Believe It or Not

Disclaimer: This Blog post is the opinion of the author.  Be warned that this article may challenge your beliefs in theology and the after life.  If you have a firm belief and practice a particular brand of religion do not continue to read this Blog post as it may offend you. It is not the intent of this article to deny or challenge anyone’s choice in believing anything they want.  This article is just for fun and means nothing.

This summer I started watching one of my favourite TV shows on NetFlix, Star Trek: Voyager. Like all of the Star Trek series and science fiction in general I like the way the stories challenge you to think differently about what you think to be real. Sometimes what we continue to believe can be a blind spot to acquiring new information. A lot of scientific breakthroughs in the history of this planet have had to face opposition from the established beliefs that were being challenged by new ideas.

The Voth

The Voth

One episode that I really like came out in 1997 during Season three titled Distant Origins. The story revolves around the idea that race of beings evolved on earth and were descendants of saurian reptiles.  They eventually developed the abilities to travel in space and left earth.  Humans developed later and now the two species have met in the Delta Quadrant and both belief systems are challenged.

As with any science fiction story you as the audience have to identify with the characters to really engage the plot lines.  For me it is always easy to identify with the hero in this case the Star Trek characters, but this time I was really looking at the saurian species who called themselves the Voth.  The Voth scientist was trying to prove that his race did not evolve in the Delta Quadrant, but actually migrated to this region of space and evolved on the same planet as the humans.  The Voth status quo hates warm blooded species especially mammals. The Voth particularly hold humans with disrespect and see them as an inferior species and they did not like the fact this scientist was trying to challenge a long held belief that they did not originate where they currently are living.  The ruling matriarch especially did not like the fact that this scientist was linking the evolution of the Voth to humans because they share 47 chromosomes with all live forms from planet earth.

So here I was watching this story play out and I started to think about what is going on on this planet now.  I thought about how some folks do not like to think about how all humans evolved from one species.  I think about how some folks think that we did not evolve at all and were just created like a poof of magic.  Does it really matter how we got here?  Does it prevent us from communicating honestly and working together to make things better for everyone? I wonder how much our world has missed opportunities to make great leaps forward in knowledge just because we have a blind spot blocking a new idea just because we will not open ourselves up to letting go of the past.

Rev. Lonnie Charles Wormley And Son Lonnie (me) Oct 19, 2003 19:51:56

I have always been fascinated with the origins of the universe.  My dad was a minister and presiding elder in the AME Chruch so I had an interesting perspective of theology and science when I was growing up. My dad got me interested in archaeology as a boy when he took the family to the Grand Canyon.  We made several trips to Texas from California to visit his birth place and mother when I was a boy.  These visits through Arizona and New Mexico made an impression on me that to this day I always enjoy being in the desert and exploring rocks. I studied astronomy and archaeology in college and these studies furthered my interest in how we got here and where are we going.

 

The creation theory has as many solutions as there are organized trains of thought on this planet.  I will only address the ones that I was subjected to as a child and relate them from the perspective of what my dad told me. One of the big deals in Christianity is the notion that a omnipotent being, God, created the earth (or universe if you believe in it) in seven days. From my trips to the Grand Canyon I found it hard to believe that the earth was created in seven days like I had read in the King James version of the Bible.  So I asked my dad to explain this to me, was I not calculating time correctly?  Was the Nation Park service ranger lying to me about how long it took to carve out the Grand Canyon? My dad told me about the Geologic Time Scale and neatly mapped out the seven days to this scale.  He told me that God was beyond the human concept of time and space and that the Bible was not to be interpreted literally.  I would learn later as an adult much to my amazement that there are a lot of folks who believe in written holy scriptures literally.

Q

Q, the omnipotent being in Star Trek

This brings me to another episode of Star Trek Voyager that includes one of my favorite characters, Q or the Q Continuum. The Q in the Star Trek series represent a full frontal assault on the notion that there is an all knowing omni present singular being who is responsible for creation of the universe. Star Trek goes even further and introduces the concept that the Q Continuum is not perfect and sometimes suffer from the same emotional aliments that us mere mortal humans endure.

In season three of Star Trek Voyager episode 11 titled The Q and the Gray the concept of Q having a war is the heart of the story.  The Q are at a disagreement with allow the freedom to commit suicide.  Here we have a immortal all powerful being which struggles with being bored.  We humans make up stories to explain every sort of un-explainable phenomena and sometimes we get it wrong so we back it up by creating a religion to support our theory.  Take Jesus Christ, did he really come to die or did he come to help us understand how to live as one family.  When a bunch of folks killed him because he threatened established ideas his death was turned into a religion to support the murder.  Is there really someone up there watching over us or are we just making all of this stuff up because we really do not know what is going on?

Suite: Judy Blue Eyes

Every time I hear this song I think about my brother Vance. We use to sing this song and switch between different parts of harmony. My brother was an amazing musician. We were sort of crazy musically as we were the only brothers in the hood listening to James Brown and Cosby Stills and Nash. We knew all of the words to Judy Blue Eyes.

Are the kids alright now?

Osama bin Laden Killed: Breaking Details – The Daily Beast.

OK the evil bastard is dead.  If the American populace wants to blame Osama bin Laden for all of the bad luck and economic woes for the past 10 years, OK we got him back.  I know this day of celebration for some is no way near the replacement for loved one lost in the 9/11 disaster or the two wars that we are fighting.  I do think that I will have to believe the US government’s statement that they did kill him and dump him in the ocean.

I think that a watery grave is fitting for Osama since he will not have a place on this earth to mark his grave.  I’m usually not such a warmonger, but 9/11 really got my anger riled up.  The US has done a lot of goofy stuff, but we have also bent over backwards to help just about every country on this planet and look what thanks we get.  So as far as I’m concerned I do not care if the rest of the world does not like us for a few decades because we spent 10 years hunting down the man that we blame for 9/11.  At least the next wacko that decides to do something foolish to terrorize the US they will know that our armed forces will hunt them down and kill them and their families and then dump their bodies in the ocean.

Go Navy Seals and CIA!

Old School Skate Boarding

Lonnie's old skool skate board ride

Lonnie's old skool skate board ride

Believe it or not.. Back in the late 60s and early 70s when skate boards were being invented by crazy fools I was an early adapter.  I made a custom board in wood shop, went to the skate shop and bought two custom trucks (rabbit feet I think).  I lived in the La Jolla ghetto at the time.  Well there was this street called Nautilus Street and I remember biking up to La Jolla Scenic Drive and ride 2 miles dropping from about 600 feet to sea level.  We would do this at night before trash day.  This was old school short board downhill, we had no helmets, no pads and no hay bales on turns.  In fact sometimes during the run we would stand up when we saw trash cans and kick them over to add obstacles for the dudes behind us.  Most of the time I would stay in a crouched position with my elbows between my knees with just enough flex in my ankles to steer around road debris.

The real excitement came when the asphalt ended at the start of the old part of Nautilus and you hit concrete pavement with oil bumps.  By then you were really rolling fast.  You had a long straight shot to the coast so you came out of your tucked stance did bunny hops over the larger oil bumps.  The only real death situation came when you approached the only stop sign on the run. You could only hope you would luck out and there would be no cars at the busy intersection of La Jolla Blvd.  If there were cars you did the tuck and roll and bailed or you got slammed by a large piece of metal.  After flying across La Jolla Blvd, it was a slow coast to the Wind n Sea Beach.

Those were the daze!

Why do all of the TV shows that I like get cancelled?

I think I know the answer to this question, but for the sake of this blog I will just write about it.  I mean after all this is what a blog is for, whining about stuff, right?

So here is the premise, I like a show, I start watching it, it gets cancelled.  I find a series on NetFlix, I start watching it, I find out it only has a few seasons or worse 5 or 6 episodes because it got cancelled.  I know some of the shows were cancelled because of the film writer’s strike in 2007-2008, but some shows do not get the viewer support and they die on the vine.

I know my taste are not mainstream all of the time when it comes to music and film, but it is just sad that so many good shows do not make it long term.  I am going to adopt a new mind set when it comes to cancelled TV shows.  I am going to  start reguarding cancelled TV shows as short stories.  Sometimes a TV series can last too long in my opinion and it loses the edge and the writers get bored and start repeating story lines.

Below is a short list of my favorite cancelled shows.

Making Home Made Bread

Fresh Bread

I have finally started making bread, again. I use to make bread from scratch way back when I was cooking at Camp Mozumdar in the San Bernardino mountains in California. My recipes at that time came from the Joy of Cooking. I modified the recipies to include whole wheat flour. I even had a Jewish woman teach me how to make Challah. I remember how much energy it took to knead the dough, especially when you were making more than one loaf at a time. Making bread now days is really easy and any cave man like me can do it.

My wife Sylvia purchased a bread machine a few months ago. I did not know that we had a bread machine until I commented about good bread during a conversation over breakfast while visiting my sister in New Jersey. It was during this conversation that I wished for a bread machine. My wife then informed me that we already had one. She said that it was in the pantry closet. When we got back home I looked in the pantry and sure enough, there it was. I had seen the box previously, but I just thought it was a box of stuff. We have been living out of boxes for several years now that I always assume that a box does not have in side what is labeled on the outside. anyway I was excited that she had purchased a bread machine at half price at big lots.

The bread machine that we have is an Oster BM-1 model CKSTBRTW20. It makes up to a two pound loaf of bread. I really love this little kitchen appliance. I have been using it to make the basic white bread and it always turns out perfect.

Fresh Bread in the pan

Fresh Bread in the pan

I only had one loaf turn out weird. I tried to do a loaf using the delay cooking setting. this did not work because during the winter months we turn our heat down at night. After looking at the loaf the next morning I realized that the yeast was not warm enough to rise in the middle of the night. I will wait until the summer months to bake bread during the night. It will be nice to wake up to a fresh loadf of bread in the morning.

One feature that I have not tried is just letting the bread machine make dough. you can stop the machine right after the bread rises and take it out to make nay pastry. i want to do this to make dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls or even pizza. Having the machine make the yeast dough is the hardest part of baking. If you are not making a lot of dough this bread maker is the perfect size for a home kitchen.

the only thing that I do not like about the bread machine is that when it is in the kneading mode it moves across the counter a little. If you are not careful the bread machine may move to the edge and hit the floor. Placing a towel or some other non-slip surface under the machine during this process will slow this down. I just watch the machine periodically to make sure it is not near the edge during the kneading process.