December 27th, 2007


Why some athiests have no problem celebrating Christmas.

However, there is a nugget of truth to the idea that everyone sees Christmas as, at its core, all about Jesus. Bart Simpson famously said that Christmas is the day when people of all religions come together and worship Jesus Christ. That said, I’m a believer in the idea that whether you do something or avoid something based on others’ actions, you’re letting someone else live your life. Even if others believe it’s Christian period, I don’t.

Some have also suggested to me that they dislike the commercial aspect to it. Recently a friend sniffed at me that he loves his family every day, why buy into the Hallmark and Wal-Mart empire for no good reason? Simply put, the giving and getting is fantastic no matter who you are. I spent easily $500 on friends and family this year and the looks on their faces when opening a gift always puts me in a good mood. Plus, hey, everyone likes free stuff.

Not only that, but no matter how much one might protest, no one lives every day with "I love my family so much" in mind. We don’t have big family dinners every day and we certainly don’t spend that much quality time with them. This is especially true if your family is separated by a lot of geography. Christmas gives me a great opportunity to show everyone what they mean to me.

(Forgive the sappiness on that last part. I’m an old softy at times, I know.)

One problem with working too much is that you rarely have time to hang out with your family. I came by my dad's house on the evening of the 24th to drop off presents, and found that the whole family was gone to mass and wouldn't be back until late. The actual thought that ran through my head was: "Damn you, religion, you're taking my family away from me." It was an amusing irony. Here I was, wanting to have dinner with my dad, stop-mom, and all my far-flung brothers and sisters... and I couldn't do it because of the very holiday that I wanted to celebrate with them. ;]

So mark me down as one of the agnostics who loves the quality time with family and gift giving aspects of Christmas, but who still couldn't care less about Jesus. Celebrating Christmas can't make me Christian, any more than sleeping in the garage can make me a car.
Trajedy... for YOUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!

On the continued suckage of tire chains.

So, I left work at 7pm today. I got home at 8:30. That's an hour and a half for a 12 mile drive.

I couldn't even get out of my parking spot at work without putting the chains on. That's how icy and snowy it is here in Colorado. (At this point I bet scarybaldguy is laughing his butt off at me, while he sits warm and safe in Arizona. Well, he's earned those lulz, the hard way - RIP Zoe.)

As a general rule I dislike (and am annoyed by) anything that makes my car sound (and feel) like a blender full of ice cubes. Which is exactly what the chains do. The 25 MPH top speed they impose is also obnoxious as all hell. And I still can't believe how badly designed they are. I was tearing chunks of ice the size of a DVD case out of my wheel-wells so I could get my hands back behind the wheels to get the chains on. Fun, fun, fun.

My dear chain makers, have you even tried to use your own product? Have you ever considered the fact that getting your hands behind the wheels of your average passenger car is about as easy as shoving a D battery up your own nostril? Did you ever think that maybe the chains would be about 2000% easier to put on if you made a long piece of cable that could go through an eyelet on the rear side of the tire, then be pulled across the tire tread, and secured on the outside? Where you can actually see what you're doing? Where you have a chance of getting it right the first time? And you'd also be able to put on the chains without having to move the car halfway through the process? Yeah, yeah, I know - crazy talk.

I admit, the alternative to chains is probably worse. I saw a car skidded off the road as I drove home. It was perpedicular to the road, nose so far down into the ditch I couldn't see the headlights, undercarriage touching the ground, rear wheels about 8" up in the air. There was a tow truck idling beside it. I'm not sure what the tow truck driver was thinking, but personally I suspect that car is going to be there until spring.

I left the chains on when I parked here at home. I have a feeling I'm going to need them to get out of the parking space when I leave tomorrow morning. In fact I have a feeling that it's going to continue to be this bad, on and off, until March...
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