spending too much time online

Posted: 03/16/2011 in Uncategorized

The internet I enjoy is full of all kinds of people. I generally try to keep (online) company of people I whom my maker would approve of. This is assuming he approves of anything I, or any of us do. So, that point is debatable all by its self I guess. Anyways, I have found a spot that allows anybody to digress to the maturity of an 8th grader.
You see, in most spots I have found online, there are varying levels of personal interaction. Facebook, is fairly personal. Most people have family pictures on there, share personal information, and are linked in with family and friends. That leads people to generally behave as they would in real life. You wouldn’t post anything you wouldn’t normally say to someones face, all is there for your mom to read.
Myspace was a bit less personal, in that it was (I say “was” because no one really uses it anymore) harder to find friends, and keep up on the posts of other people. Who knows, maybe that has changed.
If you take something like a blog, thats far less personal. People can create one with a anonymous name, and post whatever stuff they want. I have stumbled upon a few that are basically completely offensive. But – That is their right I suppose. Blogging is for whatever you feel like putting on here. However, it is not very social. You see, that blog I found offensive has to get traffic in order to offend somebody. If they dont blog constantly, they are not going to have a lot of traffic. I dont blog too much, and I dont blog about controversial topics, so my traffic is pretty low. Dont worry, my heart is not broken.
But alas, I have found a spot that combines the social network needed to be seen by a lot of people, with total anonymity. It is the Rants and Raves section on Craigslist. If you have never used CL, its basically the classified section of your newspaper, online, but WAY better. Anyways, on the R&R section (found on the bottom of the personals section) you can find people complaining about anything, insulting anybody, and picking online fights with other posters. The Detriot R&R is particularly bad. Its full of people posting racist and tastless stuff. Yes, I know what you are thinking, and yes, I am guilty of going there a bit more than I should. Its the “car accident” effect.
My point is, I find it amazing how people get mean and immature when they have a venue in which there is a lot of traffic, and you can remain completely anonymous. Theres something to be said for the nature of our society. Thats all I have to say. Just making an observation.

Sweet land of Slavery

Posted: 03/04/2011 in Uncategorized

My the world has been rather interesting as of late. The situation(s) in Egypt and other countries are a bit unnerving to me. It appears the people there want to ditch the dictatorship for a democracy. I sure hope they aren’t looking at ours for any kind of example.
*Caution: A semi-paranoid, anti-government rant is about to begin*
The Tea Party movement has been catching a lot of steam lately. They seem to stir up some kind of sleeping emotions in people, as if we have been asleep at the wheel while our government has been cruising along ruining our country. I think they are just taking advantage of overall unhappiness with the way things are going. Funny thing though, the Tea Party members are of the same ilk than the same people they claim to be so different from. Democrats, Republicans, Tea Party members, whatever label you want to slap on them, its more lies and deceit being crammed down our throats. Its been happening for a long time. LONG time. This country was founded on lies being crammed down our throats.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. – Thomas Jefferson

LOLOLOL!!! This from a SLAVE OWNER!! We are all created equal huh? Good one. Notice how its really hard to come across the word “Slave” or “Slavery” or “Slave Owner” or anything else “slave” related in the U.S. Constitution, yet our founding fathers had slaves, and our country was built on their backs. It was never their intention that all men were created equal, they meant all white men were created equal.
From the first moment our country was born, the government was full of slave owners, and not much has changed. Yes, we aren’t chained up, we may be “free”, but don’t kid yourselves. We are slaves none the less. Go and try to be a politician… its not that easy. You will need money, and lots of it. You cant win a seat on your local school board without shoveling out thousands of dollars to get a chance at getting there. To get elected to anything meaningful, it takes millions. They like it that way, they keep it that way. Money equals power. Money only equals power as long as the few have the money. Thats what makes them powerful, and they know that. Our founding fathers knew that. Our founding fathers intentionally left the slavery issue out of our constitution. They left a lot of things out of it. The Constitution as a vague document ensures that those with the power can keep the power by interpreting the laws to suit their own needs. It’s vague by design. Our founding fathers were racist, not stupid.
Just about every culture has had slaves. It’s just that here in our young America, they were predominantly African American. On top of that, they were treated more poorly than slaves in other civilizations. Slaves in Latin America were allowed to marry. Not Here. Anyways, our founding fathers left slavery out of the constitution not because they were hiding something, but because they never thought slavery would end!! They assumed (I am assuming) that in the year 2011, white people would still be owning slaves. They would be disappointed to know that now, only the government owns them.
Thats what makes me laugh when people talk about how this country’s government isn’t what our founding fathers intended it to be. As if our government has gone astray from the ideals this country was built on. I would argue, its pretty damn close. In fact, our government has actually done a superb job of adapting to the changes in this country!!!!!!! Our government has found a way to survive and thrive in a country where all the people believe they are free. They still have all the money, still have immunities from persecution the average citizen doesn’t (Congressman Charlie Rangel D-NY cones to mind), still have the power to control who gets to run for election, who gets to be on the ticket, thus insuring their continued reign of power. The slave owners have endured the test of time. Just as this culture looks nothing like the culture that created this country….. this culture’s slaves look nothing like the slaves of old either. Todays slaves pay their master through illegal taxes. Todays slaves are allowed a piece of land, unless their Master needs a highway built. The slaves today “vote” for all the Master’s kind. No? Whens the last time a Ironworker made it to the Senate? How many Represent are ex-Janitors? ZERO.
And this is the government model we shove onto other countries. We look at our constitution and see the words “God” and “free” tossed around and we all line up to march to the Pied Piper – Blind to our destination. We are deaf to the sound of reason, hearing only the sweet melody of the Pied Pipers music, we believe what we are taught as children: The lies in the textbooks, the lies from our government, the lies in our Constitution. The lies this country was built upon.

i am thinking

Posted: 01/25/2011 in Uncategorized

Today I was reading a blog post from another believer titled Is Faith Imagined and it got me thinking about some thoughts that pop into my head from time to time. Imagination is a powerful thing.
I love the movie The Matrix. I can’t imagine any of my few readers haven’t seen it, but the storyline basically floats around the idea that we are all asleep, living in a virtual world, and serve as batteries for the machines that keep us in that virtual world (I apologize for the bad grammar, way too many commas here). It makes you think that maybe the world isn’t as it seems, maybe you have been asleep your whole life, oblivious to what the real world is like.
One bizarre thought that I kick around once in a while, is what if I am actually alone? Could I be the only being here on Earth, all the rest of the people controlled by God, just puppets for me to interact with? This would keep me (The only one with free will) from causing someone else to sin. In some parallel Universe, my wife is in her own world. She’s the only one with free will in that one. In yet another Universe, you are the one with free will. Billions of Universes, with all of us in our own little “Interview” to see if we can cut it in life, isolated so we infect no-one with our sin.
Our love for others would not be wasted, as I believe God permeates everything, the object of our love would eventually get the message, and in the next life, all the real people probably wouldn’t be the wiser anyways. In fact, the next life is probably so drastically beyond what we can imagine, we won’t think much of this life anyways.
Another thought – Perhaps I was a small infant who tragically died. This reality I live in now, is a “make-up” for the life I never got to live out. You see, I often wonder what happens of young children who tragically perish. Perhaps even they get a real chance at life. Maybe I was one of those, and I am living out that second chance here and now.
Think about it!!

First paraniod rant of the year…..

Posted: 01/17/2011 in Uncategorized

This whole thing over in Tunisia has got me thinking in a crazy apocalyptic way. I know, you never know when the end is coming, some say you can. I guess I think that there may be signs of the end, but I don’t jump to conclusions either. I didn’t think that the world was going to seize up at the turn of the century. I don’t but into that whole 2012 Aztec calendar thing. However, Tunisia is interesting in that we haven’t really seen a overthrow like that, in that region, in a while. I mean, the freakin people are setting themselves on fire, rioting, its nuts over there.
In case you aren’t on the up and up with the news, theres more too. The neighboring countires have crowd management issues as well. It seems, the people are not happy living under crazy dictatorships. Can’t say I blame them. Perhaps this goes against my apocalyptic theory, after all, a crazy dictator is needed to start the whole endgame anyways.
But – The world works in crazy and mysterious ways. Strange things happen all the time.
Then I got to thinking about a comment a friend made a week ago or something regarding his expectations regarding the end. He likens it to the Exodus of the Hebrews out of Egypt. You see, that was the only time in history, where God really goes off and does crazy stuff. There were frogs everywhere, locusts, people running around with boils on em. River turns to blodd, you know the story. Nowhere else in the Bible, does God really do such vast and spectacular things. The flood was impressive (For those of us who take that literally), but that wasn’t in the same league. The people just saw it rain, and rain, and rain, then they drown. The plagues in Egypt were HUGE, public dispalys of Gods mighty power. This was done to bring his people to the promise land in a blaze of glory.I agree with my friend, that in the endtimes there will be a similar display, because it will be another exodus, one of us believers out of this world.
Whats that gonna look like? I don’t think anyone really knows, but I imagine when the you-know-what hits the fan, hopefully we will recognize whats happening. Should make for a pretty good show right?

J.M.’s 30 Day Shred

Posted: 01/11/2011 in Uncategorized

Its not in your face, its in my muscles. Its CPK, and lots of it. Yesterday the wife and I started Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, and shred it indeed did. I guess it doesn’t help that I am a tad out of shape. I’m 5’11”, about 185 lbs, so I’m not REALLY out of shape. However, last week we started a co-ed volleyball league with a bunch of Nazarenes, and the game was pretty rough on me. So, I had to start working out.
So – Yesterday, we started this workout regiment. My wife has hand weights, but I didn’t. So we got 2 milk jugs, and filled them with water to serve as my hand weights. That was a bad idea, today my bicepts are killing me. Or, maybe it was a good idea, no pain no gain right? The video has us doing cardio and weight training, and is pretty fast paced. Oh, this is only level 1 (3 levels total), and level 1 has kicked my butt. I’m not a wuss, but I am sore, and as I type this, the wife is sliding the DVD back in for todays workout. Ohhhhhhhhhhh. I guess I better post this and get back to more pain!!

Walking in me Ex’s shoes

Posted: 01/01/2011 in Uncategorized

I’m in a bit of a depressed mood right now (what a way to start the New Year), so maybe writing will make me feel better. I just sent Lexi back to her mom, and it’s hitting me hard this time. For those of you unfamiliar with my kid/custody situation, here’s the nutshell version:

11 years ago, I had a kid with my now Ex, named Alexis. We broke up soon after. After 2 years, there was some crazy drama, and I ended up with full custody. Fast forward to last year about this time, and I was going through a bit of drama myself. Feeling that my situation was a tad unstable, combined with the fact that I sensed my kiddo wanted to go live with her mom, I let her go, signing over custody.

Now your pretty much caught up. There was a ton of crazy stuff that happened, it’s not that I don’t want to share it, but in the spirit of brevity I keep things short.

The thing is, last year I moved a fair distance away from my Ex. About 120 miles. This makes it very difficult to spend time with her. This summer, she apent most of it with me. I had her last spring break. This Thanksgiving break, I had her too. At the conclusion of that visit, when I drove her back to meet with her mom, it was really hard on me. As I drove the 2 hours back home, all I could think about was the crazy series of events that led to me giving her up. Mile after mile, I thought about what I could have done differently as to keep her, or change my situation as to not have had to give her up. Hindsight truly is 20/20.

This Christmas break, I had her for a week once again. This time my parents came up, and we had a good week of visiting with each other. Today, my parents took her back to her mom, on their way back home. This was the toughest “separation” yet. I guess at some point, the level of heartache should plateau, giving me some relief.

One thing that gives me some solace, is that fact that my Ex had to go through this heartache for years. Maybe solace is the wrong word, perhaps sympathy is better. Hard to feel sympathetic right now though. But, at least I now know how she felt. Its hard to get that point of view when we were fighting over custody, or fighting over anything. I knew she wanted her kid back, but I never really understood how she felt. If this is how she felt, then I do feel bad for her now. Sad thing is, in the situation we are in, someone will always be left hurting. Oh well, thats life.

My Partner in Crime

Posted: 12/23/2010 in Uncategorized

The man, the myth, the legend

Allow me to introduce… Dwayne Whitman, my partner in crime. He also serves as father-in-law, boss, and friend. Ive know the guy since 1999, when I first met my wife. We always got along, but due to the fact that I lived 120 miles from him, we never got really close. Flash forward to last year, when we found ourselves living just a mere 7 miles away from him. That, compounded by the fact that I am laid off, we soon started spending time together.

Our bromance began with mowing lawns, and doing property maintenance. This helped pass the summer months by, put a few bucks in my pocket, and allowed us to become good friends. As fall approached, we concocted the idea of me getting a plow truck. You see, he has plowed snow for 30 years. Due to the fact that he drives a school bus, and he is (was) a one-man-show, he was going to give up some nice accounts due to time constraints. Thus, we began dreaming of what it would be like to have a plow truck for me, to go into business with him for the winter. BOOM! One month later… I have a plow truck. And the rest is history. Awwwwww

Sometimes I make up an excuse to go over to his house. “Honey, I need to swap out an alternator on the truck”, or “Baby, we have to mess with our scrap pile (see earlier post)”. Sometimes, he makes up weak excuses, so we can waste away the hours tinkering on our trucks. We actually like working on our trucks. When you have old plow trucks like we do, there seems to always be something that needs fixing. Man, do we need a garage!

Looking forward, we have some other ideas we would like to explore, as well as some ideas of my own (Mom – Im talking about you:)). Perhaps if these ideas come full circle, I will have some other interesting tid bits to further enlighten you on. Until then, I will keep praying for snow… at least 2 inches at a time!!!

Eggs over easy, and a Jack and Coke Please…

Posted: 12/19/2010 in Uncategorized

Well, we here in Michigan have finally turned the corner. We are finally allowed to buy Liquor on Sunday morning. Thats right, no more waiting until noon to grab your self a bottle of booze (for those drunks too lazy to stock up Saturday night). Having not yet read a complete story on the issue, I suppose this post may be a bit premature, but I have some spare time on my hands.

The Sunday sales rule has always seemed a bit odd to me. Previously, we could not purchase booze from 2am Sunday, until noon on Sunday, not 7am like the other days. Why was this? The only answer I can think of is to preserve the sanctity of the Holy Day. This doesn’t quite hold water either, so its OK to get hammered on the 2nd half of the Holy Day? We only need a Holy Morning?

I have heard that there are communities that are going to do their best to keep the ban in place. I guess they are taking the moral “high road” by keeping their God fearing people sober until the football game starts. Just seems a bit self serving to me. One would think that there should be no Sunday sales at all, but I guess thats not the direction our morals are going anyways.

The Marlboro Man

Posted: 11/29/2010 in Uncategorized

This is a re-post of a Craigslist post under the Rants and Raves section. There has been a long running debate (I’m using that term VERY loosely) about the smoking ban here in Michigan. Like other states, smoking is banned in public businesses such as restaurants and bars. The insults go back and forth from anonymous keyboard warriors here in mid Michigan. This one was from a guy who calls himself the Marlboro man… thought it was funny, so I am pleased to share it with you.

Why I smoke…………

I smoke because I am an environmentalist. There are three main reasons why smoking helps the environment.

Think about it. Cigarette butts have fiberglass or other insulating material as filters. If you analyze a bird’s nest in the spring you will see that the parent birds often use these cigarette butts to line their nests as a form of insulation. It helps keep the baby birds warm. We really ought to change the old saying “snug as a bug in a rug” to “snug as a baby bird in a butt-lined nest”. Not as catchy but certainly more truthful. Since many birds are on the endangered species list, I’m sure my amount of smoking (and consequent cigarette butt distribution) has helped save or prolong the life of at least one of those near-extinct wonders of nature. That is reason one.

Secondly, since I inhale, every exhale releases carbon monoxide as a byproduct (chemical symbol CO – one Carbon atom, one Oxygen atom) into the atmosphere. Eventually, this carbon monoxide “floats” up to the upper atmosphere and some of it combines with the ozone layer (ozone is chemical symbol O3). The ozone combines with this carbon monoxide into a chemical reaction that releases the more stable atoms of carbon dioxide (chemical symbol CO2) and pure oxygen (chemical symbol O2). Carbon dioxide is required by plants to manufacture chlorophyll and thus grow (or some such
science mumbo-jumbo – anyway plants need it). Ergo, I am contributing to the greening of the world and helping to prevent the deforestation going on in certain underdeveloped (as well as developed) countries. A side effect is that more pure oxygen is now available which slows down the rate at which this natural resource becomes depleted because of overpopulation.

Thirdly, since my carbon monoxide exhale is depleting the ozone layer (combining to make carbon dioxide and pure oxygen – remember), it helps to close the hole in our atmosphere attributed to ozone. Many scientists attribute this “ozone hole” to being a major contributor to the skin cancer rate in countries below the equator (and some scientists even say it contributes to skin cancer above the equator). So by depleting the
ozone layer I am helping to close the insidious “ozone hole” and therefore I am helping prevent this form of cancer.

So now you understand why I smoke – I am an environmentalist.

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT LATELY?

Scrapping For Dummies

Posted: 11/10/2010 in Uncategorized

After several inquiries about what exactly scrapping is all about, I’ve decided to spare a little time and give out some guidance. Theres nothing worse than being in the scrap yard, and seeing people throwing away their money. Theres a science to this, its not all dumpster diving you know. Scrapping is the collection of various metals to recycle them, and get paid in the process. Theres two ways to scrap, fast money, and slow-but-free money. Lets begin:

Now thats a pile of money

Fast Money Getting a good find is the best. Since weight is the key in scrapping, a good find is usually a junk car. Since the price of tin is about $200/Ton, and a nice size car/van/truck is roughly 4000 pounds, thats $400 cash. You will need a title, if there is no title, you need to go to your local DMV and get with them for a salvage title. Some places will give it to you, some may want the cops to fill out a portion of it, but thats what needs to happen. Second, you either need to take off the gas tank, or have a hole drilled in the bottom, and the antifreeze drained out.
Now, $400 sounds good, but if you just roll it in there, you are throwing away money. You need to cut off the catalytic converter. Its between the muffler and the engine… and its worth between $50 – $100. Then, you need to cut out the radiator, theres aluminum in there… might be good for another $20 – $40. Dont forget the battery, theres another $10. Next, take a pair of snips and cut out all the various wires everywhere, ball it all up, and turn that in. Usually, you can get $1.50/LB…. say 10 Lbs of wire gets you $15. So… $400+$100+$40+$10+$15 is $565… for about an hours work, you get an additional $165. Tomorrow, me and the father in law are going to buy a van for $300, then scrap it. Fast money.

Slow-but-Free
This kind of scrapping takes a bit more work. You need to look for ANYTHING metal in peoples garbage, or hit up businesses dumpsters after hours. Appliances are always good. Find a dryer, cut out the motor, cut out the wiring, store it in the back yard. You need to get a good pile of stuff going. Air conditioners, metal lamps, brake rotors, lawn chairs, bed frames, christmas lights, lawnmowers, stoves, iron benches, exercise equipment, aluminum boats, aluminum siding, copper piping, any kind of engine, any misc. pipes, cast iron benches, boat propellers, dumbell weights, car batteries, swing sets, you name it, its scrappable.

Its a habitual thing. As you drive around doing your normal daily routine, keep your eyes peeled. On the night you put out your garbage, drive all around the neighborhood, and look for people putting stuff out to the curb. When you drive to work, find out what day their trash day is, then drive around there before you go home. Out late at night? Stop by a Midas or AutoZone and peek in their dumpsters. Might be a muffler in there… I’ve picked mufflers up on the side of the road before. Point is, keep collecting, and piling it up in your garage, or back yard. As you collect, separate the metals. Lets take an example… an old air conditioner.

First, you need to release the compressed freon in the lines that run through the compressor to both coils. One way to do this is bashing a hole in the lines with a hammer, or using snips to nip a line. Be careful, it will go spraying out of there, so watch your face. Then, cut both coils out, they are a mixture of copper and aluminum. Store that in your aluminum pile (Along with your lawn chairs- Most of them are aluminum, and you already cut the fabric off, and poked all the rivets out with a hammer and screwdriver). Next, cut off the motor, not shown, but its between the fan and the blower. Put that in the pile of motors you took out of your dryers and washing machines. Next, take off the compressor, and put that with the compressors you chopped off the fridge and that chest freezer you found. The casing of the air conditioner its self is just tin, and goes with the bed frame and swing set.

Parting out is key, do it to everything. The AC alone will get you $3 by its self. Chop it up, and you get about $10 – $15, depending on the size of the coils… the older the unit, the better. And collect as much as you can, when you can, for 1 month. Then go and turn it all in for cash. Its fun, and free. You can get online to a lot of scrap yard websites, and they list the prices of what each item is currently worth, and if your not sure about something, Goggle it, or drop me an email or something. Its definitely worth it, and it actually becomes addictive. I look foreward to driving around, its like gambling… you lose a lot of the time by not finding stuff, but when you come across stuff… its exhilarating!!!