February 21, 2012

politics and religion

"History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purpose." --- Thomas Jefferson to Baron von Humboldt, 1813

"As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?" --- John Adams, letter to F.A. Van der Kamp, Dec.
27, 1816

"What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not." --- James Madison, "A Memorial and Remonstrance", 1785

why is it that many of our Founding Fathers had great reservations about religion and government yet our political atmosphere seems more charged than ever?  What part of separation of church and state do they not understand? 

December 7, 2011

the new kindle fire...

got the new Kindle Fire for my 40th birthday in November.  Although I would love to have the iPad 2 the price tag the iPad was somewhat discouraging.  I couln't justify to myself on spending the extra $350 vs the Kindle Fire.  Anyway, here's my review of the tablet so far after 3 weeks of use...

Though smaller than the iPad at only 7", the Fire actually serves as a better e-reader.  The smaller size allows me to hold the kindle in one hand.  The backlit screen is a bit tough on the eys when using to read books but that was expected.  I have not picked up and finished a book in over a decade and after getting the tablet I have already finished 2 books so I definitely consider this a plus.

Best part of the Kindle Fire would be the content provided by Amazon.  Music, video/movie streaming as well as books and magazines are available for purchase.  And if you are a Prime member like myself, you get to rent 1 book for free per month and unlimited streaming of select movies/videos.

The negatives... only 8GB of storage and about 6.5GB is usable since the Android based operating system takes up a large chunk of storage.  There is also no slot for SD cards to add additional storage space like for example the nook color tablet but Amazon does offer free 5GB cloud storage to alleviate the problem and if you don't install every single app available the 8GB is more than enough for most users.  The only time this is an issue is when you're out of wifi range and want to access items in your cloud storage.  The Amazon silk browser also is a little slow to respond at times so I find myself not using it to surf the net as much.

All in all, the Kindle Fire at $199 is cheap and fun to use with terrific content from Amazon.  I would recommend this tablet and rate it 8/10.

November 29, 2011

on turning 40...

the problem with getting older is not so much the getting older part, it's the awareness of it.  It's hard to believe that I'm now officially "middle-aged"... when did this happen? I used to think that forty was so old. 

I didn't feel any different when I turned forty than when I turned thirty, except of course physically.  I am finding out that I have muscles and nerves in places that I never thought about.  Doing anything new physically almost always results in injury or pain that I've never experienced before.  I've also noticed that I am less and less patient with rude, inconsiderate people when it never used to bother me while in my twenties.  I guess this is what it means when you get older.

Sometimes when I look back I feel like i've accomplished little in my forty years and maybe it's time to do something epic.  Midlife crisis maybe? Then I realize that I have a beautiful wife, an adorable son, and a happy family life.  Everything is not perfect, and I am not exactly when I thought I would be.  In a perfect world I would be making a lot more money and a lot further in my career path. 

Despite my disdain for turning forty, I'm however looking forward to the day that I don't have to help my son to the potty... here's to turning the new thirty and hoping that this decade will be spectacular!

October 21, 2011

live another day...

preacher doomsday's end of world prediction fizzles out again... SURPRISE.  I think it's time he took up remedial math since the preacher blames it on "mathmatical errors".  I cannot believe he is a former civil engineer!

March 23, 2011


looks like we'll be debt free by end of July hopefully, besides the mortgage and car loans that is...  yippie!