30 April 2004

Heretical Thoughts

So, I'm sitting at work today (in a funk, of course, because of the travesty tragedy on ice that I suffered through last night - otherwise, I might not even be bothered by this), and I get some bad news. One of my coworkers recently found out that one of his daughters was diagnosed with acute leukemia last week. The email informing his coworkers of what is going on in his family then updates us on the status of the situation, and how the family is adjusting to the new situation. Then comes the part that is bothersome to me.

First, my VP asks us all to contribute to something so that we can show that our thoughts and prayers are with our coworker in his time of trouble. Then, I get an update from my fellow coworker, informing us that his daughter is feeling better, and thanking us because it appears our prayers are working.

Excuse me, wouldn't the chemotherapy treatments (she's now on day 4 of 7) be contributing to her improvement slightly? Maybe her acceptance and positive outlook (of course, this could possibly be helped out by her faith) might be contributing to her handling the situation better, too. But to credit this individual's recovery to divine intervention seems to be quite a stretch for those of us who don't necessarily feel the same way about an Invisible Cloud Deity reaching down to succor this particular soul right now (possibly, a cynic might say, just to prolong the agony she's about to have to go through), or for that matter, those who might not have the same beliefs about what, if any, god(s) there might be.

I'd like to convey my desire for things to work out for my fellow employee. But I am very much afraid that there is little if no way to do it without either tacitly supporting the religious beliefs expressed in the group's support for a friend in need, or causing offense to those religious beliefs (by showing my support and making it clear that I do not believe in his particular form of faith). I guess I need to stay away from the official office show of support for my coworker, and keep my mouth shut about my blasphemous pagan babblings of doubt about our Lord And Savior (Amen!) so as not to offend those around me in my place of business.

I wonder if they would be happy to have the Hindus in the House (can I get a Holla!) ask Vishnu to watch over their daughter (although I'm pretty sure they wouldn't appreciate offerings to Siva on her behalf)? Or if it would be okay to ask Allah to help their little girl? I find myself questioning whether even bringing this sort of discussion up is offensive to True Believers of the One God. And whether those adherents of the faith are aware (or concerned) about their effect on the work place when they do this sort of thing (need I mention that of course this is considered an appropriate use of company time and resources?).

Quite a few others have grappled with this question recently, and that may have caused me to notice this sort of thing a little more. I'm sure that it has allowed me to communicate my dilemma more clearly. And I hope that it has managed to make you think about this issue a little better than you did yesterday.

Cross-posted at the new home of the Funny Farm and Open Source Politics.

29 April 2004

We Have Liftoff!

Even as we communicate about it right now, my imagination is furiously designing the new home of the Funny Farm. There will be some upgrades arriving there eventually but for now it's pretty rough. I hope you will be able to settle in comfortably along with me into my new home. Of course, there's lots of new toys (including my own pictures and my first adventure with interactivity. Zoinks! I quite possibly may have to deal with comments now... plus XML / RSS / whatever else I can manage to figure out to hook up) to keep me busy, and I may even manage to find a few extra authors to put some content up at the new digs. From now on, you should be able to find new bloggy goodness over at:


There will also be a few double posts, with the distinct possiblilty of hitting my own personal trifecta for the first time with a post over at Open Source Politics that gets cross posted everywhere I can manage to put it.

So drop on by from time to time. The color scheme should return to something less searing to the retinas by the end of the week. This blog will remain here for as long as the good graces of Blogger keep it gratis. I would also like to take this opportunity to request that my friends in the TTLB Ecosystem (evreyone else with a blog who is not yet a member of the ecosystem - you should be there too!) update their links to me. Let me know how you found me in the Fashionable Left Bank of Blogistan. And I'll talk to you again real soon!

* - we had originally linked the text in the box. However, I can't figure out (and/or bother to figure out) making linked text show up in a different size on the page. So we moved the link elsewhere in the body of the post..

We apologize for the inconvenience in fiery letters thirty feet high (metaphorically speaking).

28 April 2004

Breaking Down

I'm so verklempt after last night's disaster that I can barely find enough strength to point you to this reading assignment from Interesting Monstah: go to the post titled Jeebocrats on the March: Blood-Stained Banner, v. 4.0 and read through the articles Laurie links to (disclosure: I have read a lot of them already, in particular Orcinus' work. I'm still trying to get through all of it myself... and I know it was posted over two months ago. The wheels grind slow, but they grind fine, around here.), as well as her excellent analysis of the concerns of many who have not given themselves wholly to the Word of Our Lord (in His Name, Amen!).

There's lots of other things to check out these days - go to all of the usual suspects' web sites for a while.

And you could go FReep the latest CNN poll (go down to the bottom of the front page. Today's question: Should Vice President Cheney's private records on a national energy task force be made public? Not that they're trying to load it one way or the other or anything like that...). Or Lou Dobbs' poll (interestingly enough, it's the same question as the front page, but the voting tally is completely different - at least it is for today. Ever since the Fashionable Left Bank of Blogistan found out about these polls, they seem to morph a lot, especially when the vote doesn't come out the way the Conservative Christian News Network wants it to...). Or Wolfie Baby's poll, which for today is also the same question as the other two - and I'm guessing must be the same as the poll on the main page, because the numbers match. Not that I'm saying CNN is trying to get a poll result to their liking that they can broadcast or anything like that...

25 April 2004

Spring Cleaning

I have finally got around to updating the Open Source Politics areas in the Funny Farm Links Zones. I have tried to retain my links to the few who have dropped out of OSP in other areas of the Links Zone for your continued surfing enjoyment.

Seriously, though... my apologies to some of my Open Source Politics brethren for not linking them up like I should have. Some of you are still not on the list because you link back to Open Source Politics, instead of a blog of your own. I am unsure of what to do for you - more links to OSP would only clutter things up.

Sorry it has taken so long to get around to this. Things have been a little topsy-turvy here at the Funny Farm of late. And there is big doings afoot in the zone as well - be prepared for an announcement the like of which has not been seen in our almost two years over here in the Fashionable Left Bank of Blogistan. More details will follow as my nefarious plans unfold in the coming fortnight.

Until then, I'm going to tap into a new growler from my neighborhood brew pub and drown my sorrow over Montreal's 3-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning this afternoon. I wish those two unbelievable saves that Theodore made in the first period were actually worth something. But as a former hockey player myself, I can appreciate what happened, even though my team lost again this afternoon. The Habs lost focus for a few minutes, and that was all it took. D'oh! Maybe they can win one at home this week...