Thursday, October 29, 2009

I Started A New Blog ...

Since this ATHEISM/god debate (discussion more like) subject seems to be upsetting some of you I will move it to my new blog that I just started because of this. Its called:

Out Of The Closet Atheist

you may click HERE or go to http://outoftheclosetatheist.blogspot.com

For future reference all topics of this nature will be posted over there so as not to broadside you readers with something heavy on a normally powderpuff blog.

Now I can get back to writing about less spiritually confronting things like substitute teaching and how nice it is to live in the Puget Sound. I hope this clears up any confusion as I was under the impression I could write about whatever I wanted on my own blog. But apparently I have to start another blog to do that.

I do apologize to many of my blog readers for causing you extra mouse clicks to read more of my content.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Response to Anonymous comment.

I tried to reply in the comment box but it was too long. Here is a response to another anonymous comment. For the sake of the blog can you please email me with your ideas so we can move on.

kaleiverson@hotmail.com

"As someone who is on the fence about religion, I believe that we should all admit that we are open to doubt." -anonymous

Anonymous you are on an important fence, one that if a strong gust of wind blew you off of might land you on the side of reason and science, or the will of GOD might push you onto the side of faith.

"Religion is one way of making meaning in this life." --Anonymous

Well faith is a funny thing. You need it for biological survival as a child, which is where you learn faith. If an elder or grown up says don't jump of that cliff you believe them on faith because believing your elders will increase your fitness and survival and the children who don't listen may die. As a child you have no way of knowing how to distinguish truth in things like not jumping off of cliff comments and if you sacrifice a goat it will bring more rain comments (or santa clause which I was very faithful to as a child). Only education, reasoning, and evidence later as a developing person can dispel what you were told as a child. So I may sound cruel to people of faith but it is only because they haven't reasoned out which faiths that they were given as children are false or true, and if your child faith tells you fly into a building for allah because you will get thousands of virgins in the after life I hope someone will help you dispel that false belief with science and reasoning.

The need to believe in what other people say is hardwired into our brains as a survival response as children. One that sadly persists well into adulthood. Imagine what your life would be like if you were raised by someone who did not tell you or force you to accept large quantities of non factual information such as religion. You would be a rational thinker in a world of faith based people (a nightmare really), and still a person who could have a meaningful life of love and kindness. I still enjoy fairy tales although I know they aren't true.

"There are rational, intelligent, open-minded individuals who practice a wide variety of religions. Insisting that they are misguided and ridiculous because they seek a larger truth behind this life? Well that just makes you seem sort of childish." --anonymous

Essentially I can't sound nearly as childish as someone who arrogantly defies basic reasoning and continues to hold on to childish faith and indoctrination. Faith is a childish adaptation reasoning is and adult skill.

"Can't we all--atheists and religious folks alike--just agree that none of us has it all figured out?"
--- anonymous

Actually anonymous, many people can't admit that we don't have it figured all out, especially faith based religious nuts. The beauty of science and reason is that "figuring it out" is a process open to discussion and experimentation and re-examination. Not knowing is what drives science, Faith based religions are the word of god and not up for debate because they apparently "know." at least not to the lay person or many organized sects. Now reason and science does not have it all figured out this is true. But it has been able to eliminate many things as NOT being true. The earth is not flat, or the center of the universe, nor is it only 6000 years old, dinosaurs did exist, evolution by natural selection is a simple and exact process by which all living things came to be so perfectly suited to their environments, Jesus could not have been born from a virgin. If you speak to god or he speaks to you in your brain, the synapses in your brain are firing off the same synapses as a person with delusions, schizophrenia and psychosis. The human need to believe in "things" arises from an evolutionary adaptation for survival of children believing older humans. While science has not figured out everything that is, it certainly figured out many many many things that are NOT, many things that people still take on faith.

"I don't think anyone's prayers will convert you, but belittling an act of faith is simply unkind." ---anonymous

You know what is also unkind, belittling my intelligence on my own blog. Why is it that whenever anyone (especially Atheists) question or criticize religion everyone gets "seriously offended" and personally hurt by it but religious people (and anyone) can say whatever they want about reason and science and no one gets hurt. You know why? Because we have evidence to support what we have figured out. If you say "Dinosaurs don't exist!" or better yet, "That study on the yellow bellied warbler's feeding behavior is inaccurate." I don't feel like my belief system is under attack. If fact I would welcome an evidence based argument to prove that indeed dinosaurs do not exist or that the statistics of the yellow bellied warbler were calculated wrong.

My guess is that people get offended by questioning their faith because deep down inside they know that there is a whole lot of shit that doesn't add up and doesn't make sense and doesn't compute in their reasoning adult brain. They cover it up with faith, the cure all for reason, and when someone questions that or challenges it, it scares them because it might deconstruct the faith based world that they live inside their minds. And additionally, fear tends to breed anger and hostility.

"I also don't think your spiel on atheism will change anyone's mind or destroy their faith. Surely a mutual respect isn't too much to ask?" ---anonymous

I'm not trying to destroy anyone's faith. If someone voluntarily comes on my blog and reads something that makes logical sense to them then I can't stop them. Maybe it was their "GOD" guiding them to read the blog so that they can either find another sinner to save....

Or maybe their "GOD" is so busy worrying and controlling and manipulating the billion trillion trillion gazillion megamillion particles in the universe he apparently created and simultaneously tending to the million million million bazillion prayers and requests and actions of every person on earth that he sent this person to my blog to spark the beginning of them thinking rationally to simply take one minuscule load of one person off the GOD's back of incomprehensibly complex duties.

Mutual respect huh? I invite you to search the internet for disrespectful Atheists comments and organizations. Then I invite to search the internet for disrespectful faith based people and organizations. I think you will find that the disrespect is significantly weighted on the latter.
You never hear about crazy Atheist bombers or nutty Atheist evangelists telling people to hang folks for being black or blow up abortion clinics. Disrespect?

I can't quote it exactly but Gore Vidal once said something to the effect of:
"We must respect one man's religious beliefs just as we respect his belief that his wife is beautiful and his children are smart."

So I'm sorry for disrespecting your beliefs religious people. I don't mean to upset your unshakable faith which apparently I couldn't even if I wanted to according to Anonymous. The human drive to believe the unbelievable is a pretty damn strong biological adaptation, far stronger than a simple little blog post.

But I'm equally if not more so sorry that I even have to apologize at all for simply pointing out some of these things on my own space where people voluntarily attend.

If you've come this far I suggest you go a little farther anonymous. You can voluntarily read the first chapter from SEVERAL Richard Dawkin's books at RICHARDDAWKINS.net. I suggest THE GOD DELUSION.

Many of the points I raised today can be further understood through reading a far more eloquent writer and scientist as he.



Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The last post drew no request for my omitted Atheist declaration (which is fine). So I imagine no one cares or wants to hear about it. But it did draw one person's interest enough to comment this prayer:

"Someday you will see the light and God will fill your heart with his Awesome love....Until then I will pray for you :)" ---anonymous

hmmm...how to field this last comment. obviously it was well intentioned (or a joke from one of my Atheist friends) so thank you for thinking of me and hoping that I will someday think like you do and believe what you believe...

I don't want to sound rude or mean here but please please please don't pray for me...anyone. The only way that the light of god will fill my heart is if he is a real human man or woman named "God Albert Smith or God Judy Johnson" that opens my chest with some sort of surgical device and shines a flash light in there. That is a real event that could really happen someday and for my sake lets hope no one needs to peek in there.

If the light of god is really a light then I'd be more interested in it, I'm interested in light, wavelengths, visual spectrums, laser beams and what not, but, the reference here is almost certainly a "feeling" or a "belief" in which case the word should be used as so:

You should have said, "Someday I pray that you believe in god as others do." And then specify which one you want me to believe in.

Is it one of the million hindu gods in practice today, or an outdatd one like zeus, athena, aphrodite, or how about the sun god Ra from egyptian times, either way most of us can admit we don't believe in many Gods that have long since been proven "untrue" by social standards no longer suitable for belief. I simply take it one or two gods further. I don't believe in "ANY" god but especially the Abrahamic gods such as jesus/god and mohammed/allah .

I've heard many ways to respond to people when they say they will pray for you and the one I usually resort to is "I forgive you for that." Because essentially someone just told you they would think an unrealistic thought for you. Now I wonder how this person would react if I read there deeply religious blog and anonymously commented:

"Some day I hope you will learn the logical, rational thinking of reason and problem solving based on observations and evidence so that you can solve your own problems in life realistically. I will plan to sit down and problem solve with you soon."

That would probably not go over too well.

In this case this comment/declaration of prayer is someone who reads this blog and that I want to continue reading, and if they read the blog they probably know me and I love people regardless of what supernatural story they believe, so I guess I will say that you are free to do whatever you want to make yourself feel better about life and how you understand it (like praying), you just can't expect me to be overly thankful for an anonymous person saying that they will do something that has no scientific basis for having any effect on anything past a synaptical impulse of your brain and self satisfaction .

Most of what I omitted from the last post has to do with the overly apologetic practice of religious respect anyways so its probably good that this comment came in because it gives me a clear reason to say that you are reading an Atheist blog right now, an Atheist that loves his family and friends, tries to teach others about good things, tries to live a good life, and decides to be a good person knowing full well that this is the only life he has and that no one is watching or keeping score in the sky.

I'll do my best to write about something else next post but every so often a very crucial moment comes along where I have to define just exactly what you are reading.

...besides all this discussion, ENJOY the fall and have a great week (if you need help figuring out how to do that just get ahold of me we can brainstorm some ideas!)

Kale

Friday, October 23, 2009

Atheism Omitted (mostly) post about nothing.

I feel an overwhelming need to write but don't know what to write about. I started a post earlier but scrapped it because it was all about teaching and really boring (kind of like how this one is going). This frustrates me because I've generally been feeling really awesome lately. I would even go so far as to say that life is kicking ass. I'm really enjoying this fall freedom. I love the fact that the leaves are flying around outside, the cold is out, I'm tramping around woods and fields in search of fungus in my free time. Most people tend to shut in and hermit up as the fall/winter approaches but I would say with work, foraging and friends I'm busier than ever. I'm even enjoying me time.

I was at a local establishment last night continuing my reading of Richard Dawkin's the God Delusion. Around me there were people laughing and flirting and competing and enjoying themselves like the little big brained organisms they are and for the first time in a while I was just happy to be alone for a bit. Me and my book, in my little place, on my little stool doing my own little thing. Now I can already see how the fact that I get personal peace and satisfaction from reading an Atheist book alone might sound sad or depressing, but its not. I've been more proud, happy, satisfied and outspoken lately about my Atheism than ever before in my life and sometimes it makes people uncomfortable ....

(omitted lengthy discussion about my feelings on Atheism in America)

...so uncomfortable that I have decided not to post the gigantic post I wrote after the sentence above. If you would like to read it I will email its entirety to you personally just shoot me an email request at kaleiveson@hotmail.com Even though I feel its 100% within my rights to write about whatever I want here, I don't wish to make this a debate forum at the moment (not that I think there is even anything to debate) or to hurt/scare anybody.

Despite that little (big actually) blog post omission, life remains amazing, there are little hiccups here and there be I'm taking them in stride. I'm starting to freak out about being able to follow through on our first ever "Handmade Gifts" only Iverson Family christmas giftgiving pact. (Yes I participate in the yearly commercial holiday loosely if not really at all tied to a completely fictitious birthdate of a long passed religious figure from a culture 2000 years disconnected from our own). This year in the Iverson clan we are trying to unplug from the matrix by making gifts for each other instead of buying them. This has proved to provide similar levels of stress as the ones caused by endlessly searching the malls for commercial goods to express your love for your family and friends (and essentially the reason for switching to handmade gifts). Its just so much easier to buy a gift than to make one. But I am determined. My ideas are good, I just need time, supplies and motivation!

This afternoon brings foraging in Point Defiance with my brother and Lindsey. Tonight brings seeing my close friend Kyle Dufault play his music at a show at a local Tacoma iconic venue in a building shaped like a tea kettle. After that who knows what the possibilities could be. Saturday college football with the family, Tomorrow night there are talks of going up to Steven's Pass area to watch some dj's play in a giant tunnel. Life, More amazement everyday. I'm so pumped for whats next.

What's Next:

The pinnacle of mushroom season is fast approaching!
The start of tutoring soon hopefully
A possible long term sub position at Baker Middle School 8th Grade Science
A big move into a new place with kyle and who knows who else
Ski Season

Have a great weekend and week!

Monday, October 19, 2009

New Job, Getting Hillstomped and Shaggy Ink Caps Galore

Some great successes lately. First and foremost, my amazing friend Lindsey got me a job tutoring for a company that pays pretty good. I will be working with a male junior in high school on mostly math but other subjects if needed. This should be about 10 hours a week and means an extra $200 bucks a week hopefully. Mostly I'm excited because I'll get to work one on one with a student in a non traditional school setting much like how I excelled at teaching this way Alaska. If it goes well their may be more opportunities to tutor other students.

Secondly, Friday night found fun and old friends enjoying an amazing Duo band called HILLSTOMP. These two crazed bad asses play hard driving backwoods awesomeness and the drummer's drumset is composed mostly of carfully selected garbage like barbeque tops and buckets. We danced real hard and had a blast.



And Finally, Last night, giant success in the form of Coprinopsis comatusor the Shaggy Ink Cap. Another great friend and fungal mentor took me to one of her tried and true secret Shaggy Ink Cap spots here in the northwest and the results were overwhelming! We were able to pick almost two grocery bags full of these delicious little friends whilst leaving many babies for future finders.



Now the Shaggy is a fickle little guy to cook. First of all you only have about four hours to cook them up because they are so delicate. Also, they are incredibly difficult to clean for this reason. As they mature the inky part of the bell starts to creep up and isn't very good for you. So making sure to get all the dirt off and remove the inky parts is a crucial step.



Our cooking method was to saute them in butter with garlic, celery, basil, rosemary and sage from my garden and then serve it over rice with a little sriracha sauce on the side. It turned out so good. Their flavor was delicate and the texture was very pleasing. My friend also said that when added to soup this species also can be quite amazing for eating.



This was my first official successful mushroom hunt that actually produced food that I was able to eat. I can't tell you how dorkily excited this made me. Its like going fishing and catching a big fish or coming home with buckets of berries that you picked yourself. Now for the rest of my life I will now the date, time, location, and conditions for finding these amazing mushroom friends to share with my friends and family. HOW COOL!





So this morning as I sit in my favorite coffee shop waiting for my half day sub to start because the full day I had scheduled cancelled, I continue to think about what a great week I had. I'm a little sick still, but my attitude definitely is not bad. I am thouroughly pumped about life all of a sudden. I started thinking about my current lifestyle in a postive way. I get to choose everyday if I want to work or not, who gets to do that? Although subbing isn't a career, its starting to fit my life more and more. I get to continue learning through my own avenues. Learning how to mushroom forage is a lifelong skill and passion that I love learning about. I love being able to pursue my music. I love that I get to blog about life. I love the fact that I can spend time making connections with people whenever I want. Yes I wish I had a steadier teaching job...but do I really? Only time will tell and who knows what will pop up in my lap in the future.





So this week, there is more foraging to be done, hopefully the start of tutoring, some substituting, my first paycheck in two months on Friday, and maybe if I'm lucky, Umphrey's McGee at the showbox on Thursday!

I'll keep you updated and have a great week!



Saturday, October 17, 2009

Got my mojo back!

Its official, this week and last night confirmed it. I officially got my mojo back. Thats all. More to come.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Talking Heads Saved my life, Vicci Martinez rules, and fungus season is amongus

Something happened this week. Not immediately, but gradually. Through some good conversations and a little proactive decisions about my life as well as decisions about my attitude on life I think its possible that I might actually be coming out of my funk. By funk I mean having a crap job that I don't like, living alone, being alone. and having no real plan for changing it in the future.

On last Friday my iPod took a huge shit and lost over 40 gigs of music. I was able to recover all my purchases (about 25%) through I tunes. But all the cd's I uploaded in Alaska as well as music I got from my friends is gone. If you read this blog then you know how important my music is to me. I was devastated. But, in the recovery process there came a few new albums that I got from my family and a new chance to start rebuilding my musical library.

Last night, as I hung out with myself like most of the time, I put on Talking Heads "Remain in Light" and something happened. I started dancing around my house. Dancing around and cleaning like I used to do in Alaska. There was an explosion of funk in my body. I was bobbing and wiping and organizing and inside of me the funk was healing me. Talking Heads steady, manic, 80's booty funk rebuilding all the things that I seem to have lost lately. Talking Heads gave me a small chunk back last night.

I will work 3 days this week, yes at a lame job, but its better than nothing. I have some good prospects for part time work at a natural food store. I'm moving at the end of november into a cheap place with friends. Ski season is coming. I'm still playing music with some new opportunities to expand. I can do anything if I just figure out what it is I want to do. I was telling a friend that maybe I'm depressed so much lately because I keep telling everyone that I'm depressed. It sounds stupid but its true. So I'm telling you that I'm happy today. Maybe if I keep saying it I can get my mojo back. I don't know exactly who stole it or where I lost it, but I want it back now.

Maybe tomorrow night Vicci Martinez will get me some of my lost mojo back when she rocks the Swiss. I saw her last week in a singer in the round style show and plan on seeing her again this week with drums! Some friends from Seattle might actually visit me (for once! its awesome to have people come to hang with me instead of me going to them) in Tacoma and experience some real T-Town local badass music.

Lastly, with rains and cold temperatures mushroom season is officially here. I can't wait to go foraging again to share more photo's with you. There are plans in the works for a early morning adventure to the coast on Thursday as well as possibly a trip up to Seattle to see a great band called Hillstomp.

Basically, I'm trying to come out of my funk. I think I've wallowed long enough. Time to buck up and work on being positive again.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fungi Hunting, Sub-Life, Chestcold, Old Friends, and Why I Hate Christian Homo-Bashers.

So sunday and monday I went edible mushroom hunting. Although mostly unsuccessful I learned a lot and had a great time being out in the woods.

Sunday I went with my friend mark to some trails at tiger mountain summit. We were on the hunt for chantrells but found mostly inedible russula (cascadensis). We did stumble upon some really good oyster mushrooms on a log and mark took one for sample. I also got to identify many poisonous fungi and learn about a lot of really cool identifying practices, as well as seeing some 10 plus year old polyspores.

So yesterday, when I again didn't get called for work I decided to go on a Point Defiance hunting adventure. I found a lot of really cool stuff. I again found some impressive polyspore shelves hanging off old trees. I found my own batch of late season oyster mushrooms. There were so many of them I could have picked bags. But instead i decided to let them be as I was alone and needed a second opinion.
I found some and identified the fishy smelling russula very abundent and yellow right now in rotting cedar logs.
I also was able to locate quite a variety of boletas and some other unidentifiable specimens. Either way I had a really good time and my eye for finding my fungi friends is getting better quickly. More research and hunting trips should help. Maybe by next year I'll even be ready to start keeping some for delicious gourmet dinners!

The only reason that I got to go on this little trip is because there just aren't that many substitue jobs out there or I just don't know the tricks to landing them. I haven't been working much at all. Instead lazily pursuing my own interests and relationships. I admit its not the most ambitious lifestyle, but it affords me a lot of time to do what I want.
Substituting is a lame lifestyle, kind of feel like a prostitute. I have my little sub number, people can call and request me, or I can go out on the corner and hustle a job. Either way, I don't have health insurance, income assurance, or any real teaching opportunities, just 50 minute babysitting blocks. In all honesty, I'm becoming less and less interested in teaching at all. But what would I do instead?
Maybe its just the fact that I subbed for a really sick lady on thursday and friday last week, and must have picked up what she had from her computer (as I searched feebly for more subbing jobs) because today I woke up coughing and phlegming and hurting deep in my chest. Luckily there are no sub jobs so I was able to lay in bed all day and watch Freaks and Geeks. I hate being sick, as if I needed a reason to be even lazier.

But, some great things, I got to hang out with an old friend last night that I haven't seen in a long time and never thought I'd get to talk to again. It was really nice catching up and it felt good to be around someone so passionate and positive.

Tonight hopefully I'll get a chance to hang out with another friend I haven't seen in a long time (my high school best friend since 7th grade). When you get to see these people who used to be so central to your life and catch up, it kind of helps you see where you're at in life. Are you lost too, are you on track, are you just as skrewed up as me, are you also totally confused, or broke, or depressed or anxious or did you crack the code and finally become one of those "happy" people we hear so much about?
So Lastly, I'm sitting in Old Town Tacoma at my favorite internet/mate' latte spot writing this little blog and this group of christian blowhards is just sitting right next to me going on and on about how they can no longer allow homosexual couples to attend their church as a "couple" but will permit it if the couples come as "friends." I want to scream at them. Its frightening that three different races of people are in this ridiculous group, I didn't know that people who come from discriminated cultures could discriminate another so badly. What a bunch of wacko's. I mean they are sitting here next to me talking about how embarrassed members of the church are to admit to their business associates that homosexuals frequent their church and that they are plotting a serious plan to remove them from their church.
First and foremost, I don't know why anyone who has taken so much guts as to come out to the world and proclaim who they are would ever want to go to a bunch of judgemental delusionists church and bend to their ridiculous backtalkling opinions, and rules. Secondly, this same group of nutbars is sitting here going on and on praising the barista for how amazing the coffee drinks he made are, the very openly GAY barista! So a homosexual can make a great cup of coffee but not attend your church. And Thirdly, apparently homosexuality is only allowed in the church if its secretive and between a preacher and alter boy. What a world. I'm pretty sure this is not what Hayzeus intended.
I don't mean to go all activist on you all, but I simply can't stand by and take this anymore when its sitting right next to me drinking a pumpkin spice latte and ruining my perfectly pleasant tuesday coffee shop time with pointless drivel.
My name is Kale. I'm an athiest. And I if gay people or gay couples want to come to my woods and walk around enjoying them on sunday or any other day, they are more than welcome.
Peace.
to view my other blog OUT OF THE CLOSET ATHEIST click HERE