The Thinker


Here is a little PHP application I wrote that lists my comments chronologically. Enjoy!


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Date: 2016-07-14 01:13:00 GMT

Comment left by: Matthew on Thoughts on Buddhism, Part One

On a surface level, Pure Land Buddhism may appear to be similar to Christianity, but it came hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus.

There are 84,000 paths to enlightenment, each with the purpose of awakening to the Buddha-nature within.

As a Pure Land Buddhist, when one chants Namu-Amida-Butsu, it is to awaken the Buddha-nature within. Pure Land masters have taught this for centuries.

In the words of D. T. Suzuki, “We find our inner self when NAMU-AMIDA-BUTSU is pronounced once and for all. My conclusion is that Amida is our inmost self, and when that inmost self is found, we are born in the Pure Land.”

Date: 2016-06-09 17:48:26 GMT

Comment left by: John Meeks on If Aubrey fought Hornblower, who would win?

Who can tell who wins in a single ship action between Aubrey and Hornblower in ships of equal strength? Both in their historical fiction worlds are tactical masters and are fated to figure out a way to win their battles by O’Brien and Forester. If I had bet pick the winner I’d go with Aubrey if for no other reason than he carried less psychological baggage and was less isolated from his crew.

I’d certainly prefer to serve under Aubrey. Hornblower was something of a stick and not at all the type of Captain that Aubrey would respect. While both understood the need, as understood at the time, for the Captain to be unquestionably the first and last word as to how a ship would be run and to maintain distance from the crew, Aubrey found the isolation of command to be a regrettable if necessary burden while Hornblower found it psychologically necessary. Aubrey would have respected Hornblower as a good seaman, for his good tactical mind and for his inclination to keep flogging to a minimum but he would have found him to be unnecessarily remote and hard on his officers.

I’ve read both series multiple times and much prefer the Aubrey books to the Hornblower books. Many think O’Brien rambled and needed a more firm editor, which is probably the case, but I like the lulls between the action and the more fully fleshed out character and plot lines. That and the fact that in reading the Hornblower books I often have the urge to smack him upside the head for being such a jerk. In Hornblower’s defense, he was really in need of meds not available at the time. The Aubrey books also have the advantage of having a second very interesting character in Maturin.

Date: 2016-02-05 19:46:16 GMT

Comment left by: Me on Eulogy for my father

I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your dad. I read your tribute with great interest because it was so descriptive, it almost felt like I knew him.

I didn’t know that you had PTSD from your mom, this is something I can relate to.

Thank you for sharing. What a beautiful example of a human being your dad was.

Date: 2015-12-27 18:34:43 GMT

Comment left by: TomCheevers on Review: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

RT @occams_razor: Review: Star Wars: The Force Awakens:

Date: 2015-06-02 14:18:19 GMT

Comment left by: asplenia on Dying well

Aww I’m really sorry to hear this about your dad. No matter the age or even feeling prepared or that he had a good long life, it would never be without grief or mourning. Hope the next few months go as smoothly as possible.

Date: 2015-04-05 00:53:33 GMT

Comment left by: Mark on Spock in charge

Thanks David. Obviously I need to brush up on my knowledge of Hinduism. I am correcting the post.

Date: 2015-04-04 23:56:03 GMT

Comment left by: david sklar on Spock in charge

Love the post. But you might want to double-check your Hindu theology. Unless I’m reading you wrong, it looks like you may have gotten Vishnu mixed up with Shiva.

If comments are screened, no need to make this public; I just didn’t want the one mistake to mar an otherwise insightful blog post.

Date: 2015-01-28 23:38:26 GMT

Comment left by: Mark on The real price of discrimination

Thanks for your perspective Shelley. I have some issues with the Mormon church’s positions on various things, particularly its treatment of gay, lesbian and transgender Mormons, which is not surprising I guess. But I am not anti-Mormon. You may find this post in particular interesting:

Date: 2015-01-28 20:53:14 GMT

Comment left by: Shelley on The real price of discrimination

Just found your blog last week when doing a search for commentary on West Wing. I decided to comment on this post, because I belong to a group that I have a feeling you might automatically “class” in a negative way, based on some of the posts I’ve read — I’m a white, Mormon woman from Utah. However, let me say that I have agreed entirely with this post and actually with most of the posts I’ve read. I believe that when we actually begin to confer with each other as people and compare our human experiences we have far more in common that not. For some reason we tend to classify one another based on the superficial, such as skin color, income level, cultural/regional differences, etc. My grandchildren love the Disney movie “Tangled,” so I have watched with them many times. Best line: “Find your humanity!”

Date: 2014-10-27 18:51:54 GMT

Comment left by: Arlene on Craigslist Casual Encounters: now officially a complete waste of time

Its a giant waste of time.

Try this yourself: reply with a sexy pic (pull it off the internet if u want, it doesnt matter) and say “Meet me first at McDonalds for five minutes for safety”.

A simple and fair request right?

All you get back are dumb questions, requests for more pix, complaints about too far away… blah blah blah

They are a bunch of jerk offs.

It worked well for me once (2008).

A (married)guy gave me lice once too (2008).

Date: 2014-09-22 19:59:11 GMT

Comment left by: asplenia on Gasping for breath

I just wanted to say I’m sorry to hear about your dad getting older. It’s an awful part of the human condition, that our bodies eventually fail us. 🙁

Date: 2014-09-08 18:27:39 GMT

Comment left by: anonymous on Craigslist casual encounters weirdness: September 2014 edition

OMG this is hilarious.

Advice for dudes on craigslist:

1. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. No woman wants to choke or be injured. That is completely unattractive. “Wanted! Woman to send to ER!” The bigger & thicker it is, the worse case you’ve got going. Um, no.

2. The world’s most unappealing penis shots exist on Craigslist. They all need to read and learn from this blog on how to actually artistically display oneself:

Date: 2014-09-03 02:40:37 GMT

Comment left by: Mark on Readying for another adventure

Spleeness, when your house is of a certain size, you really have no choice about whether to b methodical if you intend to sell it for top dollar. It takes time, elbow grease and attention. You are selling a dream.

Date: 2014-09-02 19:32:13 GMT

Comment left by: spleeness on Readying for another adventure

I loved reading this! Has me excited for when my time has come. And surely your organizational skills are coming in handy – impressed that you’re managing your house/moving project thoroughly and not just “in your head” like lots of folks.

Date: 2014-07-27 20:20:52 GMT

Comment left by: Mark on Same story in Gaza, just different year

The analogy of course is imperfect, but in many ways Palestinian citizens of Israel are second class citizens of Israel, and might as well have a star on their chests. As for Palestinians on the West Bank, they are clearly under an illegal occupation and Israel’s policy is to keep the occupation going indefinitely while expanding Israel’s de-facto borders by building Jewish only housing.

Date: 2014-07-27 19:12:53 GMT

Comment left by: Graeme Sutton on Same story in Gaza, just different year

If the Israelis were anything like the Nazis they would have gone house to house shooting everyone in the Gaza strip decades ago, or maybe simply cut off all food and watched everyone there starve to death in a few weeks.

Date: 2014-07-26 23:53:31 GMT

Comment left by: devorahwright on It’s better outside

“Life lived mostly outdoors can be a connected life: with nature, with neighbors, with children, with gardens, and with life. Perhaps we live so much of our lives indoors at our own peril, tuning out the world and seeing life through a filtered prison.”

Not only in this place, the world is now boxed on technology, that outdoor activities became a less considered option.

Date: 2014-07-25 15:26:30 GMT

Comment left by: John on Facebook’s appallingly bad user interface

Amazing how long this thread – and other like it – have been going. Absolute proof, if it were needed, that Facebook’s “reason for being” is nothing to do with social media and everything to do with harvesting your data.

I’ve resisted FB for as long as I can but too many other organisations are making it necessary to login via FB or leave feedback via FB.

I can’t add to the comments made here except it’s pretty obvious which Google term brought me here. The bad news is, it’s built on crap foundations so any “improvements” can only make it worse.

Date: 2014-07-21 16:18:46 GMT

Comment left by: Peter Hargraves on Facebook’s appallingly bad user interface

Amen to your blog post and all the comments! What a piece of crap the Facebook UI is!

Date: 2014-07-02 14:11:49 GMT

Comment left by: Ginger Haycox on When did conservatism become so radical?

I think one of the unanswered questions here would be,’would the same decision have been made if Hobby Lobby was owned by a dedicated Muslim family instead of the Christian family it is owned by?
Changes color pretty fast then, doesn’t it? Religious freedom my ass!

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