Monday, April 30, 2012

Games 4/30/2012

We won both games: 16-6 and 16-12.

My good buddy, John, got in the game (he actually played catcher in second game; giving me a chance to be an Extra Hitter) and did very well - going 5-7 with a couple of runs scored and a couple of RBI.

I went 5-7. 3 runs scored and 3 RBI.

(5+14)/(7+21) = 19/28 = .679
Runs scored on season = 8
RBI = 9 on season

Team is 7-1, and tied for league lead in wins.


Setting records straight and all

I feel the greatest threat of the salvation of fellow human beings is false understanding of scripture. Specifically, there are three notions that are in direct violation of what God has set up as His plan of Salvation:
- Atheism (that nobody can be saved).
- Universalism (that all people will be saved regardless)
- Calvinism (that God will only save specifically chosen people)

From my point of view, these are the three most common and basic heresies out there.

Atheism is an outright denial of God. This is a person who realizes God exists and intentionally ignores it. These people are people who know they will wind up in Hell and either want that outcome, or do not really care.

Universalism is an outright denial of God's plan of salvation. It is the belief that a loving God would not condemn, even though He said He would condemn. This is ultimately a belief that God is a liar. Since this is clearly not the case, Universalism is easily swept away with the understanding that what God says is true.

Calvinism is a small cancer in Christianity today. Save a small number of people (could be counted on one hand with a few fingers folded), I've never met one that wasn't militant about their beliefs, and wound up pushing people away from God and His church due to their hardened hearts and sharp tongues. The basis in Calvinism is the concept of predestination. This is the tenet upon which all the others rely and are founded.

Satan does his best work not by telling a lie that is 180 degrees from the truth, but by telling a lie that is 1 degree off the truth. This is what Calvinism and predestination represent - Satan's tool to attempt to thwart God's perfect plan of salvation. Naturally Satan will lose. At the same time,

II Peter 2:1 warns of this:
But false prophets also arose among the people. In the same way, false teachers will come among you. They will introduce destructive opinions and deny the master who bought them, bringing quick destruction on themselves.

Therefore, starting next month, you will find an 8-part series in which I debunk the concept of predestination bit by bit. These posts will be written up by the time this one posts, and will in turn, post once per month every month in 2012 (barring the return of Jesus Christ).

I will make this my life's work, as God called us to spread the Gospel... and the spreading of false doctrine is contrary to His command.  Telling people what is true and of Him is all that is important. Cool thing is, there are three things on my side here:

1. God's Word:
His scriptures are there, are easily understood being written for the common man, and are the eternal Truth.

2. God will destroy the false teachers:
II Peter 2:12-13 (same link as above) talks about this:
These false teachers are like irrational animals, mere creatures of instinct, born to be captured and destroyed. They slander what they don’t understand and, like animals, they will be destroyed. In this way, they will receive payment for their wrongdoing.
3. Calvinists do not have a need to evangelize:
Let's face it, if God predestined everything, then takes over a person's will to save them, then it really doesn't matter if they hear God's word or not. This is what Calvinists who are being honest with themselves believe.

Will some Calvinists be saved?
Yes. Provided they ask God's forgiveness earnestly (which would have to happen before they are aware of the concept of predestination, more likely than not) and put their faith in Him. This will be hard for them to do after becoming convinced of predestination. Still, God is capable of anything, so His Grace will be sufficient.

Why the attack?
Because Calvinists and those who believe in predestination are the pharisees of today. Jesus did not spare any words for the pharisees in His day, and I firmly believe that they need similar treatment today as their work only pulls people away from God.

The main, root problem:
The root of the problem with Calvinistic thinking - specifically with the notion that God predetermines who goes to Heaven (and by default, whom goes to Hell) - is pride. These people feel a need to be better than other people in some way and have found no other way to be better. It is a warped way of thinking and it is founded in pride.

Will I succeed?
Nope. Doesn't matter. God will succeed and His truth is all that will matter.

Will the Calvinists and predestination cultists succeed?
For a time, yes. As long as mankind lives, there will be arrogance - the root of Calvinism and the predestination cultist mindset. 


All Time Stats

Last week, this blog went over 25,000 views. As of this post, there are over 1200 posts that have been made. That's not quite 25 page views per post.

Some posts are more interesting than others. Here are some facts:

Most viewed posts:
Yet another Repo Story - 445 views
Narrowing the Field IV - 336 views*
More on Wonderlic Tests -  300 views
Appleseed and the Tube Feed - 275 views
Shooting Jacket - Product review - 235 views

Most referred from:
Google - over 2000 referrals
- Repo stories was #1 search - over 100 hits from that
- Wonderlic, Appleseed, Shooting Jacket also had over 100 hits each.

Gun Blog Black List - over 1000 referrals.

Browsers Used:
1. IE - 35%
2. Firefox - 33%

US - 21K views.
Russia, Germany, Canada, UK, Brazil, Ukraine, and Israel with over 100 views each.

* I think there is at least one person who had bookmarked "Narrowing the Field" to enter the blog from.

Understanding Motives 1

He calls others cowards, yet the only way he ever faces a person himself is over the internet.
He makes claims of being bullied, yet those around him view him as the bully.
He lays claim to persecution, yet he only ever persecutes others.
He speaks of his knowledge and understanding, yet he just doesn't get it.
He goes on about how others exalt themselves, yet he is always trying to exalt himself.
He says others talk about him behind his back - yet he is the one talking behind their backs.
He accuses others of adultery, yet it is his own mind that is adulterous.
He accuses others of being a teacher's pet, when that is the spot he wants for himself.
He puts down your occupation, because he is so dissatisfied with his own occupation.
He says your words are condescending, and he does so in a condescending way.
He accuses others of being vengeful, but it is he who is vengeful.
He claims you are psychotic, but it is he who is acting psychotic.

In short: whatever he accuses you of, is what he is guilty of himself. 

This, my friends, is psychological projection:
Link to definition.
Link to definition, 2.
Link to definition, 3

This is the first part of a multi-part series. I'll talk about some basic concepts in understanding why other people do what they do.

Psychologists call it a defense mechanism. However, if you are the person being projected upon, it feels more like offense than defense! But that's how psychological defense mechanisms work - like denial, suppression, or displacement (taking out anger on innocent parties) - by moving the source of the problem elsewhere.

Now before you go off half-cocked about how I am no psychologist: you're right! I'm not a psychologist. However, that doesn't mean I am unable to point out the facts as certified psychologists have detailed! Also, having taught martial arts for years, it has been the dedication of my life to equip others with the tools needed - mentally and physically - to deal with bullies. This is something I've studied intensely of my own accord for in excess of 25 years.

Woah! Woah! Wait a minute!
You were just talking about projection, Usagi, what does a bully have to do with this???

Thanks! I'm glad you asked.
While psychological defense mechanisms are evident in all people, the most common psychological defense mechanism for bullies is projection. In fact, so much so, that when you take a look at the facts, you can observe how predictable these folks are. So let's get the facts:

1. Everybody who projects is not a bully, but every bully projects
This is important to understand. If you find someone who is psychologically projecting, be mindful of bully behavior. There is an inverse correlation. Understand this principle. Know it.

2. Bullies most often partake in bullying activities because of mental or personality disorders. 
Paranoid schizophrenics invariably try to bully others. In fact, it is well known that bullies were often bullied themselves, which is why they turn to the negative behavior. There is scientific evidence that bullying can cause mental issues. This holds true with the entire vicious cycle.

However, not all bullies are paranoid schizophrenics. Many of them (perhaps most of them?) have a personality disorder. Most commonly, they have Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The problem is, most of the symptoms of these personality disorders mimic closely the symptoms of the mental disorders.

3. How to tell the difference in a mental disorder or a personality disorder:
Only a qualified professional has the ability to determine if the underlying problem is a personality disorder, or a mental disorder. However, a possible rule of thumb is this: if the person is a real danger to himself or others, it is likely a mental disorder.

Be mindful: a lack of physical threat does not immediately classify the disorder as a personality disorder. Persons with mental disorders become skilled at hiding the disorder for periods of time. They can become volatile and "erupt" at any moment - and that's when they become a danger to themselves or others.

4. How do I handle it?
First - if the bully is threatening physical violence: escape or defend yourself, according to the situation.
But you are reading a blog, which means it is not likely you are in immediate danger. If there is no physical threat, then things become more gray.
Here's a link with some good verbage. Most of it is geared toward workplace bullies, but there is a lot of carry-over into other life situation.

I prefer the "shock and awe" method. I'll avoid the confrontation as long as reasonably possible without giving an appearance of weakness. However, once they have started a verbal confrontation, IT'S ON! Just like in a physical altercation, the idea is to hit hard, hit often, hit from multiple angles, and do not stop hitting until they quit. Of course, here, I'm speaking of "hitting" in the sense of using words and phrases and certainly not physical violence (unless attacked, of course).


What to look for:
- Persistent projection is a red flag.
- Look for bully signs.
- If signs of being a bully are present, act accordingly.
- Use positive psychological defense mechanisms.

Positive Psychological defense mechanisms:
- Humor (may not work with a bully, but will work with non-bully)
- Sublimation (positive outlet for anger)
- Affiliation (seek support of others)
- Altruism (help others - one of my favorites!)
- Compensation (build yourself up in another area)


Funny. Sad. True. But mostly sad.

I have worked a great deal of my adult life in close conjunction with the automobile industry. Also did a bit of collections way back in the day - didn't like it, but learned a lot of really neat skills (like finding people who don't want to be found). This came in handy when I worked in car rental and needed to repo a car.

Those skills, plus the skills one acquires in over 14 years in sales and management, have given me some real advantages in business and in life.

One of these advantages is observation. 
Moreover, the understanding of what I am seeing at any moment. Understanding the motives of another person is an empowering feeling.

So one habitual thing I've seen over the years with regards to cars has to do with vehicle licensing and registration. When you see an expired tag, there are only a select number of reasons why the tag is expired, and you can tell why really quickly.

For the record, here in TN, tags expire on the last day of the month listed on the license plate itself. 

Also for the record, TN tags may be renewed any time in the 90 days prior to expiration. For example, if your tags are set to expire in February, you may renew them in December, January, or February.

Newly expired. 
You might see newly expired tags at any given time. The vehicle might be old or new. There is a slightly better chance you'll see a newly expired tag on a later model vehicle - usually 6 years old or newer.

So that new Cadillac you see in front of you with an expired tag... yeah, that's what I'm talking about here.

These are most commonly the result of forgetfulness mixed with at least a tad of procrastination.

Old expired.
These tags - which by definition have been expired more than six months - are intentionally expired. Tags like this are most often seen on much older vehicles: 20 years old or more in many cases. The owners are generally of "poor financial health" (i.e. - "broke"). They are intentionally gambling that most people do not pay attention to the fact that they are driving illegally. You won't see many of these, but they sure know how to avoid the cops, that's for sure!

So that 1990 Geo Metro with peeling used-to-be-red paint that's sputtering along at 40 mph and has an expired tag... yeah, that's what I'm talking about here.

Stupidly Expired. 
These are the tags over a month expired, but somewhat less than a year expired. Most often, you will see this on a slightly older model car. The owner is never in a good financial spot - but they are not intentionally trying to deceive, like the Old Expired car owners are. They are just hoping to get by until "some miracle" happens and they get enough money.

Enough money for what, you ask?

Glad you did. There's a couple of reasons they need money:
A) The owner doesn't have the money to repair the "check-engine" light so the vehicle can pass emissions testing.
B) The owner doesn't have enough money to pay for auto insurance so they can get the tags renewed.
C) The owner doesn't have the $50 or so it costs to get the tags themselves (in TN, tags range from about $20 to about $90 or more, depending on county - my county charges $49, so I went with that).

Sure, there could be other reasons, but those are the most likely.

So, suppose you see a slightly older Honda, driven by an individual who is so heavy, the poor car scrapes the ground when he gets in - I mean some 450 pound fatass who never saw a McDonalds he had the willpower to pass. The owner fantasizes about stepping out on his wife, but the only female that's glanced at him in the last dozen years was the hungry lioness at the zoo, which mistook him for a wayward hippopotamus. This car has tags that were due in February, and it's now almost May. Yeah... that's what I'm talking about here.


Don't go here

New label: posted establishments. These are businesses that foolishly post against the carry of handguns by permit holders. Tennessee is one of only three states (TX, OH) that foolishly allows a sign like this to carry the weight of the law and provides for a criminal offense for a certain class of people (carry permit holders).

For my first entry: Joann's in Mount Juliet, TN.
I have found that this is a corporate policy.
I suggest my readers find other places with whom to do business. 

So, let me go on record: Joann's does not want law-abiding citizens to be able to defend themselves, yet is perfectly fine with criminals carrying guns in their place of business.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Didja ever notice?

The first person in an argument/confrontation/court case, etc. to make the claim:
"well, I think both parties are guilty of something wrong"

Yeah, those people are always the ones in the wrong (or in the "most wrong").


10 Rules to Prevent Home Invasions

Here's a link from "Guns and Ammo." Surprisingly, it does not mention guns.


Album Review

I've been sitting on this one for a while. I purchased some time ago the old Metallica album "S&M" and have listened to it several times through.

I'd heard several of these songs through the years, but never the entire concert as released. In fact, when the album was released, my brother in law obtained it, and kept raving about it. Now I understand why that was.

Sure, rock bands have played with orchestras before. Maybe even choirs. Music is cool, and like certain foods, some combinations pair up well. But nobody prior had paired up heavy metal with symphonic music.

Before I get into the meat of my review, I'd like to point out that it was not Metallica knocking down the doors of some poor symphony to get this done. Instead, it was Maestro Michael Kamen, a fan of Metallica's music, who sought out the pairing. Kamen had collaborated with Metallica on their release Nothing Else Matters. Metallica was a good choice, as original bassist, Cliff Burton, had drawn significant inspiration from classical music.

Not being a musician, nor a worthy singer, nor an expert on things musical, I can only give this review as a fan of the music. So, spartan as it may be, and certainly 13 years too late, here goes:

Worst song:
On this album had to be For Whom the Bell Tolls. I love this song, it's one of my favorites, but it is not well-suited to orchestral music, and the accompaniment is just a bit off. Understand though, this version is still better than most albums by so many other artists.

S&M only songs:
No Leaf Clover - if I ever get a band and do a cover (scary thought, huh?), this is the song I absolutely must cover. This is the best song on the album, as it is the pure mix of Metallica and the Symphony.
- Human - Really good song. Obviously geared a bit more to the metal playing than orchestra, and with lyrics noteworthy of Metallica, full of double entendre and riveting on both sides of the meaning.

Best song:
Master of Puppets. This was really hard to pick. Many of the songs performed could easily be the best: One, Outlaw Torn, Bleeding Me; all depending on one's own personal preference. However, I give the nod to Master just simply because it is clear this is the song that Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony worked hardest on together to get it right, and they succeeded.

What would I change?
Nothing. Maybe add Orion, Harvester of Sorrows, and Unforgiven


Saturday, April 28, 2012

For Saturday, April 28

 Of course, this day in age, it's possible to say a lot on a blog without a brain, I know of a few of those.

Dennis Rodman was a basketball player.
Joe Dimaggio was a baseball player.
Blackmon is a football player. Justin Blackmon, that is.

None of them has ever struck a nerve, but a lot of folks with names like that have enough arrogance to think that... but it's only because they think the world revolves around them. Nevertheless, I must applaud them on their methods of drawing attention to themselves: they excel at that. 

Drawing attention to oneself and projection. Wow. What a combo.


No flipping kidding

Walls of the City is a really good blog. I read it daily.

Recently,  I saw this post... which had a picture of pure insanity on it. In the same picture, there is a sign warning of bear attacks, and not two feet away is another sign - prohibiting firearms. Seems the bears figured things out!


Friday, April 27, 2012

Fearless wretch... Insanity

He came into the group with ulterior motives. He had led a group like this before, and by golly, he intended that he would again! Sure, the subject matter here was slightly different, but once they saw it his way, they would have no choice but to bow to his awesome knowledge and understanding of the issues.

He had studied for years, and although the material at hand was new to him, it was related, and so he felt himself an expert. Of course, he had never excelled at anything physical, so he had pursued knowledge instead. That's what he had used to bully others time and time again. That and the fact that his carefully chosen targets never fought back. He chose them on purpose, specifically so they would not fight back. He chose those who feared confrontation, and would therefore, back down when he challenged them.

However, one misstep. One faulty reading of another person paired him up against one that not only knew more than he, but was perfectly willing to back it up. This person would never be bullied. This opponent had superior knowledge and understanding, despite being more youthful. This opponent was unprepared to back down, much to the chagrin of the hothead.

He found his knowledge failing him. For the first time in his life, he was challenged on points he thought he knew, but in reality he had no in-depth knowledge of. In the end he had heard only what he wanted to hear, and he only knew what he had heard. Meanwhile, the opponent had learned, had adapted, had bettered himself, had tested his steel against other steel for years. It was over before it had ever even started.


Of course, I'm talking here about a "high-ranking" black belt with whom I had the privilege of being partnered some years ago in a seminar. The night prior, this individual, whom we shall call Roger Murtaugh*, had taught a session at this seminar. Later this same day, I would teach a session.

We were doing some Japanese Jujutsu - a self defense art of the Samurai. The movements are the exact same as the jiu-jitsu I study and teach: the setups were slightly different. That's why I was there - to learn those setups. Roger, however, was there to impose his style into the "new movements." Problem is, that just doesn't work.

We were practicing at one point, a simple juji-gatame and as I applied slow pressure, Roger screamed out, flailing his arms and legs. He refused to tap out. Of course, I released pressure. A natural question would be whether Roger, being a black belt of a striking art, knew how to tap out. However, he did, as he'd been briefed along with the rest of us, and he'd just completed a set of five repetitions on me - every one of which I'd tapped on!

The process repeated itself on the second repetition. People nearby started staring.

I asked why he had not tapped instead of making a spectacle of himself.

His response? "Martial arts is about life or death... if you get used to 'giving up' in practice, you'll give up when it comes time to protect yourself for real."

Usagi: "So you would prefer I break your arm then?"

Roger: "No. Just let go when I signal."

Usagi: "Then why don't you 'signal' like the other fifty people in the room with a tap."


Some people are just hard-headed and don't know when to quit. Often, these are the same people who get themselves into the same type of situation I just outlined: where they show their ignorance in a public way. It is humiliating for them, because they try to portray themselves as experts in life. 

This post dedicated to JLR and DJB, two peas of a pod. They chose different vehicles, but the same path. 

*Name changed.

Gi pants upgrade

For years, I have been frustrated by drawstrings that come with gi pants. Specifically, Judo and Jiu-Jitsu style gi pants.

What happens is the drawstrings are not of a uniform shape, so when they are cinched up, the pants bunch (in the back for me) in an uncomfortable wad. Pain is the result if one happens to roll across this bunched up material during training. Rolling across it in Jiu-Jitsu training is going to happen, so for years, I simply elected to try to unbunch the material. This was painstaking and time-consuming.

Recently, I decided to try out some different methods to resolve this issue. I purchased several kinds of rope and twine to experiment with. Internet folks gave the advice that cotton rope gets difficult to untie when wet, and I will verify this. Nylon rope is too slick to keep the knots tied.

However, I found that braided soft cotton drawstring - like the type used in hoodies - was perfect. I used 1/4 inch thick drawstring. It is perfectly circular, and was purchased from a local hobby store for $1.79 per yard.

But how much drawstring do you need? 

There are a couple of ways to answer this question:
- One can take the current drawstring out of the pants and measure it.
- On can multiply their waist by two, and add 24 inches.

Either method produces a substantially similar result.

My waist measures 38 inches. So I plugged it into the formula:
(waist x 2) + 24.

(38 x 2) + 24 =
76 + 24 =
100 inches of drawstring needed.

This came to 2.78 yards of drawstring. Since stores rarely sell odd amounts, I purchased 3 yards.

How to prepare the drawstring:

First, sear the ends of the string with fire. A lighter or match should be fine. I put regular scotch tape below this, to create a hard part in the material. 

How to put the drawstring in:
I use a wire from a coathanger, with a hook at the end. This device is run through the pants, the drawstring is hooked at the end, and then the wire is used to run the drawstring back through the pants.
The wire tool:

Here's a closeup of the hook:

And here's how you thread the drawstring into the hook:

See how nice and circular the drawstring is?
Here is a picture of the old string:

Now, I tied each end into a knot, so it would not retreat back into the pants during laundering, and to make tying the pants easier. Here's what it looks like:

Here is a clip where Rener Gracie teaches some methods for feeding the drawstring through the pants.

Final product:

The final result is a pair of gi pants that cinches up nicely. No bunching. The string stays tied. It unties easily, and the pants loosen up almost as easily as they do without a string. It looks just fine. My students did not notice at all.

Final results picture:


Thursday, April 26, 2012

6 Stupid Gun Myths

Thanks to Hollywood, most people actually believe one or more of these six fabrications.

Link to story.

"Cliff's" notes:
6. Dropped guns discharge
5. Ceramic guns exist
4. Bullets make sparks
3. Shotguns' patterns are wide (probably the one I hear the most!)
2. Range skill means fighting skill
1. Bullets "turn people to mush"


Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Profile or Blog. No real difference.


Breast feeding then and now

Sorry - just looking for a legit way to get the word "breast" into my title. This post is about breasts, but not like you think. For the record (and this is important to understand this post), I am a fan of the female breast. Have been for in excess of 25 years.

One other thing you need to know / remember: my sister-in-law, "Silie," still breast-feeds her son. He is 4 as of this post. I've blogged about it.

At a gathering thrown by a friend recently, celebrating her victories, I was in a small group talking to my friend's mother ("Mrs. T" for this post), and my friend's sister ("Meemee" for this post). To be sure, Mrs. T and Meemee are as fine of people as you are ever likely to meet, and I am honored to call them friends, as well.

Mrs. Usagi and I are explaining that Silie still breast-feeds. This drew quite a reaction, as you might expect. Mrs. Usagi goes on to demonstrate how my nephew plays with Silie's other side whilst nursing. Think this.

Yeah... it's that bad.

Mrs Usagi: "So nephew does this while nursing"
>>> makes sucking motion with mouth and twisting motion with right hand <<<

Meemee: "No way!"

Me: "Now in all fairness, I've been known to do the same."
>>> nudges Mrs. Usagi <<<

Mrs. T: >>> Spews beer out of her mouth. <<<

Meemee: "But you're a grown-assed man! You're supposed to do that!"

Mrs. T: >>> Spews beer out of her nose. <<<


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Smack down verbal style

Pops used to say (frequently) to people: "I'd have a battle of wits, but you are unarmed."

Me? I'll go ahead and have that battle of wits and show somebody they are unarmed.

Disclaimer: To be fair, I'd seen this phrase on Facebook, thanks to a dear friend, Theresa. But then, I got a chance to use it.

Speaking with a person, I had just finished a brief description of very simple concept (my son understood it - he is only 7 now, and was younger at the time).

Their response? "Usagi, I have no idea what you just said."

Me: "I'd explain it to you, but I just ran out of crayons and puppets."


Seeing a trend?

So I told you about Silie's candy incident. Well, a few years before that, we had a similar incident.

A client's mom had made me a zucchini chocolate bread. When this lady makes a zucchini bread, it is more like a cake - and the things are huge (she often puts them in large cake containers from retailers).

Silie was over, and she and my brother were doing laundry (their rental location had no machines for this). Silie found our zucchini bread. As is polite, she asked for some. I said "yes," of course.

Ten minutes later, the entire thing was completely devoured.

Just for scale: I brought one of these to Sunday School on Easter Sunday, 2012. Just about everybody had a slice (one person had two)... and altogether, this didn't even amount to half the zucchini bread.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Games 4/23/2012

We won the first game 17-4, but lost the second game 21-10. That puts us at 5-1 on the season.

In game 2, I was able to catch a weak popup to make my second putout of the season.

On the night, I was 5-6 with 3 RBI and two runs scored.


BA: (4+5+5)/(7+8+6) =  14/21 = 0.667
Runs scored = 5 on the season.
RBI = 6 on the season.

Team stats:
Runs for: 89
Runs per game:  14.8

Runs against: 53
Runs against per game:  8.8


So much for weight loss

OK, having lost weight recently, I can understand the plight of many - particularly when they lose some weight, then gain a little back. Usually it is a lapse in good habits. Rarely does it happen like this, though:

Silie came over to Pops' house. The coming weekend was Halloween, and Pops had several large bags of candy purchased for his Church's "Trunk or Treat" festivities scheduled that weekend.

Silie found the bags.    :(

Within moments, she had eaten an entire 5-lb bag of candy. Pops had to shoo her away from the kitchen before she ate all the candy.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

New category

This I call "Facebook Finds."

Basically, if I find something on Facebook worthy of a blog post, that's what I'll do.

Here's the first one:

In honor of DJB.


Friday, April 20, 2012

He had a point

"I'd enter a battle of wits with you, but you are unarmed."
- Pops

Note: Man, the people I could list that fit that bill!


Who will be saved?

Next topic up in Religion - will everyone be saved?

It goes without saying that I believe some people will be saved from eternal damnation by placing their faith in Jesus Christ. This is taught in scripture, and is actually the basic belief of most of the Christian denominations, as well as Catholicism, Mormonism, and a number of other belief systems. The question is, will everybody be saved sooner or later?

Great question. Unlike many other bloggers, I will actually answer this one - instead of departing on a path of bunny-trails (ironic, given my nickname, I know), and then failing to address the question at all when all is said. Some authors give in to personal emotion on topics. To an extent, that would be a natural response. I prefer, however, to go to the Bible, and use logic to arrive at any and all conclusions.

The motivation for this post comes about through a conversation I had on the job with a man some time ago. He confirmed to me that he believed in God. He firmly believed that Jesus Christ died on the cross to save him from his sins. His faith in Jesus, based on that statement, seems to be solid, and in my opinion, would cause him to be headed toward Heaven upon physical death.

However, he said that he felt that an all-knowing, all-loving God wouldn't punish the rest. That He would extend salvation to them. Indeed, there are certain small segments that believe like this man believes. These types point out, correctly so, that God is Love. However, the counter-argument is that even though God loves us all, He still will punish sin. This mindset is scriptural.

The broad term for those that believe that all people will be saved is "Universalism." Unlike this author, I intend to make a decision on whether this doctrine is scriptural before this blog post is over.

I firmly believe that the fellow I talked to will be in Heaven one day. Similarly, I believe most Calvinists will probably be there too, even though they are obviously spouting false religion. The essence here is in the salvation itself. Salvation is so fundamental, basic, and such a Perfect Plan, that even mankind has a hard time messing it up. You can get almost everything else about scripture wrong, accept Christ by asking His forgiveness, and still find yourself in Heaven because the sacrifice was so Perfect.

But is Universalism a false teaching?
(Like Calvinism, Lutheranism, as well as Arminianism)

Let's talk about the main points:

1. God Wills for all to be saved. 
This stems from quotes of 1 Timothy 2:4 which states:
"[God] who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. "

Let's put this one to rest immediately, Salvation was designed that everyone could take part in it. Just because a person could does not mean they would or did. Nowhere in the New Testament is there scripture that says that a person will be saved without putting their faith in Christ.
In other words: God wants everyone to accept Him, but not everyone will choose to do so. 

Some quote 1 Corinthians 15:22:
"For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive."
Yet again, this scripture, just like 1 Timothy 2:4, must be twisted to make it seem as if all will be saved. The key part is "in Christ" - but it does not talk about those not in Christ. To find that out, one must read the entire passage, in which Paul continually uses the word "we" which clearly is used to mean Christians - those who have accepted Christ.

2. Free Will
Since we have already established that God gave man free will - to choose God or to turn from Him - and that choice is man's alone, not irresistible, not predestined, and not made by anyone other than the person himself (or herself); we must ask the question:
If all will be saved regardless, then why give mankind free will - specifically, why indicate mankind has the ability to reject God?
Free will to reject God is nullified if God plans that everyone will go to Heaven anyways. This removes entirely the concept of free will as is taught numerous times in scripture. 

Look at it this way, in the same vein that Calvinists erroneously believe that those who will be saved were predestined by God, and had no real choice in the matter, so too, would Universalists believe that all will go to Heaven regardless of their wishes.

3. Why sin?
Why are there so many verses in the Bible warning of the wages of sin, the penalty? If God intended to save all, then why even allow sin in the first place? Why set it up as sin? Why do we even have an insatiable desire to understand right and wrong? Why would we even have laws?

These questions cannot be answered in Universalism.

4. Why the Sacrifice?
Since Universalism would remove the concept of sin by the default of there being no punishment - why would God send Christ Jesus to die for those sins? Why would he be the Sacrifice?

5. Why the mention of punishment?

Since all of these are mentioned numerous times in the Bible, multiple times, and are unambiguous, we must conclude that God did set up the concept of right and wrong, and the consequences of both.

I mention Calvinism several times in this post, because it has many similarities to Universalism:

Calvinists believe that God predestined some to go to Heaven, and some to go to Hell.
Universalists believe that God predestined all to go to Heaven.

In neither line of thinking is free will of the individual (which is mentioned numerous times, directly, and even more often, by default) ever taken into account.

Both sects believe God is sitting up in Heaven, playing with His dolls, so to speak.

Both sects are small minorities, and certainly not mainstream thinking... though there is more of a trend toward Universalism these days.
Both sects contain many (probably a majority) of legitimately saved individuals.
Both sects are false teachings. To teach them, since they are false, is by definition, heresy. One who would teach either is, by definition, a false prophet.

Fortunately, God's plan of Salvation works for all sins, including those of a false prophet and heresy itself. He knew we would screw things up... even His basic, perfect plan of Salvation.

Therefore: In absence of scripture to the contrary, I conclude that Universalism is false. Christ died for all, but whether we (mankind) accept that gift is based on our own free will.

Anything else would be intellectually dishonest at best.  

In a side note: Every Universalist I've ever met has had a problem with pride. They choose Universalist teachings because those teachings serve that person's own means with such a belief: often hoping that a dead loved one will be in Heaven when sadly, that is not the case. Wanting to believe in a God that serves their own purposes, instead of them serving His purposes.

This is pride. It is no different than the pride I mention of Calvinists. The names have only changed to protect the [not-so] innocent.

Funny thing here is the Universalists will agree with me on the heresy of Calvinism. And the Calvinists will agree with me on the heresy of Universalism. Neither will see how similar they are to the other, though.


AR15 in home defense

An Antioch man successfully defended himself and his wife with an AR15 rifle. An intruder broke in, armed with a pistol. The resident shot the intruder fatally.

Lessons learned:

- AR15s are perfectly fine for home defense.
- Anybody talking about that mythical "stopping power"???
- A pistol is a pistol and a rifle is a rifle.
- 30-round mags are not bad.
- The "assault" rifle did not assault anything... it defended.
- Overpenetration was not an issue.

Do you have an AR15?
If not, why not?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

This doesn't happen every day

Today, basketball coach Pat Summitt of the University of Tennessee Lady Vols stepped down. Summitt won more games than any other coach in NCAA basketball history.

Summitt said: "It's been a great ride."

In related news, in his first move with which I agree 100%, President Obama has announced he will award Summit the Presidential medal of Freedom - the nation's highest civilian honor.


Chicken or Egg?

From the Examiner:

There is a disturbing trend in the hiring front. Not only in Nashville, but nationwide. In the author's opinion, this stems from companies that have been disloyal to their employees, and engaged in irresponsible hiring and firing; causing an overall reduction in average workforce tenure.

Companies have come to realize that people who stick with a job are more likely to be quality employees. BUT - and this is a big "But" - it is the actions of the companies themselves that has created the dilemma of a more transient workforce!

Nevertheless, most companies persist in wanting long-tenured employees. But fewer and fewer applicants have the required tenure - often, due to no fault of their own.

Some applicants have resorted to misrepresenting their tenure on their resume, and perhaps even during interviews, in an effort to simply get a legitimate shot at a job they are more than capable of performing.

This leads to a dilemma itself: while lying (or even stretching the truth) is certainly not acceptable, neither is it acceptable for a company to have standards that exceed reality. Particularly when that particular company has contributed to reduced tenure issues in the job market!

An applicant should never misrepresent himself / herself: either in an interview, or on paper. Ideally, a company should not, either. However, an applicant can only control his/her own actions, and cannot control the misrepresentations the company makes. If enough applicants refuse to work for dishonest companies, then the companies will be forced to change their policies!


Quote of the day - April 19, 2012

 Some wisdom from a friend, Rebecca, on Facebook:

"Knowledge about God can be eternally destructive if it is pursued at the expense of knowing God."


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

When I go...

Somebody write my obituary like this guy's.

Copied, in case the link goes dead, cause this is too funny to miss:

"Blanchard, Michael "Flathead"
1944 ~ 2012
A Celebration of the life of Michael "Flathead" Blanchard will be held on April 14th, 3 pm 8160 Rosemary St, Commerce City. Weary of reading obituaries noting someone's courageous battle with death, Mike wanted it known that he died as a result of being stubborn, refusing to follow doctors' orders and raising hell for more than six decades. He enjoyed booze, guns, cars and younger women until the day he died.
Mike was born July 1944 in Colorado to Clyde and Ethel Blanchard. A community activist, he is noted for saving the Dr. Justina Ford house from demolition and defending those who could not defend themselves. He was a Republican delegate, life member of the NRA, founder and President of the Dead Cats MC. He loved music.
Mike was preceded in death by Clyde and Ethel Blanchard, survived by his beloved sons Mike and Chopper, former wife Jane Transue, brother Stephen Blanchard (Susan), Uncle Don and Aunt Cynthia Blanchard(his favorite); Uncle Dill and Aunt Dot, cousins and nephews, Baba Yaga can kiss his butt. So many of his childhood friends that weren't killed in Vietnam went on to become criminals, prostitutes and/or Democrats. He asks that you stop by and re-tell the stories he can no longer tell. As the Celebration will contain Adult material we respectfully ask that no children under 18 attend.

Published in Denver Post on April 12, 2012"

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

One thing about the weird

You can just never change them from being weird. In a way, weirdness is fascinating - like just having to look at the car wreck as you pass by.

For clarity, I am not referencing folks with idiosyncrasies or eclecticisms. We all have those... it's what makes us ourselves. No, I'm talking about things that defy logic and reason. 

I blog about things weird. It is enjoyable, and it puts these things out there for all the world to see. Because, way down deep, weird folks know they are a bit off-kilter. Mind you, I blog about many things that are not exactly weird, also. But that's not the point of this post.

From my "About" page:
"I find fascinating those things illogical (particularly liberals). Therefore, I really like to blog about things that don't make sense.
Here's a broad warning: if I come across you, and you do or say some weird stuff, expect to see a blog post about it."

I understand that some people really don't like being called onto the carpet. I understand that some people take offense to the whole concept. Way down deep - these people know they are odd. Usually, they go out of their way to try to be strange. Most often, they enjoy the attention they get from being so different. 

But, try as you might, you can never change a weird person. In my younger days, I tried. I tried every tactic known to man: simple polite requests, direct confrontation, you name it.  Then one day, I realized the truth:

Weird people seek the attention they get from being weird. 

They bring no additional value to life - their lives, or the lives of family or (what few) friends. They often hate themselves, as evidenced by their innate desire to promote themselves. So they make the ongoing choice to be strange. To stop doing that, and pursue some worthwhile cause would be to remove what little misguided self-identity they have... in their minds.

You would think they would like blogs like this - since it brings attention to their weirdness. 

But that's the kicker, they don't like blogs like this. They are like cockroaches. The light scares them away. Places like this expose them for the frauds and detriments to society that they are. That's not the attention they want. They want society to give to their wishes, to coddle them. Not to make them adhere to rules and principles that are mutually beneficial.


This was just wrong

Seen on the side of the road some time back as I went for a jog:

About a half-dozen Hispanic men working on and around a roof that needed repairs after recent storm.

A chihuahua dog comes running up.

Just struck me funny.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Games 4/16/2012

Another good night for the team. We faced another middle-of-the-road team in the league.

I went 5-8 at the plate. The team won both games: 11-7 in game 1 and 16-7 in game 2.

(4+5)/(7+8) = .600 Batting average.
Runs scored = 1. Season = 3.
RBI = 1. Season = 3.

Team record: 4-0


What to do, what to do...

Rick Santorum suspended his campaign for President on Tuesday, April 10. He cited his daughter's health as a primary concern, and few could fault him for that. I wish him and his family well, and will pray for his daughter's recovery.

On the political front, we are left with three candidates for the Republican nomination. Romney, the socialist. Paul, the odd. Gingrich, the roller-coaster.

Understand this, unless Gingrich rises from ashes like the proverbial phoenix, this nomination is essentially over. Ron Paul will not be able to do it - and I'm not sure I'd want him to, given the antics of his supporters.

That said, it looks strongly like Romney will get the nod on the Republican side. This is a sad day, indeed, as Romney is no different ideologically, from President Obama.

So I am looking for a 3rd party candidate. I will take suggestions from you, kind readers. There is no way I can, in good conscience, vote for Romney given his stance on big government, universal health care, abortion (he was for it before he was against it), gun control (he is still for it), and most other issues.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Gun Review - Ruger LC9

So I recently swapped my GLOCK 19 for a Ruger LC9 as a carry piece. To be certain, I still have the GLOCK. However, the Ruger is designed for concealed carry, and I'd fired my dad's, so it became part of my collection.

My friend, Amiee, at the Shooter's Depot in Chattanooga worked with me to get one ordered and delivered.

The Ruger is much slimmer than the GLOCK, but fires the same 9mm round.
The LC9 has a loaded chamber indicator. Here's what it looks like loaded:

And here's what it looks like when there is not a round in the chamber:

The magazine holds 7 rounds. I keep one in the chamber, so that's 8 rounds with me, vs. the GLOCK with 15 rounds.

The pistol has an external safety near the rear of the port side. Safety on:
Safety off:

The trigger is horrible. I'd say worst trigger I've ever pulled on a gun, but I have a Smith & Wesson Sigma that takes that "honor." The reset is really bad, too.
The slide release is difficult to operate. The pistol works far better with the "tap-rack-bang" methodology.

Recoil is a bit sharper than the G19 - but it is a lighter firearm, so that is to be expected. Still not bad.
Fit and finish is tight. Very nice.
Mag changes with my large hands are a bit clumsy.

Sights are adequate. There are upgrades, but I only wanted base minimum. That's all I personally need.
Extra mags are mid-priced at about $35-$40 apiece.
Accuracy was as-expected for a "pocket-pistol."

It conceals really well, and holsters that fit are easy to find.
I do not feel undergunned with a 9mm.
Not the best trigger, but I do not expect to go into combat with it.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Eye candy or legitimate uniforms?

This article explores Olympic beach volleyball and whether the bikinis the players wear are uniforms, or are in place simply for the looks.

What say you?

I say both.


Let's be fair

For cyberstalker-wannabe keyboard bullies everywhere - particularly those who like Carly Simon's music and also cannot go two sentences online without either insulting another human being or engaging in projection.

Here's for you:

"It's not about me, it's about Him"
- Really. Given your tendency to project, that means it's all about you. That explains things quite a bit. Completely, in fact.
Listen to this song. Read the lyrics. Every one fits. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.

"Stuff still shows up in Google cache"
- They are supposed to. If I didn't want it out there in the first place, then I wouldn't have written it on a BLOG! Ever stop to think I was simply entertaining you like I do with kitty cats and pieces of string?

“Oh, and as far as your crack on about my heart being far from Christ, well, since I haven’t been to church since my Grandma died when I was 12, I don’t remember claiming to be. “
- This comment, made in a failed attempt to remain hidden as "anonymous" is perhaps the only bit of truth I've ever heard from your lips or seen typed from your fingers. 'Tis sad, and for that, I'll be praying for you. I do hope more than anything that you do find God.

So get back to hiding your ass. Doesn't work except for the Feedjit tool.
Make sure you don't log in at home unless your wife is at work.
Really wish you wouldn't log in at work, cause that's tax dollars being wasted (mine and others).

And understand, in the end, eventually you will find another outlet for your hate. And you will stalk them like you did me, and Debbie before me... and the list goes on, as I understand it.

But if your goal is to thwart me, understand that, in the words of George Wilson on the movie Dennis the Menace (quite fitting, I know!): "Disappointment's gonna be a big part of his life."


On learning

Some people learn best visually. Some learn best through auditory stimulus. Some people learn in a more tactile way.

Some people learn best while watching or hearing. Some people learn best by doing the new activity. Some people learn best by learning theory.

Some people just have a hard time grasping certain concepts.

When I teach jiu-jitsu, one of the most fundamental principles is to try to avoid relying on strength. For men, however, this can prove a difficult lesson, as American males learn from an early age to do things "harder, faster, stronger!" When things "click," however, and they get it, they learn so much faster. The use of technique in place of strength lends to more effective learning.

When sparring with a person like this, I will intentionally dominate them. At first, they may "get" a good position (strictly because I allowed them to have it). But my escape and counter becomes inevitable. Then I take a dominant position. Then I decide how to win and do so in a slow and methodical manner - not relying on strength. The idea is to show them and others what they should be looking to do.

Another benefit of sparring this way is to leave the student with the concept that what they are currently doing is totally wrong - without being so rude as to come out and say it that way.

I like to do the same with this blog. Over the years, what I say has been controversial. Some things have even hurt the feelings of others - but what I say has needed to be said in every case. Now, from time to time, people sit safely behind their computer, and feel free to engage in odd behavior. From time to time, I like to "play" with them in a manner that is much the same as what I just described with my martial arts students.

Make no mistake, if such a person were to show up at my house looking for confrontation, the outcome would be no different than what I just described.

But people who engage in really odd behavior - particularly the ones who adopt stalker-ish behavior with respect to this blog - are not the types of people who would actually take the time to improve their own lives through the martial arts or a similar endeavor. People like this REQUIRE the safety of their computer screen to accomplish the "bold" things they do online.

So I like to "have fun" with them. I enjoy moving blog posts. Putting up similar posts with different verbage. Checking out their blogs (and often leaving nice, civil, normal responses to their topics, of course), if they have one. Anything that would show them that their tactics are ineffective is fair game.

It really is similar to a cat and a ball of yarn - only one side has fun and wins, and the other party is left tangled up in knots because of the way they are.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Game - April 9, 2012

First games of the season today.

4-7 at the plate.

Running bases better than ever thanks to the weight loss. Not tired or sore as I used to be.

Got to put a man out in a rundown between home and 3rd base. 

Won both games; 23-8 and 12-6. This week we played the other team from our same church.

Batting Avg:  .571
Runs scored: 2
RBI: 2

Team record: 2-0


Good read - April 2012.

Really, really good article on Cheaper Than Dirt by gun photographer and blogger, Oleg Volk.


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Helpful Side Effects

Yesterday I wrote of the wild & crazy. Everyone has people like that in their life. Now let me write of the sane and dependable people. The people in my life for whom I care and would give anything. These are people whose names come up frequently in my mind - particularly when I am searching for things for which to give thanks, as per 1 Thessolonians 5:18.

Naturally, I am thankful for my family. My wife, children, parents, siblings and inlaws.
Naturally I am thankful for my friends. My clients, students, buddies, fellow martial artists, and such.
These are the people - other than my wife, who is everything for me - that really stand out.
Please note: there is no "order" for which I care to place them, I'm just listing them out randomly.

A )
Right Minded. I cannot currently recall exactly how long we have attended his Sunday School class. Through deduction and using as a basis conversations over the years, we joined shortly after he was named teacher of the class. We've seen some folks go, we've seen some come in. Other than Right Minded and his wife, there is one family that's been there longer. This Sunday School class is the single reason we attend the church we do.
Right Minded is a man's man when it comes to integrity and rationale. He is the inspiration for this humble blog, as he himself was a blogger. He has provided wisdom when it was most needed time and time again. Funny thing: I don't think he even knows it... at least until he gets this post.

B )
Rich / Lee ("Gdaddy" and "Gmommy"). Rich for me, Lee for my wife. Though they came into our lives rather recently, Rich and Lee are salt of the Earth people who strive to do what's right in everything they do. Constantly positive, even in negative situations. Rich is a good buddy who also shares a lot of the same interests I do. Having him in my jiu-jitsu class is a real treat for me... even when (as he often does) he says nothing whatsoever.

C )
Pops. The subject of the "Pops-isms" and the genetic contributor to my sarcastic and sense-of-humor sides. The man who taught me how to shoot, provided my love for the martial arts, and generally was a father to me in a world where real fathers are fewer and fewer in number. He provides wisdom when needed, yet does not meddle. He is also a great grandfather to my kids.

D )
Mr. Smith at Spirit Martial Arts. He is the liberal to my conservative. That said, we share a love for the martial arts as well as all things firearm. As liberal as he claims to be, he is really quite socially conservative (don't tell him that), but still provides a nice, friendly counterpoint to my point. If you ever see and "Mutt 'n' Jeff" lookin' pair of guys at the range with Spirit Martial Arts hats on, it's us... I'm the taller one.

E )
Randy from my SS class. Randy is a bit older than me - like a big brother would be. Those that don't know him well would say he's the quieter one. Those folks have never seen us at lunch! Randy is another shooting buddy. I'll probably talk him into fishing some with me, too this year. Randy is often playing the part of the big brother I never really had (I'm the oldest of three). I still want to see him lead a SS lesson - though he'd never want to.


Friday, April 6, 2012

Harmful side effects

Today is April 6, 2012. Accordingly, it is also a full moon. In my experience, the full moon is a time when crazy people get crazier, strange people get stranger, and weird things happen.

Over the past 12 months, I've had some really odd interactions with people. So has the Mrs. We both firmly believe that this is due, at least in part, to the significant weight loss that we both have achieved of late. Both of us have lost in excess of 80 pounds from our respective peak weights.

This person, whom I'd met several years ago, works for a former client. she approached me back in the summer, and made an indecent proposal - knowing full well that I am married. I refused. She insisted for a time, but lost interest. I was glad I never so much as returned the interest, much less gave in to the temptation. She had told me that she was divorced now. I found out that she is indeed married, and actually recently moved out of state with her husband as he changed jobs.

This person, whom I met on a plane shortly after dealing with #1, approached me despite knowing full well that I was married. In fact, a good portion of our conversation on the plane was about my wife and kids. She was a little more relentless, but was finally swayed to understand that I would not give in to her offers. Then she started a brief cyberstalking bit. Finally, she gave up as I refused to return any attention her way.

This person, whom my wife and I met ten years ago, recently started chatting out of the blue with my wife. It wasn't long before he revealed what he wanted of her, and it, too, was indecent. She refused, and he persisted. Finally, he realized she was not to be swayed.

Another person I'd met through work, as she had worked for a client. This person never made an indecent proposal, but was chock-full of "teh crazy." Claiming to me that she'd never even had a boyfriend, but then it was revealed later to a number of her friends (myself included) that she had given birth last year and given the baby up for adoption.

A modern day pharisee; this person I met at church, too. He has engaged in all manners of crazy, and seems at times to be as relentless as the others. his tactics ranged from bully attempts to trying to make disparaging remarks on this blog whilst pretending to be "anonymous." He even has penned counter blog posts, describing his fantasy of what I endured with #2. But his inability to understand the spoken word, much less the written word (or maybe it was his secret fetish to engage in the sort of activity he counter-claimed) has rendered his accusations as humorous at best - primarily due to how far from truth they actually are. But, that's this guy in a nutshell - so far from truth it is truly sad.

My soon-to-be-ex-sister-in-law-thank-God! Quite possibly the craziest of all these, except perhaps #5 (I'm still trying to gauge just how far a person can operate from reality without getting themselves committed to state-ordered mental care). It would appear that she actually LOOKS for ways to be as odd as possible. From not taking baths or using soap, to exaggerated exercise claims, to how she "raises" my poor little nephew, this one really takes the cake. But, in the interest of fairness, I've known her the longest of any on this list, and since she was family, I understand I've been privy to information on her that I do not have on others. So be it.

You got some? Tell me about it and I'll blog!


Good Friday

Today is Good Friday.

Some remember it because they get a day off of work or school. And that's OK.
Some remember the sacrifice Jesus made some 2000 years ago. And that's fine, too.
Some do not remember it at all. And that, too, is all right.

Good Friday is the Friday before Easter. And let's be clear, Easter is not about a bunny. That said, the concept of the Easter Bunny is as harmless as Santa Claus or any other mythical character. Easter is the day Christ rose again, completing his dominion over death and fulfilling prophesy and scripture pertaining to the Messiah.

This Sunday, church will be packed. I generally do not like the crowd, but I understand the purpose it serves. Many people only go to church on Christmas and / or Easter. I'd say the ones that only go on Easter are usually Christian, and feel bad about not attending more frequently. They do not understand that attending church does not make one Christian.

Being Christian is simple - have you asked for Christ's forgiveness of your sins?

To do so is to proverbially "get your heart right with God."

Wearing one's religion on one's sleeve is not Christianity. In fact, I am wary of these people, as they often have something to hide. Usually their own dark agenda. Some use religion to bully others. Some use it to promote themselves. Some use it to steal. Some use it to kill. Whatever the misuse, religion is not Christianity, and Christianity is not religion.

"When people lead in with their 'Christianity' it scares the hell out of me. These people wish to convolute, and prey on others, and they use pseudo-religion to do it."
- A. Meldrum

Simply put: 
Religion is man's way to God.
Christianity is God's way to man.

That said, the Great Commission (as it is often called) was given, and Jesus said to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. Note: Jesus did not say to go into all the world and beat people over the head with the gospel. There is a difference.
"I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians.
Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
So my suggestion to those out there "playing Christian" and using religion to further their own agendas? I don't really have one. I cannot claim to understand that mindset. It is unimaginable to me to claim that anything I wrote about would be akin to hearing God speak. To claim as much would be  arrogance. Because I cannot understand the mindframe of a person who would make such claims or hold such views, I cannot give good suggestion on how to get out of it. Perhaps people like this should do as they claim and actually try putting God first?

The Good News is just that. Good News. We, as sinners, can all be saved. We simply have to ask for and accept the Free Gift of God. The Bible does not exclude any sin: lying, stealing, killing, adultery, and the list goes on. Even false prophets can be saved. The only ones who will not be saved are those that reject Christ by never asking His forgiveness. 

Heck, one can be saved, then afterwards commit all manner of evil, and not lose that salvation. Because Christ's gift is perfect - it is forgiveness of sin: past, present, and future. God doesn't do things halfway. One can even be saved and then get one's mind twisted into believing outright heresy, and not lose that salvation.

That's how much Christ Jesus loves us. He showed that on a Good Friday all those years ago when He died for our sins. And that's what Good Friday means to me. 


2A win in IL

The IL Supreme Court issued a ruling that is very pro-2A. At the heart of the ruling is that common semi-automatic firearms have common and legitimate purposes.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Two sides of the coin

The longer I live, and the more I see of people and their behavior, the more I am convinced that there are two sides of every coin. Two sides of the story.

That said, there are a few main categories, depending on several factors.

Genuine misunderstanding
Neither party intends to harm (physically, verbally, or otherwise)the other, but harm happens anyways.

Mutual ill-intent
Both parties wished to cause harm to the other.

Right and wrong
One party was clearly in the wrong, but uses twisted logic or arguments to stake a claim to having a "side" in the case.

The lengths to which some will go in order to change the case to one where they have a "moral high ground" can be quite ... interesting.


Review - Star Trek: Voyager

So I recently completed viewing of the series Star Trek: Voyager. I have always enjoyed the Star Trek movies and TV shows, and this one was no different.

I'm not going to go into great detail on the plots or acting. It was a Star Trek series.

I do agree with some critics that pointed out the 6th season felt like they were looking for filler material. Some episodes in the 7th and final season felt that way, too - at first. But overall it was entertaining.

Favorite moment: when the Emergency Command Hologram started kicking tail. Janeway was always hesitant to use weapons, and that put them in several dangerous predicaments, but the ECH was more decisive.

Least favorite moment: When the crew crosses the transwarp barrier, but then they give up on research on it per a Captain's log. WEAK SAUCE. 

Favorite character: the man in me says Seven of Nine. The reviewer in me says Neelix. My personality liked Tuvok. But overall, it had to be Harry Kim - I feel I was once just like that. Wish he'd been promoted to Lieutenant sometime during the run.

Least favorite character: Chakotay. Poor guy was used in diametrically opposed situations relentlessly. One moment, he's an expert warrior, the next, a Klingon takes him out with a single blow. One time, he is the most compassionate individual when meeting a new species, and the next, he's a xenophobe. The schizophrenic nature of Chakotay's character was annoying at times. That said, Robert Beltran did a great job of portrayal with the material he was given.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Belts in the Martial Arts

Some time ago, I blogged about the dichotomy of the martial arts - specifically as it relates to ranking. Let me go into more detail on that. Broadly speaking, there are only a few reasons for promotion in the martial arts:

This boils down to who can beat who. It can be an effective way to determine rank. The problem lies in humanity itself. Who beats who on a given day can be attributed to many outside influences other than skill. Also, what of the old man or woman who has dedicated a lifetime to the martial arts, but simply no longer has the physicality to beat a younger opponent?

Similar to skill, gauging rank based on knowledge is a good way to determine progress. It is pretty black and white to tell if a person has knowledge or not. Conversely, some people can have a lot of knowledge, but not use it. Furthermore, there is a difference in theoretical knowledge and practical knowledge. Also, how well the person knows the material can be called into question.

The amount of time a person has dedicated to the martial arts is something that cannot be denied. However, time is no indicator of skill or knowledge.

In conclusion, it is reasonable that all three criteria play a part in the awarding of rank. Specifically, like a project management triangle, it must be reasoned that attaining all three criteria might be difficult, if nigh impossible. It is necessary to sacrifice one category to increase the other two.

For example: If someone has knowledge and skill, then time might be waived to some extent. Likewise, if a person is physically unable to really ever be competitive with others, then time and knowledge must play a larger part. And from a hypothetical point of view - if there was a person who had little knowledge, but much time and skill, then that person would be similarly deserving of rank.


Summary on the TSA

This link pretty much sums up the TSA.

Thanks to Say Uncle for the idea.


Who is this for, anyways?

Silie still nurses my nephew - who, as of this post has just turned 4 years old.

Oddly enough, on his first court-ordered visitation with his father (my brother), my nephew had no need to continue to nurse, despite what Silie has claimed (that nephew would go ballistic without "milky").

Remember, Silie subscribes to "attachment parenting" philosophies - which are some of the most asinine out there.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A brief observation

You cannot spell the word "bullies" without:






It does not add up part 2

Refresher: Silie was on a health binge. It was needed as she teetered at or over 250 pounds.

Facebook posts came every day, talking about her choice to be an organic vegetarian. Yet we only ever saw her eat french fries and ice cream.

She also posted about walking habits. The posts got a bit stretched. At one point she claimed to have walked 5 miles in just under half an hour. This would equate to about 11 mph. Funny, since the world record for speed walking is a bit over 12 mph.

Here's a hint - 250 pound+ women who rarely leave the couch do not turn into Olympic level athletes in a matter of days.


Monday, April 2, 2012

For the first time in 36 years...

I agree with something Jimmy Carter has to say:

"...the Democratic Party should moderate its position on abortions...
I never have believed that Jesus Christ would approve of abortions and that was one of the problems I had when I was president having to uphold Roe v. Wade..."

Wow. Didn't expect that.


Do your due diligence 2

From the Examiner.

"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."
- Common quote.


The author was recently made aware of the following insanity from an interview process:

Candidate: "I like the offer. Just one problem. I cannot relocate now, my kids are still in school. However, if you can let me work from home - which is actually most commonly done in this industry - for only 90 days, then my kids could finish the school year and I could focus on the move then."

Hiring manager: "You know, were I in your shoes, I would simply disregard the final month or two of the kids schooling. They are in early elementary school, so it's not like it's important."


Kind readers, there are some companies out there that are either too foolish to realize how interfering they are on a person, or are so arrogant that they do not care. Either possibility leads to the same conclusions, though.

A company that would make such a demand will invariably have unrealistic expectations. Even if these were met, it would spell certain doom for the employee the one time that the impossible could not be accomplished. For then, the impossible would be expected, and to fail to do it would be to fail in the job altogether. Then the termination process would begin.

Readers are urged to interview any potential employer as much as they interview you. Be on the lookout for position fit - for yourself. Nobody else will look out for you - particularly an unscrupulous company.

Good guy: 1 - Bad guy: 0

A Detroit homeowner shot and killed an intruder with an SKS rifle.

The only negatives in this story are:
1. The accomplices got away - they will likely rob again (though not likely that house!).
2. The Detroit police are investigating as to whether charges will be filed against the homeowner.

In Tennessee (and many other states) we have Castle Doctrine - which means the homeowner would automatically be cleared.


So which way is it???

As the Supreme Court hears the issue of ObamaCare, an interesting quote has come forth.

Justice Sotomayor stated:
“In a democracy structured like ours, where each branch does different things, why we should involve the Court in making the legislative judgment?”

 But in 2005, Sotomayor stated:
"...court of Appeals is where policy is made."

So which way is it???


It does not add up

Another one from the Silie files.

Several years back, Silie got to worrying about her weight. At the time, she was, by our estimates, around 250 pounds. So, one day, we saw Facebook posts detailing Silie's attempts to walk for fitness and eat right.

She claimed to go on an organic vegetarian diet. However, when we are around her (and this was quite a bit), she would only eat french fries and ice cream.

Needless to say, not much weight was lost, and the Facebook posts soon ended.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Wow - how telling

What do you like about your rifle?

From this blog post by Rifleslinger, he asks the question "what do you like about your rifle?"
In fact, many relevant questions are asked. I decided to answer in a blog post of my own.

Italicized questions are from Rifleslinger's blog.

As it catches your eye, what is it that draws you to want to pick it up and handle it?
The general shape. The utilitarian nature. The usefulness. 

Is it the sleek, graceful lines of wood masterfully blended to machined steel? 
No wood. It is steel, aluminum, and polymer. Typical AR in a 20" barrel configuration.

Is it the aggression that is exuded from a black rifle of forged aluminum and polymer?

Is the blue wearing at the muzzle and bolt knob?
No. It is a stainless steel barrel. The bolt is parkerized. There are wear marks forming on the bolt.

Is the wood worn where you handle it, showing the character given from the practice that makes the rifle part of you?
No, but I see the remnants of my finger prints on the polymer handle and forearm.

When you can no longer withstand the urge and finally pick up the rifle, does it feel like you just added the missing part of you?
Yes. It completes me in a way. 

Does the same curve of the pistol grip find the same part of your hand every time? 
Yes. It is an ergo pistol grip, specially selected for personal comfort. 

Does the balance of the rifle lend itself to use on an instinctive level? 
Yes. It balances right under the delta ring. It has a heavy barrel for accuracy, and is a bit heavy. I like it heavy, a it makes the rifle shoot very softly. 

Is it light enough to be handy, yet have enough heft to give the impression of solidity, strength and the steadiness that a bit of mass can offer? 
It is as heavy as an M1 Garand. Some think that heavy, but for a man of my stature, it almost looks in some pictures to be a bit small on me.  Certainly falls into the category of handy in my hands.

When you work the action is the feel of it pleasing? 
Very smooth. Very pleasing. 

Is there a conspicuous absence of grittiness, drag, slop, hollowness, sharp edges, tight spots waiting to grab and pinch your fingers, or compromises in workmanship?
No tight spots, no pinches, no compromises. This rifle is tight. It functions flawlessly.

Does the finger find the trigger instinctively at just the right spot without interference from any other part of the rifle? 
Yes, as was designed by Eugene Stoner

Does the trigger break cleanly? 
Very cleanly. RRA match trigger. It is very crisp and light.

When you let friends try the trigger, do they let out an involuntary, “Oooh” of appreciation of the fine quality and workmanship?
Every time  :)

When you chamber a round, does it provide you with an inherently satisfying feeling? 
Every time. 

Does the round feel as though there is absolutely no question that it will arrive at its destination without undue interference or friction?
Without question. Smooth operation all of the way around allows for flawless function.

Do you know that the feed lips will make a perfect offering of the cartridge to the bolt, and that the intricate geometry of the rifle’s inner workings will make the cartridge’s destination inevitable?
No doubts. The rifle feeds perfectly and is only fed quality ammunition and magazines.

When the crosshairs settle perfectly on the center of the target, and the steady press of the trigger yields a sharp surprise of a jolt to the shoulder, are you blessed with the certainty of the knowledge of where the hole was created?
250 on the AQT with this baby.
I am confident with it out to 600 yards - due to personal experience at that range. Since it is a sub-MOA rifle with Privi ammo, it can hold sub-6" groups at that range. I feel confident with it to that range with either the ACOG or the iron sights.
With the ACOG, there are hash-marks to 800 meters. such a shot would require a rested position, as well as the heavy Privi ammo. I am confident in being able to make that shot, though I never have shot that far. 

Does the smell of powder summon familiar and comforting feelings that are now only vaguely associated with actual memories?
Every time. I can tell the different powders from several major brands, and each has its own feelings. 

Are you still amazed of the smoothness and ease with which the empty case is extracted and ejected, and the fresh round fed?
Yes. And amazed at the nice, neat little pile that the shells form at about 2:00.

Perhaps most importantly, are you rewarded with the confluence of an actual hit just where you called it?
Every time. 

What do you like about your rifle?