Thursday, June 23, 2011

Changes are Coming

I see that the frequency of posts has diminished quite a bit over the last several months.  Not that my interest in may of these topics have waned.  They have not.  In fact, some of them have become even more meaningful and interesting to me.  It's just that there has been a lot going on and motivation for doing a lot of things has just not been there.  Well, that is going to change.  Starting July 4th that is.  I have some family commitments I need to keep that are not conducive to this sort of change, so I have to wait, but it gives me time to plan it out.

Several months ago, I started quite a few home projects.  Many of those are still undone. I've gotten the chance to work on some of them this week, but they need my constant attention.  I will do something on these projects every day.  I don't care if its a single nail hammered in or a single screw screwed in, or moving a shovel full of dirt.  Something will be done every day.

I've taken the summer off from my guitar lessons so that I can really focus on learning about 9 or 10 songs completely and thoroughly.  I've promised myself to practice anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour each night so that by the end of August, I can bust out any one of these 10 songs and play them without having to look at them (and when I say bust one out and play it, that's it.  No singing.)

I need to blog.  I need to sit down and write at least one post everyday on some topic from that day.  Over the last several months, I've had things to write about, but I put it off, then a day or two later, one of the bloggers that I follow does a post on that same thing and usually nails it far better than I could.

Lastly, I need to get fit.  Ever since I turned 40, I've told myself that the time is now.  It only gets harder as you get older.  Notice I didn't say lose weight or diet.  It's just about getting fit.  Good exercise, good nutrition.  It also helps that I had a blood test and the cholesterol numbers that came back were not good.  Not horribly bad, mind you, but not good.  I still have a chance to do something about it without meds.  The weight loss will happen, although I'm hoping not so much to lose weight but to replace the low density fat with some high density muscle.  Let's just say the beer gut has to go.  Which means, unfortunately, that the beer has to go.  At least initially.  And no, that doesn't mean I'm going to start drinking that "Lite" crap either.  Mine as well go without.

So, here, in a nutshell, are my mid-year's resolutions:
  1. Do something on the house projects every day.
  2. Practice my guitar.
  3. Blog.
  4. Get fit.
 Let's get started!  (in a week or so.)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Kevorkian's Passing and Thoughts on Assisted Suicide

I had barely noticed the scrolling headline on the TV.  Jack Kevorkian passed away last week.  Known as "Dr. Death," Kevorkian is famous for inventing a machine which allowed people of little or no mobility to give themselves a lethal dose of medication.  The people were terminally ill and more often than not in great pain.

I just recently ran across a fantastic blog called Choice in Dying.  As Eric MacDonald describes his blog, "Arguing for the right to die and against the religious obstruction of that right."

Admittedly, assisted suicide has not really been on my radar screen as an atheist.  While having almost forgotten Kevorkian, several states, most notably Oregon, have passed or tried to pass assisted suicide laws.  I'm sure many of us recall the Terry Schiavo case from years back as well (while not an assisted suicide case per se, it was a right to day situation).

Before I continue, I am going to link to an opinion piece that ran in the New York Times by Ross Douthat, called, "Dr. Kevorkian's Victims."  Go on and read it.  I'll wait.

Back?  I hope you are as thoroughly disgusted as I am.  I wonder if Douthat has ever had to put a pet to sleep?  Let's just stick with that thought for a moment.  Almost everyone I know, regardless of their faith, has had to put a pet to sleep and send them to the "Rainbow Bridge."  We do this because it is the humane thing to do.  We do this because we love our pets.  We consider them family members.  We can't stand to see our pets suffer and even though we don't ask for their permission, more often than not, we know it is simply the "right thing to do."  Notice how the word itself is "human."  Yet, so many people are willing to deny that same humane ending for those who are terminally ill and suffering greatly.

I've never been in a position to have to deal with this issue with family, but I have certainly dealt with it with pets.  I also know that I could never write about or discuss this subject with the same courage that Eric writes about it in his blog.  If this is a subject that you care about or are interested in learning more about, then I encourage you to subscribe to Eric's blog.

Here are two other bloggers that have commented on the Douthat piece:  Ophelia Benson and Eric MacDonald.