I used to enjoy blogging. I really did. There was a time I did it every day. But lately I just can't get into it.

I guess it was having my last few posts totally picked apart for no other reason than someone's need to be "right" and for me to be "wrong".

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for nice friendly debate, for exchanges of ideas, for mutual understanding. But if the purpose of engaging in debate is to prove that you are smarter/better than someone else, to just dump bucket loads of quotes from other sources and piles of philosophy texts on  your opponent, then what's the point? If you aren't at least a little open to revising the opinion you are presenting, then why bother? Just to be right? Just to win?

And no, person who might think this is directed at them, this is not directed at you. For the most part I have enjoyed our discussions and gotten a lot out of them, though I have been frustrated at points where I just couldn't find the words to express myself accurately (more on that below). There's several people who I feel have attacked me and made blogging less pleasurable. There was a time I could express my opinion and others would comment and express theirs and we'd talk and we'd say to each other "wow, didn't think of it that way". Now I express my opinion and I get buried in the writings of everyone from Darwin to Dawkins to C.S.Lewis to Ghandi. And you know what? That's all well and good, but what about talking about what you really think and feel and not just spouting back at me everything you've ever read? What is your thinking, what is in your heart? Using supporting opinions is fine, but what about your own opinions?

I'm off on a good solid rant here, so I'll just keep ranting. This is just a rant. I will ignore anyone who wants to debate about my opinion on this. Why? BECAUSE IT'S A RANT! These aren't wholly formed thoughts, they're random bits of fluff that are stuck in the machinery of my brain and I need to blow them out. If you think that's worth debating on, then go talk philosophy with the dust bunnies under your bed. If you want to chat, sure. Debate? No thanks.

It's come to the point where I really can't engage in debate on a real level anymore. I'm becoming dumber. No, seriously, it's true. And it's not just forgetting, it's hitting a wall in my brain that makes it harder and harder to think things through. I don't know how else to describe it. Things that used to come easy for me, math, computer code, playing guitar... they are just... I don't know. It's like every time I try to do something I have to relearn it and it's harder to do it every time.

I realized the other day that I have kind of lost sense of time. It's been 6 years since "the incident" that started my disability (well, probably not started it, but caused the discovery of it. 6 years. I have very little memory of those 6 years. Pictures help, but there are huge gaps. I look around me and I'm like "when did this kid get this big" and "when did we get that couch, and "why don't I remember buying this?" It's kind of scary sometimes. But rather than freak out my wife and kids I just try to relax and go on to the next thing.

I haven't seen my doctor in more than a year. It got to the point where we had run all the tests that can be run. The neurologist we had moved away and the new one that took over her practice won't return my calls. From a medical standpoint it looks like everyone has given up on me. At least in this area. I wish I could say I don't blame them, given the doctor/patient ratio in this area, but I kind of do. I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Am I negative about it? Well, yes. I am. I've tried the "stay positive, think happy thoughts" route, and that didn't work for me. So now I'm going the "Fuck it, I'll do this myself" route. And you know what? That's gotten me a lot further. Do I complain too much? Sometimes. But I think I've regained my sense of humor, my commitment to doing what I can to maintain my weight and watch my diet, and my faith that God is in control.

And since we're here, let's talk about God. I know that some that may read this don't share my faith. And you know what? I'm totally cool with that. As I know you are totally cool with me. There are others that do believe in God as I do, but think that my political stand, since it is different from thier's, means that I don't truly believe in the same God. That's where things get messy. I am, most decidedly, very liberal when it comes to politics. I didn't always think this way. There was a time that I was extremely conservative. That I was sure that God was on the side of anti-gay, anti-abortion, pro-war, big business, don't take my guns voters. But now I am 180 degrees the other way.

***Religious rant follows, skip ahead if you like***

How? Why? I read my Bible. Yes, it's the same Bible others who have conservative beliefs read, but I have reached different conclusions about life, liberty, and politics. How is that possible? Part of it is that I stopped listening to others telling me what the Bible says and tried really hard to put aside any preconceptions I already had and just listen to what the text says and not trying to make it say things it does not. Where the Bible speaks, I let it speak. Where the Bible is silent, I let it be silent.

One thing I learned is that the Bible is not a public policy manual. Also, it's not a book about "thou shall" and "thou shall not". Yes, it says that, but that's now what it's about. It's also not an educational textbook. It's not meant to be taught in public schools (as they exist today). Yes there are places where the Bible, very correctly, talks about how things work, but that doesn't make it a science book. The Bible does preserve the history of some individuals and some people groups, but that doesn't make it a history textbook.

So what is it? The Bible isn't just one book, it's 66 books written by several people over the course of thousands of years. It spans several genres, history, poetry, music... What we call the "New Testament" is mostly letters of instruction to the new followers of Jesus. The Bible tells one continuous story about God, from his earliest dealings with man to a prophecy concerning his final dealings with man. In it we learn who God is, what He did, what He is doing, and what He will do.

Do I believe it? Yes. Do I think that everything in it is literal? No. Is it the Word of God? Yes, in the sense that it tells the story of God. Do I think that everything it says is meant for every person for all time? No. Otherwise I'd be building and ark.

Here's the tricky one. Do I think it's 100% accurate and infallible? Here's the answer that will get me burned at the stake. No. I do not. At least, not as it has come down to me. Do I think that the original authors were divinely inspired and wrote what God intended? Yes. Do I think those who copied and recopied and translated and compiled the Bible did a perfect job? Yes and no. Those who honestly were trying to do the work of God in preserving the text, yes they did. But others had political and financial motives in what they were doing. I think that as it has come down to the American, English speaking public, it has flaws. Many have tried to legitimately re-translate it and protect the meaning of the original authors, but unfortunately some of these flaws remain.

But that's getting into a whole grey area that I really don't want to discuss about right now. But let me make this point. I do think that most of our English translations that are based on the oldest "original language" texts we have discovered so far (and not based on translations of translations or other English versions)  are mostly accurate in preserving the meaning of those texts.

***End Religious rant***

Where was I going with this? I don't know. Politics and why I changed, that's right. And now it's not so important I explain that. I guess I ranted it out. So I'm liberal in my politics. The end. I don't really need to explain it. The liberal movement as it exists in the United States best represents what I need government to do for me and my family. And no, I'm not talking about handouts.

OK, end of that discussion. I don't need to explain why I'm liberal. Maybe some other time.

What else is on my mind?

I watched the Twilight series recently. I tried to read the first book, but just couldn't get into it. The writing was obviously intended for 13 year old girls, which is all well and good, but that makes it hard for a 40 something man to read.

Honestly, overall, the movie series wasn't all that bad. I certainly wouldn't put in on the level of other great movie series, like Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, The Godfather... I would almost compare it to Harry Potter, but that's not a fair comparison since the intended audiences for each are different.

I guess I'm either too old or too male to get the whole love triangle part of it. The re-writing of the vampire mythos was disappointing, but that was just the mechanism to tell the story - much the same as Harry Potter re-wrote the witches/wizards thing. The concept of "vampires living like normal people" was interesting. Also the whole vampire vs. werewolf was kind of cool.

The movie production itself was not too bad. I really didn't like the "blueness" of the first one. I know that was supposed to be all artsy and stuff, but it just hurt my eyes. The CGI of the werewolves was done really well and the fight scenes were very will choreographed. The acting, however, was just terrible. It was like watching cardboard puppets controlled by robots.

The last movie (not the very last, but the last that has been released at the time I'm writing this) was the only one that left me going "what the heck did I just watch?" Up to that point everything was really ok for my 14 year old daughter to watch. But there's that moment that you're like "what is he doing? OH HELL NO!" I won't spoil it, but dang.

So yea, I did that. Am I still going to make those "still a better love story than Twilight" jokes? Absolutely.

I had to go watch The Lord Of The Rings extended versions - all of them - to cleanse my brain.

We're back on the diet/exercise routine. Or at least we're trying to be. I've lost 7 pounds so far. We haven't been too good about exercising this last week, due to one thing or another (I guess there is always an excuse), but we're still eating right. I'd like to lose the 30 I lost before, plus the other 15 I put on besides when I gained it back. And another 20 on top of that. But one step at a time. The really thing is to be healthy. This is one aspect of my condition that I can control. If I can fix this, then maybe I'll have better strength to deal with the rest.

But hey, if you are trying to do the same, let me know. We need support. It's hard to do this on our own.

I guess I'm about ranted out. Drop me a line. What are you ranting about lately?