8 Kinds of Smart.

As I keep reading this book, “The Art of Empathy” the more I start to understand something: I have empathy and I have a concern for other people. We talked about this a post or so back; however it is the emotional aspect of everything that I am re-learning and re-calibrating.

One thing that this book has hit on for me is a new way of looking at emotions. She mentions neuroscientist Antonio Damasio stating in his book “Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain”:

Damasio also puts forward the idea that emotions are “action-requiring neurological programs… So, for instance, fear requires that you take action to orient to change and novelty, or to avoid physical harm. Anger requires that you take action to protect or restore your sense of self or your standpoint (or the selves and standpoints of others, if your anger is related to social justice)…Sadness requires that you take action to let go of something that isn’t working anyway, and grief requires that you actively mourn something that is lost irretrievably. And so forth.

She also talks about channeling emotions, which is something that I am learning to do. I feel that I just need to understand my emotions better since I basically have repressed and detached from them all my life.

Facing yourself and your inner-demons is a bitch.

The other thing that I am learning from this is that there are multiple types of intelligence. I have always focused on the standard one, Logical-Mathematical, because that is what we are taught intelligence is. That is what IQ is based on and generally how your intellect is judged; however there are multiple types.

In the book “The Art of Empathy” , she uses the research of Howard Gardner; however she only really focuses on Inter and Intra personal intelligence for her purposes. The others are quite intriguing  and I looked into them further.

I took multiple tests and my top 3 were always the same; however mosts tests only would measure 7 or 8 out of the 9. I couldn’t find any that did the Existential Intelligence, which honestly makes sense since I found that Gardner really didn’t want to add it in the first place.

Gardner did not want to commit to a spiritual intelligence, but suggested that an “existential” intelligence may be a useful construct, also proposed after the original 7 in his 1999 book. The hypothesis of an existential intelligence has been further explored by educational researchers.

(To me, this sounds like a platitude and I can see why a lot of sites don’t measure it.)

For me, it’s like this:

Top 3

Linguistics
Intrapersonal
Logical – Mathematical

In the middle

Spatial (Visual)
Interpersonal

And my Opportunities

Musical
Kinesthetic-Bodily
Naturist

 

So, why the fuck and I typing all of this up so that you can read it? It’s because I am learning how emotions work and also how my brain works. One of the key messages that this book teaches is that empathy is an emotional skill. So, if I want to be a more empathic person and not only be able to love and care for myself better, but for others; they I have to know how this shit works. If I do, then I can move on to be the person that I want to be.

Plus, this is therapeutic for me.

Also, see my #1 form of intelligence.

Yeah, I like to talk and write.

A lot.

If I wasn’t so damn introverted, I may have had a Vlog.

Yeah. Think about that.

Ok I am rambling at the keyboard because I don’t know how to end this.

So, here you go:

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Sugar, Sugar…

Two weeks ago my wife and I went to have our yearly physicals. We fasted that morning, and then went and had our arms poked with needles (which I “love” and drove my anxiety up)  and our blood sucked out to have it shipped off to a lab and analyzed.

This week we had to go back to the doctor for him to go over the results. After filling out paperwork, they took my wife back first. Then they took me back. We updated all of my medicines that I am currently taking (which took a while) and then they put us in a room together. Her’s was fine, healthy as a horse.

Then we went over mine.

I have improved across the board in my thyroid, cholesterol and blood pressure and all of the other stats; however I now have a new problem. I am now a diabetic.

Yep, genetics and being a fat guy has finally caught up to me at my old age of 39.

However…

My A1C is only .4 points over the line for diabetes. So, if I can drop my weight down then I would just be hyperglycemic and that would go away with further weight loss. So, I am not looking at a death sentence or anything, but I am having to make drastic changes in my diet and lifestyle. I mean, a complete fucking overhaul.

I basically cannot eat bread, any bread or any form of starch at all. So, carbs are out. Goodbye English Muffins, goodbye sandwiches, goodbye potatoes, goodbye corn, goodbye 3/4ths of the food I eat. Lean protein is the new food source of choice, along with green vegetables. Greek yogurt, tuna, kale, celery and carrots have become my new food friends along with my new bestie hummus. I can eat a shit-ton of hummus, just not with pita chips. Again, hello celery and carrots.

The other frustration is that the insurance company is requiring further paperwork and shit from the doctor to pay for the medication that I need. It would be a weekly injection that would help my glucose and also promote weight loss. I would still have to eat right and exercise, but it significantly helps with losing weight.  I just have to get the damn insurance company to cough up the dough and provide it.

Welcome to American Health Care.

I won’t say that I haven’t been depressed about this because I have been in the shits since I was told the news. I have been fighting sinking lower and lower. Today I saw my therapist and I talked it out. Right now I am good and I feel motivated. Motivated because I am angry. Angry at myself for making bad choices, angry at fast food, angry at Little Debbie, I am just angry and I am using that anger as energy to power myself to get shit done. I am channeling that anger into motivation. I will get this weight off, keep it off and get rid of this sickness.

I am not going to end up like my mother with her diabetes. Fuck that.

So, I am going to fight this shit and win.

End of story.

 

 

 

Just a Swinging.

I have been experiencing some unpleasant mood swings recently.  I get pissed off and irritated for no reason whatsoever, just randomly it seems. I haven’t noticed a cause or trigger to this.  I have also noticed that I have been experiencing the same mood, I guess to a lesser degree, but were I just feel annoyed with everything, and I mean everything. The house is annoying, the toaster is annoying, every goddamn thing is annoying. Between my reading, and these mood swings (OK, and my binge watching Criminal Minds) is probably why I haven’t posted anything in awhile.

I have started a mood journal, and it takes a lot for me to admit that. Simply because, I find them so corny and stupid; however I am looking at it from the view of recording data. I found an app (of course) that I am using called “Moodtrack Diary: Mood Tracker“.

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It does make your profile public, for .99 you can go private; however it’s not like your actual name is out there. You make a screen name to use and people can comment and offer words of support on your posted moods. You can see that I had an irritability/annoyance episode that happened last night, then I was OK. Today I am “pretty good”, and if things change I can enter it pretty easily. You can also enter notes to go along with the mood change if there was anything specific.

I am doing this because we are tweaking my meds, and I want to see if it is hurting or helping. I haven’t had these irritability episodes in years. I used to have them when I was younger and again when I was first diagnosed as bipolar. I don’t know if it’s the stress of the money situation due to my disability filing, my mother’s health declining or if it is something else. Hopefully, something will give and we can just get back to our normal lives.

Until then, I will be entering my moods into this app and seeing if my new regimen is working.

And binge watching Criminal Minds.

A Little Trip Into Self-Discovery.

I have made some discoveries about myself while reading “The Art of Empathy” and some discoveries about this book that make me a bit disgruntled.

I will get to the disgruntled part later.

The big thing that I have discovered is that I DO HAVE EMPATHY! I just have a form of empathy that is a bit different from what the author would like the world to have and what she says that she posses. Basically, she claims to be an empath and even notes that this term was first used in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Now, she doesn’t believe she is a Betazoid per say, but she just claims to be able to read body language and notice non-verbal cues, feels the emotions with the other person, and knows how to react supportively.   This is something that therapists, and social workers do daily. No alien DNA required.

Clues-counselor-deanna-troi-24190255-694-530

However, I am not that empathic and really do not care to be. I have decided that the issue is that I do not know how to handle emotions (mine or someone else’s) and that is what I am focusing on.

The type of empathy that I have is called Cognitive Empathy.

Cognitive empathy is the largely conscious drive to recognize accurately and understand another’s emotional state.

 

Basically, this allows me to understand the emotion of another without currently sharing it. Because I approach things logically, I tend to do that with emotions; however this can still be perceived as uncaring because I am not “feeling it”.

I also discovered a couple of other things that I found effect me.

One is “emotional contagion”.

Emotional contagion is the tendency for two individuals to emotionally converge.

Another definition that I like better:

A process in which a person or group influences the emotions or behavior of another person or group through the conscious or unconscious induction of emotion states and behavioral attitudes.

Basically, an emotion can be transferred from one person to another.  Think it sounds stupid? (I did at first) Then why do people cry at weddings? They aren’t getting married, hell they may not even be at the wedding but watching the wedding video. Same with funerals, they aren’t the ones that died or may not even be related to the deceased. What about sporting events? You aren’t the one that scored the … whatever. Why are you cheering? Why are you high-fiving the guy you don’t even know that is as equally excited? Because emotions are contagious. We can all get happy, sad, pissed off, and excited as a group by one thing. Some people more than others. I feel that I am a little less susceptible to emotional contagion outside of what I like to call “my tribe” (except when it come to characters in movies/TV shows and animals). When it comes to general people, I may crack a smile if I see something that makes me feel happy/joy, or I may look away if I see something painful/sad, but I tend to “walk the streets” with my shields up, and my eyes down to avoid these things in general (when I actually go outside my house). Most people are afraid of emotions (especially us dudes) and thanks to society and public schooling, we are pretty much trained to be emotionally avoidant.

 

The other thing that I come to realize is that I do have a concern for others; however I cannot deal with everyone so I limit that concern to “my tribe” and even then I judge the issue and decide if it’s worth expending the emotional energy on the situation (Basically is this a crisis or celebration and how much of one). I do this because if I don’t, I will try to fix everyone’s issues and burn myself out. How do I know this? Because I am emotionally and empathically burnt out now. That is what I have discovered about myself. I have looked back on my life and I remembered when I was younger and involved in the church (I know, here goes the atheist blaming the church again, right?). I gave of myself 110%. To the church, to the l-rd, to the ministry, to the congregation, and no one was really meeting my needs. I was “on fire for the l-rd” and no one saw me burning out. Now days, I am older (and hopefully wiser) and I know that self-care is must. Because, despite the teaching and parables that were taught in the church, no matter what my mother taught me; I learned that no one is going to take care of you, but you and you have to put you first. It sounds shitty and selfish, but it has to be the case. Because you can’t do a damn thing for anyone, if you aren’t physically and mentally healthy.

“If you scratch underneath the surface just a little, you will find that some of the angriest, most anxious, most arrogant, and most anti-social people harbor a profound well of concern that they’re either unable to manage or unwilling to acknowledge – or both.”

– The Art of Empathy

So, this is where I am at right now. I feel that I have empathy and that I am just trying to grow it and manage it. My main focus is just trying to understand my emotions better. I have a bad habit of intellectualizing my feelings away and I am trying to break that habit.

So, still working on things; however I feel better about myself (more or less).

 

Oh yeah, that part about being disgruntled. Because this book does focus on everyone becoming a joy-filled empath (IMO), I am having to bend this book and work it into what works for me. If you are in the same boat as I am and are looking to gain a perspective into empathy, this book will help you; however it is not an infallible resource. I find myself taking a lot of notes, highlighting relevant passages, and Googling a lot of things that I find interesting and relevant to me. It’s a great guide, but it gets a little “New Age” at times.

Man Up.

I went to my therapist today.

But first, let’s rewind a bit.

Last night we had our new traditional Friday Night dinner over at our friend’s house. The topic came up about the whole “Hey, so what’s this about you having Asperger’s thing?” and I told them that I didn’t meet the prerequisites, but I did have a low Empathy Quotient and that’s why I was now working on becoming more empathic (cue the odd looks from everyone in the room). So, we talked about the tests I took, and then I started talking about that I had the hypothesis that I don’t think it’s my empathy that’s the issue but the way I handle emotions. I gave them the examples from my post about the “non-Starsucks coffeeshop” and they all agreed that I do posses the skills I listed; however when I mentioned the girl and her cellphone, I was astounded!

“Well, I wouldn’t do that; she’s a stranger!”

“I wouldn’t approach her, it’s not my problem.”

“Uhh…I don’t know her.”

I asked if they would at least feel for her, would they at least for a brief moment “step into her shoes” and the answers were pretty much:

“Yeah, it sucks to be you (sips coffee).”

I looked around the room and thought for a moment: “Am I just making a mountain out of a molehill? Am I actually sound minded on this?”  And then one of my friends piped up:

“Jeff, you just a low tolerance for bullshit.”

When she went into detail, she basically explained that when I do hear a problem and try to empathize I categorize the issue. I basically judge it as if the issue is worth my time and effort to waste spend emotional energy on.

I think she may have been right.

So, this morning I went to see my therapist. I went in there with book and notes in hand and the breakthrough that I had last night at dinner still fresh in my mind. We talked about a few other matters first and then I dug into this entire subject. I read from my notes and highlighted sections of the book, and then I told him about what all was said last night. I also read him the bit on the above linked post about the stuff that my Mom would do to me. We basically came to the conclusion that I do not process emotions well and that I take some time when it comes to emotions. One because of my upbringing and the other because of my personality. Basically, because I was taught to suppress emotions (emotionally abused) and because I think more than feel (emotionally detached intellectualizer) I can come off as apathetic. I also think because I do categorize everything that I do judge and perceive some issues as “not worth my time” and don’t try to empathize with that person. As far as approaching strangers (or even loved ones) that look like they are having a rough time; that’s a personal decision and no one is allowed to force me to do that.

So, I skipped game night tonight to take all of this in and to also read my book. It was by chance that the next part of the book started discussing the way that we, as a culture, raise the empathy out of our male children. We have this socially constructed gender role that boys, and later men, cannot have emotions or empathy. In “The Art of Empathy (Ch: 2, Page 3) it talks about this:

Certainly in popular culture there’s a deeply sexist notion that empathy is a female skill and that males are constitutionally less empathic or less emotive than than females are. This terrible idea has created untold suffering for boys and men, who are often not taught much about emotions and are not treated as fully emotive and sensitive beings.

…little boys are are urged to stop crying at a certain age, even when they have been hurt deeply. Boys are given guns and trucks and told to man up, stop crying, there’s nothing to be afraid of, stop being girly, stop talking about feelings and basically stop being fully alive.

I can’t count how many times I was told to “stop crying or I would be given something to cry  about” or to “dry up”. or that I was being “a big ol’ titty baby” or some other good ol’ southern saying that you tell your kids. </sarcasm> This is one of the factors that has lead me to the place that I am at today.

One thing that I can say that I have learned is that enforced socially created gender stereotypes can reduce the intelligence, emotional capacity, empathic skill, and very humanity of children and later the adults that they become, especially boys. Simply because I am a 39 year old man, in therapy, reading a book on empathy, and blogging about my emotions because I have an issue processing them in my head.

At least I have gone paperless, right?

 

A Lack of Energy and Ello.

I haven’t  had a great day today.  Let me just start off with that.

First, I thought I had acclimated to the new morning meds and was over feeling like utter shit for the first few hours of my day. I hadn’t felt like that in close to a week;; however this morning I popped my pills and a few minutes later…BOOM! I felt like hammered dog shit.

So, the trip out to Mom’s was cancelled and I have been trying to be functional most of the day. So far, all I have managed to do is install a surge protector and round up some of the things that we are supposed to take to Mom’s to hang up in her room so she will stop bitching about how she has nothing in this world (Other than her mini-fridge, Keurig coffee maker, fuck-tons of new clothes, pictures, new cordless phone, and bluray player in her room). I keep threatening to do laundry, but I will get to it eventually.

I was intrigued by a post last night regarding Ello. I had joined that site when it was invite only. When it was still being concepted and in Beta. I remember it was an oddity of sorts and I honestly didn’t know what to do with it. I did meet a few strangers on there, but for the most part I could sum it up as the following:

1- Every one was a curator of something.

2- Everyone was a DJ.

3 – It was all about bicycles.

Basically, it was the Portland,OR of the Internet. I spent a few months there and while at first there was a surge of development and a surge in user population, the place just kind of died. It was a museum of sorts, and one that you couldn’t really search for any good exhibits.  You just had to stumble upon them.

So, after reading the post last night, I decided to check out Ello again, now that no invite is required. I signed up and one thing that caught my attention is that once I signed up, my username populated from my previous account. One of their big things was that all data was deleted when you deleted your account. That was the only thing that remained, apparently. So, I started roaming through Ello again and it was a little different. You could now repost and “love” things. As I started digitally wandering about, I noticed that the posh artsy vibe was still there. Like I should be wearing some fashionable man-couture, and have pomade in my hair with a freshly trimmed, washed and oiled beard all while sipping a glass of appropriate wine.

So, I started doing searches to try and find something more up my alley. I should have known something was going to be wrong when a search for “Vintage Toys” brought up this [WARNING: Graphic Sexual Content]:

5

4

3

2

1

ello_vintage toys

 

I was kind of like, what the actual fuck? I was looking for pictures and artsy shit of old wind-ups and maybe some vintage ads for some Star Wars toys. Not some chick getting force fucked by a piston! What the hell is going on here Ello? So, I thought maybe I would see if there was anyone writing about Mental Health/Illness. That didn’t fly so far either:

Ello_Mental Illness

So, artsy pictures and a fashion line. I feel like if the Dave Chappelle sketch about the internet being a real place was reality. Ello would be some place you go to and everyone is dressed like the upper-class types in The Hunger Games.

Elizabeth-Banks-as-Effie-Trinket-in-the-hunger-games-awesome-hairstyle

Don’t get me wrong, there are some extraordinary artists on Ello and if you search enough you will find some good stuff; however Ello (in my opinion) is just a posh version of Tumblr sans the social justice warrior aspects.

Basically, Ello hasn’t really changed in the year or so that I haven’t been on it. It’s still odd and has a horrible search function.

 

That basically has been my day so far. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Morning Drive.

I woke up today at 5:30am to get ready to go to a pre-made appointment with a State appointed psychiatrist today for a mental assessment for my disability.

I had a cup of coffee, ate a quick bowl of cereal, had a small panic attack, chain smoked 3 cigarettes, and then took a shower.

After getting dressed, my wife and I headed out and (with the help of Google Maps) drove to the office of this unknown psychiatrist that was going to analyze me for g-d knows how long and over g-d knows what. I felt like I was about to be interrogated and was supposed to only say the right things. I have no idea what “the right things” would have been, but those were the things that I was supposed to say.

We get into his office that was housed in what had to be in the oldest building in Fort Worth. My anxiety is already up and some jackass decides it would be hilarious to scare the next person that gets off the elevator with his baby. Luckily, my wife was in front of me because today may have been the day that I actually did punch a baby. Fucking idiot. We find this shrink’s closet of an office and he instructs me to sit in some uncomfortable looking chair after I had already sat down on the very comfortable looking couch. I glare at him and he decided that he would sit in the chair and I would stay where I was at. I was already not liking this.

He had no waiting room, so my wife is out in the hallway. He closes the door and we begin the assessment/psychoanalysis. He asks me the basic cognitive questions (Who’s the president, who was the president before that…etc…) We talked about my conditions and the symptoms I experience. He asked a few other questions, and after about 20 minutes or so, we were done. I had a small breakdown in his office, and a major panic attack on the way home. I hope now that this is it. No more bullshit. This needs to be approved and this whole thing is over and done with.

Oh, and he did confirm that I am bipolar and I have anxiety disorder.

you-dont-say

For Your Viewing Pleasure…

Now that I have Hulu and ditched the dish. I purused their documentary selection. I was delighted to find a film that I was chasing down for months, well chasing down to watch for free anyway, and I immediately watched it.

of-two-minds-poster

This film has to be one of the best films to watch if you are bipolar, the SO (significant other) of someone that is bipolar, or a friend of someone that is bipolar. It explores different people that all have different experiences with this disease and how they cope and treat their illness.

It opened my eyes to the fact that I am bipolar and that my experience with it is my own. I am not going to be like that guy, or that lady that also has it. I am not going to travel to England, go on a pub crawl & buy cars for 3-4 people (true story that was shared in a group I was in). I am not going to dress in drag and carry an ice pick in my purse and obsess over stabbing someone with it. I am going to be me. I am going to stay up for 3 -5 days, reflash my phone to make it work “better”, then do the same thing to my tablet, then reconfigure them to how I want them to look,  watch a film series on (insert interesting subject here), take an online calculus class from Ohio State, chain smoke, drink 2 pots of coffee, clean something, order some cool shit on Amazon, get into a bidding war over a vintage Gonk Droid action figure on eBay, and then maybe have a snack before starting my actual day. If I am depressed, I just want to lie on the couch, eat peanut M&Ms, and think about how shitty of a person that I am and how people would be better off not knowing me.

What really baffles me at times is that there are people that will get diagnosed, and not take meds. They will change their diet, and do Yoga and that works for them (but it’s a challenge for them and they end up back on meds) or they will just not take meds at all and go through the mania and the depression and “suck it up”.  I know I have to be on medication. I also know that the medication makes me boring, and feel like shit. By like shit, I mean that it takes away my “high” that I get when I am manic. I remember when I was unmedicated and everyday was a party.

Before I was diagnosed, I was in sales and I did exceptionally well at it. I was around other “alpha” types that always wanted to celebrate and party. So that’s what we did. Until I was fired for some bogus inventory shit, basically because one of the managers didn’t like me because I wasn’t a kiss ass. So, I went to another electronics company and became an assistant manager almost instantly. Again, around “alpha” types and I excelled. Mania gets you far in sales; however when you get depressed, people start to think you are loosing your edge and the “higher-ups” start to wonder if you will make it as a full-fledged manager. Pretty soon, I was getting passed up for promotions. That’s when I quit and got into IT.

Another movie that I would suggest to anyone that (again) is bipolar, the SO (significant other) of someone that is bipolar, or a friend of someone that is bipolar is:

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This is the first movie I ever watched to understand what it meant to be bipolar. While it is a little antiquated, it still holds true to the subject. You see someone going through being diagnosed, and trying to understand that diagnosis. You also see other people, albeit celebrities, that are also bipolar share their stories and how they cope. When I saw that one of my heroes was bipolar, I cried. I also knew that if she could make it through it, then anyone could.

This movie started me on trying to understand what I had been handed, and gave me the comfort of knowing that I was now alone. I may have mentioned it in other posts, and I will probably mention it again. Simply because it is an amazing film to watch and to begin to grasp the diagnosis of being bipolar.

This film was one that I just stumbled upon and I am so glad that I did. It was made by a man that dreamed of being a filmmaker and his life was put on hold because of his mental illnesses. The thing that I was intrigued by this movie was that, unlike the other mental illness documentaries, it dealt with a person with multiple illnesses, like myself. The film is called:

oc87-the-movie

OC87 follows  Bud Clayman as he finally gets to fulfill his dream of becoming a filmmaker and how his multiple illnesses affect his daily life. I really related to this film, simply because my multiple illnesses are starting to affect my life as they did his. My dreams are being put on hold while this whole disability thing is getting sorted out and even after that they may be left at the altar, or something that I have to come back to.  Again, if you or a loved one have a mental illness, watch this film with them. It may help you both understand things a little better.

Honestly, I would recommend watching all 3 of these movies if you want to see the entire spectrum of what bipolar disorder can do to a person. I would suggest watching Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive first, then Of Two Minds, and then OC87. To me that would be the order that would give you the best picture of what it is to see things from a newly diagnosed persons POV (Point Of View), to someone who has already been diagnosed and how they handle it, and then to see someone who has multiple illnesses and how they cope and handle things.

So, make some popcorn and have one “crazy” movie night and learn a few things about living with this illness.

But not Kettle Corn, that stuff is just confusing. It looks like popcorn, but tastes sweet. Seriously, that’s just wrong.

Of Two Minds – (Hulu, Amazon Video)

Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive (You Tube)

OC87  – (Netflix, Amazon Video)

Finally Made a Tough Decision.

Yesterday, I did something that I have toyed with the idea of doing for years. I have always looked into doing this one particular thing, and for whatever reason, always decided against it. I was either bribed into not doing it, or had a huge case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out); however my wife and I talked about it and we finally took a leap into new territory of our lives.

We cut the cord.

That’s right. I called up DirecTV yesterday and told them to cancel my service effective immediately. They shit a kitten. I have been with them for over 10 years and they didn’t want me to go. I finally told them:

“Look, I pay about $83 a month for you guys and really only watch about 3 shows that I cannot get off of an OTA antenna. 2 of those shows I had to buy into the middle package and actually pay more money than I wanted. So, offering more channels isn’t going to keep me and I could care less about HBO, Showtime or Skinamax. Here’s what would keep me as a customer:  By getting rid of you guys and going to Hulu and Netflix; I will be cutting my entertainment cost down to approximately $23 per month. If you guys can keep me at the same package I have now at $23 per month for life, then I will stay a DirecTV customer.”

The CSR actually told me that she would “see what she could do” and put me on hold. Then came back and told me the best that she could do is reduce my bill to about $70 a month. My reply was:

fWx327

So, DirecTV is out and now I have Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Video. I am now OVERWHELMED by the amount of entertainment choices that I have available to me. Hulu has some of the most obscure shows from the 80’s that I haven’t seen in decades. Oh, and don’t get me started on the cartoons! They have so much stuff other than the shows that we normally watch that I literally have too much stuff to watch now (and that’s just on Hulu).

I ordered an OTA (Over The Air) HDTV antenna and I have no idea why. My initial thought was to get local channels for news/weather, but my phone and our security system both alert us of inclimate weather (tornado warnings and such) and I am thinking of returning it and just getting a good weather radio to be more aware of weather conditions. We also wanted an antenna to watch a couple of shows on CBS that aren’t on Hulu, Netflix or Amazon (mainly The Big Bang Theory); however I am wondering what’s more important, seeing Sheldon Cooper’s exploits with Amy or having more notification of an oncoming tornado.

I do love The Big Bang Theory, though.

All in All, if you are thinking of ditching the dish or cutting the cable, just do it. There are so many more options out there with online services and you will end up saving a butt-load of money. Just grab a Chromecast if

Now, I am going back to watching He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (the 80’s cartoon, not the shitty movie) like a fucking adult.

Book Plugs, Lies and a Sandwich.

OK, I said in my last post that I found a site that pissed me off because of the bullshit factor that is possessed. I was going to include excerpts from that site in the last post, but there was so much material that I decided to dedicate an entire rant blog about it, because of the crap that is on that site.

The #1 thing that can piss me off in 0.1 seconds: mis-information.

First, the site is called Living Waters.com and the page was called:

“New Breed of Atheists Bad for America”  (Thanks Hulk)

Let’s start with the first line of the page.

“Atheist: someone who believes that nothing made everything.”

Not quite, but I see where you are going with this.

First, we don’t know what existed before the big bang. We simply do not know. However, to say that it was “nothing” is illogical to me. Nothing is just that, NO THING. So there was obviously something around, something volatile I would guess, and then BANG and the chaos that would go on for billions of years to form our universe began. This is stuff that scientists are studying and have been studying for centuries and in that centuries of data, there hasn’t been a shred of evidence of a g-d or of any intelligent design.

The site then starts plugging books by an author named Ray Comfort, who I am not familiar with; however I can tell you he doesn’t like atheists or Richard Dawkins. He goes on about how he (Comfort) will/has uncovered Atheist “core beliefs” and something about his Ford truck. He built a website to combat atheism www.PullThePlugOnAthiesm.com (that just leads you back to Liveing Water’s home page) that will show you how major colleges and Animal Planet are turning you children into g-dless atheists and then gives this gem:

Men like Richard Dawkins tell kids that they are nothing but apes…

**sigh**

We, along with the Chimpanzee and the Bonobo, SHARE a common genetic ancestor that lived approximately 6 million years ago. Basically, we are part of the African Ape family, that are part of the Great Ape family. We are only 2 genomes apart from Chimps. That’s how we got opposable thumbs people.

 

Then there were these little rage nuggets:

They want to take from Americans the unique liberty that we have in this nation to worship God

No we just don’t want our tax dollars used to pay for christian monuments, religious stickers on government vehicles , and we want the “unique liberty” of the separation of church and state to keep indoctrination out of our schools and government. That’s all.

They hate Christmas

I fucking LOVE Xmas! The lights, the food, THE PRESENTS! I believe we know my feelings about Easter and I will be attending Passover with my Jewish friend and his family in a couple of weeks. I don’t hate Xmas, I love Xmas you dick wagon.

they protest nativity scenes and public prayer

If the Nativity Scene is paid for by my tax dollars or on land that was purchased or is maintained by my tax dollars, then yeah I am going to bitch about it. Again, separation of Church & State.

The only public prayer that draws fire is, again, prayer at government events or publicly funded schools. Government issues are not as tricky as Public Schools. If students, without coercion or assistance from faculty or staff,  want to hold a religious meeting or do a public prayer then the students are exercising their 1st amendment rights. IF THE SCHOOL is promoting prayer or a religious event, then that’s an issue.

Also, didn’t Jesus say this in Matthew 6:5-6

5“When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. 6But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

So, isn’t public prayer just grandstanding as far as Jesus and g-d are concerned? If you really want/need to pray, even the bible says do it behind closed doors.

But, back to this guy:

they go to court to stop the Gideons from giving Bibles out in schools, and they want to remove ‘Under God’ from the Pledge and ‘In God we Trust’ from our money. They even want to change AD/BC. Back in 1963 (A.D.), it took only one atheist to take prayer and Bible-reading out of our schools

Again, this all goes back to the 1st amendment, mainly the Establishment Clause ( the Establishment Clause inherently prohibits the government from preferring any one religion over another) and the fact that we as a people are starting to acknowledge that there are other people in America THAT ARE NOT CHRISTIAN. So, in 1954 & 1956 during The Cold War when they added “under g-d” and “In g-d We Trust” to appear different from communism (which promoted statewide Atheism). The US Government wasn’t thinking about religious freedom, it was running a propaganda campaign against the reds! That’s why America’s religious fascination exploded during that time and stayed on with the baby-boomers. It was American to go to church, only commies stayed home on Sunday. So, yes, I think we need to go back to a more secular way than we have now and more like we did before The Cold War. Keep all the g-ds in the temples and out of the schools and government. Freedom of religion is also Freedom FROM religion.

This is the one that made me about shit in rage.

Statistics show that ninety percent of Americans believe in God’s existence

Oh, wrong answer.

When asked if they believe in “God or a universal spirit” in the Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study, 89% of U.S. adults say yes – down from 92% from the previous RLS in 2007. Nearly one-in-ten (9%) now say they don’t believe in God, up from 5% in 2007.

The changes have been even more substantial when it comes to certainty of belief in God: 63% of Americans are absolutely certain that God exists, down 8 percentage points from 2007, when 71% said this.

These shifts have been especially sharp among the growing share of Americans who do not identify with any religious group (and call themselves atheists, agnostics or “nothing in particular”). While 22% of these religious “nones” said that they did not believe in God in 2007, that figure has risen to 33% in 2014.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/11/04/americans-faith-in-god-may-be-eroding/

89% of Americans believe in “God or a universal spirit”, that doesn’t mean that they believe in the Christian g-d.

And the statistics that you took that number from, detail that belief in some form of g-d is down 11% and declining. The NYTimes actually did an article last year that (and I hate this term) millennials are the least religious generation ever.

So, it looks like that 90% is more like 63% and shrinking.

 

Now, I do not like to go on the offensive like this, but after the whole “professing” thing and then this. I just get frustrated with this pissed. Because I have been like Ray Comfort, I have been like the author of this site, I have said what these guys have said & done what these guys have done. I have walked that path and it just frustrates me to be on the opposite end of indoctrination like this.

Anyway, that’s my rant. I am going to make a sandwich.

 

No seriously, I am hungry.