Borderlands All the Way Down

Uncategorized

My favorite video game is called Borderlands.  It is your basic run-and-gun (or in my case spray-and-pray) / kill all the bad guys with guns and grenades / Sci-Fi / other-world kind of game.  It is set on a fictional planet, in a fictional time, in a fictional place, where the world has completely lost all civility and survival of the fittest is the only real law (think Mad Max meets Blade Runner).  I like the game of Borderlands because it gives me hope.  Why?  Because I know no matter how bad things get in this world, it will never be as bad as Borderlands.

As I was doing my 1,000th (I lost count) playthrough of this game with my wife yesterday, I came across something I had never noticed before.  On the side of an old rusty shipping container were the words, “Turtles All The Way Down”.

6tHLVU0

This reminded me of an anecdote that our pastor told in church one day that was recently featured in Stephen Hawking’s “A Brief History of the Universe”.  The story is about a professor who was giving a lecture on the structure of our solar system.  After the lecture, someone came up to him and said, “Your theory that the sun is the center of the solar system, and the earth is a ball that rotates around it has a very convincing ring to it, but it’s wrong.  I’ve got a better theory.”

“And what is that?” Inquired the professor politely.

“That we live on a crust of earth which is on the back of a giant turtle.”

Not wishing to be rude, the professor attempted to dissuade his opponent by pointing out an inadequacy in their position.

“If your theory is correct, what is this turtle standing on?”

The student replied, “the turtle is standing on the back of a second, larger, turtle.”

To which the professor says, “What is the second turtle standing on?”

The answer, of course, being a third, even larger, turtle.  This went on for a few minutes and ended with the student triumphantly stating, “It’s no use, professor – it’s turtles all the way down.”

A quick google search revealed that there is a book entitled “Turtles all the way Down” and the book is about, you guessed it, dealing with the anxiety that the world is falling apart around us and how we must remain hopeful about the future.

My point is that, no matter what your personal beliefs are, we all have to find something that gives us hope for the future.  Whether that comes from a video game, your personal view of the universe, religion, or something else – find it – it is important.  Personally, my plan for the next part of my journey, is to read the book and see where that takes me.  If you need inspiration to do so, here is one of my favorite quotes to get you started.

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”

– Guess who said that in the comments, and you will win nothing.

Bye,

-BG

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Jesus people (place punctuation accordingly)

Uncategorized

Can we stop lumping Christians into one big pile please?  Everywhere you look, all you see is Christians are hypocrites because they do this, Christians are Jackasses because they say that, all Christians hate same-sex relationships (not true).  Umm … Duh.  We are all humans.  If we were perfect, God wouldn’t have had to send his Son to die for us.  Has anyone ever thought about why there are 40 different denominations based on one book.  We are all looking at the same Bible, aren’t we?

When we lump a group of people together for being judgmental, guess what?  We are being judgmental.  It’s just another form of being prejudiced.  Don’t we have enough forms of that?  While we’re on the subject; Christians, stop saying stupid stuff and Jesus in the same sentence please.  You’re messing it up for everyone.

Why are people getting mad about dumb stuff?  My coffee cup doesn’t have snow flakes on it anymore? Seriously?!  GET. OVER. YOURSELF.  We are all on this crazy merry-go-round together, and none of us is getting out alive.  Let’s make the best of it.  If you really want to know what all Christians believe, (or are supposed to believe) go get a red letter edition of the bible, (there’s one on your phone) and read only the stuff in the new testament that is in red print.  That is what Jesus said.

Rant completed…Carry on.

YODO

Poignant and Pointless

A few years ago, “the kids” used to say YOLO!  which is an acronym for You Only Live Once.  This phrase was usually followed with some sort of really intelligent action.  {Extreme Sarcasm Alert!}  Something like jumping off of a two-story roof onto a bag of marshmallows would have been appropriate.  Maybe I am missing the point, but I think the key word in the phrase “Live like you were dying” is LIVE.  You have to live through it!

Peaches

Random picture of our barn cat peaches.  She certainly lived life to the fullest.

James Dean once said, “Dream as if you’ll live forever.  Live as if you’ll die today.”  Soon after saying this he wrapped his Porsche 550 Spyder around a telephone pole and died.  Sometimes things sound good when you say them, but don’t turn out so great in practice.

550new

550crashed

I guess the point I am trying to make (if I even have one) is that not only do you only live once, but you also only die once.  You must live with the consequences of your actions everyday, so make smart decisions for your life.  You can live life to the fullest without tempting fate.  No Ragrets, Scotty P!

-BG

Use all your well-earned politics

Bathroom Reading, Personal

There are two kinds of people in this world: Beatles fans and Rolling Stones fans.  I like to think of myself as a Stones fan, Ya know… Just the whole rebel without a clue thing, but Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is one of my favorite albums.  I have some favorites that Mick and Keith wrote too.  One of them is “Sympathy for the Devil” from the Beggar’s Banquet album.

Jagger wrote this one as a first-person narrative from the viewpoint of Lucifer.  In it he recounts all the atrocious events in history that we, as humans, committed in his name.  Towards the end of the song he says, “If you meet me, have some courtesy, have some sympathy, and some taste.”  That all makes sense.  The next part is what I always had trouble with.  “Use all your well-earned politics?”  No, it’s “Use all your well-learned politesse.” Ohhhh… Be polite!  Got it.  All my life I had that one wrong.

See, the way my generation learned about music was hanging out at the record store, and listening to what the DJs said on the radio.  When we wanted to learn to play a song on an instrument, we had to learn it by ear.  Nowadays, you just google it and the lyrics, chords and sometimes even sheet music just pop up on the screen.  To learn about things besides music, we used to have to go to the library (it’s that building next to Starbucks with all the hipsters loitering behind their macbooks in it). Please!  Please research stuff first and know what you are talking about before you throw your ignorance out there for all the world to see!  Please!  78% of you have the whole =*(^!)* internet in your pocket … Use it!

Kanye West recently featured Paul McCartney on one of his tracks.  This prompted people to tweet things like “I don’t who @PaulMcCartney is, but Kanye is about to make him famous.”  Seriously?!  You took the time to figure out what his Twitter handle is, but you didn’t bother to click one more link to find out that Sir Paul McCartney is one of the most influential musical artists of our era? C’mon people!

Parents … Make your kid’s listen to your music when they are little (like when you have them tied down in those car seat things in the back of the car) and tell them everything you know about it while they listen.  I can’t guarantee that they will like it when they get older, but at least they will have heard it and know that it exists.

-BG

Randomness

Personal

With all the distractions I have created for myself, it is a wonder I get anything done at all.  Every time I get my phone out to do something, I end up doing something else.  What is the temperature outside?  Twitter does not know.  I need to e-mail that guy back at work about that project.  Instagram cannot do that.  I get distracted by all the notifications and other shiny things, and forget what I was doing.  It makes it hard for me to remember the important things.

In the midst of my usual Monday morning chaos, I found out that someone I was talking to just a few days ago died of a massive heart attack.  This person was about the same age as me.  It is the kind of thing that makes you take a step back and look at things from a different perspective, and think about what is really important.  I guess this is what John Lennon was talking about in 1980 when he said, “Life is what happens while you’re busy making plans.”  While John Lennon wasn’t the original author of this quote, he definitely realized the meaning of it later that year.  I am not going into details on that story.  Use the google machine if you don’t know what I am talking about.

I guess the point of my random ramblings, at least for today, is that it can always get worse and don’t let the shiny things distract you from what is really important.

-BG

Peaches

New Addition

Shameless Plugs

Some time ago our horse, ShyAnn, lost her long time companion, Sailor, to laminitis.  A word of caution here…DO NOT google “laminitis in horses” on an empty stomach.  This loss was devastating for Shy because Sailor was her lifelong sidekick.  It would be like C-3PO without R2-D2, Abbott without Costello, Batman without Robin … you get the point.  Horses do not do well on their own.  It goes against their nature.  They are herd animals.  When she started trying to make friends with the equipment in the road construction zone behind our house, we knew something had to be done.

horses (L to R: ShyAnn, Sailor, Hayley)

We agonized about how to “replace” the void that Sailor left in ShyAnn’s life.  Our veterinarian, who I have made extremely wealthy, suggested a donkey.  Huh?! … a Wha?!  A donkey?!  Those stubborn things that are commonly known as another name for the “South end of a Northbound horse” (that’s in quotes ’cause I stole it).  We, and by “we” I mean my wife, started researching and found that a donkey can be beneficial to any herd of livestock.  They are less expensive to take care, fend off predators,…,…,and…  I didn’t hear the rest because as soon as I heard less expensive, I was in the driveway hooking up the trailer.

We headed west to San Angelo.  Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue – http://www.donkeyrescue.org/ – is my new favorite non-profit.  They are an outstanding organization.  We adopted this critter:

maggiemae

We named her Maggie Mae, and I am happy to announce that ShyAnn and her are like peas and carrots.  It was like introducing a duck to water.  It was strange.  It was like they had known each other all their lives.  Thanks to Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue for all that you do for this misunderstood breed of animal.

-BG

It’s just a joke.

Personal

My name is Brandt Goldstein and this is my first blog post, so be gentle. I realize that my domain name seems a bit conceited, but it is just the punchline to a joke. I am a big fan of stand up comedy, and Steven Wright is one of my favorite comedians.

Mr. Wright does a bit about meeting a woman on a bus who is very upset. When He asks her what is wrong, she says that she can’t find a suitable man to “give herself to.” She then announces, “I am only attracted to Jewish Cowboys.”  Then she apologizes for bothering a complete stranger with her problems and asks his name.  To which he says, “Hi, I’m Bucky Goldstein.”  It is funnier when Steven Wright says it, of course.  That is probably why he is a professional comedian and I am not.  Thank God for YouTube.   http://youtu.be/sNzQEQjfYog

At any rate…A few of my friends saw this comedy routine and started calling me Bucky. The name just kind of stuck, and stayed with me all through high school.  I am not sure what this blog is going to be about (or why I am even starting a blog) but away we go!  What’s the worst that could happen?

-BG