Obamacare sucks!
pargontwin
So they call it a "tax," and that's supposed to make it constitutional.  What it tells me is that they're taxing my health now.  I object to having some bean-counter (mis)managing my health care.  I'm quite capable of managing it myself, thank you very much.

Writer's Block: Got the Munchies
pargontwin
Don't know if this counts as a snack, since you have to cook it first, I'll go for ravioli if I have any; otherwise, any pasta will do.

Writer's Block: Tough Choices
pargontwin
In my case, that's a no-brainer.  Family, hands down.

The dinosaur question
pargontwin

The Dinosaur Question

        Despite any ideas the media may have given you, Christianity and the theory of evolution are not mutually exclusive beliefs.  The Catholic Church, for example, teaches that we may believe in evolution, provided we view it as guided by the hand of God, rather than being purely random.  This is what is meant by the term “intelligent design,” and it is how I have always viewed evolution.  While our secular society would have you believe  that you can’t possibly be a good scientist and a devout Christian, they’re wrong.  Learning about science, for me, was always an eye-opening lesson in the subtle intricacies of creation.  To our limited minds, it’s awesome to realize the tiniest little things God considered when putting this universe together, how it all fits together, and the pure artistry of it all.

        My Christian belief caused a hiccup when it came to dinosaurs.  Paleontologists have proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that these creatures existed at one time.  Heck, I’ve seen the fossils myself in museums.  The hiccup comes when I get to the part that says they were extinct before man appeared on the Earth.  How can that be?  How could there have been something like T. Rex before man existed?  T. Rex was a predator, and there was no predation before the Fall of man!

        To my mind, this presented a major problem.  It’s the analysis of teeth that distinguishes carnivores from herbivores; maybe that analysis was in error, and all the dinosaurs were herbivores?  Nah.  Toss that one out as soon as you think of it; it’s about as unlikely as it gets.  However, one can posit that herbivores were around first, and carnivores evolved later; that might fit.  Yet fossil studies don’t suggest that, either.  The third possibility, to my mind the most likely, is that the perceived timing is off:  Either man has been around longer, or dinosaurs remained extant a lot later, than previously believed.

        When I discussed this with a friend of mine (now gone from us), he pointed out that he had seen a show on…A&E?  The History Channel?  I don’t really remember which; it was several years ago.  At any rate, I’m told the program showed ancient gold tablets that had been discovered in South America, Incan in origin, that bore etchings of hunters taking down what was unmistakably a dinosaur.  Does anybody recall having seen this program, or perhaps read about something like this?    I’d really like to know, since this question has been bugging me for nearly half my life now.


The 9/11 coloring book
pargontwin
Here's a controversy I just don't get.  Everybody's up in arms saying that a coloring book about 9/11 to teach children about our Second Day of Infamy is inappropriate; most of them claim it's because they don't want to expose their children to the concepts of death and grief.  Here's why I don't get it:  When I was three years old, an aunt died, and I went to her funeral.  When my parents explained to me what death was, I was not in the least bit traumatized.  When we went to the wake (open casket), I was mostly curious about the body.  I understood that there was "nobody home," so to speak.  When we came back the next day for the actual funeral, I knew that my aunt's body was in that closed "box," and was not the least bit disturbed when they put that box in the ground. 

Fast forward three years.  I was six years old, and in the first grade in a Catholic school.  I still remember our lesson on Heaven and Hell, and the fact that you had to die to get to either place.  Here's the kicker:  It was expected that by six years, we'd all know what death was, and we did.  Most of us had learned it before kindergarten, simply because some relative had died and we went to the funerals.  Not one single one of us was traumatized by the thought.  We may have been sad because some relative wasn't around anymore, but that's it. 

Fast-forward another three years.  My third-grade reader told the story of a town in which a terrible storm and flood occurred.  Several chapters covered the children's experiences in a shelter in another town during the storm; later chapters not only dealt with the cleanup after the flood, but actually told about several characters, introduced in earlier chapters, who DIED IN THE FLOOD!  Parents today would be having fits over such subject matter in a children's book, but we took it as a matter of course; in fact, all of us loved that story.  Several of my former  schoolmates are actually jealous of the fact that I still have that reader, because they would have loved to have their own children read it.

I think most people would be quite surprised to find that their preschoolers understand death and similar concepts quite well, simply from the things their parents watch on TV.  And if they don't get to see any TV shows where things like that happen, the parents need to wake up and quit sheltering the little snowflakes.  Kids are tough, tougher than anybody these days gives them credit for.  Bad things happen in this world, and they need to be made aware of that fact AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE.  The earlier you teach them about it, the less likely they are to be permanently damaged if and when the actually encounter such things.  Trust me, this is personal experience talking.

God's infinite mercy
pargontwin

If you went to a Catholic school in the early 1960s, you probably  heard the story:  The wicked man dies, and no trick of the undertaker's art can erase the expression of horror from  his face; the good man dies, and carries with him a smile that no trick of that same art can duplicate.  Well, tonight, for the third time in my life, I have seen the truth of at least half that story.

Tonight we lost my roommate's mother.  She was ninety-six and had been fully independent until only three years ago; she was in an assisted living facility since that time.  She had been terminally ill for three weeks, so we knew this was coming; when we went to view the body for the last time after we were notified that she had passed, none of the staff at the facility could believe the look on her face.  Alive, even drugged to the gills on morphine, she had been in pain, and it had shown on her sleeping face.  In death, however, there was the biggest smile anyone had ever seen on her face.  There is no question in anyone's mind where she is now.

The other two occasions were this same woman's husband three years ago, and my own father a little over twenty years ago now.  Far from grieving her loss, my roommate and I toasted her when we got home.  We will celebrate her passing instead of mourning it.  The Irish have the right idea.  ;D


Writer's Block: The Kids' Section
pargontwin
What was your favorite movie when you were a kid? Is it still your favorite now that you're older?

My favorite movie was 13 ghosts - the 1963 version.   Most horror movies from that era were pretty hokey, but this one has definitely stood the test of time.  I'm 56 now, and it's still among my favorites.  My favorite TV show of all time is Voyagers, though I don't know if that counts, since I was in my 20s when it came out.  (I suppose it does; at that time, I was still very much a kid.  Hey, let's face it, I still am!  ;D) 

Voyagers!
pargontwin

I just read a post by Spiderling, who asks if anybody remembers the 1982 show Voyagers!  I tried to post a comment there, but it wouldn't let me, so here I am to tell everybody who does remember:  If you find you still really like that show, there's some great fanfiction to be read over at fanfiction.net.  You especially want to read those by Time and Tide, DaynaWayna, VoygersFan, Mrs. Phineas Bogg, and Jake Crepeau.  Happy reading!

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