Old Fart Running

This is about my skill level
By Valentin Shustov (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Well, attempting to run. Jog. Shuffle. Move along the sidewalk powered by my two feet. Whatever you want to call it, I did it today. This isn’t quite as shocking as it sounds. A few years ago I attempted the Couch-to-5k program and got several weeks into it. I don’t really remember why I stopped. Probably life. At any rate, I turned 41 a week or so ago, I have diabetes and I weigh over 200 lbs, so I needed to do something or I was going to die*. So I bought some new running shoes, re-downloaded the app onto my phone, and hit the road.

I figured that blogging about it would generate some public shaming accountability and encourage me to keep at it. We’ll see how that goes. I’ve been called shameless before.

The good news is I survived. Did less than half the piddly runs and walked the rest of the way, but I did it the whole time. So there’s that.

* Someday. Not next week or anything, in case you were worried.

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Hold on to your butts

Tumbling tumbleweed By EriKolaborator (Own work) [<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0">CC BY-SA 3.0</a>], <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3APlantaRodadora.jpg">via Wikimedia Commons</a>

Tumbling tumbleweed By EriKolaborator (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

It’s been four years since I fired up the old editor and wrote a blog post. That’s 3.57 centuries in internet years. Anyone who used to read this site is probably dead and gone by now. Tumbleweeds blowing across this once fertile cyber-land (do people still prefix things on the internet with cyber-?). I’ve excavated the site from the grave, reanimating its mummified remains, in order to bring you more crap that flows from my head.

Get ready.

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Veteran’s Day

This is the same thing I posted on my Tumblr

My father was an Army Specialist during Vietnam. His father was a Corpsman in the Pacific during WWII. My grandfather’s ship was sunk and he was taken prisoner. He survived a little stroll known as the Bataan Death March. Regardless of my own personal dislike of the way the corrupt political machine running the USA uses the military, I fully support the individual soldiers and recognise the tremendous sacrifice they’ve made. I hope that a day such as Veteran’s Day would be used to honor their service and to promote the cause of better health care and treatment of those soldiers returning from service, both physical and mental. Our government sent these people to the brutality of war, it is only right that they do everything they can to support them once they return.

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Getting crap out

Warning: this article is very emo and whiny. Part of me is disgusted for publishing something that sounds like it could come from some angsty teenager’s spiral bound notebook. Consume at your own risk.

I’ve never been one to plan. There’s no master checklist for my life. “Where do you see yourself in 5 years” questions always left me with a blank. Everything that’s happened in my life I’ve just stumbled into. Part of this stems from growing up with ADD, where planning something inevitably ended in disappointment (typically because I’d fail to follow through). Also because I’m just lazy and making and adhering to a plan is so much work.

What I’ve discovered lately is that, even though I haven’t planned my life, there are things that I have been taking for granted that they would just happen; things that I haven’t explicitly planned to happen but that I have grown to expect that they would always be there. Interestingly, when these things fail to happen, when things don’t end up like I expect, it invokes a similar emotional response in me as when my plans fail. It turns out that I have been unconsciously “planning” how my life would fall out. Confronted with the stark evidence of the failure of life to match up to my “plan”, the familiar depression sets in.

I really thought that I had been approaching life with a very open attitude, trying to be accepting of the random directions it can take. “I’m easy” has been my motto. As certain things shift in my life, I realize how I’m only “easy” within a pre-assumed spectrum of situations and events.

I’ve heard it said that suffering happens when reality conflicts with one’s expectations. When a reality slams head-on into an assumed expectation that has formed the bedrock of you’re life to date, well… let the suffering begin.


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Fuck you, Google, and the app you rode in on

Edit: So I now have a new “personal” account and things are relatively back to the status quo. But my arguments still remain: the whole thing is totally fucked up. And it’s made worse by their policies on “real names”, so I can’t just set up an account as CyberLizard independent of my identity as my meatspace self. This fucking pisses me off. Expect another rant about that soon.

Hold on to your seats, folks; it’s going to be a ranty ride.

So here’s the deal. I own my own domain, cyberlizard.com. I got tired of dealing with email management and decided to just let GMail deal with it all. No problemo. Now I’ve got mail.cyberlizard.com to do my emailification. At the same time, I also set up things like calendar.cyberlizard.com and docs.cyberlizard.com, aka Google Apps. I had already had my iGoogle and Google Reader set up to use my cyberlizard.com email address as the login. So, pretty cool.

Actually, not so much. Because my iGoogle and Google Reader apparently use something called a Google Account or Google Profile. Which apparently is different from the shit I just set up in Google Apps. Even though it’s got the same login. Ok, fine. So I just go directly to my *.cyberlizard.com urls for some stuff and directly to Google for others. And this works.

Until Google Plus. Google apparently thinks that Google Apps users are second class citizens who don’t deserve these special things called Google Profiles. Which means no Google Plus. But since the same email address is being used for both my “personal” google account and my Google Apps account, I can get in on the “personal” one.

You confused yet? I sure as hell am! Irregardless, all this shit works. I’m on G+, I can see all my RSS feeds on Reader, I can do my emailizations and I make extensive use of my Calendar.

Until today. Google decided to “transition” my “conflicting” accounts. So now I’m totally fucked. If I go to my email and log in, I am apparently logged in to the entire google infrastructure with my apps account. So if I go to Plus, it says, “Fuck you! You can’t get in without a Profile! And Apps accounts don’t get a Profile! So you’re fucked!” Or something like that. I may have paraphrased a bit. The point is, this fucking sucks. And Google’s only solution is to rename my “personal” account?! What about all the stuff I’ve done on G+ already? I don’t want to change my fucking email address! Why is this shit so difficult? I’m not a stupid guy. I work with computers all day long. I run web sites. I program the world’s most powerful computers. But this shit drives me batty!

I want:

  • All my existing *.cyberlizard.com shit to work; mail, calendar, docs
  • All my configuration and content of iGoogle, Reader, G+ to work

How do I get the content from both of these onto one account? Without creating a whole fucking new email address? Make it fucking happen, Google!

p.s. I’m not usually one to rant about this kind of technology struggle. I’m usually the one telling people how to set this shit up. I’m really not some dumb, ignorant user (well, maybe in this case I am). There’s probably a perfectly logical reason why they set things up this way. But I’ll be damned if I can see it. Or untangle the result.

p.p.s Yes, this is whiny and pouty. I just want my internets to work! *wail*

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Coming clean

The blogosphere has been abuzz with the news that the Gay Girl in Damascus  is really a straight, married man. Now we hear that ‘Paula Brooks’, editor of the lesbian news site ‘Lez Get Real’ is also a cisgendered straight man. I feel it is important to clarify something about myself that may have been misrepresented.

I too am a cisgendered, straight man.

What people think I am

What people think I am

What I really am

What I really am

I am NOT a lizard

Thank you. Carry on with your day.

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My little contribution to Draw Muhammed Day 2.0

In case you’re wondering what this is all about, Hemant Mehta, aka the Friendly Atheist, has a good summary.

We do it because we have a right to free speech, and there are people out there who want to make sure a drawing of Muhammad never sees the light of day.

We do because religious figures don’t automatically deserve special respect and they’re not immune from criticism. Too often, we treat religion and religious beliefs with baby gloves. Drawing Muhammad is one way to show — non-violently — that Islam ought to be susceptible to criticism just like every other belief system.

We do it because people have been threatened and killed by Muslim radicals for their depictions of Muhammad and criticism of Islam — by drawing Muhammad ourselves, we stand in solidarity withthem.

We do it because Muhammad was drawn for centuries before it somehow became “offensive” to some. There was nothing wrong with it then and there’s nothing wrong with it now.

We do it because people are now getting censored — sometimes ridiculously so — out of fear of what the extremists will do. The radicals should not have this kind of control over the right to express ourselves freely.

We do it in support of Molly Norris, who had to change her whole identity after merely suggestingthat we draw Muhammad.

So here’s my tiny contribution to the effort 🙂

Sorry muslims, your prophet is in another castle!

Sorry muslims, your prophet is in another castle!


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Why I’m embarrassed to admit that we homeschool our kids

Being a skeptical, secular homeschooling parent is a tough gig these days. If you don’t want to stay isolated in your basement with your kids, it’s important to find a local homeschooling group. They can provide field trips, educational opportunities, support and resources. They can also provide the lulz.

We belong to a local group that maintains a strong secular focus. They will not allow posts on “potentially controversial topics” such as religion or politics. While I’m all for freedom of speech, some places have to be provided as safe zones where a narrow focus needs to be maintained. And in this group, educating our children is our focus. It is not a place to get bogged down in flame wars about Right vs Left or Jesus vs Zeus (Zeus would totally kick Jesus’ butt in a cage match. One word: lightning bolts (I know, it’s two words. Deal) Just sayin’).

I was going somewhere with this, I swear. Oh, yeah, the lulz. Sometimes a gem slips through the moderation cracks, like this post that just came through. It has to be shared; it is a moral imperative.

The post reads as follows:

Defending your Christian Faith in a Secular World Class For Home School Middle and High School Students
35 week class
Beginning in September 12, 2011 – May 21, 2012
Day: Monday 3:00-4:30 (meet once a week)
Cost: $10.00/ per class; paid one month in advance
Location: Crossings Community Church
Teacher: Mrs. Joanne Whitaker – New Life Christian Certified Teacher and BA Psychology / Education* Home Schooling for 8 years (2003- present )

Wow. Just, wow. As humorous as this is in and of itself, it gets better. Here’s the justification for the need for such a class.

Survey Data from Barna Research Group and USA Today

Most teens and young adults will reject their Christian faith after leaving high school and attending college. Christian Apologist, Frank Turek at crossexamined.org gives the following reasons why Christian youth in America are leaving the church:

• 70-75% of Christian youth leave the church after high school and Intellectual skepticism is one of the major reasons they walk away.
• Most Christian students are not equipped to resist rabidly anti-Christian college professors who are intent on converting their students to Atheism.
• College professors are five times more likely to identify themselves as atheists than the general public.
• More than half of all college professors view Evangelical Christian students unfavorably
• The “new atheists” — Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens — are writing books and are growing in popularity.

The reason for this exodus is that Christian youth in America are not being taught to cross examine the skeptical and atheistic views they encounter when they leave home and attend college classes and also socialize with Non Christians who have a Worldview opposed to a Christian Worldview

1 Peter 3:15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…


Ahem. Pardon the outburst. I was just terrified for a moment about those Non Christians and their Worldview. Ok, actually it was the Random Capitalization that really frightened me. But seriously, these pious kids are having to “…reject rabidly anti-Christian college professors who are intent on converting their students to Atheism”? I didn’t realize that they were all going to have PZ Myers as a prof 😛 And Yahweh forbid that they encounter  “…skeptical and atheistic views” out in the big bad world! They might just adopt some of that there “Intellectual skepticism” and then the church would really be fucked, wouldn’t it?

Because they want to attract as many lemmings zombies cult members followers as possible, they’ve graciously provided us with the curriculum that will be used in this stellar example of Christian Apologetics.

Class Description

Christian apologetics – is that branch of Christianity that deals with answering any and all critics who oppose or question the revelation of God in Christ and the Bible. It can include studying such subjects as biblical manuscript transmission, philosophy, biology, mathematics, evolution, and logic. But it can also consist of simply giving an answer to a question about Jesus or a Bible passage. The latter case is by far the most common and you don’t have to read a ton of books to do that.

Nope, you only gotta read one book. But it’s a good book, don’t ya know!

For the Apologetic portion of this course, I will be utilizing Josh and Sean McDowell videos. I will also include Summit Ministries Understanding the Times which consists of explaining Worldview such as learning about other religions, Postmodernism, Secular Humanism, Marxism, Atheism, Agnostic, and other various views that oppose Christianity. The third resource in teaching Apologetics is I will provide Scientific facts that rebuke Evolution using Does God Exist? Kit: Building the Scientific Case (TrueU) by Stephen Meyer produced by Focus on the Family.

Ooooooh, not just scientific facts but “Scientific facts”! Who knew that thousands of hours of research, observation, genetic  and fossil evidence could be rebuked by a Kit you can buy? From a hate group called Focus on the Family no less!

Creation vs. Evolution, The Big Bang Theory, Intelligent Design – I will be utilizing Darwin’s Dilemma DVD by Stephen Meyer, Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron Evolution DVD (The Way of the Master), and other various resources to give concrete evidence so students can defend their faith to support Creation and rebuke Evolution.

Mrs Whittaker, did you… I mean… you actually are going to show this with a straight face? Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron? Srsly? I mean, c’mon, the banana? The epitome of intelligent design? I literally busted out laughing at this. This has got to be a poe, right?

Furthermore, utilizing Dr. Kent Hovind and Eric Hovind – beginning in 1989, Dr. Hovind’s ministry continues to grow as he has spoken more than 900 times each year in public and private schools, churches, university debates, and on radio and television broadcasts. His humorous, fast-paced, illustrated seminars provide documented evidence against the unscientific theory of evolution that goes against Scripture. The information presented concerning dinosaurs in the Bible (including a few that are living today) reflects his extensive study in the field of Crypto zoology. Dr. Hovind’s mission is to strengthen the faith of believers, to confound and to convince the evolutionists, and to win the lost to Christ.

Apparently grammar is not critical to “confound and convince the evolutionists”. Neither is obeying the law. And I gotta say, I had no idea these loons were delving into “Crypto zoology” to back up their ridiculous claims, though I suspect they really mean cryptozoology. Did you know Mr and Mrs Bigfoot were on the Ark? It’s true, I read it in the bible. Or something.

I know, this is getting tl;dr, but it’s just so chock full of goodies I can’t help myself!

Christian Psychology – My major in college was Psychology; therefore I am going to educate the class on the theories and theorists that they will be learn about in college; however using a Christian perspective. The various areas of Psychology will include: Behavior; Nature, Nurture, and Human Diversity, Developing Through The Life Span, Personality, Thinking and Language, Intelligence, Social Psychology, Perception, Learning, Emotion. Many of the theories are Atheistic and we will be discussing; the difference between a Secular World view and Christian View of each theory. Psychology, Science, and History are the main courses that require students to defend their faith.

Again, grammar and sentence structure are NOT important for defending your faith in an imaginary sky daddy who loves dead babies and foreskins.

Hey, did you know that “Personality, Thinking and Language, Intelligence, Social Psychology, Perception, Learning, Emotion” are Atheistic? You will after you take this course!

Ok, we’re in the home stretch now.

World Religions – we will be studying other religions so that we understand what others believe so that we can rebuke other religions and also witness to other people about Christianity. It is easier to witness when you know what other religions believe (Scientology, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, etc…)
[emphasis mine]

In conclusion, after completing this course students will be able to attend college and defend their faith instead of questioning it or even turning away from it.

Home School Students will receive ½ semester High School Psychology Credit and a ½ semester Bible Credit for taking this class – both elective credits

I would SO love to go to this class but I know that I wouldn’t be able to keep my smart-ass mouth shut. Besides, I’m probably already blackballed  by this homeschool group for previous transgressions. So if anyone wants to go and write about this, I’ll fork over the bucks and post your results here.

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-03-20

  • Taking poor @kelleytastic to the urgent care clinic so her little head doesn't explode 🙁 #
  • Look, #powerband knock-offs! Now with the power of titanium! *facepalm* http://t.co/94ekqkO #
  • My new pickup line: Baby, you're hotter than the melting core of a Japanese nuclear reactor! #whatdoyouthink #toosoon #
  • I'm so proud! My boy just cracked his first "your mom" joke! #
  • I just saw a picture of Joss Whedon for the first time. He's got a round face and a ginger neck beard like me! #
  • I got Colonel Brandon on the The which Jane Austen hero are you Test at OkCupid. http://t.co/5WzjvdW via @OkCupid #
  • The yellow face, it burns us! We must crawl under the nice blanketses and hide! #
  • Japanese nuclear meltdown, Bahrain declares martial law, unions are being destroyed AND I have heartburn. Can't get much worse, eh? 😛 #
  • I spoke too soon. There's a public radio pledge drive. #
  • Dr appt done, now on to stoopid client meeting. Then my annual review this afternoon. #likeyoucare #
  • Tonight is Spaceballs at @EnzianTheater! I've got a date with a hottie, @xhaelx! We're gonna troll for hawt chicks 😉 #
  • Doesn't matter as long as it comes in a box>> RT @TerilynnS: RT @SigHolmes: What kind of wine goes with pork rinds? < White Zinfandel #
  • Survived my annual review. Didn't get nagged about my lack of paperwork skillz this time. #winning #
  • Ugh, meetings non-stop from 10:30 – 2:30 today 😛 #
  • I'm so sorry, Twitter. I have to tell you something. I've been cheating on you lately with Facebook *sob* Please forgive me! #
  • It's all fun&games till someone loses an eye! RT @GeorgeHrab: Every playful pillow fight is just one zipper strike away from ocular tragedy. #
  • If you're not in over your head, you're not learning anything. #
  • Gotta go get ready for my date tonight! Second date with this girl 🙂 #
  • Everybody have fun tonight! Everybody wang chung tonight! #
  • Good morning twitter! Thank you all for the #FF love yesterday. Y'all are so smart to recommend me! 😉 #
  • Let's get today going! Got home from my date at 9am, took a nap, ate some food so now I'm almost fully functional! #
  • Fuck me it's hot out here! I miscalculated by wearing black jeans to the ball park. #wardrobefail #
  • The boy just got another hit!!! #
  • If only the kid behind mine in the lineup didn't suck the boy could actually get around the bases. #
  • My girl (4), just explained to her little friend that boys can marry boys and girls can marry girls. 😀 #
  • Getting ready to celebrate #julanakah Holy crap, has it already been a year since the last one?! #
  • For those not cool enough to know, #julanakah is the annual celebration of the Holy @shamrockjulie's birth! #
  • Did I miss something? Is the US srsly getting militarily involved in Lybia? What, was the air force itching to use some new toys? 😛 #
  • Wow, have times changed! http://t.co/5hcQmqK #
  • You let me violate you. You let me desecrate you. You let me penetrate you. #
  • Bow down before the one you serve; you're going to get what you deserve. #
  • I am sofa king tired. Apparently staying out all night makes one very tired the next day. Who knew? #
  • Galileoscope and the SOOPERMOON! http://t.co/bCX2qD7 #

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-03-13

  • Oof. Being up till 3 with a kidney stone makes one tired the next day. Just got out of bed! #
  • It's not even 2pm and I've already cleaned the family room, got all the kids toys out of downstairs, swept, mopped and made lunch. #
  • Something must be wrong with me. #
  • All I have left is to mop the kitchen, clear off the counters of all the crap and put away the camping and xmas stuff. #
  • For those whom this impacts: don't get used to this! #
  • And, yes, I am well aware that it is months past xmas; don't judge me. Or, judge me then go fuck yourself 😉 #
  • And if you're wondering why I'm tweeting instead of working, I'm eating the sandwich I made myself 2 hours ago and promptly forgot about. #
  • I'm making a pile of shit called "someone do something with this shit because if it were up to me I'd throw it all away" #
  • I've thrown it all away before: important documents, expensive electronics, small children & pets, all thrown away. Wifey was not happy. #
  • Ok, once more into the breach. #
  • One thing I like about cleaning is my tools. This is my broom, made by hand by a master broom-maker. http://t.co/HsJMegg #
  • You can tell we're American; the dirtiest parts of the floor are in front of the refrigerator and in front of the sofa. #
  • Showing the kiddos the original Karate Kid. We'll see if it can hold up to the remake. #
  • Turkey's watching the original Karate Kid. His comment was, "nice music". 😀 #
  • Man who catch fly with chopstick, accomplish anything. #
  • If only it were that easy to get a vasectomy http://www.explosm.net/comics/2347/ #
  • This bad boy is gorgeous. I can only dream of building #LEGO this well. http://www.flickr.com/photos/kwi-chang/5499427054/ #
  • Fuck. Kidney stone was only in hiding. Like the Millennium Falcon in Empire. Unfortunately it didn't get jettisoned with the trash & is back #
  • I hate having to reboot my stoopid windows box at work. #pointlesstweet #
  • Why aren't there more laser-based weapons out there? Is the power efficiency just too prohibitive? Too fragile? #weirdthoughts #
  • Do they attenuate too rapidly in the air to deliver significant amounts of energy over a distance? #
  • Everything that comes out of your mouth is scary wrong. RT @SarahPalinUSA: Obama's so wrong on energy/scary wrong on oil;… #
  • Fuckity fuck fuck. They're initiating a password change policy for our computers @ work. Every 60 days. 😛 #
  • So that's now 3 different passwords I use on a daily basis that now force changes: domain, exchange, iseries. #
  • Why is it that journos have no problem asking questions about Quadaffi's sanity yet are mum when Bachman, Palin, Beck, et al speak? #
  • *sigh* Blogging about politics again. I couldn't help myself. http://wp.me/pvWzg-fc #
  • I've got all three stars and a feather on every level. #angrybirds needs an update!! #
  • Kids should not be allowed on the team their parent coaches. It's distracting to the coach when the kid's a whiny brat. 😛 #
  • At the batting cages for the turkey's baseball practice. Giving advice like I know what I'm talking about 😉 #
  • Happy birthday to my favorite Canuckistanian grape grower @pixelsnake! 😀 #
  • BREAKING:New Documents revealed- Government thinks it can arrest you for sharing YouTube videos: http://t.co/02CQPVz via @demandprogress #
  • Busy CyberLizard is busy too 😛 RT @Mrs_Skwirl42: Busy Sophie is busy. in reply to Mrs_Skwirl42 #
  • It's Porktober 8th! Head into Seaside Town and do some Trick or Treating! #KoL #
  • Getting excited about Frolicon coming up, in more ways than one >;-) #
  • If I lived in the Bay area I would totally do this: Sex Positive Photo Project http://bit.ly/ewIRll #
  • Lesser publicized victims of the Japan quake: the otaku http://bit.ly/fpY4kv #
  • As she said: RT @WordMistressKiz If you only follow one person, follow @CyberLizard #FF #notreally #
  • Dear App That's Thrashing My Harddrive: CUT THAT SHIT OUT! I'd like to use my computer sometime this year! >:-P #
  • Man, what's on the schedule for next Wednesday? I wanna do this! http://www.enzian.org/film/spaceballs/ #
  • .@SarahPalinUSA Idiot. US produces 2% of world oil. Drill baby drill will destroy enviro w/o doing a damn thing to prices. Moron. in reply to SarahPalinUSA #
  • Just realized that Megacon is the same weekend as Atlanta Poly Weekend. No Megacon. Oh, well. I had too much on my plate this month anyway. #
  • The dog just farted in her sleep. How can something so small make such a horrible smell?! http://t.co/Al5djdk #
  • VERY kickass! RT@Joreth: One of my fav. songs by fav artist @GeorgeHrab now has a KICKASS video: http://t.co/d9edygV #fb #
  • Explosion @ Japanese nuclear plant. Someone must have said it couldn't get any worse 🙁 http://t.co/C0CU8Ce #
  • This is the kind of pareidolia I can get behind! http://t.co/GDoY8Zz /via @panotes #
  • Dude! @peeweeherman is on @waitwait! #

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