say "No, I'm not giving you money." and enjoy the free version. Its perfectly within your power to protect your wallet before you hand your phone or tablet over to your kids. I don't think the government needs to protect us, I don't think we need to stick programmers on stakes and threaten to light them on fire if they don't change, and I don't think its anyone's fault. Its a mixed bag, and with some precautions, its perfectly okay to let your kid play Smurf Village or whatever.

Although, I admit any game that REQUIRES me to purchase something to finish one of the in-game tasks gets deleted pretty quick. I'll stick to the free games that just means you can speed up the game, or add some pretty shinies, or whatever. I do consider the require to pay to get past a certain point ones bait and switchy.. and of course, you don't know which ones those are until you get to that point.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

[Political Rant Cont.] My brother (@Maniac1655) has an irritating habit..

(No, not actually me and my brother)

My brother has an irritating habit. Well, he has several, but since I have twice as many as he does I'm not going to start a listing them contest. In this case, his irritating habit is to see past the rhetoric, the emotion, the flag waving and point out the heart of the matter.

In this case he said :

And he's (irritatingly) right. While our government CAN (and I still think SHOULD) say "We do not support Russia and their latest actions" and take political stances, it IS up to the individuals to choose.

I started to weight that comment, with my obvious bias, and sighed at myself. Its very easy for this armchair athlete to dictate what should and shouldn't be done by others. My biggest commitment to fitness or physical competition is walking for exercise. I try to maintain a 15 minute per mile speed and try to keep to a point where my leg doesn't collapse and I land on my face. (I have a hard limit of just over 5 miles. My soft limit is entirely variable on how lazy I am.) This is not even a drop in the well compared to what Olympic athletes go through and I know it.

Its so very easy for me, a hetroflexible, white, disabled, woman to say, "Give up your dream in the name of rights and freedoms of others in a gesture that may or may not accomplish anything significant." I can't even begin to imagine the heartbreak involved in making that decision. "Do I do this for my teammates who are gay? Do I do this because I am gay? Would getting arrested on the world's stage make a bigger statement than my saying I'm not going? Would.." So many things to consider that have no answers when they're considering throwing asside everything they've worked, dreamed, sacrificed and lived their lives for

But I still think our government should decry Russia like a tonne of bricks. If it were racial, you know they would be.

[Political Rant] Just say no to Sochi.

As do many Canadians, I love the Winter Olympics. I love watching our athletes go forth with 1/10th the funding and government assisted training of many other countries and just go kick ass. I love watching our little population provide these amazing people of heart, soul, strength and wonder who go forth to glory. I even love watching the athletes from other countries who have sweat blood to get where they are. A trip to the Olympics isn't handed on a diamond encrusted platter, you have to work, dream, and drive to get yourself there no matter how well funded you are. This is the view of my heart when I stand on the platform and say Canada needs to boycott these Olympics.
If Russia suddenly said "We're not allowing black people or anyone suspected of being black to be in our country," we would be horrified, we would refuse to participate and we'd probably trade blockade Russia in a heartbeat. I'm not actually sure how much trade we do with the great bear, but the gesture should be made even if its empty.
Its unfair to the athletes who dreamed; its more unfair to the athletes who are gay and may be arrested. I guess that's one way for Russia to win all the medals, just accuse half the athletes of being gay and arrest them. The IOC are busy promising it won't matter, but does anyone actually believe the IOC? I know I don't.
The problem is, we're scared of Russia. We're scared of rocking the boat. She is a large, populated, very powerful nation. She is also not going to get any less so, and the longer you let the Russian government (aka Putin) make the rules that choose the minorities to pick off, the worse its going to get. We need to take a stand, we need to do it now, and we need to protect the people who are not being protected.
But you don't have to just take my word for it, you can take someone else's : or you can just look at the pictures :  But try not to be eating when you do.

No to the 2013 Sochi Olympics, no to anything Russian until their government rejoins the 21st century.

Monday, July 22, 2013

[Consumer Rave] Coast Capital Savings

I seem to be on a defend the credit union kick. Let me start with the disclaimer of "I don't work for a credit union, these are my personal experiences and views only." as well as "My in person experiences are entirely based on the Chilliwack (Sardis) branch."

When TD Canada Trust, whom I'd been with for 21 years, wouldn't even consider me for a mortgage or tell me what I had to do to qualify for a mortgage, I was unhappy. When I went into the then local branch in my new town (post moving) and did a withdrawal and they didn't ask me for ID or a bank card or anything, I was very unhappy. I closed my account and I went to RBC. RBC and I did the round about and I left them rather unhappily about five years later. I went across the street to Scotia and was with them for three years.

I didn't leave Scotia unhappy with the staff or their practices. The simple reason I left Scotia was their fees. I was paying $13/mo to access my money. I found that flipping ridiculous. So when Coast Capital starting advertising their "Fee free chequeing!" I was cynical but decided to sign my butt up. Here's a quick point by point review. (Because it's hot and I'm tired and lazy.)

- It is really IS fee free. The ONLY fee I have received from CCS is when I rubberised a payment. (It bounced.) And my NSF was $25. Scotia's was $35. RBC's, and this was years ago, was $40.

- The people at Scotia WERE friendlier and happier. The tellers at CCS tend to seem withdrawn and not very friendly. I'm a fairly happy go-lucky, cheerful gal. I can find things to chat with with any customer service agent if I try, and nothing makes me want to try more than grumpy people. They resist all efforts. The people at Scotia knew my name by my third visit and I'm not in a branch very often. I guess when you have a black and bubblegum purple crutch you're remembered to most. Coast Capital's tellers don't seem to care what my name is.  However, Coast Capital's phone agents are all friendly and happy, and have always had a pleasant experience. Their CSRs across the board have always been quite helpful and problem solving. Other than their tellers seem grumpy, I have no complaint.
- Yes, you need to do a credit check. I believe everywhere does these these days; it's two fold. One, to pre-analyse you for loans and credit cards and two, to see how much they can pre-authorize you to withdraw on deposits. I do believe there is never a hold on direct deposits (ie, pay cheques, tax refunds, etc) and never a hold if you give a government cheque to a teller to deposit. If you deposit via ATM or its a non-government cheque, a chunk of your deposit may get held until the deposit clears the system. Bad credit history, you may only be able to withdraw $50 of it.  I don't know, mine is $200 I think, but I only ever get direct deposits or transfers.

- Their online banking is as good as anyone's else's. Easy to navigate, easy to use, straight forward and accurate. However, Coast Capital does not have Interac for online banking transfers. They say they're working on it, but they've been working on it for as long as I've been with them. They have a service instead called Hyperwallet which is a pain in the ass to use. Its also done by hand by people, so some transfers are done within an hour, some take 4 business days depending on their backlog. Interac is vastly superior even if its more expensive per use. However, it's .75 per transaction to send, nothing to recieve, so half the price of Interac.

I've never used their phone banking, so I can't rate it, but my guess based on the teller experience and the online experience is that its fairly system standard.

- There is rarely, if ever, a line-up! Since they switched to the card reader system from the fill out the paper system I've yet to have to wait to talk to a teller. I went in one day at 12.30pm and expected a line-up, I had none. I had my choice of two tellers! Wish I could say the same for any bank I've ever used at any time of day!

- Everyone has the same number of shares; everyone has the same voice in how the credit union is run. They seem quite 'money smart' and aware that the money they're spending on the bank and employees is money that comes from their members.

So, really, my over all view is "If you're sick of paying through the nose for usage fees, switch." Is the Credit Union necessarily the end all, be all? For personal banking, I'd say "probably." For business banking, I haven't a clue. I'd totally recommend them. 

My bottom line is I'm no longer spending a minimum of $155.40 per year just for the pleasure of accessing my money and getting everything with Coast Capital Savings that I was getting with Scotia.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

[Lorna Ramble] I am an omnivore, I can not lie.

I was talking on Facebook today about The Tao of Pooh and then the Te of Piglet. (I encourage you to read them if you haven't.) One of my friends fired off a private message wondering how someone who seemed so Taoist could be a carnivore.  I replied something short and sweet, but thought I'd elaborate here.
First off, I'm not a carnivore. Carnivores eat only meat. (Watch a cat eat grass and hork it up.) I eat far more plant based foods than I do meat. If there were no other reasons it would be simple budgetary limitations. However, I do believe in the healthy balance of foods. Humans are omnivores, just look at our teeth. I'm not saying you can't live vegetarian or vegen, just that its not our natural state. That natural state could change, but as things stand, humans are built to be omnivores. (You can send me 10,000 articles saying otherwise to and I'll be sure to fire 10,000 right back. :P )
Secondly, plants feel, breath and live. Plants can enjoy one type of music over another. Plants can fear. Plants can adapt, change, grow (duh), and are basically ALIVE. At what point do you say it's okay to eat this but not that? At what point do you say "Well, I can't eat a Venus Flytrap, because it has locomotion, but I can eat a snail." Personally, I pull the line at self-awareness. Where an animal can say "I am." is where I say "I won't eat that."  Which, unfortunately, thinking about it, includes pig and possibly cow, so probably a good thing I almost never eat either. Guess they've both gone on "the list" until I investigate better. What I can easily do, however, is only eat plants and animals that are grown and harvested humanely. I can eat plants that haven't been drowned in chemicals, I can eat chicken that was free range and grain fed. In Canada, only beef cattle can be given hormones, poultry, pigs and dairy cattle are forbidden hormone additives, so I'm a bit ahead of the curve by my country's grace.
Thirdly, I'm not Taoist. Taoism, is in essence, the opposite of Confucianism. They are ideal communists (not the mess human nature creates, but the concept on paper) rather than consumerists. They believe everyone should do equal work and get equal results, they believe all things and people are equal. I do agree with that to a lot degree, but I also agree that advancement comes through conflict. Not necessarily conflict in the sense of war, but in situation or competition between people, is what helps us grow. If it weren't for competition and the drive for being bigger and better, we would never have reached space. We would never have mass produced books, cheap and available clothing, food variety and medical treatments. Growth is very much important and for better or worse, harmony with the universe doesn't get us there. I'm a moderatist.
I pretty much believe, to mutilate the Wiccan creed, "Do as you will, harm none" and the common saying of "All things in moderation." What you do in your own space/time is your business, it doesn't become my business until it effects me. I don't care who you sleep with as long as everyone involved is an informed, consenting, adult. If I'm invited to join in, only then does it become my business. Only if someone involved is incapable of making an informed choice does it become my business. I don't care if you ingest marijuana until you inflict on me and not just because I'm horrifically allergic to it. What you do is your business until it effects others. If the others are informed and capable of consent, then that's their choice. I believe that you can enjoy "bad" things if you do so in moderate amounts. You can play video games, you can eat cake, you can sit in the sun, you can drink alcohol, you can .. well, whatever. If you're not abusing it, then go for it. Of course, the tricky part is what is abuse.
And that's about where I start supporting government and the idea behind it. In an ideal universe we would all help everyone else, but as our village has grown to be 9,306 km (5,780 miles) wide, we need a bit of bureaucracy to make things work. Ideally, the money should be sent to help people who need the help, to pay for the things that everybody shares and uses and the rules shall be made to help people without hindering them. Of course, since everyone has a different idea of where the lines should be, things get mucky. Add into that for every penny spent half a penny is spent to account for that first penny and your costs sky-rocket. I support taxation, I believe everyone should pay a little so the users don't pay a lot. For an example, should childless people pay taxes for schools? Yes. If for no other reason than who wants to be around the uneducated? I do believe all taxes should be consumer based for a fair take, but that's a post for another day. This is mostly about "Live and let Live."

I think its entirely possible to go down the middle road, to see both sides, to understand both sides even if one completely disagrees with the extremists on either edge, and still respect our planet, our environment or the living things on and in it. Would I ever give up meat entirely? I can't say never, but I will say it's unlikely, and I'm not going to apologize for it. You can link all those lovely slaughter pictures, but I don't purchase and support those hell factories. You can link cute pictures of the before. All you'll do is bring out my very strong sense of gallows humour. I love animals and people, and I will do my best to see they, and plants, are treated with love and care before their end destination, wherever it may be.

Friday, July 5, 2013

[Driving in BC] Road Rage and I was right technically, but not morally.

"MVA section 179(1) says that a driver must yield the right of way to a 
pedestrian crossing the highway in a cross walk if the pedestrian
 is on the half of the highway on which the driver is traveling,
 or is approaching so closely from the other half of the highway
 that he or she is in danger."

Today was run an errand day. If only to get rid of my collection of empty bottles before I have a guest stay over. (I even brushed down the gerbil. Freddie was unamused.) So I dropped off the bottles, got greeted as "Battery Lady!" (I gave one of the worker's trucks a boost one day), and was on my way. I decided turning left out of the depot is too much of a giant pain in the ass so I went into the Cooper's parking lot to loop around and come back onto Keith Wilson. So, there I was, turning left onto Vedder from Keith Wilson.

There were two pedestrians, one heading west and one heading east. The one heading east was an older lady who wasn't walking very quickly, so both pedestrians met on the far side of the road. As in, not the side I was turning onto. I had a big box van behind me driving up my tail pipe as if wondering why I hadn't just mowed down the pedestrian heading west and turned left already. With both ladies on the western side of the meridian, I turned left. This resulted in the older lady, who had reached the middle after I was already several car lengths down Vedder to gesture rudely at me and yell after my car. I pulled into a parking lot, Scottish temper saying "Chase her down and tell her what for!" but managed to calm and tell myself 'So not worth it.'

Fate then planted this lady to have been heading into the building beside the parking lot and she stopped to talk to the guys in the black minivan that was parked at the entrance. This is where I should have shut up, crouched down and just let things go. Unfortunately, I escalated. I said "Hey, are you the lady who was yelling at me at the cross-walk?" To which she said yes and started to lecture me. I said "Ma'am, I was in the right. You were not in my lane or close to it, I was not doing anything illegal, nor were you in any danger." I should have said my side of the street rather than lane. She proceeded to yell at me about how her husband was hit at Vedder and Watson/Promontory which really didn't surprise me, you take your life in your hands crossing there due to the dump trucks that don't stop at the red light and turn into the left lane instead of the right. I tried again to be forcefully polite, she yelled some more I went back to my car.

Now, this is the point I should really have Just Let It Go! She decided to talk loudly, maybe its the only mode she has, about what an idiot I am, and how bad drivers like me are the reason so many pedestrians die every year, and yada yada. I may have gotten a little short tempered and got out of my vehicle and slammed the door. I was mad. I let bad judgement and temper get the better of me. I should have sat in my car, listened to Pantera loudly until I calmed down and driven off. I should not have escalated.

Escalation really consisted of her grandson telling me politely that he'd just done his L and I was wrong (I wasn't) and his grandmother yelling at me, talking over me, and then saying she was calling the cops. I said okay and asked if she wanted my driver's license? She said no, she had my license plate and that ties me to the incident. I said, not really, it ties me to the *car* and if I leave I can claim it wasn't me driving, she should really take my BCDL number. (Okay, I was riling her up at this point, and I really should have resisted temptation) I corrected her when she reported my license plate wrong. She missed the irony there. Anyway, I went back to my car, turned it on and got ready to leave for a third time. She yells something like "Yeah leave, the cops are on their way!" so I said "Oh, okay." and reversed back into a parking space to wait. I cleaned up my car a little, I listened to some music, I waited.

It was actually a surprisingly quick response of about two minutes. The Mountie pulled in, listened to her rant about my bad driving and didn't even look my way (Probably for the best for her since I know him and he knows and he likes me). He then backed out, hit his siren a couple times and did a reversing left turn to continue on his way to wherever he had been going. The grandson quickly got in the van and he and the driver left while his grandmother didn't quite flee into the Yoga place. (She needs the meditation. I probably do too!)

Now, I'm pretty sure the RCMP's attitude was"Why are you bothering me with this $#!^ ?" and politely explained to her that I was actually technically in the right which is why not one of them came across to tell me how wrong I was or lecture me further. But, I should have let it go. SHE should have let it go. We both got our Irish up (as the saying goes) and had a stupid argument about a stupid non-event. She was upset about her husband being hit and probably extra sensitive, I was upset about other things and and let that colour things not to mention letting the guy behind me drive my car.

Its so easy to see how road rage events happen! I think I'm going to give my rear view mirror mouse a sign that says "Calm!" It's kinda scary how upset I was. My hands were shaking for a good ten minutes after! Definitely time to have a chat with the inner me about calm and well being. It didn't matter if I was being polite, I shouldn't have got involved in the first place.

I will confess, however, I'm enough of a petty wench that when I got home and double checked the motor vehicle act to give a tongue out and "NYAH!" in the general direction of the yoga place. But the mantra for today's "inner focus" session shall be "Don't get out of the car! Let it go!"

[Feminism] The story of the "Man's Centre."

(Yes, that's the university on top a mountain.)

Many a year ago when the grass was green and the mountains had snow, I hung out at SFU and pretended I was far more educated, and financially well off, than I was. Part of this consisted of mooching coffee off a very long suffering Cher and hanging out in the CompSci common room.

One day a discussion about the Womyn's Centre came about and how absolutely over the top it was. None of us was against females having their own retreat. We weren't even against rather, ah, strong-minded, anti-male, females having their own clubhouse. What got us were the rules that applied outside the area. Men weren't allowed to approach females entering or leaving the Womyn's Centre. Men weren't allowed to phone the Womyn's Centre. If a male needed to contact a female within, he was to slip a note under the door. Oh, I'm sure there were more rules, but those are the ones I remember.

So it was protested. Why isn't there a man's centre? Where did men go to escape women? In which one very wise man pointed out that few of them WANTED to escape women and the Womyn's Centre was to the male advantage even if it wasn't created that way. You see, the men had the pub. The pub had beer and it had women who wanted to be around men. It had music. It had women who wanted to be around men. (A point so important, the male felt it had to be mentioned twice.) They were quite happy with their all inclusive clubhouse. The male then smiled and said "I like to think of myself as a feminist." and then proceeded to teach me the PROPER meaning of the word.

It's not about women being more important than men. It's about EVERYONE having the same rights and opportunities and the same choices. If a woman wants to stay home and be a house wife, she should have the choice. If a woman wants to become a diesel mechanic, she should have the choice. If a man wants to become a nurse or a secretary, he should be able. If a black person wants to sit at the front of the bus, or (gasp) drive the bus, they should be able to. So on and so forth. He said the Womyn's Centre is doing no real harm to anyone outside its doors and while they wished they could change the hate on the inside, it's probably better to know where hate is in one concentration that diffused every which way. Basically, the philosophy was, why get all worked up and froth when you could quietly just BE and show them the BEING and lead by example.

I have to disagree with the last, somewhat. I'm not saying go around and pick every fight you can - you do have to pick your battles, but sometimes you do have to battle. But other than that, there spoke a wise man. With a truly Canadian appreciation for pubs and beer.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

[Rant Repeat] Its the people that make religion or science good or bad.

(This is a repost of a rant I posted on Facebook a while back)

Religion and science are not separate entities. You can believe in a greater power without sacrificing knowledge, curiosity, common sense, and scholarship. Believing in a deity, deities, spiritual entities or what have you, does not make you a zealot, bigoted, or an idiot. It does not make you uneducated; it just makes you a believer in something greater than yourself.

Human have a long and wonderful history of good things religion does. But God forbid (ha ha) that we mention THOSE things. Why, that would be all terribly boring, wouldn't it? Let's mention wars, since the only thing ever that starts wars is religions. Nope, it's never greed or politically based. (If you're going to try to claim 'communism' as an organized religion, you'll need to visit a farm and get a sufficient amount of bull by-product. for just one example.) Hate is only driven by religion too, of course. It's never a quest for power by suppressing others or a distraction to keep power, or just the way of bigoted people.

Sure, it's easier to say "My god says that people who have wives who pluck chickens in the morning will be poisoned by his holiness," than it is "If you prepare the chicken in the morning and leave it without cooking or refrigeration until the afternoon you will get food poisoned" when you haven't even discovered the microscope yet, but that doesn't mean the deity (fictional, or not) is necessarily wrong. It's easy to say "My God says if you hop on one foot for an hour you will be a true follower and anyone who doesn't should be shot," because you want an excuse to get rid of the disabled. But, again, that would be the excuse. It's not the religion's fault.

Scientists aren't always honest. There are countless cases of fraud in the history of our people (Piltdown Man comes to mind.) Science is not always correct even in this modern day. (Google Archaeoraptor) Science doesn't mean there is no unifying force of humanity.

The hate, the nastiness, the close-minded asshattery, that's all humanity. You let them use excuses, they will. They'll do it in the name of conservatives, religion, science (I do recall something about a 'master race' that wasn't religious) or whatever they can get away with. So stop trying to blind yourself and blame it all on religion. Don't spread the falseness of 'well, the history of religion is all blood.' Tell that to a Buddhist.

Look at the guiding tenants of almost any religion such as the Ten Commandments. Eight out of ten right off the bat seems like pretty good ways to live your life. Morality can sure exist without religion, but religion doesn't hurt morality. How about compassion? I hear lots from people saying 'I don't need God to help my neighbour, I don't need a government to steal my money to do charity'.. but its real interesting come push to shove how many of them don't get off their thumbs. Even if you're not religious, you'll have to notice a lot of churches organize a lot of charitable events. Sure, organized charity can happen outside of religion, but that doesn't lessen the contribution of the religious.. and that's a fairly modern swing in the last forty years.

Let's talk education. Religion, pfft, they suppress knowledge, right? How many universities and colleges in North America alone were founded by a religion? In institutions over a hundred years old, ninety-two percent were. Harvard and Yale were both established by Christianity, for example.

You can have both in your life. So instead of spreading the negativity by posting with generalities of 'Religion bad, science good!' how about broadening your own mind instead of your attempt to supposedly broaden others? I'm not sure how your hate mongering is any different from the preaching you dislike. II don't care who or what's name you spread negativity in, I care you're spreading negativity. I don't care who or what's name you spread positivity in, I care you're spreading positivity. How about instead of focusing on the who or what, you focus on the effect?

Monday, July 1, 2013

[Politics] I'm a Canadian Patriot and I do not apologize for it!

I love Canada. I'm a proud Canadian. I feel sorry for those who can't take one day off from their negativity, their griping, their closed little box worlds and appreciate the wonders that they have within our borders.

I won't try and claim Canada is perfect, that's laughable! Its a creation of humans for humans; it can't be perfect! You can't get an apartment building of fifty-six people to agree on everything, to get thirty-five million to agree on anything would take a deity granted miracle.

But, for one day, just one day .. it shouldn't be too much to ask for people to look at our great nation and appreciate the good. We should be able to appreciate our accomplishments, our home, our freedom. We should be able to put the bad aside for just twenty-four hours and say "This is my home and I'm proud of it." It shouldn't be that hard. It shouldn't be that hard to be proud of who we are and where we are. Not all of us were born here, but all of us choose to remain here. This is our happy place.

I feel safe making that statement because if one wasn't happy being a Canadian, wasn't happy living in Canada, then one would leave. I encourage this. I don't mean it in a 'love thy country or get out!' kind of way, I mean you should live where you can be happiest. If there's truly nowhere on this wild, wonderful, varied planet where you can be happy, nowhere that you can appreciate even if only for twenty-four hours, then maybe it's time to review yourself and your priorities.

Our world, our nation, our leaders, our citizens; none of them are perfect. Canada, however, is pretty damn awesome and I'm a very proud Canadian.