Saturday, May 28, 2011

Dave vs. the Bod Pod: Fight!

I seem to recall an NFL Total Access episode where we went behind the scenes at Baltimore Ravens training facility with Bart Scott (when he was a Raven). I seem to recall him preparing to enter the Bod Pod, a state of the art body composition tester, and hating every minute of it. "I hate the Bod Pod," he said "The Bod Pod never tells me anything except I am fat, weak, lazy bastard who needs to lose weight."

I second that emotion.

Back on May 13th, I had my first close encounter of the ugly kind with the Body Pod at CHLI (California Health and Longevity Institute). The results were so disturbing, so disconcerting, so up-ending that I didn't even blog about this subject.

Just what was the problem anyhow? It was the lean-mass figure. This machine had the audacity to to tell me I had only 144.561 pounds of lean mass. This did not accord with the submersion test I did more than a year ago, which indicated 190 pounds of lean weight. This didn't accord with the Tanita composition test that my General Practitioner did on May 11, which indicated 165 pounds of lean weight. The Tanita figure of 165 was scary enough, but the Bod Pod? Forget about it! That was just brutal.

These figures were so wildly askew from one another that it was enough to make me question is anyone had a device that worked. If you own a couple of clocks that can tell you you are somewhere between 4:00 AM and 4:00 PM, what good will that do you? How much value can this wonderful level of detail and precision provide?

There is another factor, a psychological motivation factor, that is far more important to consider. You need to understand that the ultimate finish line for the race I'm running is entirely dependent on how much lean weight I have in this body. My ultimate goal can only be determined by dividing my lean weight in pounds by the figure 0.83. This is because I should have no more than 17% body fat at the age of 44-45, speaking in terms of grand ideals.

If my lean weight is 190, the finish line is right around 228.9156. If my lean weight is 165, the finish line is right around 198.7952. If my lean weight is 144.561, the finish line is 174.1699. You can imagine how pissed and frustrated a runner gets when they keep moving the finish line in the middle of the race. This could break the will of a guy who isn't a competitor.

They wired me awake and hit me with a hand of broken nails. They tied my lead and pulled my chain to watch my blood begin to boil. Hits like a Philips head into my brain.

This produced remarkable motivational results. You shouldn't tie my lead and jerk my chain to watch my blood begin to boil... Not unless you want to see me cut my teeth on bars and rusty chains. I'll break my rusty cage and run.

I went into turbo-overdrive mode to try to correct this situation. I re-arranged my workout schedule. I decided to pull double-days. Instead of one workout at lunch or in the evening, I did two workouts: One at lunch and one in the evening. Instead of 30 minutes on the treadmill and 30 on the bike. I did 20 on the treadmill and 20 on the bike... but I did it twice a day. This represented a 133% intensification of effort from 60 minutes to 80.

In the first week after the Bod Pod, I even invented a thing I called "Murder Days". This was the extra hard day where I would get up and hit the ROM first thing in the morning, do my 40 minutes at lunch, do my 40 minutes in the evening, and then spend 10-20 minutes in the sauna (steam and dry).

You would think that much effort would just about kill you. On the contrary, I found it quite energizing. This kind of day keeps my metabolism burning most of the time, and at a high level. There are moments of extreme fatigue during a day like that, but they usually don't last more than 20 minutes. Most of the time, my energy is quite high.

During the second week after the Bod Pod, I came to a full realization that I had to get my lean weight up. 144.561 is just not acceptable. There is no way I should weigh anything like 174 pounds. I never weighed anything less than 192 pounds at anytime during my adult life. Even then I was too light. To whit, I decided to begin weight lifting and resistance training again. I also bought a nice pro-hormone stack called Trifecta from a company called LG Sciences. It's the next best thing to anabolic steroids. It works too, as we will see.

Discussions with a number of medical professionals shed a little light on this subject. It is impossible to lose the nearly 80 pounds I have lost in the last 4 months without losing lean weight. It's virtually a scientific law that you will lose lean weight anytime you lose fat weight. This can't be avoided. It's natural and normal, and even necessary.

Consider your blood. Human blood is not fatty tissue, but a certain amount of blood is necessary to support the life of you fatty tissue. As that fatty tissue is drained, atrophies, and goes away, less blood is necessary to support the life of that tissue. The body would be foolish to waste scarce energy and building blocks producing blood cells that are unnecessary. As unnecessary red blood cells die off, they simply are not replaced. In this way, the body reduces unnecessary metabolic costs. This is efficiency. However, as you eliminate those unneeded red cells, you will also lose lean weight. Red blood is lean weight. Consider how much less blood volume you need when you have reduced your fatty tissue by 60 to 70 pounds?

The moral of the story is clear cut: You always lose some lean with some fat. This cannot be avoided, and it really shouldn't.

However, I am not entirely sure that this scientific law can explain my case. I find it every difficult to believe that I have lost something like 45 pounds of lean weight and 35 of fat. No folks, the original figures estimating my lean weight were in error. The wing-nuts who ran my original submersion test screwed it up good.

If I had lost 45 pounds of lean by this point, my doctors would have put me in the hospital for a reversal of the gastric bypass surgery. This would be a surgical failure scenario, and there would be medical red flags all over the place.

So what do you do when you have several measuring instruments that yield different results? You pick the one that is most accurate; you roll with that one and discard the others.

As much as I hate the little bastard, my research does seem to indicate that the Bod Pod is (in fact) the gold standard for body composition testing. I don't like what it says about me, but I need that accuracy. There is no use in having delusions in this life. It is what it is. The sooner you are honest about it, the sooner you can correct the situation.

Honesty has some rewards, as I found out yesterday. Yesterday, just two weeks after my first test, I decided I wanted a re-test. I paid the $65 fee and entered the Bod Pod naked once again. I guess I wasn't really naked. I had a skull cap on.

The results were very encouraging. I totally out-performed all projections and expectations. I lost 8.52 pounds of pure fat. I added 2.4 pounds of pure lean. I reduced my overall body weight 6.12 pounds from 258.651 down to 252.533. This is total combined weight swing of 10.92 pounds.

One of the most fascinating features of the Bod Pod test is that it can tell you precisely how much volume of space your body occupies. The unit of measure is the liter. On my 13th, my body occupied 117.111 liters of space. Yesterday, my body occupied 113.808 liters of space. This is a reduction of 3.3 liters of volume.

This all happened in just 14 days.

The lady administering the test at CHLI is a registered nurse specializing in exercise nutrition. Believe me, she fully appreciated what her equipment was telling her. She was astonished. She shook her head in disbelief. She said to me "Whatever you're doing it's working like crazy. Most doctors would say you can't do what you just did." If she hadn't run the test herself, both times, she would certainly have questioned these results.

Understand that you must have an energy deficit of 29,809.5 kcal in order to lose 8.5 pounds of pure fat. To do this in 14 days, you need to maintain a per-day deficit of 2,129.25 kcal. That is a deep, deep energy deficit folks. It's far more intense than most people can handle.

It gets better still. I weighed in at 251.6 pounds this morning on my own personal Tanita scale. I have noticed that there is a small discrepancy between my Tanita and the Bod Pod scales. The Tanita is a little shy to the heavy side, over-stating your weight by a little less than a pound. The Bod Pod would probably say I weigh 250.7 this morning.

I've already got the jump on my next test results. That date will fall on June 10th. Some would say I did the Bod Pod just one day too early, but I'm fine with it this way. I already have my first installment for the next test.

Now the big challenge is to do it all over again. I need this next two week phase to be better than the last. I need to out-perform the out-performance. One more big-gainer like this will make a tremendous difference in the way I look and feel. I should be a heck of a lot healthier in two weeks if I can just do it again.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

There's no doubt about it, women are far more visually inclined then men are.

I regret to inform you all that women at the gym are beginning to check out my butter. Shocking though that may be, it is true. Yesterday morning, I weighed in 253.6. I have lost more than 76 pounds, but I am not yet near my ideal body weight or composition.

Still, I have transformed enough to see a 180 degree turn around in the attitudes of women.

Today at lunch, I got the clearest indication of that fact. As always, I traveled to the Thousand Oaks 24 Hour Fitness to perform my mid-day aerobic workout. After finishing with the finger-print reader, I move to my first workout station: the tread mill. Two 20-something females were walking on a pair of my favorite machines. I naturally needed to walk past them to reach one of the unused machines.

As I walk by, the 24ish brunette looks me up and down like I am smoldering pork chop fresh off the grill. This was a barefaced look of hungry lust, executed with impunity. That was quite a shock to my system. So much so, I didn't do anything about it. I was just too flabbergasted.

About 40 minutes later, she chose the Lifecycle to the left of mine, this despite the fact that there were 4 open cycles to my right. With my peripheral vision, I caught her checking me out a couple of times. The Bio-Anthropologists I studied with at UCLA would tell you she got that close so she could smell me. Whether she understood that consciously would cause an argument amongst them. Still, they would agree she got that close to evaluate the chemical contents of my sweat.

I think any 44.7 year old man would be surprised to note a 24ish brunette giving him a hungry look, but it is much more so in my case. Such looks have been few and far between in my largely overweight lifetime. Just 5 months ago, I weighed in at 330 pounds and the looks of unmitigated contempt were both visceral and palpable.

There have been a few borderline cases in the past couple of weeks, but this was the first unmistakable case. There have been a few strange cases at work, but I won't go there or mention that stuff. There was a strange honking incident a few weeks back, but I am still not quite sure what that was all about. This event today was the first indisputable and unmixed look of lust I have seen on a woman's face in quite some time. It's probably been 11 years to be frank with you. I was probably 33 the last time this happened to me.

Surely, this has to be considered a 180 degree turn-around. I'm in the midst of a turn-around almost as big as the 1999 Rams.

Now this 24ish brunette would not compete with the Taurus gallery I posted on this blog a few weeks back, but she was not ugly either; not by any stretch of the imagination. This was a reasonably good looking woman. Of course, if you know anything about the Thousand Oaks area, you know it is pretty affluent sector of Los Angeles county. These are not poor women from a disadvantaged family backgrounds in this gym. All the more reason to be shocked and stunned.

I have been cogitating this event all afternoon folks. After kicking this can around for hours, I have definitely reached a conclusion that is sure to be controversial. Women are far more visually inclined than men are. There is no doubt about it. Women are more inclined to visual attraction that guys are.

For many of you, this will seem like a completely counter-intuitive statement. Surely you have heard women complain about how shallow men are, making choices based exclusively on looks. Surely you have heard it said that women must spend unlimited amounts of resources making themselves beautiful because men demand it. Surely you have heard it said that men fall in love their eyes while women fall in love with their ears.

I want you to know that all of these statements are absolute balderdash.

Most men I know rate women exclusively on the basis of how sexually inclined they are. A hot woman is not necessarily a beautiful woman. A hot woman is a woman who will bed down with you for the night. I know guys who declare themselves to be 100% dawgs. They openly say that they do not care if the woman is ugly or not. They will put a bag over her face if necessary. If she is ready and willing, she is a sexy catch.

I have frequently been horrified by some of the ugly women described as "hot" by large numbers of guys I know. She's only described as hot because she is perceived as ready and willing. Physical beauty has little or nothing to do with it.

Guys are far less visual than women are.

I have never heard women evaluate a guy in this manner. I have never heard a woman say a guy was sexy based on whether or not he was willing to bed down for the night. Neither have I heard a woman say she would be willing to put a bag over his face if necessary; he's sexy if he's ready for action. Quite the contrary. All guys are presumed to be ready and willing. He's only hot if he is good looking.

This is only true because women are far more visual than guys are.

When a woman is evaluating whether a guy is hot or not, it is 100% about good looks and dress. Whether he is a catch or not depends on economic factors, but heat is determined 100% by looks. Many women have a tough time concealing their contempt for fat or ugly guys. Most would never be willing to date a fat or ugly guy... unless he was extremely rich or powerful. Even in the case of wealth, it would be distasteful to date a fat or ugly guy.

This is because women are far more visually inclined than guys are.

Now, some fellows are are able to overcome disadvantages in the looks department with brilliance and comic wit, but it ain't easy. Such fellows will freely tell you they had to overcome considerable disadvantage. One of my favorite actors, James Woods, is full of stories about this kind of thing. Through confidence, daring, willingness to play odds, and not being particular, he became known as something of a ladies man in Hollywood. Still, he will tell you that most women were not particularly inclined towards him as a man of marginal looks. He had buddies who were far more successful than he, expending far less effort. This is because they had the advantage of good looks.

Let's understand one thing about a woman's drive towards beautification: It is entirely internally driven. She beautifies herself because she wants to look great. It makes her feel great to look great. You can't tell her good looks aren't important. She just knows they are. She does it more to compete with her friends and rivals than for the sake of any guy. She gets a bigger kick out of a look of envy from an ugly girl than she does from a look of lust on the face of an ugly guy. That much is certain.

Women are far more visual than guys are. They visually judge each other, and they visually judge guys.

Truth be told, most women know they can get a guy--almost any guy--anytime they want. It is just a question of whether she is willing to loudly signal that she is ready to go. That's not what women are after as they compete relentlessly with each other to be the most beautiful. Nope, she is just expressing that powerful aesthetic drive that dominates her soul.

The drive towards aesthetics is everywhere in the female soul. Only women insist on a match set of kitchen knives so everything is color-coordinated. Only women describe a website as lousy based on its look vis-a-vis it's functionality. Only women describe a car as good or bad based on it's look first and functionality second.

Women are far more visually inclined than guys are.

I was fortunate that I was not born both fat and ugly. I am all the more fortunate that I have good healthcare coverage that was willing to pony up for gastric bypass. I am blessed with great drive and work ethic in the area of physical training. This is what did it for me in Football, Karate, Power Lifting and in my Army life.

Still, the transformation I have experienced in the past 5 months has already made it extremely clear to me that women do indeed make choices with their eyes. They are stereoscopic color vision animals that receive 85% of their sensory input from their eyes. Five months ago, I couldn't buy anything but a contemptuous look. Now I am getting a few lusty looks.

Looking down the corridor of time, I know I will hit my first major weight goal sometime in early July. At that point I will weigh about 24 pounds less, and I will have a higher lean weight also. My estrogen levels will be lower. My testosterone levels will be higher. My health will be better. I will be stronger. My pheromones will be more powerful. I will buy my first set of new clothing.

Just as surely as I am sitting here, I know for a fact they will be after me at that time. The few warning signs I have seen recently forecast a flood.

I say that without the slightest degree of ego or narcissism. It's more like shock, awe, and disbelief. If you knew me, you would know the word narcissist does not describe me in any way shape or form. I may be intellectually arrogant, but self-loathing rather than self-loving on the physical front.

As I sit here and ponder this astounding reversal of fortune, I can only conclude that women are far more visual than men are.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Jamie Dukes and Philip Rivers: Opposites attract.

I'm going to start this blog in a somewhat strange way: With a tale about my dad. My dad has been divorced for about two years now, and recently he has been thinking about re-entering the market. Believe it or not, market conditions are pretty good for an old man.

Since I have been on an astrology kick lately, he asked me what sort of woman he aught to go after. My dad just happens to be a Sagittarius, so I told him that his strongest attraction would be to a Gemini woman. You see, Gemini and Sagittarius are 180 degree opposites. Geminis are born in late may (right now) and June. Sagittarians are born in late November and early December. They are half a year away from each other.

Opposites attract. Opposites have the most powerful attraction. Negatively charged magnets go after positively charged magnets. High Ph. goes after low Ph. Heat seeks cold. Air fills a vacuum. Negatively charged electrons orbit around positively charged protons. We're talking about physical laws here folks. There is some real science behind this theory folks.

Pop wasn't too pleased with that answer. He had recently had a bad experience with a Gemini woman he had high hopes for. The mere fact that he had had this experience and high hopes was proof positive of the theory, but he wasn't prepared to hear this. Of course, I understood him completely. I have suffered these disappointed with my opposite numbers as well.

A couple hours later, after grilling with some friends, the two of us are watching a corny but fun cult comedy called Highway to Hell (1991) brought to you by Stiller Clan (Jerry, Ben, Amy and mama Anne Meara). Suddenly, an actress named Pamela Gidley makes her entrance. My dad sits up sharply and has an instant synastry reaction. He immediately asks "Who's that girl!" I whup out my trusty Thunderbolt and look her up on the app.

I immediately crack up laughing "Guess what, Pop? You just reacted big-time to a Gemini woman. Pamela Gidley was born June 11, 1965 in Methuen, Mass." He looked a little disconcerted. Maybe the magic works after all?

Now let's move on to the NFL Network. Rich Eisen asks Jamie Dukes and Warren Sapp who should be favored to win the AFC West in 2011... presuming there is a 2011.

[Incidentally, Dukes is a Gemini and Sapp is a Sagittarius. They work very well together despite being on opposite sides of the line and the Zodiac.]

Immeidately, Dukes declares the San Diego Chargers. I immediately bust up laughing. Dukes is a broken record on this subject. Rich Eisen challenges him sharply, asking Dukes to justify his statement. Like me, Rich Eisen just doesn't believe in the Chargers anymore. I don't know how you can believe in the Chargers. I think they are ripe for the wheels to fall off in 2011. If you ask me, they are clearly on the downslope.

Dukes centers his faith in the Chargers upon the very person of Christ Jesus... er... Philip Rivers. Philip Rivers is the marquee player and the only franchise QB in that entire division. Philip Rivers is the guarantor of the Chargers' supremacy in the AFC West. Rich wasn't buying it. Neither was I.

Why is Jamie Dukes to irrefutably sold on Philip Rivers that he believes the guy can single-handedly win the AFC West? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Jamie Dukes was born on June 14, 1964 and Philip Rivers was born on December 8, 1981. Jamie is a Gemini and Philip is a Sagittarius. There is a powerful oppositional affinity there folks.

Now, Philip has plenty of merit. This guy consistently ranks as one of the top passers in the league. He's a hell of a good leader too. Dukes isn't just pissing in the wind when he says this is a marquee QB. However, most of the rest of us are not so enamored with the guy that we think he can do it all by himself as the rest of the franchise falls down around his ears. Jamie is and does.

So are you saying that Jamie Dukes's predictions for the Chargers is based entirely on an irrational confidence in Philip Rivers born out of oppositional affinity? Yep, that's precisely what I am saying. It's completely irrational to believe Philip Rivers can win the AFC West single handed. Jamie thinks Philip can win it single-handed due to oppositional affinity.

I, too, know the problems of oppositional affinity. When the Steelers called the Rams trying to deal Ben Roethlisberger, I was just about ready to listen to that deal. Ben just happens to be a Pisces and I happen to be a Virgo.

Several times during this draft season, I stiffled myself as I was preparing to sing the praises of Christian Ponder. He happens to be a Pisces also. I still think Ponder can turn into a heck of a good QB, but as I write that line, I am a little concerned that I may be biased due to oppositional affinity. I also happened to be the guy who spear-headed the Draft Trent Dilfer campaign in St. Louis back in 1994. Yep, Trent is not just from my home-town college, he's also a Pisces.

Oppositional affinity is powerful thing folks. This is nothing to be trifled with or dismissed easily. Nobody will excite, disappoint, overjoy, or infuriate you more than your opposite number from around the other side of the year. They get under you skin big time.

Just ask Terry Bradshaw why Lynn Swann was his favorite receiver when he had John Stallworth on the other side.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Did the Macho Man Savage save the world?

As we all know, the Rapture did not take place on Saturday. Even Harold Camping admits this now. Reportedly, Camping said he was flabberghasted that Jesus didn't show up, and he is searching for answers.

As you all know, Macho Man went to heaven on April 20th, just 1 day before the key date predicted by Camping. Stories are circulating that Jesus was indeed headed for planet Earth when Macho Man got wind of what he was planning.

Reports on the web maintain that Jesus did not show up because he was waylaid by Randy Macho Man Savage. Specifically, Savage hit him with the flying elbow and pinned his shoulders to canvas for a three count.

In a monumental upset victory for the ages, the Macho Man stripped Jesus of the belt and is now the new undisputed heavyweight savior of the world. For Jesus, this is an embarrassing reversal of fortune.

The stated magnitude of this upset may be blown out of proportions, however. We need to recognize that Macho Man is a Scorpio and Jesus was very likely a Pisces. In any battle between a Scorpio and Pisces, you would be a fool to bet money on the Pisces.

As you may know, for the past 2,000 or so years, Jesus has been the CEO, hitman and enforcer for the greatest growth corporation the world has ever known: The Bank of Jesus. When you invest $1 in the Bank of Jesus, the Bank of Jesus is going to pay you 700% interest on your principle investment.

However, there is just one catch: You have to make sure you invest at least 10% of your income in the Bank, or you are under a curse. Jesus just might knock your teeth out.

As far as worldly success is concerned, the formula employed by the Bank of Jesus has never been exceeded or even matched. The Roman Catholic Church is arguably the greatest and most successful financial outfit ever seen in the history of the world, and it has given rise to an ever mushrooming group of baby churches who also grow in accordance with this formula. There is no growth-oriented corporation in our world that can match it's track record of power and success.

Naturally, it is un-nerving whenever such an ancient and powerful institution suffers a sudden and unexpected change at the top. However, it does appear that the Bank has a new CEO in charge.

Many enthusiastic follower are pointing towards the end of the Oprah Winfried show as a sure sign of the tender mercies of the Macho Man Savage.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Surprise! The Rapture didn’t happen today.


So, when I woke up this morning I just happened to notice that I was still here on Earth, and neither in heaven nor hell. I thought I would check the internet and TV just to make sure you were all in the same state of being. Yep, it turns out that this isn’t quite the End of Days just yet.

It is the first day of Gemini season, however.

Of course, anyone who spends anytime online or watches CNN knows that “Dr.” Harold Camping, the founder and leader of Family Radio ( has been announcing that the Rapture is supposed to happen today. This is not quite the same thing as Doom’s Day, as CNN would have it, but it’s plenty bad enough. CNN has been having a field-day with this one.

Rarely do I comment on the subject of Christianity. I usually like to keep my views on this subject to myself. I didn’t appreciate it when learned skeptics punched me in the gut during my Christian walk, so I prefer not to deliver those body blows now that I have figured things out for myself. I figure you will figure it out in due time.

However, with that said, I am going to break my standard policy today. I am going to deliver a few body blows to the poor and benighted, besoded, demented and deranged followers of “Dr.” Harold Camping. This would all be quite hilarious if there weren’t so many fools standing on street corners warning us that May 21 is the beginning of the end.

Quick review

By now, you all know that Harold Camping has done this before. He prophesied the end of world in September of 1994. He was wrong at that time also. By now you know that Jesus said “No man knows the day or the hour, not even the Son of Man.” You have heard that said by a hundred Christian leaders in the past several weeks.

It’s astounding to me that this greazie old mixture of a Keebler Elf and a werewolf can continue to fund his radio stations via the contributions of so many benighted contributors. I am curious to know how he is going to spin his failure tomorrow. I doubt he will have the balls to commit suicide as a result of his humiliation, so we can look forward to some funny talk on his radio station tomorrow as everyone heads out to Church.

Incidentally, Camping isn’t too happy about you going to church on Saturday or Sunday, as the Devil rules the churches of this world. At least he got one thing right.

Quick review of my life

Once upon a time, I was a pretty devout Evangelical Pentecostal guy. I was a regular Kurt Warner or Isaac Bruce. Since I was a fairly compliant guy, I did what the Pastors exhorted me to do: I read the Bible. I listened to audio tape and CD recordings of the Bible (the actual text from many translations) continuously for about 8 years. God only knows how many times I went through the entire thing. I lost count around year #3. It only took a couple to three months to make a pass through the whole bible. I devoted a lot of time to the subject, and I was good at it.

Needless to say, this very convoluted collection of texts presented many theological problems to the dedicated synthesist. However, since I am a fairly brilliant guy, equipped with Mercury exalted in Virgo, I felt I was more than up to the challenge. I intended to figure it all out. I was going to use my great sorting and ordering intelligence to sift through this quagmire and make it all make sense.

Regrettably, this is how all great apostates start out. All great stories of apostasy begin with a loyal and devoted follower who is going to discover the one true correct theological position on everything. This is one of the key reasons why many devoted Baptists counsel each other never to go to Seminary or study theology.

For those of you (like me) raised in the Roman Catholic Church, or one of the older Protestant denominations (e.g. Lutheranism or Presbyterianism) you know these churches seldom or never address the many questions of Eschatology. The subject just doesn’t come up. If it comes up, it is quickly laid on the table, without much review. Further, old-school Reformers like R.C. Sproul are positively vexed when the subject comes up.

Why is that true? By the end of this piece, you’ll have some idea why.

Christian Theology falls into two categories

For those of you who don’t know, Christian theology naturally breaks down into two categories: Soteriology and Eschatology. Soteriology revolves around the question of how just and holy God reconciles a sinful and fallen humanity to Himself. How can a human being be saved from the just wrath of God? That is the question of Soteriology. Eschatology deals with the end of the world. Knowing that God does not intend to keep this human experiment running forever, and knowing that God intends to close up shop someday, just how precisely will that End of Days unfold.

I will eschew the subject of Soteriology in this brief discourse. Suffice it to say that there are at least four different positions on Soteriology in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The apostles were not all of one mind on this subject. They had differing views on the subject of Soteriology. This is because Soteriology was not the focal point of Jesus’s preaching. He didn’t say so much on the subject. Christian soteriology was invented in haste later, after Jesus was crucified, to try to explain how the Chosen Messiah could be killed at the hands of the Romans, without leading Israel to leadership of all nations.

Jesus said vastly more on the subject of Eschatology than Soteriology. Whilst there are at least four different Soteriologies expressed in the New Testament, there are not four different Eschatologies in the New Testament. Frankly, there aren’t even two. As I will argue soon, there is just one Eschatology presented by all writers in the New Testament, and it is perfectly coherent. Nobody inside the church today likes what that Eschatology contains, but it is there and coherent none the less.

Jesus was an Eschatological guy

Whether you like it or not, Jesus was an Eschatological figure who believed that the 70 weeks of Daniel were coming to an end in his time, just as his “cousin” John the Baptist did. He was one of these guys running around preaching “Repent because the end near”, and he did so in his time. This is the subject he spoke about often, and in front of many crowds.

There are only two things you need to know about Jesus’s Eschatological position in order to solve the conundrum that has plagued the Church for some 2,000 years now:

  1. Jesus predicted the absolute end of the material universe as we know it and the establishment of the “The Kingdom of Heaven” or “The Kingdom of God”. This is term used to describe a reconstituted paradise Earth, directly ruled by God in the form of the Glorified Jesus; the Messiah. All infidels would be dealt with by the final judgment of God as a necessary prerequisite before the establishment of this Kingdom.
  2. Jesus declared many times that this event would happen “soon”. That means within his time. He said specifically, many times, that the generation hearing him preach would not pass away (die out) before all his prophecies would be fulfilled.

Now if you put point one and two together, you must necessarily come to several conclusions. The unavoidable conclusion is that the entire material universe as we know it should have ended by 70 AD. The Kingdom of God, in a reconstituted paradise Earth, should have been set up by 70 AD. God, in the form of Jesus, should have ruled over this Millennial kingdom for a thousand years, between 70 AD and 1070 AD. After this epoch, there should have been a final conflict, and then a final Heavenly state.

The second conclusion is that this just didn’t happen. The prophesied end of the material universe did not happen by 70 AD. The prophesied Kingdom of Heaven did not happen by 70 A.D. In other words, Jesus’s prophesies were false.

I want to make it absolutely clear that the New Testament has absolutely nothing to say about the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD at the hands of the Romans. Christian Eschatology has absolutely nothing to do with the so-called Partial Preterist view of Eschatology. This is a theological fig leaf that Catholic and Protestant preachers use to hide their nakedness.

Likewise, there is no way to conflate the direct rulership of God over Paradise Earth with the reign of the Catholic Church over Europe during the Dark Ages. This has to be the most hilarious and preposterous position in the entire world of global theologies. By no means can the history of the Catholic Church in Europe be conflated with the Millennial Kingdom of God.

No friends, there is one and only one eschatological position expressed in the New Testament. The world, as we know it, should have ended in 70 AD. The Kingdom of God should have been set up at that time. If prophecies did not come to pass, the prophecies were simply false.

How did I reach my conclusion?

Rarely have I presented my position to Christian believers. I don’t like punching these dear people in the gut. You don’t know how much I loathe doing this. I don’t enjoy dishing out pain. I get no joy out of throwing gentile believers into a painful state of doubt. I think this is an exceedingly cruel thing to do to good people, whose greatest desire is to do what is right.

On the rare occasions when I have delivered the theological gut punch, I have usually been confronted by a head-strong young apologist who thought himself invincible. These two cocky young lads staggered away with a pair of matching theological concussions.

Both of these fellows demanded to know how I reached my conclusions. You see, if you somehow reach an erroneous conclusion, you hermeneutic must be bad. The Bible is infallible. Only your interpretation is fallible.

Is that so, eh? Just what was my hermeneutic anyhow? It was none other than the grammatical and historical literalist approach to interpreting the Bible. The words mean what they mean in their standard dictionary definitions of the time. The metaphors employed mean what they mean according to the cultural context of the moment in which they were used.

If you are a true literalist, like J. Vernon McGee and all good Fundamentalists, you must also come to the same conclusion. Your hermeneutic naturally leads to this conclusion. The only way to avoid this conclusion is to super-spiritualize the prophecies of Jesus and make them mean something Jesus did not intend them to mean. This is the absolute Cardinal sin of hermeneutics, according to fellows like hero J. Vernon McGee.

The consequences

Make no mistake, I understand the full consequences of the conclusions I have just described to you. If Jesus is just another eschatological false prophet, the devastating consequences for Christianity cannot be overstated.

Christianity is not like Buddhism. If Buddha never existed, or was a drunken debauched guy, this would mean almost nothing to the modern Buddhist. Buddhism is not wrapped around the person of Buddha. It is wrapped around a collection a wisdom teachings which many find to be helpful in life. If Buddha never existed, the teachings themselves would still be wise and helpful, and that is what is important.

Christianity is completely centered on the person of Jesus. If Jesus never existed, there can be no Christianity. The whole thing would fall apart. Likewise, if Jesus was just another eschatological false prophet, like Harold Camping, the whole thing would fall apart. There would be nothing left to rescue in the rubble left behind.

Folks, when I reached this conclusion, I entered the dark night of my soul. Things were very, very bleak. I was depressed for several years before I found a way to live again. It is not easy to realize that the cultural history of your civilization is bound-up with a lie. It is not easy to realize that the religion you have devoted yourself is false. The consequences are staggering and painful.

Although I hated going through it at the time, and although I still hate to think back on those days, I can ultimately say that it is probably a good thing that I passed through that fire. It wasn’t easy, but it taught me some of the toughest lessons you can ever learn about human religious systems, and why it is necessary to relax or even forget about them.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Deep-offseason Incendiaries


It’s against my policy to comment on the NFL during a deep-offseason lockout. Still, the NFL Network managed to come up with an incendiary last night that will get me to break policy. If I didn’t know better, I would swear that the writers at the NFL Network crafted a flaming arrow specifically designed to flush me out.

Which Heisman winning QB will have the most wins in 2011?

So the question was put to us: Which Heisman winning QB will have the most wins in 2011?

  • Tim Tebow
  • Sam Bradford
  • Carson Palmer

Early on, Sam Bradford was leading at 55% of the vote. By the end of the show, Tim Tebow had run away with it, leading by 88%. Carson Palmer had just 1% of the vote. This is all beautifully designed to trigger all kinds of controversy, especially with a guy like me.

Unfucking the question

First of all we to do quite a bit of straightening out before we can approach this question:

  1. Quarterbacks don’t win games. Teams do.
  2. Football isn’t fucking baseball. This is a team sport involving actual athletes.
  3. Carson Palmer has retired. How can you put him on the list?
  4. The question should be rephrased for accuracy: Who will win more games, the Rams or the Broncos? This is the correct way to state the question

4. The question should be rephrased for accuracy: Who will win more games, the Rams or the Broncos? This is the correct way to state the question

88% say the Broncos will win more games than the Rams

If so, this will be a solid step forward for the Broncos, and a significant step back for the Rams. The vote, in itself, is a hell of a referendum on Billy Devaney’s pathetic excuse for a draft. Believe me, if I happen to see that guy, I’m going to break his nose… and his legs.

You might argue that this vote is due to the greater popularity of the Broncos vs. the Rams with general public. You could argue that this vote is due to the greater popularity of Tim Tebow over Sam Bradford with the general public. You might argue that this vote came from impartial observers who simply feel that the Broncos have an easy schedule and the Rams have a tough schedule.

No matter how you slice it, Devaney did not develop much confidence in the general public with his most recent crappy draft. The public would not feel emboldened to make such a comment if we had had a good draft.

Stuck on the fence

Ordinarily, this is the sort of question I would not comment on. It’s sorta like asking Archie who is better: Peyton or Eli. As you all know, I have declared that Tim Tebow is the son I never had. I am still sore that my Rams passed on him. As you know, all Ram-fans have pretty well adopted Sam Bradford. This includes me.

The Rams are my 31-32 year obsession. The Broncos have long been a favorite of mine, but especially now that they have Tim Tebow. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t chose to comment on such a question.

Do I think it is possible for the Broncos to win more games than the Rams? Sure it’s possible. For the lack of one Mike Pouncey, Sam Bradford could get injured and miss most of the year. I would hate to see the outcome of that season. John Fox could do a stellar job of re-assembling that Bronco defense, and you might see them win 7 or 9 games this season.

Do I think any of these things are likely? Not likely, but not precisely remote possibilities either. The 2011 season could unfold this way.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

To blog or not to blog on this subject? That is the question.

Just had a shocking lost memory recovery moment this afternoon. I found it quite jarring for several reasons. How did it happen, and what was it?

Like many a computer programmer, I own tons of disk storage; four terabytes to be precise. Like many, I never seem to throw anything away. I have accumulated tons of rubbish over the past dozen years that I have no use for and could easily dispense with. This afternoon I decided to destroy history. It seemed fitting since I embarking on a new chapter of life in these days.

As I ruthless disposed of one directory after another, I came upon the most ancient folder of them all. The metadata indicated that the folder had been created in the year 1999 using Windows 98SE2. The folders title was "Reminders". I didn't remember a thing about it. The folder contents had last been modified in February of 2002. Curiosity got the best of me, so I had to take a look inside before destroying it.

Inside this folder was a single text file. It was a plain text file encoded in good 'ole fashioned 8 bit ASCII code. The title was GiftReminder.txt. This file was last modified on 2/23/2002. This was not what I expected. I expected lots Christian/Pentecostal materials, not a single "don't forget" text file. I expected Christian materials as this folder dated circa the end of my time as an Evangelical Pentecostal.

Just what was in that file? I popped it open and in it were a couple simple lines:
Reminder: Stephany's sweet 16 party is coming up next weekend. Make sure you go down to the L.A. Jewlery district and buy something Amethyst for her.

Suddenly a bunch of memories came flooding back. I may or may not have mentioned it before on this blog, but for some 8 years of my life I was a pretty devout Christian. This epoch dated from Easter Sunday of 1996 to the late-fall of 2002.

By the year 2000 I was a pretty knowledgeable fellow, and loaded down with computer skills the church needed. I was elected an elder in my Assemblies of God church in West Los Angeles. I wasn't just any elder either. I was the Pastor's right-hand man. Whatever the problem was, I handled it. Whether it was with skill or money, I handled it.

The two of us became the best of buddies. I was around 33-35 at the time. I became something like an uncle to his kids. Pastor M, as I will call him, had a daughter named Stephany. The two of us had a special affinity. I was like a second papa to her, and I do mean papa.

I'll never forget the day she asked me to buy her an Cadillac Escalade. She was serious too. This was not joking request. She was pretty sure she could talk me into buying her an Escalade. Ask and ye shall receive, she reminded me. We went round and round about that one. I asked her how her feet would touch the pedals. At age 14 she was pretty short, and obviously too young to drive. I got a real kick out of that. I cracked up laughing for weeks over this entire episode.

Don't get the wrong impression: This was entirely platonic. Nothing ever occurred between the two of us. I do recall lamenting once or twice that God must have placed a heavy curse on me. The only females I had a great rapport with with outrageously and preposterously too young for me. I was mostly thinking about Stephany at those times.

Fast forward to Feb 23, 2002. Stephi is about to turn 16. I am 35. I am reminding myself to get her something with Amethyst in it as a birthday gift. The Amethyst was suggested by her mother. I was warned not to get her anything with a diamond in it, as this would be immoral. I still think mom was only half-joking.

Let's tie it all together folks:
  • Stephany was turning 16 post Feb 23 in 2002
  • This means she was born post Feb 23 in 1986
  • Amethyst is the birthstone of a Pisces girl (or boy)
  • As I recall, I bought her a set of Amethyst ear rings about week before her party.
  • If the party was on her Birthday, or around that day, this would make her birthday around 3/4/1986
  • Readers of this blog will know that I used the Kepler/Sirus Synastry engine to compute my ideal mate's birthdate.
  • Sirus says that the magic date is 3/12/1986.
  • 3/4/1986 is just 9 days off the magic date, and it yields some impressive scores.
  • Still, this pales in comparison to the 3/12/1986 Pisces date.
Frankly I don't know when or where she was born, though. I just never asked. I certainly was not aware of the fact that she was a Pisces. I was barely aware of the fact that I was a Virgo in those days. I didn't keep track of such things in those days. Now I do.

My brother Ben was living with me through that entire epoch (1998-2002). He now resides in San Francisco where he continues to try to make it in a rock 'n roll band. After this jarring memory recovery this afternoon, I called him and I gave him the disturbing news.

"Guess what, Bro?" I said to him

"What?" he asked.

"I just found an old file that indicated Pastor M's daughter is a Pisces girl born in 1986"

Quote my brother Ben: "No shit!?! I always thought you two [meaning me and Stephany] were going to turn out like The Thorn Birds. You were the elder priest she couldn't have. You were going to wind up raising you wife."

This was not exactly the comment I expected from him. That was another jarring moment this afternoon. That hit me like a brick. This was truly kung-fu treachery, as Black Dynamite would say.

Don't draw any false conclusions. I am not going to go looking for Stephany; if for no other reason than because I believe it is very unlikely she was born on the 12th. I am a perfectionist, after all.

What is this incident mean then? It's major, major, major food for thought. For the past 6-8 months, I have been groping around, sifting through evidence, setting up experiments, trying to determine whether there is any accuracy at all in these projections the Kepler/Sirus engine makes.

Now suddenly, a blast from the past hits me smack between the eyes. I am not sure that this is a half-joking "what the heck" project anymore. I experienced a powerful rapport in the past with a girl born close to that date. I was immediately and completely accepted and trusted by her. For the first time, the magic 3/12/1986 date is exiting the realm of pure conjecture. For the first time, I have a serious and grim look on my face as I discuss this subject.

Readers of this blog will know that I have cracked hard on the Pisces folks frequently. I just did that in my last blog entry a few hours ago. This discovery has me reconsidering my position.

Between 2002 and now I had a near-miss with marriage. She was a Pisces. This is the big one that got away. It was pure hell getting over it. I was depressed for two years. It almost killed me. Years later, I came to discover that this 3/15/1981 Pisces had a mighty score of 413. 413 is probably double Stephany's score, which is probably around 200. This still pales in comparison to the 3/12/1986 date, which is vastly greater in all categories.

Still, these two Pisces women could not have been more different in every way. Frankly, I can't think of a single similarity. One was a head-banging death-metal queen who smoked and drank in excess. She had many character flaws, and to this day I don't understand how she drove me insane with love. Stephany was a good Christian girl and a preacher's daughter. She had no discernible character flaws I can remember. She was outstanding in ever respect. We're talking night and day differences.

If the 3/12/1986 Pisces is a lot like Stephany, that would be reason for great gladness. Nay, it would be reason to fall on my face and praise God.

In praise of Taurus women, Part 2

So what can I say about Taurus women after a gallery like that one? Not much. A picture is worth a thousand words. It is a strange thing that Taurus, the bull, is a feminine Yin sign. Nevertheless, this is the case.

In ancient Greece, the Cow was the mascot/symbol of the temple of Aphrodite/Venus, the goddess of love. Taurus is ruled by Venus. So is Libra. According to the lore, this imbues Taurus women with a sensuality, beauty, sense of aesthetics, and sex drive that is difficult or impossible to match.

Of course, attraction is a relative thing. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If you will pardon me for turning into a brutally honest Virgo critic for just one moment, I'll level with you completely.

Taurus women lack the instant one-punch knockout power of the Capricorn women. I've never been knocked over on my ass instantaneously by a Taurus woman. Many Capricorn women have demolished me to rubble with an instant thunderbolt.

Taurus women also lack the spell-binding, mesmerizing witchcraft of the Pisces women... but that is a good thing. I've never been under a tormenting spell of anguish at the hands of a Taurus woman. Regrettably, I have been under a spell of torment from a Pisces woman. I did not enjoy it. I don't look forward to this happening again in the future.

Just remember Osama Bin Laden was a 3/10/1954 Pisces. Billy Devaney is a 3/7/1955 Pisces. Enough said.

What the Taurus women have is a pure, raw, simple beauty, and a whole bunch of sizzle. That's pretty damn good folks. That ain't a bad thing. There is no doubt they have a ton of allure in them. It usually takes sustained exposure to one over a period of time, by I have become obsessed with more than one Taurus woman in my time. Still, I have never had a Taurus girlfriend (yet). We'll have to see about this in the future.

For a Virgo guy like me, a Taurus woman is theoretically one of your top 3 potential match-ups in life. Those top three would be Capricorn, Taurus and Pisces. The order of those three would be heavily disputed by experts who don't necessarily see eye-to-eye. Nevertheless, all three would be at the top of the list.

Cancer, Scorpio and Virgo would come in as your second tier options. Most experts would expect good levels of compatibility and a solid chance of success with any of these three.

Leo, Libra and Gemini would rank as risky possibilities, pregnant with potential strife and failure. Aries, Sagittarius and Aquarius would normally be sited as the highest-risk candidates, fraught with the highest percentages of problems and failure.

I happen to be an odd Virgo. I happen to be an Air Adept. I also have a lot of fire under the hood. I have an Aries Moon and a pair of Leos on Venus and Mars. These Leos usually form an antagonizing 90 degree square angle with most Taurus people. This usually sends the romance scores down. These two Leos also form hellacious 180 degree oppositions with Aquarius women around the dark and wintery side of the year. This shoots the score way up. My Moon, Venus, and Mars form a bunch of spectacular Trines with Aries, Leo and Sagittarius women.

This is all a very long-winded and technical way to say that normal patterns and generalizations don't necessarily apply to me. Nevertheless, there are plenty of Taurus women with fire under the hood also. I don't have outlandish scores against Taurus women the way I do with Aries, Pisces, Aquarius, and Capricorn women, but my scores are high enough to warrant consideration in some cases.

Who knows... I just may go this route after all.

In praise of Taurus women, Part 1

The Photo Gallery