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

 September 2023
09-01-23:  I'm doing something different this month, i'm leaving the page/entries oldest to newest--i usually put the newest posts on top--if you have any feedback let me know... [UPDATE: i hate having the oldest info on top, not doing that again anytime soon]
 ... since September is supposed to be some sort of 'suicide awareness' month, i thought i'd share these posts with you, even if they don't help you as an individual, they might help you understand someone else a little better:

 ... every now and then i just come right out and say it, about this website, that it's mostly just a sort of therapy for me, it's literally a type of therapuetic, it's just an outlet to vent, and remind me of things sometimes... read back on any month, or any tab, and mostly you'll just be reading the thoughts, opinions, and frustrations of a middle-aged guy that was mad at himself, God, and the world a few years ago... so, i got re-acquainted with God a bit better, started coming to grips with my limitations of injuries/tissue damage, etc., also got off of SSRIs, an anti-psychotic, and pain-meds... certain meds might be beneficial for certain people under certain conditions for certain periods of time, but sometimes medicines are more harmful than helpful... getting off of those medicines helped get back on a road to reality, and facing certain ailments, limitations, and frustrations--all i know is that i was chemically numbed/impaired for a very prolonged period of time... but the combination of talking with a professional, and writing have been the most helpful therapeutics, that as well as considering God as often as possible... oh, so has being more mindful of sleep, and other physiological needs, trying to be better to myself... those things have been very helpful, even cannabis was helpful to a big extent when i was really going through the wringer... so this website is mostly some middle-aged guy venting about certain things that i probably can't control... the venting is the therapy, to give me the clarity and strength to go do what i ought to do... so, thanks for reading, it's probably much more therapeutic for me to write than for you to read, but that's cool if you can get something out of any of it, too... good night, and have a great september, with Love -- ct
09-02-23:  usually, when i put the words 'church, God, religion', or any related words in the title of a substack post, i get 11 views in a few weeks time... so the last one i did used 'sermon' in the title, and already got thirty views within a week, maybe folks aren't so sick of hearing about God and ethics and being smart as i was thinking... i dunno... i've been encouraged to write more about fruitful topics, and not just politics and things that piss me off... maybe, but i still need an outlet for frustrations and anger, and the wolves that are attacking the sheep... in many respects i write as prayer... go back and read some writings in the old testament, those folks that poured their hearts out to God in grievance and sorrow, well, those folks wrote much better than me, they were almost poetic in expressing their anguish, not me, i'm a straight-shooter, curse-words, imperfections, and all... i'm a simpleton in my grieving-prayer to God... God will tell you that i'm a world-class complainer, but is glad that i'm not holding it all in anymore... at least that's what i think He'd say... as God works on me a bit more i'll try to be more mindful about writing more useful and less offensive things... and then part of this blog is also coming to grips with the fact that at my age i ought to have some useful things to share with anyone that cares to read, i hope that my three kids and family will be interested in reading some of this some day (that's much of the point), but who knows, time will tell...
 ... on another note, it's been a picture-perfect day again in rockingham county, took a nice walk to the bank and back,  got out in the yard for about three hours with the hedge-trimmer, the weed-wacker, the chain-saw, and the law-mower, pulled some weeds, and raked a bit... the a/c hasn't been on at all today, and it's 72 in the living-room, i wish i could email this perfect day for you, it's probably a great day to be on the water too, or hiking... i got the heart-rate up a bit with some slow exercise working the tools and taming the ground, the pollen isn't even too bad, i am coughing a little and had a few little three-sneeze episodes, but nothing bad enough to complain about, so i'd call this a beautiful day.
 ... also got a few little gun-parts in the mail today, so there is gun-therapy in the near future... i've got the crush-washers to put a couple of muzzle-devices on now, the one for the 308 will feel like a tiny bit of progress on that project, still need a charging handle, BCG, and something to aim with, and then it'll be done... i got a couple of the PWS ratchet-lock castle-nuts with QD end-plates to help with two receivers... and then a FDE poly dust-cover for anther project that i hope to finish this year... but before the gun-therapy begins i've got to get my grass-covered tick-peppered sweaty ass in the shower, i shouldn't even be sitting down like this, but needed the rest after working outside... there must be a few ticks on me, hopefully none of the really nasty ones, i'm fixin to scrub them off with some hot soapy-water.  --  ct

09-02-23 later:  there is a weird substack stat that i just stumbled across, you can actually look to see what countries throughout the world subscribers are coming from, and what states in the USA they come from... MA and FL don't surprise me, i've got a bunch of friends and family in those two states... Canada didn't surprise me either, some old friends moved up there some 20 years ago, but the UK surprises me... i don't know who i might know over yonder, but they are probably loosely networked through some groups that i follow, or, someone that i just plain don't know, which is a weird concept for me... this website/blog-thing just tells me how many new viewers each week, how many total viewers for the same week, and how many pages were viewed--that's it... substack gets in to a level of detail that is interesting, but nothing that i really need to know... i wonder if i know the person in the UK, maybe it's christopher steele, that hillary-cult networked fella.  --  ct
09-03-23:  there is a post from a person that struck me a few weeks back--it was posted in response to another inquisitive post that was on ctmu's facey-book page (i have an unfavorable opinion of facey-book)... and it's been bouncing around the old noggin since i originally read it... it's not on my page so it's none of my business really, but, here:
" I’ve been trying to figure out how to help mine [child] understand how God’s gift of free will allows bad/evil people to cause harm to innocent people (especially children), why God allows…and why history has shown when God finally does send in militaries from other countries to stop some evil acts of another country (such as WW2&Germany), and even in Bible stories; why the innocent (including children) seem to also have to endure the judgement of their country, and suffer from the aftermath?
CTMU has not helped me find a way to explain this, maybe I’m missing it. "

'why does God allow traumatic experiences/atrocities to happen to young innocent folks too', is more or less how i read the question

... CTMU means different things to different people, but it's a frame-work that helps interpret reality, the church of the will of God is the way us religious-types may refer to it... a religious frame-work doesn't necessarily explain every variable/possibility of everything that may happen in life, even the bible doesn't do that, but the bible does speak to 'different seasons' of life, where we may experience different highs or lows, joy or pain... the bible doesn't just come out and say that life is a battle, but in many respects, life is a proverbial 'battle', and sometimes it requires a fight to just survive... decent parents and stewards will keep children as safe as they can, while letting children explore different environments and parts of creation that they are capable of handling safely... decent parents mentor, love, teach, and prepare their children to be strong independent and somewhat self-sufficient people that will connect to our Creator at deeper levels over time, and may have to depend on God leading you (or others to you) to help sometimes too.  Parents provide different needs for their children at different stages of their life, some stages you feed from a breast, some stages you teach off-spring to pick your own food out of the ground, hunting for it, or buying it at a store yourself... there is a concept of 'age-appropriateness' that smart parents consider, however, in doing so, they they shield you from some aspects of reality, and some of life's nastiness moments and perversions of humanity... the fact is, there are predators that decent parents protect their children from, predators and deviant humans exist, God didn't 'create evil', but normal people notice evil when we see it, and normal and capable people have to manage evil, because God does not micro-manage.

... God does not micro-manage creation, God gave humanity a planet that provides all of our sustenance, and it's up to his people to manage it, and that's part of 'free will'... atrocities happen, they have happened over millennia, and they will happen in the future, atrocities tend to happen when spiritually, physically, and/or emotionally unhealthy/unbalanced folks get in charge of a tribe/pack/nation of various sizes, and manipulate other folks via mas-hypnosis, herd-mentality, teams/tribes, etc. These sick folks ascend into an idol status/authority/influencer, and then try to expand their territories/borders/wealth/resources/followers/cultists... God expects normal folks to recognize this sort of pattern, and put a stop to it, but many people don't have the back-bone/courage/fortitude to put a stop to it... God created a pretty nice planet and solar-system for us, and He expects us to utilize it wisely, and to get along with other normal/reasonable people, but He does not manage us on a level to where He automatically prevents bad things from happening, and that is just a level of freedom that some folks take for granted, that some folks don't consider, God expects us to use our freedom, intelligence, and resources for good... if good people don't stand-up against bad people/movements there will be negative consequences, most normal folks don't have the fortitude/courage to stand-up against evil, therefore, evil expands, and atrocities happen... the fact is that atrocities happen, and you can't blame that on a God who created us and gave us very good conditions to sustain life, He gives more freedom then our personal/preferential algorithms can compute.

... i'm certainly no pro, but it seems like traumas happen to folks when they are exposed to some of history's worse moments/actions/experiences, when people's expectations are shattered, and their understanding of normalcy is turned upside-down, and they weren't able to control something that they wish that they could control (i did this post to try to explain trauma), or, the way that they think God should have controlled it, but God doesn't prevent evil from expanding automatically, God's people--normal people--are supposed to help manage the environment, and help one another get along in life, and living peacefully with one another, but normal people don't always manage their environment and village properly, it's hard and uncomfortable... we don't stand-up to the absurdity of sociopaths and psychos and those who elevate themselves over God, and over God's order... the harsh reality is that life requires a fight to survive, unless we are spoiled beyond belief, some folks are exposed to more of life's more harsh events at earlier ages than other folks... understanding that God created things that are capable of good and bad, but doesn't micro-control the actions and behavior of those things that are capable of good and bad, but God certainly deals with folks that don't use their intelligence and freedom and resources to help benefit society and creation at some point, no one escapes God's judgement, some folks may escape judgement for a season or two on earth, but God's record-keeping is thorough... understanding some of those theories might be helpful, and understanding that everyone, no matter what their age, reaps the benefits of after-life, many children who pass-away/die/transition haven't had to live long enough to experience some of the suffering of chronic atrocities that some older folks have had to endure/face/survive.

... if we are raised by decent parents we expect decency (as we should), but, eventually we come to learn that the world isn't just full of decent parents/people/humans, it mostly is, but, there are plenty of folks that don't appreciate decency, and don't like to consider the two most important commandments according to Jesus... and God expects normal humans to manage the good and the bad, but not every normal person has the strength/fortitude to manage the bad, until bad has grown big enough that it tries to expand it's borders/kingdom/territory... the degree of free-will that's been endowed unto man-kind is more liberal then expected by folks who pose this great question that you have considered... governments and societies do things like regulate certain actions and behaviors with laws/justice, and bad actions/behavior/deeds usually go punished after the infractions were committed, God gives some pretty simple rules/regulations/expectations too, and punishes those who mis-use their gift of freedom... bad-actions are allowed, but are eventually punished, after the fact... it's a very grown-up and mature thing to be thinking about, especially for someone that's still going through formal education, there are many adults that sort of 'hold that against' God... some folks get hung-up with questions like 'why did God create evil'... God did not CREATE evil, God created unique telors that are capable of immeasurable freedom, and a handful of 'commandments' to help restrain some of our power/abilities/freedom, so--for folks who pose the question 'why did a loving God create evil', it's a leading question, the real question is 'why did creation choose to rebel from it's Creator', maybe because it had the freedom to do so, and abused it's freedom... decent folks will do some rebellious and stupid things from time to time, but we learn, grow, mature and become much more reasonable... but some folks don't, they malfunction, short-circuit, find more appeal in evil than truth and respect.

... i'm speaking as a person that was exposed/experienced several types of traumas at all sorts of ages, mostly ending in my twenties... when i was in my early twenties i realized that i wasn't managing my life very well, and i heard more about Jesus, and God, and religion, etc., one night i literally cried to God, and asked Him to 'enter my heart' so to speak, and was pretty level with Him that i was quite flawed, and impulsive, and ignorant, and really wanted to start living my life more like Jesus, i wanted to start new, and that Jesus was the way, the truth, and the life, and was my path to getting back on God's path... i sort of had a 'come to Jesus moment', and told God that i knew that i was clearly a sinner, and was repenting... for the most part, i have repented, but i'm far from perfect still... not everyone has that mentality or clarity, they entertain the follies of the arrogant and deranged ego, and follow/practice evil, the invent ways to victimize others, when they aren't corrected or managed by normal people things can turn chaotic in a hurry... our time on earth includes various struggles/challenges/opportunities/rewards/failures, life includes traumas and struggles that some folks will never comprehend, because we are normal, but not everyone is... that's how i would explain it to the child asking their mom that question.

... i don't know how to articulate my 'answer' in a very concise way that everyone is capable of understanding, and i certainly won't claim to fully understand the ctmu, or to speak on behalf of them, but i'd like to think that my answer is compatible with their frame-work of reality. I love that statement-question posed by the nice lady on the CTMU facebook page, and the question/reasoning posed by her daughter (i don't know either of them), but some folks use 'the question' as a crutch to pretend that they are somehow keeping God out of their life because they don't understand enough about God, or because they wish God would use their own personal algorithm to manage humanity -- God doesn't micro-manage creation, and there is no such thing as 'keeping God out of your life', thats an angry fool's ignorant perspective... we are literally immersed in God, and HIS life, He has given us life to share and participate in, life is quite a gift when our perspective is balanced.

... i write about 'religion, God, Jesus' a bunch in this post; but the truth is that i don't like to write a ton about that stuff, i like to save that for the professionals, i just give you my spin on it... i encourage you to read the pro's, and actually research religions that encourage mutual respect, community, integrity, self-improvement, mindfulness, and helping folks that need help... read the pros, and seek God as an independent and transparent person, that's my advice for the reader... cheers  -- ct

09-03-23 later: a buddy of mine went to meet one of his heros, and it didn't seem to go well... i don't know any detail, but praying for some folks that had a bad experience together not very long ago... i hate when that happens to folks, especially ones that you appreciate, God please make sense of it all, and please heal where it's needed... i know one guy needs some healing in his knee and leg, and i don't know about anyone else involved, but God does... i'd love a big dose of world-peace right about now...
... also, went to a newer church today, saw a family friend by himself (whom we sat beside), my wife and daughter saw a co-worker there... it's cool bumping into folks unexpectedly at church, love that... also met a bunch of folks that seem pretty genuine, and dig God... the sermon was interesting, i'm still going to ponder it a bit... here's one of my notes, it's completely unrelated to today's sermon, but when i heard it and read it, i instantly thought 'this was an oh-shit moment for Paul' ... it's Acts 22:22 ... 'oh shit, this doesn't seem to be going very well', is what i was thinking that Paul must have been thinking, but i'm not Paul, and i'm being quite silly about the verse, so i don't know what he was really thinking, but i have my suspicions, and they smell a bit foul... the sermon was the first on a series, it was called 'this is my story -- our testimony', and the pastor brought much of the topic through the perspective of Saul/Paul, and his 'story'... i don't know what my 'story' would have to entail, but i took a crack at it around Easter this year... i put it on substack: https://christophernews.substack.com/p/happy-belated-easter... depending on the target audience you could call it 'a heroic dose of shrooms', or, 'a spiritual epiphany'... anyways, the church was pretty cool, i'll go back again, i suspect most of the family will, too.  --  ct
09-04-23:   mass-hypnosis, and learning/discovering the lies and ideologies that you have become conditioned to believe, walking away from cults, escaping intellectual prisons which we were unknowingly locked-up ... this is just a place-holder for a paper i just started thinking about... reading the latest substack from 'Midwestern Doctor' this morning, it's pretty good... i don't ever want to get fancy with my writing, but something close to their structure and style is about as fancy as i want to get, which may not be saying much, because they write their blog pretty casually considering what we typically associate with MD-types.  --  ct

09-04-23 later:  pay-to-read is an issue that comes up in the writing, or, intellectual-property industry... i'm new to writing, and never placed a ton of value on any work that i've ever done, usually when i'd negotiate fees/salary--if it were for services that i was already competent with--then my fees would be based on how much stress i think it would cause me and how long it would separate me from loved-ones, if i knew it was going to suck then i charged more, if there were any indications that my efforts would get my blood-pressure to unhealthy periods my fees went up more significantly, or, if i had to buy new tools or do more research the fees went up... if i like the customer and the work is easy i may not charge for any prep-work, or mark-up any prices, and sometimes i just work for free--you know when you are thinking charitably and have the opportunity to bless someone... anyways, i'm a bit of a unicorn in some respects... although i'm trying to shift my money-earning focus from some of the physical and ethical-compromising jobs that i can no longer do, and trying to shift to writing for income... but, thats not the major intention of this blog, this blog is mostly just me venting, and writing about problems that i see... i sort of hope to inspire other writers to use some of my thoughts/theories/opinions, and run with it if so inspired, i guess you could say that this blog is the opposite of a 'pay-wall'... i think folks have some real good reasons for trying to earn some money from their 'intellectual work', some folks it might be their only source of income... i'm not quite at that point, i've been blessed with some regular/steady income that pays for most of the bills... i hope/intend to quote/cite other authors/folks properly and as often as possible, and will encourage folks to consider purchasing their works to read for themselves, it's not my intention to steal anyone else's work/property, i don't want what's yours... but my hope is that some folks will take some of my stuff here and run with it, polish it up, make it better, add more detail... i actually want folks to sort of do that... i'm a crappy editor of my own writings, i can edit most other folk's stuff, but mine is too rough for me to even start editing sometimes, many times, most of the time... i've got a handful of small books in the works, that's where i expect to earn a little money eventually, but not from 'blogging'... for those who don't know, i'm loosely connected with--and related to--some professional political folks, and when i started this blog-thing i made sure that they knew about every political article/post that i published... venting political differences, and pointing out hypocrisy and lies was the foundation for beginning a writing-therapy based website... i started writing over political frustrations and tactics that are an affront to humanity and integrity, political-junkies are the so-called 'crowd' that i first appealed to and attracted, then i began sprinkling in some 'religious' stuff/convictions too--i don't think i get tons of viewers that read based on just the 'religious stuff', but religious folks are not my 'target audience', neither are the 'political folks'... much of my writing is me just venting to God--basically--i'm one of God's bitchiest sensors in our solar system... i don't know how much God appreciates folks who do nothing But complain, so i try to break-up my complaining with some other fruitful things from time to time... there is nothing that i've written on this blog that i wouldn't mention to God in prayer, but the fact is that writing is sometimes the only way that i can slow-down, and pray a bit, sometimes writing something can take years to finish, sometimes receiving some answer to prayer can take longer... so i liken this blog as a creative outlet for a middle-aged guy that sometimes bares his soul to our creator, sometimes writing is the only way that i know how to do that...
 ... so, i don't feel a need to charge people to read me venting my deepest frustrations, but i know that some political folks use this blog for inspiration/material sometimes, they should--i more or less told them what i was doing, and i think it's funny to see it used again... and i've noticed some other ideas used in other things too, and i think it's pretty funny/awesome... i have nothing against anyone that uses pay-walls to access their intellectual-property... people do what they do for various reasons... in my case i make my prayerful therapy sessions free of charge to the reader, and it saves me the money from paying other folks to provide therapy for me... it costs about three-hundred bucks a year to host and modify this web-site/blog-thing, so the way i see it, i'm saving a ton of money via 'open-therapy', while providing free entertainment to the reader... the only advertisements you'll get here are my religious and political biases, and some day i'll write to say that i've published some books, and please consider buying a copy (i promise they will be cheap)... the business-model that i use on this blog is just donation-based, and i've been able to pay for all three years of those operating costs via donations... maybe i don't use a pay-wall because i still don't take myself too seriously, or consider my efforts valuable--i dunno--i've got some weirdities like that, probably self-esteem and confidence issues in certain abilities, probably, most-likely... what-ever the case may be, i don't deal with pay-walls for others to read me venting and bitching about things that i can't control, things that i detest, and me telling God all about it... no one should have to pay to read that -- it would be criminal... but i'll charge a bit for the books in due-time... in the mean-time, grab some pop-corn, and your favorite beverage if you want to read some free entertainment, sometimes i'm funny, but mostly not.  --  ct

09-04-23 laterer:  how was my weekend?  well, it was long... howa-bout yours?  Saturday was perfect weather, so i enjoyed a bunch of it... Sunday was good, too, church and stuff, family, reading, writing, and a bit of thinking in between... today was recovery day from saturday's weather-enjoyment, aka, 'yard work', that's right, all kinds of body innards are hurting today, just like an unconditioned fifty-something year old guy ought to be hurting--you know--soft-tissue and the like... so, today's recover included looot's of reading, and a wee-bit of writing, and a bit of empathetic pain and prayer for some folks, and a little bit of ponder... and we got the dang A/Cs trying their best to make this old house a bit more comfortable, those A/Cs are kicking the crap out of our electric-panel and meter, i've got to pay the electric bill, like soon... i appreciated the long weekend, for the most part it was beautiful outside... my wrist isn't very painful despite this weekend's activities, and the hip has been pretty strong, but still letting me know that it's less than six months post-op, and i was pushing it a bit, but i feel pretty strong, and alive, and loved being able to labor in the yard again, it's been a weird april thru september... never had surgery before, and they got me twice since april, NSAIDs are almost completely out of my diet (they used to be one of my food-groups), the Orthopedic teams did their magic, some crazy kind of voo-doo, they did what they do, and two of my post gimpy joints have shown improvement, and less pain, God's doing His part in my recovery, and i'm trying to do mine... anyhow... good weekend, hope yours was, as well.  --  ct
09-05-23:  i'm starting to remember why i usually post the newest on top, because it's a pain in my ass to scroll down to the end to start a new post, bummer... not sure why ctrl + end doesn't work with this crummy editor... this web-page editor actually sucks, but it's plenty for my needs... got some errands to run, things to do, stuff to buy today... i might work on a gun or two today, if time permits, one is a light-weight 300blk AR-pistol, got an incredible deal on a blemished match-grade barrel, and had a cheap stripped-upper in the safe, as well as a beat-up lower-receiver that had most of the parts still installed, it should be a fun little shooter when it's complete, i need to heat the receiver to fit the barrel--which is all i want to accomplish today, so it ought to be a solid pistol when it's done... hope to chip-away at one of the books today, too, but i don't know what sort of time, and how much concentration i can throw at it with the chores that i have lined-up today, the one that i'm prioritizing is my first attempt to write a little book, and it seems like i made every mistake that professionals warn you against, seems like i learn most things in life the hard-way--no need to make this project any different... so, i've got a trip to the dump, a ride for someone, a few stores to shop, O/T, and probably a few other things that i can't recall, too, today--it's like the opposite of yesterday... still thinking and praying about a handful of things, stuff on the radar... also praying for my aunt, she's actually all Italian, but she married my oldest uncle on the Irish side of my family (she married my Mom's oldest brother)... my Uncle Jody passed away at least a decade ago (longer i'm sure), and auntie re-married sometime later... and her current husband just passed over the weekend... she's dealing with some significant health concerns herself... so, praying for auntie--she's got a lot on her plate, and could use some prayer and some physical help too, i'm sure. -- ct

09-05-23 later:  went to the same store twice today, forgot part of dinner the first trip i made, i hate when i do that, i should have brought a list the first time... it was actually cool though, saw different folks that i knew both times, and they are decent folks too, not folks that you wish you didn't bump into... anyhow, more driving than expected today, but no complaints, it's a very pretty day, nice driving with the windows down sort of weather... now i start dinner, and get ready for O/T, the nice lady with the pretty smile is going to beat me up, at least my hand/wrist/forearm, don't let the friendly smile fool you, my prediction is pain... OK, chicken pot-pie's about to go in the oven, and i should take some tylenol in prep for O/T. -- ct

09-05-23 more later:  O/T didn't disappoint, the therapist is stronger than she looks... pain, but nice healthy pain, not like 'oh crap' kind of pain... the pot-pie was good to come home to, looking forward to making a caldron of chili tomorrow, got all the fixins today -- ground bison, ground beef, and ground turkey, a bunch of salsa type of stuff, a bunch of tomatoey stuff, and a bunch of beans... yeah man, all of that and more, going for sweet, sour, and spicy with this batch... every dog in the neighborhood will be sniffing in our direction by noon... the way it works is we keep about 25-percent of it, and we give the rest of the jars away... i don't know what our friends do with it, but i like mine over rice, on saltines or chips, over a hotdog, and sometimes over my eggs -- HEY --  don't judge 'til you try it... haven't made chili in months, looking forward to the kitchen project... just thinking about it is distracting me from the wrist pain... brilliant... lot's to read tonight, prepping to finish a chapter or two of writing by the end of this week... i organized this project weird, i broke it into four different parts, and each part has sections... so there aren't any 'chapters' to finish, just trying to fit everything that i want to say in each section is the challenge, the challenge is doing so while keeping the vocabulary simple, and the word-count low enough that folks can finish it pretty quickly... i like a good challenge -- for instance -- i challenged myself not to cry through O/T this afternoon, nailed it! now pardon me while i go fetch an ice-pack. -- ct

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

09-06-23:  if you look at the two 'picture posts' above, you can tell that i'm cooking today, and boom, there you go, i gave away all my recipe 'secrets'... it's first batch of chili in about six-months, i love a big kitchen project sometimes, if it nourishes the body, and makes you smile at the same time, then i like making it--does that mean i'm a people-pleaser, God i hope not, i thought i was done with that years ago... I actually added two more big cans of the baked-beans, which is probably why it yielded a half-gallon more than expected... so, i used all of the cans of stuff in the first picture, plus two more cans of the beans, and three big mugs of weak coffee, got that slow-cooking on number 1 on the electric-stove, once the pot was really warm i started cooking the meat, i cooked each type of meat separately because they all get to medium-rare at different lengths of time, then dump the meat into the big pot for of the base... i let it simmer for about two more hours covered, but if you don't stir it down to the bottom of the pot every 15 - 20 minutes you might get some burning/scorching on the bottom of the pot, you don't want to mess with trying to balance-out a good flavor when you have burnt crude on the bottom of your pot... so, after simmering for a couple of hours covered you can start testing the flavor, and adjusting to your liking, the pot simmered on number-one for about five hours total... the batch seemed on the hot-spicy side at first, but balanced-out after i added some honey to get a bit more sweetness... jarring/canning it is another separate process, and varies based on how long you're trying to preserve it... you can look into that part if you need to, but it's easy to search in a browser... anyways, looking forward to some comfort-food, the thought of chili will seem more appealing in a couple of months when the air chills, so this is my seasonal-training/warm-up for the colder weather... 

 ... also, had a strange conversation with a guy today, pretty weird, seems like i might be getting surveilled more than usual... i expect it to some degree, i had some security clearance a life-time ago, plus, i write about things that bother some folks, and say it like it is, not hiding or sugar-coating things, and that bothers some folks, so i expect being monitored (so should you)... i still don' know exactly why the fuss, but i'm almost humbled that folks think i'm worthy of paying attention to -- humbled and annoyed at the same time, some people don't get it, but i'm nobody, maybe i'm a bit smart and observant about certain things, but i'm not connected to anything important, and most 'big important things' demand criteria that i just don't meet, nor strive toward... i was in the Army thirty years ago, big deal... knuckleheads trying to vet me based on crummy assumptions crack me up, go on and waste your time and energy... i'm just a middle-aged, unconditioned guy that loves God, Family, and Country (even when compromised fools are running it)... surveil me all you want, it's folly, and a projection of your own sin and fear... so, back to the first post... the chili ought to be awesome, you can bet on me gaining a few pounds over the next week, consider that an insider tip, or, privileged information ;-)   --  ct

09-06-23 later:  man, am i spent... had a great dinner at some respectable people's house tonight, nice family, tasty and healthy dinner to boot, the kids were fun to watch, kids being kids are a joy, and can be exhausting too, fun dinner, good folks... got the rest of the chili bottled-up when we got home, the batch yielded 3.5 gallons, plus a pint, plus whatever i ate when 'sampling' it, i think it's about 40 pounds of bottled vittles, good batch... trying to get re-focused on a writing project, i've got to finish that thing this calendar year, it's a self-imposed goal... the rest of the series is under-way -- before i finished the opening story -- no worries, hopefully i'm learning from my mistakes... and, then the other project is a bit like an auto-biography, but in a resume-themed format, it should be funny and honest... but it's about growth, and learning from each opportunity/experience, and since i tend to learn the hard way, it ought to be humorous... the auto-bio probably won't sell much, and i'll probably release it under my real name, not the pen-name, but it's a good project, i threw-away all of my resumes from years past, so i'll have a book as my resume, for a job that i'll never actually seek, a pretend job that doesn't exist... 'sure, i've got a resume, it's a paper-back, though, hope that's OK'... he he he... looking forward to finishing the first in the series... if you were to name the books of the series by ages, the first is like 0 - 1 week old, doesn't sound like much time, does it... OK, i'm spent, need to shut-down for the night, i'm starting to question whether the little bug that keeps crawling on my screen is real, or, an over-tired hallucination, but i'm too tired and apathetic to figure it out, so, good night. -- ct
09-07-23:  alright, here's what i did, i modified my substack account to accept payments/pay-wall access, so that's they way i'll probably self-publish the books, i started it with this post, if you want free access just let me know using the 'Comments - Criticism' form below, send me your email and i'll give you free access... i wasn't expecting to take those steps already, but i'm forcing myself to finish one of the projects soon... it's not done, but it's copy-write via Substack, so i have some safety-net... i'll try to get more sections added to it real soon, hope to finish the book by the end of the year... so, the way that i did it, is that my posts and essays are free to read on substack, but the books will be behind a pay-wall, it's five-bucks a month for the minimum allowed via Substack, it will be a pretty short read, so, if you finish it in a month you paid five-bucks to read it, five-bucks seems reasonable for a book, and then, if you do the 'Supporter level' it's a hundred-bucks to read any of the books as they are complete... i don't know how else to get the work published behind a safety-net where i don't have to conform/compromise too much... i certainly don't expect more than five-bucks for my books, the initial problem is that the five bucks is only for a month, fifty-bucks for a year, and then the weird hundred-dollar thing--which i still don't quite understand... i dunno, it's weird... so i'm releasing it in parts to help inspire some other folks, to give a little bit of story/entertainment with some messages behind it, and to make myself commit to finishing this project soon, and prioritizing the other ones... but, beyond that, my goal was just to have some cheap paper-backs to put in the hands of new expectant parents, to help them embrace what's to come, and to remember simple physiological needs, that's sort of the goal... if you want to read an introduction then start here:  https://christophernews.substack.com/p/a-new-years-resolution

 ... alright, let me get cracka-lackin on the next section of the book, the book's probably 75-percent done, but requires adding a few more lessons in it, and then HEAVY editing, and lot's of it... when it's done i'll post a free copy on this blog, you'll just have to be patient for me to finish, but, if you want free access to what's on substack already just let me know...  BTW, the chili came out good, the tongue is really happy.  --  ct

09-07-23 later:  here's one of the funniest lines that i've heard in a while, but it was the person being brutally honest and transparent and sort of thinking out-loud, and delivered the line with perfect comedic-timing... i was asking them about some school, and his response was 'well, i'm still trying to figure-out if it's a cult, or not'... perfect answer, he's observant, but maybe doesn't know everything about it... anyways, it was a very funny line... every school, organization, even some families are a cult to some degree or another, they all have particular rules, and things they expect, and what things aren't tolerated... if those cultures/institutions/fraternities/organizations seem to be based on logic AND decent morals/ethics then it's probably a decent culture/cult... and when cultures/cults make it a practice to do down-right crazy sh1t, subject yourself or others to harm, then i'd call that a bad culture/cult/institution/club... most folks understand right from wrong, some cults/cultures are sneaky and subtle at first, but eventually you'll discern properly, and can respond appropriately... 'still trying to figure out of it's a cult or not', too funny, and straight-up honest answer... brilliant.

 ... and how about this for a funny line... i told her that there was a fly harassing me in the waiting area... without missing a beat she says 'oh, that's probably my friend, Luigi... you get used to him, be nice and he won't really bother you' ... how's that for some funny stuff?  Made me smile, and less bothered by the insect that seemed to like my legs... it's probably my soap...
 ... and then another cool thing i heard today, is that 34-percent of the population has variant anatomical structures--i probably didn't write that correct/precise--but, that's very interesting... i'm adding this line in to remind me to search that a bit more... but it follows theory of thirds, and we already know that everyone is unique to some degree, but one-third of us may be missing some bone, or piece of tissue, or have an extra something, or has greater or less control over certain movements via structural variants... pretty groovy stuff right there... hmmm, i had three wisdom teeth, only three of them, they were yanked in my twenties... i have some weird sinus structure on my left-side too, and i'm short, and probably have some weird genetics (no offense mom and dad), but i never considered difference in anatomical features/components really... physical looking differences are pretty noticeable, but inheritable traits/strengths/weaknesses/features aren't always very noticeable... my hips and shoulders (bone structure/angle/shape) are structurally flawed in a way that they are prone to impingement, i've got a zillion different flaws, but, also enough strengths that i've been healthy enough to survive for fifty-something years, so i guess i've got that going for me -- OK, fine -- thanks mom and dad :-)  --  ct
09-08-23:  if you look back on one of my last posts from yesterday you will read about the funny comment that the nice O/T lady made about the fly that was harassing me in the waiting area, 'it's probably my friend Luigi', that funny comment... so today i was in the car, and a fly flew in the window just as i was getting ready to drive away... and so after just one funny comment made yesterday, i'm saying, 'hey, Luigi, you better get out man, or your going on a long drive', and later, 'hey, Luigi, you're tickling my leg', and, 'hey, Luigi, you're distracting me man, what do you want?'...
 ... next thing you know, i'ma gonna be yelling 'Heya, LUIGI... what's amatta you!'... anyhow, her funny comment was delivered with perfect comedic-timing, and now i'ma naming all of the flies-ah Luigi... please don't go laying eggs in my kitchen, Luigi, and we'll probably get along just fine, and, BTW, you're quite tickley, so mind the hairy legs, OK... too funny, and it's amazing how quickly you can be influenced by funny stories and statements, and the things we remember, weird... hmmm, i'm weird, what-ever. 
 ... enjoy your weekend, it's fixin to get very wet around rockingham county for the next 24 hours or so, the sky has totally changed to straight-up gray... so sunday will probably be tropical humidity around these here parts, and i'll have to get the fans blowing down the cellar again... God bless.  --  ct

09-08-23 later:  it's wet around here... got some nice gusts when the front rolled-in, some nice steady thunder and some brilliant flashes of lightening, a tiny bit of hail, and some heavy rain... but it was just a brush of the front, not sure how much more we might get, we've probably already experienced the worse of it, hope so... it was brilliant for about 30 - 45 min.  --  ct

09-08-23 laterer:  got some unexpected chores done today, mostly before the rain came through... good day, things accomplished... walked to the general store to get some cream for the coffee, and remembered that i needed to go to the bank to, so i walked the rest of the way to the bank first, and fortunately remembered that i had my tiny summer-size carry-gun in my pocket about ten feet from the door... didn't want to break any federal-laws, and didn't want to walk all the way home empty-handed, so i walked through the drive-up window, the nice bank-lady seemed to understand, and--to the best of my knowledge--she didn't mock me over the situation, maybe she did after i walked away, at least she was respectable about it... made some shepherd's pie for dinner, seemed pretty good, the oldest daughter said the pie was too 'peppery', and the youngest daughter had more of the chili left-overs instead of the pie, but the wife and i enjoyed the pie -- so i have a two-thirds approval-rating for the pie... everyone's a critic, so i'm good with two-thirds... there's always that last third, isn't there.  :-)

09-08-23 later then before:  OK, i think i understand the nature of increased surveillance... i do bother some folks, i get it... some folks don't like that i talk about firearms, some folks don't like that i talk about religiousy topics, some folks don't like me criticizing governments and policies -- some folks are resistant to reality -- they need to be spoon-fed sugar-coated tiny bits of truth, some folks don't like anything i say because i'm on 'the other team'... i'm not sure who ordered more monitoring, or what their concerns/intentions are, but i'm holding up a finger to you right now, and that one doesn't mean that 'you're number one'... just call me and ask what you are concerned with, it's probably cheaper, and will yield much faster results, flattering me with increased surveillance won't work, well, probably not... anyways, i think it's a bit amusing, i'm no one, just a bitchy complainer who is safety-conscious... hold on, i'm holding up another finger, fortunately, it still works on the gimpy side too... so relax, i'm only a threat to others who are... if you are a decent-normal person i'm not a threat.  --  ct
09-09-23:  i wrote/prayed this little prayer back in January, but it's relevant for everyday, so just sharing it again today:
 ... my simple prayer... i wish to see more clearly, i wish to think/process and understand life more clearly, and i wish to be a sensor and vessel that God appreciates and uses for his good and the good of mankind, and to preserve the health and functionality of the vessel/body that i've been endowed... simple enough? i think so, i hope so, because that's what i'm expecting... may it be so... now the hard-part/challenge, using such clarity, understanding, and physicality for the good of mankind, and not wasted for my own delight and folly... and i pray the same for you too—the reader—and for all of mankind... gifts aren't to be wasted or exploited for evil purposes, our intelligence, potential, and utility are true 'natural resources'... we are all natural resources that were created to aid both God and man, and to sustain a healthy life and environment for our current, and future generations… may we all seek truth and reality to truly make the world a better place to live.  --  ct

09-09-23 later:  you should hear the hawk screaming over the street, some critter is fixin' to get eaten around here, by a powerful bird, whose eye-sight i envy... says the guy looking through some +2.00 cheap/plastic/ugly wal-mart reading glasses... Hey, i hope you scored a decent lunch mr. hawk, maybe some provisions for your little ones... it sounded awesome screeching... the local owls sound pretty impressive too at night (mostly)... sounds that nature provides, and God established...
 ... now mix those sounds in with the hundreds-to-thousands of cars, motorcycles, and trucks that drive by my living-room window everyday; oh, and the sound of the keyboard too... that's what it sounds like around hear right now, wait... minus the owl sound, but everything else is accurate... he he.  --  ct
09-10-23:  today will be a 'turning the world off around me' sort of writing day... start with some church (they serve breakfast too), the girls all have plans, so i have a chunk of time... enjoy your day.  --   ct

09-10-23 later:  good breakfast, better church service... the band got a nice meditative 'worship' atmosphere, i could have completely zoned-out during it, God's peace/presence--whatever you like to call it--gave me a good dose of something into my noggin, and through the soul... church didn't disappoint.  --  ct

09-10-23 more later:  ready to write, going over my notes, and now i'm presenting symptoms typically reserved for the village-idiot, fare enough, i meet the definition sometimes, but usually when i'm tired and consciousness decreases--or, senior moments... so here's the issue, why the crap am i trying to incorporate some of Maslow's observations/classifications when i really/only read the equivalent of the cliff-notes versions... it might just be that i don't understand some of his wording, maybe that's why i don't agree with some of his high-level stuff, he's probably correct, i'm just a 54 yr old guy that graduated high-school approximately a zillion years ago... anyways, now i have to read his stuff more thoroughly to feel any bit confident incorporating any of it... no wonder i was getting hung-up on some of the writing, i never read his works thoroughly... hello... any village missing their idiot?  i'm right here, please come claim me, and bring me home... looks like i'm buying a few more books today, good grief... why do i do that to myself?  just a slow-learner, i suppose.  --  ct

09-10-23 later then before:  just ordered five books, two were Maslow--the other three i had in the shopping cart for a while... i really shouldn't have this much varying info to consume, i'm prone to binging, and my head will be thinking about a zillion things, it's just how it usually works with me... but, it's also a good exercise for the noggin... i prefer reading via computer-monitor now, not books, many books use paper-saving font-size that's out of my league now, i like books for back-up mostly... hope i can read these, i hope the fonts aren't too small for my aging eyes, time will tell.  --  ct

09-10-23 laterer:  i've been thinking a bit more about recent surveillance/interest, it seems like some fed-types think i might be a militia kinda guy, i'm not, i'm an unconditioned middle-aged guy with chronic health issues, i'm not the sort of person you want fighting for anything, if you need me to fight on your behalf you are probably in very serious trouble already... i'm not prime-stock, i physically peaked probably fifteen to twenty years ago... so... NO, i'm not in any militias... and, then -- on the other end of the spectrum -- there are folks concerned that i am some kind of fed/agent/officer/LEO, nope, not even close, those folks don't like me since i admitted to 'using' cannabis for a prolonged period of time, and will openly admit it, if that's what separates 'good guys' from 'bad guys', and disqualifies me from employment then i really don't want to work for/with you, i'm sure those folks have more than their fare share of sins too, they just don't consume/medicate with certain things found in nature that can help an over-active mind chill a bit... so--as stated before--if you're curious/concerned about me, just come talk to me, and let me know your concerns, and why you think that way... you're probably wasting your time and energy, i'm security conscious, and can be exceedingly protective, but i'm not a fed, or a militia guy, i don't belong to any clubs or institutions, and knuckle-heads that assume so are wasting their time, and frustrating me a bit... but, feel free to assume what you want, it's what people do... this will be the last time that i address certain misunderstandings.  --  ct

09-10-23 a bit more later:   most of today's writing is postpone, until i read few more books, and stew-on the content for a bit... so i've been using the time to think on other matters... one of the best line's today's church-thing, i don't want to call it a 'sermon', because the series seems to be the church-leadership's 'testimony', 'conversion story', 'spiritual epiphany', 'spiritual awakening' -- whatever it is that you like to call -- that's what the series is... and for new congregants i love it, it helps you get to know the leadership, their communication styles, their passions/interests, their family stories, their highs and lows, what made sense to them about God, what was it about Jesus that spoke to their minds/souls... so, i don't want to sound negative/critical when i say that they weren't 'sermons', i actually find their stories really interesting... so, with all of that said... the line that struck me today, regarding Jame's testimony, and God speaking to him about his new found 'religion', was this 'you'll only get as much as you put into it'... it was something like that... it's a great point, most folks get good at their interests/hobbies, because they are things that you study/observe, and give time and attention/focus and energy because you prioritized it, spending the time and effort to understanding and getting better at it just doesn't 'feel' like you put a ton of attention into it... anyways, it think it's slid wisdom to share with anyone that seeks God/reality/truth/understanding/love... the effort/energy/time/attention that you put into, with whole-hearted transparency, as though you are naked in front of our creator, with the utmost sincerity, with your desire to serve God and man--well--those sorts of things will probably yield better results then the spiritually lazy, the folks that ignore, or take God for granted... i don't know what you think about such matters, or if you have any type of religious sort of background/influence/bias, but, i think that line from James, today, probably holds true for any faith, and any interest, but it's up to you to decide what you prioritize, if you are poor or starving you might just be prioritizing your next meal... i dunno... but i liked hearing James' testimony; Rachel opened the series last week, and gave a hint about her back-ground, redemption/conversion--she hinted that she identified a bit with Paul, but she didn't share her full story yet... this morning we shared a meal together (breakfast), shared some singing and fellowship, met some new folks with good hearts, seemed like a great way to start a Sunday, yeah, it was... you'll only get as much as the effort you put into it, i think that's what counselors and therapists call 'active participant', if you're not ready to be honest with yourself, God, and the therapist--well--you're not going to get shit out of it actually, maybe shit is all that you will get out of it... it's the same with life, it's the same with 'religion', it's the same with lot's of things really, that's when you know it's a solid statement/truth/theory... the guy named Gabriel seemed like a decent brother, he gave me a bit of his background, and some of the struggles that he overcame... pretty genuine guy... he asked my opinion of the church, i answered that i like it, and it's sort of what i'm used to as far as churches go, i made some comments about the size of their band/worship-team, just that i was surprised by the size of it, but not as a critique... those folks seem pretty talented... the wife, daughter, and i sat down in the congregation a little early, and were listening to the drummer and guitarist warming-up, i could have listened to those two for hours, and then the key-board guy started warming-up and joining the other two guys jamming a bit, and then this rap-singer guy eased into it too, and those four alone could have kept me entertained for hours... and then before you know it you had about ten folks singing or playing an instrument, and they jelled really well today... so that's my honest assessment of church today, Gabriel, that's my more detailed opinion... nice sunday, just wish i had done a bit more research before i expected to write much more... that's one of those Dunning-Kruger observations, i assumed that i knew more than i really did, it just took me a little while to realize that... this time. -- ct

UPDATE 09-14-23:  results require in-put/effort, and might possibly be measured by the degree of effort from the participant... i asked Jesse--a talk-therapist i worked with a couple of years ago, i says to him, 'hey Jesse, what are the various steps of patients, how do you know when we are on the right track?', technically it was a couple of questions, not a statement... but i think his response was 'pre-contemplation, contemplation, active participant, and maintenance'... i don't remember exactly what he said, but i think those were the steps... if you know you could use a little help to get you back on course, and looking at life with a bit more clarity and better perspective, then you must humble yourself to get into the active-participation, that's sort of where the 'magic' happens, defenses and ego are lowered, and growth occurs... approaching reality requires a sort of naked-humility/transparency, stubborn fools need not apply, come back when you're ready to face reality, and get healthy... that's sort of what 'repentance' is like, there is an understanding that you aren't perfect, and you are fully aware of that... anyways, i just had a few more thoughts about the pastor's 'testimony', and the truth-bomb in that little fortune-cookie nugget, 'you'll only get as much as you're going to put into it'... yeah man, there is no denying that principle.  --  ct
09-11-23: Laura was home with our first child, and i was at work, and  in a meeting-room, in ipswich, ma... not sure what Laura was doing, but i remember being in a meeting with the VP, managers, and supervisors... someone popped their head in the door and said that there was a tragedy in NY, a plane-crash... we wrapped-up the meeting shortly after, i made it back to my office, and turned the news radio on, and opened a browser... 'who the fvck is waging war on the USA?', i wondered to myself... i had to go for a walk to get a hold of my emotions/feelings, 'clear my head', as they say... it wasn't 'clearing my head, though, it was seeking clarity about the attacks... my immediate thoughts were whether to re-enlist or not... i mean, thirty-something isn't very old to do battle... well, the Army didn't want me anymore... first they said that my knee disability wouldn't work for them... ass-holes... then, a few years late they told me that they don't mind the knee so much, but that i'm too old now, and the Air Force didn't like the fact that i used cannabis for a season here and there... anyways... i tried to open some doors to take a different path, and those doors were closed/locked, multiple times... so be it... God had other plans... grow your family, and be there to raise them... it seemed like maybe that was God's answer at the time... the idiots in the Army have no clue what they passed-up, but it didn't matter, seems it wasn't God's 'will'... someone picked a fight, and i wanted to go settle it, but it was a younger man's fight to fight...

 ... i don't know what your 09/11/2001 memories are like, but those are some of mine... God bless you today, i hope grief doesn't way you down today, but it's nice to remember the folks that you may have lost, or those who lost loved-ones, and to remember the first-responders that put other people's safety over their own, and all of the folks who were injured trying to settle the score, and bring bad-guys to justice...

 ... and for the person whose scars were earned doing what i wanted to do, thanks for rising to the occasion, and following your heart, and fighting to try to prevent this sort of tragedy from happening again... thanks for your service, and the scars that you took from it... here's a few posts that hopefully you won't relate with, but if they speak to you, embrace the chaos that you were once subjected to, seems like it will allow you to grow, and to embrace the future, and make better use of it:


09-11-23 later:  so here's what happened... i took a nap, and was woken by my alarm... it was pretty weird, i fell asleep thinking about a story, and woke with the rest of the story, like it never took a break, but i slept for most of the story, i slept through fifty percent of it, bummer, that might have been the best part... but the story wasn't thaaat kind of story, not the kind required the full plot, it was a story that answered a few questions, they were just story-format answers... so i dunno, i might write it out, it was a good nap... but, for my reminder, it was about theories of intelligence, and IQ, and promotion of spiritual-intelligence via desire to utilize more of your potential, ie., growing/maturing and taking time to contemplate things... the theory, which is held by some exceedingly gifted intellectuals, is that most folks actually have genius-level potential, but most folks don't pursue intellectual endeavors/challenges, or are stuck in enough routine/environment/life-style that we never consider such things, or maybe we assume that we are 'dummies' so we act-out, or, play the part... Dunning-Krueger proved that most folks don't have a decent litmus/discernment of their understanding/knowledge, but it's not reserved to folks that think they are smarter then they really are, there are folks that have no clue how smart they are for a host of various reasons... anyways... the story in the dream was sort of using the theory that 'humans only use a small percentage of their brain', maybe the theory is correct, maybe it's hog-wash, who know's, but the point of the story was conveying that most of God's people are actually much smarter then they take for granted... religious stuff is mostly based on things that we know, but can't physically see, just because we say we have a 'religion' that is based on 'faith' doesn't mean that you are an idiot that is easily persuadable, it means that you are sensitive to certain things, you are observant to certain things, and that certain things make sense to you that many so-called 'smart people' can't always understand... but here's the point of the story, if God's people were to understand that the are far more intelligent and capable then they consider, and if you make an attempt to, say, exercise and achieve maybe five more percent of your potential over the next year, could you start there, you would still probably be thirty-percent away from actually achieving your potential, but if you made it a goal to expand to five more percent over the next year, well maybe we wouldn't have to just settle for saying that our religion is a 'faith', it's actually a simple yet complex concept that we sort of understand, but can't simply articulate... it's like we want to explain everything about God just by explaining why we choose to follow Jesus's words, actions, behavior, example. i think i was trying to explain the theories that i read from very smart folks, and trying to convey those theory to folks who are too distracted by certain stimuli to make decent use of their potential, their individual God-given potential... so this is just a note to self, a topic to explore some day, because i just woke up from a nap, and now i need to get ready for occupational-therapy O/T, the nice smart lady is going to exercise her intelligence/knowledge/wisdom to help my gimpy wrist reach more of it's potential, the thing has experienced some trauma, and some atrophy, and needs some movement/exercise to get healthy again... see what i'm saying? -- ct
09-12-23:  looking forward to learning more today, every-time i have some medical or dental appointment i try to learn as much as i can while i'm there, these folks are specialists that spent a lot of time and money building their education and learning/honing their craft, they will always teach you something, either by accident, or directly... i had a dental cleaning today, i learned some things from the hygienist, she gave me some good tips, rinse your mouth with water with a bit of baking powder--to help neutralize the coffee's acid--if you have to run out the door in a hurry, otherwise, wait half an hour after coffee before you brush your teeth, she gave me some other good pointers too, like these super flat little soft-bristle things you can fit in the wallet, they are like high-tech tooth-picks, sort of... 
 ... in a little while i go get my eyes examined, i'm sure i'll learn a lot there too... the nice eye-folks at the VA probably did their best with the two pair of glasses they gave me, one pair is good from 11 - 13 inches away, and the others are supposed to be for across the room--i'm sure they are, but not for me--something's screwed-up with the left lens on those pair, and then, well, i don't look at anything a foot away, most things in my routine are about two-to-three feet away, so the other glasses don't get used either... today i'm going to ask her to measure me for something specifically for that two to three foot distance... the VA doctors caught a small bit of plaque in the back of one of my eyes, and/so, i'm glad they caught that, and they had a bunch of cardiology tests done, and got me back on a statin... but... the glasses were a bit of a fail, both pair sit beside me on the desk, rarely used, i buy and wear cheap wal-mart reading glasses most of the day, and now i'm finally prioritizing vision, got to wear something that helps without making things worse... so... looking forward to some eventual new glasses, and learning some more new things today, from some smart people that spent decades learning and honing their craft. --  ct

09-12-23 later:  looking forward to the new glasses, should be ready in a couple of weeks... you'd puke if i told you how much they cost... five nice ladies helped today... one that greeted me, the second that went over the check-in and insurance stuff, one that took annoyingly bright pictures of my eyes and a couple of other things, one that measured and calculated a bunch of stuff, and one that helped pick out the frames and lenses... you five gals rock, so Thank You... i'm sooooo looking forward to picking up the new pair, it'd be nice to see what's going on around me once again, most of my environment focuses 2 -3 feet from my eyes, so that's what this pair is aiming for... spectacles, love 'em but hate 'em.  --  ct
09-13-23: if you scroll back up to some earlier postings, you'll see me make mention of my desire to re-enlist in the Army after 09-11-01 attack on the USA... and, if you read other posts from previous months it seems like i still have a bit of a chip on my shoulder that the DoD didn't want to touch me with a ten-foot pole when i called the recruiters more then once following those attacks... i don't hold a grudge on them, if God wanted me to serve in that capacity again He would have opened the doors, so, that should be the end of the story... however, let me explain my frustration a bit more thorough... you take a Combat Engineer with years of experience, a sore left knee, but otherwise in great shape, scored very good on just about every measurement/test that i needed to take, received a very high security-clearance in order to learn a bunch more about ordnance; and then, ten years later, when i call and ask when i can start again--since they clearly need more help now--and some overly-confident/cocky twenty-something idiot on the other end of the phone says 'no', and implies that i'm no good to them anymore, well, that's some of my frustration with that... the other frustration is learning that different branches of military started using combat engineers to embed with other units, and were used more like mini/watered-down EOD guys--well, hello shit-heads, i'm literally 'that guy' in my experiences and credentials/qualifications, plus a combat life-saver, plus shoot expert on every gun they had me try, plus operated very effectively in the combat that i was exposed to (ODS)... so that's some of my other frustration, i was literally the 'almost' perfect person to do that sort of stuff, more or less came knocking on their door saying 'OK, let's do this again', and they basically said 'fvck no'... so, that's some of my frustration with those guys/gals, they easily could have given me a decent knee-brace, and forgiven the past use of cannabis (at least i was honest about it, which is an indication of moral integrity), and they easily could have had a capable and productive asset for their latest war, two simple things, a knee-brace, and a little cannabis-forgiveness--both of which they do, they call them 'waivers', and they can be issued for a number of things... so, i suppose those are some of the factors that pissed me off about the Army and Air Force back in the day... now-a-days they take guys dress like chicks, and demand that they be considered chicks, and put them in charge (Yikes)... so look, at least i spent the time to articulate some of those frustrations better, i genuinely think i was a better soldier than an office manager, now both of those former 'careers' are just a couple of old experiences, experiences that i learned a bunch from, one dealt with physics and warfare, and the other with computer-technology and people... i'm sure that i still use the education learned from those jobs/experiences, but it certainly doesn't feel like it... they seem like a zillion old memories from a million years ago, different life-times ago... now i'm older, and deal with different frustrations, and still learning and growing... so, i shouldn't be negative to DoD-types, their idiocy proved that i wasn't following God's will in that decision/endeavor, i suppose it also proved that i was making emotion-based decisions--maybe they seemed logical at the time, but time/hindsight showed they were more emotion-based... holy-smokes, what would have become if i had re-enlisted back then, would i even have the other two children, would Laura have been widowed with a child... the consequences and possibilities are too many to consider for a change of course that may have happened twenty-something years ago... if you want to consider all of the actions and re-actions to the environments that we may have navigated... anyways, nice trip down memory-lane, and glad that i could finally articulate some of my frustrations with the military, i appreciate the rank-and-file, it's just some of the shot-callers that i have most of my concerns with, i'm a bit judgemental sometimes, though, so don't mind me. -- ct

From Tuesday

These are just taken with an older iPhone... the sun sets over our neighbor's roof, some nights it's brilliant, seemed like the blue was more brilliant when i took the shot on the left... i thought the blue was much loser to the shot on the right, like a flawless sapphire... anyhow, the photos aren't fancy, but thought they were pretty enough to share... the foul weather sometimes yields beautiful skies:  --  ct

How's the Weather?

Well... I think they call this 'Perfect', how's yours today?

09-14-23: nice weather just makes you smile, it might even get you stop, and appreciate nature/environment, and creation a bit more... days like this are limited in Rockingham County, we've had some gorgeous ones this year, one or two of them were on weekend days--icing on the cake... i don't have much planned for today, probably go to the gym for the first time since the wrist surgery, some-how i convinced myself that the surgery was a good excuse to stop going... i'm not really a gym sort of guy anymore, but i ought to still ride a bike to help the long-term therapy to strengthen the hip--which was repaired in April... it's been a pretty weird spring and summer this year, i've never had surgery before, and this year got two of them... recovery is going well, i'm getting some strength and flexibility and range of motion back in both gimpy joints... there's still the issue of my strong-side shoulder, that son of a bitch screams out sometimes, can't throw a ball very long anymore, and tennis seems like an unrealistic pipe-dream, stupid impingement, stupid tendonitis, stupid 'small tear'... oh yeah man, i hate those things... i want to throw a ball around with some of the youngsters (maybe grand-kids someday), and i'd love to slug a tennis-ball around too, even if it's just ground-strokes, to get you focused and moving a bit, get the heart-rate up for a bit... that's my grieving right now, coming to grips with damaged tissue, and understanding what limitations and realistic life-style should look like considering the gimpy joints... i've had a fun life being able to enjoy athletics/sport for a bunch of years, so i probably should be thankful for that much, but when you really enjoy movement/activity, but are only limited by joint-pain/strength, it's pretty frustrating... there, i did it... i knew it wouldn't take very long to start complaining about something, it's not even 08:00 yet, and i'm already bitching about things that i can't control... good grief... the thirty year-old me would look for a tennis-partner (maybe golf) to make fun use of this perfect weather today, the fifty-something year old version of me is just thinking about riding a fake recliner-bike in a windowless gym for 30-min, and probably push the lawn-mower around after the morning-dew cooks-off, and before the afternoon bugs come out to play... that's pretty much my thursday, plus going to try slow-cooking a brisket to shred for tonight's tacos, i loved the idea when i heard it, so i'm giving it a shot tonight, basically it's a taco-seasoned pot-roast that you leave in a crock-pot all day, i'm soooo looking forward to trying it, i'm not even sure if it's possible to screw it up, we'll see, time will tell ;-)   ct

09-14-23 later:  i don't know what i was doing with the lawn-mower this year, but it certainly wasn't 'cutting' anything, it was more like blunt-force trauma to the flora... that blade couldn't cut the proverbial 'cheese', never-mind wet/living vegetation, but i got it sharpened, and re-installed... and... certain things you just shouldn't use the 1/2 drive impact-wrench to tighten, like the lawn-mower blade... stupid lawn-mower, stupid impact-wrench... stupid owner.  --  ct

09-14-23 more later:  one of the questions on the survey that i took yesterday--the one at O/T--asked if i could do something like swing a golf-club with the bum-wrist, my answer (which i think i unfortunately answered out-loud), was 'hell no', not with the gimpy wrist... i didn't like that i answered it based on assumption, so i took an old Pig eye-2 six-iron out to the back-yard, and took some swings to prove my answer... i can swing a club pretty well, but have to take a few fingers from the left-hand off the grip right after the impact zone... i can't roll/rotate it well, that's the real answer, i took about a dozen swings with varying intensity... golf is still a NO-GO, maybe some chips and putts, maybe i could make a few swings here and there (i can take that sketchy drive for you), but no way, not with any respectable ball-striking, i'd be crying by the third or fourth hole, no doubt... but, at least i tried, it seems that i answered the question accurately, even though i was just assuming at the time of the survey... hell no!  Not more than a few times, and i'd have to get some silky-smooth timing/movement if i were to resume play, and i don't think i'm that good without a ton of practice, so screw that pipe-dream... maybe if i got some R-flex composite shafts in some light-weight heads... no, that's stupid... but i could probably tear-up some mini-golf, i could crush the ball past the orange dinosaur before it knew i was coming, and the wind-mill--i could time your spinning-arms just right, you're no match for an unconditioned middle-aged guy with a gimpy wrist and entirely too much confidence ;-)

09-14-23 later then before:  i was trying to explain my heritage/ancestry to someone, the fact is, i've got the Italian name, but i don't know much about the language... i know about a hundred words in Italian, seventy-percent are people's last-name, fifteen are types of pasta or dishes that i've ordered before, five are types of wine, ten are regions in Italy... and, i dunno, maybe my math is off a bit, maybe i know about 150 words, give or take... i grew-up with the Irish side of my family... i think i know more 'Irish words' than Italian words, i think most of them are people's last-names... McFly and such, or is that Scottish?  I dunno, so don't be fooled by my last name, I'm actually American, it's about the only language that i've got an adequate vocabulary, otherwise, i'm like the idiot tourist talking a bit loud, and with my hands, so you might understand me, even if you know very well what i'm trying to say... i'm not a good language guy, even English is hard for me sometimes, you know, grammar and stuff, blach/barf.  --  ct
09-15-23:  good follow-up with the surgeon today... he chuckled at my decades-old joke, 'so can i play the harp'?... 'did you play the harp before the surgery?' ... 'no, OK, bad example'... he got the joke right away and countered with a 'so, can i play the piano now?'... the only thing disappointing about this surgery is that there wasn't enough cartilage left for him to repair, so he cleaned it up for me... he said that it's stronger than it seems, and i don't have to baby-it as much, he said to stay motivated about it... OK, fine Doc... so, can i play the harp now? ;-)

 ... it's the calm before the storm here in rockingham county, we're supposed to get brushed by the hurricane named 'Lee' starting early tomorrow... it's beautiful out right now, sunny, not too humid, the breeze gives it a bit of an autumn feel... it's hard to beat, got a bit of last-minute mowing done, ran a few errands, ate a big lunch, gonna walk down to the general-store to get some gatorade, in prep for the loss of blood, there's a blood-drive at the town-hall this afternoon, and i don't keep myself well hydrated most days, so, gatorade as a prophylactic, that's my logic... now i have to go prove my theory, i prefer beer (IPA), but, today the gatorade will have to do.  --  ct

09-15-23 later:  prepping to finish one of the books soon, one of my projects for it is some reading, the first one is sort of Mazlow's 'correction', it was a paper that used newer research, and also he observed and pondered better, which is why he must have felt the need to update and correct some of his theory regarding human 'motivation', or motivators, or fulfillment of needs, he classified various needs and desires very well... he knew he didn't have it all perfect, but he did a great job... so, he doesn't call it 'survival-mode'--as i like to call it, but he articulated it very well in these lines:
if all the other needs are unsatisfied, and the organism is then dominated by the physiological needs, all other needs may become simply non-existent or pushed into the background. It is then fair to characterize the whole organism by saying simply that it is hungry, for consciousness is almost completely pre-empted by hunger.  --  A. Maslow
... let me begin by telling Abraham that i don't appreciate being called 'an organism', but whatever... next, here's what he did a good job of explaining to me in his level of detail, it's something i usually call 'survival-mode'... when you are in survival-mode you hunger for more things than you might think... when you look at all of the 'needs' that he categorized/observed, etc., when most of your 'needs' are starved, but you still have the will to live, it's not just food you crave/need, but that's probably the most obvious 'need' that isn't met... 
 ... can you spare some change for food? 
 ... sure, i think i have a few bucks here, but what other needs of yours aren't being met, you must need more then just food, we don't just live on bread alone, we have many more needs/desires/motivators, etc... 
 ... sometimes we aren't fully aware of the help we could use, so it's more difficult to seek it... anyhow, i'm glad it's a short book, 'A Theory of Human Motivation', and i'm equally glad that it arrived first (got four much larger ones in the mail this week, too)... it's slow reading for me, for such a small book, but his theory touches on many solid principles... i don't really know what 'principles' are, even though i throw the word around a lot, but, to me, a principle is a fact that can be applied to a zillion things when you understand the simplicity... as a Christian, i recall hearing/using the term 'spiritual-principle' a time or two, three... so little books like his can be dense full of principles that will get the old noggin-cogs a turning... plus he uses a few words that i have to look-up, i don't have a very rich vocabulary, so some books make me work to really understand, technical-vocabulary and specialized sub-sets of it can really kick my ass sometimes, sometimes i explain a principle in my own looong way of explaining it, and someone will respond with a 'oh, you mean X', and i'm like, 'so what does X mean', and they'll be like 'pretty much what you just said', and i'll be like, 'yeah man, X -- X is totally what i meant' ... i'm not great with technical terminology, so it takes me three times longer to explain certain things, maybe four times longer, who knows ... much of it has to do with the author's intended audience, and i'm almost never an author's target audience, i'm the village-idiot in many respects, maybe not technically, but i do display symptoms and characteristics sometimes, many times, daily... anyhow it's a good little read, dense with wisdom/principles, and a few words to look-up here and there.  --  ct

09-15-23 a bit more later:  here's some background on how i've evolved my political opinions over the years, i guess i should post it on the political page too, maybe i will... technically speaking, i'm an only-child to a single-mom, however, mom came from a pretty tight-knit and huuuge family, there are more cousins than many villages... great family, humble resources, but depression-era survivors, and folks who love to live life... i remember my great grand-mother Gertrude singing when i was a wee-one, but what i remember even more were all of her kids (my grand-parent's generation) performing for all of us, they were like some unofficial band of talented entertainers, they could all sing, and one played the drums, and another the guitar, and another piano, and, well, i dunno, i was pretty young when i remember them jamming, seemed like a zillion years ago, but it wasn't... but, maaan, i remember loving it... my grand-mother would sing Irish and English ballards while playing the 'electric organ' in the dining-room, i think she had it in the 'den' for a bit, but i mostly remember it in the dining-room on the second floor on the corner of Hilton and Gardner streets, you know, the big mint-green house, the one big enough for Jean and Joe and their nine children and the tiny poodle that could really cop and attitude sometimes... anyhow... i remember the talented family of entertainers that could sing and play some instruments, those folks could jam, and make everyone want to sing along with them... oh crap, i was supposed to be writing about mt political evolution... so, my mom was one of a zillion close/tight-knit family members, and those folks were pretty much all liberal working-class democrats, and many of them unionized, that was the mentality that i remember growing up... the mentality was that life offers hardships and struggles, strong folks survive and eventually thrive in their own personal idea of thriving, based on whatever your priorities and ego may lead... life can be very hard, strong folks survive, and help one another, when they feel they are getting taken advantage of, or abused, they organize/unionize to push back against their oppressors/board-members, and at the end of the day, they wanted what pretty much everyone wants, physiological needs met, keep the kids from hurting themselves, try to better the lives and comfort of the next generation... i dunno, some folks run nuts with their ego, desires, time, energy, priorities, follies, etc., but most of mom's huge family were pretty humble folks that enjoyed life, for the most part...
 ... i think it was around the time i was a new Army-guy that i started looking more into politics, and appreciating some of the republican's philosophies and policies, more social and fiscal conservatism, and nationalism in the sense that we support our own country first... i don't know where all of the policies and politics started to blend/jive or separate, but somehow i ended up voting mostly for conservative and national folks... i don't know where and when democrats became the party of yielding to un-elected world governments, and havily favoring communism and totalitarianism (huuuge strong governing institution that limits personal-freedoms of it's citizens while collecting heavy taxes to feed the growing government-beast), i'm not sure when that became their priority, but as an organized party it's what it's become... i'm not naive enough to think that all republicans are the do-gooders who aren't involved in self-serving side-gigs and world governments, because there are obviously plenty of them too, plenty of sinners and self-servers on both sides... now as for these 'libertarians', i dunno, give me a long conversation with some high-level libertarians who will acknowledge God, and the importance of God, and then explain the rest of their party's priorities, and policy-preferences... they sort of need to target me as their target-audience, and don't try to bull-shit me, give me the good, bad, and the ugly of their positions, don't with-hold important information, don't lie to me about your intentions or the other parties... every political party that is sponsoring their candidate should write an honest and transparent book about their priorities and policy goals, a book that folks over eighteen can understand... instead of the perfect sales-tactics with the perfect salesman making the perfect presentations to sell your shit-sandwiches, candidates that resort to lying and cheating to distort reality work on behalf of evil, no matter what they try to tell themselves, or how they try to justify their words/actions... the 'biggest threat to democracy' is manipulative liars that do their best to distort the perception of reality... let the democrats try to sell their shit-sandwiches (policies/product) by special-effects, public-relations, and performance-acting... when your ideas are terrible and you're trying to sell-out your county's citizens to partner with foreign-entities to feed your ego and bank-accounts, then you require sales-men absent of moral integrity... that's why gavin-the-newsom is their perfect candidate, a shallow but pretty buffoon who pays good lip-service to the cause of the day... anyhow... i'd like all political organizations to write their own book, and not a holywood script... i don't require emotional-manipulation and propaganda -- no one needs that shit -- give us the truth, explain it so at least 3/4 of the voting population can understand it... that's what i want showing-up in my mail-box, a book from each serious candidate, and from each party... instead i get about a hundred and fifty pounds of flyers, and occasionally some longer-format propaganda letters... there are plenty of other media that they use, but i'd prefer an honest book, around seven-thousand words or so, you can shove your flyers and commercials where the sun don't shine, ya silly morons... frankly, i'm not bound to any political party, i almost always vote republican, they are more 'God, Family, and Country' types, but they still have to EARN my vote too, i don't want their commercials, write me a book, and make it honest... i don't want a bunch of sales-folks and sociopaths running our country, i want good honest empathetic smart people setting priorities/policies, not holywood-produced alternative reality... anything other then the truth devolves the species, and democrats couldn't be any further from truth, honesty, and integrity -- NO VOTE FOR YOU... alright, that's my political evolution and opinion... so, what's yours? -- ct

09-15-23 laterer:  today seemed like a waste to some degree, i had a shit night's sleep, and sort of made up for it with a couple of naps that lasted most of the day... serious bummer... it was wet and windy most of the day, but not 'hurricane' wet or windy... the wife had another rough go with the ailment that she's dealing with, too... hopefully the laboratory-created molecules/compounds help this time, you hate to see folks you love going through the proverbial wringer, fortunately it's more of an extreme uncomfortable thing, not really a debilitating thing... the church we went to the last couple of weeks are supposed to have a booth/tent/table at our town's annual celebration, which was post-poned to tomorrow--it's the rain-date given today's storm, not sure how it will effect the regular service tomorrow, but it will to some degree... the weather-channel 'app' says we've got a week of seventies temps lined-up, i sure hope they are correct, it's hard to beat seventies and sunny... fixin to crack out the jeans and hoodies soon -- so long board-shorts, tie-dye, and boat-shoes, autumn is among us, so the clothing changes with the season... seventies and sunny is nothing to go bundling-up over, so my clothing transition awaits, but i had to roll the car windows up yesterday and today -- the seasonal chill got the chicken-skin and goose-bumps perked-up, it's gonna be cold before you know it, and i'll be cussing-up the weather in no time... the surgeon says that my wrist may feel weak, but it's actually pretty strong despite some of the lingering pain, which gives me some motivation to finish the patio in the near-future... seventies and sunny is better than nineties and humid, so maybe i'll get started soon, i think the weather presents a great opportunity to really push the recovering hip and wrist... stupid-ass heavy patio pavers, why do you have to weigh so much, don't you know how old and gimpy i am -- it's rhetorical, of course big slabs of cement don't know how gimpy some of the joints are... i'm perfectly equal to a young strong man as far as cement pavers are concerned... i'm bitchin about it, but it will be a good project to test the old body... i'll tell you this much, i'm NOT going with the 2 x 2 pavers this time around, just the 1 x 1 pavers -- the 2x2s are a special crazy kind of heavy that my 20-30 yr-old body would have messed with just fine, but the fifty-something yr-old body says 'hell no, grab the little ones, don't be a fool'... OK, not making any promises because i have a looong history of meeting foolish challenges, and i'm still young at heart... the way that it usually works is that i'll do the heavy labor, but paying for it with a few weeks of follow-up pain, that's sort of how it goes -- i'll probably fill pages of complaining after i abuse the body, yup, that's about how it goes... God bless, and i hope you have a better sleep then i had last-night, last-night totally sucked, but tonight is a new night, a new opportunity... alrighty, here goes.  --   ct
09-17-23:  it's a beautiful day in rockingham county.  Newton town-day thing was nice, the church we started checking-out had a table setup, so i hung out with them for a couple-two-three hours... they seem like a decent bunch of folks, they were handing out free water and freeze-pops, pretty cool... i saw a guy that went to the youth-group at a church we went to a bunch of years back, he grew up, not a skinny young kid anymore, he looks good, we'll probably see him around there again, he seems like a good fit there, and seems hungry for more of God...

 ... i still have a bit more reading to do today, which should enable me to get some more writing done tomorrow, it's the Maslow stuff that i sort of wanted to incorporate in it, reading his updates to the 'safety needs' today... anyways... beautiful day in rockingham county, i hope it is where ever you are, too.  God bless.  --  ct

09-17-23 later: the first half of the day was a blur, but now that the fog of the extra stimulation has settled a bit, i've had some time to reflect on Gabe's story/background... i love that he's friendly and engaged in his surroundings, and hearing some of the difficulties that different folks have overcome, and how they became more aware of God, and what was it about Jesus that made them follow, how did they know what they knew... in Christianity we speak much of 'saved by grace through faith', but it isn't just a 'faith' thing, their is a spiritual awareness that you experienced, as if some veil was removed from your 'spiritual eyes', whatever you want to call the epiphany that you experienced, it wasn't 'faith' as the word is used in various ways to various peoples... maybe their is some validity that you have faith, or understanding, that Jesus might actually be the messiah that was prophesied zillions of years ago... so maybe there is 'faith' involved with Christianity... but there is something that you sort of realized at some point in your life (many times it's a very low point), and whatever that something was, that spiritual epiphany/understanding, whatever that was, that was much different than faith, that is much of what our 'religion' is based on, that awakening that you had... some folks find themselves in a level of hell on earth where the passion of that epiphany is literally a cry for help, because you know that there is a God that can save you... i dunno, maybe that sort of is faith... but i still lean toward that moment of realization that our Creator has his arms open for you, right there, as you are, fully transparent... there is the story/verse that suggests that the bigger the sinner the more appreciation they have for the opportunity to repent, receive forgiveness, and start living a more meaningful life, with a different sort of purpose and priorities, and a life that esteems the words, actions, deeds, behavior, model of Jesus... OK, sorry if i ruffled any Christian feathers, but your spiritual epiphany/awakening is sort of a beginning, even if you don't hardly know anything about Jesus, you recognized something, what was it? it was unique/personal, articulate that as best you can, but you don't want to simply dumb that epiphany down to saying that it's simply a 'faith'... you dropped your ego, gone too far on your own evil ambitions, but you recognized reality for what it is, and you want to get on-board, and make that hard turn, that correction, many corrections, many unhealthy routines, you might find that you are just in a totally unhealthy environment, you might have lot's of difficult choices to make following your epiphany, your 'come to Jesus moment'... i suppose their is faith, maybe the change of course, change of life-style, maybe those changes are evidence of some sort of faith, but never dumb-down your awakening as to just a religion based on faith, faith has some to do about it, but learning how to navigate the world as a child of God, using your gift of intelligence and free-will and freedom to serve God and man is a daily thing, and it lasts eternity... but life gets really hard, especially for the Christian, you will be faced with moral challenges that most folks might think is stupid, you'll still deal with emotional challenges, maybe for the rest of your life... Jesus pointed people to God, his Father in Heaven... Jesus made that connection back to God our father... i dunno, i'm not a religious professional, so i just assume let the religious professionals talk about this stuff in the correct way... i just share my opinions, that's all... But, what would you call that moment where you realized you were missing it, that God is actually quite a personal, and not some floaty-thing in the sky, what would you call that un-masking, un-veiling, awakening, epiphany... what was thaaat, whatever it was is brilliant, can you begin to describe it... i don't know how to fully describe it, but i had consumed a very large amount of those 'magic-mushrooms' that night, and as i lay down, i felt almost naked in front of God, yet i was fully clothed, i felt i lay bare, and was aware of my need for a savior, a whole bunch of things that different Christians had mentioned about God and Jesus all made sense all of a sudden... my 'come to Jesus moment' was a bit peculiar... i don't know how to articulate it, but it was brilliant... i remembering praying in my mind that i needed the proverbial blood-sacrifice of the un-blemished lamb to redeem my relationship to the God that i had separated myself from at an early age, i don't remember exactly how it all went down, but it was a life-altering moment, i suppose i just don't remember much of my prayer conversation using the word faith, and, so maybe that's why i went on this rant... the principles of the ten commandments, and the fruits of the spirit, those things are important, and only mention faith once... anyways, just some of my opinions... please, feel free to correct me if you think i require it... so, Gabe met God in a barrage of gun-fire, seemed like he found his way into some type of hell on earth, and correctly recognized/discerned his life-line out of it... i'm partly fascinated because i never got involved with gangs, but it seems like it's just sort of what you did based on your environment, if you grew-up in an area where gangs are common it's what you do... i dunno, maybe i'm just ignorant/naive, but the closest thing i can think of was being in the Army, it was a brotherhood where it didn't matter where you were from or what you looked like, we had each other's backs, but most of my service was peace-time, but that's about as close as i can probably relate, and maybe for safety concerns in certain areas you feel like you need to be in a gang... so, it's fascinating listening to different people's stories/backgrounds, especially where it's so different than mine, i think i sound like a nosey idiot because of my questions, but i sincerely enjoy the opportunity to try to see the world through someone else's perspectives, based on their backgrounds, how they have evolved, what are their current-day struggles compared to before their epiphany... man, i'm over-tired, i need to shut-up and go to bed, so, good-night. -- ct

09-18-23:  happy monday to you... it's a soggy one here, in rockingham county, and there's a little chill to the air... i just gave myself a nasty chore to work on; i'm backing-up this whole website, and then going to try to arrange everything in chronological order... it'll just be a huge book/thingy... maybe you could call it 'a three year history of personal growth, post-covid'... i'm not going to call it anything right now, but this website has accumulated some-wheres about 700,000 words since i began writing-therapy in Jan 2021, so i figured i'd try organizing all of the pages and words as a big file, i might even take a try at editing some of it, who knows... the last thing i really need is another new project, but i feel like i have to do some extra back-ups, when you start getting a bit of visibility/viewership you start getting these weird attacks that come in various ways, so i'm just organizing things, prepping in my own sort of way... stupid projects... well, it is a rainy-day, maybe it requires a rainy-day project... just so happens that i have one now.  --  ct
09-19-23: reading a bunch over the past few days, the Maslow book has me with a yellow high-lighter in one hand, and a red note-taking pen in the other... good stuff right there... Bob Malone has posted some solid essays on his substack lately, the one about Cults is pretty good, he described the power of harnessed/networked darkness, and how it's being utilized in governments/methods of control/policies, which industries have their own sub-cultures/denominations and use of various ground-soldiers, essentially, the formation and rise of what i've been calling 'The Network', basically an atheistic-materialistic cult of like-minded people supporting an un-elected Global-Government/Cult, it's also a ponzi/pyramid-scheme... in real religion it's suggested to give ten-percent to help toward full-time God-folks, and their physiological requirements, and there should be plenty left-over to help folks that need help if the 'church' is full and healthy (of course that get's exploited and polluted in 'religions' too), but the corporate-government-materialistic cult/network demands taxes which mostly get redistributed to cult-networked corporations or non-government beneficiaries, it's a means to keep the cult self-funded, and growing financially no matter what the economic climate... anyhow, cults are entities that require resources, so the cults that last the longest have a business-plan/model... churches are often run and exploited like that too, it's the unfortunate side-effect of various lusts/impulses/desires, who thinks that have a right to spend collective resources for personal/private things, etc. It's like what happens when devils/spirits/entities harass/infect a person that's not aligning themselves with Reality/God, to what length and degree will they go before they are caught, or honestly/actively seek help... i think that's what happens in various organized churches... but, cults will make you pay, and you are essentially their property whether you realize it or not, i think folks that willingly walk away (or escape) cults is when they realize they have been possessions/possessed, and they wan their freedom, sometimes the cults are passive-aggressive, sometimes they are aggressive, sometimes they are passive-patient, but cults seek to own and control... there are some cultures where folks actually do good because they are on the positive-side of Reality and humanity, but even materialists do good, sometimes because they are forced to... anyways... it's a good timely post from Malone... i haven't finished his post yet, but it will be interesting if he talks about the business/financial aspect of organized psuedo-religions... you can join or buy your way into various levels of prominence, and quite possibly never knowing who the real shot-callers are... that's just a little bit of me describing Malone's essay... i've just been calling them The Network just because i see that they are a global cult absent of God, but seeking and fulfilling some of our needs by participating in the cult's gatherings... looking at what needs cults are trying to fulfill psychologically through the filter of human's 'motivational needs' as observed and outlined by Maslow is pretty interesting... it's not hard to fvck with people's heads, evil people make it a practice/habit/routine... the cult will offer those who starve for certain physiological needs the needs which they require, or to starve various needs as a means to control/torture/manipulate... if there is a starvation of safety needs/motivations they will be offered, and also used to manipulate through starvation or exposure... if there is starvation of Love or Esteem needs/motivations/desires the cult will offer them, and then possibly exploit those human needs too... cults and fake churches and religions look for many for the same folks that Jesus ministered to, but instead of healing the broken-hearted, poor, injured, and needy--cults use people's starved needs to exploit and manipulate, instead of healing folks like Jesus and other folks used by God, cults/evil/darkness seeks to capitalize on other people's deficiencies, to keep them imprisoned and oppressed by distorting reality, not embracing it... anyways... most of Jesus mission seemed to set the captives free, free from whatever types of bondage we are in, we do that when we are healthy in mind-body-soul, practice what we preach, and set a priority of serving God and other humans, treating folks as equally as you want to be treated, right here, right now... that's much of what Jesus' mission seemed to focus around, he pointed people to His Father, helped to re-introduce/re-connect people back to their Creator/Father/God, in order to set people free, that we may be free indeed... cults aren't about freedom, they will try to control you more then really help, it might be subtle, or it might be overt, but probably something which begins subtle, but becomes overt, when your 'bull-shit antenna' starts red-lining... anyhow... i'm not a professional religious person, i'd rather those folks tell you more abut it, i'm just explaining certain concepts and exploits as i understand them... some religions and churches might be good, but what happens to them when they are pestered by spirits/trials/desires... if there is a good solid foundation there will be other folks that are accountable, and folks that might be able to help the ill-person find their freedom again... i think that's how it works... but, let the pros tell you about all that stuff, but i think it goes like this: 'he devil kills, steals, and destroys... and Jesus comes to restore relationship with God, to set captives free, and to heal within the mind/body/soul biome... i think that's how it goes, but go ask some religious professions they will probably steer you right, God bless. -- ct

09-19-23 later:  i gave myself an unexpected project, it looks like i've written over a million words in the last three years, so, i'm trying to organize them... i could publish it as a paper under the title of "Writing Therapy -- Recovering from the Ontological Shock of the COVID-Assault"... but i probably won't, but it seems like a million words might be good to organize, so that's the pain in the ass project i gave myself... there is an awful-lot of ctrl-x, and a whole bunch of alt-tab, and a whole bunch of ctrl-v... it's kind of like that.  --  ct

09-19-23 laterer:  Bob's post is pretty good, and the netflix documentary he mentions is pretty good in detailing how individual cult leaders established connections, some of the manipulation tactics they used, and the extremes that some of the went to, the documentary in Malone's substack was pretty good about outlining certain things regarding cults, and their tactics... my advice to the reader, if your club, or religious group requires wearing goat-skins, killing people, and free-for-all orgies... well, it might be time to leave those folks, they aren't sustainable/logical actions/behaviors, and goat-skin trousers sounds itchy, you know, chafing and stuff... good post Dr Bob, spot-on for today's government-matrix of distorted/controlled reality... please take notice that i don't offer a means to collect personal data, or to 'follow', that stuff can get creepy in a hot-second, i don't, and never will, require a 'following'... my advice to the reader, seek God, men/woman are far from perfect... i was sort of contemplating a local politician that's running for office, i shook hands with him and listened to some of his stories and took notice of the ways he was trying to connect... it's interesting... what-ever... but abusing your free-will and intelligence for fvcking with people is a special kind of deviancy that still has to answer to the real God, no matter how smart the cult leaders think they are, and i'm pretty sure that meeting will not end well for you... be wary of the charming sicko running around in goat-hair undies, that's my PSA for tonight... cheers.   --  ct
09-20-23:  the sleeping medicine worked pretty well, until about 02:00... not sure how much consciousness i'll be able to function under today, but i'm sure it won't be my 'A-game', it might be a C, or worse... time will tell... i do have some driving in store for me, and there will be coffee involved, and possibly/probably LOT's of it... stressful few days with unexpected bills (health and car repairs for immediate family members), but such is life, grieving the loss of money that's yet to be acquired... OK, grieving is over, now it's just a pain in the ass, and some interactions which should be educational... there won't be much charitable-giving in October, October's money is already spoken for between the dentist, oral-surgeon, and the car-repair; AND the regular bills... stupid teeth, stupid car, stupid electric-bill, stupid rent, stupid internet, stupid phones, stupid insurance... and then there is food -- OK -- the food isn't stupid, neither are our teeth, but, whatever... there, i'm still in bed and already complaining... stupid bed, stupid insomnia, stupid...

09-20-23 later:  beautiful day in rockingham county... i could complain about a zillion other things, but not today's weather, actually, there was that one cloud that was... just kidding... i made progress in O/T, just once a week going forward, the wrist still feels quite gimpy, but i guess it's coming along as far as measurable mobility and strength are concerned... i didn't make any progress on the projects that feel most pressing, so the day feels counter-productive, but life threw a couple of unexpected things at me, so i shouldn't be negative about it... tonight is an opportunity to sleep better than last-night -- which should help with tomorrow's performance -- and tomorrow is another opportunity to chip-away at things that were side-lined today... seems like there is plenty going on in the political arena, but i don't care to comment on any of it, but merrick-the-garland managed to lie with a straight-face for quite some time on capital-hill today, what a scum-bag, there might be two or three people that believed his acting, and they are still standing yelling 'bravo' from their hospital-ward... OK, i guess i had something to comment on, another compromised loser whose pay-check and benefits we are paying for, he must have partied a little too much on Epstein's Island, someone has something on the puppet, i wonder what he medicated with after his 'sworn testimony', probably something that Hunter, or Corn-pop, provided, that's just a safe assumption. -- ct
09-21-23:  i'm still working on the project of backing-up, and organizing the last three years of writing on this crummy web-site, it's over a million words... i didn't know a person could think a million words in three years, never-mind type them out... here are some imaginary statistics... out of a million words:
 * two-thirds are spelled correctly
 * mostly comprised of twenty words repeated daily
 * limited to approximately a 2000 word vocabulary
 * one-third was written during insomniac hours
 * two-thirds were complaint-oriented
 * one-third were PSAs
 * many more published on platforms other then this web-site
 * many reached a viewership into the thousands
 * one-third was insulting knuckle-heads
 * one-hundred percent were therapeutic release

 ... i usually write on the random blog section, and sometimes paste to other sections, the random-blog in itself is about a million words... i had no idea how quickly information can accumulate... anyhow, not sure why i stopped to do this stupid project of organizing them, stupid is what stupid does--or, something like that. -- ct

09-21-23 later:  feeling a bit let-down... today sucked with the lack of sleep, and the sinuses going bonkers, plus spending time in the dank/musty/unhealthy basement so the furnace guy could do his magic... and then the continuation of quarreling between folks that ought to be helping one another, not back-and-forth throwing of snow-balls with rocks inside... feeling a bit deflated... call me naive, call me ignorant, call me an idealist, call me retarded, call me what you will, perhaps i'm just a child stuck in the midst of adults arguing over minute details... i dunno, i just don't like it... when does the angry lion submit to the monkey that can pull the thorn from it's infected paw... does the lion ever let it's defenses down, or is that a more difficult pain to endure... does one starved need trigger the domino-effect of self-destruction, or are all of the needs inter-twined/woven in a network of actions and re-actions... Maslow was a pretty smart guy, i don't think he had it all correct, but he was close enough to appreciate... do you have needs that are starved? Are those needs physiological in nature or safety needs, Love needs, Esteem needs... what needs are you being starved of... spiritual needs? Maybe you know, maybe not... maybe all of your needs are fulfilled, probably not... and even when you are 'self-actualized' you are only contributing to a tiny percent of the world's population, you are only capable of ministering to those in the limited environment/geography that you are capable... the bigger the ego the more challenging the possibility of reaching a healthy level of potential... extra chromosome-folks can still self-actualize, even if potential seems limited by cognitive abilities, the extra-chromosome has less obstacles/challenges in it's path to self-actualization... anyhow, that's my hypothesis/theory, but i have no data to support this 'theory'... if you are intelligent-endowed you have further to go to reach a healthy potential... an intelligent-endowed person might be fixated on which slice of bread receives the peanut-butter, and which receives the jelly, and in which order to apply the spreads, and the best pattern to spread the treats, and what tool is best suited to accomplish such tasks, while the extra-chromosome recognizes, and facilitates the will of our creator... ego and inadequate discernment are the biggest obstacles of self-actualization... the needs which are starved may be cloaked by our matrix of routines, cognitive health/performance, chasing of foolish endeavors, and adequate discernment of God's still/soft voice... there must be other factors as well... but to discern our own unhealthy words/actions/behavior and to correct our course is reserved for the balanced ego that seek's God's will... i'm a freakin idiot that learns everything the hard-way, so i appreciate the Savior that can guide me back to reality, sometimes when i don't even realize that i've gone astray... so i don't have much room to correct anyone, but i do know that everyone requires correction, some folks understand that simple principle, those that don't suckle from the tit, and are doomed to repeat unhealthy history, until they are ready to get healthy, and approach reality... feeling like a dummy, because folks that i want to love are chasing ego, not God... praying for world peace, but i'd settle for peace between loved-ones right about now, may it be so. -- ct

09-23-23:  another crappy night's sleep, the sinuses draining, sneezing, and coughing--the coughing is new, and last night's fire probably included some smoke inhalation that contributed toward it... planned on visiting and helping the in-laws today, but the thought is now demoted to idiocy, the father-in-law doesn't need my germs given his health-decline, and i should probably be taking it easy until my health improves--not sure if it's allergies or a bug/germ, allergies makes sense, but my eyes haven't been itchy, so i'm guessing it's a germ of some-sort... still too tired to really write, and there was only one cup of coffee left in the house, maybe the last two-thirds of it will do some magic for me, but probably not... although last-night's fire seemed negative in some respects, it was pleasurable, the temps got down to low fifties by the time i finally came inside, it was perfect fire weather, and there was plenty of wood to fuel it--i'm surprised there wasn't more wood from the last few storms, they didn't yield much fuel around our yard, but certainly left the basement dank and musty... we had some good conversation, the son video-called for some good catch-up, the girls roasted marsh-mallows, and there weren't too many shit-heads racing in front of the house in their peace-robbing noise-pollution ego-machines... the fire was almost hypnotic after the girls went in for the night, i think i poked at the coals for another hour or so, it was a very relaxing evening--it was my kinda friday-night.  --  ct
09-24-23: happy sunday... it's supposed to be cool and wet around these parts today... slept much better last night, got about six straight hours, with much less coughing, sneezing, drooling, etc.
 It'll be our fourth straight week checking out the new local church, they are continuing in their series of various folks in leadership sharing their 'conversion stories', their 'come to Jesus moments'... they are a Jesus-loving recovery-centric organization, recovery seems to be their big ministry out-reach. i imagine that it's helpful for the folks that go to their recovery program to go to a church where no one dresses fancy, most of them had tough/difficult backgrounds/upbringing, and they speak with the vocabulary of common/regular folks... meaning, no fancy theology words, and no one speaking like old king james... they have some exceedingly gifted musicians, and the drummer uses electric drums that don't seem to pierce my ears and deafen me for hours after the service... the drums seem perfect for a small church building... i think my mom would have liked this place.
 should be a pretty quiet day today, i have some projects to work on, my fuzzy/congested head hasn't been helpful for concentration/attention lately, it offers many-extra challenging ADD moments, the kind that i've been over-coming most of my life... now that i think of it, one of the projects that i've been prioritizing is very long and boring repetitive stuff that you have to think about enough that you can't go totally on auto-pilot to knock it out, so that probably adds fuel to the attention-deficit fire, it's repetitive enough that it's boring, but i can't totally slack-off and let the mind wander... stupid project... anyways, the head congestion gives me just enough brain-fog to make the boring project all the more difficult... stupid congestion...
 the hip is coming along nicely, it still gets tired pretty easy, though... the wrist is still pretty weak, it gets tired very easy just doing routine things, and things that you'd take for granted, it's not always painful, but every day i still tweak it just right and my eyes open to full frisbee-mode... i only did one of the O/T exercises yesterday, and some of the stretches... i think i over-worked it screwing around with the fire the other night, raking coals and flipping logs for a few hours, but i guess the air density/pressure can make it worse too... it was probably a combination of both, and then a few other things that i'm not thinking of.
 i was disappointed in an article that was written on a blog that i typically appreciate... it's supposed to be a website devoted to wellness and spirituality, but their last post seemed quite vindictive, it was a not-so-subtle passive-aggressive retaliatory response directed at someone that offended the web-site's leadership, i hate to see folks war, but it happens... i may have done something similar if i was one of the scorned parties, but my communication-style isn't very passive, i have the opposite problem, i'd probably lob a verbal ICBM at them, unless i had time to fully process the smite, contemplate whether there was some truth behind the smite, and see if there might be some self-correction that i might employ moving forward; maybe a lesson--or multiple lessons for me to learn... if there weren't, i'd probably lob a ship's worth of ICBMs at them... what's done is done, and i hope everyone involved grows and matures from the experience... praying for peace, and a fruitful outcome... get to your root-causes, what needs aren't being met, are they physiological, psychological, emotional, spiritual... what are the root-causes, there are many factors to consider, and it might be a combination of all of them... you might be eating/drinking like shit, require some supplements, have a medical condition that might need more attention, you might be emotionally spent/exhausted, haven't had the time to process a bunch of weird stimuli/experiences--stressors and the like... and sometimes we are following our own ego too much, chasing folly and getting off-course, and not giving God enough attention... sometimes we are just plain stubborn, sometimes unwilling to self-regulate/correct/adjust to a messy environment, or bad-habits, or life-style changes that hopefully we come to realize, and act upon those realizations... people are messy and complicated, sometimes more than othen others, and some folks more than others; and most folks require therapy to help see what they are missing, and get back on track... most folks can self-actualize and exercise much more potential when we get past unhealthy habits/routines, give God more attention, consider/respect/love other folks a bit more, don't get distracted by chaotic/unmanagable stressors and life-style, set better priorities that align with reality, and not folly or selfish endeavors... most folks are capable of self-actualizing, to whatever degree of their individual potential is still left... if you aren't getting your prayers/hopes answers directly from God then maybe seek counsel from folks that might be able to help, elders/physicians/therapists... somewhere between God, self, and others there are answers to help with un-managed/un-healthy stressors and seemingly impossible obstacles/challenges... sometimes the answers might be easy, sometimes they require life-style changes... sometimes you have lots/tons of slow steps to take to get healthy and out of messy environments, especially for folks who find themselves in a nasty form of hell on earth, but God can pull you out with the assistance of other people, sometimes even unlikely one's with no selfish motivation... everyone can take little, or big steps today to try to get more healthy in the body/mind/soul, taking time to reflect on our current situation/environment/lifestyle, set better priorities, and get back to Reality, and serving God and Man while carrying on with our lives... anyways, just making some observations about things/situations that i really don't understand enough to comment on, but i hate to see wars--unless it's a season to war.
 i think i'm gonna do a shave and a haircut at some point today, just the sides and the back, the top doesn't require any attention but prayer, prayer for the grieving man whose body has changed quite a bit from my peak/prime years... my new glasses ought to stay on a little better with less hair over my ears, i picked the ones with the straight sides that don't curl over the ears... i'm happy with them, the price-tag was a kick in the crotch, but they seem to work very well, i sit behind a computer most of the day, so these glasses are optimized for 2-3 feet, and have the blue-blocker and anti-glare coatings--the cheap walmart readers/cheaters sort of worked for the last decade--they worked like my former 1974 dodge-dart, not terrible, but these RX glasses are like a well-tuned sports-car
 OK, it's seven AM, time for my second cup of coffee... enjoy your sunday... God bless. -- ct

09-24-23 later:  this is just me saying that i edited, and added to the earlier post i made this-morning... partly based on a better understanding of the newer local church, as well as giving more consideration to an internet-hosted verbal spat amongst other folks that i appreciate... and then also to say that it's only sprinkled out so far today, it still feels a bit chilly, but it's nice weather to be moving outdoors... i've got to go make a trip to our town 'transfer station', the NE Patriots are playing, so the dump ought to be pretty low-traffic right now. -- ct

09-24-23 more later: i went to the dump -- at half-time, crazy-busy, go figure... i hate that i'm old enough to be concerned with how busy the dump is, and how to time it well, i wasn't in any rush, and exercised good patience and respect, so i was stupid to be concerned with timing the dump properly for least resistance... i'm 54 now, is that about how old people are when they are concerned with things such as dump-timing... or, am i above or below the aging bell-curve to be concerned with these matters... good grief.
 Anyways, just wanted to write a bit more about church today, i like how the lady spoke today, she uses vocabulary that i'm comfortable with, she had a good way of articulating her story, her witness, her testimony, her spiritual epiphany, her evolution... whatever you want to call it, she did a good job articulating herself, and the new priorities and direction that she took after her come-to-Jesus awakening... she spoke more of her past, her struggles, when she began to take God more seriously, when she connected with God via. Jesus, or The Holy Spirit, or however it technically goes (my apologies, i'm not a religious pro.)... however it all happens, and the personal/spiritual evolution/transformation that happens as you make the commitment to follow God The Father, through the model, teachings, example of Jesus, Logos, even Messiah, a prophesied unblemished sacrificial lamb that did not roar in to conquer some massive physical enemy/army/government, but preached more to a return to God His Father--our 'Father in Heaven', so to speak... so, that guy from nazareth is very special in a whole bunch of ways that ought to be taken into consideration, for a whole bunch of reasons, because He's very important, you see... the nice lady at the church didn't say all of that today, i just had to say my peace on some matters... but the nice lady did a good job settling-in, and willing to push past her comfort-zone... it's not easy revealing a bunch of your junk/past/low's to anyone for most folks, never mind a bunch of people at once, and many of them being strangers... you could tell that last-week's two nice speakers had to push past their comfort-level to be able to do so, as well... it's your authenticity/transparency/perspective/epiphany/testimony that is everyone's gift to humanity, and appreciation for God... i invite/challenge You, the Reader... no matter what your age is, or how long you have been following Christ for, or how well you can articulate yourself, or how much time you have to prioritize such exercises/projects... but i challenge you to write your own story... give me about 2,500 words... actually, you don't have to give it to me, just do it for yourself, to get a current appreciation, and perspective at your age/maturity... what's your journey/evolution/growth/challenges/trials been like since you re-established a commitment to God... write it for you, write it for your Loved-ones, write it to ground yourself, make sure you are aligning with reality, write it as an ego-check... if you can only eek-out a thousand words, fine, but if you can go ten-thousand words then do it... what's your story, how did it go for you, what sort of direction/changes did you find yourself making, how did you get healthy, in body/mind/soul... where are you now, do you have a support-system/team/family/respectable/mature/decent folks, or confidants that you are able to share your struggles, and help get you back on course, or help you in ways that you can/should be helped... i think that's much of what a decent church offers, if they have some sort of dedicated/prioritized out-reach for a realistic and kind way to help with real problems, that's a pretty decent sign of church health/priorities... i think i like this new church we've been visiting, i don't know most of their songs, actually, i don't think i knew any from the last four weeks, but they are good, but i sort of tune-out to some degree, try to make use of the spiritual potential, and by that i mean by the spiritual-energy generated by physically gathered group of folks that are gathered for honor/worship God... some physical churches do that with more energy than others... i don't know the songs, but it all speaks to my soul, it feels like God's presence is increased with a gathering like that... maybe i'm too 'spiritual' in some of my theories/explanation/understanding of these things, but God sort of touched my soul through the unfamiliar music, maybe that's what i'm trying to say, i don't know if they are technically some denomination, or whatever, but i like them, and i'm kind of a church-snob... i try to stay as connected to God as much as possible throughout the day, which can be quite inconsistent really, so, i don't really feel spiritually 'starved', but there is something about a gathering of folks that--probably for a good percentage of them--have some personal, deep-connection to God, and are actively joining in appreciation/worship of our living God... i forgot about that cool aspect of being in a good healthy church, it seems like you can 'feel' whatever you want to call it, some people say that it's the Holy Spirit, i don't know what it technically is, so i don't know what to call it... i try to make some effort to sort of pray/meditate daily, and that can be relaxing, in fact, sometimes i fall asleep when doing so, i can get an unexpected nap, so maybe i was just uber-relaxed, or maybe my soul/spirit was stimulated with a peace that's hard to describe, that transcends all understanding, as they say... i'll probably offer help when i get a better understanding of how i can actually help, i'm getting old and my body is a bit weaker and more gimpy, so my utility is a bit different then when i was younger/stronger, they seem to have plenty of young strong capable guys, so, i don't think they are in much need of muscle, and they certainly aren't short of music talent, they seem like they have their needs met pretty well, but they seem decent enough to help somehow... i haven't been to a church regularly for quite a while, the last one bugged me a bit, i was disappointed to some degree, they were certainly loving and caring people and kind people, they even helped us when we were going through a shit-storm of sorts, in hind-sight there was nothing wrong with them from my perspective, just didn't seem like a great fit over-all, but still good people, i was just offended by leadership/influencers getting political to youth, i don't like it in public schools, and i certainly don't like it in churches, you can't indoctrinate kids, you teach them principles, and when thy are old enough they will form their own opinions, which will evolve over time, as they do... i'm stupid to have been offended by it really, but it was part of a growing pattern/trend that caught me off-guard when it happened, and i didn't appreciate it when it hit close to home, it became more real... most of the country was on edge by the nasty political investments/tactics and resulting division, so leadership using their platform to attempt to influence youth in political matters was disappointing, but honestly, if the church was a good fit for us maybe it wouldn't have seemed as bad as i perceived it, but the fact that higher leadership totally punted on the matter when i brought it to their attention was more troubling, so it was sort of another warning-sign for me... i don't mind a church leader expressing their opinions/logic to mature adults, but apparently i have some line drawn in the sand with age groups, to be clear, i don't care who you actually support, we all have our own reasons for why we do what we do, i don't like any political 'side' to do that, it's wrong and most people know that... anyways, i've said my grievances, and i don't think i still harbor hard-feelings, i'm more or less saying why i wasn't motivated to go back to the church after 2020 election, and the covid closures... i went though a personal shit-storm, as well as millions of other people, and felt that i had enough of church for a while... but, i'm glad we checked out this newer local one, right in our neighborhood, maybe i'm ready for some consistent church gatherings, i didn't think i would be, i was perfectly content praying and meditating on my own actually, and answering questions when posed by my loved-ones, but i'm sort of introverted, and don't like over-stimulating events... so there's that too.
 Anyhow, going to church today got me thinking about a bunch of different things, i'm still pretty guarded with new unfamiliar folks, i don't automatically assume pure motives, there are always too many threats to consider, having exposure to various threats, and the reality of predators, i seem to have trust-issues sometimes... when i feel that my threat-assessment has been satisfied i'll probably offer to help the new church somehow, but i hate that i do this, i think being security-centric it's hard to turn off the noggin in those respects, i wish it weren't so... there is nothing that set's off any red-flags, it just seems weird to have all the talent they have, as many pastors as they have, and still be able to afford a small church in little Newton, maybe i shouldn't be surprised, if God is moving, and people are awakening, and getting healthy, then maybe i shouldn't be surprised of anything, but i've misjudged and couldn't understand certain blessings in the past, i mistook them for traps of some sort; and have been played a fool by assholes, so maybe that's partly why i'm slow/hesitant about certain things nowadays, i've learned too many things the hard way... i shouldn't be surprised by anything anymore, but i still am, surprised by good things and not so good things, i'm incredibly naive/ignorant at my age, i can tell because i learn something new everyday, good, bad, or indifferent... OK, it's waaay past a realistic bed-time... g'night. -- ct
09-25-23: i had this weird exchange of words with someone that i met online a year or two ago, basically explaining why he has unsolicited attention from some stealthy types, at least one who asked-about, or mentioned me... fair-enough, i really don't think that i have anything to hide (but that's probably a bias or blind-spot psychology thing), so i'm not afraid to draw additional unsolicited attention from stealthy-types... i remember some family, friends, and colleagues telling me something along the lines of 'hey man, there were some strangers here asking questions about you', that was waaay back in the day, over thirty years ago... it's part of the process for certain back-ground checks, no worries guys, it's what they do, it's part of the process, just answer specific questions honestly and you're not doing anyone any harm... that was part of the process to get a different job in the Army, a job whose schooling was delayed long enough that i no longer wanted to pursue it, by the time the Army decided that i was actually qualified to attend the school i had just wanted to get out, become a 'PFC', my body was a bit beat-up with re-occurring injuries that i couldn't really perform at a physical level that i was accustomed to... so, the point is that i was privileged to consume information that most folks can't, but i never went to the school, so i never needed the privilege, as far as i'm concerned the whole process was just a painful learning experience that i shouldn't have gone to a school that i wanted to, i think it was something about that whole season in my life where i was sort of being passively, yet aggressively guided by God's providence, i think i was being steered-around a road that i really wanted to go down... who know's, maybe i would have got myself blowned-up, and never would have met my wife, and had kids... who know's, but i can identify several other things that happened around that time where i felt some hedge of protection, maybe like a 'guardian angel' sort of thing keeping my ass out of too much trouble, from dying, and from doing certain things that i really wanted to do... i wasn't very religious at the time, but i can still identify some things that seem religiousy in explanation, whether i was actively following God or not at the time... looking back at those events/seasons and lessons that i learned the hard-way, i can say that the painful learning experience was weird at the time, but i look back with appreciation now...
 ... does that sound like a weird, and seemingly irrelevant story, it should by now, it's a bit side-tracked, perhaps... so the moral of the story is that i am not applying for any position at all, never-mind one that requires official privileges and back-ground checks... so any strangers that ask questions about me should be treated with the same advice that i gave my family, friends, and colleagues back in the day, about a zillion years ago, answer direct questions honestly... my feeling is that folks are more concerned about me becoming trouble, or a threat of some type, and it has nothing to do with any job whatsoever... i get awfully mouthy in some of my criticisms and theories, the only people that i'm any threat to are those don't like my criticisms, and not even a physical threat to them, more of an ego-busting, spoiler, 'come back to reality' type of threat, i just threaten people's obvious attempts to obscure reality, and manipulate folks through lies and propaganda, that's all... so, in closing, i'm a bit flattered that some folks think i require special attention, i'm the most boring person that i know, it's taken a bunch of years to become this boring, but i have finally 'arrived' at boring... i'd just assume that folks who feel threatened or concerned about me, or think i require special attention would just come talk, and ask me questions about their concerns... just ask me what you want to know, and clearly articulate your concerns... i'll bet you a zillion bucks your concerns are mistaken...
 ... perhaps you can tell that i'm a bit frustrated, the attention probably has to do with the fact that i appreciate firearms, and an American's right to own as many as we want to... i like building ARs, it's a fun hobby of mine, and i think that's what some of the extra attention is about... the AR-platform is very cool in it's modularity/configurability, i like to make them in calibers that i think are useful, even some obscure calibers... the Army trained me how to maintain and operate the same platform, but in a war-fighter's configuration, and i still appreciate the platform to this day, but i only buy the civilian configurations these days... i think that's what some of the concern is, me encouraging other Americans to exercise their freedom to buy their own, and become familiar with them, and find the joy of shooting, it's not as scary as some folks suggest, not when it's for target or sport, using them for defense can be scary, unless you practice, and folks who use them for violence or stealing actually are quite scary, unpredictable predators are scary... i'm a bit security-centric, and have a sort of sheep-dog mentality, and know a bunch about certain firearm platforms, maybe that's why some folks are concerned about me... who knows... time will tell, it usually does, it's just a bit frustrating not being in the know, not completely understanding the unsolicited attention, i have my suspicions, but they are only speculation... it's just weird, and most likely a misunderstanding, i'm disabled, and not much of a threat to anyone, i actually appreciate people, well, most of them, anyways... i hope i've cleared-up any misconceptions, i'm the most boring guy i know... i write, do chores, eat, and sleep... folks encourage me to be less boring and get out more often, but i sort of like my boring lifestyle... it gives me time to think, and pursue inner-peace, and the like... but, i'm more than happy to call-out manipulative liars and sneaky-conniving folks/predators who try to obscure others from reality, and, as expected, some folks don't like that, and it's usually networked sneaky-conniving folks, or their tools/pawns/assets. -- ct

09-25-23 later:  as an extension of my last post, and now that i gave it more thought, i think i was informally interviewed by a stealthy-type or two not very long ago, i wonder what the findings entailed, probably that i'm not very aggressive, and i'm a family-guy... anyways, it's weird to be thinking about such things so many decades after this sort of thing was part of the job, it's pretty weird... but, what-Ever...
 ... there are many political/policy things that i could be complaining about right now, but, thankfully, i have other things to stew-on/contemplate, things which don't raise the blood-pressure quite so much... i'm doing this project that i mentioned in previous posts, i'm trying to organize every post from this blog-thing, as chronologically as possible, and without screwing-up and deleting things... but, the cool thing about doing that is that i was recently working my way through september of last year, and looking at the struggles we were going through, the challenges and stressors i was trying to process, and the financial mess that seemed impossible to balance given our resources... that's the cool thing about 'journaling', i like to call it 'writing therapy', history is cool to look back through, it's always interesting, you can see progress, regress, patterns... i had a similar cold like the one i have now last september too, i don't know if it's an allergic reaction to something environmental, or if my body hates the changing of the seasons, or what might be the issue... i know certain pollens bother me, and a few other things too, but usually my eyes get really itchy and irritated, and that doesn't seem to be the case, no fever, no nasty symptoms other than head/chest congestion, and the frustrating sneezing and coughing, and trying to breath through your nose in bed, it doesn't seem bad enough to get tested for anything but i'm still trying to be sensitive to other folks that i know have immune-system issues... otherwise, i'm just annoyed and frustrated by the immuno-response to whatever the culprit might be... the youngest daughter is making chicken-soup tonight, i'm as good as cured, as long as we still have some hot-sauce, although that might trigger more of an immune-response... i dunno, i'm doing the hot-sauce if we have any...
 ... the project that i'm doing is a big pain, but it's been a good time reading back through history, it's as good for the soul as the chicken soup, no doubt... i'm telling you what, don't underestimate the power of writing therapy -- ct

09-25-23 laterer: the soup was awesome, it didn't need the hot-sauce, but it got some anyhow... going to try to get to bed at a reasonable hour tonight, last-night i got caught up reading and writing, it was eleven-something before i knew it, i'm already fading, so hopefully tomorrow will be more fruitful... on another note, i'm sorry to have gotten between other people's skirmishes, i think all parties will gain education/wisdom and evolve from their experiences... i'm backing-off, and not falling into any rabbit-holes that i don't belong in... i'm an idiot for interjecting in the first place, but it seems that people's expectations were not met, maybe ideas and personalities and motives collided... maybe someone weirded-out, folks were offended, whatever, but i didn't like the bull-shit pies that were being hurled, and how they were being hurled... my sin is assuming that folks were all being honest, and didn't have bad intentions in mind... i think communication and expectations/assumptions were all misaligned, and for some reason i took the bait and interjected myself between a spat, i wasn't even being a peace-maker in this case, i was just calling-out some bull-shit, and trying to get both parties to approach reality... faulty-expectations seemed to have been a problem, when that's a problem people's feelings get hurt, and it's easy to lash-out when feelings are hurt, and expectations are shattered... if the old couple, especially with one of them being broke-dick laid-up recovering from injury, if an old couple like that has a bunch of things to manage but currently isn't able to meet all the chores/obligations because of a medical-thing, then you help the old couple with some long overdue chores and such, sometimes people that could use some help don't know how to ask for it, or even know how to recognize when their needs aren't being met, sometimes we are 'too proud' to ask for help, sometimes we pray for help, but stubbornly won't ask man for help... here's some therapy-type of stuff to consider... on your path to progress beyond self-actualization, you will probably have to go through some serious shit-storms, sometimes a bit of counsel/wisdom is required to nudge you back in the right direction... if you are struggling and could use some counsel to get back on track here are some phases for the participant to progress:
pre-contemplation > contemplation > active-participation > maintenance ... and then there should be other things too, like self-actualization/thriving, making positive contributions of various sizes/potential to both God and man, and being forward-thinking... but, those last thing aren't goals of most therapy... but look at the steps a tiny bit deeper:

 * pre-contemplative: doesn't understand, or won't entertain the fact that they need help-assistance, change, attention, they are happy continuing with business-as-usual unhealthy, illogical actions/behavior/deeds/priorities, etc... spiritually blind folks fall under this category, too...

 * contemplative: they are sort of coming to grips with reality, they begin to recognize they need help, and might be starting to make conscious efforts to start changing unhealthy routines/behaviors/medications/vices... there is probably some spiritual-principle to this too, but i'm too tired and lazy to look it up... but this is a great stage, to become more conscious of your unhealthy life-style or routines, that is a stage that maybe you could say that leads to a cry out to God...

 ** then there is another step that i would include in here, in the Christian world it's literally our 'come to Jesus moment', there is a spiritual-epiphany... i don't know what to call this step, but it seems like the direct result of crying-out to God, it's when that connection is restored between Creator and Creation... anyways, i don't know what to call this step, and it's just a theory...

 * active-participation: that epiphany/break-through, answer to a seeker's prayer, it leads to the needy person not only understanding their need, or identifying their needs which have been starved and need prioritizing, areas to make adjustments, a healthy-seeking humbleness and willingness to approach reality, making difficult but necessary changes, not being crushed, deterred or swayed by probable set-backs, or a weekend-bender here or there, but staying on a goal-oriented trajectory, understanding we are always a work in process with room for improvement... this step REALLY emphasizes a principle that the local pastor 'Jon' said a few weeks ago, 'you will only get out of it the effort that you put into it'... i don't remember his exact quote... but this principle holds true for 'participants', if you are lazy, or beating around the bush, or not really committing, and not giving much priority/effort/focus/attention on progress you will have a difficult time progressing, occasionally people get some kind of miracle, and i don't want to discourage folks from seeking them, but usually folks have to put in some hard work to dig out of the hell they found themselves in, God seems instrumental in this step, but seems to use fellow humans to do a lot of the helping too... but, expect to have to go through some hard choices and painful experiences during this phase, it seems like folks are tempted during various phases of this step; and, transparency while letting down defense-mechanisms and your ego are also instrumental for progress... some folks revert in and out of active-participation and contemplative, until they are determined to be free, and embrace reality...

 * maintenance: this might be where i'm at right now, but i don't really know... i've identified a bunch of unhealthy things, understanding 'cause and affect', knowing the actions/behaviors/things we are susceptible to doing/abusing when we are stressed, we are mindful of many stressors/triggers, and reacting better to our environment/surroundings, and try to keep away from toxic exposure/environments...

 ** let me follow-up by saying that i have no idea how accurate my definitions are above, i think they are pretty close, and, i am NOT qualified/certified/licensed or formally educated in anything written above, i'm not qualified for much of anything really, so please look these things up on your own if they interest you... consider this my PSA-Disclaimer
 ** i think there are other levels of progress/evolution that people make after maintenance, but those don't seem to be therapist's goals, i think they want to get folks back to a maintenance level, and maybe it's 'icing on the cake' if the therapist becomes aware of participant's continued growth... but i think it's assumed that -- once in maintenence step -- the individual is now in a healthy-enough/better position to progress to a level where they could achieve greater-levels of individual potential, but self-actualization, and any other steps for consideration that may be above that are presumed possible when most needs that were starved are identified and addressed... i think that's sort of how it goes... it seems that a spiritual-epiphany, a come-to-Jesus-moment, a re-connection to our Father is a necessary step/progression in approaching reality, there is still plenty of fight to be had after that epiphany too, it might be easy for a bit, but expect some shit-storms to fight through, life isn't easy, don't let anyone tell you otherwise, sometimes it is, sometimes it's easier than others, but sometimes it's going to suck... life should never be assumed as a constant upward trajectory of self-control, and self-regulation, and reaching some imaginary form of perfection, nope, it's ebbs and flows... consider the following song, written by a man that struggled with abuse, and learned to sing about his journey... 'better boat', here is Travis Meadows singing his song... and then it must have ministered/spoke to Kenny Chesney, and he did a good cover, i think Chesney's his voice is pretty awesome.

 OK, i said my peace... praying for folks to move forward to whatever step is next in their journey, for starved needs to be satisfied, praying for folks to find support, to reach out to 'friends who let me talk about, what ain't working, and what's still hurting, and all the things i feel like cussing-out', as we 'learn how to be a better boat'.  --  ct
09-26-23:  wow... how did it get to be the twenty-sixth already, it's already autumn/fall, too... it's felt like fall for the last four or five days, over-cast/gray, cooler, leaves dropping... this is a great time of year to explore the region, rockingham county will be very pretty with brilliant colors very soon, this was usually my favorite time of year to hike, allergies/head-colds, and hard barometric-pressure changes usually being the biggest challenges to enjoying such hikes, dealing with all of those challenges right about now... not much to do today, probably chores around the house, maybe a little reading; i have no intention of writing at all, but we'll see how that goes... i think i need another day to just contemplate recent events, and make sure my head is clear, and that i'm examining/analyzing things with better detail, and more thoroughly... i might try to knock-out the last of the Maslow paper paper that i've been poking at, then go back through the high-lited parts, and notes, and then re-read a couple more times before i'm satisfied with it... papers/essays/reports that are dense in observations and principles make you want to re-read at least once... OK, time for second cup of coffee and something to nibble on.  --  ct
09-27-23:  nice talk with the old-timer, he's doing some tree-work for the neighbor, his sister, my land-lady. i didn't hear him working out back, but i appreciated him paying a social visit, and letting me know that he's going to be around removing a few trees, a few dead ash, and a dead elm... he's an interesting guy, made his living processing fire-wood, and heats his house with it... cool way to make a living, it's hard work, in many respects, but it keeps him moving at his age, and with his physique, so it's suited him well... i'll probably give him some help when he's working out back, seems like my gimpy body is still several times stronger than him at the stage that he's in, it will be good to challenge the recovering joints... also, probably going to do the same for my in-laws, they seem to need some extra help too... my mom passed last year, she was the first of my parent's generation; shortly after Laura and i were married we began losing grand-parents, twenty-something years later it's the next generation... makes me wonder when it's my turn, i expected to have died decades ago, i had no idea i'd live this long, seems like i didn't plan very well for my future, not when you are living for the day, or in routine survival-mode... it's sobering thinking about such things... it sucks losing loved-ones, but we know it happens, but knowing it happens doesn't really soften the blow of the ontological-shock and grief experienced by many survivors... mom was ill for years, and was really weakening for a month or two before she passed... i was warned that she was drawing to an end about a month before she passed, she didn't express any pain, was in a beautiful setting, and had loved-ones by her side--her passing wasn't a surprise/shock as some folk's passing; my cousin Joey, and nephew Jace were complete shockers, no one saw their physical end coming, or could have predicted... it's weird to be thinking about such things today, but maybe it's good to be thinking about the reality of death, various phases of grieving, and learning to live without certain loved-ones in our lives, but keeping their memories in our hearts... it was good talking to the old-timer earlier today, i was sorry to hear that his long-time partner was moved to a nursing-home for her remaining days, and that he is aware of himself losing his memory... i don't know how to help him, i'll start with the fallen-trees, and see where that goes... praying for folks that are losing faculty, capabilities, and independence; and how much i can reasonably help them given my gimpy body. -- ct
09-28-23:  man, did i have a crappy night's sleep, apparently i didn't take my sleeping Rx, and didn't realize that until 01:something o'clock, much too late to take it at that point... i'm pretty sure i still remember my name, so i think i'm good, but i'll have to drive in a bit, that could be a little scary, i'll give myself a sobriety-test before i leave, make sure i'm not stuck in an unacceptable level of consciousness before i get behind the wheel of a three-thousand pound blue jelly-bean looking projectile...
 ... just plan on reading today, maybe tomorrow will be a writing day... debating whether or not to moosh a few recent posts together and make them a couple of substack articles... i probably won't, but there is some good stuff published in some of the posts above, and some of it is worthy of further exploration, i invite the reader to make some use of it if it stimulates your noggin, i'm the opposite of folks that have intellectual property to protect, i hope to get folks motivated and interested in things they might think about, and invite you to use my ideas, i try to give credit to those who helped facilitate some of the ideas, but i don't always remember... i am trying to keep some of the books under-wrap for now, i think that's my only way to make any money going forward... i do hope to inspire other folks that find some of my posts useful, and run with it, but make sure you do your diligence to validate my ramblings, and your ideas... if you let me know which theories/posts stimulate your ideas i might be able to give you more information as to how i drew the conclusions and complaints that i did...
 ... the nice O/T lady taped my wrist a bit differently this time, she's got the physio-tape supporting a slightly different area, the area that hurts the most lately... i took a bit of a set-back once we shifted from stretching to strengthening, the strengthening has been delayed for a bit, there is still some inflammation and tenderness, but some of the pain will probably be the new normal... when the cartilage wears away the bone-on-bone is going to hurt, and i ought to know what that pain is going to feel like in the near future, i ought to know what to expect going forward, soon enough...
 ... i don't know if there is enough coffee in town to help me today, we've got about a gallon, but that's a primer for today's needs, glad i got the hair-cut done yesterday, i'd probably give myself something between a native-American warrior, and a punk-rocker if i tried to fit it in today... it's actually a great day to stay away from sharp objects, and sedatives... it's definitely a bad day for either of those things. -- ct

09-28-23 later: i was able to drive fine, it took me a while to wake-up to a functional level, but it seems that i finally did... got the water, got the tissues, got some vino, got some tea, got the daughter, she got some things... it was productive, but now i feel like i'm borrowed-time, i don't know if a nap would be helpful, or spoil tonight's opportunity for a good-night's sleep... the head and chest congestion seem to be lessening, i still feel a bit off, but not to the point where i'm thinking about medicine, and that's an improvement... going to finish Maslow's paper today, my head felt too foggy to reach much more then the comics the past few days, i tried, but was unsuccessful; today i just feel like i should after a disastrous night's sleep, par for the course type of insomnia impairment, the congestion head-fog seems insignificant... i think i ought to apologize to someone, my harsh words were quite accurate, but i think i was too vocal in the way that i communicated my observations, and probably shouldn't have suggested that they seek some over-due therapy... talk-therapy is something that i promote/advocate, so when i see an obvious need for it i make the suggestion sometimes, but only to folks that seem humble/reasonable enough, and seem to be close enough to 'contemplative' consideration for seeking help that i'm not plain insulting, some folks rarely approach the humility/realization that they need help, or, we know we need it, but it seems to hard to make changes or we judge/fight those who are trying to help, which is when finding a therapist that you trust is so important, you won't let your defenses down, and won't be a transparent active-participant otherwise... some folks know they need help, but won't seek it out, some folks hover between pre-contemplative and contemplative, and occasionally flirt with a bit of participation... when you are healthy and making good choices and aren't getting too weird you probably have little need to consider therapy, when you are healthy you identify stressors more clearly, and are more mindful of your reactions to various stressors/stimuli, and can adjust to your environment better... some folks need to know when to call friends to talk to, or ask for help; some folks need more then a friends, they need folks trained to help bring you back to reality, and helping you face challenges and make better decisions and practice better self-care... i write about such things because i've benefited from some talk-therapy from a military veteran that is also a credentialed counselor, and also happens to be a Christian, seems that i got paired-up with a decent person that i was able to let my defenses down with, and he was smart and caring enough to help get me back on a more healthy trajectory... if you are involved with a church they usually have folks that are smart and caring enough to provide some sort of help, but long-term care might be better suited for specialists... sometimes a coffee or beer with a buddy is plenty, sometimes you have regular appointments to talk with a pro... so i didn't just lob insults by suggesting a little therapy for all folks involved, i recommend it to everyone, whether stressors are starting to get the best of you, or if you are stuck in an unhealthy cycle and are ready to do something about it... depending on the family you were raised in or surrounded by, you might have people that are well-equipped to help you with such matters, as the need may arise, but some folks have the opposite problem. -- ct
09-29-23: nice day, it's overcast, but feels great outside, it feels like early autumn ought to feel in rockingham county... no complaints from me... no complaints of any sorts because i haven't looked at 'the news' (basically gossip-lines), or gone through email yet, but saw the ladies off this morning, and the house is quiet, and the head-cold is mostly just a nuisance transitioning from horizontal to vertical, i can breath pretty well in either position, but the transition-time is uncomfortable, and i sneeze and cough the most, i'm still wearing an n95 in public, i don't know what kind of bug i have, or if it's just an over-active immuno-response to something floating around my environment, allergies and stuff... watching 'Father Stu', it's hilarious, an unlikely knucklehead connects to God while pursuing a prospective mate, lots of laughs, some tears, a good story, and Gibson and Wahlberger are a good team together, a redeemed life is a beautiful thing, knowing what to do with yourself seems like the hardest part, sometimes it's obvious, many times it's an unlikely path full of new experiences... anyways, Father Stu was a good movie, when the culture doesn't allow leadership to be married and must refrain from consensual sex there will be consequences... it also means that -- by default -- leadership is incapable of understanding the majority of it's constituency, and the struggles that they have, leadership is doomed to different struggles that most other folks can't seem to comprehend, there is your chasm to ponder... but, it was a pretty good movie, i'd recommend it for sure.  --  ct

09-29-23 later:  it's interesting receiving communication from the VA talking about the 'exploration of psychedelics as treatment for PTSD', the next thin you know they'll be advocating cannabinoids as therapeutics... in other words, coming to reality... i'd like to save the researchers a lot of time, effort, and money, and build-off of the work that pioneers already did for them... for folks stuck in nasty depression there seems to be help with two strong doses of psychedelics... finding the proper dose, and the interval of those two doses should be goals of research... finding the best molecules/compounds based on an individual is another worthy goal... the use of cannabinoids for therapeutics in multiple uses is also well established, eventually America will change it's perception of compounds that are seemingly scary... the VA should have been on-board with this research decades ago, so i'm not very impressed that that are now 'exploring' what others have known for centuries/millennium... all i can say is 'it's about time, sherlock'... over time these smart folks should be able to tell you which combination/ratios of cannabinoids help best for certain conditions, and what the best method of delivery/consumption/absorption is best for the cannabinoids that will work bet for you, that should be the starting point of research, buffoons are still arguing for an answer of whether or not they help anything at all, they waste air and brain-cells on sophomoric folly, that idiot-brigade can now go devote time toward the best napkin-folding techniques... the canna arguments should now be focused on finding the best strains or various ratio of cannabinoids to help for certain aliments/symptoms, and what's the best delivery-system/consumption-method... anyways, i'm glad that the VA is trying to approach reality while considering certain therapeutics.  --  ct
09-30-23:  i can't believe september is almost gone again, it was mostly pretty, same with august, besides a few days of rain here and there... got some plans for today, going to try to enjoy an out-door who-haa for a bit, maybe see some old faces, probably eat too much, and i'll be sore from all of the walking for the next week, and hopefully don't pick up a new germ/bug... after today you won't be able to say that i did nothing this fall, i'm subjecting myself to an environment that typically triggers sensory over-stimulation to various degrees, which can lead to anxious types of symptoms for me... i'd honestly do much better guarding a venue like this, not going as an attendee... when you are an attendee you are distracted by all of the attractions, when you are on security you are distracted by all of the attendees, it's different stimuli that you prioritize, and that draws your attention for however many hours you subject yourself to it... i'd rather be scanning for people that are acting irrationally/drunk, and folks with bulky jackets, i sort of do that anyways, but not intentionally, and in between fun-time with the kids, and deciding which vendor gets my lunch-budget... i'd like to sit back with a cigar and a seasonal IPA then all of the walking that's in store for me, maybe i'll have an opportunity to do just that, time will tell, but i'd feel much better with an SBR, or a pistol on me while i was there, but Mass. is one of those communist states that's fooling itself into thinking that by dis-arming good-guys you make the world a safer place... institutionalized idiocy. -- ct

09-30-23 later:  interesting article... i think i was 9 < when i tried my first bunch of beers... it was someone's 'going away party', and i snuck some golden-can Miller High-Life, i had a few of them, one of my uncles got a kick out of it and helped facilitate... it's taken a bunch of years to learn not to medicate with alcohol, it's very easy to medicate with it, and easier to over-medicate it, but -- like most medicine -- eventually it stops helping, and comes with it's own host of ill-effects... if you enjoy the taste, and understand cause-and-effect of over-consuming/over-dosing you probably do well with ethanol, keeping mindful of dosing and intervals are important to keep from over-dosing on etoh... i'm not sure how routine over-dosing from etoh began with others, but it's sold on every corner in most societies, so it's obviously the most abused substance in society.  --  ct
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