My wife is here! We're out doing stuff a lot. Well, we were, but now we're sick. We also have a cat named Pez, which is spanish for "fish". He wasn't named after the candy dispenser. I needed a unisex name, because I couldn't tell he was a boy at first. I snatched him up as a kitten from outside. He's almost a full cat now!
Work picked back up and has a ton of hits. There's still a lot of bugs, but I've been able to work consistently plus overtime. I hope this keeps going.
Mom came out and had her Hawaiian vacation. We went to a Luau, the USS Arizona and the nearby sub, a hike, and got stuck in traffic on the way to a parade on Pearl Harbor Day. Her and Dine had their girl time at the beach. She also got hooked on Parks & Recreation.
Dine and I have decided that we don't like Hawaii. There's too much traffic and it's way expensive. Really, San Diego had everything Hawaii does and more, but was cheaper and less racist. I haven't actually had a racist altercation, but I do get some snooty looks sometimes. One person may have yelled something at me, but I couldn't understand it. It's mostly ghetto, too. Doesn't live up to the island paradise stuff. Even so, we're taking a little vacation to Maui next week. Sort of a make up honeymoon, since we didn't have one before.
The Reddit group fizzled out. Went on a few hikes and then nothing. I joined a couple of tabletop games, but I think one of them is fizzling as well. The other is Mutants & Masterminds, which is like a super hero version of the D&D system. I'm digging it a lot. You can make any type of character with pretty much any power set.
In this section, I'm going on a quasi-religious tirade. Doesn't really need to be religious, though. This is about free will and how people choose to lose it, becoming what amounts to animals or a meat robot or whatever you would think of a person with no soul/person-hood. It's about self control, really. All religions pretty much push that. It's what the rules are for. Sin is just the animal instinct. It's what you do when you're not thinking. When you act on an urge. When you get mad and say things to be mean. When you're scared of doing something, so you avoid what you want. For example, not playing guitar in front of people, even though you're really good. When you lose control and do selfish things. Religion considers the base urges evil, but that doesn't actually have to be factored in. It's when you do things to please everyone else (be how you're "supposed" to be). Nationalism, racial stereotypes, preppy kids, goth kids, and just about every social group go with that one. People hate to be controlled. They think that they can't be themselves when they are told to do things/follow rules, but that's incorrect. The willpower used to force down that pride-based emotional reaction and follow the rules is what creates a person. Now, if the orders or rules are actually stupid or wrong, then fighting against is fine, but it must be based on them actually being wrong and not on some emotional reaction that bypasses will. My argument is that people are by far controlled by their emotional reactions and that they let it happen so much that they essentially nullify their self/soul/person-hood. They become a thing of reaction only. Little more than a talking animal. This is pretty obvious if you think about it. If "I think, therefor I am", then if I don't think, I am not. From a psychology perspective, we build ourselves through our repetitive choices or choice style. The more you do something, the more you become the kind of person that does those things. Fake it 'till you make it. It's a basic psychological idea that we know is true. If you are not confident, but can act like you are, then you will eventually be confident. We build patterns and then get comfortable in those patterns. Along that same vein, if we allow our base emotional urges to control us, then we essentially choose a pattern of bypassing our consciousness and will (or soul, if you will). If this pattern is followed long enough, the will goes away. As I said, no need to actually bring religion into it, however we've found that emotional bias is by far the reason people believe or don't believe and that is usually related to the rules in a very rebellious teenager fashion as shown by the mindless vitriol on pretty much every atheist forum and the mindless following from every fanatic group. The sad part is, many of these rules don't really exist, at least in Christianity. I've got great arguments for how same sex marriage and sex before marriage (loving, not promiscuity) were left out. I think that it's about forming a person/soul (maybe what "in His image" means), making us more than animals. Self control = person-hood.
Anyway, this is why the world has so many problems. This is what makes people go to war. It's why nobody can seem to keep their pants on, causing rampant STD's and teen pregnancy, not to mention overpopulation. It's why those guys killed the housing industry by ripping people off. It's also why you can read people without ever meeting them. It's why stereotypes are formed. People lose themselves and replace it with basic urges that conform to some pattern like nationality. If I see a group of "thugs" walking down the street, I have no need to speak to all of them. Any one of them is going to be essentially the same as the other, giving pretty much the same programmed responses of the "thug" pattern.
This is not to say that predictability is necessarily bad. If you have thought about and chosen a collection of patterns for yourself (being honest, compassionate, on time, etc.), then you are, well, you, because you thought about it and did what you think is right. It simply must not be based on what everyone else is doing, not feeling bad, or whatever emotional response that bypasses your will. The fact is, the unselfish patterns are the ones that make a person, because they require you to force back your self animal urges. This holds true whatever you believe.
Paz y amor