Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Religion and Politics

The topic of faith comes up a lot these days and of course it has more to do with politics than religion itself. Of all the divisive issues out there religion and the offshoots of things that can be called religious come front and center. It’s almost too easy to herd people in one direction or another by pointing it out. Most of the time I find it offensive, and wish it wasn’t an issue. This group likes or dislikes someone because they are religious or not religious enough, and for all of you thinking smugly that religion ruins everything, the anti-religious spend just as much time making dumb decisions for the exact opposite reasons. Most issues that can be considered “moral” have very little to do with religion at all.

Front and center is the case of abortion. I make no decisions based on pro-life or pro-choice standards because it has no bearing on the greater justice of the world in general. I have no problem saying that I find abortion to be an amoral form of birth control, but if someone comes out as pro-choice and everything else they are into seems to be to the betterment of the world as a whole, I will vote for them. The other side of the coin has far more people that will walk into a voting booth completely controlled by who they think will protect the right to abortion. This of course is the right that everyone has had for over 40 years, regardless of who has won any election. That is the type of idiot that has been sending the world into the crapper, and fast.

Now it seems to be all the rage to talk about the loud mouthed Presbyterian and the soft spoken seventh day Adventist, but why should anyone care? On the other side it is the liar against the socialist and I haven’t heard talk of either of their religion? Last go around it was the Catholic that almost beat the Mormon to take on the guy that some say is a Muslim but spent 20 years in the church of a black liberation theologian. I agree with Bill Maher (will miracles never cease) that he is really an atheist, and I could care two licks about his religion anyway. Two of my best friends are an atheist and a pagan who happen to be pro-life and believe in Federalism. Unfortunately neither of them is running for president so I have to choose amongst the others, and religion won’t play a part in it.

I personally like the old Ross Perot theory when it comes to voting for a president. No it had nothing to do with his policies or anything; it was his last infomercial before the last election he ran in. He asked the American people to think long and hard about which candidate you would hand your baby to in a life boat on a sinking ship. I think personally he was trying to remind people that you couldn’t trust the guy who was president at the time. I still don’t know his religion but his wife is the “liar” on the Democrat side of this go around, and I don’t know or care what her religion is. Ross was right about one thing though, I wouldn't have handed my baby to that guy or his lying wife. Now we need to consider whether it matters to anyone anymore, while we argue about someone’s religion, which last I checked was still a constitutional right.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Score Zero for the Non-Helping Office Help

No one is a generalist in the doctors' front offices anymore. Everyone has a specialty. There are receptionists who answer the phones after the patient is routed through several menus of choices, insurance mediators, plant maintenance engineers, environmental statisticians, medical records compliance officers, and those-who-ought-to-be-eaten-by-Baba-Yaga.

     I fell the other day. This is not unusual for me these days. The balance problems that I have due to some brain damage acquired in a motor vehicle accident means that every so often despite my best efforts otherwise, I will fall.

     This time, I hurt my arm. Doc sends me for x-rays on Wednesday. I find out on Thursday that I have a broken ulna up at the head where it slides into the elbow. Not the worse fracture certainly, especially considering that there is no displacement. I am managing the pain with over the counter pills taken according to directions.

     Doc wants me to see an orthopedist, a receptionist that I do not know from his office tells me. Okay. I will not see the local butcher, I tell her. Anyone else anywhere else but that one. She says she will pass it on to the referral specialist.

     She doesn't. Actually, she doesn't advise the referral specialist that I need a referral at all. Thursday passes in a haze of little blue pills and a little blue pillow that I keep stuffed under my arm.

     Friday mid-morning arrives. I stop in at the appointment desk to pick up a hard copy of the radiology report. I ask about my referral. I am directed to the referral specialist's window.

     I don't know this referral specialist. She doesn't know that I need a referral, hasn't heard anything about my "broken elbow"-- the office help has all referred to my broken ulna this way and I don't correct them-- and in fact has not received any message from the receptionist that I need a referral to a bone doc. I give her my details and leave.

     I do not hear from her. It is now Friday at five minutes after four. I call the doctor's office. The new receptionist answers. "All of our referral specialists have left. They are not the usual ones," she tells me as some sort of excuse. She cannot tell me if any work has been done on my referral, if an appointment has been made. Nothing. "Call back on Monday," she suggests. "You won't get to see a bone doctor this weekend anyway. You can see one anytime." She hangs up.

     This is not satisfactory. I call back and firmly insist upon speaking with a nurse. The nurse talks with me, answers my medical questions-- I have never broken or even sprained an arm before-- and then she calls my doctor.

     My doctor calls me back. He will be handling the referral himself on Monday.

sapphoq reviews says:
To all office workers in physicians' offices everywhere, I have some tips for you:

1.  Please do not make light of any patient's concern or pain by telling them that they can see a specialist "anytime" or that they will not be getting to see a specialist this weekend anyway.
My referral should have been taken care of on Thursday. I should have been provided with an appointment with a specialist-- or at the very least, a phone number of the office of a specialist-- on Thursday or at the very latest on Friday morning. The appointment itself would not have had to occur on Friday morning. I was not asking for a miracle here. I was expecting the same consideration that you would give your own older relative with a broken body part.

2.  Please do not make excuses for why something was not done in a timely fashion.
Telling me that the referral specialists "are not the usual ones" leaves me to wonder if they are imports from a distant planet. Not helpful.
I may be brain damaged but I am not brain dead. I know that the initial problem may have started when you did not hand my referral to the referral specialist.
I was not proficient at carrying out my own job responsibilities for a number of years myself. I know what slacking off at the job looks like. It looks like you.

3.  Please do not tell me that you do not know if anything was done about referring me to a specialist.
I find it unbelievable that you could not be bothered to pick up my chart-- or the electronic equivalent of my chart-- and physically look at the last page to check if there were any notes about a referral in progress.

Yes, I am on first name basis with my doctor, your employer. Yes I did tell him what transpired in his office in his absence.

It is your job to know how to do your job and to do your job. Do your job or get a different one. Do not irritate this particular irritating patient because I will not just sit back and "take it." I have a blog and I know how to use it.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Vicar Vicarious

It appears that religion has become a very important part of society again, now that the far left has found an ally in the Pope of all people. The far right who has been in the trenches fighting the good fight on abortion, hand in hand (my ass) with the Catholic church have finally been cast aside for more pressing issues like amnesty for illegal aliens, global climate whatever they call it this week, seems warm but who knows, and of course a favorite topic of the left, eating the rich. Yes now that the Pope is the little darling of the far left we can assume that the overwhelming majority of Catholics that vote for far left nutjobs anyway can finally just come out of the closet once and for all.

The only real view I have ever shared with Catholics is the pro life one. The atheist that owns this blog happens to be pro-life (and if it is at all possible probably more pro life than me) so it doesn’t always have to be a religious issue, but it always gets dismissed as one. I of course have always been of the belief that there is a certain moral obligation that anyone should have with abortion, from the roots of Planned Parenthood (Margaret Sanger truly believed that Planned Parenthood would help black Americans to self exterminate) to the fact that most people wouldn’t treat a household pet as carelessly as they do a fetus. Now of course we have the entire disingenuous way they are selling fetal tissues and preserving fetus “lives” until they can be harvested. It’s pretty sick really.

In turn regardless of how you feel about the abortion issue, the issue has ramped up to the danger phase. I have always been angry with the left as they say a fetus is nothing but worthless tissue, but then hide every aspect of what they do with it. The act like they are actually ashamed, or know others would be scornful if they really saw what was going on. Worthless tissue like a mole or a cancerous growth doesn’t get any debate or secrecy when it is being dealt with; it is just dealt with, because IT IS actually worthless tissue. You don’t harvest it and if this trend continues you could actually see farms of destitute women breeding for fetal tissue. Oh that would never happen right? Well it is about what a woman can and cannot do with their bodies anyway so why not?

This is what separated me from the Pope once and for all. I realize that the Catholic church is a dying creed, and they need to bring more people into the religion and especially those that are already inclined to be subservient to a master, but to hug and kiss a brutal dictator like Castro, and then come here? To not bring up the one and only thing that the bulk of America has had in common with the Catholics and simply so not to offend their New Leftist friends, during a time when the Pope had the stage? No thank you, I’m perfectly fine with myself and happy to be without them.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Stay Out of My Happy Place

When I am at the gym, I just want to think about health. I just want to talk shop, and shop would mean things that pertain to picking things up and putting them down enough times to build muscle. I may like to dally in the idea of what I am going to eat, and what supplements we think is best, but that is about all that I need to deal with when I am in my happy place. You see because when I am in my happy place I don’t want to talk about the things that aren’t relative to the happy place like politics, religion or morality. These are not happy place subjects’ folks, and what is worse than that I happen to be a self righteous jerk, so I can only stand pestering by an idiot for so long. This was a day that started to look unsalvageable, but I will explain further.

There are very few people at the gym that know I even have political, religious or moral views, and unfortunately my big mouth is the only reasons a few do. On a brighter note the average gym enthusiast is a lot harder to find than you would think. Sure we all have our groups on the internet that hang out and talk shop, but that is global in scale, and the average gym will only have one or two people that always seem to be there. I am one of the two where I work out, and the idiots that want to argue politics, religion and morality are not. Of course that doesn’t mean that the average pain in my ass doesn’t run into me once or twice a year either, and here was one of those days. He was locked and loaded for argument from the moment he walked in.

Now despite what most people might think of me I have NEVER allowed politics, religion or morality to end a friendship, or even stew in myself for more than a hour, maybe two if it was that bad. Life is too short, and there are enough people in this world who completely disagree with me that are fine people. Then of course there are very few who are not, but I still don’t waste my time hating on them. This one person in particular, I haven’t seen in at least six months and they must have spent that entire time thinking up what they were going to say to me the next time they saw me, but of course doesn’t have their facts straight when dealing with me. “So what do you think about that person in jail in Kentucky who wouldn’t issue marriage licenses to gay people?”

Of all the subjects in the world that people have always tried to pin me down on I really hate the gay marriage one. Why? Simply because I have never been against gay marriage. I have told everyone this but when they have their brain in the fog they always assume that I hate the issue, when all I hate are the people who won’t get over it. Without getting to crazy, I explained to the idiot that the woman should have been fired because moral issue or not, if she couldn’t do what is her actual job because of a moral issue then she should find another job. I actually said that the Massachusetts Supreme Court had committed a crime by making gay marriage legal and then holding their judgment for 3 months so the Mass. Congress could create a new law. Once the MSC proclaimed gay marriage legal it was legal, and not up for a “holding” period. I have never wavered on what is and is not legal.

The problem now is that because I didn’t give the person the argument that they had come to me for, they were obligated to start hunting for one. I really hate that. His favorite at that point is to go straight after abortion, because I am pro-life. He’s one of those atheists that demands Christians admit they are wrong about things. Anything actually, it doesn’t matter; he just wants me to be wrong. I’ve had these arguments before and it isn’t worth it, his religion of atheism is (faith is faith folks) gets really bothersome so I tried to blow him off. This of course means he is right, and he started celebrating this. Well until someone else decided to step in and continue the argument.

I’ll long story short this one too, but the other friend was quite disdainful of the whole topic, and came right out and asked the associate that started all the arguments, why morality is something that only the religious seem to have in his eyes? That really enraged the first person who started in on the whole “your God, your God,” thing. The other person pointed out that he too was an atheist but was also pro-life, because wrong is wrong. Again that made the person crazy, and he started arguing that he had to be a “God freak” to think that way. I completely stayed out of it, but the second person managed to argue how the Ten Commandments didn’t affect either of their lives, murder is murder (the second one is a vegan too from what I gathered) and that if the first one equated all morality to be something that “Cults” are into, then he would rather be in a “Cult” than in his world.

I had a good workout, and I have a feeling I won’t have to see that idiot again for a while. I guess the day was salvageable.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Damn He Was Bookin and then BOOM

Remember back in the day when the fastest thing known to mankind was something we affectionately called “bookin?” I mean when you simply dug down deep and were running faster than the human mind could possibly comprehend your friends would label it with the “bookin” tag, but more often than not you were explaining how you personally were “bookin” and then it was usually followed by something bad. “Man I was bookin, and then the neighbor’s dog came out of nowhere and BOOM! I swerved and hit that tree!” Friends would commiserate with you about that rotten dog, and how lucky the tree was to still be standing.

There were other forms of “bookin” that had to be explained a little differently of course. Your friend that was a little on the pudgy side (of course back when I was a kid you would have called them fat, but the Politically Correct police are everywhere these days) was doing something called “truckin” and even though it wasn’t as fast as “bookin” (of course) it was a heck of a lot more dangerous. “Man Spanky was just truckin along and the neighbor’s dog came out of nowhere and BOOM! They buried the dog last night,” and of course there was “screamin” which was the really skinny person version. “Man Alfalfa was screamin along and the neighbor’s dog came out of nowhere and BOOM!” then you would all meet at the hospital to see how Alfalfa was doing.

Nobody really talks about these things anymore. I mean old farts like me sit around and act like the youth today doesn’t understand what it was like to walk to school five miles in a hail storm up hill, then learn about how Carter didn’t mean to make it so you couldn’t afford candy anymore, and then walk home 5 miles in a hailstorm up hill. You couldn’t do any bookin in a hailstorm or uphill silly, but you look at these kids today and they don’t even comprehend the concept of bookin or truckin or anything that doesn’t happen on an X-Box. Maybe that’s the problem, we need to explain to them how important it is to do some bookin (or truckin) now and again so that they don’t get too lethargic? Now kids get on a school bus that drives them across the street to the school, then at the school they don’t even play on huge wooden structures loaded with used tires, because they are unsafe! Hailstorms cancel school.

I’m amazed actually that there is any bullying going on in school anymore, because that would take some effort. When I was a kid I went to school, the school bully beat me up and took my stuff, and it was a valuable life lesson. Don’t bring stuff to school and cover your face. Today it is all about teasing, and writing nasty things about each other. How the hell do we train politicians if this is the considered bullying? Maybe if the kids did some more bookin (or truckin) and a little less sitting online (between X-Box exercise) then the participation trophy world we live in could accommodate more people going out and getting a job and less time sitting on a corner complaining about student loan debt. Oh wait, we don’t teach kids to succeed or fail anymore, we teach them to gather up the participation trophy, and complain about name calling to their shrink. I give up. I’ve become my worst nightmare, my grandfather.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Are We Finished Yet

Are we there yet? Remember that great phrase as it was hoisted upon either you as a parent or you to your parents. There, was the place you wanted to be at all time, and you never seemed to get there quick enough. Well just because we aren’t in a car, and we aren’t technically on a trip anywhere, we still have a problem with all of the people that desperately want to be “there” and could give a crap about here. What am I talking about? My two favorite topics actually, and we are merging them at an alarming pace now, so I hope you have buckled up for the ride. Here is my list of “Are we there yet?”

Catholics are officially a co-opted faction of the looney left. I mean I have been saying this for years but now that the Pope is acting like the European Al Gore, with his councils on climate change, and talking about how we should all give until we are poor, can we finally admit they are mostly socialists? I’m sick of people lumping them in with the people like myself who are generally demonized as being a right wing whacko. I’m fine with being a right wing whacko, but I am offended to the core that people put the people who keep Nancy Pelosi in office, voted in force for an idiot like John Kerry, and never met a Kennedy that they wouldn’t step in front of a train for. See I didn’t even have to go back to the Borgias.

George W. Bush is officially a complete and utter failure. Many people who drank that flavor of Kool Aid, at least had the fact that “he nominated two conservative Supreme Court Justices” to fall back on. The problem is that the “Chief Justice” that he nominated is like most Republicans, totally humiliating to anyone who would call themselves conservative. Throw in the fact that GW never defended himself and allowed the news media to create the perfect platform for the fool that replaced him. Yeah total failure.

The plantation is a lot larger than it was in the 1860s. People hate it when I bring up this simple fact, but the black community has given themselves mind, body and soul to a single political party. The other political party would be stupid to try and drag them away, and the party that already owns them has no reason to do anything for them. The party that owns their vote is now working on the “illegal immigrant” vote because it is a more volatile voting block and their personal interests completely clash with the black community’s personal interests. Thank God they have them sown up on the plantation, so they don’t really have to worry about them anymore.

As goes Texas so goes America. I keep an eye on Texas because I hope to move there as soon as my kids get out of school, but have you noticed that some of the worst things happen in Texas now? Years of dragging people from other states, illegal immigration, and creep from the big cities is turning Texas into a peetrie dish of the worst of the worst. This is the only one that I don’t consider “We are there,” but we are unfortunately on our way. Once they turn Texas blue, America is over.

One of the biggest problems with the world today is that everyone sits in denial of the horrible things that go on around us. You can bring up the social creep, the fact that the news media just admitted that Valerie (the right hand of our president) Jerrett’s entire family had FBI files for several generations because they were hard core communists, but it doesn’t matter now. It always comes down to “it doesn’t matter” after 3 years of calling everyone crazy for saying it, then 3 years of outright denial, then oh her parents were communists, but that’s old news. It isn’t old news, it’s never been news. Are we there yet?

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Freedom of Speech and the Right to Offend

It appears that part II of Cowboys and Muslims will be taking place at a mosque in Arizona during their largest prayer session of the week. I have absolutely no respect for the people who are doing another “Draw Muhammad” contest that should be starting in about seven hours from now. Sorry folks, I can’t show disrespect for the person who dips a crucifix in urine and calls it art, just like I can’t respect anyone who want to make Muslims feel miserable by doing this. Wrong is wrong, and I am breaking from the ranks of those that I assume are usually on the same side of political debates as myself.

The throngs of bikers that will be armed in the area to protect those that are “executing their rights to free speech,” kinda makes it look even more lame to me. I mean, sure you will probably need them since it is a stick in the eye of radical Islamists who solve all their problems with weapons, but having absolutely no compassion for those that just find it all insulting and want to live THEIR lives in peace, cannot be ignored either. I have no dog in the fight actually aside from speaking out for human decency. Arizona is about as far away from where I am as anywhere in the United States, I never served to defend our flag, and I probably have too many Muslim friends that would never think of carrying a gun to defend their religion. I also speak out about teachings in Islam that are probably criminal, and this is no way to show them.

Think about all the people in Garland Texas who had to be in fear of the reprisal from the last stunt like this. Just because you think you are taking it to the place where the shooters might have worshiped, doesn't mean that the people in that Mosque tonight deserve this. Even if the place is radicalized, an act like this could serve to radicalize them even more, and then you just allow that to seep out into the streets where I assume there are a lot of people who are going to know what the people in Garland had to deal with. Oh did I mention that you are still being outwardly insulting for the sake of making a point?

The drum has been beaten, and I feel like I have said my peace. I will be fast asleep about 3000 miles away from Arizona tonight while this is going on. I will sleep well actually because I don’t think I have the right to be incendiary, despite the fact that some would say I am and often. I don’t specifically go after a religious group because I don’t like the way they worship (and yes that is what you are doing) and I definitely don’t drape myself in the flag, and surround myself by armed people to do it. To be honest with you it sounds a lot like the people you think you are making a statement against if you ask me.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Shoot Out at the Not So OK Coral

Remember the show “Undercover Boss?” I don’t actually know if this show is still on the air or not, but I do remember that I loved the show when it came out, thought it was ok the second season, tolerated it for the third, and then I remember the exact moment I stopped watching it. It was the “Twin Peaks” episode, where about 15 minutes into the episode I just said to myself, “Self? I have had enough of this show, and I really hate the owner of Twin Peaks.”

Seriously there had been plenty of owners as the show wound itself out for me that I couldn't stand, but the owner of Twin Peaks was the one that finally did it. He was a jerk, a misogynist (and I don’t say that lightly, you can run a place that exploits women, but this guy was over the top) and I just hoped that nothing good would happen for this guy. I definitely didn't want to stick around for the end of a show I was slowly growing to hate, to see him be the benevolent dictator, like that show always seems to end. I really looked at this place as somewhere I would never want to go, where bad things were bound to happen.

Well apparently yesterday bad things happened at a “Twin Peaks” and although I am not leaving the perpetrators out of the equation I am not going to let a place run like a wild west whore house off the hook for in the end having a wild west whorehouse atmosphere. Two rival biker gangs managed to have a good old fashioned “shoot out” and 9 people ended up dead. I mean I am not for censoring things, I definitely don’t want to come off as a moral crusader, and I am perfectly fine with people spending their time how they want, but the “Twin Peaks” culture from the owner on down SHOULD be discussed in this whole ordeal in Waco Texas. Sue me!

I can’t get that television show with that smarmy little worm smugly explaining his business model, and the bad taste it left in my mouth. Yeah I realize that it is a very bad reason to write something, but I at the very least hope that someone throws a microphone in front of the benevolent dictator of Twin Peaks and asks him about it. Wriggly little worms deserve to squirm, and you can’t expect all press about your “ideals” to be good, especially when your ideals belong back in the mid nineteenth century. He obviously forgot an old saying in the life business which is a play on the restaurant business. You order shit, you eat shit.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Let's Talk About Rape

uprooted tree trunk with bits of dirt clinging to its' roots and rootlets. 

     The woman approaches the stage. Her cheeks are painted red and her eyes are glowing with something other-worldly. I hold my breath. I know this is going to hit me right in the gut. Give it to me, sister. I am ready.

     She warms up to her subject. The re-telling of her life gets more and more sordid and convoluted. The dam breaks and the lights shatter. "I was the one who decided to get into that van with those men," she said. "No one forced me to do that. I was responsible for my rape that night."

     Already I can feel myself collapsing inwardly. This I was not expecting. I was not ready. No one should have to be that brave. That strong. That needy. 

     I stare at the other members of the audience. I am the Other. Everyone else is nodding in approval. Some are clapping. I want to vomit. A guy passes me a piece of cake. Stuff the emotions downward. Something else to focus on. I lift up the sugary fakeness with a plastic fork. I don't enjoy the taste of it at all.

     Nine more minutes. People are smiling. Laughing. How could they? Let them who have the ears hear. I groan inwardly. Ain't nuthin' going to fix this. I focus on my breathing. On the walk I took with my dog and her doggie friend today in the woods. A purple trillium was blooming and the mayapples were busting out all over. 

     Seven minutes. A friend leaves. He is wiser than I am. I stay to witness the debacle. Why do I do this to myself? 

     A woman walks over to me and gives me her phone number. I glance at the name on the paper. She seems to think that I ought to remember her. "I'm working now," she says. "Odd hours. Call me." I stuff the paper into the pocket of my hoodie. "Sure." I glance at the name she has written down. Sheila. At her face. Never seen this woman before in my life. I will have to ask someone later. I am face-blind. My prosopagnopia seems to bother others a lot more than it bothers me. I've gotten used to it. It hasn't gotten any better but it hasn't gotten any worse either. 

     Three more minutes left in the performance. I know full well that there are people who are capable of manufacturing rape incidents out of their imaginations for their own twisted satisfaction or monetary gain. I have seen the results of such machinations up close. I despise people who manufacture their own victim-hoods. They are scum. They make a mockery of the human beings who are  real victims. The woman up on the stage is not making it up. What kind of society allows victims to claim responsibility for the actions of their predators?

     She spends her last minute talking about her triumphs. But it is too late. I am fried. Is that someone crying? I cannot tell in the profound darkness. The woman exits the stage. The applause is thunderous. I cannot join in. Broken, I sing my way home.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

The Journeyman Writer of Blog

I received my Google check the other day for the advertising on my blogs, and it got me to thinking that someday I may have to start thinking of myself as a business. Theoretically you have to make over $400 a year on your various schemes .. um .. I mean .. business ventures, and there is a good chance that this year I could do that. It would be a first, and that probably just made everyone who knows I have been blogging for ten years run for the exit out of here. Yes, it takes a very special person to get rich off of blogging and you aren’t reading one of them.

What’s probably worse, is that the “I am a writer, and blogging is a side gig,” crowd is about to get their balloons burst too. For me to pass that whopping $400 mark this year I have to add in my book sales revenue too. It’s been a banner month on that front as I have sold the second most amount of books as I have in any given month. That number would be 3, and it is eclipsed only by the month I sold 7, but then again 5 of those were to myself. You probably are wondering why I can be this honest about these things and it is because lying about it doesn’t do me any good.

Back to the theory I throw out there a lot and why I do so. I am a blogger who writes a lot, and it is a great hobby all things considered, because a lot of hobbies end up costing you money. All things totaled, even if you include the amount of money I paid for my website, the graphic design software that I use to keep it all in order, a few small upgrades o certain things et al, I have made enough money to pay for all of that. Now I am making gravy baby! Ok I am making peanuts, but again my hobby is free from this point on and more over I will probably make enough money along the way to buy more upgrades to my operation, maybe even a new tablet, as long as it is a cheap one.

Yeah forgive me for taking you on a scatter path through my scattered mind. Of all the things that my blogging, web design, and social media engineering has afforded me, you can throw in the friendship, the ability to help others, and even slather in a bit of laughs here and there. The best laughs come at my own expense. What I am really very proud of is the fact that other people seem to like my writing enough that they ask me to write for their blogs. Of course they could just be desperate, but that doesn’t mean I have to tell myself that. It’s just a hobby after all so taking it too seriously would make it a job. YUCK!

If you like this crap, you are the type of person I need. Come see the other crap I write over at TheWhacko.Com or don't, see if I care!

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

What I Earn Through Me and Others

It’s Tuesday morning, and like I do every Tuesday morning, I gather up all of the trash, and package it up for the garbage men to take it sometime after I go to work. Over the last few months this was quite the miserable task, freezing cold, fingers numb, icicle hanging off my nose, but today is beautiful out. The air is warm, there is a cool breeze flowing in from the west, and yes I am enjoying taking the garbage out. I earned this, and as I didn’t bitch about the snow, and I thoroughly enjoyed the great workouts shoveling it, I have now earned this beautiful weather in which I will take walks and enjoy wearing less clothing.

I’m sure people get really sick of my attitude. That Jeremy just brags about his health, talks about politics like he knows something, rambles on about history, and acts like he is the greatest blogger ever. I earn all that too, every day. I write, I go to the gym, I stay up on current events, and I read a lot of history. I keep a positive attitude because I have to. Deep down inside I am the most negative, miserable human being on the face of the earth. I was a miserable drunk, blacked out all the time, furious at the world and starting fights with everyone to get even with everyone for a miserable childhood. Boo Freaking Hoo. You are what your parents make you and if you choose to stay that way then BLAME YOU.

To be honest with you all, which is what this particular blog of mine is all about, I had to learn to turn my misery outward. No that doesn’t mean that I share my misery and transpose it on others, it means that I enjoy the misery of others especially if they bring it on themselves. Does it mean that I wish misery on others? Nope I wish everyone could be as happy as I am, but the fact of the matter is that most people won’t be more often than they can’t be, and I get a chuckle out of it simply because I am grateful that I am not that person anymore.

I just dealt with snow banks that were taller than myself the entire winter, and I did it with a SHOVEL not a snow blower. I was grateful for all of the exercise I got, and how healthy it made me feel. I was elated that I could actually do it and do it very good at that. I was grateful to all the people living down south who thought they were giving me a hard time, knowing that right about now as all my flowers are popping up, full of all that water that has been leaking steadily into the ground, they will be crying and complaining about droughts and heat. I am living a gorgeous day. I don’t care if it rains, the temperature goes through the roof, or falls into the cellar, and nobody can take that away from me, other than me.

Friday, 27 March 2015

We Don't Have a God Problem

Let’s share a broken record moment, just for the sake of those that haven’t read my past work, but I have said for years that whether you like the Bible or not, 2000 years ago it was the greatest survival manual ever written. There are a lot of things in the Bible that were written in the context of “rules handed down by a vengeful God” that when executed properly would extend your life. Kosher eating laws for example when viewed today are really nothing more than common sense based on the times. Eating a pig was a 50/50 proposition, if it wasn’t cooked properly, and by the standards of the time it wasn’t really possible. Milk and Meat mixed together created a deadly proposition, when you considered how the bacteria interacted, again 2000 years ago. Human sacrifice was EVERYWHERE, and it was monotheism that basically ended that.

Of course it is a 2000 year old book regardless of whether God had his scribes write it down or not, there were humans involved, and we are amazingly flawed creatures. It’s in the bible trust me. I am a HUGE fan of religious history. I have sat through seminars, does some schooling, read all the major religious writings. I’ve read the bible several times, the Qur’an a couple of times, the book of Mormon a couple of times, and the Hadith once. The Hadith was when I realized that I didn’t have to analyze everything; some things just are what they are. Every one of the religious texts (aside from Dianetics, L Ron Hubbard was a cut rate science fiction writer, no more no less) has some value, but of course some really bad ideas by today’s standards. I know, I can get into a biblical slap fight with the best of them.

2 Thessalonians 3:10 "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat." That is my favorite quote out of the entire Bible. It sums up the Christian work ethic that I like to think I have but more over it is another one of those life skills that progressives try to beat out of people. It also is important to know that one for when a progressive starts quoting all the places in the bible where we are supposed to feed and clothe the fat and lazy. That is where it rests in my mind and that is probably the furthest I will ever really use the bible to justify my behaviors.

The real problem in society is the way others use the religious works to justify their behavior. Some find reason to kill, some find reason to be intolerant, and others find reason to enslave. I find reason to remember that there is only one King, and that is God. You don’t have to call her God to get the point, but you have to accept that you are NOT the most powerful thing in the world. Again to the progressive mind set, where they refuse to admit that God placed an angel with a flaming sword in front of the entrance to Eden, to keep human kind OUT. Anyone that promises you a one way trip to Eden (Utopia) as long as they get to be in charge, I assure you is probably representative of an angel that fell from Heaven and is sitting down below waiting for your loyalty.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

My Name Is Jeremy And I Am What I Am

It took me a long time to admit that I was an alcoholic. The theory behind it was pretty sound. I drank too much, I made an asshole out of myself, burned a few bridges, passed out, woke up and started the whole sick cycle carousel all over again. This isn't anything strange if you have seen it and you aren't so codependent that you could justify it. No the “long time” aspect of the disease in general was due to the fact that I never had really finished myself off properly, and had to keep destroying my life, to finally get to where I needed to be.

Unfortunately where I need to be was 19 years old, living in a strange city and starting a new job that was beneath me or anyone else that wasn't at rock bottom. The hopelessness had to sink in and then I had to accept that I needed to fix me for nobody other than me. That sounds easy enough to most people, but there is where the problem of alcoholism lies, because we tend to not be most people, so the solutions to our problems as simple as they would appear to someone else is pretty damn difficult to us.

When you finally do get in tune with whatever form of self improvement you are working on, then you have to deal with your social inadequacies, or just add them to the list of excuses that you use to stay damaged. In my case I had to come to grips with the fact that everyone has feelings and emotions and just because I was an alcoholic didn't mean I cornered the market on them. I also had to realize that the way I dealt with feelings and emotions was completely and utterly self destructive. This made for a much greater set of problems that it took me many years to come to grips with. I liked to believe that I was the last person in line, while at the same time understanding that I thought I was the center of the universe.

This is where the humility came into it all for me. That “power greater than myself” whether I chose to call it God or anything else, wasn't just something to pull out of your bag of tricks when you needed someone or something to blame for why I was so screwed up. I was so screwed up because I used my free will to do things that were stupid. Pretty simple when you think about it, but to someone who considers themselves the center of the universe and placed no value on anything greater than them, it was a complicated issue, that required the humility to accept that I ain't all that.

This was where I finally had the chance to make something out of myself. Actually it was my first and perhaps last opportunity to make anything out of myself aside from a falling down, stinking, filthy drunk. In theory I was already pretty good at that, and again I hadn't even made it to a legal drinking age yet. Beyond the obvious my biggest issue was that there was never going to be enough alcohol to fix what I wanted to fix inside myself, and I was never going to stop trying to get there anyway. This was where I had to turn to God, because on the off chance that there isn't a God (which to me really isn't up for a debate) I did in the end realize that God helped me to stop drinking, and start on a path to a better life.

How could I come to this conclusion, in all of the haze that was the first few years of freedom from alcohol? The answer is pretty simple. God was the only entity that I asked for help, and actually did help me. In that aspect I don’t have to know that there is a God, or there isn't a God. The faith that I was able to be a better person, and grow both mentally and spiritually has very little to do with all of the “life” crap that has happened between now and then. I can have a bad day or a good day. I can wake up angry, sad, happy, confused, disheartened, furious, joyous or one of over a million ways, and that is only the beginning of the new day. It rarely ever ends the same way it started and I would have it no other way. Of course I wouldn't know any other way at this point, and for that I truly thank God.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Of God and Reality and Especially Both

Do you ever just find yourself completely consumed with the afterlife? I do quite often I am sad to say, and often my conversations with God would force some around me to question my sanity. As with anything else in our lives, the micro management of what time we do or do not have left on earth has got to enter into it now and again. Of course I do believe in a God of my own understanding, and probably more for scientific reasons than purely faith. I do have faith that there is something beyond all this, but on the other side of the coin I just don’t like a lot of scientific theory either.

When I was a child for example I was fed the company line of “the rain-forest will be gone in twenty years” and nearly forty years later the last Greenpeace mission to survey the Amazon rain-forests have yielded that about 3% are gone. It also yielded the founder of Greenpeace to quit, because he felt stupid over it all. This was “settled science” though when I was a kid and my children got the same load pressed on them. By pointing out to them that it had been more than twenty years since I had been told this only reinforced what the teachers are trying to get across. Daddy lies and he’s an idiot. That’s modern science for you folks.

There was that big bang theory that I was taught somewhere between 8 and 12 years old. It was also a fact and the only reason I don’t remember exactly what grade I was first taught this was because it was also the first time I really sat down and thought about scientific theory. It got lost in those years because I realized that it sounded stupid, and I was just going to stick to my guns on that one. I could even relate to some of the scientific reasoning for it but after it was all said and done, I wasn't going to proclaim Christians, idiots for having a theory which was equally as provable. See what I did there? I took something that someone else called science and then I turned it into what it really is, faith, and compared it to something else that we call faith, but at the same time can call impossible.

I really don’t know. To be honest with you there are a lot of holes in science that are either filled by a zealot, or left to be dis-proven over time. The big bang theory is one of these things, so now if you cling to the big bang theory you are officially in the same boat as monotheists. Theoretically they could both be right or wrong, but the only way that science can be settled is when you have proven with 100% certainty that all other possibilities are false. Good luck with that one on the really big issues like climate, the universe, or even the presence of God. If you can eliminate all other possibilities to any of these things with 100% certainty you are on another plain of science. Most of the time the person who claims settled science is merely lying, which would prove a scientific theorem that the most possible answer to any problem is also the most probable.

In the end if you take a person like Bill Maher or Richard Dawkins who are so sure of their knowledge that there is no God that they can mock those that believe in God, then you would have to place them in the category of “faith” based theory as well. Their “faith” just makes them feel better about themselves in the here and now just as my faith is a God makes me feel better in the here and now. I would like to say that if you live your life as a good person who believes in God, just to find out that there is no God in the end, have you suffered any? There are people out there that would say you have but in many cases it is some form of their own failings that they are projecting onto others. If you live your entire life as a good person who doesn't believe in God and find out in the end that there is one, have you suffered any? Probably not, but you didn't get to live your life believing that those that deserve to go to Hell actually do, like I did. I wonder if God hates that about me?

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

The Two Hands of Help

Ever go through your feed on whatever social networking you happen to frequent and see a lot of people whining and complaining about things you have talked about? I imagine that there are two trains of thought on this, and I have fallen victim to both of them. The one hand would get bitter because you pointed out a remedy to whatever ails the person sitting on the pity pot, and the other hand would smirk at how the person sitting on the pity pot ignored you when you pointed out the remedy that ails them. A better person than I would just comment on the post with the same remedy that you have pointed out before, but I only play a good person in blogs.

I’m willing to admit that I am a jerk, so I gave up on the whole trying to help the helpless. This doesn’t mean that when I say, or write, or point out things it falls on deaf ears. It actually doesn’t, and I happen to be grateful to the people that thank me for something I said, or give me updates on their progress from something I shared. I know differently, and there are certain people in this world that really don’t want help, they just want an audience. I have learned to enjoy the smirk, even if it translates into the misery of others at times. YOU HAVE TO DO THIS!

There are a lot of different types of people in this world folks. I can’t list all of them but a couple that need to be pointed out for the sake of sanity is “the needy” and “the helpful” which people get confused about. There are people who are genuinely needy and a hand up is all they need. They then take the opportunities and get on with their life, usually grateful for the assistance. Then there are those that are always going to be needy because it is in their nature, and all they do is suck the energy out of the helpful until there is no energy left for the genuinely needy. Hate to be blunt, but there is no honor in wasted effort.

If you don’t learn to dissociate from those that aren’t actually looking for help, and genuinely trying to live off of the pity of others then you will never have time. They are out there in spades, and it could end up being a Walking Dead episode in your own life. I hate to get biblical here but Jesus had a pretty good point when he said “Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead,” which has helped me through many a bad scenario of allowing my own pity to cripple me. The “life” experience which to me was concluded from that passage out of Matthew was, “Our job is to carry the message to the living.”

Above all else in your life, let me give you this. I learned a long time ago in meetings I sat through to deal with my own problems, where everyone remains anonymous, that you need to take care of you. You need to trust God or whatever entity you place in the position of being more powerful than you. You need to help others because that is what makes you a human being, and not a human doing, BUT you need to be realistic as to who needs help and who doesn’t. Place a price on your time and understand if someone deserves to use that time or not. Some people are worth a billion dollars worth of Jeremy, and others aren’t worth a dime. At least for the love of God figure out who treats you with the same respect of time and energy you would like to give to them, before you give it to them.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Score One for Big Jeremy

If you look back on your life do you believe that you have accomplished everything that you were born to accomplish? I mean I realize that the last thing anyone really saw themselves doing when they got older is what they are actually doing. When the obvious had hit me, somewhere around the age of 25 that I wasn't going to be a rock star, a movie star, a master theologian, or the myriad of other things I had explained responsibility away with. The restaurant jobs I had supplemented dreaming with, had to come to an end. Responsibility was never my strong suit, and believe it or not there is a lot more responsibility that goes with a services job than people give them credit for.

Of course my childhood was never plagued with the dreams of being an extruder operator, an electro-mechanical assembler, or even a welder which made up the 20s of my life. The 30s got more interesting for a bit when I tried my hands at building Aegis systems, robots, and ovens for the Asian soldering industry, but again, this wasn't a dream or a nightmare to the little me I left behind. Neither were three divorces, well OK maybe since that’s how famous people live,  but I had always wanted the children, just living in a mansion collecting royalties. Then again, I had at least established that I was a pretty good worker when I wanted to be by that time.

Believe it or not the first job I had actually settled into and accepted as my own fate was being a janitor. I was good at it, not much was expected of me, and I had a lot of time to goof off. Pretty sad if you think about it, but I definitely didn't expect it to accidentally lead into a job as an MRO (maintenance, repairs and operations) which is corporate speak for “I buy stuff.” Nope I think back to when I was picturing myself as the lead singer of the biggest band ever, or the multi-talented screenplay writer, who coincidentally starred and directed in the movies because it was too important to leave to anyone else, to even the recluse writing great novel after great novel, and this just wasn't in there.

Well let’s get to the other things that weren't on the radar. Never thought I would be a raging alcoholic before I even made it to 21. Didn't think I would be sober since before I was 21 either. Talk about an accomplishment but that is an absolute affront to my nature. Who knew I would still do a lot of the dumb crap alcoholics who are drinking do while I was sober? Well it makes for interesting tales anyway. Who would have thought I would love my stupid job buying crap? Well the person who recruited me to do it did, so I have to give him the kudos on that one, and of course my wife who gave me the gentle nudges too.

All in all, the little Jeremy wouldn't like the big Jeremy. Aside from the fact that little Jeremy was a dummy, he also didn't know that there was anything else out there other than being a rock star, a famous athlete, a movie star or even someone who had died at the age of 27 like all the famous people in the sixties seemed to do. The good news is that the big Jeremy likes the big Jeremy, and the big Jeremy also understands now that the little Jeremy didn't know squat.

Now for a shameless plug. If you like to read whacky stuff, from a whacko like this guy, you can always find the random crap that flows through his mind at TheWhacko.Com. Thanks for making it this far!

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

What Happened to Aye Aye?

I took the picture myself and added the caption with my legally obtained copy of  photo-altering software. You can save it to somewhere on your computer and re-upload it to anywhere on the Interwebz. Link backs are not necessary. If however, you are a copyright troll, your presence here is totally unappreciated. So go away and go bother someone else. No love for the DMCA.

Aayisha had been in the local x.a. meetings for many years. She went back out after six years or so and then came back in for six more years. She was a gentle soul, the only one of my friends who was willing to visit my dad at our house-- some friends were willing to have me bring him to their houses though-- and the three of us enjoyed some sun-tea on the back deck one afternoon. Aye Aye treated Dad like he was my dad. Not like he was my Dad with a terminal neurological disease that was eating his brain. Not like he was my Dad who was escaping from his former life. Just like a regular guy who happened to be here. She gave him a rare gift that day.

Aye Aye earned six years of abstinence in the rooms of x.a. the second time but then she found another way to remain free from active addiction. Unfortunately, the other way was an organization which had the characteristics of a manipulative religion. [A cult, okay? The new words that are supposed to describe "cult" just don't do it for me]. I suspected that we had lost her several years before another friend did. That hurt.

Even so, a few good times remained. But then she stopped returning phone calls or answering her door. We knew she was home. She just refused to answer the doorbell. We were broken-hearted but there was little we could do about that. 

This past summer, Aye Aye signed up for hospice services from the same place that helped my dad. She died in early February peacefully in bed with her family around her.

drama queen man: "Did you hear what happened to Aye Aye?" 

me (beginning to seethe): "No. What happened to Aye Aye?"

drama queen man: "She committed suicide and police found her body in her car."

me: "Oh really. Who told you that?"

drama queen man: "Some guy told me. And he ought to know."

my housemate: "Huh?"

me (to housemate): "Information without names is bullshit."

drama queen man: "Her picture was in the paper and everything."

me: "Her picture was in the paper next to her obituary. Aye Aye was receiving hospice services. She died. At home. In bed. With her family around her."

drama queen man: "Wella--"

me: "If you spread that around, I will be very angry. And it isn't true besides. She did not kill herself."

drama queen man: "Oh you know me. I wouldn't do that."

But he was willing to make the claim to me. I guess he didn't realize that Aye Aye and I had ever been friends.

sapphoq itching for a coffee says: Before you open your fat mouth in the rooms of recovery or anywhere else about what you know, think is true, or what someone else "told" you, please consider your motives. Gossip is ugly.
Sometimes we do things to each other, in spite of our abstinence. Don't make my burden heavier because you want people to think who you are ergo you spread false information around.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

An Indictment

     Recently, several of my close associates have gone back out. People with time measured in years, not months. People who were doing all the stuff that people in recovery are told that we must do in order to keep on keeping on. People who were working steps, had service commitments, went to meetings, used their sponsors, read the literature, took care of themselves, lived up to their responsibilities, had deeply held religious beliefs and practices to match.

     So far, they were all lucky enough to make it back into the rooms of recovery. So far, they are all staying in. So far, so good. 

     They all have said it is a struggle to remain clean now. More of a struggle than before. They have had various consequences for their relapses. What those consequences are is of no importance to anyone reading this blog post. None of them "got away with it."

     I had my lapsing and relapsing during the first nine months of my attendance at x.a. meetings. Then I began to understand that I had to quit all of it and not just the drugs that I perceived of as having been or helped to create the biggest problems in my life. So I did. I got honest. [Unlike my buddies, I was not honest about what drugs I was still taking during those first nine months]. I started over.  Starting over was tough. Staying away from all of the drugs was much more difficult for me than staying away from some drugs.

     There is something here I've been thinking about a lot. We-- at least here in the United States-- really do not know enough about how to treat addicts in the throes of their addiction. Most of the addiction treatment industry organizations here are heavily dominated by twelve step approaches and philosophy with bits of pop psychology and pseudo-religion thrown in.

     The stats from the rehabs that are honest about the results of treatment via long-term follow-up are dismal. I've heard various percentages ranging from ten percent on up through thirty-three percent. One in three down to one in ten will remain abstinent. The other figure I've heard tossed around is one in four will relapse some percentage of the time and therefore are declared to be "improved."

     These figures ought to be unacceptable. They certainly are unacceptable to me.

     The best that professionals in our country can offer is "Well, some of you will be dead. Some will bounce in and out. A very few of you will remain clean." 

     But meanwhile

...if you relapsed, then your program or the way that you worked the program sucked or wasn't good enough.

...if you relapsed, then you quit going to meetings or didn't go to enough meetings or got disconnected from meetings even if you were going to meetings.

...if you relapsed and killed yourself, then you weren't working the program and forget all the foolishness about whether or not you had a separate disorder that has suicidal ideation as a prominent feature.

     Furthermore, your relapse had nothing to do with 

...our treatment protocol, 

...our failure to give you culturally competent treatment, 

...our failure to screen you for other disorders, 

...our failure to help you determine what support systems you want to use in order to not use again after you leave us, 

...our failure to recognize that x.a. programs may not be the best way to go for everyone,

...our failure to lobby for more research into the best ways to treat people with addiction, especially if some of those ways just might include stuff other than a twelve step philosophy.

     Beside that,

...One quasi-religious group is heavily involved in the addictions treatment industry for adults as well as in prevention programs for school kids. The adults are treated with mega-doses of certain vitamins and exposure to the group's ideology. The kids pledge not to use drugs and are also given links to certain websites where they too will be exposed to the group's ideology.

...a certain troubled teen industry group whose founder and staff are predominantly of a certain religion are heavily involved in the addictions treatment industry for teens. Those teens are lumped in with all the other "troubled teens" in their residential schools hell pits of torture.

I am not a fan of the quasi-religious group nor am I a fan of those places where staff go beating on kids and throwing them into extended periods of isolation and otherwise severely mistreating them.

     We are at a crossroads and we don't even know it.

sapphoq itching for another coffee says: People are complex. The etiologies behind addictions are multi-factorial. By subscribing to total immersion into the twelve steps and x.a. culture, the majority of the organizations involved in the addictions treatment industry are failing to recognize that more ways of treating addicts seeking relief from active addiction need to be researched and developed.
     By failing to do so, other organizations which are not noted for their honesty or humane practices will step in to fill the void. These other organizations claim to have better outcomes. We don't call them on their dishonest stats for fear of litigation or because we figure they are the experts or perhaps we've learned we ought not to criticize those agencies which are religious in nature.
     Because we fail to broaden our scope and we fail to demand ethical research into other more efficient ways to treat addicts in order to yield more successful outcomes, addicts will die. Addicts who could have been saved if only we knew more about how to treat them. Period.



Saturday, 3 January 2015

Dealing with Death in Recovery

     Dad died on Christmas Eve holding my hand. I am truly at peace with his passing. He was sick for a very long time.  Some folks in the rooms have asked me, usually before a meeting, "How's your father?"

     "He's dead," I tell them. I don't know why that answer [seems to, an any rate] creates a bit of discomfort. Whether there is an afterlife or not [and I don't think there is one], my father is out of it now. He no longer has to force himself to function when it's easier to just allow the dementia to take over. He no longer has to deny arthritic pain or hide his ever-decreasing short term memory. He no longer has to fight to stay awake and interested in his surroundings.

     I've been at twelve step meetings where the topic was coping with the death of someone. When I experienced the loss of a grandfather three months into my own recovery [and was still a believer in divinity], I brought up that topic myself. The usual platitudes were offered to me. Y'll know the ones I mean...
          He's in a better place now.
          You'll see him again.
          Using won't fix the pain.
     and others which basically boil down to the same thing: The loss of someone near and dear to you is not permanent. It's a very long temporary, that's all.

I made this myself. You can save it to someplace in your computer and upload it to anywhere on the interwebz. I don't care. Credit and link back to here are not necessary. Copyright trolls are not welcome here. If you are one, go away now please.

     There is a hegemony of Christian cultures in the United States. That gets tiring to me at times yet quite frankly, I think there are worse kinds of religious cultures that could predominate. Yeah, modern Christianity has produced the Westboro crew and the fake healers [someone please explain to me though why it is that there aren't any modern verified reports of said televangelists via their g-d giving amputees new limbs. See: http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/  and
http://www.christianforums.com/t6986184/  and
http://rantsandrage.com/2011/05/01/god-hates-amputees/  and
http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/why_wont_god_heal_amputees.html  and
https://twitter.com/hashtag/godhatesamputees?f=realtime  to get the gist of my question]. I understand that a large majority of modern day Christians do not stand with the Westboro folks or with those preachers who are frauds. I'm saying that for all the good that modern Christianity has done, there is also some not so good. There are degrees and percentages of good and bad in all social, political, economic, religious, and bowel movements. 

     When people wish me a Happy Christian Holiday, I warmly wish them the same. When people tell me that they are praying for me or my dad, I warmly thank them. My believer friends are not out to get me, convert me, or inflict massive butt-hurt upon me personally by wishing me a Happy Christian Holiday or by expressing their concerns by letting me know that they are remembering me in their prayers. If I sneeze, a polite "G-d bless you!" ought not be a reason for a war. I'm too fricking old to fight every battle that presents itself to me. Some of those battles are not worth fighting. I leave some of the ones that are worth fighting to the younger folks coming up behind me. Because you see, I am old. I have to conserve my strength and energy.

     I've gotten off the main point of this blog post already. Didn't take long at all. Okay then. Nuff.

     I came into the rooms believing. Through the years, I've lost my faith and had to grapple with the realization that I am ipso facto an atheist. I tried to disguise this particular turn of events for a long time by hiding under the umbrella of some sort of quasi-pantheism or quasi-animism. There are either bunches of spirits around who really aren't gods or perhaps there is divinity in everything from cancer cells to cockroaches and beyond. When those things became too intellectually discordant for me to bear, I gave up. 

     As a non-believer with quite a bit of time abstinent from active addiction, I chose not to bring up my dad's demise as a topic at any of the twelve step meetings I attend. Why?

          1. I don't want to use over it.
          2. I accept death as permanent.
          3. I lost one person. My dad lost everyone.

     Here are a couple other reasons why I didn't bring it up as a topic:

          1. I have the benefit of a huge support system: my actual friends [not the many acquaintances] both inside and outside of the rooms, professionals, a few selected relatives, and hospice.
          2. Some folks in the rooms [just like some folks who don't need to be in the rooms] tend to discount feelings or distance themselves from uncomfortability by remarking upon the supposed transient nature of loss and that's simply not where I'm at. 
          3. A few people in the rooms tend to feed on other peoples' stuff. I'm not into, "Oh you poor thing! How are you feeling? Are you alright?"  I'm way beyond that sort of thing.

I made this myself. You can save it to someplace in your computer and upload it to anywhere on the interwebz. I don't care. Credit and link back to here are not necessary. Copyright trolls are not welcome here. If you are one, go away now please.

     The facts are simple. My father is dead. Through my direct advocacy, the caring concern of various professionals and other helpers, and hospice, my dad had a good death. He was kept as comfortable and as free from pain and anxiety as possible. I was with him when he died. Dad died holding my hand and smiling. I miss my dad however there is no way that I would want him to live any longer than he did given his failing brain and progressive physical debilitation. Dad is gone, yes. He left a lot of love behind. And that is truly awesome.

I made this myself. You can save it to someplace in your computer and upload it to anywhere on the interwebz. I don't care. Credit and link back to here are not necessary. Copyright trolls are not welcome here. If you are one, go away now please.