Look, this is just a blog.  I write with little regard for proper technique or rules of grammar, i'm basically an untrained novice writer who started blogging as a form of therapy once the covid-era began, and my livelihood changed forever... i finally 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.

 November 2023
11-30-23:  beautiful day in Rockingham county, in Newton it was bright, clear, forties, a little breeze... awesome fall day, sun-set was gorgeous, the pastels, orange to purple, made you stop and stare...
 ... i've got a bunch of notes and partially-written things to look back at... sometimes they fit together to tell a bigger story, they were just the table-of-contents... usually it means that life was coming at me a bit too fast, and i didn't have time to complete some thoughts/experiences, and associations quite yet... i'm a bit slow, its more difficult, and takes longer to process information when there is more stimuli, my excuses for being slow... but, the next topic is considering physiological cause and affect of vices, 'mindfulness', or 'CBT', requires understanding consequences of our actions, we don't give much consideration as to how our actions affect others/loved-ones, or, the safety of others... i don't need to touch on subjects that smarter people have already written volumes about--who am i kidding, i do that all of the time--sometimes remembering everything that happened the day/night before is one of the consequences, it's one of the things that bug me the most in loved-ones of mine that struggle, which means i've done it too, and i regret it... passing-out was a regular part of weekend rituals/routines, and trying to remember the words, actions, events leading up to losing consciousness was the challenge, it's not enough that you over-dosed on ethanol, and your body is detoxing and recovering, but you may have also made some regretful actions/behavior/interactions with others, or farm animals, or woke up in a different country... so the topic is just looking for other considerations, are we even aware how we might be affecting others, and our bodies... slowing down a bit for continuing education, self-analysis, reflection, or, plunge back into reality, looks different ways to different people... one theory that Jesse mentioned to me was that your brain needs to be buzzed to recall information that you stored when you were buzzed, leading up to the limits of any recollection at all, depending one the extent of the over-dose... anyway, it's nothing i have any expertise in, just trying to understand a bit more in this subject... it definitely tears-up your gut, kills a bunch of good bacteria, as well as other digestive issues... when you are an active-participant in recovery you are capable of understanding more of the consequences of your actions, the cause-and-affect, but when we are going through the shit-storm none of that matters, when we are past the per-contemplative stages we are able to make more associations, consequences... recovery is a body/mind/soul,  the
11-29-23:  the hip is bugging me more today than yesterday, and i killed my right shoulder using the heavy one-handed leaf-blower a bit too long today, but my sleep has been great the past couple of days, so that part is praise-worthy right there, i'm not ready to concede praise for the pain, though... the wrist is still a bit sore too, that was probably a bit stupid to drive a wobbly car that long at high-way speeds with the wrist still recovering/strengthening, actually, that was plenty stupid now that i think about it... i don't know how much i really 'thought' about the long drives, but gripping too tightly for too long, and absorbing all of the vibrations for too long might have been my biggest obstacles, the car's suspension is pretty shitty too, so that probably contributed to a bunch of the vibration... i'm still happy with the old car, it did well under some pressure, for some pretty long stretches/periods; it's getting some well needed attention in the very near future, good ol' car, that thing might cruise like a boat once again... like a glimpse of it's youth... or, what-ever...
 ... i didn't like the way supper turned out, i'm not used to browning ground turkey, unless it's going right into a chili, where it slow cooks for another few hours, and then mostly falls to tiny pieces, so the texture isn't a big deal, but it's just weird for taco meat... no one complained about it but me, to myself... glad they enjoyed it, but i wasn't happy with the end result, the taste was spot-on, but the texture was weird... turkey-taco wednesday man, not bad, but was < my expectations, it's a party on the taste-buds, but had some weird rubbery chew going on, call me ungrateful, or picky, but tacos need beef, or pork, or both, not poultry. -- ct
11-29-23: i'm mostly recovered from the long drives, yesterday sucked, though... the back, shoulders, forearms... you know the deal, you strain those things a bit and pay for it, you pay for it depending on the amount of damage you did, and your hormones and blood-flow, and a zillion other things too, i'm sure... my hip seems fine today, the wrist is still a bit sore near the carpal... the nice O/T lady would probably have me heat this for a bit, then stretching and message--i don't remember which order though; and then that sucky thing that looks like a chew-toy, the one that will suck a hickie out of your arm... i'll probably spend some time doing some of those things today, but i'd rather just skip to the dry-needling, and hit them with a low current, seems easier than the more painful hard-work steps, it's the stretching that actually hurts the worse, some of the exercises might tweak a muscle or tendon a bit, but the stretching is the hard part, and the stretching is easier after it's been warmed up, so i guess that's those two steps are my priorities... it was probably a little too much white-knuckle driving, a bit too soon after surgery and O/T... lesson learned, the weird thing is that my whole body felt like it was still vibrating from the car/road when i got out of the car, sometimes it didn't stop after an hour or so of walking around, until i got back in, and continued driving again, that was a pretty weird feeling, not necessarily the groovy kind either, it felt like you were absorbing the vibrations of your environment... is that what actually happens at rest-stops that are right by the highways, does the earth/environment actually vibrate hard enough that you feel it, probably so... my noggin must have been shooken-up quite a bit, you know, shaken, not stirred...
 ... got a couple of things to do today, but there's a bunch more that i'd like to accomplish, not enough time, resources, or pain-tolerance/endurance to fit everything in, so i'm keeping priorities and expectations in a sober/reasonable work-load... got to get some new wind-shield washer nozzles for the Edge, i hate driving into town, i'm getting old... then pick-up daughter from work, then probably take a break... then a meeting with the Townies, or are we Villagers, i've only been here twenty-something years, what do i know... then i'll probably want to take another break as i absorb a bit more of the meeting's points, action items, follow-up questions, conflicts of any sort... and then i got to get the new wind-shield sprayers popped in, hooked up, and meeting expectations... it's not too busy, i don't think, but there are a hundred other things i'd like to accomplish too... 'reasonable expectations', is much of my mantra lately... my days of manic-paced over-scheduling are pretty much gone, my body and mind don't work much like that anymore... i can only handle so much stress and stimuli before i begin to disassociate and start to meditate, i can only handle so much distraction and change of directions before i fall back on the introvert-thing, a mental retreat, a rest, maybe even a nap after a couple of tylenol...
 ... enough complaining, i've got to try to accomplish a few things, get cleaned-up, get moving and stuff... peace. -- ct
 11-27-23:  returned from the road trip safe and sound... the car with the most miles that needs tires and brakes did very well. IMHO, it's more comfortable than the other two cars... the tires should come in next week, and the brakes have enough life left to wait until the next pay-day, chipping away at required maintenance... i finished the last leg of the trip on adrenaline, caffeine, and prayer... so Thank You to those who prayed, and to Him who answers. -- ct

11-27-23 later:  seems like the road-trip was a really Really REALLY good exercise for me... there is this thing that folks with some form of attention 'deficit' issues deal with... i don't know how it affects other people, but for me it's something of an 'association' problem... lets say that you are conversing with someone, and that person reminds you of someone else, then you start wondering about the other person, things they said or did, what they might be up to these days, you start making all kinds of weird/obscure connections/associations, and before the person that you're chatting with finishes a couple of sentences my mind has been around the galaxy a few times about entirely too many topics that are seemingly unrelated to the current conversation... and then you mix that issue with hyper-alertness/vigilance/whatever, and maaan, a guy can get distracted and off-topic in a hurry... i recognize it in myself and have been trying to chip-away at it, trying to narrow my field of observation/environment, limit some periphery, being more in the moment... the mind is especially quick to wander like that when i'm not meeting my body's physiological requirements, and most of my travels were carried-out with sleep deprivation... sleep is a physiological need/requirement/necessity... so i chalk that one up to God, a mini-miracle to some degree...
 ... Anyhow, back to the mental-exercise, driving for 9-12 hours at a pop, with a zillion other drivers--too many were not conscious of their actions, and even the ass-holes that know how to drive well, but race and weave, aren't aware/conscious or how unsafe, and/or how evil they might even be--sharing--or forfeiting, the same roads with a zillion other drivers at high-way speeds for that long, was a good exercise of focus, concentration, and attention for a guy that struggles with those things sometimes, many times... i didn't look at the driving that way before the trip, but now i think it was a good exercise... one which i hope not to repeat anytime soon... depending on your perspective, you might say that we are capable of more than what we think we can do; or, you might say that it's proof of God's intervention; or, a bunch of other things too, i'm sure, maybe they are all correct to some degree or another, i know the first two i mentioned are correct... think what you may, i'm just exceedingly thankful that--despite some of the selfish or impaired knuckle-heads on the road this weekend--our travels were safe, and thankful that my mind wasn't all over the place when it NEEDED to be on the task at hand... so, for that, i will praise God, and please, remind me to never do that again, unless i have too, or, really want to depending on the circumstances, i don't know if my blood-pressure appreciated the low-sugar red-bull, and black riffle coffee company cans of espresso, maybe/probably they sort of helped a bit too. -- ct

11-28-23 more later:  i haven't had any feedback or follow-up on some obvious surveillance, going back about a year ago, even some informal interviews ... not sure if i raised some red-flags with some of my political opinions, or being vetted for something different... hopefully it's just some old friends, or loved-ones checking in on me... whatever the cause, it's not so obvious anymore, so maybe some report was finished, some determination was made... i'm not even receiving any hate-mail anymore, so it must have been determined that i'm not much of a threat, only to ass-holes and uncalibrated egos, and those who exude/demonstrate acts of evil... so, hopefully i won't have to deal with sneaky folks too much longer... maybe i passed, or failed some particular test, who knows, time will tell, i'm not sure that i really care about the origin of the 'check', but it's obviously been determined that i'm not a threat, and i don't practice illegal activity, there would have been other actions taken by now... OK, i lied, it does sort of bug me not knowing the shot-caller/source of it... no one offered me a job, so i assume i was being assessed as a possible threat, probably due to my political complaints and opinions... maybe because i dig firearms too, and write about some of my projects, the Army taught me to appreciate the E. Stoner platform, building ARs is probably one of my favorite hobbies, besides complaining... so i assume the interviews went well, and everyone is satisfied with their assessment, i'm not a threat, just a figurative sheep-dog type that doesn't appreciate predators, and appreciates God and country, i'm confident that's your final assessment... maybe a little rough around the edges, with little patience for denial or bad actors, that's an accurate assessment too, i'll give you that... whomever thought i was worth checking in on, i appreciate the unsolicited attention, i haven't been attractive for twenty or thirty years, and i forgot what that was like, that fleeting moment in time
 ... speaking of hobbies/gun-therapy, one of the ongoing projects is more complete than i remember, i just need the gas-tube and gas-block, and get a muzzle-device pinned/welded to make it legit... i always went for > 16' barrels until the M-4 carbine was widely adopted by US military... the rifle i dorkly named 'Brown' will use a cold-hammer forged 14.5' from Spike's Tactical, it's the 'optimum weight' 5.56 with the double-thick chrome-lined 1/7 twist, it's free-float, so it's not military in many respects, but it's my decent civilian version of an m-4, at least in regards to the 14.5' 5.56 carbine... i didn't decide on the gas-block, or muzzle-device yet, i'm being extra picky because of the welding that the local gun-smith will do... the perfect gas-block would be pretty light, adjustable, and clamp-on, and never fail... if it were to actually 'never fail' i wouldn't need it to clamp on, but never failing is a fool's expectation... if i don't get a clamp-on, and it fails, i would have to cut it off, and the replacement would then have to be a clamp-on, that's not a terrible possible scenario... as for the muzzle device, i wanted something that can receive the ASR quick-attach system, i've got a few of the blast-shields already, and might get some cans that receive them after we move... i shouldn't be committed to the ASR mount, i've been thinking about alternatives too... so there is much of my problem, i haven't finished deciding which two parts i really want yet, some of the options were just too expensive for my current resources, i was even contemplating Witt Machines SME devices, but they don't have any cans that accept that device, only the blast-shields, once you get a muzzle-device pinned and welded you couldn't be anymore committed, the perfect one would be light-weight, reduce recoil and rise, and accept both blast-shields and cans... so there you go, i just remembered why i didn't finish the project despite being so close to finish... i put the project on hold while i try to finish deciding on a couple of things that i can't afford to really test before i make seemingly important decisions, they aren't really important for eternity-sake, it's just my folly, and a few little touches that i want to consider for a long-lasting nice-shooting carbine that isn't too heavy, and for a reasonable budget... you'd think i would have mentioned 'accuracy' as one of the goals of the rifle, but the barrel i chose ought to be more capable than me for tight shot-groups, i'll probably never push it more than 300yrd, so it should be plenty of barrel for me, and for future generations... now, if i could only make my mind up on those last two parts... slow progress is still progress, eventually i'll finish the beauty.  --  ct
11-26-23:  mom would be 74 tomorrow, i don't doubt that she's still alive, just not sure what form she is in, what she looks like now, what she's up to, how she spends her time/energy/thoughts, does she travel in and out of different dimensions and galactic tunnels, does she hang-out with others, etc... i don't think i need to ponder that much today, just remembering her... she would have been happy to see her grand-kids over thanksgiving weekend, and the tasty traditional foods we prepared... love you mom, God bless...
 ... got another road-trip coming up, i dragged a Marine out of the DC-swamp for a bit of home-cooking, to catch-up a bit, to facilitate the mother-and-child reunion, and for him to spend some time with a couple of his grand-parents, one of which is closing-out his time on earth... it was also a huge blessing to me to have all three 'kids' home, and interacting with one another... my smile-muscles were exercised and exhausted each day...
 ... we'll all probably go to the new church in town in a bit, hopefully James brings a word today, i've only heard him once, while giving his 'testimony' with his wife Jenn, however it turns out today, the presence of God's Spirit will engulf the congregation, he seems to do that, he's seems appreciative of the worship, it's been a noticeable pattern, which i'm thankful for... teach, convict, and minister to your 'body' today, please, Lord God, waiting in anticipation to see the fruits of your labor...
 ... thinking about a weird topic, wondering about the trigger-points God may have in response to the proliferation/expansion of evil, or is it because humans were destroying the earth at a dangerous rate that God intervened with anger and wrath (according to the Psalmist, Prophets, and Priests), or because we were destroying each other with no consideration for ten simple commands, which can be summed-up in two simple 'commands', intelligent advice, sustainable attitude and actions... man's negative actions typically yield negative re-actions, from multiple sources...
 seems like God has ways of getting our attention, whether it be through good or bad experiences, offering us time to heal, repent, to bless, or be blessed... seems like God likes his creation, but sometimes we go a little, or a lot crazy/nuts/destructive thoughts/words/actions, and offers us the chance to re-calibrate... i invite the reader to ask God to re-calibrate the thoughts/attitudes, and repetitive behavior/actions/choices that don't comply with the ten-commandments, or the fruit of the spirit... and please, pray the same for me, the rise of evil still has me on edge, locked/loaded and prepared for war... i don't really like that, i know i'm pretty good at it, and ready to protect and defend, but i don't like it... i'd rather be sitting around singing in worship, and smiling, and helping others with time/engagement/deeds... fighting is easy, so is love, and they can both be difficult at times... praying that God ministers to his family today, that we receive what is offered, discern our short-comings/sinful attitudes and actions, and have the courage, or humility, to make eternity-affecting changes...
 ... think i'm about ready for some coffee and a wake-up shower, God bless. -- ct

11-26-23 later:  notes for later... operating under varying levels of consciousness, operating like a robot/drone, various types of impairment, concentration versus distraction, getting lost in thought mind-wandering...
 ... also, something about operating in your gifts, knowing them, whether you accept the reality of your strengths, weaknesses, motivators, interests, passions, intuition... topics for future consideration, things bouncing around the ol' noggin.  --  ct
 11-24-23:  pay it forward... proud of my daughter's charity, both of them... as a family of five living in an expensive section of our country, we often found ourselves pretty broke, and struggling to pay the bills, afford heating oil, afford electricity, afford food, sometimes rent, car insurance, car repairs, car replacement... not sure if you've experienced this type of cycle personally, but you sort of juggle priorities, you pay the most angry/impatient/threatening folks/corporations when you receive pay/compensation, tell the rest you will pay them asap, hope you don't get some utility shut-off, hope you don't get anymore unexpected bills, and hope that you get some better job, or another secondary/tertiary job to help get out of the shit-storm you've been navigating... it sort of puts you in a type of 'survival mode', which is analogous to prioritizing/focusing/acquiring physiological necessities, and usually triggered some kind of depressive attitude/behavior in me... enter community and government... over the past twenty-something years, as i struggled with various types of employment, sometimes getting fired or laid-off with little-to-no warning, trying to self-medicate with caffeine/alcohol--the caffeine was to help wake-up, and the etoh to help relax and sleep--both are shitty ways of dealing with various problems, such as insomnia, and energy/motivation... i could go on and on about certain seasons of my life, but i think i've written enough to move on...
 ... moving on... sometimes family members helped a bit... sometimes friends who are more like family helped too... government helped with 'food stamps' sometimes, and reduced energy rates, sometimes even some 'unemployment benefits'... church helped with some provisions/assistance too, the ones that could and would... and community, well, sometimes community would surprise you the most... 'how do these folks know we are struggling', and 'what motivated them to help us', and 'God, what are you up to'... folks from the community blessed us multiple times during some of our most difficult seasons... it happened different ways at different times, but one of the blessings were done via 'giving trees', it's that thing folks do when they pick an envelope off of a christmas-tree with an idea to bless someone else anonymously... both daughters have some form of employment now, and have the ability to bless someone else in a similar way... they know that they were recipients of this cultural tradition, they understand the benefit that was provided, and are motivated to do the same for others... it's just one tiny example of charity, and my 'little girls' maturing...
 ... whether you are on a receiving side/circumstance/situation, or the giving side, it's good to know that life comes with many seasons, sometimes you have abilities/resources and the heart to do something nice without asking anything in return... and when you could use a hand/assistance/help, it's good to know that there are still some folks in this world that want to help you, they probably just don't know about your needs... there a zillion things/ways that you could help someone... sometimes folks just need an extra hand with a chore, sometimes they don't know what they don't know, they might need so much assistance that they don't know where to begin (speaking from experience), what priority to focus on... when you are healthy enough, and have the resources to do so, you will appreciate seasons of giving/sharing... in some small way it tells God that you are appreciative of your resources, whether they be time, labor, or assets... go ahead, i challenge you to be a blessing to someone, you have the ability to help in some way, maybe you just need to exercise some creativity if you don't have the resources/assets... an expression of Love comes in all shapes/sizes/religions/packages... now quit reading, and go think of a way to help, or ask for it if you are lacking... prayer helps the giver, and receiver alike. -- ct

 11-24-23 later: 
11-23-23:  it's 'Thanksgiving' here in the USA... i'm 'thankful' for a ton of things, like you, and your life, and your positive contributions toward humanity, and the way that you help others, well, i'm thankful for that, for you... those are just some of the ways that you express a bit of the Love that's in your heart/spirit/soul... i'm thankful for you, the reader, and for the many ways that you express the 'fruits of The Spirit'... so, Thank You... you are a lot to be thankful for, you aren't being stingy with God's Love... good on you mate... now have some turkey, or something.  --  ct
 11-22-23:  it's technically the twenty-third already, but i just got back from 22 hours worth of road-trip, so it still feels like yesterday to me... the traffic heading down there wasn't terrible, pretty much what i expected... coming back was much different, logic warned me that it was afternoon rush-hour to kick-off a long holiday weekend, and what do you expect when dealing with half a dozen huge cities with roads full of crazies... i knew it was going to suck, i was just surprised at the many different ways which it sucked... i could fill a swear-jar telling you all about it, maybe a couple of them jars... anyways... the tire issues just added to the whole mess of it, sixty dollars for the four cans of fix-a-flat competitors that i bought/used gives you part of the story, Hannah's car needs four new tires before the snow starts... we witnessed the end results of some nasty accidents too, which really added to the stress.  --  ct
 11-21-23: i put this out to substack, it's just a recent post from this section, and a few from the religious/philosophy section, i mooshed them together, and ended with a short conclusion... i haven't spent time working on any essays or long-rants/posts, but listening, or partaking, in some recent conversations stirred up some thoughts, and thoughts fit together somehow... part of it will help someone, somehow, it's just how it works, and if not someone else, then it'll help me, offer me better insight, or correction... in the pursuit of truth/reality/God we are often corrected, many times in the same day, when we assume too much, or operating with mental-fatigue... sometimes we are the teacher, other times a student... i'm ninety-nine point nine percent student, with plenty to learn, so please keep that in mind when reading any of my posts... i've got a ton to learn, sometimes i learn from other people, so feel free to critique, or expand more on important things that i didn't cover adequately, or more completely... i didn't even finish my first semester of college, so what do i know... i don't consider myself much of an educator, but i hope to motivate other folks... get you thinking about different things/perspectives, maybe even writing a little yourself, sharing what you've learned in a way that might be helpful for others... you look at this crummy/simple website, and my simple/imperfect writing-style, and come on man, you probably know that you can do far better, but are you? how much more motivation to try and make a difference do you need than seeing a unqualified person inserting himself into topics that i have no business in? i'm pretty sure you can better... i'm pretty sure that you have some insight on certain things that might be important enough to share... what are your strengths, what sorts of things fascinate you, what sorts of things did you learn the hard-way, what sorts of things do you want to improve... use that noggin of yours, to help others, to help future generations... or are you the selfish type, that takes excessively without giving... eventually you understand enough, and are healthy enough to be helpful to others... no one likes selfish ass-holes, they have much to learn, probably most of it the hard-way, the painful way... so come on man/woman, are you healthy enough to serve God, and make a positive difference toward humanity... i'm preaching to myself you know, most of this post is something that i learned recently, the hard-way, over the past few years or so... most of this web-site is just what i call 'writing therapy'... a tool to help get me back on track toward reality... i don't even know if there is such a thing as writing therapy, but it's kept me out of trouble, venting frustrations and anger on the old inter-web thing, complain-praying to God about the public displays of distorting/clouding reality, and distracting/wasting everyone's time with lies to manipulate herds and tribes... so please, do what i'm trying to do here, but do it better, i'm sure you could better than this, so why don't give it a try yourself.  --  ct

11-21-23 later:  soliciting prayer for my road-trip, it's supposed to be seven and a half hours with moderate traffic, but it's one of the busiest travel days on a long weekend, so anything less than eight hours is a pipe-dream fantasy... i got beef-jerkey, spanics peanuts and cashews, those peanut-butter impregnated pretzel things, some gatorade, some black rifle coffee company cans of espresso, nutrition bars, and an emergency pee-container... i could live off of the snacks for a month or two, but i'm sure that i'm missing something that i'll regret a few hours into the trip... i dunno, maybe a change of clothes in case i absorb a can of espresso... coat/hat/gloves... no matter, i've got what i need, it's just a day trip, but a full one... soliciting prayer for my road-trip, going to facilitate a 'mother and child reunion', it's only a road-trip awaaaay... can't wait to see the boy, and fill him up with some thanksgiving vittles, and see all the smiles and stuff... it's been a bit more than six-months since he's been home, so he's due for the visit... yeah man, feeling blessed.  --  ct
11-20-23:  got me a little road-trip coming up... to execute a snatch-and-grab--or, whatever they call it nowadays... not really, but going to pick up a family-member/loved-one to bring them home for the holiday... but in my mind it's like a mission, maybe a rescue operation, bring 'em home to hug Mama kind of mission... traveling through--and too--geographies/polygrams that i mildly disdain, and on one of the busiest travel days of the year (in the USA), i'm prepared to embrace some suck, i have low expectations for joy and happiness during my travels, not until the mission is over...
 ... nice day today, cool and sunny... worked with some folks that were blessing a bunch of folks with their actions, seem like a couple of decent guys, and the lady seemed to be blessed, and appreciative... also swabbed a deck, to use that old expression, figured out how to do it better next time, just need to bring some aqua for better rinsing... not sure what i would have done if i were home sitting on me arse, probably a few more chores/maintenance, and writing about who-knows-what... and probably plotting/planning some of my road-trip... grrr, i really don't care for DC, or busy traffic, but what-EVER, maybe it will be a fun adventure, possibly, hopefully, probably not... OK, going to make myself useful in some other capacity, perhaps i'll just be a student/observer tonight, who knows, time will tell. -- ct

11-20-23 later:  please, feel free to reach out, and tell me that i'm a heretic, a blaspheming so-and-so that contradicts the theology of a zillion Christians... but here, you actually don't have much 'faith', the story and mission of Jesus, and of God our Father/Creator either makes sense to you, or it doesn't, you either understand it, or not... you have an understanding of something, maybe a bunch of it, or maybe you're in a '101', or 'beginners' understanding, and you probably have a few things that you still don't quite grasp... but God's Spirit is either working on your ego, or not... you choose to follow Jesus teachings and actions, or you don't... glad that you once had faith, now you have more than that, you have a confidence in, and understanding of things, a 'filter of wisdom' to interact with the world... our faith becomes an evolution of relationship, and experience with God... can God use you to do some pretty spectacular things sometimes, absolutely, is it by 'faith' that spectacular things happen, i dunno, you tell me, how many mountains (literal or figurative) have you moved, and are you still following God, and being open to working on His behalf... you are following God because you know, and are mindful/purposely/actively pursuing a deeper connection with 'Dad'... don't confuse faith with the act of knowing and following God... you are an active-participant in the greatest relationship that ever existed, you are either know that, or not... the word 'faith' is a bit of a crutch to remain an ignorant dysfunctional idiot... you are not, unless that's the path that you choose to remain on... you have free-will, and spiritual-intelligence, if the mission of Jesus makes sense to you, you have accepted the friendship of our Source, and made a decision to actively pursue that relationship, and to work on behalf of God to positively effect humanity to some degree... you have much more understanding and wisdom to fall back on a one-worded answer to 'what's you religion', it's a lot more understanding than 'faith' after you participated in some physical or metaphoric 'baptism', you are no longer an infant that was just birthed into a whole new world/perspective, you are now a functioning individual, who still relies on God for a TON throughout your life, and you won't understand everything as clearly, or as deeply as you want, and when you want, but you have much more understanding than faith alone, don't let the word 'faith' be a crutch to stay foolish, ignorant, and immature in your connection/relationship with God, and the way you interact with your environment/creation, you have much more than faith, you 'know', if God has imparted some of His Spirit into you then you have much more than faith now... you don't understand everything, but enough that you thoughtfully engage in your relationship, sometimes you might go astray, but you now 'KNOW' something, can you articulate that which you now know... am i twisting words/theology enough to bother you, go ahead and tell me so, let 'er rip, tell me why i'm wrong... you are in a wireless/telepathic relationship with the God which encompasses the entire universe, so don't sit there blowing raspberries smacking yourself on your head saying 'faith Faith FAITH'... your story explains a cause and affect relationship that you partially understand... maybe faith birthed/started a chain-reaction, but faith was the tip of that ice-berg, you began considering God, and your infractions toward humanity and creation, God confirmed that for you, and invited you into His arms, to offer you something that you have been missing... you accepted that invitation, an invitation to evolve, to turn away from things you know are wrong, to grow in your relationship, and make positive contributions toward humanity on behalf of Love... i don't know how much of that is simply 'faith'... you didn't just 'guess' something correctly, you acted out on motivation/understanding/wisdom, and maybe it's all by God's Spirit that you received it, and understood it... i think that's how is goes, something like that... i'll concede this, faith is still a fraction of your relationship... anyways... always pray for more understanding (and faith if you are truly lacking), to see things more clearly, to embrace reality, both which is seen, and unseen, because reality includes both, and you are smart enough to understand that, because you accepted God's invitation for friendship... good job, mate, good job... may God bless you in a new and exciting way, and you do your part to keep your relationship fresh too.   -- ct
 11-19-23:  cool, and bright clear morning in rockingham county, it's like 'Cool Change', but without the water... as i glance outside i can hear the leaves mocking me... 'you might get some of us, but you'll never get all of us, you old booger' they shout... my hearing isn't as good as it used to be, but i'm pretty sure it was something like that... or maybe it's just the tinnitus again... had a crappy night's sleep again, that makes two in a row, bummer... praying for some folks this morning, looking for evidence of renewal/revival in their hearts/minds/souls/spirits, now let it be so... i suppose i could use the same, may it be... God bless, enjoy your sunday. -- ct

11-19-23 later:  met some awesome folks today, the church sponsored a big 'ol Thanksgiving meal after the service, so i got chatty with some new, and some familiar faces, each time you talk to folks you hear a little more about them, their 'story', and to some degree, 'humanity'... you learn more about human-nature, your-self, and even God... you learn more about cause and effect, how we use our intelligence, gifts, resources, and free-will --sometimes for good, sometimes for bad, sometimes not giving a whole lot of attention to what we do... you learn what sorts of things other folks appreciate, what bugs them... how similar, but different we all are... dinner was great, the company was better.  --  ct

11-19-23 laterer:  i haven't worked on any guns lately, been missing my 'gun therapy', but there are too many other financial-priorities at the moment... with all that said, here's an idea for my next full build:

 ... i'd rather build it on an M-5 (308) platform, but a 5.56 would be cheaper AND easier on the shoulder to shoot, a little cheaper upfront cost as well (could also shoot 22LR with the conversion-bolt kit), i typically build the free-float design, but the wood components beg for the old-school front-sight tower... i think it would be pretty sweet, but somewhat of a pipe-dream at the moment, too many other priorities... chances are good that i'll only shoot a few more times before we move, so starting a new project isn't prudent... but man, an old-school looking AR with the wood furniture would look nice, use some decent innards and it would make a sweet, soft-shooter too, but it'll probably be on the heavy side... anyhow, that's enough gun-therapy for today... there, i feel a little better just writing about it, now i've got some dirty-dishes to contend with, i had to motivate/psyche myself up with the gun-talk to tackle the dreaded chore.  [UPDATE: i ended-up doing some unexpected plumbing instead of dishes, i don't 'plumb' very often, it wasn't very pleasant, but it was better than doing dishes, as far as i'm concerned]  --  ct

11-19-23 more later:  just started thinking about the last dream from this morning, it's what woke me up... it was the real shitty kind... i offered myself as bait during a nasty event that transpired, and got the deviant terrorist to chase me instead of victimizing additional people (nothing too scary about that part), and then i woke up just as i was about to dispatch the enraged predator, that's what i found troubling... his actions leading-up to the end-point were troubling, and so was the end-point... you could interpret dreams a zillion different ways, and you'll eventually get it right with proper discernment... i didn't like what was about to transpire in the dream, for now, that's enough of a take-away for me... wonder what awaits tonight's dream-scape, and fantastical trip around the galaxy, hopefully nothing that ends with me dumping the G-20's magazine into a representation of evil, no one likes those dreams... i'd like to pre-order a dream filled with fluffy domesticated unicorns, a citrusy-IPA, and maybe some rasta-music tickling the auditory system...how about something along those lines tonight... i'll take a couple of those, please, and thank you... Victor spoke about one of his dreams this morning, it's sort of what reminded me about the nasty one i had... what if i put my order in for one of them 'God dreams', that could potentially be better than fluffy unicorns and pleasant music... but not like one of them 'Revelations' sort of dreams, actually, who am i kidding, i'd take whatever dream God offered.   --  ct
 11-18-23:  quiet house on a cool, rainy autumn morning, one daughter is off to work, and the other two ladies are still sleeping... love me a quiet/peaceful house... sipping on coffee number one, listening to the occasional car go by, Main St isn't very busy this early on a Saturday, that'll change soon enough...
 ... most of the trees around the property have dropped their leaves, so leave removal is the next big project coming up, we get quite the collection of 'em around here... the church parking lot could probably use a few minutes with the leaf-blower too, but that will wait until the rain stops, and things dry out a bit... tomorrow looks to be dry, so that's when i'll probably tackle our yard/leaves, all zillion and a half of them.  --  ct

11-18-23 later:  how do these things coincide/fit-together, what's their association?  and what begat what, or, what motivates/triggers another?

 ... societal glorification of material items
 ... government and society condescension of God and church
 ... societal glorification of luxury/royal life-style
 ... exhausted, dead, or 'missing' local churches
 ... criminal behavior (stealing, murder, envy, strife, covetousness)
 ... single-parent, or otherwise, broken families
 ... financially depressed and over-crowded geographies

'glorification' meaning advertising, movies, television, PR-specticles

got pulled away, again... many more items to list  --  ct
 11-17-23:  nice day, blew some leaves around for a bit... long enough that the bald-spot's tan is envious, except that it's a bald-spot, no one seeks/desires one of them, but the tan is sweeeet... trying not to judge books by their cover, mostly because i suck at it... in the recent past i was completely fooled by someone that appeared to be doing very well, but they were dealing with pain/inner-turmoil... and then the opposite, someone appeared to be in distress/pain, but turns-out they were in deep-thought (probably prayer too)... i suck at a zillion things, judging the state of a person's health from a short time of observation ranks high on that list, but that's what i get from assuming, and not asking questions... both folks got plenty of prayer, so my poor-discernment wasn't completely wasted in ignorance... one-on-one i probably would have picked-up on the truth a little better, but with just the right amount of stimuli/distractions i'm the village-idiot, sometimes, many times, most of the time... i ate two steak-and-cheese subs in two days, one more and i hibernate for a season... i'm not eating in a very sustainable/realistic style, that's got to change asap... same with the beverage selection, coffee and beer alone will only accelerate aging, tomorrow i add some herbal-tea to the routine, and try to stomach some water too... trivia question for the reader... what percentage of the American population is chronically dehydrated... well don't ask me, look it up man... :-)
 11-16-23:  get my other glasses back tomorrow, i should be able to see the world more clearly, the readers are great within a couple feet, but everything else is a bit of a blur... don't ask how i've gotten by two weeks without them, i haven't a clue, i'll chalk this one up to a minor-miracle
 11-15-23:  tale of two personalities... i've heard this mentioned by multiple people, maybe dozens over the years:
'speaking in public on stage is difficult/scary/uncomfortable'
... and
'public speaking is easy, but individual/intimate groups weird me out'
 ... i hated speaking in front of groups for many years, and--once upon a time-- was thrown into the proverbial 'fire', sink or swim, into the deep-end... how ever you like to say, it happened... pretty sure i babbled for moment or two (until my soul returned to my body), and that was my ice-breaker, in a theater full of people who were far more educated than i, but not about the subject/product that i presented... it went well, eventually the color returned to my skin, and they gave me a giant cheese-ball as a parting-gift...
 ... i've had the opposite too, it's not just speaking individually, but it was more certain people, i think... after you've been sent to the principle's office a few times it's easy to start dreading certain meetings/appointments... maybe it's something to do with assumptions/judgement/naive-expectations... i dunno... actually, this post is just a place-holder, a note/topic for a future essay... but i heard both personalities explain their polarity recently, the one who is more comfortable on stage is a somewhat new concept for me, another friend that does comedy said the same thing about a year or two ago, and got me thinking about the opposite issues... i've got plenty of issues that i struggle with, individual vs. corporate communication isn't one of them, but i completely empathize with both personality-types, as well as the tummy-fluttering that both get when facing their nemesis/challenge... will i stay focused and cover everything... will i be accepted/well-received... will i pass-out from anxiety... will i get boo'd or egged... the anxiety felt by both personalities come with a boat-load of pre-conceived/faulty expectations that may keep you from being in the moment... ADD sucks with either type of communication, i can go from brilliant to idiot (look, squirrel) in less than a second when the ADD-beast is attacking... like i said, this post is just a note/topic to explore another day... but there's something about being authentic and comfortable in your own skin, and confident in the information that you share... i dunno, i've got to read/study a bit more about these opposites. -- ct
11-14-23: pretty easy day, i needed it after last-night's poor sleep performance... couldn't breathe well through my nose once i got horizontal, got a dry/pasty mouth breathing through it, also tried to sleep without the ambien... put those things together and you get a something along the lines of a kick-in-the-crotch when you had expectations of a warm piece of apple-pie instead...
 ... i've got a busy few days coming up, got a bunch of errands, appointments, chores, and a funeral in between them all... some of those things are helping myself, and some helping others, seems like a good ratio this week, not too busy, but busier than the typical isolation that this introvert is used to...
 ... glad that i'm healthy enough to be able to move around better, the sleep is still pretty inconsistent, and the wrist and hip are still recovering, and the shoulder is bugging me more and more lately, but glad i can move pretty well again... reminder to get back to self P/T for my hip, i tried to jog across a street tonight and almost tripped, pretty pathetic... the wrist is improving, my grip-strength is pretty good now... got a 3-month post-op appt with the surgeon's office tomorrow, probably my last visit with them... similar to the hip, self-therapy is in order since i graduated from O/T, the rest of the work is up to me... i am SOOOO looking forward to next Spring, to be able to do some of the physical things that i couldn't do this year during the recovery-period, it'll be interesting to see what my new limits will be, what the new-normal will be like, at 48 or 49 i was still very strong and capable, and then it only took a year and a half doing electrical work to break me, i learned a lot, but none of it was worth the damage to my body, i'm an idiot for doing it as long as i did, but i didn't know what else to do, so i just kept doing it until i wasn't invited back anymore...
 ... met some awesome folks tonight, some folks that were willing to humble themselves and be transparent and real with others... and that's some powerful stuff right there, when we identify reality, embrace it, make adjustments, we move forward with renewed strength, confidence, and freedom... moving forward still has up and downs, so does life in general... being honest with ourselves, others, and God is a catalyst for progress... acting is not... anyways, met some awesome folks tonight... also got some confirmation from two other folks that could sense some negative-energy/disturbance last Sunday at the same place, same time... i haven't spent a lot of time contemplating the issue, but will be diligent in prayer going forward.  --  ct
 11-13-23:  it's butt-cold in rockingham county this morning, the car windows were frosty and everything, i'm ready for Spring... going to check on someone's heating problem today, and then assist someone else with water issues... i'm confident with the heat-issue, and confident with the wisdom and knowledge of the person that i'm assisting with the water-issue... betcha i learn some new things today, and exercise what i already know. -- ct

11-13-23:  the heat is back on, and the other guy called in the pros to handle the water issue... pretty successful day, but the most successful/redeeming part was the fellowship and conversation, i like listening to folks talk about things they are interested in, i love exchanging old stories/memories with folks that are capable of holding conversation, it's a rarity these days, most folks are only capable of fifteen minutes of undivided attention, or, can only part with that much time and focus... anyways, nice day... i sweated through my shirt fixing the inconsistent heating issue, it was between 76 - 82 degrees while i was working in there with the long-sleeve turtle-neck, i thought it would be chilly in there, couldn't have been any more wrong...
 ... i have some ideas/motivation for some minor essays/topics, but i really wanted to finish one of the books this year, so i feel a pull... neither should take very long, if i could disassociate--and lock myself in room for a few days--i'd probably be able to wrap-up the one project, but i've been a bit ADD as i get busier... i dunno, i think it's a good problem to have, because there are a zillion other possibilities of problems i could be dealing with... i don't know if i should give myself a deadline or not, i suppose i should just enjoy my freedom, and not fuss over the little things... good pep-talk, i'm over it already...
 ... soup for supper tonight, matzo-ball with some added chicken, my secret ingredient is some finely grated-cheese added into the matzo-meal mix, i use the parm/romano mix, cheap super-market stuff, about a quarter cup's worth, and the broth gets some salt, my bowl gets some hot-sauce too... light and simple supper that warms the soul on a cool autumn night.  --  ct
 11-12-23:  i know it's technically impossible to forget more than you've learned, but man, sometimes i feel that i have... i had one of those moments today... this is unrelated, but speaks to some of the things that i heard from different people this morning at church... this isn't 'religious' writing, but Maslow understood reality pretty well:


Behavior leading to self-actualization:


(a) Experiencing life like a child, with full absorption and concentration;

(b) Trying new things instead of sticking to safe paths;

(c) Listening to your own feelings in evaluating experiences instead of the voice of tradition, authority or the majority;

(d) Avoiding pretense ('game playing') and being honest;

(e) Being prepared to be unpopular if your views do not coincide with those of the majority;

(f) Taking responsibility and working hard;

(g) Trying to identify your defenses and having the courage to give them up.

 The characteristics of self-actualizers and the behaviors leading to self-actualization are shown in the list above. Although people achieve self-actualization in their own unique way, they tend to share certain characteristics. However, self-actualization is a matter of degree, 'There are no perfect human beings' (Maslow,1970a, p. 176).

It is not necessary to display all 15 characteristics to become self-actualized, and not only self-actualized people will display them.

Maslow did not equate self-actualization with perfection. Self-actualization merely involves achieving one's potential. Thus, someone can be silly, wasteful, vain and impolite, and still self-actualize. Less than two percent of the population achieve self-actualization



 i didn't write any of it, and cannot vouch for any of it's accuracy, but it's hard to argue against the merit of any of the points listed... today, i heard different people, in different settings, mention all of them... all of the points are biblical, and reality-based principles, and i appreciate those actions/behaviors when i see them, today i saw plenty of them... you don't hear too many people outside of church-settings speak of their flaws, defenses, weaknesses, sins, and a bunch of other things that other folks find too embarrassing to talk about, or admit... most folks don't like approaching that aspect of reality... most folks would rather talk about their strengths, accomplishments, and how brilliant they are... you know, the PR stuff... the PR stuff will do nothing but get you a job, but it doesn't help you approach reality/truth/honesty, the PR stuff is balm for the unbalanced/over-inflated ego... a good example of that statement can be found in Andrew Cuomo's ego and greed-fueled book about his self-proclaimed 'outstanding leadership' during the covid-campaign... look, i'm pretty biased about the power of writing, the therapeutic qualities of it, and how important it can be for history-sake... i encourage everyone to write, but not like the delusional bull-shit that cuomo penned, that sort of writing helps no one, ever, it separates you from reality... but, it's a good example of what not to do... technically-speaking, i'm not an idiot, although i feel very much like one sometimes, many times actually, but i've got this weird condition, it's a bit like dyslexia, mixed with poor memory, and stirred together with poor word-selection (OK, maybe i am an idiot)... that's where the writing comes into play, i can write at my own pace, a pace where i'm more apt to use accurate words while reflecting on certain topics/ideas... anyways... i encourage everyone to write, to write non-fiction, i certainly don't want to read PR-bullshit from delusional folks with over-inflated egos, trying to distort reality for the rest of us, no one needs a pile of dung like that, it's not even good enough for fertilizer...
 ... go back and look at the lettered-points above one more time, reality is a tough place to find without practicing them... and about the 'self-actualizing' thing, if you know you aren't living life to your potential, maybe do a writing exercise, write your story, write about some experiences or people or things to help you practice writing non-fiction, reaching one's 'potential' begins with knowing yourself, understanding a bunch about yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, with a heart to positively affect humanity, and to serve God... and if you're not sure how to serve God, it's easy, you start by serving/positively-affecting humanity, the rest is relation-based...
 ... to repeat my opening statement, i know it's impossible to forget more than you've learned, but 'serving' both God and man is what i've missed during my last church-hiatus, i feel a bit idiotic for not remembering as much... similar to concocting PR-illusion, sitting on my ass also helps no one ever, hmmm, the exception might be for the share-holders of the hemorrhoid-ointment companies, they are probably doing well by us folks that sit on our butts too much. -- ct
 11-11-23:  what a day, i'm a bit exhausted, and trying to process/unpack it all... faceybook reminded me of some birthdays, including cousin Don, so, i posted/wished him a happy one, and later learned that he passed early today, transitioned into whatever awaits us next, on his birthday... God speed cousin, God speed... 
 ... the day began with FB birthday wishes, and then there was the town Veteran's Day ceremony... the relatively new church in town that we hang-out with hosted a breakfast before the actual ceremony, got to meet some awesome folks during breakfast, met some Vets from town, and met some other folks from church that i hadn't conversed with prior... 
 ... also, witnessed another cousin get married this afternoon, met lot's of awesome folks there, too, including baby 'Jack'... God bless your marriage, cousin Patrick, it was an honor watching you get hitched, and celebrating for a bit afterwards...
 ... today was filled with lots of new faces, and stories, and smiles, and some sadness as well... new beginnings, and an unexpected ending... still processing much of it... you know, i got me one of them slow noggins that can't always keep up with the pace of reality, that's my handicap.  --  ct
 11-10-23:  it's fixin to get cold around here, low-temps in the twenties for the next few days, i don't like the twenties very much, and pretty much hate anything colder, but such is life at this particular latitude... i already miss the sixties and seventies, and it's only november, good grief... we need a few new space-heaters around here, two or three of them, the northern-side of the house gets pretty cold, my son's bedroom was sixty-degrees with the house thermostat set to 70, when the setting goes to 66 over-night the bedroom drops to fifties, some folks like that, but i like high-sixties, it's not like i'm camping for crying out-loud... anyways... preparing for the cold, i don't like it, and it doesn't like me.  --  ct

11-10-23 later:  i'm not into celebrating much anymore, just a special occasion here and there... celebrating my wife and our marriage tonight (when she gets home from work), she's officially put-up with me for twenty-seven years... God bless her, she deserves it...
 ... tomorrow is Veteran's Day in the USA, to 'celebrate' it i washed the latrine, and did a couple of hours of KP (kitchen patrol) today... makes me feel as grumpy as it did when i was enlisted, not really, but close... listening to Joe Rogan talk with cowboy Dale Brisby helped, they didn't do podcasts in the late-eighties to early-nineties, maybe that's why the chores sucked as bad as they did... or maybe it was just my perspective and attitude... no, it sucked, i'm pretty sure of it.  --  ct
 11-09-23:  trying to remember what i was doing twenty-seven years ago, probably praying, and then running some errands, trying to stay mission-focused, and tying-up loose-ends... not sure if i was hanging-out with my buddy Steve, or Ron and his family -- i boarded with the Piercies (sp?) for a year or so, until i married and moved into the apartment that Laura had just moved into... maybe it was the day we did 'the rehearsal', and everyone had dinner afterwards... what-ever it was that i was doing all those years ago, i know that both God and Laura were plenty on my mind.  --  ct

 11-09-23 later:  made another batch of chili in less than a week, 'tis the season for comfort-food... the last batch i made didn't have enough savory tones, and then i think i over-compensated this time with the chocolate... in the four-gallon pot i usually add a few cups of coffee, and either cocoa-powder, or chocolate syrup... i used a whole thing-worth of hersey's special dark stuff the other day, i'm not sorry that i did, but the chocolate stands out... so, i'm calling it 'sweet, sour, and spicy chocolate-chili'... or, if you eat a full quart, you might call it 'hibernation fuel', or maybe 'exercise motivation'... i'm soliciting feedback from the folks who had some... i think it's a bit too tangy/sour, 1.5 gallons of tomatoes will do that to a recipe, plus, one of the salsas that i used had vinegar listed as an ingredient... the level of spicy-heat is just about perfect for my liking, but if you like more bland food it might be a little strong... i dunno, gave away half of it already, so the feedback should start coming in soon, i still have a few more deliveries to make, so, time will tell if should repeat this particular recipe... chocolate chili, it'll stick to yer ribs.   --   ct

11-07-23:  i don't remember if Myers-Briggs labeled me as an INTP, or INTJ... the 'P' for 'Perceiving' seems about right, but the 'J' stands for 'Judging', and i can be awfully judgemental sometimes... i think how it works with me is that i 'P' (he-he, i said pee), i P, and P some more, and then i P a whole bunch more, until i feel satisfied enough to J with accuracy... but, sometimes i jump to blinding assumptions/judging, like an un-calibrated meter, and then my ego has to swallow it's pride, and then i have to really start P'ing, until i'm confident that i P'd with precision... i don't get it, i don't know how i got so weird, but it's taken me fifty-something years to get this way... Myers and Briggs should have just said that there are weird people too... shoooot, i'll tell you what, i didn't need to take a test to tell me that, i already figured that one out over time, maybe that's why the eclectic hobbies, and stuff... hmmm, wonder what my horoscope and earth-sign say about me, probably that i'm an old weird guy with a mind that's usually wandering the universe... i don't care how tests really label me, it's kind of interesting, though.  --   ct
11-06-23:  just finished a big mug full of chili, my hibernation should begin in an hour or so, seems like i should have prepared a little better... i should send this to a lab to see how many calories per cup the chili offers... i'm sure it's actual calorie-content is better suited for an Amish Farmer, a high-school athlete, or a skilled-laborer, not an unconditioned middle-aged guy that sits too often... gonna meet with some church-folks and some town-folks tonight, i think the meeting is geared toward Newton's 275 anniversary next year, not really sure how we fit in, i'm not really the celebrating type anymore, too grumpy... regardless, it will be interesting to see what needs to get done, what i can do to contribute toward all the work, and to make sure i don't volunteer for something that i'll soon regret... i'm looking forward to seeing Jon engage with town officials, and to what extent they want the church to help with the celebrating, until then, i have some hibernating to attend to.  --  ct

11-06-23 later:  trying to get some free college education, i try to do similar projects that are assigned to my youngest daughter, i don't get a degree in doing so, but maybe i'm one-zillionth smarter than before, i dunno... Composition, huh... i suppose i'm OK at it, but all that proper grammar and punctuation, and sentences and paragraphs too... no, no, no -- it all seems entirely too fancy, don't they know i'm a simple man... so, i have to pick an article and write a critical analysis on it... wait, i do that all of the time, it's called a fun hobby... maybe i should quit doing these college exercises, and finish penning my novelette, that's probably what i should be doing... actually, i need to make myself presentable now, and pour a fresh mug of Black Rifle Coffee for that meeting thing... the pressure is really on, to execute the perfect sugar to cream ratio, to find a shirt that's relatively free of wrinkles, and what to do with my hibernation-hair, i suppose a hat is in order.   --   ct
11-05-23:  guess i'm starting to understand some of the things that i've been missing by not going to a church in awhile, much of it has to do with serving others... i think i've been unhealthy enough for so long that i didn't think i had any capacity to help/serve/minister to others, i mean, i sort of did, but didn't necessarily look for opportunities to do so... now that i'm a bit better in the head, my bills are pretty much paid for without a 9-to-5, and i have time on my hands, seems like i've run out of excuses to keep isolating myself, it's time to be more intentional about paying some things forward, and serving again... it depends on your theology, how you need to understand and articulate certain events/things, but i've had some folks help me that didn't want pay-back, so i kept their spirit of love growing by helping other folks that could use some; so, depending on your theology, you could say that God motivated them to help me, and now i have some resources to do the same for God, and other folks too... God does some miraculous things sometimes, probably all of the time, but He usually uses other people to assist other people, many times we don't even realize when we are actually a vehicle of answering someone else's prayers, i know, pretty groovy, right... i think what's been permeating the old-noggin are thoughts that i need to expand my environment again, come out of the shell/home/cave, check-out the world a little bit, see if i can do my part to make it a little better, to make some positive contributions... simply minding my own business helps no one but me, usually, typically, mostly... and i think God's sort of kicking me out of the metaphoric 'nest' that i've become too comfortable in... fine... i'll help, but don't go asking me to enjoy it, and be all smiley and stuff, i'm supposed to be grumpy for crying out loud... hmmmph... i hold zero credentials or certifications to help anyone with anything (even my CPR-training has long expired), perhaps God can use me in spite of my limitations and inadequacies, we'll see, time will tell. --  ct

11-05-23 later:  not much to complain about, except that weird pain i've had most of the day... weird... otherwise, i stumped... i don't understand it all, i'm a world-class complainer... it just doesn't seem right... is this 'peace', or 'apathy', or 'contentment', maybe 'bliss'... i don't know, it's just weird... i should have complained at least a hundred times by now... i dunno, maybe this is what 'normal' is actually like, who knows...
 ... gave away most of the chili already, decided to make another batch again this week, some of that good stick-to-your-ribs comfort food that can clear the sinuses and make you know that you're still alive... i didn't get quite the savory ratio that i was aiming for, but i got the sweet, sour, and spicy pretty good... a bowl of that chili and a sleeve of saltines and i'll tell you what, wish i could text you some, or email it to you, you'd probably like it... it's basically 'kitchen-therapy' for me, i need some sort of creative outlet most days, sometimes it's in the kitchen, so, for the folks who enjoy eating it, thank you for completing the therapy-session for me, it was a nice healthy cycle... the one thing i noticed that worked very well this time, i didn't rub one of my eyes after handling the spices, my vocabulary/language usually change at that point in the cooking-process, it's almost like a warning that i should write into the instructional-primer, don't rub your eyes after adding the ground peppers, even if you washed your hands a few times, you know, 'Mace' and stuff, if you're the impatient-type, you could just as well squirt sports-cream under your eye-lid and save the slow-painful surprise... i have a love/hate relationship with oleoresin capsicum, some times it hates me right back, like Pele kicking you in the crotch, but in your eye instead.  --  ct
11-04-23:  men's breakfast at the church, a bunch of errands, and the chili has begun... wish i started the chili earlier, i might be jarring it all around bed-time... never made it back to the church to help clean-up, didn't know we were going to be running the errands so early today... got an easy day planned, got some chores to do, and chili to complete
11-03-23:  contrary to yesterday's post, i'm not going to build a race-gun, not anytime soon, all of the nice parts add-up in a hurry, but eventually i'll use that barrel for a light-weight maneuverable short-range rifle, the kind that a guy can use in a 3-gun challenge... the question of how much weight to shave/save in the build comes down to budget, these guns aren't cheap... but, guns are similar to tennis racquets and golf clubs (things i use to customize for profession), it's more balance than over-all weight that can make the gun easier to point quickly, or a shaft to flex just right, or a racquet that feels like it's swinging itself... so i'm not going to spend a ton of money to make a super light-weight speedster, maybe just a well-balanced soft-shooter that everyone would enjoy, maybe that's my goal with the 14.5 CHF 'optimum weight' barrel from Spike's Tactical, might as well make it a pleasant shooter... i usually assemble brick-shit-house type of ARs, but now i'm trying to tune them and balance them better, learning how to customize ARs for balance and fluid movement is like figuring out how to customize golf-clubs and tennis-racquets... you could even tune a gun based on specific loads/rounds you prefer, and exactly what you want to do with it... i don't shoot enough to even consider the exact load i prefer, so, pretty light, well-balanced, and soft-shooting are going to be the goals with this build... according to one person who bought the same barrel they had to enlarge the gas-port to get it to cycle .223 dependably, they said it's more 5.56-pressure tuned... i don't want to open the hole up, but maybe i should, and then put an adjustable gas-block on it so i can tune it down in case i open the hole too much... we'll see, time will tell... but it's getting too close to Christmas to be buying parts for this next build, it'd be cheaper for me to finish the 300-blk pistol, the gas-block doesn't have to be too fancy/light-weight, neither do the hand-guards or BCG... maybe that's my next project to finish, the 416 match-grade barrel was a blemish that was on a crazy sale, so that's how that project was motivated/birthed/triggered... maybe someday my son get's the heavy 300blk-upper that i currently have, and i'll build a slightly light version for that caliber with the barrel i've got laying around the gun safe... i want to make a 14.5" 308 in the future, i probably won't ever shoot it more then 300-500 yards, so 14.5 should not terribly reduce the efficacy for my expected use... a 5.56 requires 20" to burn all of it's propellants, and they use 14.5" 5.56 barreled-rifles all of the time now... a .308 only requires 16" to burn all of it's propellant/powder, so there you go... i might do a nostalgic-looking AR-10 chambered in .308 with a 14.5" barrel, i think that's what Sig's new designated-marksman rifle (i think it's the Spear) uses, i might go for the same powered optics too, a 1 - 6 x 24mm... i also want to do a sort of retro-build, i have more ar-10 receivers/others with no plans, so i'll probably do another .308 platform, but i want the retro one to have a wood furniture-set (stock, grip, hand-guards), the sets aren't over-priced either, the prices are comparable to decent free-floating and adjustable counter-parts, i might do the a-tower front sight-post, with a carry-handle A-2 style rear-sight on the wood furniture, it would be a little heavy, but a nice/functional and pretty rifle to pass down to the next generation, i think it'd be pretty, and i could tame-tune the felt-impact/kick of the .308 (or 7.62 NATO) round to make it fun to shoot... i have green or brown receivers to base the wood-build from, they'd both look sweet, maybe i do both the same if i like the first one... we'll see, time will tell, right now the gun-fairy money has dried-up, so this is all just considerations for future builds... the last build i finished was an AR-pistol, i made a dedicated .22LR, i used a 9" barrel, so i had to build it to pistol-specifications for legal-sake, it's a fun little shooter, it's probably my favorite AR so far (i've bought and sold over twenty over the years), the 5.56 is pretty noisy, but it doesn't kick much at all, the .300blk is softer-shooting, and generally quieter in my opinion, but a 22lr is an awesome plinker, i should have made it lighter, but i made it to work after a truck drives over it, instead... i recommend a 22-conversion kit, or a dedicated .22-upper receiver for folks with the standard 5.56 AR... the beauty of the AR is it's versatility to use other calibers from the same lower receiver, the unfortunate legal-issue is that you can't swap-out certain upper and lower receiver combinations because of definitions of pistols versus rifles versus short-barreled rifles... it's sort of a pain in the ass legal-thing for gun-enthusiasts/hobbyists, but hey, whatever, it's a law/definition which we are enslaved to abide lest you get 'SWATted' by ATF-folks with itchy trigger-fingers, the manic guys that just downed an energy-drink because they have to do a late-night raid... no one wants to find themselves in that scenario, so i keep all of my stuff on the up-and-up, including current knowledge of what constitutes a legal pistol-configuration, versus a legal rifle-configuration, versus a short-barreled rifle, versus a stripped 'other'... in all practicality, i could have just built a little .22LR upper-receiver to fire from my older .300blk pistol's lower-receiver, but i like the idea of having a stand-alone 22LR, it's crazy-fun, i'm still trying to figure-out what sights or optics to use for it, right now it's borrowing the old beat-up red-dot from the 300... i'm telling you what, the big guns are nice and all, and can hunt some substantially-sized critters, and offer adequate protection/defense, but the little 22 is your fun back-yard plinker, the one you shoot the can off of the fence with, and then make the can dance for the rest of the magazine, it's thaaat kind of fun little shooter, the kind that we're likely to wear the rifling out of the barrel over the next decade, i shouldn't have made it so darn heavy, though... but Laura likes it too, i'm sure Hannah would love it... i should build one for each of them, some nice light-weight plinkers... i sincerely hope to see the ATF's definition of SBRs modified, or, the whole 'tax-stamp' process eliminated for SBRs... i don't mind complying with the appropriate permission-process to own NFA-items, i'm going to build some in the future, and i will go along with each required step to do so, but i'm waiting until we move/re-locate... you have to get some extra permission just to cross state-lines with NFA-items, which is a royal pain in the ass thing to meet legal requirements (i live three minutes to Mass.)... so, when we finally move (hopefully in the next year or so), i'll start the process of building some SBRs, and building--or buying-- suppressors for a few calibers too, but i don't have the space to shoot much where we live, and i don't want to prioritize the NFA-approval process for something that i'll have to ask permission to travel with when we move... that's actually the logic that prevented me from taking advantage of the Biden/Garland free SBR-thing regarding folks who owned legal pistol-stabilizing braces, i have two of them (neither are installed right now), i'm still fine to legally own them, they are not illegal to install on something that meets the legal definition of a rifle, just not a pistol right now, not until the Garland ruling is over-turned, and i might buy a couple more of them... the whole brace-registry thing was free in regard to the typical $200 tax-stamp required for NFA items, but you still have to pay to have it engraved within ATF-specs, and now you are greatly limited to where you can travel with it and shoot it... i live on the border of Mass, most of my shooting buddies live in MA, i would have to ask the ATF for permission about a month's prior notice to go shoot an SBR with the guys, but my pistols are no problem, i just can't bring magazines with > 10 rd capacity... so, all of the SBR and NFA items will wait until we move, i don't need silly legal-hurdles holding/preventing me from moving anytime we choose, i'll be thinking about a zillion different things when we move, i don't want to turn myself into a felon by forgetting a rule about interstate-travel, and what constitutes a pistol from a rifle from an SBR from an 'Other'... silly rules are a pain in my arse, but it's what you have to pay attention to if you want to own/carry potentially dangerous mechanical devices, such as firearms... in closing, it seems that finishing a 556 race-gun is too much money for now, and the 300blk home-defense pistol will be less money to complete, and the .308 builds are for future endeavors, i thought the green and brown anodized 308s looked pretty sweet (even the blemished items that i bought), so the 308s will have a unique look to them, especially if i finish them off in wood, i think one will be wood, and one will be a light-weight 14.5" with a pinned/welded muzzle-device to make it legal-length, it's cheaper than an NFA shorty, and i could go shoot one in MA tomorrow if we wanted to... OK, just writing about the future work is enough gun-therapy for me today... if we don't move to a place with enough property to shoot on then i'll be a moron with too many guns sitting around that are not getting used, i don't want to be thaaat-guy... speaking of which, i still haven't shot the big .458 socom upper yet, i could hunt brontosaurus (big hogs more likely) with that cartridge, the partial kit came with a stiffer buffer-spring that Wilson Combat recommends using, so i might make a dedicated rifle for the big-boy 458scm, and not just leave it as a completed 'upper', i've got a stripped 'other' that i'd just have to complete for that... hmmm, maybe i ought to finish the lower for that first, that's pretty easy, and the cheapest project to finish... OK then, first the 458 rifle, then the 300 pistol upper, then the 556 race-gun upper, and then the 308s... probably something like that... that's enough to keep me busy for a couple of years, unless i hit the lotto, then it's a month or two of hobby-therapy... i don't normally have these many guns, or have that many build projects going on simultaneously, but the AR-platform is one of the best invented, and with all of Biden and the democrats threatening the legality of them, well, i reacted by making sure i had enough receiver sets that i could build almost every caliber that i thought i might want, at the time, i might get a few more now, as wild-cards, because--you know--maybe an 8.6blk build, or who knows what... harsh rhetoric from American globalists and marxists causes firearm buying cycles/frenzies, and i re-acted to it this time around, i didn't during Obama, but i did with The Brandon... if Aero Precision comes out with another sweet builder's set i might be tempted to get another Other for future-sake.   -- ct
11-02-23:  think i'm going to build a race-gun style AR-15, i wasn't planning on it, but i think that's what i'll do with the long-life barrel i bought awhile ago, it's 14.5, so i'll have to get a muzzle-device tapped, pinned, and welded in place... i don't intend on competing, but a light-weight maneuverable short-range riffle is appealing... i've already got a nice lower-receiver that's done, and it's already got an awesome JP Enterprises trigger already, i've got the medium-light cold-hammered chrome-lined barrel, so i think a race-gun is appropriate... i like the idea of 3-gun competitions, but i'm an introvert that appreciates peace and quiet, not noisy manic busy events... some of my buddies compete in different shooting events, i probably would if i could... now i need a light-weight gas-block, hand-guards, and probably a light-weight bolt-carrier... titanium gas-block, carbon-fiber hand-guards, probably a JP Ent. stainless carrier, and a red-dot that's yet to be determined to top it all off... i love a fun project, my first race-gun, a light-weight soft-shooter chambered in 556, should be sweeeet.  --  ct
11-01-23:  for halloween i dressed as an unconditioned, middle-aged, balding, white male, who doesn't give a crap about personal appearance... i nailed it... i was wearing dirty work-clothes handing-out the candy last-night, until my oldest daughter and wife got home and assumed candy-responsibilities... i went back outside later, it got pretty cold by 8:pm, forty-something degrees, it got just below freezing over night... there were some darn cute kids, the whole 'trick or treat', and the 'happy halloween', and the 'please and thank you', too cute, and, i met some new neighbors from down the street, their french bull-dog was snorting like a little pig, all out of breath from taking an extended walk, too cute... i might be a halloween grinch, but it was fun/entertaining/rewarding, i'll admit that much... i had a kit-kat, a reeces, and a twix with supper, God knows i really don't need this left-over candy sitting around the house, our town does this 'treats for troops' thing, so whatever is left by friday is going to some troops some-where... those calories are better served for young-active folks with physically-demanding jobs, not a middle-aged guy that sits on his ass many days, that's not a good combination at all... what about some slivers of snickers added to pan-cake batter, we've go some snickers too.  --  ct
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