Look, this is just a blog.  I write with little regard to proper technique or rules of grammar, i'm basically an untrained novice writer who starting blogging as a form of therapy once the covid-era began, and my livelihood changed forever... eventually i split up this web-site to have a section geared toward my political opinions and complaints, and another one for my philosophical and religious opinions, but this page is just the blog part... with that said--I write for my own mental-health, as history for my family, and for anyone else that cares to read... i like to consume information, process it for a bit, and regurgitate while connecting some useful patterns; and, i complain a lot, too, the Reader should understand that i'm a world-class complainer... respectfully yours, chris.

 August 2023
08-31-23:  where did august go, it's packing up, to make room for september--a month with it's own pollens and air-borne irritants, a month with cooler nights, crisp mornings, and remarkable skies... a new month where trees sport new colors, where new fungi appears throughout the yard and the woods, where migratory avian start making travel plans, the local farms and orchards are welcoming different crops, school kids are wiping the snot off of summer memories and schedules, and are smacked in the face with scholastic-schedules, and parents are adjusting their routines too... a month of memories--good, bad, and indifferent--where summer-sports are readying for championship rounds, and the winter and autumn athletes are honing/perfecting their craft for a new season of opportunity, and the winter sports are finishing their training camps... a month to celebrate less humidity, air-conditioning and electric-bills, where the coastal states talk of storm-season, and the last big-one that hit, and the northerners are splitting and stacking the firewood prepping for cold... i dunno know about you, but i like septembers in rockingham county, the weather is usually gorgeous, but, in years past, they were full of back-to-school transitions/routines/schedules, new classes for hobbies/interests/activities/outlets to sign-up for (and budget)... a month where a few summer routines continue--and taper, but preparations for what lay ahead are the order of the day... september is the same, but different from august... there is a subtle change of season, but mostly a change of routine and schedule for migrants, educators and students, farmers and aggies, for tourist-towns, and for recreators and vacationers... summer is about over in the northern-hemisphere, the folks below the equator are beginning to thaw, and dream of beach-going/vacationing/recreating, of warmer-weather, of spring's yellowing buds, and thoughts of the vibrant greens that will adorn the deep blue skies, of a warming sun, and longer days...
... august had it's challenges, but it was beautiful, full of fruits/veggies/berries and other rewards... august was special in many ways, and now one foot is exiting the back-door, making way for september... a new month with new opportunities, crops, weather, schedules, stressors, smiles... we've had some great times August, let me give you a hug good-bye, we'll cycle back to each other before you know it, eleven months may seem like a long time, but at my age it'll feel like tomorrow... God speed August, September awaits. -- ct
08-30-23:  got a little bit of gun-therapy today, not much, i need to buy more parts before i can move any projects along, and, after the car insurance quote i received today, it's folly even considering budgeting money to further them along, but i did order a couple of little parts that will make a little dent in two projects... one is an AR that's dedicated to the famous 7.62x39 AK rounds, and then the 300blk pistol-sized AR... i'm gonna use some old lowers that i de-commissioned years ago, and make those projects complete guns, as opposed to just dedicated 'upper-receivers'--which is what my original plans were, so, just messing around with those two lower-receivers provided some decent gun-therapy today, if i have a crush-washer, and an end-plate with it's castle-nut i could have had a longer session, just a couple of small parts to hold-up progress  :-)   --   ct
08-29-23:  stretching the gimpy wrist right now, there is some scar tissue developing under the skin close to the incisions, it looked like it tripled in size since yesterday, but, i guess the size illusion is because the wrist just got more flexible today, and the scarring gets pushed-up and more pronounced/noticeable when it's stretched. it sort of freaked me out earlier today, enough that i called the nice O/T lady to make sure i didn't over-do something, i guess i'm good, it's starting to feel great being able to stretch it out a bit more now, i can ball-up a good fist and it only feels weird in a couple of little spots, and looking forward to shedding the splint soon, it'll be a month post-op on friday, i'm seeing some progress, but it's painful when i try to push some barriers... gonna ice it for a bit.  --  ct
08-28-23:  the weather is perfect in rockingham county, it's about seventy-something with about a 60-something humidity, nice blue sky, some puffy clouds... the bugs are a little bad lately, but it's hard to beat this weather, and we don't get many of them like this in these here parts, neither... the wrist O/T lady says she's going to try weening me from the splint at the end of the week, will be switching to kinesio-tape... i dunno, i've become somewhat attached to this awesome splint she molded for me, it's wicked supportive, but, it's getting old, i suppose i'm looking forward to moving past it... got a little scar-tissue in one spot that she spent some time on today, it's like a tiny little pea under the skin, she hit it with a little machine, she actually did quite a bit more then expected today, she only kicked my proverbial ass with some exercises for about a third of the time, she did a million other things for me the rest of the time... she totally has the heart of a gifted/caring healthcare worker... so did the P/T lady after my hip surgery (they are both mothers, too)... i've had some really great folks helping with some old-gimpy joints, not everyone gets that, though, unfortunately, but, i've had some great folks that i really appreciate taking care of me, trying to get me more capable again (to whatever degree i still can)... i'm rolling around this therapy-ball that's about the size of a cantelope-melon right now on my desktop, the wrist feels good rolling, but not so much bending in some directions--actually--most directions... still have a pretty weak range trying to bend... got some 4:1 CBD-gummies to help with inflammation, there isn't a ton of inflammation anymore, but there is definitely some, and it gets sore and exhausted pretty easy right now, but i'm progressing pretty well.  -- ct

08-28-23 later:  i'm not sure if i'm losing a skill, maybe some cognitive function is slipping a bit, or maybe it's just different subjects, but, i used to be able tell what people where trying to say, even if they didn't know how to say it... this stupid microsoft certification i had to take a bunch of years back used wording that was purposely obscured, it used wording like it was someone with english as their second-language that was smart enough to give you enough detail to figure out the problem, but you had to look extra hard because of the wording... somehow i passed... and then, i had this unrelated job several years later where i worked with folks that were mostly english as second language--and, many of them didn't have good command of their primary language either, yet we all seemed to get along, and understand each other pretty well... i'm not sure if that skill if slipping, or if some folks are just more coy, and purposely obscure their words when there is no reason to do so... i dunno, maybe it's another 'step' that i've lost... maybe it's testament to why life is easier communicating with sane and transparent people that aren't trying to fvck with you, rather than folks that don't know how to be honest with themselves, but, it might just be me losing an edge, too.  --  ct

08-28-23 more later:  i don't need to insert myself into some other people's argument, smarter people have already done so, but sometimes folks need to hear it again, in a different way... there is no paradox between a loving God creating things that are capable of evil... God did not 'create evil', God created (gave away) life/intelligence to things that are capable of keeping the first commandment, and exercising responsible use of free-will like the second most important commandment... some of those created things got too big for their own britches/ego, and used their intelligence to practice/exercise evil... God didn't 'create evil', God created things that are capable of good and evil, and some of them didn't chose wisely and follow God's lead.  --  ct
08-27-23:  i can't believe that i'm entertaining the thought of trying a quickie/ametuer stand-up comedy thing, but i am, not that i want to pursue that industry, but to make myself do something uncomfortable again... maybe you could call it a cajones-check... i guess those comedy places give you a few minutes of opportunity to entertain... so stupid, but i might do it... a buddy of mine did that a couple of times, he said it was invigorating and embarrassing, so of course i want to try that... so dumb, but perfect... i'm not going to advertise, i'll just do it sometime, probably, so stupid... i guess Adam Sandler and Sarah Silverman are from NH, so it must be a decent place to give it a shot, just to say that i did it, and hopefully nothing gets thrown at me while doing so, or involves getting chased out of the parking lot... good grief, why do i entertain these thoughts.  --  ct
08-26-23: i've had this tune on my mind for a week or so, so finally checked out the official video, and a bunch of them Robertsons were in it too.  Darius Rucker does a great job with 'Wagon-Wheel'... man, that song has been going through my noggin lately... 'picking me a bouquet of dogwood flowers'... anyways, fun song.  --  ct

08-26-23 later:  what is a 'theory of everything' (TOE)?  many religions have a TOE, sacred documents, etc. that explain/filter a myriad of different things that  summarize/contextualize/glorify a 'higher power'... anyhow, listening to a TOE discussion tonight (https://youtu.be/uhH5mnApuSQ)... but it's a four investment of your time/concentration.  --  ct
08-25-23:  [i cleaned this post up a bit and put it on the substack] i was watching an episode of 'Australian Alone' with the wife tonight. One of the contestants--Chris--is an Australian Army Veteran, he speaks pf PTSD, and had at least one deployment (Iraq)... ODS wasn't a long deployment for me, it was just a few months, and i only exchanged gun-fire one time, so i consider it an easy deployment... but here's the thing about 'ptsd' for combat-vets, there are a bunch of different things that can lead to a bunch of different symptoms which we clump together under the umbrella of PTSD... one of the things for me is not being able to regulate or, 'turn off' hyper-vigilance, and then getting over-stimulated/sensory-overload as a result, you can get the anxiety and blood-pressure up pretty good as a result... hyper-alertness is great when you are in a threatening environment, not so much when you just want to relax at home--i can understand why many vets go off-grid and disassociate from society, being in over-stimulating environments isn't healthy for some folks -- so, not being able to turn that off is part of my ptsd-ailment thing... and another thing is insomnia, only privileged members of the armed forces don't have to do 'fire-watch', or 'guard-duty', or, whatever the hell you want to call it when you get woken out of a sound sleep to make sure that your camp doesn't get over-run/attacked for an hour or two, and to keep the fire stoked during the cold months... some folks recover well from that, i don't know if i ever did, i used to self-medicate with alcohol off and on over the years, even when i had my proverbial 'shit together' from a psychological perspective, i used the wine to help get tired, and eventually, i drank enough to make sure that i didn't just get sleepy, but that i passed-out in a relatively controlled manner... sleep is still something that i struggle with, sometimes it's falling asleep, sometimes i wake up and can't fall back asleep, sometimes i'm congested and not breathing well, sometimes i have to wake to pee, sometimes i can't get a thought out of my head and trying to figure something out, sometimes the hyper-alertness collides with hyper-vigilance and i'm listening intently for threats that probably aren't even around, sometimes i get crazy realistic dreams where i feel like i need to react to them, but i can't, i can only observe, and so i wake-up trying to figure that out... i dunno, sleep is mostly a frustrating endeavor unless i pop an ambien, and even they don't give me a consistent length of sleep, just a good solid chunk of it, i don't dream much on the sleeping Rx either ( i don't think), usually only when they start to wear-off in the early morning... and then the veteran guy on Alone also mentioned 'depression'... depression sucks, it's when you get stuck in this constant thought-pattern where you give far more attention to things that you can't change, some vets deal with remorse/guilt and wishing that maybe they didn't do certain things in the past that aren't quite acceptable actions/behavior to their current ideal/morals/ethics, but the depression can lead to suicide, which typically causes much more problems than solutions, sometimes depression is based on trauma, sometimes it's shattered expectations that you couldn't change, even though everything within you wishes that you could have dictated some other outcome, and it's hard to imagine a better future sometimes, sometimes a better future seems impossible for a suffering soul... experiences and hind-sight can be a blessing or a curse, depending on what filter you are analyzing it from, but even the shitty experiences can be turned into good eventually, even if it's just helping someone else that's going through the ringer, but that's just one thing that a former grieving person has to offer the world, we actually have a lot to offer once we start getting healthy again... i'd like to say that i've embraced and moved past all of the old traumas, but some i still don't want to fully re-visit, and even the ones that i speak transparently about still can get a flutter out of my heart, and the blood-pressure to climb when i'm not expecting it... i don't know what to tell the reader that might experience these sorts of symptoms, i can tell you that embracing, owning, and recovering from certain traumas is more of a slow process for many folks... i'm a fan of 'talk-therapy', i spoke with a guy from a local 'Vet-Center' a year or two ago, and that guy was a blessing like you wouldn't believe... sometimes a 'religious leader' is great for talk-therapy, sometimes you might need a credentialed therapist that also happens to be a Veteran that can sort of relate... Vet-Centers are not 'the VA', the vet-centers can share information with the VA for health-record concerns if you want them to, but folks that haven't had great experiences working with mental-health professionals in the VA-system shouldn't confuse the two entities, vet-centers are different... with that said, if you don't get a good vibe from a therapist you probably want to consider others... and, another barrier to successful talk therapy is if you are actually ready to have successful therapy, not everyone who could use therapy is an 'active participant', part of therapy should involve you embracing some aspect of reality that you weren't quite considering/observing/computing, but some folks don't ever consider that they should change in any way/shape/form, even if they are stuck in regular unhealthy habits/routines, not everyone that could benefit from some decent talk-therapy is willing to do their part in getting healthier, just like not every sinner is willing to confess their sin--some folks don't want their shit on display, hearts open, i get it, but embracing reality and getting healthy requires honesty and transparency...
... anyways, it was interesting listening to the Aussie Vet named Chris talk openly about some of his struggles... the experience of Alone Australia might be some good therapy for him, it might offer a great opportunity for him to really connect with our Creator, and open his soul for a deeper healing, i hope so... God bless. -- ct
08-23-23: i was sort of forced to re-evaluate my writing 'mission' over the past couple of days... and here's where i (still) stand... i'm not a very technical/intellectual type... i don't need money for my 'thoughts'... my thoughts aren't very original, they are merely a regurgitation of things that i consumed and observed that passed through my noggin-filter... so i don't really think i should be charging to view my content... i don't mind writing crude/elementary things that help stimulate other folks, and i don't mind folks taking my ideas and making them better... so i'm just writing to re-iterate part of my business statement... take what i have and make it better, and use it for good... i'll charge a nominal fee for future books, and that's probably my only chance of producing income... i'm not charging for my blogs and essays, they are just food for fodder, and PSAs, support if you want--not because you have to... anyways... i got some weird feedback the other day, someone indicating that i should use more simple terminology, compared to just about everything that i read i have been assuming that i use very simple words/vocabulary--i was surprised to receive that feedback, but i do consider all feedback, so, OK, i'll make a conscious effort to consider the words that i use... i used to write step-by-step instructions for folks that English was not their primary language, maybe i've strayed a bit, i dunno... so, here's some recent feedback, and from multiple sources:
 * take a writer's composition class
 * use less words
 * use more simple words
 * give grammar and spelling more respect
 * take my writing more seriously
... they are all very solid, relevant/applicable advice, and i'll take it all into consideration... here's something that most folks don't 'get' about me... i don't require recognition, won't pretend to be perfect, and am perfectly happy with a very small audience... i'd like to offer readers more polished and thorough essays, but you already have experts that are doing that... the world has too many 'experts' and not enough regular normal people... BTW, I have that longer essay that's just about done, the last four or five paragraphs were originally written long after my bed-time, and have been a challenge to try to clean up, they turn into a preachy sort of thing... awww, you'll see. -- ct

08-22-23:   there aren't very many people that actually want to shoot, or kill anyone... but there is a reason why you keep pulling the trigger until the attacker drops or flees... you keep pulling the trigger until the threat is mitigated... there is also a reason why communist douche-bags keep fvcking crying about so called 'high-cap magazines', they are the same folk that want law-abiding citizens disarmed... complete sh1t-heads like the little communist and retarded J. Nadler fella from NY, they want animalistic criminals and psychopaths to rule the streets and keep citizens terrified, the sooner that happens the more they can justify a police-state/communism, and try to completely disarm Americans...
 ... the police chief says that the officer did the right thing, i think she should have emptied her magazine as quickly as possible, or kept shooting until the animal dropped, or backed-off... just glad she only got struck by the animal, and his hammer, four times... if it were me, he would have had about ten rounds in him, i think she should have shot him a few more times early on... and for the anti-firearm communist douche-bags, ten-rounds is not sufficient for self-defense, many of these animals pack together like a zombie-cult/wild-dogs, and you sh1t-heads know that--don't you... ten rounds might only be enough to stop one attacker, but you don't know how many attackers you might have to face...
 ... the video is tough to watch, especially hearing her (the police officer) screaming: https://www.foxnews.com/us/cop-critically-wounded-hammer-wielding-animal-with-30-priors-who-should-n...  --  ct
08-21-23:  writing was really a chore today, nothing came easy--i don't know what's up, but i felt like i never fully woke-up today... did a bunch of editing and re-drafting of four different projects, bet you didn't know that i can juggle... should be able to finish one of them tomorrow, but it'll still require more editing down the road, as long as i finish it enough to post it i'll be happy, i usually don't do things perfectly the first time, so just getting it posted is an accomplishment... i made some good progress in the first book today, simplified some things, added some stuff, edited a bunch of the early pages, the first section (chapter) should be done soon, the others are already started, but require massive editing, and a bunch more pages needed to pull some of the ideas together better, and to complete other ideas... the other two projects were much shorter/quicker ones, i'd say they are officially done as of today... so long as i don't get cracking on something else, i ought to have one decent essay completed tomorrow, and then put more attention on the novella... still not sure if i should try to peddle it, self-publish, or maybe even give it away, time will tell.
08-20-23:  getting my geek on tonight, watching a couple of episodes of skin-walker ranch, actually, they expanded the show into three distinct shows, they added a 'beyond skin-walker ranch', and a 'skin-walker ranch: digging deeper'... anyhow, i don't know the inside of the show, who is connected with which agencies, or who knows what... but it looks like they got the buy-in to add a network of sensors that will track moving objects with various technologies... i'm loving it, i sort of geek-out on the techno-gizmos they employ... the high-speed cameras used by one contractor captures 1000 frames per second, pretty sick... and then you get into the various radars, and spectrum analyzers, and various types of lasers, and the ton of other cool things they use, it's pretty neat/cool/boss/the-sh1t... i'd like them to have a network of sensors which can track and employ all of the cool gadgetry that they've used over the years, if something moves below, ground-level, or above, lock in on it, and measure or image whatever you can with whatever devices you want to throw at it... it might be worth the financial behemoth that it sounds like it would be, considering that they show has already spawned two more shows; and people's curiosity of UAPs is ever increasing--i hate that they even call them UAPs now, i'm still going to call them UFOs sometimes, changing the name makes it harder for people to research as the decades pass, which is intentional, changing the names of things obscures reality... anyhow, glad i got a fix of one of the TV shows that i like, it was a treat... the other show that i like is 'Alone', it's an awesome survival show, and they just had it's season finale this week, the winner didn't surprise me, i thought that he, orthe runner-up were going to win, but there were a few tap-outs from some very capable folks that could have won as well... it seems like it was a very challenging environment this time, it only lasted 66 days, some very capable folks had great difficulty acquiring calories... i sincerely think i'd be a decent wild-card contestant (which is why i actually like the show) for that show, but my biggest problem is that i hate the cold, so once winter sets-in i'd go in full wuss-mode, i've had some cold-weather injuries in my youth, and parts of me burn when they get cold, so i'm a legit wuss... For ALone you need a decent shelter, practice good hygiene, acquire as much--and various--types of calories that you can, preserve and protect the calories/food... you need to keep a substantial supply of wood to burn/cook/sanitize, which also means a steady supply of water, which mostly requires boiling... you also need to keep from doing stupid things that injure you too severely, and practice good first-aide... there is a huge psychological thing that folks experience where they can't spend another minute without certain loved-ones, and i don't call it a 'psychological thing' to imply any weakness, in fact, i think it's to be expected, some folks are in better condition/situation where their loved-ones are counting on them for day-to-day responsibilities, or can handle the grief of being separated from loved-ones a bit better... i had this weird thing that i felt when heading over to my single deployment to Iraq, i more or less determined that i was going to die, but i wanted to be as focused and vigilant as possible to make my death as difficult as possible, so those were sort of factors that helped me disassociate from everyone at home (friends and family), to shut them out of my head enough so i could give my deployment my undivided attention; i'm married now, with adult children, my income doesn't change if i got out to the woods for 100 days or so, so i think i could also shut-off the separation-grief pretty well based on other experiences, in fact, i would almost say that i thrive when other folks aren't around, it's not a knock against my family, or my love for them, I couldn't have considered that eighteen years ago when we had three young kids and i was doing the office type of work supporting the five of us--but, in 2023 i could strongly consider heading into the woods for as long as possible, even if i didn't win it would be an experience i could probably write a ton about, unless i slipped and cracked my noggin on day one, then there wouldn't be much to write about, except for me bitching/grieving about it for months following--you know--shattered expectations... but with all of that said, let me reiterate my previous remark, i'd be a good 'wild-card'--some of the contestants have literally lived under similar environments for long periods of time, they are in a class that i don't come close to, and some of the folks from this season were VERY capable, but mostly tapped-out due to separation from loved-ones, i know it would hit me too, but i think i could overcome that in order to give more focus on acquisition of nutrients and firewood without withering away... so, starving might be the biggest challenge, preventing injuries or exasperating current ones too much would also be a big factor, but i think my disdain for being in a cold environment would probably make me miserable enough to tap-out, i'm a cold-weather wuss, once it's below forty-degrees i'm a miserable old cuss, and below zero is another level of suck to endure, i don't know how long i'd last, trying to acquire food when you should probably be in front of a fire would really suck, having a cache of preserved food would be a huge advantage going into the freezing months... the two remaining contestants were catching a good amount of fish, they both lived in Canada, and were able to keep from getting cold-weather injuries without starving the most, they both lost a lot of weight during the 66 days, they didn't have much left to lose when the season ended, the winner might have lasted a bit longer if he had acquired more food, but both guys didn't catch any fish once the Rein-deer Lake began to freeze, they both were running out of their fish reserves very quickly near the end, they weren't seeing squirrel, or grouse anymore either... anyways, it was a great season, they only started with nine people, not the customary ten, and they had some exceedingly capable contestants, i thought the Brazilian fellow living in Mass was a solid contender too, he was catching all sorts of protein and making it look easy... So... sorry to have wasted this long entry on a couple of TV shows that i like, Laura tolerates Skin-Walker Ranch, but totally digs Alone... they just kicked-off an 'Alone Australia', so we have another weekly ritual after the Alone season finale of last week... I like two TV shows, and now they both have spin-offs, good grief. -- ct
08-17-23:  thanks for the donation/support/contribution... the first one from someone that i don't recall meeting, or being related to... and it was for one dollar, just as i had asked folks... you are very kind, thank you, and glad to have blessed you in someway. -- ct

08-17-23 later:  so, i appreciate this guy's popular song, his ability to express his soul--so you feel what he's feeling, and his ability to understand that he's free to be what he wants to be--not what society expects a person with good raw talent to do with their talent... folks that can really sing the blues are pretty introspective, they are the 'unlikely' talent that would rather keep things real, humble, manageable, and understand the dangers and temptations of chasing societies expectations of what entertainers ought to live like... he mentions mental-health struggles, the past few years really stressed a bunch of folks past a healthy emotional state... so, i applaud him for bringing it up... and to the scum-bags that imposed the virus, and behavioral manipulation of masses, i say 'fvck you', you did this to a lot of people, a nice cute little rich people's scheme that victimized hundreds of millions of people world-wide, don't think that rational people didn't see what you did there... anyhow, that's just a side-note from this author... back to the guitar-picking guy that sings the blues well enough that you could say that it's his blessing and curse, it's a hard life to get to the point where the listeners can feel your pain, but it can lead to some blessings, but those blessings can bring curses to a degree, they will expose flaws, which can't be argued... anyways, the sooner folks understand that they can just be themselves, especially if you are an introvert living in a high-paced life-style/industry, they sooner folks with great talent and exposure realize that they can keep to themselves as much as they need to, as much as they want to, the sooner folks understand that the less likely they are to be exploited and run into exhaustion... but hey, good for the folks that can manage that and stay healthy in body, mind, and soul--you folks are exceptional, lot's of folks can't do that though, so good for Christopher, whom many folks know as Oliver... good for you for being mindful enough to understand the rigor of the entertainment industry, and being mindful of his own weaknesses and limitations, that's a true humble and wise man right there. -- ct
08-14-23:  just putting together a little PSA for women... for the most part, woman are smaller and weaker than men (on average), i'm a pretty capable guy (but only 5'8 light-med. build), and have met plenty of ladies that would probably kick my ass in a real fight, so i'm generalizing here, but percentages/ratios suggest that i'm not overly generalizing... i'll try to put together something a bit more comprehensive, but here are a couple of very good starting points to get you in this 'women's safety' education mind-set... and although i point you to these decent resources, i'll also loudly preach that knowledge/education is nice, but learning/practicing martial-arts or self-defense, or carrying defensive weapons that you know how to use might be just as important...

 This first set of resources is geared toward identifying dangerous men (or, many people who are predators), in hopes to prevent women from falling for the wrong kind of guy... i have to read it again, finish the interview, and maybe read some of the author's books if i can get them on the cheap, the guy leading the interview (Jason) has great insight into the topic of deviant personalities, his series called 'political ponerology' was well done:  https://ponerology.substack.com/p/women-who-love-psychopaths

 This second set of resources touches on identifying threatening people, dangerous places, identifying vulnerabilities, and teaches you some first-hand tips that women who were victimized did to survive, and escaped with their life... warning, some of the stories will rock your world, and torque your perception of how nasty some deviant-predators really are:  https://giftoffear.com/

 This post is just a crude PSA for women in particular, but for anyone to help improve your situational awareness, you shouldn't expect a snake under every rock, or a murderer around every corner, but sometimes you need to keep your warning-antenna up, and just because you never ran into a predator that didn't try to victimize you doesn't mean that they aren't out there, and that someday you won't run into one of them.  Folks who get weirded-out by good-guys who carry guns are mis-interpriting reality, they would be the folks running away from threats while i draw my firearm to try to mitigate deadly threats... no one wants to have to use a firearm in self defense, but reality is that firearms are also one of histories biggest life-savers every invented, they have saved uncountable lives, sometimes they end a life to save another one... if you've read a decent amount of my posts you will know that i'm a personal-protection safety-conscious type of person (sheep-dog), i'm hard-wired for protection services (EP), but only did that for a short while, and mostly when i was in the Army (physical security), sometimes even guarding the base's stupid dump, grrrr... So, with that said, i hope you take the Public Service Announcement for what it's worth, don't miss the baby in the bath-water... the folks who created the resources above have a great deal of experience and wisdom to share...  God bless.  --  ct
08-13-23:  bummed that i missed the meteor-shower, i guess friday into saturday was the best viewing around here... some FB connections posted some decent photos and videos, which reminded me that i missed it... it's another beautiful summer day in rockingham county, maybe a bit more warm and humid then i prefer, but gorgeous just the same, it actually might rain a bit later... my pudgy little hand is doing pretty well today, the pain is low, and the fingers aren't very fat anymore--i can play the left-handed air trumpet like a pro. -- ct

08-13-23 later: the thing about the wrist surgery that still worries me is how strong will it be after it's had time to recover and exercise. i want to get a decent bow, and be able to practice with it, and i'm concerned about the draw-weight (or whatever they call it), i don't know if the wrist will support much compression/resistance -- time will tell -- but it's a curious-concern, do i get something from walmart designed for 8 - 10 year olds? will i be able to draw and stabilize a bow strong enough to harvest decent-sized game? should i just stick to guns, and hunting with firearms? i enjoy archery, but haven't had a decent yard for it years, and now that i want to pursue hobbies/interests again i'm not really sure what bow i'll be capable of stabilizing... i might make one, just some one-piece long-bow... anyways, not that it's a necessity for me right now, just wondering what the end result of surgery and O/T will feel like... here's the kicker, even if my wrist can support a 70-lb bow, my right shoulder isn't terribly strong either, so it might be a pipe-dream to even consider a 50-lb bow in the future--i dunno, time will tell... i can ethically harvest most sized critters with the firearms that i have, but there is something about a bow... the wife and i like a show called 'Alone', those folks harvest critters as small as squirrel, and as large as bison with traditional bows and different types of arrow heads, native-americans were brilliant with their expertise of bows for hunting (and combat as well)... i can hunt with firearms, but bows are just awesome, and minimal investment for providing protein, and fun in the back-yard... on a similar note, i also want to know if i'll be able to pick a banjo after i recover, never tried before, but just wondering -- and what about playing the sousaphone, or an accordion -- hey... i'm just trying to calibrate my expectations... but, time will tell, it usually does... i did harvest a mature white-tail with a compound bow, it was my buddy's son's bow from about 25yd, i don't remember what strength it was (maybe 55lb), but the kid (Sam) was about my size, so the draw-length was just about perfect for me, the deer didn't run very far before he fell, so it was a nice quick ethical harvest that you hope for, the first time i hunt with a bow i never saw a deer, but the second time i saw how useful a bow can be, it filled our freezer most of a winter... so, my reasonable question/curiosity for the future -- will i be able to draw a bow again, and--if so--will it be a big-boy bow, or one of those cute little walmart fiber-glass things for 8 - 10 yr-olds? -- ct
08-11-23: OK, i picked on smart folks in yesterday's first post, and likened them to that biblical principle about 'to whom much is given, much is expected'... it doesn't matter what our genetics offer us, or what God-given endowments we have, and what intellectual horse-power we have to work with. Much of the importance is that we utilize what we have, to self-actualize, and to make some sort of contribution to what-ever size geography we are capable of helping... that's based on individuals self-actualizing, individuals who figured out a way to use their strengths and resources to make a positive difference in the world... to possess something like riches, beauty, processing ability, creativity is unique/individual, what we do with our lot, who we can help, what positive differences we can make to God's creation (people, environment, etc.)... i sort of stumbled across some 'high-IQ' groups a few years ago when i hit a really low point in my life, and one of the better ones tell you similar things that i just wrote... i haven't taken an IQ test, and if i did i don't remember anything about it, my last ASVAB test that i took when i wanted to go to a particular school in the Army assigned me a 114 GT-score, i was about 20 years old at the time, and had just taken a math course, which apparently helped in elevating a bunch of the asvab scores, i don't know what that correlates to, because the scores are calculated by averages of some of the sub-tests... I think IQ score would have been interesting when i was younger, and trying to plan for my future, but i couldn't sit still in class-rooms, and only applied myself to things that seemed interesting... IQ might have been interesting to know back then, but i think something like a 'Myers Briggs' personality-type of test in conjunction with the quantitative scores of potential would have been more beneficial... i'm an introvert, maybe a pretty socially adept one, but an introvert nonetheless, and i get easily distracted when i'm around a bunch of people, even if they are being pretty quiet, AND, i can get all kinds of weird if i don't get enough alone time, time to process things, time to energize, time to think about a bunch of things that i've sort of been thinking about... it might have been more helpful for my educators to understand more about how INTP's learn best... i learn best by giving me a book and then staying out of my way, and then i learn even better when i have access to the author to explain certain things that they tried to explain in ways that i don't understand, and certain things i learn by a skilled person showing me hands-on how to do things... sometimes i take things too literal, and miss the humor, sometimes i know we are speaking the same language, but i feel like an alien... the funny thing i remember about the math course that i took which raised many of my asvab percentiles, was that it was in a pretty small class-room, which was pretty quiet, and i took a self-paced lesson behind a computer that let me consume-and-process information with minimal distraction, and a capable teacher who sat quietly, but helped students when we needed something explained differently... most information makes sense unless it's bull-shit/paradox, but having the capable teacher to help you resolve some oddity was greatly beneficial, otherwise, give me a book and get out of my way... the sad thing is that i forget most of the math that i learned within a couple of years, so maybe i wasn't gifted a huge HHD, so maybe i had to delete a bunch of info to make room for more info... i dunno?  Some observations that were based on test scores and age ranges are actually/really/quite frightening to me... i'm approaching the age-range where the median IQ drops quite considerably, tell me that doesn't scare the crap out of you, tell me that isn't a kick in the crotch... good grief.

 So, look, i might not technically qualify to read the thoughts of, or correspond with, really gifted folks, and at 54-yrs old i don't feel any need to present any qualifications to do so... it seems that i'm just a curious independent-thinking introvert, and i tend to learn things the hard way, that's about all i know... so for the hard-core mega-gifted person, i'm not claiming to speak on behalf of God in this matter, but you have more potential to accomplish greater things, and i suspect that you might be judged with greater scrutiny... the positive and beneficial things that you do with the resources and tools that you have been entrusted is a quality that is appreciated among any tribe or nation--and an opinionated side-note, i'd rather spend more of my time with a room full of transparent idiots over a room full of egotistical smart folks... As far as me... well, i recently had a buddy that clearly spoke on behalf of God directly to me recently (actually it was a text), and he's a pretty smart fella--and i've got quite a bit of re-calibrating to do in order to help more folks that could use it, now it's up to me to respond, as i grow i will... God bless. -- ct

08-11-23 later:  had a little bit of gun therapy today, not much, just enough to elevate some good hormones... got a decent but blemished match-grade barrel in the mail, and that got me handling some of the un-used lowers, and partial uppers, and which configuration/combination i should do with the barrel... it's going to complete an upper-receiver which will compliment an AR-pistol lower-receiver, it'll be a light-weight 300-BLK upper when she's finished, it ought to be a good straight-shooter, 5-R rifling, nice crown, etc... it wasn't a whole lot of gun-therapy, but it was enough, enough to consider more possibilities, maybe tomorrow i'll start turning wrenches and get some assembly going on, just got another release of some decent hormones just thinking about the assembly process... my little 22LR dedicated AR-pistol is probably the most fun and practical of the ARs, but the 30-caliber gives you the ability to harvest larger game, so that's where it gains value... it should be a good little shooter someday, looking forward to trying to overlap some dots on a paper-plate with it.  --  ct
08-10-23:  here is the thing that i have with many smart people, a bone to pick with them... most smart folks understand cause and effect pretty well, and some smart folks fall under the category of being 'too smart for their own good'... that phrase/concept is probably more descriptive of an obvious absence of moral actions/behavior, it's when they use their predictors/models/intelligence to leave a negative impact, or victimize, or humiliate someone because you are smart enough to do so... it's one thing to prank someone in a silly and harmless way, but to use your intelligence for negative impact is a lesson you should learn early, and once, and hopefully without severe impact on someone else... being too smart for your own good is about having a pretty comprehensive tool-kit, but wasting everyone's time while you entertain your ego using a screw-driver to remove a bolt... i hold smart people to a higher standard in morality... that goes for the psychologists that use media to peddle-horse-shit/narrative, and it goes for the chemists and trans-humanists too, using your God-given smarts for things that you know will cause harm is literally 'practicing evil'... just because you can do something doesn't mean that you should do it, just because you can survive off of jelly-beans and cola for a season doesn't mean that you should do it, it's logic-based morals that could be easily interpreted through the filter of the golden-rule... so i have an issue with smart folks, some of them have peculiar egos with un-calibrated morals and i hold them to a higher standard... but others, well--many smart people do brilliant things, and it's awesome to witness them doing so... however small, or big of an environment that smart folks working for the good-side of humanity (and God), whatever size geography or environment some smart folks are able to positively impact, no matter what your gift or talent might be, it's incredible to watch you do brilliant things, especially when you are working to do good things that are positively impacting other folks... you are brilliant, never forget that, and never stop trying to expand your God-given intelligence, and never stop exercising it when you can help others by doing so... use your gifts, talents, explore your creativity and hobbies, bless others, and use your free-will wisely, within the boundaries of the golden rule. -- ct
08-09-23:  i felt good about splitting my problematic article into multiple pieces, i put the first one on substack this morning... i don't think there is anything written in it that folks don't already know, but maybe i wrote part of it in a way that helps someone, somewhere... there is baby in this here bath-water.  --   ct
08-08-23: it rained exceedingly hard for an hour or so today, at least in Newton, Plaistow got hit pretty good too, the walmart staff asked us/customers to leave, the back-up generator didn't seem to run, it tried though, a few times, and then they asked everyone to vacate.  --  ct

08-08-23 later:  today's early storm gave way to a gorgeous new england summer day... now it's come full circle as distant thunder rolls alarm us of what's still to come... i was expecting a beautiful sun-set tonight, but the clouds darkened the sun just a few moments too soon... anyhow, what a day in rockingham county... i've got a new splint, and a bunch of OT appointments lined up, the therapist seems great, it's awesome watching gifted people do what they do, i like when they explain it along the way... the wrist is really weak right now, just supporting it's own weight seems like an absurd/profane notion, a pipe-dream... i remember how weak and gimpy i felt right after the hip was done, the wrist feels the same, just a different part of the body--looking forward to regaining some strength, mobilty, and function in the weeks to come. -- ct

08-08-23 laterer:  had a good text/chat with a buddy today, he's quite encouraging, and mentioned my negativity, and that i impact more folks then i realize, and need to come to grips with some of my unlikely gifts -- understanding my IQ would have been helpful when i was in my teens, but it really doesn't seem like anything but a score when you are middle-aged... i'd say that he gave me a bunch of positive feedback with some good motivators... as far as his more practical advice is concerned (in regards to editing an article), i should probably re-write the whole essay from scratch... lot's of times i write based on my re-action to something, and it's not very well presented, organized, or articulated, and then i do this overly complicated thing where i start editing or second-drafting, when i should just use the original as notes to formulate/present an idea... i'm a novice writer, i shouldn't put such unrealistic expectations on myself trying to morph notes into a final draft all on the same document, that's an unrealistic endeavor, a fool's errand, and i already know that i'm prone to doing that-- which is what's frustrating... so my original thought was to make a quick post based on someone else's essay, but then it morphed into logic, religion, and politics too... the health/wellness thought was a good starting point, and then i saw where it fit into other passions/interests, and then they all collide into something that's just barely on the organized side of chaos, you could tell when i started to get tired, and that's the part that needs the most help, i might just cut all of that right out and finish from scratch, at least it'll be more coherent, and probably less frustrating then the path i've been on :-) -- ct
08-06-23:  nice start to the birthday, the house was quiet for a few hours, while i enjoyed some coffee and time to tinker with a couple of guns... going to frankenstein together the AR/AK (an AR chambered for the AK 7.62 x 39 round), looks like i just need a bolt and charging handle to get it functional, and sights to know what i'm aiming at, i'd need the special mags for it as well, it's been a rainy-day project for a while, and if i don't mind the variously colored/finished components then it's almost done... it's a good intermediate-length round that i haven't shot since the little pap-pistol that i owned about a decade ago, AKs certainly have their place in this world, but i'm an AR-guy, so i appreciate being able to shoot the round out of my preferred platform, this time with a 16-inch barrel... anyways... the girls are all up now, time to spend some birthday with loved-ones.  --  ct

08-06-23 later:  i solicit prayer from time to time, and today i'm doing so for my land-lady, she's an impressive age, but dealing with new physical limitations/frustrations, the C19-vax left her with long-term ailments/symptoms which she eventually recovered from, and now it's a long nerve that's giving her some literal grief... so please pray for my land-lady, you'd like her if you knew her.  --  ct
08-05-23:  had our first fire of the year tonight, the girls are still out there with the marshmallows... nice night, its a little humid, but clear... the annual fire permit is free, but there is a five dollar processing-fee if you do it online which we did... the fire started easy with just a little newspaper tucked under the pile of twigs and small branches that i've had covered in the fire-pit, it took nicely with no accelerant, easy-peesey, not very smokey, perfect in most respects... the wrist is a little frustrating, it's not very painful, just annoying that i can't use that hand very much, it DOES NOT like to compress, or rotate, i found that out the hard way, but it only took doing so once to set into my thick noggin, my eyes got pretty wide when i put a little weight down on it... and even the minimal weight of a kitchen sink towel is too much when rotating, it's clearly not ready for rotation yet, not remotely... i feel like i should wrap myself in bubble-wrap to keep from doing anything stupid with my wrist, hockey-helmet and all... it shouldn't be so difficult to curb compulsive/routine movements, actions, or behaviors, but it can be, and knowing that is frustrating in it's own rite.  --  ct
08-03-23:  i haven't been wide awake at this hour in months, it's exactly zero-dark-thirty, the wee hours of the morning when everyone should be asleep... it's usually insomnia that has me awake by now, but today it's pre-surgery things that got me up extra early... i have to get the BP medicine down with some clear liquids, but not too early, and definitely not too late... too early and it doesn't work long enough, and too late means no surgery... nothing but clear liquids after mid-night (but i stopped at 7:pm), and nothing at all after 4:30am... a couple of weeks ago i broke both of those rules (just spaced-out i guess), i drank coconut water while showering and getting ready that morning, and then i took a few swigs just before entering the hospital--two major infractions/sins of the anesthesiologists--'no surgery for you', they exclaimed... actually, they were quite nice about my mix-up, but it was still two more things/lessons in life that i learned the hard way... anyways, i haven't had sleeping Rx in three nights now, so, waking up this early wasn't difficult at all, but getting up was very painful, painful knowing that i ought to be asleep until 04:00... i'll have a nice anesthesia-induced nap for an hour or two later this morning, that should make up for some of the lost hours, and when i wake up i'll have three new scars to add to the collection, my wrist is gonna look funky... hope i can play the violin after the surgery, probably not, though... the biggest bummer is going to be typing, i'll be one-handed poking for a bit... i don't want to start dictating, i hate hearing my own voice... i'm sure i'll be hitting the keys with both hands, and all of the fingers again before long... time will tell... soliciting prayer for the procedure and recovery... thanks man.  --  ct
08-02-23: so my commitment/service/responsibility is finally over... although i've received many official mailings over the years, i've never actually had to go to 'jury duty'... i was either excused, or ended up as an alternate that didn't have to show up. Well, when they finally got me they got me good, to the tune of seven months or so... so, while i can't talk about any details of any particular cases, i can write about general/vague things... some vague things/lessons are useful for lot's of matters in life... let me give you some good advice to consider if you don't want to spend time behind bars:

* don't be a conniving asshole that victimizes other people (especially children) or institutions
* don't be a conniving asshole that exploits opportunities to commit fraud (which always victimizes someone or something)
* don't be a conniving asshole that deals in gangs, guns, drugs, or violence, especially if you already were a convicted person
* just don't be a conniving asshole, period... and, an exclamation-point (for emphasis)

 It's not very hard to navigate your life on the straight and narrow, begin by understanding 'the golden rule', and make mostly good decisions, an occasional poor decision probably won't put you behind bars, but, when you quit showing respect for other people, or for the law, and repeat that behavior with consistency, you will probably have to pay some sort of debt to society for a season, while wearing bright-orange, and quite possibly eating sub-par food surrounded by an interesting bunch of neighbors... how long that season is remains to be seen, until you get caught and sentenced, unless your last-name is clinton or biden--at least that's the way that i understand it... the DOJ folks are very good at their craft, and viable evidence is easier to gather than you might think... so my advice to the reader, don't be a conniving asshole, and for those who are, your crime might pay right now, but eventually you are going to have to answer to your victims, to the DOJ, to a cell-mate named 'Mountain', 'Psycho', or 'The Demon'... and if you never have to answer to any of them, you will still have to answer to our Maker... none of options will be pleasant, so please heed my advice, and keep your ass out of trouble... so remember, don't be a conniving asshole, and if you are, just take your punishment, and repent... i know some ex-cons, and most of them live a more redeeming life/life-style now that they are a little older and wiser... most folks eventually grow out of their adolescence, some folks take a little longer then others, some folks require some punishment to figure things out, unfortunately some never do, they still have to face God someday. -- ct
08-01-23:  so long July--you were full of memories... most are seemingly insignificant right now, but we had some really good ones, too, didn't we?   Damn-straight we did...  OK August, you have some big shoes to fill, July was something else, and i have even greater expectations for you then July... so, what do you say we make some great memories together... let's make the most of our time together, shall we?  The whole world may never be affected by our time together, but everything we do together certainly effects the future for us, for someone else, and for something else, for things that we may never realize/consider.  --  ct

08-01-23 later:  didn't have much planned for today, but it was full of chores and errands anyways... i watched/listened to some videos/podcasts/interviews... read a little bit, not as much as i would have liked... still trying to clean-up the crude article from the other day, it was a long and an over-tired tirade of sorts, hope to finish it before surgery... picked-up the hand-cannon today glk20 gen4, now i've got a legit back-packing gun, 10mm doesn't have the energy of a 44mag, but it's every bit as powerful as the 357mag--and then some, i can't think of a situation where i'd need more then one full magazine to stop a big critter in the USA, but i'd pack the other mags just in case, i'd much rather a rifle against north-american game or predators, but some folk legitimately hunt with 10mm, so it ought to stop an angry cougar, or black bear, or red-squirrel--just kidding about the squirrel, just making sure you were paying attention :-)
 ... tomorrow i sit in on some lectures/presentations, they are always interesting, but sometimes a little painful, let's hope tomorrow isn't painful... today was a perfect N.H. summer day, it only hit seventy-something, with blue skies, puffy clouds, and comfortable humidity--there is some pollen floating around that's bugging my eyes and sinuses a bit, otherwise no complaints for today, rockingham county was perfect post-card weather... trying to sleep without the ambien tonight, second night in a row, it's a pre-anesthesia thing, no allergy meds, no supplements, no nsaids, no cbd chews--hopefully tonight goes better then last-night, i tossed and turned most of it, and then had a very vivid dream that made me wake-up shortly after i finally fell asleep--i wouldn't have expected a better night's sleep, so i can't say that i wasn't prepared for it, but the dream, it was so vivid. -- ct
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