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 starting 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.

 October 2023
10-31-23:  trick or treat, and stuff... handed out some candy and treats to the folks that came by for the first hour or so, Laura and Hannah are on duty for now... kind of weird, some lady that's a total stranger walked by with her family and thanked me for something that i helped with a few years ago, she know's the family that was impacted, and showed some appreciation, i must be in need of encouragement, i've been getting peppered with it lately, weird... you are most welcome, glad i could help with your friends, and your French Bulldog is crazy cute, snorts and all...
 ... i caved-in this afternoon, i bought about ten more bags of candy on my way home from Maine, Jon and Lauren both reminded me that this was a big deal for kids, so, fine, but the kids are going to be strung-out on sugar for days you know... 
 ... i wrangled/herded a shit-ton of leaves today, until all three batteries for the leaf-blower were exhausted, and only half of the property looks decent, i'll have to get back up there and finish the rest of the leaves soon, but only a third-to-half of the trees dropped so far, so maybe i wait another week or two, i dunno...
 ... the halloween pulled-pork came out pretty good, i set the butts in the crock-pot with some 'Sweet Baby Rays' BBQ-sauce around six this-morning, and when i got back from ME this afternoon it was ready, it actually shredded nicely for a change, pulled-pork sammich and a session-IPA as my reward for a long day, which is awesome for a simple guy like me...
 ... to all of the parents with the little kids that stopped by for candy and conversation tonight, 'Thank You', there were some very adorable kids that came by for a treat, and all of my smile-muscles are exhausted, spent, kaput... too cute...
 ... my left wrist and forearm are pretty sore, they ought to be, hopefully the muscles and tendons relax/release overnight... Lauren will beat/message the crap out of them next appt if they aren't behaving by then, so if they know whats good for them they will calm-down a bit by then...
 ... praying for a young man named Dade, he had a serious car accident... for a guy named Chris, the radiation treatments he had for cancer is still causing pain months later, a 'wake you from your sleep' kind of pain... for Lauren and her son's communication, and her busy schedule... for Richard and Christine, for calm and peace through the storm... and for Frank and Ann, same thing, peace through the storm.  --  ct
10-30-23:  it's almost halloween, cool, fine, what-ever... i'll admit that my cheeks are sore from smiling at the little-ones at my daughter's work, but don't mistake that as me enjoying halloween, i'm still grumpy about conforming to a commercialized load of crap... sure sure sure, the unicorn cracked me up, and so did both of the puppy costumes, and the monster's Inc. thing too, and the rest had me smiling ear to ear, but don't you go thinking that i like any of this nonsense... this could be the year where the tooth that needs to be crowned finally splits/shatters, i don't need this much candy sitting around the house, i'm likely to eat too much of it, or bust a tooth or something... stupid halloween, you with the cute kids and the candy and everything, good grief...
 ... speaking of cute little kidos, how about that Gavin Newsom fella playing some hardcore bully-style basketball against the little Chinese kid, brilliant act of foreign-relations, you big dummy... you seem to thrive in CA, please stay in your lane/environment/geography, please don't leave CA, not even for another second, you don't seem to know how to conduct yourself elsewhere, especially abroad... brilliant offering of propaganda material, most Americans are subjected to guilt-by-association when famous VIPs/representatives/officials do stupid things like running over a forty-pound Chinese school-kid... Newsom get's an A-plus for his smile, hair, being a big-dummy, trying too hard, and offending a billion people while embarrassing your home country, but an F-minus in everything else, like foreign relations and such... guess which state is probably going to see the latest virus spread, i don't know how they spell it Mandarin, but in America and Mexico we call it 'California', they'll probably be the first to get nuked too, now... after considering all of that, i'm heading out to buy some more last-minute candy, i don't want a burning bag of dog-crap at the door tomorrow night.  --  ct
10-29-23:  busy sunday, breakfast and church were good, then a drive to southern ME to see the in-laws for the afternoon... if i complain about shoulder or wrist problems the next day or two it's from sanding a wall, i did some of that, hands stretched up and out, at least i stopped for a break... oh... i forgot to stretch before i started, Lauren kindly instructed me to do so last week, memory-fail, i'll probably be paying for it tomorrow, pretty sure i'll have some complain-writing tomorrow... thanks God, for the opportunity to experience today, it was wet and all, but filled with decent people.  --  ct
10-28-23: the IDF is fixin to raze the little sliver of land that some folks call the Gaza Strip, if you reside in that small sliver of land expect that all of your possessions will probably be gone for ever, it's not just the houses and buildings that hide/pose threats, it's literally the ground beneath your feet, the tunnel system must be destroyed, and that will probably compromise the integrity of your houses and buildings... that's just how it is at this point, people don't like being attacked/tortured/slaughtered, when you do that to a well-equipped, determined, and intelligent state/nation you have no idea how thorough the return-fire can be to eliminate the threat... violence sucks, it just does, it happens all over the world all of the time, mostly in small scattered pockets/geographies, when it happens on a grand-scale the world takes notice, allies on both sides posture, threaten, and support... the allies of both Israel and hammas are well known, but the extent of their support and participation remains to be seen, the folks in the region are the ones with the most to gain or lose, regional folks and weapons-manufacturers and investors, that is...
 ... just as Russia did, Iran waited until a senile fool was promoted to president in the USA before they executed their violence over their adversaries... which other nations will follow suit remain to be seen... who funnels money, munitions, militants, and other assets/resources to their side/team, all of that remains to be seen... will china take the little island that they've wanted for so many years, now that the DNC/deep-state straw-man is our country's chief executive, who know's, time will tell... at what point does the US run out of weapons getting involved in international skirmishes and leaving ourselves even more vulnerable than we are... mean-while, the US tax-payer is on the hook for the bill, but the same government that collects the taxes reaps the financial benefit of wars, it double-dips, and the tax-payer is never rewarded, we're just by-standers, mostly oblivious or lazy or worse... both...
 ... some folks in the christian community are pretty-damn certain that Israel's latest defense/skirmish is prophesied 'end times' straight-up Revelations and Enoch what-ever else, maybe so, i don't reflect a ton on that, but i'm not the brightest bulb in the bunch either, so, there's that... if there is going to be a more deliberate world-war 3 -- not just staged via proxy-wars -- and if that ww3 is the beginning of the end of the end of the end of times, time will tell, but i'm not particularly planning for that... preach and practice peace and love, but be prepared to meet violence with violence, unless you just want to be attacked/tortured/slaughtered... i'm a bit protective, i appreciate the US Army teaching me how to effectively defend myself and others with an m-16 variant, and appreciative of my right as a mostly law-abiding citizen to own and operate an AR-variant for all legal purposes... no one needs me running-off to go fight their fights, but i can defend a reasonable-sized geography/environment... would you have been able to effectively defend/engage/fight-back against a small army of thugs that purposely targeted civilians in their homes and in the streets and places shared by society... is that even a concern... violence is being promoted/incited/instigated by evil-doers... you see what it's done to other people in other places, and how many people were prepared to resist the evil, to engage and fight back against evil, and who was under the false illusion and expectation that life is a fairy-tale absent the villain... whether or not the events around the world are pre-cursers to biblical prophecy remains to be seen, time will tell... an emboldened violent evil seems to be uncontained and multiplying... i don't know how one goes about preparing for 'the end times', practice and preach love and peace, but also practice to defend/resist/engage and do your own part to help contain evil when you have to, you are more capable than you think, but you have to give life-saving defense and engagement some fore-thought/planning, and not oblivious, naive, and lazy about it...
 ... you can still legally purchase, own, and operate an AR-10 or AR-15 or other AR-variant in most states, they are great for home and property defense... that would have helped the village in Israel that was targeted over-night recently... you can still legally purchase, own, publicly-carry, and operate a hand-gun for all legal purposes in most states... no one wants to have to carry their handguns when they go to a bowling-alley/recreation establishment, or when we go to restaurants, but a couple of brave/realistic people that did so in Lewiston, ME might have helped in the recent mass-murder...
 ... you have no idea how much i love and appreciate folks that are peaceful pacifists, it tells me that you have a good heart, and i consider it an honor to protect such folks from deviant-predators... i practice and preach mutual-respect, but don't appreciate terrorists and other folks who snap and go into predator-mode... i'm thoroughly/completely convinced that firearms save more lives in the USA then kills every year... it's news-worthy when they are used in crimes, but almost never mentioned when used thwarting or dissuading crime and murder from ever happening... firearms, and brave folks who are prepared to use them for any/all legal-purposes can certainly help put an end to predator-frenzies, which protects against current and future victims... capable people with firearms save lives everyday, period, capable people with firearms deter most crime when openly carried in public or private, period... if you have the will to survive do you have the strength, intelligence, and will to have to fight for that survival, or to protect those who can't or won't do so... practice peace and mutual-respect, but make sure your AR's gas-system is well-tuned and the action feels smooth... it's what Granny always said... not really.  --  ct
10-26-23:   it's really Really REALLY nice out, sunny, mid-seventies, and much of the trees are brilliant right now... the wrist is doing well despite the work that i did yesterday, maybe i shouldn't be surprised by more progress, but i am.   i actually lifted and carried one of those big-ol' 5-gallon water jugs from the car to it's spot in the kitchen, that's kind of exciting... the one thing i helped my neighbors with ended-up just being some caulking around their window, it was a pleasantly easy job... the other thing was moving some chairs and tables to sweep and wash a floor, neither the sweeping or mopping motions stressed the limits of the wrist, another nice surprise... a local handy-man was back today with a new storm-door for us earlier. Gordon seems like a decent guy, he caulked around the chimney the other day, i'm thankful that i didn't have to do any of that, the roof angle is pretty steep for my comfort, he was repairing the land-lady's roof last-week, so she hired him to fix a couple of things around here too. i didn't realize that his daughter that came to help him the other day is LEO, i have a terrible gauge for guessing people's age, i thought she was fresh out of high-school, but she's already got a bachelors, went to the police academy, and is under contract for the next town over, don't ask me to try to 'age' people, i suck at that... i don't remember talking to Gordon about the 955s when i had it, but he remembered it, he's a corvette-guy himself, sweet, anyways, he and his daughter seem like good-people, he speaks highly of her, and she loves her dad enough to help him go caulk a chimney when she's off-duty. i'm thankful for the new door, and hope he found/patched the leaky spots around the flashing on the chimney, no more dripping in the upstairs hallway when the heavy rains come... OK, pardon me, but i've got some leaves, dishes, and laundry to go wrestle with... enjoy your weekend.  --  ct
10-25-23:  wow, it's the twenty-fifth already, got a little work to do today, run a couple o errands, and then just have to secure a piece of baseboard trim... i can't believe i called that 'work', but it's kind of similar to stuff that i used to do for day-to-day work, so, 'work' is almost an accurate description... the wrist seems pretty good today, i took the kinesio-tape off a little while ago, i need to get some moisturizer on this crepe-skin arm of mine, the pain-level is low, which is a nice way to start the day, we'll see how it responds to a little work.  --  ct

10-25-23 later:  i did the one job easy-peasy, but didn't do the second thing that i hoped to fit in, my whole body is tired-exhausted, i might be seeing a bad-one tomorrow, i torqued it pretty hard rotating while tightly-gripping... i'm gonna be seeing a baaad one... stupid tendonitis... i wonder how much that tiny little muscle contributes to over-all grip strength... it's small, but might be a big factor, we'll see.  --  ct
10-24-23:  just read a buddy/sister's writing sample from one of her old journal entries, she's considering assembling a book with different entries, i'm usually a straight-shooting unfiltered get to the point 'complain-writer', occasionally i get a bit creative in the way that i explain some things... so i'm a 'creative complain writer' if i were to label myself as anything... my old friend is much more artistic in expressing her thoughts and feelings... holy-smokes, i'd buy her book, i'd buy a copy just to support her as an old friend, but after reading the sample entry i'd buy it for the reading experience that good writers seem to offer... good on you Gloria, write your book, i'll buy at least one copy, and looking forward to it...
 ... i don't write because it's something that i always wanted to do, or because it was something that i studied it diligently, or because i think i'm any good at it... i started writing as a form of self-therapy, before i formally started talking to a therapist/counselor for a season... i'm not very good at some christian disciplines, such as praying/meditating very much, plus, i sort of stepped away from formal 'church' years ago after getting fed-up with some individual institutions, i had some 'guilt by association' chip on my shoulder, i guess you could say... some folks have wise-sober folks that afford you time and concentration and helpful honesty to bounce difficulties off of, and i probably do too, but after isolating myself for years i don't know who i had left, so i found myself at a point where i was using my creativity and knowledge to decide how i would severely hurt someone as a means to deal with a complex difficulty, realized that i was not in a healthy mind-set, and sought help from a guy that was paired-up with me through a Vet-Center... Jesse is the name of the counselor that ended-up calling me, and helped me approach reality again, he just so-happened to be a christian brother too, but one who is also a military veteran, and one who must have studied behavioral-psychology, or something like that, but he was the perfect guy to help me, technically speaking, i was supposed to get someone from another office, but that other office was short-staffed, so i got paired-up with a guy from ME, it was all talk-therapy over a phone, not even video-chat, it probably helped that i was somewhere along the lines of contemplative to active-participant right from the beginning... i leave all of my old posts up for folks that are interested in this topic, you will see some progression with me getting to a more realistic and healthy state of being after the three years i've been doing this 'writing therapy' thing that i started doing... i also write as a means to what i'd call 'prayer', God know's what i've experienced, but sometimes i have to slow-down a little, finish processing information, see what i might have missed or don't understand very well, i complain to God about it first, then, sometimes i search/research a bit more, and i change my prayer about certain matters after understanding my initial beef a little-bit better, sometimes God helps clear-up my confusion in prayer, or over time... then, that initial complaint/prayer yields to better understanding with more focused prayer, and not some 'this sucks God, so please fix it' kind of prayer... active-prayer/participation can lead to a better understanding of reality, we don't always know how prayers were actually answered for many of the things we pray about, so they don't always lead to a better understanding of reality as a whole, but a better understanding of reality concerning certain matters is often my prayer... much of my prayer is simply 'is this what i really think it is, Father, it seems weird, or shitty, is there something that i'm missing'... sometimes it's both, sometimes 'weird' just means there were other factors/variables that i wasn't considering... sometimes 'shitty' things are people suffering, they are walking through (hopefully quickly) some version of the valley of the shadow of death, some folks go there to be perfected in mind/spirit/soul, some folks go there to learn ego-busting lessons to guide us back on a path of reality and toward the 'Ultimate Reality' -- a term used sometimes for God by C. Langan.
 ... so, when i say that i write for my own health, it refers to the deliberate act of writing as prayer and therapy... i also write as a bit of an activist sometimes, because i get bothered enough by sneaky people doing sneaky things to manipulate people in an effort to distort reality/truth... and i also write for my off-spring, and future generations that will be curious about their ancestors, what made christopher 'tick'... and i also write for anyone else that cares to read, there is some baby in all of this bath-water for you too... so, with all of that said, it was cool to read an artistic/poetic journal-entry from an old friend, looking forward to reading the rest of her book... cheers.   --   ct
10-23-23: beautiful day in rockingham county, i think you call this partly cloudy, it's a little cool, but still OK in a light-weight long-sleeve shirt... O/T was awesome, she used a few different therapies after the heat, the little hickey-suck thing that looks like a cute little chew-toy, but does the cupping-thing; and then a whole bunch of the little thing with the wand, i think it's ultra-sound... and the next thing i know i've got a bunch of little needles sticking out of my arm, it was so cool, dry-needling, she really focused on the one tiny forearm muscle with the tendonitis, needles and all... it was weirding me out a bit, so i focused on her inserting the needles, she had a look of focus and determination, cool... it's like they can practically see under your skin, they find the spot using touch, give you a count-down, and poke those frickin things right into you, it's pretty groovy, the muscle and tendons might loosen-up more over the next couple of days... needles, i didn't think it was really a thing besides Eastern-medicine's acu-puncture, but they follow the full length of the starting tendon to the muscle to the end of the other tendon with the dry-needles, i think i had seven of them poking out of the arm, i should have taken a picture, it was sort of cool, maybe pretty-cool, OK, it was totally cool.  --  ct
10-22-23:  happy sunday to you... i hope the rain is over for the weekend, we'll see when the sun comes up... right now i'm praying for the millions of people that will be teaching/preaching on God's behalf this morning, and throughout the day... some will have last-minute diapers to change, and the same for the vomit-marked shirt/blouse... some will face mini-battles at home while preparing, some might be in abusive relationships, they might have some extreme dysfunction of their own they are struggling with, they might have emotional battles with loved-ones or congregants who expect them to have all the answers, some might even be suicidal and looking for the will to live one more day -- they might be in survival-mode themselves, some may have out-served their usefulness to man and God years/decades ago, and now only serve their own desires while exploiting others... some are like the prophet who 'screams and cries and wonder why you never seem to learn' facing a multitude of folks who just want to be comfortable, lazy, and cherish their own sin and dysfunction, folks whose last bit of moral-maturity ended when puberty did, i call it 'extended adolescence'... i'm praying for good leaders to speak clearly today, to articulate their perspectives of God for multiple age-groups and education-levels, and for the new leader who is still a bit shaky, and crude around the edges, but has a heart for God and His people, you'll get there buddy, don't lose hope so quickly, and don't be of the illusion that your 'faith' and 'convictions' won't get tested for compromise, you just have some different types of stresses to get used to, throw your ego aside and get about God's business, bruised egos are great triggers for growth, and pushing toward reality/truth... and an ego-bruise is easier than traumas to have to overcome... i pray for the seasoned pastors that need a motivation-booster, maybe some signs and wonders that freak them out and question their theology and assumptions, that they may have more child-like humbleness before God... i dunno, i don't know what else really, but for all of the leaders, just be careful of your baby's diaper before you get in your car, don't drip tooth-paste on your shirt/tie/blouse/hoodie, be careful of the coffee or breakfast-sammich or pastry, it's gonna get on your shirt, mate... i also pray for those who will hear words from God's spokes-people today, they won't get distracted by irrelevant aspects of the stories, or go all sorts of ADD, that they will find the baby in the bath-water, the pearl, and that God will speak to their minds and souls, and that captives would be set free, free from societal/life's matrix, and will see a new/larger aspect of God/Reality today... i'd pray that today be a new stepping stone for a deeper immersion in reality, a break-through/epiphany for many, a greater experience of God's love... and, well, honestly... i just pray for God to do whatever He/God does, and that His people will respond favorably, in a positive re-action... that's not asking for too much now, is it... i suppose we'll see, time will tell.  --  ct

10-22-23 later:  church was good this morning, 'T and Bean' shared much of where they came from, their stories... if you go back to last week, Fred was one of four kids raised by a single-mother, T was one of two kids raised by a single-mom, C Langan was one of three... i was an only-child raised by a single-mom, actually, much of my mom's family, my Uncles and Aunts and family friends, and my grand-parents to a degree too, they all helped raise me, so i should be clear about that, but my mom was single with a child from a young age, maybe that's much of the shared-empathy that i have with those guys that shared their stories... raising a child, or, multiple children is exceedingly difficult at times, and that's with two parents contributing their time and energy into raising them, you take away one parent, and the resources that they would contribute to their family and the negative-effects are exponential, and then the solo-parent has to earn money and raise decent kids, and run a house-hold, and holy-smokes... when my wife dealt with some post-partum depression it was very difficult for two parents to care for one baby, i can't imagine that on a single-parent, and then when the parent has bad days too, holy shit... anyways... i appreciated hearing these folks share their story's, and mentioning their parent's struggles as well... everyone has their own unique path/struggles/journey/what-ever, almost no one ever 'has it easy', maybe some things are easier to acquire, but we all have to walk through regular-normal life, and most of us spend some time in the valley of the shadow of death too, were enemies and predators toy with us, everyone has some ongoing struggle most of the time, some are debilitating, some aren't as pressing as other times... i was commenting on some of the folks that play music at the new church, the crew on the worship-team, some of them are really exceptional musicians and vocalists... it sort of dawned on me, nobody learns to sing the blues without spending some time in their own version of the valley of the shadow of death, so some of these folks ought to be pretty awesome... talented people showing their respect and appreciation of God is really an awesome thing to behold sometimes, many times, usually... i think there are a couple more people to share their testimonies in the coming weeks, and then the pastors resume whatever their version of preaching/educating is, in the meantime, i could get used to listening to different folks share their testimonies every week, but i'm weird like that, it's how i was able to cope as customer-service for so many years, listening to people talk, i'm more interested in people's past as well as the current person, or image, that they portray, some folks are even more remarkable when you learn what they overcame to get to where they are now, maybe that's what i find fascinating... if we all live long enough we probably have many stories about lessons that we learned the hard-way, how we overcame the reactionary products of environment that we tried to live in, we all learn to respect one another a little better, most of us like helping other people when we are healthy enough to do so, most folks have some idea/concept of God, or multiple gods, most folks eventually develop a decent set of ethics or code of conduct to live-by, but some of us have limits to our patience based understanding/expectations of mutual respect, or handling deviant-predators... i presented-myself/dressed like a model for a golf-apparel company for decades, but i feel more at home talking to some of these folks from church that lived much different lives, we all know that we needed to changed, we didn't know how, and then God did something that words cannot express, God did His thing... i'm the last person that you probably want to hear 'godly things' from, i usually try to be nice to folks, but i don't mind telling an ass-hole that they are a dick-head (although that might cause some confusion based on definitions), and you definitely are not supposed to do that... so, when i say that i could listen to different folks tell their story's, i mean it, it's kind of nice knowing that everyone isn't perfect, despite their current presentation... what's your story, folks that are active-participants, or in some maintenance-mode for addiction or therapy can tell you our story, it's kind of easy because we've been humbled, and are most healthy when we are transparent and mindful of how we are reacting to our environment... it's easy for us to tell you our story, same with Christians that came around to God a little late in life, we can tell you our story... but what's your story, did you have a literal, or metaphorical come-to-Jesus-moment, did you have some trauma, or an unhealthy family, life-style, or habit to over-come... some folks have been relatively healthy most of their lives, and never needed much of an alignment, and some of us had to fall down the basement (as in T's case), some of us had to learn things the hard-way, i appreciate both types of folks, but i identify with the 'having to learn things the hard way' crowd, i mean, i still learn things the hard way all the time, so, you know, what can i say... some folks already know that i have some book projects that i'm working on, one of them sort of addresses the importance of parent-hood, and the gift and potential of our children, to raise them purposefully/deliberately, i think single-parent homes have the odds stacked against them, you take a difficult job (depending on your environment and resources), parenthood, and then make it exponentially more difficult by removing a pillar to the structure, and holy-smokes man... you don't have to make excuses for your parent's actions/behavior, but knowing the struggles that a single parent is up against is a healthy perspective in it's own right, walk a mile in someone else's shoes... i had a zillion things to hate my mom about, i'm glad that we both reconciled to God, and each other before she passed, she was far from perfect, but life was fun when she was healthy, and it sucked when she wasn't... it's been interesting listening to these other guys talk about their family-life growing up, i like it... enjoy the rest of your sunday.  --  ct

10-22-23 more later:  i met another few folks today, one's been sober from multiple things for seven years, i'm not sure what his story with God is like, but seven years ago his life took a positive change, and i'm happy for him to be able to tell me that with a smile on his face... lot's of redemption-stories lately, i love hearing them, getting sober really is very similar in nature to coming to Christ, there is this higher-power thing, and admitting to weaknesses, which is an act of clarity and humility... i'm going to check-out some of their tuesdays, it's a recovery-based get-together.   -- ct
10-21-23:  just writing for a few minutes between errands and chores... it's soggy in Rockingham county, at least in Newton it is, it was in Plaistow too... i've got a light to install, and then it's cleaning around the house, the kind that we have neglected lately... the girls are heading out in a few, so it will be quiet around here soon enough, i'm going to install the light, take a hot-shower, wear some extra-comfortable clothes, and probably listen to a podcast or something while i chip-away at the chores, i'll save my trip to the dump 'til tomorrow... thinking about a few different things that i'm helping a bit with lately, each 'thing' like that widens your environment, and/so, the tiny little thing that you are helping with comes with much more than you bargain-for/anticipated, you learn about more struggles/challenges, if there are more ways you could/should be helping, other needs that you could assist with... that's the weird thing about different environments/institutions/individuals, it can take awhile to learn the big-picture/truth, after the masks are dropped, after the honeymoon-period, after the illusions and propaganda have come to light... some folks need help in ways that we don't even realize or will admit... thinking about a few things today, i don't want to comment on any of them right now, just trying to be useful with some of my time, and limited capabilities, finding new ways to be helpful... glad that i'm in a healthy-enough state of being to be considering helping others again, i was stuck in some proverbial 'survival-mode' for awhile, and could barely help myself it seemed... my capacity to help is somewhat limited, and inconsistent still, but eventually you have to start giving back in some ways outside of your regular environment, it's weird doing that again, but, i have more free time these days, and uncle-sam pays most of my bills these days, so it's easier to be more helpful lately... i'm not ready to fully immerse myself into anyone's cause, needs, obstacles, or lives for that matter, but i'm grateful to be healthy enough to be considering such things, it's also easier that the kids are all young-adults now, and their needs are different... the total/perm disability-determination this year is already getting some ROI for the Tax-payer, uncle-sam is taking care of me to the point where i can be useful to society once again, albeit in an inconsistent and limited capacity... thank you, American Tax-payer; in some respects you are helping me achieve a greater level of potential, it's a little hard to explain, but you are. -- ct

10-21-23 later: the light - aka LCD troffer, is done, i love those things for drop-ceilings, if you get the proper lumen and color for your environment they can look like a sky-light sort of thing, even in a crummy basement if you wanted... so, i like those things, the old-school florescent ones that these replaced were much more heavy and clunky to install and maintain, so i'm glad i was just dealing with a simple and light-weight lcd-panel... when the owner is there he usually pays me plus gives me a four-pack, or six-pack of whatever my current beer-crush is, he usually tips me like that, on top of my ridiculously-low fee; but the owner wasn't there today, so no tip, fortunately i have some perfectly good pumpkin-ale at home, perfect room-temperature and everything, i'm sort of at a place where i don't charge money for fees because i have to, but just because it' time away from being at home and comfortable, you know, an inconvenience-fee, but really, if i thought the job would suck too bad, or if it's more than i'm willing to take on, then i just don't do it, but for friends, family, and decent folks you just charge an inconvenience-fee, a 'whatever you can afford-fee', or nothing, you do it to exercise old skills and bless folks... but -- truth be told -- a four-pack of decent ale goes a long-way in showing appreciation for the effort... the girls are all out, the house is quiet, and i'm writing instead of doing chores, a guy's got to pace himself you know, well, the light and all... 
 ... the rain is light and steady, i got the tools in from the car before it switched from light-drizzle to light-rain, its supposed to rain into tomorrow at some point, we could use the water, so far the precipitation isn't an overwhelming rate, so no complaints from me... but, i've got plenty of other things to complain about, you know, conspiracies and such... i've got a zillion things to complain about, but right now i've about summoned-up the motivation to get to the dishes... doing the dishes usually means that i soak myself--and everything around the sink--pretty good... dish-washing was one of my first-ever real jobs, you'd think that at fifty-four yrs old i'd have figured out how to be good at it, but this might be another good example of me presenting Einstein's definition of insanity, in fact, i'm sure of it... OK, dishes... i hate dishes.  --  ct
10-20-23:  the rain comes in today, it's supposed to be soggy all weekend... i probably won't write much today, i have errands and chores to attend to most of the day, seems like a good day for that... i hope to hear back from the facey-book anti-christian guy, he's more content trolling my buddy's facey-book page, and antagonizing him with peculiar scriptures... i don't want to give him the time of day on my buddy's facey-book posts, the creeper has already hijacked some lovey posts that my buddy made, i already responded to garner a bit more information, but trolling and sniping is bad behavior that i won't entertain... i also don't want to respond to him anymore because i'm probably one of the worse representations or spokes-people for my preferred religion, i'm a bit too fierce with some assholes, and i tend to get to the point rather quickly, and use real-life big-boy words here and there, i'm not a great person to be reaching out to the guy... i actually think the facey-book guy may have been molested by clergy when he was young, that's my current theory, his words/actions are definitely trauma-associated, i'm just assuming what the trauma may have been, though... not a great topic to ponder first-thing on a friday, sorry, but not so sorry, because it's a very real trauma for much too many people... i'm not speculating on the type of trauma to be an asshole, either, i'm being straight-up, feeling a bit empathetic toward the suffering soul.
 ... got the window A/Cs out yesterday... still trying to figure-out where to store them, the old spots got taken-up with other things over the summer... glad we don't have to run those noisy things for the rest of the year, but our heating system is every bit as loud when it kicks in, so it's just substituting one background noise with another one... good grief, i haven't even finished my first cup of coffee and i'm complaining about something already... i'm too predictable. -- ct

10-20-23 later:  i have more free-time then/than i thought this-morning, my chores are easier than anticipated... not wearing any support for my wrist today, and i don't have anything heavy to do besides the A/Cs, today will be a bunch of twisting and ripping, which is exactly the type of motion/therapy that is probably going to loosen-up my wrist... i need a break-through with the wrist, it's doing well, but i need to get to another level... according to some measurements she took yesterday, i gained five degrees of motion one way, and seven degrees the other way... i feel lazy that i haven't learned some of the terminology by now, after weeks of O/T, but the directions are 'flexation', and something else going the other direction, and i'm not confident that i got the 'flexion' word correctly... what happens is when you stress the limits of either movement it still hurts like hell... the grip-strength is still only about half of the healthy strong-side grip, as weak as that sounds it's still pretty capable strength for most things that i do day-to-day, it's the pain that i get when i push the limits of direction/movement that is most limiting, i still don't know what my new 'normal' is going to be like after i get a full recovery of the trauma from surgery... there wasn't enough cartilage left for the surgeon to repair anything, so he cleaned-up some of the fraying edges of the arthritis around the TFCC, he did what he could do given the amount of cartilage that i have left, but there is still arthritis on the other side of the wrist too, so what i mean by the 'new normal' is not knowing what sort of residual problems weren't addressed, and are still causing some of my discomfort, and how much current pain/limitations is inflammation from tissue that was disrupted/traumatized by the surgery--that tissue that is still going to settle-down after some more time... i don't know what will still improve, and what i will have to get used-to, or have to be addressed in the future, time will tell... even certain weather can make some of these ailments scream-out at you, yeah, that's a real thing... i don't know what my limitations will be after i fully recover/heal from surgery, i probably won't try to climb rocks, play golf, bunch bags, or lift weights again, maybe in little quantity/spurts i could try them all again, but not with any regularity, no more striking/punching though, i started hitting my son's practice thing after we got it for him, and i think striking exasperated the underlying arthritis problems... if my strength get's back another 25-percent or so, and pushing/stressing the edges of movement get's substantially better and less painful, well/then, i take back what i said a few lines above... everything changes if i approach the strength and mobility of my strong-side with less pain... i'm pretty sure that it's already strong enough for limited archery, which i'm thankful for, but the shoulder on the other side is pretty weak and painful, and will have to be addressed again in the near-future.  --  ct
10-19-23:  yeah man, Thursday, it's a real beauty, too... it looks like a perfect autumn day in Rockingham county, brilliant blue sky and bright low sun, the leaves are beginning to brighten, and it's a bit cool/crisp... today's the day i take in the window A/Cs, i'm a couple of weeks late with that chore, i just got the mammoth-one in the living room out, the bedroom ones should be much easier, just more cutter to have to navigate... feeling good about my wrist today, i just gave it a good test with the living-room a/c... i've got O/T today, looking forward to seeing any measurements we might do today, or, if i'm just going to be working a bunch today, but right now it feels pretty good, thanks for your prayers, there sill seems to be some stubborn tendons that aren't relaxing quite enough to really stretch-out fully, still a bit gimpy, but i can work it now... i wrote entirely too much yesterday, i felt like i never fully woke-up, sort of head congestion feeling yesterday, so i basically 'curled-up' in front of the note-book, and read, and thought, and write, repeat, repeat, etc... today i'm feeling better, and want to be more physical, so, you know, chores and stuff... i have a light to install soon, i removed the old one months ago, and they need a replacement now, it's one of those 2x4 lcd one's that go in the drop-ceilings, it's another easy job, i don't even have to remove any panels, they end just before it, so two sides are already exposed, and it's a relatively low ceiling, i only need two feet of their step-stool, the new light troffer is pretty light-weight too... the biggest chore seems like going to the store to buy the light, you know, people, and cars to navigate, but, it'll give me more driving time and places to see on this beautiful day, but i think it's supposed to cloud-over, who knows... enjoy your day, mine seems to be full of chores. -- ct

10-19-23 later: i mentioned 'end times' in a round-about way briefly in a post yesterday... i don't really spend much time considering that, but some folks that i know and love do think about that quite often... i only mentioned it yesterday to state that it seems like the proliferation of evil seems epic, and some folks notice that, and mention it in support of interpreting end-times according to the book of Revelations, even the book called Enoch mentions similar concepts... i don't know about the end-times stuff, i don't have much opinion really... but i do think there has been an emboldened escalation in consolidating world governments, which is scary in it's own-right... i stay away from trying to interpret Revelations... some folks think the author was tripping balls, and did their best to explain what they saw during their trip... fare-enough, i won't judge some folk's theories... however... with all that said, it seems almost revelation-like right now, but folks have been saying that for centuries, if not millennia... so, i only mentioned that reference to 'end-times' yesterday to make note of the obvious rise and celebration of evil... some folks from peace-loving religions and philosophies and ethics notice it too, and no one like's it... so the guy that i said has a 'christianity chip' on his shoulder (he seemed to have an anti-christianity 'conversion' in his teens), that guy actually follows a code of ethics that i find pretty admirable, it's a sort of 'religion' with a love/respect-based slant, he doesn't like some of Christianity's bullet-points, but he follows a code of ethics that is still along the lines that Jesus taught as well... Jesus didn't just preach a circumcision of the heart, and sought peace, but he also had a particular disdain for religiousy-types that manipulated people rather than help/heal them... anyways, i hope that facey-book dude reads this, i don't know what happened to him, i just pray God would move in his heart to experience forgiveness, it seems like he requires a healthy dose of it, but i don't know what his story really entails... on the good side, he seems pretty smart, and i appreciate that quality. -- ct

10-18-23:  just got done reading a substack-post by John Leake, yes, that John Leake. He does a good job investigating the perpetrator (perp) behind the failed assassination plan to kill RFK Jr., and the biden administration's deliberate failure to provide secret service protection for Mr. Kennedy even after that attempt... i'll probably move this post to the political section of this blog when i'm done...
 ... you don't have to be a space-x engineer to understand why RFK Jr ought to have secret-service protection, just read about his family's previous generation, and how two brothers from the same family transitioned into whatever is next for us beyond the physical world, even a world-class under-achieving dummy like me can connect a few logical 'dots', and then add the factor that Bob's (sorry if RFK Jr. doesn't like this nick-name, no disrespect meant) running for president... and then some perp show's up at an event with a horribly pieced together sort of a uniform, tries to slip-in a back-door with a loaded hand-gun*, and offers some interesting answers to questions asked by Bob's private (Gavin deBecker's exceptional outfit**) security detail, and ensuing law-enforcement agencies... apparently the perp's charges were greatly reduced, and now he's out on low-bail without GPS-monitoring... i certainly expect to see federal charges brought against the perp... i haven't a clue what actually transpired, or anything about the perp, or his actual motives, so, if anything, i'd say it was a successful test for security, and security's part ended with the best possible outcome, until it was handed-off to LE, and then you get government and politicians (district attorney's) influencing following through with appropriate actions/justice/correction...
 ... John did a good essay in his substack, it's a good read, it was stimulating enough to think about all sorts of aspects regarding the attempted security-breach which targeted current presidential candidate, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. that occurred at an event on 09-15-23... you should understand that i'm not a security professional, and never was, not law-enforcement, and never was... so my security experience is mostly just physical/perimeter based experience for my short stint in the Army, i have worked with retired LEO and security-centric folks and loved learning from them... if you read my previous substack which i also linked-to below -- in regards to Gavin deBecker's security outfit -- you'll get the hint that i am a security-conscious person, i thought that i wanted to pursue that career a decade or so ago, but was reminded that i don't have very good regulation of hyper-vigilance, i'm pretty good about scanning for threats, but not very good at shutting it off afterwards, so, i say all of that to mention that i'm still sort of security-centric in a 'sheep-dog' sort of way, and i'm very pro second-amendment and encourage folks to consider carrying their own firearm for personal-security as well... hen there is executive-protection, it's similar in concept to protecting loved-ones, but the pros have a shit-ton more practicing/planning/procedures/contingencies and resources to consider, but as a Dad/Husband/Citizen/Veteran i usually just settle on carrying a small handgun most of the time, however, i've always considered my loved-ones as VIPs, and would respond with violent-action to mitigate deviant-predators from harming them, fortunately that's never been an issue... i'm not sure how it goes for other folks who exercise their freedom to carry firearms, but i'm not just concerned with my own personal-safety, or the safety of friends and family, but you also think about the general public as well, in some respect i feel a bit obligated to carry a gun, the Tax-Payer funded my training and use of various firearms for 45-months of active service, they did a very thorough back-ground check to make sure i was pretty normal, capable, and not a foreign-asset; and then made sure that i understood use of deadly-force, how to recognize threats, and when to use appropriate levels of force... so maybe it's a stupid thing that i do in still carrying a gun, i have no obligation to anyone or any institution to do so, and the greater majority of those who carry guns never have to draw them, but i typically carry one anyways, because sometimes violence happens, and it's not always predictable, so i just try to make sure that i'm capable of responding to violence with violence using the training that the Tax-payer has paid me for... i don't want to be the ass-hole that makes mention of a recent atrocity to make any statement/argument to whatever, to exploit, i'll say that i normally don't carry enough rounds in my day-to-day activities away from the house to really subdue a group of armed terrorists, gang-members, or packs of deviant-predators, i usually carry a small-capacity gun that should be able to stop one or two threats... however, at the home that's no longer an issue... if a pack of deviant-predators/threats, such as terrorists of hammas, there would have to be an awful-lot of them, or an exceedingly lucky, or capable group to get away with what happened in Israel recently... if a bunch of violent thugs were try to terrorize my neighbors/neighborhood they would be met with resistance, and violent reaction... this isn't a scenario that happens very close to home, not to the extent that happened in the middle-east recently--and, repetitively--however, targeted attacks by multiple perps happens on American-soil everyday--we mostly call them 'gangs', sometimes we call them domestic terrorists, sometimes we call them 'mostly peaceful demonstrators/protestors', and sometimes we even call them 'victims'... anyways... once you become aware of the reality of various types of threats and actions and behaviors, and have some training in mitigating certain types of threats, then it's hard not to think in terms of safety and protection... but, to be as blunt and honest as i possibly can be, no one who is issued or carries a gun really wants to have to use it for defensive measures, but some people use them for offensive measures, and that is reality whether we wish to engage in it or not... cops don't want to shoot folks, most military folks don't really want to use their firearms outside of training, and no one wants to be the guy in the shopping-mall that mitigated the person that began to fire on others... no one wants to really have to do that, most folks won't do that, but some folks will and do... all of this long-winded paragraph is to say that there were firearms involved in the attempted security breach, but there were no shots fired, so it seemed to end pretty well... some folks with guns don't have good intentions, and if you have any will to protect yourself, loved-ones, and other vulnerable people i would encourage you to get some training and buy yourself some guns, i wrote this substack post awhile back, maybe it will help you decide which guns to get if you are ready to assume personal-protection... here's a hint, you want at least four guns :-) 
 ... next, i'm thinking about the perp, i won't even mention his name, this guy says that he 'was told to come here'... my next questions are, exactly who (if anyone) 'told/texted/wrote/communicated/instructed' him to go there; who are they, let's see their communication history... maybe he went there because he actually wanted to kill someone all on his own... maybe some agency, or, someone was fvcking with him, and dared or convinced him to go there to see what would happen and how far he'd go, what exactly were they trying to get him to do... will we even know the full extent of the facts and motivations, probably not... maybe give the guy a 'heroic-dose' of LSD and see if he talks, or do they even allow that anymore, i dunno... it's hard to know what to be concerned about without water-boarding the suspected assassin, or dropping a molly in his beer, but the DA let him walk on 10k bail instead... is he really a low-level threat, and how involved (or coerced) was his accompanying 'relative'; these are certainly concerning issues, but if they are being directed by a shot-caller of some-sort then it's another entirely issue of concern... how networked is the shot-caller, who are their associates and fellow-deviants, who are the other predators they associate with... there is this thing we did in the Army back in the day, we would find an unsuspecting low-ranking person and tell them that you need something imaginary, and to go see so-and-so for a tool that doesn't exist, or a pint of fluid that doesn't exist; and then the private walks up to specialist and says that he needs a pint of blinker-fluid, or a DEI-driver/wrench, or whatever you made-up, and then you'd see the specialist look over at you from across the motor-pool and smile, and then they would point the young private in the direction of sergeant so-and-so, who would do the same, and eventually--possibly after a dozen or so people later--the private would come back calling you an ass-hole or something... it was a prank that would leave the victim feeling a little stupid/insulted, but a little smarter after the experience, but usually laughing and embracing the mild hazing... if the people in the assassination, or security-breach attempt were actually being directed there, if someone was screwing with them, then who was it, and what were their intentions... then you have to wonder if the administration is networked to the shot-caller in their deliberate effort to deny the request for secret-service protection for a political candidate/opponent...
 ... another angle i approached was, if the perp was really trying to kill Bob, did he really think that dressing like a discounted halloween-constume version of a uniform that he showed-up in was the best approach to access his target... did he think he was going to fool security professionals, was he hoping to encounter pimply-faced mall-cops armed with walkie-talkies... i don't know what to make of the whole situation, mostly because i don't know a fraction of complete/truthful/relevant information, i only know what i believe to be a relatively reliably researched and written essay, and even those types of essays don't include all relevant information, and might also be based on faulty/false information...
 ... i guess it's a good opportunity to explain something else about security-conscious folks who can't regulate/shut-off the hyper-vigilance... it's when you go to a large gathering, or noisy/distracting/over-stimulating events you feel more inclined to conduct countless threat-assessments instead of being present 'in the moment' with your family... sometimes i'd feel more comfortable walking a perimeter, or watching monitors, or taking-up an observation-point... it just feels weird trying to enjoy your family and surroundings, you'd rather be officially scanning the crowds than navigating them with loved-ones... hopefully that makes sense... that's one of the things that makes going to a shopping mall, or a county-fair, or an arena or stadium event so overwhelming, you are border-line conscious/sub-consciously calculating too many variables that your brain is trying to process, it's easy to focus on just family, or just crowd/environment, but trying to do both effectively seems like a fool's errand... hopefully i explained that sort of ptsd crowd-anxiety/over-stimulation for those who are unfamiliar with it, it's not pleasant, and i can see why a lot of folks in security and protection want to sip a fine liquor at the end of the day... i'd prefer to medicate with cannabis than liquor to help with the over-stimulation from crowd-anxiety, but that's frowned-upon in the security and protection industries, so it's better that i didn't pursue that line of work, i don't work under the stress of not being fully accepted by my employer... anyhow, there is a Huuuge peace that comes over you, and you are able to focus so much better when you know you are protected... i sort of explained this to one of the guys at the new church we're attending, he gave his story/testimony a few weeks ago, he's a guy who has spent enough time in survival-mode to take peace for granted, he seems alert to threats, and stands at the back of the church, behind my back... i feel enough protection with him behind me that i don't feel like i have to be security-conscious, i feel like i can close my eyes, and try to press into God's spirit/presence/peace... some security and protection focused people understand that they are valuable, and provide an important service, others need to hear me say 'thank you' sometimes... you have no idea how refreshing it is to close your eyes in the middle of a gathering of people, and not be thinking of threats and safety... anyhow, i appreciate Gabe sharing his story a few weeks back, and his presence at the back of the church, sometimes i'd just assume stand back there with an AR and a chest-rig full of magazines, but i can do church the customary New England style too, so, what-ever.

 * i dispute John's use of the term 'heavily armed', it's artistic-embellishment or manipulative--whichever you prefer--one handgun with a full magazine, and two more loaded magazines is about right to defend a person from a reasonably small gang, but it's not what i'd consider being 'heavily armed', most handgun manufacturers provide two or three magazines with a new purchase, so a handgun with a couple of spare magazines isn't 'heavily armed', it's more like 'standard armed'... if you see me wearing a chest-rig with about ten or so AR-mags, plus an AR, plus a back-up/handgun, and about six magazines for it--that's more what i'd call 'heavily armed'... so, it seems that John was including the loaded 1911 in the perp's back-pack, and the two extra mags for it... i question whether it was his back-pack or not, maybe it was his accompanying relative's back-pack, and maybe the perp was claiming it as his to protect his relative from prosecution... i dunno, but i certainly wouldn't call the perp 'heavily-armed'. I suppose that a novelist is allowed some artistic/creative liberty to bolster a sentence/point/narrative... no offense to John, i enjoy his writing and his perspectives.

10-18-23 later: stretching the hand hurts a bit today, i'm going to heat it up a bit and see if works, tomorrow is an exercise day, Lauren will probably work me hard because i didn't get too much pain after my last exercise day, but today it's just stiff, and hurts to bend much... my grip-strength is about half of my other hand, and i'm not sure what the percentage of flex/mobility is, it's got to be better than the strength, wish i could inject a safe 'lube' directly in it, that's what i want to invent, joint-lube, something thicker than grease that your body won't reject, but helps with diminished cartilage... you know, joint-lube... anyways, it's interesting, the nice O/T lady was telling me that they use a completely different set of measurements/charts for ladies, she works with her hands all day and her strength is a little stronger than my ailing wrist... some folks are exceptions, but generally speaking, men have lave stronger grip-strength (no shit Sherlock), and men's and women's hands are shaped differently, she and i are actually the same height (at least i think i'm between 5'7 and 5'8 still), and our hands are the same length from palm to finger-tip, i thought that woman's hands were generally longer, but that's not the case at all (according to some quick searches), maybe it's ladies with long finger-nails that give the illusion of it, some ladies do have more narrow and longer fingers for sure, a lot of women's gloves have the longer fingers too... anyways, i like when my understanding/perceptions are proven wrong, free and cool education... so i guess my hands are on the small-side, i thought they were a little big for my height because of the size tennis-grip that i used, but that's just my inside-diameter, not an over-all hand-size, weird, but interesting... i wish this old wrist would bend a bit easier and was less sore, it actually is improving, it just doesn't always feel like it, plus -- as frustrating as it is -- we almost never have a complete upward-trajectory in recovery of any kind, you like to see steady progress, but sometimes that progress isn't as quick and positive as we'd like/hope/expect, and we get some dips and downward spikes, and sometimes the fvcking weather bothers it too, go figure... i don't know what to expect anymore, feels like i should NOT expect or assume much of anything, i use the term 'time will tell' quite a bit because i'm losing confidence in my overall understanding and expectations in lot's of matters... so, i don't know what my new 'post-op' normal will be like, i don't know what to expect... but, with that said, i appreciate the medical professionals and therapists that work in their giftings/talents/skills... between the hip and the wrist i've met some exceptional people that offered a bunch of free education and interesting things to search/read, and tried to make my quality of life better... i don't know how strong the wrist will get, or how much motion/flex will return, but i wish stretching wasn't so uncomfortable still, i think i've got a bunch of degrees to go according to her measuring-devices... the thing is that we know the wrist is arthritic, and we know there is some tendonitis and a tear in the tendon's sheathing, and we know there is still some inflammation, so it's hard to know what pain is what, and what the new normal is going to be... 'let pain set/dictate my limitations' is the order of the day, so at least it's strength/structural-integrity isn't concerning the surgeon and the crew, that's comforting, i'm only about 50-percent grip-strength, which isn't terrible, i can work with limited crushing-strength, but, if i grip something too-wide, or move it the wrong way, or slightly bump it... Yikes!... my eyes open HUGE, and i do my best to keep some foul words projecting from my mouth... so that's where i'm at with the wrist... i'm taking advil and tylenol at three-hour intervals, and a high-dose of CBD everyday now, too, i'm going to start-up on the curcumin again too... doesn't my wrist know how many leaves fall in my backyard, and that they aren't going to rake themselves... sorry, i think i just need a bit more patience with my recovery speed, i'm slow at a lot of things, so it really shouldn't surprise me much, sometimes my assumptions and expectations require calibration, life can get frustrating running uncalibrated and unaligned and such, you know what i mean? -- ct

10-18-23 laterer:  i just poked at a stranger on facey-book, he's connected to a mutual friend, he seems like a pretty hard-core atheist, that's cool, i like hearing other people's perspectives about a bunch of different things, and if the person seems otherwise pretty decent, but doesn't come close to my religious-preference, then so what... if you're a pretty reasonable person, and not an out-right ass-hole, then i'd probably enjoy your company and friendship, and i still like to hear what you have to say about things... chances are we still live by similar moral conduct/standards, and have good seasons and other seasons with shit-storms, and when you are healthy you probably like to help other folks... that's most people whether you are religious or not, people that call themselves 'spiritual' usually are similar, even people with a very rocky/nasty/painful backgrounds with years of self-medicating and destructive behavior and going a little nuts usually have similar stories if they live long enough to live 'em... there are exceptions to every rule, but the majority of people are pretty decent, we eventually learn from our mistakes, we practice some form of 'respect-system/mutual respect', we evolve in body/mind/soul, sometimes we still go a little crazy, and everyone can be infected by stupid no matter how devote/devout you are to your core-principles... i think most folks want a bit of comfort, stability, to love and be loved, to respect and be respected, to be heard, and to exercise their abilities, maybe be rewarded for them sometimes, and not be exploited or abused... honestly, i don't know how much religion, or religious-beliefs are a part of the equation... i'm not sure how much it really factors into some of the core things that are common in most reasonable people... i'm biased, i've been a part of a religious system every since i can remember, so i can't really write the significance of it, i can only say that it's a pretty important factor for me, in fact, i'll say that it might be the only thing that grounds me to reality sometimes, many times, often... my understanding of my preferred religion has evolved a bit over the years, but i'm still too biased to write about the actual level of spiritual benefits, but i think it's Huuuge... hopefully the facebook dude will respond nicely, he seems a bit angry and combatant, but, so am i sometimes, many times, often... so i won't hold that against him, if anything, i'll probably get a kick out of his creativity if he does react in a combatant-manner... and i write all of this to say that i'd be accepting of another person, but it doesn't mean that the other person would want anything to do with me... i'm pretty weird, i complain a lot, and sometimes get too frustrated about things that i can't control, and can get a bit mouthy and opinionated -- so, you know -- there's that... our personalities and the way that we express ourselves are unique, and sometimes when we aren't necessarily like-minded about religion and philosophy, we might have more in common then you think, of course there are exceptions, some folks are just plum-crazy and not very reasonable, considerate, or respectful, maybe they can no longer love or feel love, i dunno... there is a song that i like, the chorus goes 'God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy'... the statement is mostly accurate... some beer just sucks, and some folks get a little crazy, and some folks stay in their crazy a bit too long and might need a hand approaching reality again... but, i'm not a professional anything, so don't take my word for it, i'm mostly just opinionated and biased, although sometimes with very good reason. -- ct

10-18-23 more later:  the guy on facey-book responded pretty kindly, i figured he would, he seems reasonable, just a bit nasty/aggressive, but what-ever, he said that he appreciated Confucianism code of conduct, which seems pretty peaceful and respectful actually, so, like i said, i figured as much... so i have no reason to argue with a person over religion that truly lives their life in accordance to such a code of ethics, they seem like an admirable/reasonable system of ethics... now do you see how easy it is to get along... if you question the need for a Messiah, or whether or not Jesus fit the description of such a concept, that's cool, we could argue 'til the cows come home without changing any facts, or moments in history... if your belief system or code of conduct or ethics/morals are close to Confucianism or Jesus' words/actions/behaviors then the world would probably be a better place if more folks were similar... i don't care if a guy that's angry toward Judea Christian doctrine and principles is going to demand answers to scriptures that i didn't write, so i can't validate first-hand, but some folk's idea of doctrine and literal--versus figurative--interpretation is just banter if you lose sight of the big-picture, it's like a spectator-sport, arm-chair quarter-backing... if your life is evolving in such a way as to make positive impact on other people and the environment--that we all have to share for our resources--then you probably have connected to God, our Creator, to some degree, maybe it's not through religious dogma, traditions, or rituals.... but, you sort of 'get it', you sort of get the message that smart people have been preaching for millennia, the logical, rational, and sustainable principles of 'loving one another', and not valuing/worshiping/inflating something over God, sometimes we inflate ourselves over God and get all kinds of weird in a hurry, so it's rational to stay grounded and humble... i don't claim to speak on behalf of God, but there are some concepts that i think folks have a difficult time grasping, many folks automatically dismiss any theory which includes 'creation' by a 'Creator', but fvck you for a second, and let me make my opinionated point... thanks... the theory that i hold closest to, is that God created a great, yet difficult environment for us to live in, He gave us intelligence like no other species on earth, He put us in charge of maintaining this wonderful creation... the theory here is that God created earth, and entities (humans, other spirits) that are intelligent, and are capable of being good, bad, or indifferent, God's given us intelligence and free-will and some general instructions on how to use these gifts wisely, for good, but we all choose to do what we do, we choose to be considerate or not, we choose to live by some moral code of conduct or not, we choose to follow the words/teachings/actions/example of someone like Jesus of Nazareth or not... i actually like Chris Langan's theory and example... that God is literally the entire universe, we are encapsulated by God because the earth is actually contained within Him, he has described the Universe as the 'mind of God', some physical type of brain, that's sort of an interesting way to look at things, when you scale-up something like the parts of an atom all the way up to a cell within our brain, and you scale that up while considering our solar-systems like a mere atom, and a galaxy like a tiny cell/neuron, and all of those cells scaled-up to equate the literal/brain/mind of God with different parts having different functions perhaps, well, it's interesting, but i don't claim it to be truth, but it's a great word-picture/description/theory... but, the thing that i like about Langan's 'meta-religion' concept is drawing the positive and common aspects of various religions (principles), tries to dismiss the illogical dogmas and superstitions, meta-religion being the filter to interpret reality and positively react to creation... you don't have to like any of that theory, but frankly-speaking, it helps to define and identify similar concepts that are shared by most religions and most normal people... OK, look, it's well past my bed-time, i don't even know how much sense i'm even making, i might have to clean this post up in the morning... anyways, i don't know if the facey-book guy is just wanting to fight about scriptures and doctrines and to troll a buddy, or if he is seriously looking to resolve some open equations/questions, but i pray a peace for his soul that he hasn't experienced in awhile, i pray that God touch him and reveal Himself to him... some folks are decent peaceful people that don't need a lot of direction to be moral, i went through different seasons, but i required a spiritual-epiphany that was only realized when i told God that i believed that i was a sinner in need of a savior, and that i believe that Jesus is that savior, and i wanted to start living my life for good, not the shitty old ways and routines that i had adopted, and then i literally asked God to fill me with His Spirit, something happened, i can tell you thaaat much... i can't claim to 'know', or 'prove' much more than what i heard, experienced, and the heard from others too... however, don't make the mistake of thinking that a person who has turned toward God is supposed to be perfect from here on out, much of our religion has to do with people understanding that we still aren't perfect, somehow God already seems to know that, but might want us to figure that out on our own, i dunno, i'm not sure how it really works... seems like God want's some sort of a personal/mutual appreciation/relationship/connection with us... seems like God already knows what's going on... i also like Langan's theory that we are 'sensor-controllers' to some degree, God already experiences the world 'through us', via. our senses and thoughts, that we actually already communicate the reality of our environment to God by conscious or sub-conscious 'thought', or deliberate 'prayer'... i don't pray very well compared to many religious people, and many Christians, sometimes i'm just looking at something and asking God if this is really what i think it is, is it going to suck as bad as i think it might, or is it a blessing, i dunno, i don't know if i do the praying correctly, sometimes i simply ask God for help, sometimes i tell Him that i appreciate something, or something about Him... i don't know if i do any of that right, probably not, but it's not stopping me from continuing, or deterring my perseverance to understand reality, and what my place is in this world...i don't know who is right about what sometimes, sometimes your bullshit-antenna sounds an alarm and you know someone is spewing nonsense or trying to misguide you... it seems like God wants us to be discerning and smart and independent in our relationship with Him, community/corporate events and gatherings are helpful and nice, but a real relationship with our Creator is as individual as we are, and lasts forever... i won't 'cram my beliefs down anyone's throat', but i'd be happy to try to answer questions the best that i can, unless you're just being annoying... i don't claim to be any super-religious guy, in fact, i'm just as much of an under-acheiver at that as i am everything else in life, so please don't take my words or understandings as gold-standard, i trust that you will do your own searching and research on your own, you are more smart and capable than you realize sometimes, most folks are, unless they are inflicted with the dunning-kruger syndrome, of course... if anything, i want to encourage you, the reader, to spend the time to validate your belief-system, see how it aligns with other belief-systems, make sure your being open/honest/transparent about reality and yourself, and pray as you are led... never stop learning, remain humble/teachable, but be bold in supporting truth/reality... but i've got to tell you something, a whole big bunch of creation has chosen to ignore God's humble servants and commands, so, no matter how nice and respectful you are, we live in a world where violence and hate are too common... God did not create violence and hate, He created things that have the capacity for good and bad, with free-will to make the choices and decisions that everything makes and does... i don't think folks have to necessarily be religious to find some inner-peace, whether or not that inner-peace is an aspect of God is subject for another debate/topic/rant... some folks think that chaos and evil have become so prolific/common that God will respond with an epic measure that some scripture has fore-told... i dunno, i can't say as though i'd blame them for thinking that way though... i don't know what to think about all of that... in my own hypocrisy and duality i try to practice and preach peace, but i am completely and fully prepared for war... i hear that under the sun there are seasons for both of them... i don't know how things are going to turn-out, but i like the religion-option, i like the idea of connecting with God over being a battling ass-hole... anyhow... like i said a half hour ago, it's well past my bed-time, i should have been asleep by now, but i'd encourage the reader to consider Christianity no matter what negative opinions you may have heard about it, if it doesn't speak to you then maybe you are reading it with the wrong expectation/perception... wait, one more thing, i just want to remind the reader that pretty much everything that is good get's exploited for evil, so, Christianity is a religion that is not immune to ass-holes exploiting the language and ideas as a business-model, and other bad things too, i think we all pretty much know that it happens in every decent belief system... OK then, good night and God bless. -- ct
10-17-23:  geeking-out with the white-boards, one installed (and almost filled), and the second is still a work in progress, still trying to figure-out how to install without crumbling these old walls... i'm resting it of top of the wanes-coating, like the other one, but i'm seriously considering using duct-tape on top to keep it from tipping over... duct-tape... it's a product for desperation, not for white-boards... the wall-paper is holding some of these walls together, but the living-room is just paint on top of the plaster, it's scary to tap... just using the boards to get some of Maslow's points organized, 'human needs' is much of the point of the first book... i'm going to have the nurse explain much of them to the grand-dad, but also want to include the parents demonstrating the nurture of those needs, the mother is going to communicate through feminine-qualities and emotions, and the father will communicate the more masculine qualities and 'responsibilities' and emotions... the grand-dad is going to express being 'clueless' about raising babies, and the nurse will summarize them for the gram-paw... right now the biggest challenge is the chapter devoted to the dad, it's right after a 'plot twist', so there is addressing the elephant-in-the-room, plus grieving, plus mentoring... and then it leads to another plot-twist and transition with grampa... the grampa chapter presents it's own challenges, but he dad chapter is my biggest obstacle... the closing should be easy... and then there is secondary editing... i have the first part of the follow-up book sort of worked-out, i guess i got a bit ahead of myself since i don't have the first one done yet, scatter-brain.  --  ct
10-16-23:  it's a wet start to monday in rockingham county... got a couple of errands to run later, got some O/T, and finish a job for some friends... got some dishes to clean, a load of laundry to launder, a mess to straighten-out, and thinking about a future visit to ME--what to bring, etc.
 ... my mind's on a few things that i should probably write about, but it's a busy morning around here, and i'm still in some lower-level of consciousness/sleepiness, that's when i usually seem drunk/impaired, i'll probably seem that way until the first cup of coffee is down the hatch, and the second is well under way... i think the rain and congestion are sort of giving me that extra sleepy feeling today... hopefully i'll hit an acceptable level of consciousness by the time i need to head out, now where's that coffee, i'm sure it's around here somewhere.
 ... thank you for the recent support, that was a nice surprise, sometimes i forget that this is actually a business, and that it takes money to run (not much thankfully), it's twenty bucks a month to keep the web-site online, and then it's like a couple hundred in some annual fees too, so, it doesn't take a whole lot of money to keep things running really... the substack thing is similar, it's free for 99-percent of it, just the partial book is behind the pay-wall.
 ... the book is actually frustrating me a bit, i thought i'd have it done by now, but realized i had some more reading to do before i could complete it... most of the reading is done now, but i'm probably going to spend a few hours behind a couple of white-boards before i get back into writing that one... i can't believe people used to write with note pads and type-writers... i have the intro done, most of the first chapter, a bit of the second and third chapters, and then i think i should do some closing as well... the chapters with the stories will be good, the closing will be better, the closing should make you want to re-read, and want to gift to someone else who will appreciate it, but it's the second two chapters that are the biggest challenges, i'll explain why when it's all done.
 ... time to shower, maybe the water will help where the coffee couldn't, time will tell. --   ct

10-16-23 later:  finally woke-up, well, enough to successfully get to O/T and back... i've got a giant band-aid thing with an electrical contraption in it which provides the delivery system for the liquid anti-inflammatory... she used the same thing last week, and it was great, it was good enough to do some laboring the next day with little discomfort... seems like my recovery time between straining/exercising is getting back to normal, it's sore the next day, but doesn't carry over to multiple days of pain.  right now i'm on a one day exercise, one day stretching schedule, it might be the sweet-spot for the progress/speed... going to install the last baseboard heater today with my friends, well, legally-speaking they are making safe repairs to their home, under my supervision, and with my hands, and my tools, sort of.  the work was actually quite easy, the wire for the old heaters was still perfect and up to code for the load, same for the breakers, so it's just changing switches and appliances.  i fixed a couple of old wiring oddities, and everything tested and behaved as expected, but i still don't understand why the last 'wirer' had all of the pieces in place for a 240 heater in the bedroom, but had only used 120 of it on the baseboard itself, weird -- the new one should more efficient based on using 240 alone, the appliance ought to be better too, time will tell... if i were a full-time electrician, this would be the perfect type of job for me at my age, no ladders to climb, no tough places to access, the worst of it was bending down and getting back up, and then straightening-up was a chore too.  no wires to pull, no breakers to even change, and, i was able to mark the heater breakers in panel, the old labeling is 'interesting' at best... anyways, you never know what you'll find until you open stuff up; it was mostly an easy job with a close to best-case scenario, and you have no idea how refreshing that is, happy-face emoji.  --  ct
10-15-23:  it's almost quiet here, except for the traffic, and the neighbor's dog, and the tinnitus, and the keyboard too, it's a quiet sort of noisy... besides that it's nice and quiet... nice day today, started off with a hoodie, and stripped-down to the t-shirt before noon... the girls went shopping, i've got some chores i could be doing, but it's sunday man, i might wrestle with some leaf clean-up, it's nice enough to but i don't have much motivation, i had a 2 -3 hour awake period in the early morning, so i'm happy that i remember my name right now... church was good, it was cool listening to Fred's story, it pushed him past his comfort-zone to do so, but he delivered, and i think there was some therapy for him prepping and speaking... way to go Fred.   --  ct

10-15-23 later:  wondering if any religiousy readers have long-term and short-term goals/motivations regarding God, what direction/change are you anticipating, or what you are actively 'doing' for God, or for God's people... and what sort of daily, or 'regular' traditions/rituals you do regarding being intentional about your preferred religion, or God... i don't want to alienate folks that don't really have any religion, or views on God, but are there any sorts of things that you do for good luck, or superstition, or to give back to others... i don't know how it goes for others, i sort of understand a bunch of Christian things like that, but i don't know how other folks, or even other Christians, i don't know how you do it... i don't know how passive or intentional you have to be for any particular religion, i don't know how that works, some Christian sects believe that one should literally be nailed to a cross as an expression of faith, or drink poison, or fvck with poisonous snakes... that's not my jam, i dunno, i think most religious variances depend on how literal one interprets 'scripture', which aspects/principles you prioritize, or motivates you, what traditions or rituals you like to practice, even the one's that are just for fun-sake... i don't know what 'spiritual disciplines' i'm supposed to be practicing, or exactly what sort of reverence for God i'm supposed to exhibit, for all i know i might be a complete heretic because of some of my views or ignorance... i dunno what i am regarding religion, i'm pretty confident in my relationship with God, and that Jesus was literally Living/breathing Logos, and pointed folks back to God our Father, and i'm pretty confident in God's acceptance of me as an individual, and doesn't think i dis-respect him/it at all... i'm pretty confident in my relationship with God, but i don't know what i do right, and what i do wring as far as religious observances or practices i ought to be doing...
 ... i don't know how it really works, but it seems like we go through seasons where we have different/new priorities and disciplines... i'm pretty lazy when it comes to 'spiritual' exercises/routines/practices, but, i also have the luxury of being in a quiet home without tons of distractions most days... some folks feel lonely in situations like that, but it's where i thrive... but my lifestyle offers me the advantage to where i feel like i can sort of pray throughout the day, it also offers me an advantage to where i can read scriptures or listen to thought-leaders when motivated, and sometimes i 'pray-write', i call it 'writing therapy', but i do most of my complaining to God, and it's when i'm sitting still, and can concentrate for a bit, and i do it quietly, key-strokes and back-ground noise are the extent of my complaining... if you look at my post regarding 'DJ's Psalm', well, i can relate to the psalmists and the prophets, the folks were a bit emotional, maybe even charismatic, in sharing their frustrations and grief with God... God know's that i'm a world-class complainer, so that's why i say i can relate to those old folks from history, but, what that really means is that i try to take my grief to God, as much as possible, as much as it takes to keep my outward words/actions/behaviors non-violent... so, even though i write a bunch of nasty things sometimes, writing those things is sort of a release, and sometimes i get answers to prayers before i finish writing my complaint, weird, right?
 ... not sure what spiritual rituals/routines/disciplines that You, the Reader, observes/practices, not sure what sorts of things you do along those lines, but feel free to use the form at the bottom of the page to let me know, if you want... you are probably ten-times more disciplined than i am, i dunno, maybe nine.  --  ct
10-14-23: the day is starting off bright and sunny, i'll probably be indoors most of the day helping some folks install their shiney new heaters; the temp dropped to low-forties overnight... had a good time with my in-laws for a bit yesterday, got my father in-law to eat some apple-crisp, and some steak-n-cheese (with pickles, i didn't know that was a thing) an hour or so later, but, we mostly hung-out and watched movies and commented back and forth on the shows... i was a bit concerned for him the day before--based on a recent update--but he seemed a bit stronger than the last-time i saw him maybe a month ago... and whatever got the best of him the other day didn't seem to be afflicting him yesterday, not in the five or so hours i was there hanging-out... i won't go into detail regarding his specific ailments and treatments, but he presented better than i had expected yesterday, and there weren't any unexpected or physically-upsetting episodes, either... his only complaint while i was there was something like his 'ass was getting sore from sitting so much'... i know man, i know... it's frustrating as hell trying to get used to loss of capabilities and navigating/transitioning through new, or evolving limitations, and when much of your time involves sitting, one's ass does get pretty sore sometimes, even now with the cushion of fat that i've developed over the years... anyways... the weather was nice in southern ME yesterday, my mother in-law was able to get out and run some errands after she showed me where their water-damage was the worse... their house requires substantial repair from recent water-damage, they will be home during the construction, and that's a pain in the ass even for young-healthy folks to deal with... so, if you are the praying type, please consider praying for Richard and Christine... older folks (and stubborn folks too) do this thing, where we don't want to be 'a burden' on other folks, and our priorities change/evolve, so sometimes we don't ask for the help that we need, and sometimes we don't even know what sorts of help that we need or could really use, or, we don't have the financial resources to really consider helpful things, so, sometimes other folks may have to identify and help with those needs or comforts... i pray that they will humbly ask the right people for the help they could use/need, and that their loved-one's will discern the rest of the help that they actually require... everyone has blind-spots, and we don't know what we don't, and dealing with declining capability is frustrating, and when you don't want to 'burden' folks you may endure some suffering that maybe you don't have to, so, maybe that's some of my concern and prayer... and living with the stress of upcoming, and unexpected home-construction is going to suck... OK, i'm off to get another cup of coffee, and a bite to eat before i head out to help with heaters and stuff... God bless. -- ct

10-14-23 later:  i had enough of heaters for one day, i'm beat, i'll finish the last step on Monday, it should only be another one - two hours to wrap-up... they are appreciative and accommodating/polite folks that offer you food, drink, conversation, and even assistance when installing something for them, love that, but i had enough for one day... you have no idea how much you exert your hands/wrist/forearms/elbows/shoulders when doing electrical stuff... it seemed like an exercise to show me how unconditioned and weak i am, holy smokes, and i'm sure i'll be complaining of the consequential pain in the days to come... a hot tub would go nicely about now, but i'll have to settle for a hot shower and some tylenol... not doing much on the substack lately, not really thinking of any essays either, just trying to handle some extra activity as well as i can, and trying to see how God moves/leads/inspires/motivates... right now i still have a hip and a wrist that are strengthening after surgery, and need my attention, but i'm strong enough to be doing most 'regular things' most of the time, so as slow as progress seems, it's happening, time will tell what my new limitations are... got to deal with some leaves pretty soon, soon before the chore is overwhelming, i'll probably give the yard three good cleanings before the winter, at least i intend to, but that might be a pipe-dream goal, time will tell... the house is quiet, two of the girls are out, one is upstairs in her room, and i'm just writing and thinking about a hot shower, and what to make for dinner, it might be a left-overs or eggs kind of night, who knows. -- ct

10-14-23 a hot-shower a beer and a couple of tylenol later:  there is a guy that i know/knew from twenty-something years ago, and some of his facey-book posts look like a cry for help, but i don't know if that's really the case, i remember him as a kid that was raised in a difficult environment during certain impressionable years, his dad and i were pretty close for a few of those years... so i look at his facey-book posts and i see a modern-day 'psalmist', a guy that's in touch with his emotions, and can express his hurt very well, poetic to a degree... i like when folks can express themselves, many folks are afraid to, sometimes i am too... looking forward to the rest of DJ's psalm, the part when the lord God lifted his eyes, and his heart and spirit and soul were in awe of God's Spirit, and were the deepest of therapies, and healed/restored a broken heart... a broken heart that experienced the lowest of lows... looking forward to the rest of DJ's Psalm, it began perfectly, i have no reason to doubt that it won't end as perfectly as it began... the valley of the shadow of death is a vacationing hot-spot for the weary soul, it's where we go to learn to sing the blues, and write our psalms... that valley is a battle-ground of spiritual forces where faulty equations are solved, poorly calculated expectations are calibrated, weaknesses, strengths, courage and determination are revealed, and those with a warrior's heart and will to survive do so, we come out bruised, battered, and broken, yet strengthened/stronger with more resolve... it's in that valley where our weaknesses are exposed, and the love and power of God is revealed, and we climb out of the valley, and hear the words 'well done', and have developed a confidence that no other experience could yield... looking forward to reading the rest of DJ's Psalm.  --  ct
10-12-23: just finished watching a good podcast, a couple of heady academic talking about the concerted effort to fvck-with/manipulate most of the world with particular propaganda leading up to, and then heavily exploited after the covid-release... they didn't say all of that, but that's probably a decent assessment... they are both right about their concerns, and, in their effort to equip others with knowledge... i love listening to these types of folks actually, and them explaining certain principles, and sometimes you learn some trendy-technical words (which i typically forget within a few years)... i'm not well-read, didn't go to college (except that one semester), and aren't very interested in pursuing and degrees, but i appreciate learning everyday, just not in any official programs; so when they get into old-school authors that most folks are probably well aware of, i'm the ignorant guy in the room that didn't do any of the required-reading... i screwed-up by not going back to school after i figured-out that i should have simply changed my major, i made some attempts, but the VA education benefits do not cover 'religious studies', so there was that, but i should have just focused on psyche/counseling, i got plenty of on-the-job training in that field via. customer-service/support/sales/church-related stuff... anyways, i have no excuses for being ignorant with some smart old-timers, and their findings/observations/studies/thesis, so i appreciate the little morsels that the academics throw-out during some of these podcasts, it's all good stuff, and for the guy that didn't do the prerequisite reading, i can probably only handle the little morsels... i'll put a link up to the pod-cast in a bit... here: https://mattiasdesmet.substack.com/p/podcast-with-naomi-wolf   --  ct
10-11-23: it's cool and overcast in rockingham county, the sun is starting to poke through a bit... i've got O/T today, my hand has been more sore than the wrist, i think we were going to start today's session/appt/therapy by testing grip-strength, pretty sure that i'll measure between toddler and middle-schooler today, the pain isn't terrible right now, it's about a 1 -2 actually, just the top of the hand is sore... i need to shift some writing-attention to another project, i'm not very motivated to do so, i had a couple of stressful weeks (although i didn't seem to complain much about the stressors, weird), still have too much attention on a few things that i suppose i need to finish processing, lest they keep robbing productivity, also helped a couple people out with some small-time electrical help, that's somewhat distracting--maybe 'out of the ordinary' is more like it, but good exercise for my mind, i couldn't do any of it if they weren't doing the hardest part of the labor, and their flexibility also made it possible; i had to turn down a job-offer for some electrical work that i'm not strong enough for, plus it was a much bigger project then i feel comfortable with... anyways, it was nice helping friends with some work, and making sure i got a little more money's-worth from the tools which have been collecting dust, stupid pliers and screw-drivers... nowa-days, trying to do some 'work', even if it's small temp jobs, isn't impossible, but working with your hands and requiring a firm-grip for several hours at a time is the hard-part, i can't spend much time on ladders, and/or working over-head, but, i just have to be mindful of the stress i'm putting on the gimpy joints, and work at a pace that's expected of most retired folks; i think the emotional part of it is that i have to be much more mindful of movement, i can't just grab something heavy and go beast-mode down the hall with it, i think they call this mindfulness of physical-limitations 'working smarter, not harder', and, at a slower pace...
... i still have no comments regarding Israel, i don't owe my opinions to anyone, but, it seems like a whole lot of Revelations going on over there... wars and rumors of wars... i'm sure there are plenty more nations that will join in on the cash-cow of destruction and rebuilding in the near future, it's a way of life in the middle-east... if you want to jump down that rabbit-hole of conspiracy theories, you look at the folks who stand to profit from battles/wars, and ask if they would instigate conflicts and atrocities to satisfy the ROI demanded by share-holders... i don't like what's going on over there, but there will be other nations looking to capitalize on warfare, there are plenty of opportunists looking for a fight to capitalize from, if there aren't resources to plunder there is future construction to fund/plan... there is never one reason to start a war, but, when someone comes knocking on your door in the middle of the night acting like a bunch of demons you answer with violence of action... go ahead, and tell the pro-second amendment folks that we are crazy for even owning guns, the shit going on in Israel and Ukraine has been going on for millennia, and it won't stop any time soon, not until God's time, and through His means, otherwise, peace on earth is a fool's dream, maybe it's a noble goal worth pursuing, and to some extent i do, but i'm going to function-check all of the guns, and make sure all of the 'high-capacity' magazines are topped-off... that's sort of how i feel about what's going on in Israel, is making sure that i have the means to protect against all enemies, foreign and domestic... if you ask me what i think of it, it's what we can learn from it, and that barbarians exist, and they should be met with violence of action, otherwise, curl-up and die. -- ct

10-11-23 later: i don't remember much of the AA philosophies very well, and i mention that to say that i don't know if folks sharing 'their story' is part of the general recovery process... but there is this thing that happens when you identify unhealthy thoughts/actions/behaviors, and have made some effort to self-correct/adjust, i suppose you'd call it folks being able to self-identify their flaws... folks in my 'religion' (Christianity) would say that God knows we are flawed, and by His strength/might/Spirit you can overcome such obstacles/hurdles/flaws/actions... i don't profess to be a religious person who really understands these things, nor a psychologist who understands other certain things, i'll just say that i have plenty of experience medicating with plenty of different things during various seasons of my life, alcohol is just the easiest thing to acquire, so i've got plenty of experience with that, dozens and dozens of black-outs and all, black-outs aren't very fruitful, maybe throwing-down one night is fun, but not the whole puking, and head-aches, and not remembering much of your recent history, and how the fvck did i even end up in this country, and how do i get myself home from wherever it is that i am... a few drinks on occasion isn't terrible by any means, but there is this thing that can happen, when you don't know how low your tolerance actually is, but you are going to find out the hard-way, it might not be an exact measurement of your preferred tolerance, but you'll definitely know that you OD'd, you'll know that you over-dosed on ethanol, that's about all i know on the subject... so, going back to the AA/recovery philosophies, but i suppose that somewhere towards self-actualization there is a step of self-awareness, and that self-awareness might be God-enabled... it's quite possible... there is a sense of freedom in our souls, maybe a freedom within our souls, and that might be religious in a providential sense, or it might even be some straight-up spiritual awakening, or maybe a handful of other possibilities, however it's inspired it's appreciated... so... anyways... back to the idea/philosophy of writing/telling/sharing 'your story', i don't fully understand the power of it at all really, but i'll tell you that writing it out as an exercise is probably pretty healthy... writing-out various seasons of your past, writing something of a 'current', and what you think about the future, and your priorities, hobbies, struggles and all of that, that's just a healthy exercise that i'd invite any reader to do periodically... personally speaking, i have to write almost every day to help settle my mind about all of the stimulation/stimuli/stressors, etc., but, even if you don't think you have time for such a thing, i'll tell you that it's beneficial to other people, and it might be beneficial for yourself, too... even if you are perfectly healthy in your body/mind/soul, you could still benefit from such an exercise... so... go ahead... try to knock-out five-thousand words or so, but don't let word-count be a motivator, i'll bet if you are pretty self-aware you could knock-out a thousand words to warm-up, maybe ten or twenty-thousand if you want to be detailed/precise... i dunno... but i challenge you to try, let's see what lead you to where you are right now, in your best/adequate words, and give it a rip... who are you, where have you come from, what are you passions and priorities, what's your focus/goals, what are you struggles and successes, how do you feel connected to our Creator, or creation... these sorts of things are not only interesting, but helpful to other folks... you could share some of your wisdom, i'll bet you have more to offer the world then you've considered, unless your some egotist, or maybe some very smart and well-adjusted person, but your story is unique, do yourself a favor, give yourself a good reality-check, and maybe show God some appreciation... now write your story, even if you suck at it, even if you aren't ready to face your past, just write it... give me a few-thousand words... do it as often as you can... better you to write it then some asshole-hater that only assumes... write your story. -- ct
10-10-23: i don't want to write about Israel, or about Ukraine, or about Russia, or China, or Saudi Arabia, or the 5-eyes countries... i don't want to read about any political shannanigans either... i just want to buy my time until the right opportunity opens-up close to where we want to move to... maybe i can shut my mouth for five or six months, then we move to some little patch of quiet/peaceful land... that would be awesome, maybe i'll turn the place into a unicorn farm, you know, do the whole organic unpasteurized unicorn yogurt, you know the good stuff... maybe raise some jack-alopes, for the jerky, and i don't know, chickens sound awfully boring compared to unicorns and jackalopes, but we're gonna need some egg-layers for sure, and not crocodile-eggs, they're far too slippery... maybe i can shut my mouth until i retire on that little unicorn farm out in the middle of Nowhere, USA, perhaps i could stop opining/criticizing unqualified knuckle-heads trying to do impossible jobs... i'd like to say that i'll do that... just stay in my quiet little lane, finish a few of the books, and then maybe move on from main street come spring-time, before election-season is in full swing... and by then i'll be so busy from raising and caring for critters, and growing food, by then i'll be too busy doing chores to get my blood boiling over political matters... wouldn't that be something... i don't know if it's even possible, but i could try, just not sure that i will try... there are bombs dropping around the globe and all i'm thinking about is how to milk the unicorns when the time comes, i'm sure we'll keep mares on the farm, and rent-out a stallion when the girls are ready... but the jackalopes reproduce like mad, they are the ones to separate, for sure... now the chickens, well, Bob and Jill Malone speak highly of keeping some egg-layers around a homestead... i really appreciate the series they have been doing on homesteading, here's part one, and here's part two... this stuff is totally on my mind for when we move... i don't foresee any unicorns or jack-a-lopes, but chickens for sure, and possibly even some goats, maybe a pig, i'm gonna feel like the new village idiot wherever we end-up, i had a pet dog once, and a pet cat another time, otherwise i'm clueless with animals, but raising our own food is something i'm taking more seriously... i could even grow some canna if the feds change their mind... some friends around here are approaching harvest, these cool nights will get the colors to really pop, it's close to time... i'd like to prioritize a green-house when we move, maybe 20 x 30 or so, we'll have to see what size enclosures the critters require... i wouldn't mind starting out in a manufactured-home while the out-buildings are prioritized... only God know's where we'll end up, but right now it seems like MO is mostly likely state... i'm sure there will be a nice unicorn farm for sale in MO come spring-time... and when we move i'll be too busy to write about political and government things that totally bum me out... but i'm sure i'll find plenty of other things to complain about, because the grass is always greener until after you move. -- ct
10-09-23:  just finished a step in backing-up/archiving this blog, just got through getting all of 2022 'random-blog' posts chronologically, i could make the whole project a book of sorts, there is a bunch for three years worth of writing-therapy... you could title-it 'A COVID-Survivor's Writing Therapy for Self-determent, and Change of Course'... it would probably be a good read for psychologists, i'm sure a poster-boy of some obvious condition, there must be my picture beside some DSM classification, so maybe it's good reading for the folks who study the psyche... but i'm not gathering it to be a book, just a better way of backing-up and organizing this blog, it will be organized into three chapters, each chapter is a year, a year of me complaining about almost everything that i could think of complaining about, that's what i call it 'writing therapy', i use the time/energy to try to finish processing thoughts, and to write about things that feel inspiring, and then i'm also praying while i write, usually, God's usually the one who is most helpful for listening to complaints, sometimes a guy's got to bounce them around other people too, so i write like the reader is my therapist, and i'm just taking notes for you... that's sort of how i 'do journaling'... i guess i'll pull in the other sections too, it's over a million words for three years, i don't want to mess around with that much of a chore... i've got to run an errand... TBC...

10-09-23 later:  Sarah got her wisdom-teeth out this morning, it went pretty quickly, she's puffy-looking, not very sore yet, she's still anesthetized to some degree... all three ladies have the day off, both businesses are closed today, glad the oral-surgeon wasn't closed today... it feels like a nice autumn day today, blue sky a few puffy clouds, it's mostly sunny, you don't need more than a hoodie, it's nice in rockingham county... i have no intention of looking at world news, or sports today, going to do some laundry, and take a little nap, i think, and be 'on call' in case the daughter needs help, with her little puffy-face , the one with no wisdome-teeth left in it. -- ct
10-08-23:  i still never finished yesterday's post, it's just going into the principle that everything which can be compromised/exploited will be, or at least it will be tested/attacked, it takes a strong/special person to resist attempted compromise... that's where i was going with yesterday's post, but my heart isn't in it today... today my heart is in the church experience we had today, i don't want to think about compromised governments today, i just want to think more about churchy-matters... so this is just a place-holder/note to remind me to finish the post about compromised governments, my friends in government shouldn't take it personnel, it's just guilt by association... i want to make it clear that there are folks that i have a ton of respect for that have been 'working for government' most of their lives, so, sorry about the guilt by association, you'll be the butt of the joke just because... but i don't want to go there today... i'm gonna meditate/pray, and possible take a nap after it... i feel like church was good, but now i need a further extension of it, and i have the opportunity to do so.  --  ct
10-07-23:  picking-up on a topic/theme from yesterday, or maybe it was the day before, i dunno... it's easy to criticize government and politicians, there are actually many that i appreciate, but they still get grouped under the 'guilt by association' when i blast their morally-challenged colleagues... people go into politics for lots of reasons, you would like to think that it's because they want to make some positive changes, but you also get opportunists that are more interested in the side-gigs that are presented to those who have some ability to make changes, it's the folks that are in politics for fame/attention/side-gigs/networking with elites, those are the policy-makers/politicians that i have a hard time with, you know, the whole judas-thing... so, with that introduction, let me begin... some of the struggles that early church members endured have been perpetuated for millennia, the problem of a government that had a hard time staying in it's proper 'lane', and offering it's citizenry their due amount of being able to exercise their free-will, it was the Roman-empire that ruled the day back when Jesus/Logos was presented to the world... i'm not very well read, and don't know much about history but it seems like from eternity-past to present there have been occupying governments that got a little big for their britches, and didn't treat their constituents very well. it's not hard to comprehend, it's a fine-line between chaos and folks behaving nicely, i don't know how to distinguish one-hundred percent, you'd like to think so, you'd like that you don't have to apply some bull-shit meter to everything that life present, but you kind of have to...
10-06-23: just ran a few errands, tons of tree-work getting done, most of the tree-work is out-sourced from the power/electric company, our power has been pretty dependable compared to when we first moved to Newton, twenty-something years ago a stiff wind would knock the power out for at least a few hours, and it seemed to happen monthly, we've had storms with no power for a week, but nowadays we get some crazy storms and the lights might flicker a bit... at least that's the way it seems... i'm pleasantly surprised that we didn't lose power the last few storms we had, it almost seems weird that we didn't... we are hoping to move early next year, mid-west or so we're thinking, wonder how reliable the power is wherever we end up, time will tell... but, part of me hopes not to sacrifice a ton of comfort, like electricity. -- ct

10-06-23 later: i fed some urge to react to a few 'political' things recently... in many respects, i hate that i understand enough about 'damage control', but spending time with customer-service which requires some aspects of putting a company-promoting spin on certain disasters, and technical screw-ups, and who is willing to accept any responsibility, or who is willing to be open and transparent for the sake of progress... some folks hate the fact that they assumed too much, and their flaws were exposed to some degree... i know i'm guilty of it in some respects... but i side-track to make the point that -- to save face, and spare the ego -- folks shape a story based on what they hope other people will assume they did, public-image/perception are near impossible jobs based on a person's level of compromise, and ethics and the like... it's more efficient to run on truth than the over-complicated methods of bribing/appealing-to masses and compromising on truths/logic, rather than a distorted alternative to reality, and fvcking with people's heads, etc... i understand trying to maintain some public image, but not to a degree where we attempt to sell a false version of reality/truth and the like. -- ct

10-06-23 laterer: no gun-therapy lately, i put all AR-projects on hold, no room in the budget to put toward gun parts these days, maybe i'll take the latest glock out, and smooth some of the edges, i don't know what you call it, but i like to try to break the gun in a bit before even firing it, there is geometry and honing metal involved, but even a novice can tell the difference after you smooth-out a few edges here and there... glocks suck as far as 'feel' go, they suffer toward the utilitarian tool that is dependable, whereas a 1911 may give you a crisp trigger break that even a decent glock can't approach, but, i'll take a glock any day, they are pretty accurate, but getting a decent trigger and sights will cost you a few more hundred dollars, which you can upgrade at your convenience and as budget allows... i like glocks, got me a few models in different calibers, the 10mm is the latest, haven't put a round through it yet, i bought it to be my back-woods predator pistol, the round is like a 357, but bigger, and more potential for energy, some folks hunt with 10mm handguns, even black-bear... i'm gonna file/hone a few parts in the glock for a bit of gun-therapy, some folks take to knitting/painting/golf and the like, i prefer getting my hands on a gun, and getting the trigger and action feeling juuuust right... the gun therapy is even better when i have the time/place to shoot, but that ain't easy without paying lots of fees and hoops to jump through around here, i hope our next place will have the space to shoot, i guess i'd settle for a .22lr range, but i'd love to have 300 yards... 300 yards is actually more than i'd like to hunt, i don't want to hunt beyond 200 yards/meters or so, i'm not capable of seeing much beyond that, so it almost feels like cheating shooting beyond that distance... if you provide regular food via hunting then forget my 200-yard theory, if i hunted more i'd shoot further distance as allowed, but i have a grocery store close by, and i'm content to buy most of our food... i guess a 22 range would suffice, i'd also want to be respectful of neighbors, even a 22 can be annoying depending on acoustics/proximity and plenty of other factors... which is why i advocate for less restrictions on so-called 'silencers', they offer less noise pollution, which is a benefit to anyone in close proximity... you can buy them easy enough, but you need to pay two-hundred bucks and then wait for the BATF to grant you permission to purchase (or build), so then you still need to pay for the thing after that process, it puts a greater burden on regular gun-owners that just want to offer a bit of quiet to the world, sure they can be exploited and used in negative circumstances, just like anything, even governments are exploited and used for bad, so go figure... here is a hint to consider in life, everything good is usually exploited for bad at some point, it's sad but sobering/true... everything which can be exploited eventually will be, some individuals have the ability to regulate beyond compromise, but most don't... fortunately God has a world filled with mostly decent people (probably about 2/3) that help keep the predators at bay... most folks are decent, sometimes herd-mentality kicks in and people in groups behave more badly than individuals... but, most folks are decent, and try to be respectful, some folks are impossible, or, so it seems, but most folks exhibit God's order, respect for others and our environment, even folks from entirely different cultures/religions are generally decent/respectful, it's just because it's 'normal', many 'religious' things are pretty normal/logical things, just presented through a different filter/vocabulary, there are weird traditions and things that go with them too, but, hey most of it is what it is, fun traditions that generally have good meaning/significance, and are worth passing down... i went from guns to God pretty quickly in this post, but i want to be able to shoot at our next place, even if it's just 22s. -- ct
10-05-23:  woke-up around four... four o'clock is gross, even if you are supposed to be up by then, especially if you are supposed to be up by then... it's supposed to be pretty warm again today, there's some thick fog out across the street right now, you can hardly make out the tree-tops...going to take some more notes/outline for one of the books today, i sort of know how i want to expand it, but need to get it on paper--or a screen--in order to bring some order to it... i might get a couple of white-boards, i don't like taping paper to walls, which is the old-school way that i help visually... i don't have one of those memories where i can visualize lots of details, sometimes i can sort of still visualize certain things, but not my notes, not like that level of detail, i think a photo-graphic memory would be pretty awesome, it might be, but it also might be one of those 'the grass is always greener' applications, i can't turn-off some sensory things sometimes, so maybe it wouldn't be good to be able to recall so much stuff, but it seems like it would be a cool gift/curse... my mind floats when i'm tired, i think it's part of the ADD or ADHD, or whatever it is that makes concentration difficult... white boards... i might pick a couple up, i think it'd help... but, back to concentration, now... i think it was C. Langan that described IQ as the ability to focus all of your attention/concentration on something, he may have said it better, but it was something like that... i'm kind of thinking about dementia lately too, i'm 54 and occasionally lose so much consciousness that i'm like a babbling-fool, the mind drifts into something that we could call 'senior moments'... i'm not sure how bad mine are, but it's something that happens to lots of folks to varying degrees, and with the dementia people it progresses, duration and severity get noticeably worse, i'm not sure that it does for the person who is afflicted, but it certainly becomes more noticeable to those around them... mom certainly had her days/seasons... consciousness is this weird thing, it's something that can be altered with a strike/beating, drugs/anesthesia, electric impulses, sickness/affliction, physiological needs that are starved, breathing techniques, meditation/prayer, naturally growing tired, and plenty of other things too, i'm sure... lot's of things can affect our consciousness, they can stimulate or subdue/depress to some degree... not sure if today's coffee is going to help stimulate my relaxed level/state of consciousness, but i'm pretty fvcking tired, so i don't think it's got a chance today, plus the blood-pressure and all, i can only drink so much... i don't know what senior moments technically are, and how chronic they become before you need regular assistance, but i guess everyone is individual, sometimes i'd rather be off in a sensory-deprivation thing, off in a dimension where there's nothing but thoughts, the thing about the possibility of dementia that disturbs me is not being able to come-back from whatever dimension your level of consciousness is operating in, not being able to come back to enjoy life with loved ones in the dimension that our physical bodies still operate... i don't understand enough about dementia to satisfy some questions, i'm not sure if top reading can be accurate on the subject of other people's thoughts, ability to focus attention and concentration, and safely and interdependently operate/interact with our environment... somewhere between adequate states of consciousness and concentration there is a performance-level which seems high/high-functioning, the kind of performance-level that feels good/satisfying to the soul... if i can approach my C-game today i'm calling it a win... OK, i'm about ready for a second cup of coffee. -- ct

10-05-23 later:  working on a boring project today, it's a project better-suited for a middle-aged guy with his C-game, i can't get into too much trouble with this sort of project... i copied a couple of posts that seemed pretty political to the political section too, there's no need to do that, but some folks only read that section, so i throw a few bones out there on occasion... it's actually political-types that i mostly complain to, i want my kids to read as much, or as little as they want to, but it's probably the political folks that i try to keep honest... i'm critical of bad-acting, no matter what your profession, i'm fond of regular-normal flawed people that are conscious enough to understand that they are, but isn't satisfied rolling-around in dysfunction very long... scum-bags that feel beholden to manipulating others to satisfy their rank-ego are the folks that i have most issues with, most folks don't come close to that description, but far too many do.  --  ct

10-05-23 laterer:  man, it's about perfect outside right now, just got back from running some errands, and had the car windows down the whole time, what a treat... walmart didn't disappoint, gonna set-up the new white-boards, there are dots to connect that i'm not connecting, and i need the visual, the in-your-face big-ol' note-taking something that hopefully a white-board will satisfy... i think i'm making pork-chops tonight, and i got some dishes to chip away at, how did today get so darn busy, good grief.  --  ct

10-05-23 more later:  got some dinner cooked, made a dump run, got a nap, and some dishes done, but not in that order... not bad, i wrote about various levels of consciousness in my first post today, i don't know what level of what my nap was, but it was good, it felt like i could have stayed in bed all night, hope the nap doesn't screw-up my night's sleep, time will tell.  --  ct
10-04-23:  Maslow does this good job explaining how most actions/behaviors are multi causal/motivated, that there are usually multiple reasons why we do what we do... i.e., resident biden probably doesn't slurp on ice-cream cones purely out of satisfying caloric/physiological necessity, perhaps he needs interactive stimulation with something that won't bite him, and grounds him enough that he understands he's still alive and on earth, gravity and stuff... i'm pretty much done reading the book, the conclusion isn't very long, but there are notes and high-lighted areas to go back through, in due time... But, part of his findings validate a nuance of mine, like when folks ask 'why did you do that', sometimes it takes a book to explain 'why', sometimes we have no clue why we did something, the reasoning may have just been a reaction to stimulus that we simply didn't put much thought behind at all... anyways, he's smart, and describes certain things very well. -- ct

10-04-23 later:  this post probably belongs under the 'politics' section, i was reading an article on Epoch Times about a guy that was recently released from prison after serving time in a 1/6/21 plea-deal with federal prosecutors... i don't know what to think about Jan 6th, and what certain folks intended on doing that day, i'll tell you one thing that it wasn't any attempt of an 'insurrection'... you think any of those folks that were arrested own any guns, you think they would have brought them if they had any intention of whatever it is that fantastical word insurrection means... Jan 6th wasn't much worse than a frat-house bender... anyways, it was interesting to see how deep-state puppets presented the Jan 6 actions, theatrics, holywood written and produced, some politicians are really shitty actors/actresses, and you feel a little bit of empathetic embarrassment for them, i don't know why i feel sorry for some of those knuckle-heads... i'd like to know how many tax-payers we saw on TV congregating through the halls of the people's-owned building were actually folks in the intelligence community, or are assets/informants that were paid to instigate... seems like there was some of that going on... i've watched federal prosecutors make presentations, most of them are pretty good, some were drama-queens... i've only watched them present evidence, or, reports of evidence... they are usually quite thorough, and don't seem to screw around with regular-normal people, they seem to go after folks that have done some bad things, some habitually bad things for some of them... Jan 6 seems like more of a set-up for under-aged frat-house party goers walking around the halls of a building that their taxes paid for, which is mostly occupied by insulated elitists that are scared as hell of an actual insurrection, Jan 6 wasn't even close to one... may God bless us all that there won't have to be one, that those emboldened drunkards intoxicated by their thirst for lustful-power and ego will find a moment of sobriety to contemplate their actions, and screwing around with other people's lives... anyways... sounds like the guy that was recently released was a pretty angry guy that might have needed some time to settle-down a bit... frat-house weekend benders attended by bison-hat fellas are not attempted insurrections, no matter how many poor actors repeat that word, some of those terrible actors and drama-queens got some kind of ptsd at the thought of an insurrection by a bunch of unarmed frat-boys... what a play with words, and an attempt to dissuade actual/future actions/behavior... it seemed like a mostly peaceful protest to me, but politicians don't like mostly peaceful protests when they are in within their insulated environments and feel like their personal-security is threatened... it's the hypocrisy of the politicians that love to agitate their constituents, a little local agitation sent them running for the hills, gives them ptsd, and, unfortunately, provided a new soap-box distraction full of government-sponsored drama... the way it turned-out was that Trump agitated some constituents the same way the deep-state did with antifa and blm riots... the deep-state didn't like it when trump did it back, and they found another opportunity to exploit (a manufactured crisis), so they did, it's what they do... yeah, this seems more like a political post, maybe i'll put it under that section... just want to make sure we are calling things what they really are, they may sound completely different depending if you are into team sports, and like to pick sides. -- ct
10-03-23: what happens when you wake-up one day, and you realize your government is part of the biggest cult in the world, but you no longer wish to participate in devilish practices... what happens then... i don't know either, but it's another writing project, another book that will take too long to finish, another story, a story for another day... sometimes the truth is ten times fvcking weirder than fiction... anyways, it should be a good story once i sit down to write that one... unless, well, maybe it's already been written, probably, i always think of these cool new things, until i find out they've been done centuries ago... i'm a little late to most parties, as they say... anyways, would that be a wild story, you wake-up and realize that you were an unsuspecting cult-member, that politics was nothing more then team-colored competitive-sport, that most of our divisions of government had already been compromised/infiltrated by this huge global-cult, and the cult has been exploiting and harvesting the rotten fruits of their labor... what a fantastical story that would make, someone else probably wrote it already... i wonder how their ending reads... i don't know how my version would end... but, would you wake up and think, how the fvck did this cult coerce a third of my earnings since i was eighteen, and i've just been willingly shoveling it out all these years... does government become a religion for those in desperate search for truth and meaning, it kind of seems so...
 ... seems like an old friend is helping in their sort of way (thank you)... if they are one of my Christian friends they will probably feel let-down soon enough, i use adult words and support capital-punishment, so, there's that... sometimes i write about religiousy stuff, but i like to leave that to the pros, they are more thorough and do it right... it's the human condition, and how we interact with our environment, the rest of creation, and our Creator that fascinates me... what, exactly, is God--i mean, besides 'our Father in heaven', that's an interesting topic too, one that i like to hear the pros talk about... some folks thought i would be some sort of religiousy person when i grew/smartened-up, maybe i already am in some simple and weird way, but i like to leave religious matters to professional religious folks, and i try to help them when they could use some... i'm far from a religious person, sorry if i let the person down that recently began supporting some of my work... maybe they see some baby in the bath-water, so long as God still does i'm probably in good shape... thank you to the person who met me in the nineties, i was pretty fvcking nuts for part of that decade, so i wonder how/when we met, but, i appreciate folks that want to keep anonymous, and give some encouragement, thanks man (spoken with my inner-hippie), actually it might be a lady, i dunno...
 ... it's back to reading for me, it's nice enough to get outside and enjoy some fresh air, but i want to finish the Maslow book today, it's about done, and i want to incorporate some of it in the first book that i'm trying to finish-up... i like that it's a small book, but it's dense enough to make me nibble at it. -- ct

10-03-23 later: no reading for me, i forgot i was going to help someone with some minor electrical matters, i had a young thirty-something yr old guy that did the lifting for me, his daughter even helped, eight-year olds can be pretty helpful when it comes to matters of the screw-driver... anyhow, very hospitible folks, even had some unique tea from India, hopefully i'm still in this dimension in an hour or so, but i don't have anywhere to be this afternoon, so what do i care... i think i'm cooking some tacos tonight, taco-tuesday is a thing, right? or should i do the pork-chops, i've got to do one of the meats tonight, i'd rather sweat over a grill, but that's not an option given this week's menu... i'm making the command-decision, tacos, maybe one of the daughters will stir/brown the ground-beef, take a load off my wrist, i have a feeling i pushed it a little too far today, time will tell... i can't wait to get an insta-pot to try the O/T lady's taco-meat recipe, i'm an old-school crock-pot kinda-guy, slow-cook the meat till it shreds is her theory, she's smart, so i'm going to try it, i love a recipe that can sit in a pot most of the day... lots of politics and current-events and other things i could be complaining about, but i'm not giving that stuff much attention today, i've got tacos to think about, the ground-beef kind of tacos, not the shredded brisket kind of tacos...
 ... we got a pretty warm day, it may have hit eighty, it didn't feel too hot until i put my head above the drop-ceiling, it's one of the crappy parts of electrical work, standing on ladders working with tools above your head while dripping saline all over the place, i'd rather make tacos, but i'd really rather sweat over a grill, the sizzling kind... OK, off to get tacos started... step one, wash my hands... step two, contemplate additional steps. -- ct

10-03-23 laterer: i'm thankful that i had a pretty easy enlistment and deployment, i can't imagine what it's like for guys that didn't have easy enlistments, for guys up against impossible odds, stuck in impossible missions, where you make decisions on which choices seems to suck the least... i'm glad that i had it easy, some folks do things that seem impossible for many reasons, and you read the book, or watch the movie, and it moves you in ways that are hard to describe, and then there are actual people that lived or died in those stories... some folks are extraordinary, most folks actually are, in some capacity or another, the folks that are more resilient, or stronger than other folks, well, they are still folks too, still normal folks in a bunch of different ways... most folks are extraordinary in some ways, but still completely normal in most ways, too... so, i'm just remembering the seemingly impossible mission that those blackhawk-down folks must have experienced, extraordinary folks pushing themselves past exhaustion, and sometimes you make it, and sometimes you don't, the delta guys and the rangers and the air-force guys on that deployment, i don't even know what to say, 'thank you' for doing a very hard job, 'sorry' for whatever loss you experienced, friends you lost, wounds that were suffered, a lifetime of events that unfolded in a blink of an eye, some wounds that peeled away slowly over time... i don't know what to say to those fellas, some missions are seemingly impossible, and some folks like those types of challenges... some warriors die slow, some in the blink of an eye, some you hear or read about, most you never will... how do you stop an angry swarm of amphetamine-fueled hostiles from killing your friends, maybe that's one way of considering mogadishu back in the day, back when warlords did what they do... the 5.56 nato round was really put to the test, amphetamine-fueled hostiles don't go down easy with the 5.56 nato round, thats one of the big take-aways, and don't be a minimalist when packing for seemingly short missions... lots of folks studied/learned lots of things from some of the experiences that extraordinary folks endured, and the things those extraordinary folks still endure, when do those things get easy, do they ever? -- ct

10-03-23 more later:  i made the best tacos ever, but i might be slightly biased, but they were good... Hannah woke up with nausea, and wanted nothing to do with the tacos even tonight, but she doesn't know what she missed, she missed something pretty close to the best tacos ever, maybe runner-up to the best tacos ever, runner-up is probably more accurate... that girl doesn't need to lose any weight, wish she woke up hungry for tacos instead of pukey-feeling, so, instead, she ended-up missing-out on the almost best tacos ever, you know, maybe the runner-ups... so, i helped some folks with electric stuff, and made some adequate tacos, and got out driving with the windows down in the nice weather, and had some non-psychedelic tea... and the little girl wanted to help, and her dad got involved showing her how to turn the screw-driver, which direction to turn it, and he helped her with the hard part, getting it started... i couldn't have done some of those things on my own, but it was cool watching a father and his daughter helping, and interacting with one another... here's a funny part of our conversation today... she tells me she is eight, and that her friend is six, and/but earlier she said that when she 'was younger she was four or five', so, then later, she asks me how old i was when i was younger... was she speaking to some self-awareness, some maturing that she is aware of... i thought she was trying to sound cool, so i told her i 'was probably about five or six when i was younger, and then i had to go to school and stuff, but now i'm old'... what a cool girl, really respectful, and good conversation, and wanting to help... there were three generations of them today, all respectful, hospitipal, and they did most of the work, i have the tools and the experience to help them help themselves, i'm too gimpy to do it all myself these days, too gimpy and too grumpy really, but the grand-daughter was pretty funny/cute, and was content turning the screws, and offering to help, i forgot what it's like interacting with kids that age, my youngest is eighteen now, so it seems like forever ago teaching them how to fix stuff... i'm also trying to figure-out how one of the electrical 'components' was functioning properly, it's supposed to function a very specific way, but it wasn't 'thaaaat way' at all, it was pretty weird, but that's what happens when you start opening things up, you never know what you'll find... i changed the component, and got it wired the right way, but still curious as to how the old one was even working, i don't think the device was as smart as i thought it was, it must be lower-tech than i thought... weird, but glad it's replaced, and done right.   --   ct
10-02-23:  yea, yea, yea... so i'm sort of back in a church again, i wouldn't say 'reluctantly', i'd say it was a matter of time, and then a decent one that ends-up in our town, and meets at a reasonable hour... well, shoooot son... that's icing on the cake... they seem like a capable bunch, so i don't know if i can offer any help that they might not already have, but, i know how to operate a broom and dust-pan, i'm familiar with a mop and bucket too... i've had three kids, which equates to about a zillion and a half diapers changed, so, i don't mind with chores and such... wish i had the muscle that i had ten years ago to offer too, but growing old and gimpy seem to be the order of the day...
 ... today is about perfect in rockingham county, sunny, blue sky, low-seventies... it's about perfect, really... i ran some chores in the car, and then some on foot, now i'm back on the ol' B-hind for a bit, i'll be planning supper before i know it.  --  ct

10-02-23 later:  nice chatting with neighbors, i can't begin to tell you how nice it is outside, i think it's seventy-one, and perfectly clear... i'm gonna make an easy supper tonight, whatever it is it'll be good, but closer to mac-n-cheese good, not lamb-chops with mustard sauce good... something better than pop-tarts or ramen-noodles, but not as fancy as lobster-bisque... it won't be peanut-butter and jelly, or nutella; but certainly not the bacon-wrapped scallops... probably won't be the english-mufin pizzas, nor the rib-eyes, not that kind of good... no way... not the pasta and sauce kinda of good, but it might be like 'chicken-parm' with the pre-cooked patties, or tacos with ground-beef... something like that kind of good, probably... but not the surf-n-turf kind of good.  --  ct
10-01-23: hello october, you're off to a lovely start, it don't get much bett'r n this here... nothing to do this afternoon, so that gives me time to read, write, pray... once upon a time it was punishment to lock me in a quiet room, and leave me there to ponder my poor behavior, now you don't have to lock me in, and will probably need to come get me when you think is appropriate, i won't even try to escape... that sort of what it's like being an introvert, more or less... the girls are shopping, Laura is visiting her Dad, and step-Mom with her brother for a bit...within 30-minutes of church ending everyone was gone, i have a zillion things to read, but i have one in mind for this afternoon, one to stimulate the noggin, and give me time to think more about church today, Laura works with one of the folks that gave their 'testimony'... it was the kind of testimony that i was waiting for, one which is foreign to me, one from two folks that were multi-generational Christians, a husband and wife that grew-up in families full of servants, and those who love their maker... i like the stories of the under-dogs, whose who had a hell to climb out of, soiled clothes to get rid of, and had to fight through many shit-storms to be a healthy and decent member of society that mostly plays well with other people... that's what i'm more accustomed to (what up Gabe), so i was really looking forward to hearing how 'church bred folks' articulated some of their struggles, when they did some brave/weird thing that defied logic, yet reeked of God's plan/will/direction/communication... i don't care how scary or boring your background is, it's just interesting hearing how you got to where you are today... that's all good stuff right there... i challenged readers last month to write/articulate your story, it's a good challenge for folks who don't like to write, or aren't great with it (helloooo, look at my web-site), and for those who write well, it's a good opportunity for self-awareness, what trends do you notice, what things have you overcome, what are your current priorities, what does the short and near-term future look like, what are you hopeful for, what sucks... i sort of pray as i write, i feel like i need to put twice the effort into getting my head straight, and processing my experiences, writing is the only way i know how to slow-down my train of thought, to focus, to beat-down some ADD/ADHD (however you like to define certain challenges), i don't know if God appreciated me writing and complaining all of the time, but it's where we find ourselves, writing is my latest hobby, and i'm still checking it out, it's weird... after that side-note, i'll go back to my challenge, what's yous story between you and God look like, how did you get there, how are you doing now... who are you, and what do you do, and why do you do it, what motivates you, and why does it motivate you... how does God interact with creation, how do you interact with our environment, how do you interact with God, how much of your interaction is intentional... i like hearing/reading people's stories, but i'd rather just inspire someone to write their own story... if you are new to writing i'll give you a hint, it's easier to write/communicate with a particular audience/reader in mind... since you have no idea who will end up reading let me suggest that you make God your target audience, that way you take most of your ego and bull-shit out of the equation, that ought to make it easier for you... and here's another tip, don't bother yourself with thoughts such as 'i wonder what God saw me do, so i'd know what to write about', don't consider such nonsense at all, it's too much to have to think about, and you might still be holding on to too much ego, you might still be fighting the naked-transparency that is required to write your own 'real story'... before you set out to write your story assume that everything that you've ever seen, touched, smelled, tasted, heard, felt in your body and soul, assume that you already reported all of that back to God in real-time, so assume that God already knows everything about the past, just assume that so you don't get hung-up on silly matters, it's better to begin with the understanding that you SHOULD NOT write some propaganda to impress anyone about anything, it's better to begin knowing that there is no one who needs to be impressed by a word of your testimony, that God already know's the full truth of every matter, so maybe just write your story to another person who is similar to you if you need some reference, and maybe make that story the story of how you made some connection to God, and what are your priorities nowadays, what are your challenges, what would you like to change about yourself, what are you doing that you think is helping others, and God...i'd love to know that at least one person met this challenge, you don't have to send me one word of it, but write it, and make it true, and as simple or fancy as you like to get to do such a thing... be you, and do it... can you manage 2,500 words, maybe a thousand, maybe tens of thousands... write your story lest some hater try to tell your story after you expire, but you have to write truth, and don't be afraid to include painful memories/experiences, and all of the fvcked-up stuff too, if need be--there might be good therapy re-visiting old pain from your current perspective -- God already remembers all of the past, and quite a bit better then we do... so write your story, even if it feels like a crappy chore, it ought to be a good exercise for you.  --  ct

[UPDATE:  i cleaned the post up a little bit, and put it on the substack: https://christophernews.substack.com/p/so-whats-your-story]

chili - part 1

I don't have a set recipe for chili, i make it sort of a tomato-based with summer veggies (salsa type of stuff)... then, you add whatever beans you like, i like to sweeten the chili by using the baked-beans that are already sweetened, then a couple of cans of 'whatever' beans, this batch will have black-beans... and then as much meat as you have access to--this batch will get 3lbs of ground beef, 2lbs of ground bison, and 2lbs of ground turkey, i pre-cook the meat about half-way, then dump it into all of the other ingredients in the big pot... the seasoning is limited by your creativity and resources, but you can just use the little envelopes of 'chili spice mix' to simplify things... this stuff cooks for 4 - 8 hours on a very low temp (number 1 on the electric stove), you should stir it every 20 - 30 minutes or so, yields 3 gallons, so have the mason jars ready to fill... sweet, savory sour, spicy chili -- your tongue won't know what hit it.   :-)

chili - part 2

... looks like i had a bit more turkey meat than i thought... but what i do is cook each meat independently, and dump the chili-seasoning packets with each meat, when each skillet of meat looks rare to medium-rare i dump it into the caldron of salsa/tomato/bean base that's in the big pot... so the base was pretty well seasoned, and then each meat was seasoned... i added a few cups of coffee too... i didn't put plain 'water' into the mix, the tomatoes and salsa had their own water content, so i added a few cups of weak coffee to water it down and for some of the savory, there isn't enough caffeine to affect most folks... after the whole pot of chili has simmered for a few hours you will know what kind of taste you have to work with, then you season to taste... i want sweet, a little sour (tangy), savory, flavor that's got enough spicy-heat to let you know your still alive, but without making you pay for it on the toilet the next day... i use honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, lemon juice, vinegar, all different types of peppers, coffee, cocoa... whatever it takes to get you the balance of flavor that you appreciate, that's what you use to finish it off... get creative with your project.   --  ct

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