Sunday, September 27, 2009

War on Christmas

Finally the AFA is starting to make it's yearly rumblings about "the war on Christmas". Usually it starts around August and I was beginning to get worried. I suppose that was silly of me, but it was a matter of some concern. Fundies whining about being "persecuted" has become as much a part of Christmas as presents and snowmen. I don't think I can get in the holiday spirit anymore unless I hear some wingnuts crying because they can't put their nativity idols in the courthouse or sing songs advocating their superstition in public school classrooms.

I feel much better now that some Christmas traditions don't die out.

I really do wonder where this war on Christmas thing comes from. I have never seen it. Yes public buildings don't display religious icons and idols. That is a first ammendment issue the same is true for hymns and incantations. I am not sure why that is a problem. The people who want to sing Christmas hymns in school probably wouldn't want their children chanting incantations to please the spirits at solstice time, or fasting for Ramadan. You would think they would be pleased at the government for not putting religion in schools. Likewise they would probably not wish an altar with solstice candles and grain offerings on display in the courthouse.

As for private business the big concern seems to be people saying "happy holidays" instead of "merry Christmas." Again I fail to see the problem. Christians are supposed to reject idolatry, and putting so much reverence on a ritual greeting seems very idolatrous to me. It is actually amusing that the idol worshipers I know who do place reverence on ritual phrases do not get upset when store clerks fail to offer them a "blessed be".

Anyway when I was growing up "happy holidays" was always a traditional Christmas greeting. It meant merry Christmas and happy new year together. No Christians objected. Now however people also use the phrase to extend these good wishes for Hanukkah, Ramadan and Solstice as well it is suddenly a problem. Myself I don't care if Christians want to whine and bitch and boycott. It doesn't harm me and like I said it has become so common that it just wouldn't seem like Christmas without it.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Is Ono Bruddah.

Try this for breakfast.

Make a simple syrup with 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar cook on medium till it reduces by half.

Add a can of coconut milk, whisk smooth and reduce to the texture of pancake syrup.

Add a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of vanilla.

sift 1/2 cup flour, 3 1/2 tsp baking soda,1 tsp salt, 2tsp brown sugar.

Make a well and add an egg, 3tbsp melted butter and about a cup of light coconut milk. Whisk until smooth adding seltzer water as needed.

Cook cakes on medium high griddle, top with macadamia nuts before flipping.

Saute some sliced bananas in butter until soft sweet and a lilobit carmelized

Top a stack of cakes with bananas and syrup, maybe put some bacon and egg on the side. Serves four or five people.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Must be in the genes.

Here is an excerpt from the last will and testament of my ancestor John McTurk Gibson dated the 30th of April 1891. It seems atheism is not new to that branch of the family.

Last Will and Testament of John McT. Gibson

Realizing that "Life's fleeting dreams," will soon be over, and that my probation here is fast drawing to a close, and being as yet of sound mind, and capable of attending to my own business, I hereby declare this to be my last will and testament.

When dead I want no ostentatious, display of unnecessary, costly funeral extravagance, but everything conducted in as plain a manner, as is consistent with decency and decorum, and above all, I want no Preachers Pow Wowing round me dead or alive. I have always regarded this whole "Tribe of Levi" with loathing and disgust, fanned and intensified with their fanaticism, ignorance, intolerance and hypocrisy, and when the end comes, I want them to take a backseat while I take my departure in peace.

In fairness this could just be a rejection of religion instead of a statement of atheism however philosophically it is a view I respect either way. I know my grandfather, Johns grandson had no use for religion either, I recall him referring to it as foolishness. My great aunt, his sister also shows no particular religious devotion. Sadly I had no opportunity to know my great grandfather, from what I have heard he was an extraordinary man.

John McTurk Gibson, I have found, was in addition to being an explorer something of an accomplished poet. Writing, at times, under the pen name John Blunt.

Here is one of his poems regarding a young lady who's name was redacted. It reminds me of some of my writing, pretentious and overworded but still nicely put together and captivating. I find myself liking my grandfathers,grandfather more and more as I learn about him.


(Addressed To Miss C______ O______)

See, yonder sits enthroned on high,
The waning moon in the cloudless sky,
Clad in robes of the purest white,
Ruling supreme, o'er the silent night.

On wings of hyht, she skims along
Attended by a countless throng
As lesser orbs, that sparkling shine,
Mov'd by Creation, springs divine.

The limpid waves refract their beams
Wanton winds play o'er the streams;
Silence deep, in the village reigns;
Moonlight sleeps on the verdant plains.

Fragrance breathes in the passing gale,
Echo waits for the joyful tale,
Of heart-knit lovers 'mong the trees,
To tell it in the circling breeze.

Then let us down by Lugar stray
Through meads among the tedded hay,
Then nature's blessings round are spread,
And drooping flowers their fragrance shed.

We there, shall hear the cooing dove,
And raise our thoughts to things above
The sordid views of worldly men,
And breathe our love in every glen.

Here is a poem I once wrote regarding a young lady.

I once knew a girl of midnight eyes
A myriad twinkling stars
Darkened lake reflecting moonlight
A wildfire wreathed in smoke
She was a lightning summer nighttime
Trapped in human form

Once I loved this child of midnight
And such fierce joy I've known
But as all who love the nighttime
I woke and was alone

Now I must find a new love
With eyes cut from morning sky
With cool and dawning brilliance
And gentle healing light
Who will warm away my memories
Of lovely lost midnight.

Admittedly they are very distinct and I am sure that in part I am projecting when I see similarities between my poetry and my ancestors,but in reading his body of work I do feel it is familiar, having a certain boldness and drama that I also try to achieve.

I am having a great deal of fun with this discovery, my mother as well she is actually trying to go farther back and find information on his parents in Scotland, I am however perfectly content to spend my time getting to know this interesting and entertaining man.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009



This picture is of an ancestor of mine, John McTurk Gibson. He is a moderately well known pioneer who traveled to California from Iowa during the gold rush in the 1850's on both the California and Oregon trails. His Journal of Western Travel is a frequently cited reference on the conditions of that journey.

I just learned about John a few days ago. My mother, while looking up some information on our family came upon the name and thought that since there aren't an abundance of McTurk Gibsons he may well be a relative. She asked her Aunt about it and sure enough he is a great-great-great something grandfather. He is also considered, at least according to my great aunt to be something of a rascal and ne'er do well in family lore. This of course attracted me instantly and I began researching him. I found his Journal on line and have put the link above. He is a clever and interesting writer and I think I would have liked him. I also found his portrait and it is just eerie. Although I lack the monstrous white beard I otherwise resemble him very much. My wife and mother noted it before I did, but after they pointed it out it was almost as if it were a charcoal drawing of me.

I am going to continue reading his journals and attempt to find and collect other mentions and references to this ancestor of mine. For now though I just had to post a little bit about it on this blog, I will probably revisit this topic in time.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Best Video Game Evah

A new Dark Matter Vid that I just had to put up.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Poor silly little Republican girl.

I just got a call that said "Political Call" on my caller ID. I gleefully answered the phone expecting the pleasure of bursting some staffers bubble. The nice thing about being a Libertarian is that both parties offer me things to argue against. On the other end of the phone was a girl sounding about fourteen but probably a year or two older. "Hi I am so an so from the Republican something something committee" (I am not redacting she just wasn't a very clear speaker) I said "HI, what can I do for you today?" She started with "Do you consider yourself Republican, Democrat or Independent" I said "Libertarian" She said "Wow like Libertarian uhhm ok" "Well" she said "We are looking for support in opposing the liberal agenda" "Sounds like my cup of tea" I said (yes I do talk like that sometimes) "Which portions of the liberal agenda are we opposing?"

Her: Well uhhm like higher taxes and taking control of our money

Me: Yes I certainly oppose that, of course both parties are into doing that, your party likes to hide it in deficit spending instead of direct extortion but we get screwed the same in the end."

Her: Uhhhm ok well we want to stop that and have less government control

Me: Excellent what intrusive laws will we be repealing?

Her: Excuse me

Me What particular things are we going to be working on removing government control over.

Her uhhm we do the pro life.

Me: Oh no I am very pro choice, I want less government control not more.

Her: (To her credit she dropped the pro life thing instead of trying to argue. Killed my fun but pretty smart) We are like pro military.

Me: Oh yes me too, we need to get them home and stop fighting foreign wars. We need to fix the focus of our military away from ever doing anything outside of our borders.

Her: UH yeah well uhmm we oppose the socialized health care.

Me: Really, I hadn't heard. (a little over the top on the sarcasm I admit) Well I can agree there, we definitely need a better solution than anything the government is offering, something market driven. I can back you up on this issue, are you looking for someone to write letters to congressmen or newspapers?

Her: Uhh no we are looking for donations to fund our work.

Me:...........Ha Ha Oh sorry I didn't know this was a money call, I give to Libertarian causes.

Her. OH ok G'nite.

She was far from the worst political caller I have ever had, but it was obvious she had zero knowledge of the issues she was trying to oppose. None. Even if I were into furthering the Repugnican agenda I wouldn't have given any money to someone who couldn't even detail what they were trying to accomplish. I have to give the Dems credit for at least one thing, they get the smarter fangirls.