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Archive for December, 2017

My Unlikely Christmas Eve

Monday, December 25th, 2017

Eight Kids, Five Adults, Two Rib Roasts, and One Elderly Chihuahua

I hope everyone who reads this is having a great Christmas.

Yesterday I nearly killed myself and 12 other people with food. My friend Amanda showed up with her sons, and my friends and fellow Miami refugees Alonzo and Teri showed up with their 5 children. I made two standing rib roasts, a cheesecake, and brownies. I recruited Amanda to make Caesar salad from scratch, and I also made Texas trash, which is a snack made from Chex cereal and seasonings.

When I moved up here, I wasn’t sure I was doing the right thing. I knew I hated Miami. I knew I would get out sooner or later, but I wondered if I was taking the right path at the right time. Maybe God wanted me to suffer a bit longer. I didn’t know if I’d have friends or anything to do. Ever since I’ve been here, friends have been showing up and helping me out. I have not lacked for a social life, and the people I’ve associated with have been good for me, unlike toxic South Florida riff-raff.

We had a real Christmas Eve dinner, and the house was full of kids running around and making noise. Some presents were opened. Alonzo’s kids ran around carrying Pumpkin, their new 12-year-old Chihuahua. It was much better than what I expected: two old men, watching TV in different rooms.

Alonzo and Teri used to go to Trinity Church in Miami, and when we all got disgusted with the pastors’ greedy slavemaster mentalities, we all moved to another church. I’ve been writing about a former pastor who got jailed for child molestation. He ran the second church.

I never saw anything weird about the man, but last night I learned that he had done something strange for one of Alonzo’s daughters. The daughter is the same age as the niece he is accused of abusing. At some point, the pastor gave Alonzo’s daughter a red Christmas ornament. The story is that he told her how pretty she was and that the ornament made him think of her. How about that? Terri says that when she heard about his arrest, they grabbed the ornament and threw it out.

The ornament story was disturbing, but it makes me very happy to know that Alonzo’s daughter was spared. She’s a terrific young lady. She started talking to me yesterday about her experiences as a high school freshman and her ideas for her future. This kid is going to be all right. Other girls her age are sending disturbing texts and pictures to boys all day, or sulking and whining. This one has a college picked out, and she’s trying to decide on a career.

I tried to give her whatever helpful tips I could. You never know when something you say will make a big difference in someone’s life. I am not great with kids, and being reasonably normal, I don’t want to hang out with them for long periods, but I see the need to make an effort once in a while. Dealing with kids for 2 or 3 hours can be rewarding. After that, I need to do something else.

I hate to think about how things would have played out, had this girl become a victim. I should be more disturbed about the niece. I can’t explain why I’m not. I feel more empathy for people I’m close to. I suppose that’s a flaw.

Maybe God is showing me I should not feel as badly as I do for the pastor. I feel sympathy for him, and his punishment makes me think about the sins in my past, but my strong impression, as it has been for a couple of years, is that God does not want me to spend time praying for him. Some people just aren’t good investments. He knows who can be helped and who can’t.

The reason God does not have me praying for him is not that his sins are worse than mine. The reason is that he is too stubborn to let God or anyone else change him. If you will listen, your sins can be worked with. If not, they will pull you under.

There are people who can’t be helped, because they won’t listen. That’s important for me to keep in mind, with regard to my own walk. When I was young, people thought I was a good kid, but in some important ways, I was a useless punk. That’s to be expected, when you’re fatherless. My dad didn’t make any effort to teach me anything, and I learned to think for myself. I relied on my own disastrous conclusions. By my teens, I was a hard person to counsel. When you’re used to getting no advice or stupid advice, you try to figure things out on your own, and you may develop a reflexive hostility toward other people’s suggestions. For the most part, the kids who were here yesterday are teachable. They are better off than I was. I’m old, and I behaved stupidly for decades, so now I’m like a tree that grew in the wrong direction. Reshaping me is a huge job only God can do.

I’m very glad I’m not beyond hope. The Bible compares stubborn people, including the damned, to clay jars that have been fired so their necks are stiff. You can’t change pottery once it’s fired. In ancient Jerusalem, they took misshapen pottery and threw it in the Potter’s Field, which was part of the city dump. That’s a picture of hell. My neck got pretty stiff, but I didn’t reach the point of no return. I’m not sure how close I came, but I think it was pretty close.

I don’t know why God started visiting me and calling to me when I was in my twenties. I never heard from him before that. Why he decided to make contact after I was an adult is a mystery. I didn’t do anything to merit a sudden change. I’m sure there are a lot of people in hell who have sinned much less than I have, and there are surely people who have done more good.

The church with the scandal was very messed up. We had a false prophet who got up and yelled for long periods, predicting things that never came true, and he was never held accountable no matter how often he was wrong. The pastors loved him and honored him because he always told them they were great, they were going to be rich, and that the church was going to grow. The pastors paid no attention to people who told the truth, i.e. that the prosperity gospel is a farce and that internal change is what God wants.

The pastors were odd people. They refused to eat non-starchy vegetables. They said they took vitamins instead. But they were happy to eat rice, bread, sugar, pork fat, and salt. Their attitude toward God was just like their attitude toward food. They only wanted the things that were pleasant on the way down.

When I turned back to God, I was mainly interested in the starch and sugar. I wanted to feel better, fast. He helped me understand that I needed the broccoli and and carrots even more. I don’t have a church now, but that’s a good thing. I don’t have people shoving plates full of Twizzlers and Moon Pies in my face when I show up asking for greens. Instead of a poisonous feel-good church, God gives me private sessions in which he helps me feel bad and clear the air with him. I would rather feel bad here with God than bounce up and down and snort glitter at a church full of boneheads hooked on false prophecy and fake joy.

Christmas Eve was great, and God is helping me be honest with him, so I expect the coming year to be much better than this one. I hope God gets in touch with every one of you and teaches you a thousand times as much as he has taught me.

Tales of the Tundra

Friday, December 22nd, 2017

Laying the Smackdown on Mother Nature

I am still not used to living here in the frigid north.

Since moving to the Ocala area, I have encountered a number of strange phenomena I didn’t have to deal with in Miami. Here’s an example: up here, leaves fall off the trees.

Yes, some trees in South Florida lose their leaves. But most don’t, and generally, the ones that do, drop their leaves in the spring. Up here, almost every tree is a live oak, and they drop their leaves continuously throughout the cool months. I think. We also have real trees such as maples, and they shed, too.

Once the leaves fall, they’re on the lawn, and then what do you do with them?

My strategy of ignoring them and figuring they would evaporate has worked out poorly. Live oak leaves are like heavy postage stamps that never rot. They glue themselves to everything around them, forming a crappy mat of death that kills grass.

The lawn is in considerably worse shape than it was when I arrived.

I looked around for answers. One dude on a forum told me to run my mower over the leaves and mulch them. I tried it. Most of the leaves ignored the mower and held onto the ground like baby poo holds onto a new couch. The rest blew out the side and landed a few feet away, where they continued killing the grass.

I found out my mower isn’t set up for mulching. As I understand it, a mulching mower doesn’t shoot leaves out. It has a plugged leaf port or whatever it’s called. The leaves and clippings are confined under the deck for as long as possible, permitting the mower to chew it up.

I didn’t know much about mulching, but I knew one thing: I was not going to rake. That was unthinkable.

I found out John Deere makes a mulching kit. For $270, they will sell you $100 worth of parts to screw onto your mower. It’s a plug for the leaf exit, plus some sheet metal to help confine things. They also throw in 3 mulching blades, which, I guess, are blades that mulch better.

I ordered the kit, and I also ordered 3 Gator mulching blades from another company. These blades have little flap sort of things cut into their trailing edges. I think they’re supposed to create more leaf-sucking turbulence.

Now I have to take the deck off the mower, turn it over, and install all this stuff. I get to roll 345 pounds of metal over, by myself. Fun.

I already know the leaves won’t come off the ground just because I have a mulching kit. That would be out of character for them. I decided I needed something else, to loosen the leaves up before mowing. I checked a bunch of options, and I bought an acreage rake. If you’ve ever seen a hay rake, you’ve seen a large version of an acreage rake. It has a bunch of pinwheel-looking things on it, and they move debris into a neat row behind your garden tractor. Presumably this will make the mulching kit happy.

I don’t know if this will work, but it’s cheaper than the next-best option, which is covering the whole yard with pine bark.

The mulching kit is here, and I’m preparing to install it. No word on the arrival of the rake yet.

I also discovered that some of my plants were not freezeproof. We had a light freeze, and my much-hated ixora bush partially withered. I also lost most of a weird flowering thing at the base of a tree. The weeds all did fine, naturally.

I asked my friend Amanda what was going on, and she said people up here–this is not something I’m making up–run out in their yards before freezes and put sheets over their delicate little snowflake plants. Seriously. Grown people, wrapping plants in sheets.

Here’s how I see it: the freeze helped me identify weak plants I need to kill. I’m not going to run around the yard wrapping things in sheets. If a plant dies, it was never intended to be here.

I think I understand what happened. The previous owners came from Virginia. They saw Ocala as a place where they might be able to grow cool tropical plants. I came from Miami. I see it as a place where I can grow cool temperate-zone plants. They probably wanted mangoes and coconuts. I never want to see those things again. I hate Miami worse than hemorrhoids. I want chestnuts, blackberries, apples, peaches, penguins, and polar bears.

Yesterday I took my neat lithium-ion hedge trimmer and ripped out about half of the frostbitten ixora. Eventually I’ll take the tractor’s front end loader and tear it out of the ground while cackling helplessly. Ixoras remind me of Miami, and besides, they’re ugly.

I plan to plant manly plants that laugh, audibly, at cold fronts.

Another new scourge: moles. They’re real. I thought they only existed in Hanna-Barbera cartoons. Seriously, there is an animal that swims in dirt.

I noticed that my yard was getting mushy, but I didn’t know why. I had a dim impression that it might be huge colonies of earthworms. Then I saw that patches of grass were dying. Moles were tunneling under the grass, cutting the roots.

I researched moles and learned that most methods of getting rid of them are totally worthless.

You can buy little spikes with solar-powered noisemakers in them. They’re supposed to annoy the moles. In reality, the moles either don’t care, or they only care for a short time. Then they come back.

You can also buy live traps. When your moles are caught, you can pick them up and pitch them into the next yard, which, hopefully, they will like better than yours. The problem here is that moles have very little fat and don’t store energy well. A mole can starve in a few hours. That means live traps are really less-humane death traps. Instead of killing your mole cleanly, you leave it to die slowly, in agony. So if you use “humane” traps, you have to run outside around the clock to check them.

Yeah. That’s totally going to happen. I wouldn’t get up every 3 hours for chemotherapy.

Why do all these worthless mole products exist? I think the answer is women. Moles are very cute, and women don’t like killing cute things. I think they get out their rolling pins when their husbands get in the car to go to Tractor Supply, and they beat them until they promise not to buy real traps.

I don’t distinguish between cute pests and ugly ones. If they were wrecking my grass, I’d set traps for baby ducks. It’s sad and all that, but life is what it is. I’m planning to kill all of my squirrels, even though they’re cute. My dad is against it. He has been throwing orange peels in the yard to feed them.

Yes, orange peels. It didn’t make any sense to me either. Don’t make me digress.

When my dad was a kid, his neighbors used to pay him to drown kittens. He has really changed, and of course, he changed when it would inconvenience me.

I got a scissor trap. It pinches moles nearly in half. Great invention, but it’s hard to use here, because you have to be able to see your mole tunnels clearly in able to set it. It’s hard to tell where my tunnels begin and end. I went for another option: carbon monoxide. You can buy an adaptor that connects and exhaust pipe to a garden hose. They probably shouldn’t sell these to depressed female college students. Anyway, you pipe gas into your mole tunnels, and the moles quietly expire and rot, out of sight. And you can tell your wife, truthfully, that Mr. and Mrs. Mole went beddy-bye and woke up in happy land.

If you really want your moles gone fast, there is a propane-based tool that blows them out of the ground. Some Youtube genius built one. This guy is amazing. He composed a tune for background music. He played all the instruments. Then he killed a tremendous number of moles on video, and he timed the explosions to match the beat. You have to see it. I’ll embed it here.

Is that great, or what? The obvious downside is that the weapon does far more damage to your yard than moles. I think the real purpose has little to do with yard maintenance and everything to do with revenge.

You can also shoot flammable gas into mole tunnels with an ordinary torch and light them. It’s a molocaust. A molepocalypse. Armolegeddon.

I bought a car exhaust adaptor, and I plan to get a special short hose and get to work. No suffering for the moles, and my yard should recover in less than ten years.

I’m wondering if water would drive them out. I could fill the tunnels while standing by with a .22. But I already have the gas thing.

When I moved here, I did not realize I would have to kill almost everything I saw. I would love to get along with all the bugs and bunnies and duckies, but it looks like I’ll be spending a good deal of my time killing, killing, killing. Live oak trees. Mosquitoes. Squirrels. Moles. Wimpy shrubs. Poison ivy. If you come to visit me, you should probably wear an orange vest and carry some form of ID. I am more dangerous than Happy Fun Ball with PMS.

Primed for Disappointment

Thursday, December 21st, 2017

Free 2-Day Shipping Takes a Week

Am I the only one who has noticed that Amazon Prime is a sham?

When I first signed up, I wanted free shipping. That was the thing. I knew I would save more than the cost of Prime. But I also liked the 2-day time frame. Amazon promised they would ship stuff to me for nothing, in 2 days. Obviously, there are exceptions. They’re not going to ship you a bulldozer in 2 days, and if you order at 9 p.m. on a Monday, you’re going to wait till Thursday. But generally, 2 days.

Now that I think about it, Bezos has a lot of nerve, putting things he can’t ship quickly on the Prime list. It’s dishonest. If you can’t ship a heavy item in 2 days, it’s not Prime, now, is it?

Anyway, at first things were great. I could order an Arduino board on a Friday and receive it on Sunday. I received things on Saturdays, too. The 2-day promise was no joke.

Over the last few months, I’ve seen a big change. Order on a Monday, receive on…Friday. Extra charges for weekend delivery, too.

Yesterday I ordered 2 Prime items. That was Wednesday. Now Amazon says they will arrive in a week. Is Amazon on Mars time? Maybe on Mars, 2 days equal 1 earth week.

I got no explanation. I didn’t get an email containing an apology. Just a notification on Amazon’s site, telling me I had to wait a week.

It’s interesting. It’s not surprising. To me, it’s consistent with the way evil works.

I think the Internet is basically evil. I use it, but I think the devil is using it to do us great harm. It has spread pornography to every corner of the world. It has helped hostility increase to levels no one could have predicted 30 years ago. It’s going to destroy cash, so the government will be able to control us by freezing and confiscating our money and by using our purchases to surveil us. It’s going to destroy free will by making us unable to do anything without being observed.

The Internet is a bad thing, and one of its evils is the destruction of retail businesses. Malls are closing because no one wants to get in the car any more. We are headed toward a state in which a few big companies hold all the inventory, and you won’t be able to get the things you need unless you deal with them electronically, leaving a trail of bread crumbs for Uncle Sam, who is stupid, cruel, and unfair.

About half of Americans have Amazon Prime now. That’s an astounding statistic. It’s very powerful. And 2-day shipping was a big part of the appeal. Now that we’re hooked, the shipping guarantee is dissolving. That’s completely typical of the way evil works. No drug dealer charges you for your first line of coke. He lets you develop a taste for it, and then you pay whatever he asks.

As we become more dependent on Amazon and other online companies, they will lose their motivation to provide good service. That’s what’s happening with Prime. They have half of America. They know you won’t quit now. Maybe technological advances will make Prime a real 2-day service, and maybe Amazon will tell us to shut up and accept delays. Either way, Amazon comes out on top.

Am I saying we should boycott Internet vendors? No. They already won. There is nothing we can do. Depriving yourself won’t fix the situation.

It doesn’t matter that much to me. I went without house shoes and a housecoat for most of my life. I can wait 6 more days. But I find it interesting, and I wonder why no one seems to be talking about it.

Amazon says it will refund your membership for a month if they deliver something late. At least that’s the Internet scuttlebutt. Something to look into, if your Christmas socks haven’t arrived yet.

Pssst…JESUS!

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

He is God, and This is the Christmas Season

I was just reading about Kim Jong-Un, North Korea’s eccentric leader. The guy Obama and Bill Clinton allowed to build nuclear weapons. I should also add Bush, since he didn’t stop it.

Like all serious leftists, he has a bee in his bonnet about God. Socialism has always been about dethroning God and replacing him with an impossible messiah in the form of a benevolent mommy state.

Kim (I assume that’s his family name) has decided to attack Christmas. He has banned all gatherings involving singing combined with alcohol. If he ruled Ireland, he could simply have banned wakes.

My first thought was that Kim would fit in really well on America’s coasts. The leftist war on Christmas is very real. Bill O’Reilly was ridiculed for acknowledging it, but he was right. These days, a store employee who says “merry Christmas” is regarded as though he had said “Heil Hitler.” A crazy judge just issued a ruling in which he made the utterly fatuous claim that Christmas has a “secular half.” Look it up. He was being generous. These days, Christmas (the mass of Christ) has a secular 95%. We see a whole lot of reindeer and snowmen, and we hear the word “holidays” a lot, but we don’t hear a whole lot about Jesus.

Once again, I am reminded how much I hate Miami. Where I am now, things are very different. I don’t live near a mainstream city. After I moved here, I noticed something incredible. You can walk into a business belonging to a national chain here and hear Christian music playing in the background, and when you leave a store, they usually wish you a merry Christmas.

The first time I noticed the music, I marveled at the courage of the store manager. I was thrilled, but I also felt like we were getting away with something. I wondered if the manager would get in trouble.

It’s very sad that we have to pretend this isn’t the Christmas season. What other major holidays are there at the end of December? Atheists don’t have holidays, unless Festivus counts. Kwanzaa is a made-up holiday created by a white-hating black supremacist, and no one pays much attention to it. Chanukkah is real, but let’s face it: we didn’t start decorating our houses because of a holiday that applies to 3% of the population. Yom Kippur is much more important than Chanukkah, and you will notice there is no Yom Kippur season. We don’t even celebrate Purim, the fun Jewish holiday where everyone gets hammered.

This is the Christmas season, plain and simple. It always has been, at least since we stole December 25 from the pagans. Without Jesus Christ, the messiah, the sole incarnation of God, the “holiday” season would not exist. Tell me I’m wrong.

I don’t know what God thinks about the Christmas season, except that I’m sure he appreciates us acknowledging Jesus. We don’t know the correct date, and we adopted a lot of pagan nonsense when we created the holiday. We are extremely materialistic at this time of year. I’m so sick of it, I give very cheap presents these days. God may not be all that happy with the way we handle things, but I’m sure he is offended at the way leftists treat the name of Jesus. We censor it like a curse word, while promoting the open use of all actual curse words.

Cover your eyes, if you’re a leftist. I am about to blaspheme your god.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. Merry, merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Have a great time, celebrating the birth of the only supreme messiah; God in the form of a man. Roast a reindeer for your family and tell your kids there is no Santa Claus.

Jesus is God. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. J-E-S-U-S. If I ever said “season’s greetings,” I now repent. Jesus allowed himself to be murdered in order to save me from myself. The least I can do is say his name.

Yesterday I saws the testimony of a converted Jew from Israel. His grandfather was a very rich rabbi and a member of the Sanhedrin. When this man told his grandfather he had accepted Jesus, his grandfather threw dishes at him and opened up his forehead, leaving a scar. He ran him off. When his grandfather died, he left him a fortune worth over $40 million, on the condition that the grandson renounce Jesus. The grandson rejected it. His family told him he was dead. His mother said he was worse than a terrorist. He had to go live in a tent and wash dishes for an Arab who hated Jews. Seven famous rabbis from the Sanhedrin invaded his tent and spat on him. He never gave up on Jesus.

But we don’t have the nerve to say “Jesus” or “Christmas” at Banana Republic, in a putatively Christian nation.

We’re so brave!

We’re being conditioned to hate and deny the name Jesus. In the future, leftists will have the power to kill us for our beliefs, right here in America, and we will be asked to renounce the Lord in order to save our lives. By then, we’ll be used to being embarrassed by the mention of his name. We’ll be used to hiding our beliefs, as though we were hiding pornography addictions. If you can’t say “merry Christmas” today, you may have a hard time standing up for Jesus when a government stooge tries to get you to renounce salvation in exchange for a few more years of life.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. Get over it.

Never forget that this is the Christmas season. You can call a cat a chicken if you want, but the truth is the truth.

Pork Crisis Comes to a Sudden End

Monday, December 18th, 2017

Plus More Testimony

I got a nice surprise today. My sliced country ham arrived, and it’s much better than I expected.

I ordered it from Gatton Farms in Kentucky. I quit using them a long time ago, because they sent me a ham that wasn’t smelly enough. A few days ago, I started looking for a new ham, and I decided to try buying a Gatton Farms ham (because the price isn’t bad) and letting it sit around for a week or two before refrigerating it, to see if it improved. When the ham arrived today, I couldn’t resist frying a couple of slices. The last country ham I had was from Cracker Barrel, and it was pretty bland.

The new ham looked promising right out of the box. The slices were vacuum-sealed in clear bags, and the color was dark and nasty-looking, the way it should be. I flopped a couple into a skillet and gave them about three minutes on a side, after adding two tablespoons of bacon grease for good thermal conduction.

When I took them out, I poured off the excess grease, added a little water to the skillet, and boiled it down to make redeye gravy. Some people call cream gravy redeye gravy, but it’s much simpler. Cream gravy is bechamel sauce made from pork grease and pepper, more or less. Redeye gravy is what you get when you deglaze a skillet with water and then reduce it. People will tell you to add coffee to it, but my grandmother never did.

I’m very impressed. The ham and gravy were nicely acidic, the way they should be. The meat wasn’t too dry. It was nice and salty. I didn’t add water to cut the salt.

I don’t know if they’ve improved their curing method or if the disappointing stuff they sent in the past was just bad luck.

My half-gallon container of sorghum molasses hasn’t made it here yet. I look forward to trying it. I want to make biscuits and eat them with ham, butter, and sorghum. I hope the sorghum is thick. I’ve had sorghum so thick it made me want to chew on it.

Things are going very, very well in my prayer life. God has been helping me to spend more time praying in tongues, in several sessions every day. I can’t tell you why, but when I do this, life just flows. Problems solve themselves. Stress disappears. When I don’t do it, problems pile up.

I got a phrase during prayer the other day. It was, “I know the answer.” It just means I need to quit asking God for new answers and start applying the answer he already gave me. In 1986, he told me I needed to pray in tongues for long periods every day. For a long time, I’ve known that it works, but I haven’t applied it enough.

I always say I would be the most boring preacher alive, because I would always say the same thing: get baptized with the Holy Spirit and pray in tongues as much as you can. I keep coming back to it. It never doesn’t work.

It’s a great message. Think of all the effort it obviates. Denominations are teaching people to slave away at unpleasant methods that do not work. They tell them to make pilgrimages on their knees, give all their money to grinning monkeys on TBN, go on long fasts, pray this canned prayer, pray that canned prayer, pray to this or that false “saint,” give up good food for Lent, avoid meat on Fridays, and a whole list of other useless tasks, when what people really need is to connect themselves to God’s power and let him do the work.

Yesterday I had a funny thought. Imagine you dig ditches for a living. One day your foreman comes up to you and tells you to dig a ditch of a certain size. You give yourselves blisters and make your back sore, digging the prettiest ditch in history. Then the foreman makes you and all the other workers assemble to praise him for the great job he did. “You’re so worthy. Look at this great ditch you gave us, o foreman. We thank thee for thy ditch.”

How would you feel about that guy? You’d think he was an parasite and a colossal jerk. But somehow, we expect to do all the work to straighten out our lives…AND praise God for it.

Is God a colossal jerk? Does he want credit for the things you do? If you have to do the work, what, exactly, are you supposed to praise him for?

God wants to do the work. We know this because he wants the praise. He doesn’t want you to praise him for what you do without his help. When you pray in tongues, he does the work. He gives you the words. He answers the prayers. You’re barely involved. It only makes sense that you would praise him when you see the results, because there is no way you can take credit. You had no idea what you were saying!

God fixes people’s problems, and he even wants to do the work of changing your character. Your catastrophically disordered and disabled character is too screwed up for you to fix. You already blew it. The damage is done. If you could repair it, you wouldn’t need Jesus. The crucifixion would have been a waste of time. It’s as if you spent your life mining sin, and while you were a thousand feet down, the mine collapsed on you. You can’t move the timbers and boulders. You’re pinned. God understands that, and when you keep trying to dig yourself out, your pride tries his patience. It proves you haven’t learned anything. It drives him to stop helping you.

We are heirs, not self-made men. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel. We’re supposed to sit back and let God give things to us. It’s humiliating, but then it should be. Humiliation just indicates that we finally understand what we are.

Here’s something I realized the other day: when God gave his stamp of approval to Jesus, he didn’t say he was proud of him. Remember? Jesus was baptized, and when he rose from the water, the Holy Spirit alighted on him, and God said, “Behold my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.” Not, “of whom I am very proud.”

Sometimes when I accomplish something satisfying, I think about that. I feel like saying, “I’m proud of this,” but I know better than to do that. The correct thing to say is, “I am pleased that this is done.” We like to say we take pride in our work. That’s wrong. We should say we take pleasure in doing it well, and that we’re grateful God helped us. I think about that a lot. You don’t need pride. It’s a poison. You can be satisfied with what you have and what you do, without ruining everything by bringing pride into it.

God himself is not proud. That’s incredible. The Bible says it’s true, though. God himself, who has more reason to be proud than anyone, is humble. But somehow we, who offend God constantly and live on his mercy, think our asinine pride is a virtue.

I hope things continue to go well. I know from experience that I can always find a way to drop the ball.

I don’t care if anyone agrees with me or not. What I am doing was not my own idea, and it works. I can’t force anyone else to accept it. I wish they would. I’m not going to be disturbed if they tell me how offended they are by “cheap grace” and so on. Maybe they’re so great they can save themselves. I’m not, and clearly, I am not required to.

In Search of Properly Rotten Ham

Friday, December 15th, 2017

Yankees Ruin Everything

I feel like writing about something trivial.

Yesterday or the day before, I decided I needed a country ham. More accurately, I needed some form of country ham. Whole or sliced. I was not sure which way to go. Country ham sellers don’t charge much for slicing and bagging ham, and it’s a big help, but I was thinking I might want to age whatever I bought, and I don’t think hams will age well in individual slices.

My grandmother used to make her own hams. They hung a couple of years, and they were wonderful. They had a fermented smell to them, as country hams should, and because they came from pre-food-hysteria hogs, they had a lot of fat. The nincompoops who run the food industry have ruined hogs. They breed them for leanness, which is obscene. Pork has to have fat in order to work. You can’t make gravy without it, and just try making sausage from lean meat. I tried to make sausage from grocery pork, and it was like rubber. I had to grind fatty bacon into it to make it work. Granny used real pork from properly overweight pigs.

I should have looked for pork belly to grind into it, but as I recall, pork belly was hard to find before the fakes and hucksters on cable TV started using it.

When you buy a ham these days, chances are, you will get an abomination which has hung for six months or less. That doesn’t work. It takes a long time for ham to ferment and get the right flavor.

If you go to Cracker Barrel, they will serve you Clifty Farms hams. Unless things have changed, these are 6-month hams. Plenty of salt, but not much flavor. If you go online and buy a ham, you are very likely to get a 6-month ham unless you make a special effort to avoid it. If you’re going to settle for that, you might as well go to the grocery store and buy their fake country ham.

A long time ago, I discovered Gatton Farms. The company has a different name now. They were in Kentucky. They sold very nice hams. Then I noticed the product had changed. The flavor was gone. They told me they were curing their hams for a relatively short time. I switched to Scott Hams, and they were much better, but they went out of business, probably due to incompetence. It was impossible to get them to answer an email, so they were probably irresponsible in all other aspects of their business.

They sold really good sorghum. They sent me a broken jar, and I was never able to get them to respond to my communications so I could get it replaced.

A cousin of mine swears by Col. Newsom’s hams. He goes to pick them up in person. They’re very pricey. They charge $107 per ham, which is about 50% more than I feel like paying. They say their current hams have been hanging about a year, though.

Yesterday, I gave up and ordered some slices from the Gatton Farms people. It will surely be better than Smithfield or Clifty Farms, and it will put something on the table while I look for alternatives.

Here’s an idea I had: why not buy a crummy young ham and hang it a while? Aging is aging. A ham won’t know whether it’s hanging in my closet or in a barn in Kentucky. I may give it a try. It would certainly make the house smell nice. I can get by with my questionable slices while my project ham grows pleasantly funky.

Because all things are made in China and sold via Amazon, I went to Amazon to see if they had hams. Sure enough, a few vendors appeared there (not really Chinese). The ratings were not helpful, though. It was a bunch of city people, whining because they didn’t like country ham per se. “One star! Very salty! WAAAAH!!!! WAAAHHHH!!! MOMMY!!! GLOBAL WARMING!!!” Hey, if you don’t like country ham, why did you buy it? It’s supposed to be salty.

Some companies are selling neutered country ham. “Our delicious hams are not salty!” Then they’re not country ham. It’s as if Guinness decided to sell dyed Budweiser.

The slices should be here in a few days. I feel like letting them sit on the counter for a week to rot. Can’t hurt.

It’s too bad Scott Hams went out of business. They had great hams, sorghum, and some other interesting stuff. Smoked jowls. Real bacon.

I get very good bacon right where I am. I may have written about it. My friend Amanda works at a university, and the university has a “meat lab,” whatever that is. It must give the hippies the cramps, just knowing it’s on campus. State universities have to support agriculture, so the transvestites, communists, and jihadists can’t do much about the meat lab. They sell “bacon steaks,” which are slices of bacon about 3/8″ thick. Really nice, with lots of smoke flavor. I close my eyes and chew and wish it were non-sustainable whale bacon (which really exists).

I’m not as interested in food as I used to be, but I’m not going to dispose of my entire heritage. Country ham is a must, just like biscuits and gravy.

To get back to sorghum, I found a decent buy on Amazon. If you spring for half a gallon, you can get it for $40. That’s not bad, considering the total lack of local availability. The brand is Oberholtzer’s. I have not tried it, but Kentucky is the best place to find good sorghum, and Oberholtzer’s is a Kentucky company.

Most molasses is blackstrap, and it’s bitter. Sorghum, as I understand it, is not really molasses, but it tastes like it, without the bitterness. No one in Kentucky will accept blackstrap.

I’m giving the ham and the molasses a shot. I will report when I have the data.

Release the Pus

Monday, December 11th, 2017

Self-Righteousness is Cancer

I decided to take down yesterday’s blog post and start over. I have more more important things to write about than the saga of Al Franken and Roy Moore.

God has been giving me a lot of help lately. He has been helping me to see how screwed up I am, and how far I am from the person he wants me to be. It really started to hit home after my former pastor was jailed for child molestation. We all plant the seeds of our own destruction, and even if we don’t end up facing public disgrace, those seeds need to be rooted out and replaced with seeds of blessing. They do harm, even if they don’t become full-blown disasters.

During the last century or so, Americans have taught themselves to love sin and pride. As a result, we no longer fear punishment, and worse, we are no longer able to perceive our baseness. When you don’t notice your symptoms, you don’t know you have a disease, so you don’t try to get healed.

Sometimes I watch old TV shows and movies. I see grown men and women using separate twin beds. I see well-made movies about mature topics, in which the dialogue is completely G-rated. Then I see modern entertainment. Performers on broadcast TV–not just cable–joke about oral sex. Sometimes we actually see them having sex. We see them naked. We hear all kinds of filthy language. This happened within the span of one lifetime. Surely that’s unprecedented.

If you had been born in 1750, in 1825, you would have found yourself in a world that had not changed much. Prices would not be much different. Technology would only be a little better. People’s manners would be about like they had been when you were born. Consider the last century. When I was born, there was no Internet. There were no personal computers. Most Americans attended church and owned homes. Women wore slips. The only really dirty movies were illegal stag films shot in cheap motels. You could make it to college before finding out what the word “condom” meant.

Now the world is a locker room patrolled by sex-crazed, pride-crazed bullies. The filth of society commands our attention. We used to look up to people who at least pretended to have morals. Now we make the Kardashians rich. We worship illiterate rappers who tell our kids they want to kill the police. Public nudity is legal in many of our cities, and if you don’t want your kids to see it, you can just stay home.

We are completely jaded. Our consciences are seared. We have absolutely no fear of God.

We go to church, and preachers don’t tell us to repent. They tell us God is all for homosexuality, and that he creates homosexuals just as they are. We are told pride is a good thing. We are told to relax and stop feeling guilty, because Jesus (if they admit he was real) carried all that on the cross. Just enjoy yourself, scrupulously avoid criticizing sin, and give preachers your life savings instead of paying your just debts.

Preachers are cowards and pinworms. They don’t have the guts to tell people things that will save them. They only care about money and fame. They do their damnedest, perhaps literally, to avoid saying anything that might cause even one paying person to walk out the door. God will hold them accountable. They represent him to people who need him desperately, and they lie and keep them from finding him.

I feel like I know a little bit about God, but I’m like a pair of socks that has only been through the prewash cycle. The wash and rinse haven’t even started. No one around me knows enough to teach me. I have to go to the source–the Holy Spirit–because preachers are slime. The very best preachers I know of are hopelessly inadequate.

Last night, I suddenly realized I had wronged someone, and once God showed it to me, I did not understand how I could have missed something so obvious. I still don’t understand. Spiritual blindness is supernatural. It defies explanation. I talked to God about it for a long time. I know there must be other obvious sins in my life, thriving under my defective radar. How did I let this blindness happen to me? I adopted the standards of a world which is literally the ceiling of hell instead of thinking about the standards of heaven, which is my real home.

Pride is not okay. Sexual sin is not okay. Cruelty is not okay. Name a habitual sin. It’s not okay. But our culture praises sin so highly, we actually compete to see who can be best at it. We spend our lives tying weights to ourselves, to drag us down toward hell. How shocking it must be for a modern American to die and stand in God’s presence. It must be overwhelming to see how wrong we are about everything, and how beautiful life is supposed to be.

If you want to ask God for something, ask him for correction. Ask him to fix your roots, not your leaves and fruit. The apparent things will heal, once the hidden things are put in order. Forgiveness is great, but as Paul put it, it’s not an occasion to the flesh. It’s not permission to sin. Repentance and clean living are important. You need to be set apart, not just after you die, but right now.

You also need to know that God expects to do the hard work for you. You can’t fix yourself. You can’t even diagnose yourself. You have to have his help, and he allowed himself to be tortured to death so he could give it to you. Don’t be ashamed to ask for handouts. You can’t earn anything. You are too wicked and weak. Accept the fact that you’re a criminal and a charity case, and be willing to be given the things you can’t provide for yourself.

Preachers tell us fear of the Lord isn’t really fear. They say it’s reverence or awe. That’s misleading. Read an interlinear Bible. The word translated “fear” means “terror.” No one wants to admit that God is dangerous, but he is. He is the most dangerous being there is. He, not Satan, created hell, and he is the one who puts them there to burn. He allows bad things to happen to sinners who don’t repent. His love is the best thing there is, but his enmity is a horror that defies description. There is no defeating it. There is nowhere to hide. There is no shelter. No one can hold him back. We have to be afraid to do evil, instead of seeing God as someone who changes our filthy diapers once a week and then sends us home to continue sinning.

The filthier you are, the more you will suffer as God’s enemies gain power in America. The disciples were stronger than common people, and Jesus was stronger than the disciples. You can’t complain if you don’t change, and then you find that you’re the tail and not the head. That’s how things are supposed to work. It doesn’t mean something went wrong. It doesn’t mean bad things happen to good people. You will have brought it on yourself, and accusing God of letting you down will just make it worse.

Ask for the ability to see what’s wrong with you, and don’t be a wimp about facing the discomfort. You can’t fix an abscess without ripping off the scab and cleaning out the rot. We put scabs on ourselves. We put thin skins of denial over our iniquities. It’s like shoveling dirt over a seed. They continue to grow. The demons that live in us keep getting more powerful. We need to confront our faults and our denial and have our inner illegal aliens torn out and driven off.

Repentance brings new power. Denial blocks God’s power. Don’t be discouraged by the need to repent, because it will open a channel to great strength and peace. You’re not beating yourself up for nothing.

This world is really nasty. Try to snap out of your trance before it destroys you.

The Lifeline of Shame

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

It’s Good to Feel Bad

I am having a surprisingly good day, and the events surrounding my former pastor helped make it happen. I know that sounds bad.

I am tired of calling him “former pastor,” so I will give him a phony name. I will call him Eduardo.

Eduardo’s situation is hard for me to accept. In a very short time, he went from respected pastor to homeless, penniless outcast. It may turn out that he lost his entire future. He may be given a life sentence. If he gets convicted on the worst charges he faces, he will spend 25 years in prison. No parole. No time off. Presumably very few visits.

When I found out about it, I had a strange reaction. I felt as though I were the one in jail, awaiting trial. I felt as if I were the one who had been exposed. It drove me deeper in to self-examination, and that has paid off.

A long time ago, God showed me that Holy-Spirit-filled churches were wrong to talk about money and blessings all the time. The prosperity gospel doesn’t work; it makes people poor, and it prevents them from looking for the truth about God’s desires. God showed me that we should be focusing on getting ourselves rehabilitated. We need to have our characters changed supernaturally. That comes first. The other things are relatively unimportant.

I made some effort to get correction. I pray for it every day. I encourage my friends to pray for it. I cast things out of myself. I spoke defeat to the spirits I had allowed to enslave me. It did me a lot of good. I recommend you do these things, too. But the Eduardo scandal has moved me to go further.

I was making what I thought was a pretty good effort. I was patiently waiting for the fruit to grow. Over time, I became more and more honest with God. In prayer, I confessed to everything I could think of, as sincerely as I could. But there were still nagging issues. I still had bad habits that seized me once in a while. I didn’t feel as much love for God or human beings as I wanted. I didn’t pray enough. I was putting in at least three hours a day, and that sounds like a lot, but I needed more than that. I knew it and admitted it, but I couldn’t find the determination to do it consistently.

If the good things God promises aren’t coming through, you are doing something wrong. There is no other explanation.

What Eduardo did was absolutely disgusting. I am not saying that to condemn anyone. It’s necessary for me to mention it in order to talk about what I’m going through. What he did was not sex with a teenager, which would have been bad enough. It was pedophilia. Women may get angry at me for saying this, but it’s completely normal and unavoidable for a man to be attracted to a young girl who looks like a woman. Undeveloped children are another story. That’s a sickness.

I suppose I should try to head off female outrage, so I will say something about my past. The most attractive female I ever knew may well have been a 14-year-old I knew in Israel. I was working on a kibbutz. A woman who was a journalist in Finland worked as a volunteer, and she brought her troubled daughter, Anke. Anke was completely mature, physically. She could have passed for 25. Without makeup or retouching, she looked the way models looked in Playboy magazine. Stunning. She was also promiscuous. One night she came up to me and asked me if I wanted to make out. Even at 22, I was not totally stupid. I turned her down. And I was not exactly dripping with women! I got very few opportunities for sex and romance. I was not happy.

I was not willing to touch her. Doesn’t mean I wasn’t attracted to her. She was physically magnificent. I just knew it was wrong. I knew she was messed up, and I knew people took advantage. I did not want any part of that, and I certainly did not want to be exposed. Later on, I saw a friend of mine from New Zealand, rolling around on a bed with her with his lips pressed against hers. He was older than I was. Part of me was jealous, but I was also disappointed in him.

Anyway, male sexual attraction is unrelated to morality. It’s purely physical. A man doesn’t stop being attracted to a girl the second he sees the wrong year on her driver’s license. Anyone who expects us to find beautiful teens unattractive is living in a fantasy world. If you think a man–even a moral man who behaves himself–can’t find your daughter attractive because she’s in the 8th grade, you are ignorant.

Eduardo would be somewhat less disappointing if a stunning high school junior had thrown himself at him and gotten her way, but the victim was a little girl who probably weighed 80 pounds when the whole business started. The attraction itself is outside of normal male parameters. It’s like being attracted to another man or a pet. Also, the corruption is worse. Having sex with a round-heeled cheerleader would be very bad, but an 11-year-old? You’re introducing her to types of filth and evil she shouldn’t even be aware of.

So. That’s how I see his actions. I understand lust for females who have been through puberty. I can see how someone could slip under the right circumstances. I can’t relate to lust for little kids. How can the temptation exist?

I’ll say something else that may surprise women. Little boys are not that pure. Something to think about when you’re undressing in front of them or saying things you should not. When I was in the second grade, my favorite teacher left to get married. She took me aside to tell me she would miss me and that I should be nice to the new teacher. The whole time, I was looking down the front of her dress. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Second grade. Be careful around boys.

What Eduardo did is shocking, but I have done bad things, too. While I was praying last night, I dredged them back up in my mind and threw them out in front of God. I had done that a lot in the past, but I hadn’t felt the same level of shame and fear. Eduardo unlocked those things for me. I was able to feel more shame, as well as the fear of God.

Eduardo is where he is because God did not protect him. He got outside the realm of protection. He didn’t protect Eduardo from the girl, her mother, or the cops. Fear of God means fearing losing his protection. You really need to be on his good side, because if you’re not, he will let extremely ugly and humiliating things happen to you.

Tongue-talking preachers like to try to make us feel better. They get so excited about refraining from condemning people, they lead us to treat our sins as though they don’t matter. That’s a big mistake. Accepting shame and fear opened doors in me. I felt good about feeling bad, if you can understand that. I felt like I was letting pus out. I stopped trying to feel good about myself. I just wanted it all out of me.

God helped me to spend an adequate amount of time praying last night, and I put in two hours of prayer in tongues this morning. I was very serious. I was intent on getting it done. I had the motivation I had been lacking. I welcomed fear and shame. I knew that walls would be breached, and things that had been inhabiting me would be exposed and driven out.

When I was young, I thought self-esteem was a panacea. I had low self-esteem, and I thought high self-esteem would make me succeed in life. We hear this all the time from educators and TV shrinks. The problem is this: sometimes low self-esteem is healthy and appropriate. High self-esteem is unjustified. We go into ghettos and teach immoral future sociopaths they’re beautiful, talented, and good…when they’re not. We put lipstick on pigs and send them out into the world. It doesn’t work. We teach pride, and what does the Bible say God does to the proud? He fights them.

Eduardo is one of the proudest people you will ever meet, and his wife and son are just like him. Pride got him where he is. He was completely unable to listen and learn.

Today I believe it’s okay to feel bad about what I am. If it brings God’s help to me, it’s great. It’s not that painful, and it takes less effort than lying to myself all the time. I really want my inner self to change. If permitting myself to be ashamed is all it takes, it’s a bargain.

One nice thing about accepting and confessing shame is that you can’t invite exposure or a fall. No one will ever say, “You held yourself out as a rotten person, but here’s what you REALLY are!” That kind of thing only happens to the proud. Pride goes before a fall. If you’re already ashamed, where can you fall to?

I believe God will help me more now. It’s consistent with scripture. He has certainly been more helpful since I found out about Eduardo.

The path of divine improvement has plateaus. It’s like peeling an onion. Every time you reach a new plateau, it’s a good thing, but you have to keep going. You can’t say, “I’ll just stay here and be satisfied.” You grow or you rot. You can’t stay still.

I am better than I used to be, but I still need lots of work. Admitting it and feeling shame and remorse will help make it happen.

To get more information, look at Psalm 32. I think it will help. It says God will help a man who confesses, when the great waters rise. The great waters are the voices of the ungodly. They control this nation. Their filth is flooding us out. When things get even worse than they are, you will need God to lift you up.

Don’t let self-righteousness pull you under. At the mercy of these people (and the spirits they serve) is not where we want to be.

A Glimpse of the Abyss

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

If You Want to Survive, Keep Improving

I am still upset about my former pastor’s molestation arrest.

Last night I woke up full of anxiety. It’s odd, but I felt as though I were the one who had committed the offenses. I felt as though I were the one who had to be concerned about punishment.

I kept having thoughts about my own sins and irresponsible acts. I have gotten away with a lot in this life. So far!

I suppose it’s harsh to compare myself with someone who is charged with molesting a girl under the age of 12, but I am not nearly what I should be. And it’s better to be too contrite than not contrite enough. If other people have to fall, I should try to benefit by observing their fate and trying to avoid it through confession and repentance. There isn’t much to be gained by patting myself on the back and telling myself I’m doing fine.

I thought about my past and the divine opportunities I’ve missed. I didn’t hear from God until I was about 22, so maybe I should get a little slack for my failures up to that point, but at 25, I was baptized with the Holy Spirit, and God had made it clear I was supposed to pray in tongues every day. I didn’t do it. I fell away. I got worse instead of better.

It’s funny, but it didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, and it wasn’t deliberate rebellion. I didn’t decide God wasn’t real. I didn’t doubt that prayer in tongues was important. I just wandered off. I was distracted and forgetful.

I don’t know why God was so distant when I was a kid. I heard from the devil all the time, and there were plenty of evil people around me to abuse me and mislead me, but I didn’t get visits from God, and I didn’t know any righteous people who could help me get to know him. I hear from God every day now. I don’t understand I why made it into my twenties without hearing from him once. It’s very strange, because it seems unlike him.

God is always right and good. I can’t criticize him just because his actions don’t always suit me. What he did was correct. And once I started hearing from him, I should have held on for dear life.

Heaven is very far away, and help here on earth is not automatic. We’re like egg cells. You know how that works. The body produces a lot of them, and very few get fertilized and become human beings. The rest get washed out of the body and die. A lot of people are born, but not many come to know God, and not many are saved.

The earth is a very bad place, much more like hell than heaven. We’re just too used to it to see the evil.

Often, I feel like I’m much better than I am. I feel that the overt things God has done in my life are some sort of stamp of approval. I know better, and it bothers me that I could feel that way. Sometimes I make myself think about the bad things I’ve done and thought, just so I can regain perspective. God fights the proud. I do not want God to fight me. Not over an idiotic misperception.

It disturbs me when people tell me I’m a good person. I feel like they’re driving nails in my coffin. I am a product of 20th-century America. I am a mess. If I succeed in concealing it, it doesn’t mean you should reward me for it. If God tells me things, it’s because I needed to be told, not because I was perfect.

God told me something interesting: if you’re 99% good and 1% bad, you’re bad. That’s the way it works in heaven. Being good by earthly standards is different. The standard is much lower. Heaven has quality control. Nothing imperfect gets through the door.

I’m not saying I’m only 1% bad. Just making a point.

I got up and paced the floor, and I thanked God for the correction. I asked him to send more. I asked him to help me to be judged privately by him, and I asked him to help me avoid being judged publicly. In the past, when I felt negative feelings, I worked with God with the intention of getting rid of them. Last night, I said I was fine with feeling bad. Sometimes you need to feel bad for a while.

Too many of us go to church to be helped to feel good in spite of our sins. We don’t have any intention of changing. We just want God to wink at us and tell us this week’s sins are forgiven, and then we want to go home and resume sinning. You can’t enter the kingdom of heaven that way. If you want power and help on this earth, you have to love correction. Christians die of cancer. They go bankrupt. Their wives cheat on them. They get killed in church by mass murderers. You need to get close to God if you want help. His help isn’t for rebellious Christians. It’s for the contrite.

While I was lying in bed praying, I thought about the pastor. At that very moment, he was lying in a jail 300 miles away, with no prospect of relief. As bad as things were at that moment, they were likely to get worse. Some of the charges carry a 25-year mandatory minimum. No parole until every day is served. No time off. And inmates do not like sex offenders. Guards look the other way when they are mistreated. Unless he catches a break from the prosecutor or judge, or there is a technical issue that helps him, he may die surrounded by evil people who live to torment him. He may have to put up with that for 40 years.

It’s too much to absorb.

I thought about a testimony I read. A lady named Mary Kay Baxter said Jesus had taken her through hell. The people there lived in flaming pits, with huge maggots chewing tunnels through their bones. The guards were huge fallen spirits that hated the damned. It sounds so much like prison. Prison is a picture of hell.

I would be happier had I learned the pastor had died. He would be better off.

I still don’t understand how it happened. I don’t think he has no conscience. Maybe he was unprotected because he was too proud to develop spiritually, and when a loathsome spirit came to him with a sick urge, he could not fight it off. This life is a war, not a pleasure cruise. We’re supposed to train for battle.

I don’t know the answer, though.

When I was done praying and exercising God’s authority, I went back to sleep and slept soundly and peacefully. That was nice.

I hope my distress improves me. I don’t think anything better can come of this.

So Much for my Ability to Read People

Monday, December 4th, 2017

Surprising News from Miami

This can’t be right. I got bored and Googled a few people I know in Miami, and it looks like a former pastor of mine has been arrested for child molestation. Eight counts.

The mugshot is on the web, and it sure looks like him. The name is correct. The age is different from the age on a people-finder site, but it’s off by less than a year.

He used to have a Facebook page with his wife. Now she has her own, and his doesn’t come up. The church’s website is down for “maintenance.”

This is a guy who was not good to me. He ran a cult, and he and his wife broke up friendships. He would not listen to anyone. He was too proud. Not my favorite person on earth. But this news is very upsetting. I would not wish this on anyone.

I have to wonder if it’s true. He is in jail in Miami. The judge denied bond for some of the counts. The inmate search page has domestic violence notes. If he got into it with his wife, maybe she accused him falsely. Women do things like that.

Then again, maybe I’m wrong to suggest she would do it.

For the record, I never saw the slightest hint that he was capable of this. It does not ring true. Maybe it is true, but it doesn’t sound right. I’ve known people who seemed creepy and perverted, and he is not one of them. I never heard him say anything libidinous. I never saw him put a hand on anyone. I never saw him stare at a child. He didn’t seem particularly involved with kids at the church. Many molesters become teachers, youth pastors, scoutmasters, and so on, so they can get close to kids. I never saw any of that.

The clerk’s site doesn’t mention child pornography. It would be odd for a pedophile in 2017 to lack pornography.

Sometimes when something bad happens to someone who is out of line, it’s hard not to feel satisfaction. Not this time. If he gets convicted, his life is over. Everyone on the outside will hate him, and so will all of the prison inmates he lives with.

Am I wrong to feel sympathy for the accused and nothing for the victim? I don’t know who he is alleged to have molested or what he is alleged to have done. I don’t know the first thing about it. If there are victims, those are the people I should feel bad for.

Maybe I feel sorry for him simply because I know him.

If there really is a victim, I may know that person, too.

This is staggering. I did not like the things he did, but I don’t want to see this happen to him. I suppose it didn’t “happen to him,” though. If he’s guilty, he himself made it happen, intentionally.

After I left the church, I used to ask God if I should pray for him and his wife, and I kept feeling that God was telling me not to, because they could not be corrected. Maybe I was right about that.

It may sound funny to say I didn’t pray for someone who mistreated me (and others), but I’ve found that effective prayer takes time, and you have to try not to waste that time on the wrong people. Some people who harm you can be changed. Others can’t, and the time you waste praying for them could be spent on people who would be improved by it. You can’t pray all day. Your prayer time and energy are limited. You have to choose your battles. More accurately, you need to get God to choose them for you.

America is going to go down the toilet, and a lot of people are going to waste their time praying for God to fix it. That’s a great example of misguided prayer. You can’t pray against prophecy. When my sister ruined her life, I felt that God didn’t want me to pray for her any more. There was no way to penetrate her self-righteousness and utter lack of honesty. I try to get God to help me pray for people who can change, so my time here on earth amounts to something.

Man, this is bad. And one of my best friends was counting on that church to provide a career. There were kids who went to that church without their useless parents, because they wanted to know God. People depended on that church.

I reserve judgment. I don’t know whether he’s guilty or not. Most arrestees are guilty of at least what they’re charged with, but you never know.

I reserve judgment. I don’t know whether he’s guilty or not. Most arrestees are guilty of at least what they’re charged with, but you never know.

Be careful whom you worship with, and don’t let your desire to see the best in people lead you to associate with the wrong individuals.

I’m glad God got me out of that place. At first, I thought the pastors were wonderful, but they kept hitting me over the head with their faults, and then they did something stupid that made it too awkward for me to continue attending.

I was a deacon. I’m glad I won’t be known as a deacon of a church with the molestation scandal.

A friend just confirmed it. He molested his niece. The niece told her mom. Her mom put it all over Facebook. He apologized to the church and stepped down. Terrible.

For a while after he left, my friend pastored the church. I guess that fell apart.

Confessing in front of the church was the right thing to do, I suppose, but it will all but guarantee a conviction.

Hope this is the most disturbing news I get this week.

Trump’s Ex-Girlfriend Weighs in Again

Friday, December 1st, 2017

Calls God’s Judgment Down on Man Who Rejected Him

I have to ask: is James Comey the pettiest politician ever?

Maybe I should not ask. The president is vying for that title as well. But I think Comey has him beat. If Comey had fired Trump a long time ago, Trump would not still be tweeting about Comey. He eventually moves on. Comey is like a jilted ex-girlfriend. You dump a woman because you realize she’s toxic and impossible to help, and then years later, fat and undesirable, she’s hovering over a keyboard in her manless apartment, trying to turn people against you on the Internet and using clothes she didn’t return to you to clean the litterbox used by her many cats. That’s Comey.

Michael Flynn lied to the FBI about his Russian contacts. In a moment of insanity, Attorney General Sessions appointed Robert Mueller to investigate Russian interference with the 2016 election. Now Mueller has decided to prosecute Flynn in hopes of squeezing him for dope on everyone else who might be involved. There is no reason at all to think Trump–Comey’s ex-boyfriend–is in trouble. Even if it were proven Trump colluded every day, “collusion” is legal, and there is no evidence that Trump is guilty of this non-crime. But Comey, in lieu of vandalizing Trump’s car like any normal ex-girlfriend, posted this weirdness on Twitter:

But justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

That’s supposed to be Amos 5:24, but Comey got it wrong, and somehow he has not seen fit to correct it. The actual quotation is, “But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” That’s from the English Standard Version of the Bible. I could not tell you anything about that translation. I had never heard of it until today. I wonder if it’s one of those “evolved” translations that endorse homosexuality and call God “She.”

I took a look at Amos, and his words seem irrelevant to the version of Trump that exists in Comey’s mind. Amos was complaining about idolatry. He was criticizing the Jews for turning away from God. He said they shouldn’t hope for the day of the Lord, because it would make them even more miserable. It would be a day of judgment.

I don’t think Donald Trump is rooting for Jesus to come. I’m sure he’s basically for it, but I don’t see him as a person who thinks about it a lot. I don’t see him as a highly religious yet hypocritical figure who needs to fear God’s judgment because he has held himself out falsely as a godly man. Trump is pretty worldly.

People who aren’t close to God quote scripture pretty badly, and Comey appears to be an example. “Oh, this is a good one! Justice flowing down on people! I’ll just cut and paste!” They don’t understand the context of the quotations they wield like pea-shooters. If you’re going to get mad at someone and quote scripture at him, you should at least read the book from which you’re cribbing.

I would quote Amos 5:24 with regard to America’s future. I would definitely quote it in reference to filthy prosperity preachers who make Christians poor and pretend God put them up to it. Quoting it at a former employer, as a vague indication that I hope God gives him a sharp kick in the butt…that, I would not do. I would look small, and people who actually read the Bible would consider me ignorant.

When you read a thing like this, you wonder. Does Comey have a job? Does he do anything? Is he sitting around texting random acquaintances, hoping it will shame someone into inviting him to a Christmas party?

If I were a friend of his, I’d be telling him to drop the bone already. Let it go. Life is about the future, not your unsatisfying past with the guy who didn’t appreciate you. Living well is the best revenge, isn’t it? Stop sitting around pouting. Join Crossfit. Take the wife on an Alaskan cruise. Buy a set of Bob Ross DVD’s, some oil paints, and some single-malt Scotch and just go crazy.

Learn Hindi. Take a Thai cooking class. Join a Bible study group and read the whole book instead of random snippets you hope might embarrass an inattentive billionaire.

James Comey is not a happy little tree. Not by a longshot.

Nothing bad will happen to Trump unless he lies to the investigators or tells someone else to. Impulsive as he is, he is probably smart enough not to do those things, especially after what happened to Scooter Libby.

It seems like the whole world has turned into junior high. Maybe it always was, but it didn’t seem this blatant.

When I got done with my utterly heinous voyage through the Columbia College Literature Humnanities syllabus, I found myself in need of things to read (other than STEM books), so I bought myself the complete works of William Shakespeare on Google Play. I’m reading Richard III. Here is a great quotation from Richard himself: “\

[T]he world is grown so bad that wrens make prey where eagles dare not perch. Since every jack became a gentleman, There’s many a gentle person made a jack.”

Isn’t that beautiful? Talk about apt. Our heroes are semi-literate rappers who want to shoot our president and the police. Our great ladies are Instagram sluts with sex tapes and nude photos they themselves leaked. Every jack has become a gentleman. And people like Comey, who should be gentle persons, lower themselves in the public eye every day.

Here’s an apt Bible quotation. In Isaiah 3, God describes what happens to a nation that forgets him:

For behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts,
Takes away from Jerusalem and from Judah
The stock and the store,
The whole supply of bread and the whole supply of water;

The mighty man and the man of war,
The judge and the prophet,
And the diviner and the elder;

The captain of fifty and the honorable man,
The counselor and the skillful artisan,
And the expert enchanter.

“I will give children to be their princes,
And babes shall rule over them.

The people will be oppressed,
Every one by another and every one by his neighbor;
The child will be insolent toward the elder,
And the base toward the honorable.”

That’s us. Our President fires off angry tweets all day. Our journalists, politicians, and entertainers expose and pleasure themselves in front of female coworkers. We fawn on unsavory idiots like Kim Kardashian, J.K. Rowling, George Takei, and Chrissy Teigen. Our educators tell us men are women and women are men, and that white people, who developed the greatest civilizations in history and gave us science, medicine, engineering, and the very best of the arts, are the main problem with the world. They are now telling us a white student can decide to be black. I predicted that a long time ago. It won’t be long before they tell us you can choose to be an espresso machine.

Our idols are sleazy, impulsive, incurably conceited ignoramuses. The worst people in society have the greatest influence.

We were better off in the days when everyone understood that entertainers were base. When you turn on the TV and look at Bruce Jenner, the Kardashians, Charlie Sheen, Kevin Spacey, and the rest, you realize we had more sense back in the old days. It used to be understood that when entertainers came into a town, they had to be watched and isolated, and they had to be sent on their way after a few days. We knew their presence meant theft, swindling, prostitution, the corruption of our youth, and a bunch of other ills, so we didn’t let them hang around. Now we worship them as gods.

If J. Edgar Hoover were alive, he would marvel at Comey’s lack of gravitas. Hoover was weird, but he wouldn’t have lowered himself to tweeting smug, hopeful Bible quotations about annoying presidents.

Dignity is dead. The modern peasantry won’t let you have any. The pillars of communities run from tattooed, pierced cretins who ought to be in the stocks. It’s too bad we quit using words like “knave” and “slattern.” We need them now more than ever. Kids grow up having no idea what class is, so they don’t know what they’re missing, living in a juvenile and impudent society.

Comey probably thinks he’s the exact opposite of what he is. He probably thinks he looks like the voice of maturity.

Remember what Mr. Lebowski said? “The bums lost.” He was wrong. The bums won. The slouching, dope-smoking, sexually polyvalent, arrogant-for-no-conceivable-reason looters of civilization won. They lowered our standards so much, even those of us who think we recognize class and breeding can’t tell butter from margarine.

I wish I had never been influenced by them. To one extent or another, all of my life, I have degraded myself by emulating know-nothing pinheads who, in a sane world, would have been servants and laborers. When I look at Comey, I see the damage I have done myself.

It makes sense. God puts halfwits in charge of fallen countries, and if you corrupt yourself, he will put a halfwit, i.e. you, in charge of your affairs.

The movie Idiocracy is turning out to be a blueprint for our future. I’m so glad I’m not young. As bad as things were when I was a kid, at least I was around to see a shadow of the country we used to have.

My Vacuum Cleaner is Needy

Friday, December 1st, 2017

Whiny Texts From Lonely Appliance

The increasing automation (and tyranny and surveillance) of the machines around us bugs me, but in spite of my paranoia, I decided to get a Roomba. In case you just got here from Mars, a Roomba is a robot vacuum cleaner. It’s a flat, round robot shaped like a layer cake pan. It wanders around in random directions, changing course when it bumps into things. It doesn’t learn the floor plan. The idea is that if it moves around randomly for a solid hour, it will cover just about every part of the house.

The first floor of the new house is mostly hardwood and tile. The birds live in the kitchen, on hardwood. They throw things on the floor all day, and they give off dust. Without the Roomba, I would have to vacuum every day. That’s not going to happen. We have a whole-house vacuum system, but it’s a drag to use. You have to get a 30-foot hose and a heavy attachment out of the closet, and then you have to go from room to room, plugging the hose into various outlets. It’s even more fun when you have to carry it upstairs. I know I’ll never do that. I have delegated the responsibility to the Roomba.

I don’t know what early Roombas were like, but here is a guess: lame NiMh batteries that pooped out quickly and had be replaced often, combined with poor obstacle management. Am I close?

The Roomba I bought has a lithium battery, and lithium batteries aren’t bad. They wear out, but not like NiMh. They run a long time on a charge. I can’t complain much about the battery.

The Roomba also has wi-fi. By the way, what does “fi” mean? It’s not “fidelity.” So what is it? I guess I should look it up.

According to Wikipedia, it doesn’t mean anything. It’s a stupid pun on “hi-fi.” Okay.

Also, it’s not “wifi,” “wi-fi,” or “Wifi.” It’s “Wi-Fi.” I’ll try to remember that. But I won’t try very hard.

The Roomba came with a charger which the manual refers to as a base. You put the charger on the floor, and you rest one side of the Roomba on it. This puts the Roomba’s contacts on the base’s contacts and allows the Roomba to charge. After a couple of hours, the machine is ready to clean. When it finishes a session, it returns to the base and backs onto it.

My verdict? Fantastic. But flawed. Based on my experience, I wouldn’t even consider getting rid of the Roomba, but it has issues.

1. It dies on carpeting. Sometimes my dad leaves his bedroom door open. The bedroom is carpeted. The Roomba plows around for a while and then quits. I don’t know if it’s supposed to like carpeting. I got it for bare floors, so I don’t care. But every time it gets on a carpet, bad things happen.

2. The Roomba gets confused. On one occasion it went into the laundry room and ran under some clothes that were hanging out of a basket. It wasn’t obstructed, but it decided it was on the edge of a cliff, and it shut down.

3. The Roomba is needy. When it has a problem, it sends me a whiny text begging for help. “I’m on the edge of a cliff.” “I need to be moved.” “I need to be put back on the base.” “You’re ignoring my texts.” Whatever. I bought this thing to help me AVOID work, and it’s constantly asking me for help.

We have two coffee tables on a cheap area rug. Today, for the second time, the Roomba decided to climb onto the rug. Once it was up there, instead of cleaning and moving on, it shut down and pouted. I don’t get that at all. Just move off the rug. It’s downhill.

The up side of wifi…Wi-Fi…is that I can use my phone to push the Roomba around. It has a calendar feature, so I told it to vacuum the house every morning after breakfast. I can also tell it to start or quit on demand. I can push the “locate” button and make it sound off with its little electronic song. It tells me when its battery is low, so I know better than to start it at the wrong time.

It cleans pretty well. It’s my sweeper, and sweeping is not demanding. It has a rotating brush that hangs out from under it, and the brush whacks dirt so it goes under the machine. I assume it has suction, because it makes a sucky sound while it cleans. The crap goes into a bin I have not had to empty yet. The Rooma will whine when it’s full. I would say it sweeps better than I would, were I to do the unthinkable and pick up a broom. It may work better than a vacuum cleaner, because it doesn’t disturb dirt as much while it operates. The exhaust from vacuum cleaners blows dust around.

According to the Roomba site, my Roomba is supposed to work on carpeting. It does not. Wish it did. Doesn’t. I think it would work very well on firm, shallow carpeting, but it can’t deal with a normal area rug or normal bedroom carpeting. I may be wrong, but it seems like the difficulty of moving on carpet kills the battery. Maybe if you have carpeting, you have to have more than one Roomba and confine each to a small area. That would cost an insane amount of money, though.

One reviewer says the Roomba stops on dark carpeting because it thinks it sees empty space (a cliff) under it. I don’t know, but my dad’s bedroom carpeting isn’t dark, and the Roomba goes in there and conks out.

Maybe I’m doing something wrong. I don’t care enough to find out. You can get little devices to keep your Roomba from going where it should not.

As long as it cleans bare floors, I will keep it. I do not wish to be a bird valet for the rest of my life. Maynard and Marvin are incorrigibly messy, and if I didn’t have the Roomba, I would be vacuuming every day. Actually, I would be failing to vacuum every day, and the house would be gross.

Interesting note: the reviewer who said the Roomba doesn’t like dark rugs also says it chips paint. I will have to check. That will not be permitted.

Roombas don’t like clutter, so you have to keep junk off the floor. My strategy is to let it run, see what it runs into, and take appropriate action. I’m not going to wander through the house trying to guess what the Roomba will hate.

Final thing: after you use the Roomba for a while, you will start to find dusty corners in your house. The Roomba can’t get into corners, so the dust will flee into them and stay there, taunting the Roomba. Cleaning corners is easier than cleaning a whole house, though.

I’m glad the Roomba doesn’t have a camera, a mike, or an Internet connection. Those would be dealbreakers. My devices spy on me enough as it is.

If you have parrots, you need one of these things. Or you just need to quit having parrots. I don’t know if I would recommend the Roomba to normal people. It ran me almost $300. If I didn’t have two thoughtless characters throwing food on the floor all day, I would consider that a high price to pay for ordinary floor hygiene.

I may get a second Roomba for the second story. Not sure yet. The second story is a lot cleaner.

I hope the Roomba people come up with new devices for other types of cleaning. I have a dishwasher, but putting dishes into the machine and unloading it manually…that’s just too much. I have important things to do. A robot ironer would be fantastic. I prefer cleaning toilets to ironing, even in a house with a spacious laundry room with a built-in ironing board.

I’m going to go check for paint damage. Keep your fingers crossed.