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Hi - I'm Mugaliens. I've lurked here long enough, but I've frequented Bad Astronomy / Universe Today since last year. I've been BBS-ing, Message Boarding, Foruming, Blogging, etc., for more than two decades. My first venue was over DARPANET, which I helped install for our university in the early 1980s, but my first exposure to a computer was in 1978, when I began my first (and only) high-school programming class.
I discovered throughout high-school and college that programming wasn't for me, but my love of flying carried me through Aerospace and Ocean engineering. The two branches employ very similar paths - air or water, a fluid is a fluid, so they were combined at my university, with a track option during one's third year. In the meantime, I worked in the Computer Lab, troubleshooting whatever problem arose. I graduated, continued obtaining flight hours, worked as a consultant doing statistical analysis, flew for the US Air Force for a while, then started my own company. It's been one heck of a ride ever since! My latest incarnation is as a networking engineer/consultant working/living in Germany, hence the fact that I feel like an alien.
That's the alien part. As for the mug, part, I'm just another mug, a term my roommates and I used to call one another back in college, as in, "what's up, mug?" and "Just hanging around with a couple of mugs." It's sort of a take-off on "ugly mug," which originally referred to one's face. About a year later, during a Christian rally (part of Fellowship of Christian Atheletes), one of my good friends walks up wearing a kilt! After receiving a good ribbing from the rest of us, we were intrigued, and the second day, all four of us showed up wearing kilts (well, kilts were in short supply at the thrift stores, so two of us were wearing plaid wraps of cloth from a local fabric store, in essence, skirts). After a day in a kilt, I was sold, and have been wearing them ever since. Although it initially turns heads at church and Bible studies, as well as other public places, people get used to it pretty quick.
I love cycling and soccer - the recent World Cup south of here was Awesome! I watched three games, including (luckily) Italy vs France. Saw the headbutt, too. Sadly, only on TV ( tickets were very expensive). But I cycle to work and back, as well as everywhere else, usually doing interval training (never indoors, though!), or just relaxing along the way, depending upon my mood. It takes me one hour and seven minutes to make it to work using the local transportation system, yet between 16 and 18 minutes riding a bike. Travel time by car knocks off a whopping two minutes, on average, so I decided to chuck the car (and payments, and insurance), and just bike to work. As a result, I'm perhaps the most fit individual in the company. That's important at my age, especially since I began this endeavor in July approximately 49 pounds overweight! Darts is another favorite, but I find that between running a company, running one forum, being an admin on another, and a user on two others, my time is fairly limited.
I've three friends which I consider very dear. The first is my Mom, who has helped me through the heartaches of life. The second is a former CA sherriff's deputy and corrections officer who's now teaching 7th grade. Whenever I approach him with any issue, he always presents me with a different, and healing perspective. The third is a woman I met in 1985. She and I dated briefly more than two decades ago, and throughout this past summer. Although some things between us aren't meant for marriage, she remains the best friend I've ever had, and I treasure her dearly.
Philosophy of Life
Life is definately a journey, which happens to be one of my favorite bands. It's both more and less than what I've expected, and often different than what I've expected. I've always strived for truth, justice, and integrity. Because of my technical background, I always tended towards verifiable facts, rather than emotional arguements, which violate the principles of logic.
The most common logical fallacy on the planet is when someone claims "that's NOT true," without providing any evidence whatsoever. It's a twist on what's known as an arguement from ignorance. This twist, termed an argument from personal incredulity, wrongly asserts that because someone has never heard about a particular issue, that the issue doesn't exist. The truth is that one's ignorance of a fact or belief that something cannot be true forms no basis whatsoever for their claim that it's not true. Fortunately, all it takes is one piece of credible evidence to disprove their disbelief. Unfortunately, some people would rather hold on to their disbelief than examine the facts.
The second most common logical fallacy on the planet is a genetic fallacy, when someone attempts to discredit a concept because of it's source, or if they attempt to discredit the source themselves. This is usually done with ulterior motives, namely to squash a concept or idea. It's usually attempted by the simple-minded who're unaware that many onlookers see through this one. Bullies often use this technique to get what they want. Rather than remaining objective and examining the facts, these people push a personal agenda. They're not interested in the facts. Instead, they want to change reality to fit their view of "what's right," and employ all sorts of techniques to do so, including attempts at discrediting those who present facts objectively, and most of the other logical fallacies philosophers have uncovered over the years. Put simply, they're guilty of bigotry, and often throw that label at others before it's used against them. They'll stop at nothing to get want they want, including lies, deception, bullying, the obtaining of power so they can further their personal agenda, attacks on others without merit, enlisting the aid of others in power who posses similar views, etc. These people are to be avoided throughout life, as most are beyond redemption, having chosen or been molded into this path long ago. The best techniques for encountering them include avoidance, patience, remaining calm, countering their claims with verifiable facts, and more patience.
Joseph McCarthy is one of the more infamous bigots in modern history, and the term McCarthyism was coined to describe his grossly illogical, reckeless, and unsubstantiated attacks on others.
All in all, life is good. There will always be others out there who, for whatever reason, try to ruin it for you.
My advice: Try to help them along, too. If they refuse, walk around them and keep moving towards your own goals!
Have a nice day!