Posts Tagged ‘Other’

“If there is a God, the phrase that must disgust him is – holy war.”
Steve Allen

Would a Holy War really disgust God, or would he smile in approval? I suppose this may depend upon which God you believe in. I know with certainty that Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism would never teach nor condone a Holy War of any sort. This does not mean they have never known war, because the east has known many, but none of these wars to my knowledge were based off the notion their religious beliefs dictated them to go to such a war. I think this is a bit different when it comes to Christianity or the Muslim faiths.

I was talking religion with my dad awhile back, and the topic of the Quran came up, and he went on and on about how the Quran promotes violence and the killing of infidels. I immediately disagreed with him. I told him the Quran teaches peace, it is just misread by the extremists. We went back and forth on this topic and finally I told him I would read the Quran and prove him wrong. I have read various different religious texts but for some reason I have never given the Quran a detailed look. I figured this would be a great learning experience for me. I think I may have bitten off a little more than I could chew!

I kept putting this chore off because I was a bit intimidated by this daunting task I had just committed to. When I had a free minute here or there I would pick it up and skim through it. Although I must admit I couldn’t really get into it all that much. The reading was rather dry, kind of like the Old Testament. I could not put my full attention into the reading. Through the brief reading I did, I must say I found some evidence of the Quran promoting violence. These scriptures are not that vague, as to be completely misunderstood, in fact they are rather to the point.

 “Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward.” Quran 4:74

“I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them” Quran 8:12

 “If thou comest on them in the war, deal with them so as to strike fear in those who are behind them, that haply they may remember.”Quran 8:57

“O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness.” Quran 9:123

In my research I had found a total of 109 verses in the Quran calling Muslims to war against non-believers. I am certain if you read these verses and considered them in the historical context of the writings, these verses may mean something completely different. This however is not the point, what matters is how current day Muslims would consider these, and many other verses, would apply today. This then got me thinking about Christians and their stance on war against non-believers. The Bible is just as guilty as the Quran, as it promotes violence against those who believe differently. I included some verses I have come across in the Bible. I know Trey (The Rambling Taoist) could offer many other examples.

“The LORD said to Moses, “Take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites. After that, you will be gathered to your people.”  So Moses said to the people, “Arm some of your men to go to war against the Midianites and to carry out the LORD’s vengeance on them.” Numbers Chapter 31 Verse 1-3

“The LORD is a warrior; the LORD is his name.” Exodus 15:3

“I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence. Luke 19:26-27 **Note this was Jesus speaking**

Also, in Deuteronomy Chapter 13 verses 6-16, God is instructing his believers to go out on a murdering spree killing all those who worship any one but him. The verse is rather long, so if you are interested I encourage you to check it out. I think within these few verses you get the feeling that both the Bible and the Quran do not always teach peace. Both God and Allah are jealous and vengeful towards those who believe differently. In the wrong hands these few verses can and do lead to “justifiable” Holy Wars. I am not sure I believe the God of the Quran or the God of the Bible would be disgusted with a Holy War, possibly they would encourage one if it meant that in the end the survivors believed in Him and Him alone.

 

Sorry for the repost

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“Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.”
Napoleon Bonaparte

I sometimes try to think about what our lives would be like if we had no religion. Would chaos and anarchy rule supreme without some spiritual moral compass to guide us? Would we as a civilization just instinctively know how to treat our fellow man, or do we require a “reward” in exchange for our good behavior. This is a hard question to answer since the concept of religion is engrained in every man, woman, and child in existence. This will continue to be the case till end times, so we are for better or worse stuck with religion.

I often times write and speculate as to why religion was created in the first place. I have two theories which I feel answer this age old question. The first being the fear of the unknown and unexplainable and the second being social control. I personally think religion was first created to subdue early mans fears, but then when the slightly more intelligent man realized how much influence it had on the masses he transformed it into a form of social control. Since this discovery; generations of generations of people have fallen victim to the soothing swan song of religion.

I have always wanted to write several books on the topic of religion, and one such idea is building a religious timeline; starting from the very first religion all the way up to where we are today. I would track the origins and expansion of said religions. I figured I wouldn’t get too detailed I would just provide the basics of each religion. One detail I would touch on is the impact the featured religion had on the civilization. There were about eight other things I would cover, but are not pertinent to this post. I started this project last year, but when I was faced with the grand scope of the project I decided to shelve it until/if my “Dylan Thomas” books took off.

I really cannot think of one thing other than religion which has had a bigger impact on human existence. Religion although sold as a ticket to salvation and as a guide on how to properly treat your fellow man, it has also been a tool to control the masses. The rulers of old used religion as a tool to give the masses some spiritual guidelines. These guidelines were necessary to keep order, and the people who were being ruled feared for their life hereafter, so they fell in line with their spiritual leaders. We can look out in the world today and still see religion being used by political leaders.

In reference to this specific quote I think we need to look at civilizations through history. I wrote about such a time period a year ago when I touched on the alliance between Rome and the Catholic Church. This was a time when there were two classes the rich and the poor. The rich Romans during this time had the power and influence of the Catholic Church on their side. They parlayed this influence to socially control the people. They fed the fear of hell into each and every one of them, so the thought of standing up against their repressors equaled eternal suicide into a lake of fire. I am not too familiar with Napoleon time period but I would be willing to bet it resembled the time period I wrote about. I think I may just have to read up on this a bit.

The poor will only stand so long being the class which is shit on for so long before the people realize they out number the rich and decide to take over. Religion is the perfect tool to keep social order amidst such repression. I think this point is illustrated even in today by studying some of the countries in the Middle East. In America religion is still a dominate force, but I do not know the extent of social control it has today. I suppose it keeps the religious nuts focused on salvation instead of murdering and having sex with small little woodland creatures. I suppose in this case religion is doing something worthwhile.

I finished my second “Dylan Thomas” book about eight months ago. I passed it off to my illustrator, and I was expecting a release date no later than two months from that date. I am sad to say that it has not been completed. I was going to send these two books to agents in hopes I can pick one up, and eventually get signed. My wife did a ton of research and she discovered that you need multiple manuscripts to show you are not a one and done. I found this out about six months ago, and I have been unable to write another one. I have tried and tried, but I could just not do it, until about three weeks ago. I am happy to say I have finally started rolling on the next book. I am currently entrenched in this next installment, and hopefully I can finish it within the next month. If I am able to hit this deadline, then I can start the final manuscript needed to start sending this series off to agents.

Until these next two installments are finished I am not going to say too much about them, but I will say the current manuscript I am working on, and the next one lined up will be my greatest triumph if I am able to pull them off. These two manuscripts will be the ones which get me signed by an agent, then shortly after by a publisher. I am usually a glass is empty sort of thinker, but when it comes to my newest ideas for the “Dylan Thomas” series, I can honestly say without a shadow of doubt that I have never been more certain about my success.

I am set to do readings at my sons’ school for all the kindergarten classes at the end of May. I currently have one book which is completely finished, and as I stated before my illustrator was supposed to have the second one illustrated months ago. I haven’t been pushing him much, but I finally told him I needed the second one completely finished by the end of April. We were supposed to meet two weeks ago to go over his progress, but he backed out. We then set up another meet last week, and I told him that there is not enough time to do any kind of revisions so just use what you have. I just really hope he hits the April 30th deadline. If he doesn’t I am thinking of letting him go. I feel confident that these manuscripts can stand on their own without the illustrations. It is my understanding that if the writer is signed, it is not always a guarantee the artist will be signed. I have texted him twice now with no response. Nothing irritates me more than someone not responding to a texts or e-mails.

On a side note I haven’t really been able to write poetry since I finished my last book “Trapped Within My Illness.” I sent this manuscript to a publishing company, and also to one of my readers whose father is in the business. I really do not think it will get published and I am totally fine with this. I have written only a handful of poems since I finished, but nothing like the flood of poems I write when I am in a funk.

I have also thought about revisiting my idea to write the book “The Life and Mind of No One Special.” I still think it would be a good idea to write a book based off my 100 best blog posts. I also have a few other ideas which I need to add to my website. I am not really going to focus on any other projects until I finish these two manuscripts. The overall scope of what I am trying to accomplish takes a shit load of time, which I do not have enough of. I just do not want these things to take four months to complete. I so badly want them in the agent’s hands so I can fully realize my dream.

I added a poll to this site awhile back asking my readers to help me with a tattoo idea I had. I truly appreciate all those who took the time to answer. I am going to add another poll on this site asking my readers to decide if “The Life and Mind of No One Special” is a viable idea, or possibly even a book based on my “Philosophy of Quotes.” If this is helpful I may place my other ideas out there to be judged by you guys. This survey will be up by tomorrow afternoon, so please take the time to vote, so I can get a sense of if this idea has merit.

We have a highly intelligent but unmotivated fifteen year old boy, and getting him to take school seriously is damn near impossible. No matter how many times we try to sit him down and explain the far reaching consequences of not taking school seriously, he just won’t hear it. The sad part, as I mentioned before, is he is highly intelligent and if he were to just buckle down and try he would be pulling in straight A’s. I think if I knew he was not all that bright I could handle the grades he is bringing home now. The question is how do we motivate him, and get him to see that his actions now will affect him many years down the road?

We have asked him several times what he wants to do when he gets older, and he has said since the age of seven he wants to be in the military, beyond that he has no real career goals.  I am sure this is normal, but you would think he could at least throw out a few different ideas. He seems to only be interested in football, working out, video games, and television/movies. I do consider us lucky that he is into these things, and not doing the horrible things I was doing at his age, but I know he can accomplish so much more than his mom and I ever could have.

We have talked to him about joining the ROTC program, where he goes to boot camp over the summer and is officially enlisted at the age of sixteen. This way he is already two years in before he even graduates. Apparently the way the program works he is able to go to college without ever being deployed. If he enjoys the service he could become a lifer and retire with full military pension and benefits. I think this could be his best road to success. If it were up to me all my kids would join the service before they head off to college.

I want the best for my children, and the last thing I want for them is to endure the struggle and stress that we have to go through due to our poor decision making. I do not want them to be thirty years old living with regrets of missed opportunities. He is only fifteen and completely unable to see the big picture which I am sure is very normal. We have tried almost everything to punish him for his poor grades, but he just adapts to the punishment and waits it out. When his grades in math and science began to slip in 7th grade, we took his games away it motivated him the first few times but after awhile it didn’t do anything. What seems to light a fire under his ass is when we do not allow him to go to weight training. We hate to use this because this is one of his healthy activities. Like most parents I just wish our words would get through to him. You always want your kids to learn from your mistakes, to take your words of wisdom to heart and believe and trust you enough that they listen so intently and perfectly. Getting a teenage boy to see how his Algebra 2 and science grades now, can affect his status and financial life in ten years is not possible.

My wife and I disagree on what steps we should take to try and rectify this problem. I believe if he continues to bring home bad grades, and continues to show an “I don’t give an F” attitude towards school, we need to bring the hammer down on him. I remember reading or listening to a show one time on parenting. The speaker was saying when you run into major issues with your children you need to “show” them all the things they have that they do not need. When you take these things away such as TV, internet, and video game privileges they will be motivated to rectify the problem so they can get their privileges back. As I mentioned earlier we have taken away his games, and this motivated him, but he quickly learned if we take the video games away he still has the television, iPod Touch, and internet. He uses these as substitutes when one is taken away. In my opinion the only way to drive the message home is to cut him off from all of these things, until he is able to right the ship. Our goal is to get him to spend more time studying so his grades can improve, but if he is allowed to continue to have these distracters in his life, he will never make it a priority to do these things.

My wife on the other hand believes that if we resort to such tactics, it will set off a chain reaction of rebellion. She also feels that even if we took these things away, because of his stubbornness he will accept the punishment, and still refuse to do the work needed. I sure I did not properly convey her exact feelings, which I hope she will clarify in the comments section.

Nicole has always taught him since a very young age, to be proud of whom you are, to not worry about pleasing others, but to stick to what you believe to be right and wrong, and to stand true to yourself. These are all wonderful lessons, but this has backfired on us, as he sure does stand true to what he believes in, “I will never use any of this stupid stuff anyway so what’s the point” damn kid.

As everyone is aware, I sent an e-mail to Satan last week (not the one I posted.) In this letter I clearly stated that Satan is to no longer use B’s sisters as bargaining chips to get B to see FF, and that under no circumstances is she allowed speaking to or seeing FF. I had this feeling all week that when Satan picked B up for their semi-monthly visit yesterday that Satan would surprised her by brining her to see FF and her sisters. So B left for her visit, and at 7pm I receive a text from Satan saying “just wanted to let you know that I brought FF and the girls to see B, and everything went fine.” The minute I read this I was consumed with such hatred and anger. I shouted out “I f’ing knew it!” I went and showed my wife the text, and we were both heated.

When B got home we asked her to come talk to us. We asked her if she knew FF was going to be there and she said no. We inquired further and asked how this whole thing came about. She said that Satan and her grandma picked her up and headed off to the Eden Prairie mall. When they got into the parking lot they told B that FF and the girls are inside and asked her if she wanted to go in and see them. At first Satan said that her grandma would take the sisters while she and FF talked to B, and that she might get to see her sisters. My daughter sat out there for 45 minutes and finally agreed as long as she was able to see her sisters the whole time, and that there is to be no talk of the past. After Satan asked FF for is permission on this, she agreed and off they went.

I am just really at a loss with this whole situation. I made it crystal clear to Satan that B is not allowed to see FF, and I feel like she did this out of spite and too show me that she can do whatever she wants. The last time I told her that B is not allowed seeing or speaking to FF; she told me “you can’t tell me what I can and can’t do on my visits.” I should have listened to my gut and just told her that B is no longer going to be allowed to go with her on visits anymore, and then we could deal with it in court. There are so many things about this situation which pisses me off, but the worst is that Satan and her grandma put B in a lose lose situation. All B wants is to see her sisters, she is sitting in the parking lot with her mom and grandma watching her waiting for her response, and her sisters are right inside. How do you put an 11 yr old child, your own daughter, in such a manipulative situation?

I am proud of B, that she told Satan that she wouldn’t go in unless she could see her sisters the whole time and that the past is not to be brought up, but she should never have been put into this situation to begin with. I am happy for B that after two and a half years she was finally able to see her sisters.

My wife thinks it is my job to stop this, to enforce my beliefs of B’s well being as her sole custody provider. She thinks I should contact the courts to find out what rights I have to enforce B not seeing FF. I think now that FF has seen B that I have nothing left to do but sit back and allow the FF/Satan family to do as they please with my daughter twice a month. This is only the beginning, now two Sunday’s a month will be spent at Satan house with FF, then it will be asking for B to spend the night Saturday nights prior to her scheduled Sunday’s , then it will be can we have B for a weekend. Then it will be Satan back in court asking for her parenting time back to every other weekend spent at their house. My wife thinks if we do not stop it now, and B has spent many of times with FF that we will have no ground to stand on. But if we stop it now we may be able to stop the snowball from rolling down the hill.

I am not sure what the proper next step to take is. I don’t know if I should not allow B to see her mom anymore. As I stated above the issue has always been that Satan was manipulating B and consistently hurting her. No matter how many times B told Satan that she wants to see her sisters, but not FF, Satan kept pushing, and dangling that carrot in front of her. Now that she has seen FF and her sisters then what am I trying to prevent? FF is going to always be on his best behavior until he realizes he can go back to mistreating her. I disagree with my wife on stopping the visits, because I would have no legs to stand on in court. It’s shitty that Satan put B into this tough situation, but I am also happy she was finally able to see her sisters. Maybe this is what I should be focusing on.

Satan,

I feel we need to put to rest the issue of our daughter (B,) her sisters, and F**k Face (FF). When B was in therapy, she opened up her true feelings. She has not worrying what she would say to us or to you. From those sessions the child psychologist gave her recommendation that B should not have anything to do with FF. When we sat in front of the referee in court and he asked you what future you saw with B, you indicated you wanted to work toward more time with her and you wanted her to be part of your family including FF. Referee M clearly stated that you need to focus much of your energy on you and B, on B and her sisters, but seeing FF was not an important piece to that, furthermore referee M indicated that if you wanted to create a better relationship with B it would be in your best interest to find a therapist that specializes in reunification, then down the line possibly FF could be involved, and only if B herself ever felt comfortable.

It is unfortunate that you feel you need to control B by using one of the worst times of her life against her by forcing her to have to “patch things up” with the person who caused her so much fear and pain that she no longer wanted to live in your home. If FF had beaten her, would you still feel she should work things out with him in order to see her sisters? If FF had raped her, would you still feel she should work things out with him in order to see her sisters? But because the pain he caused her was emotional and mental, that should simply be forgotten and swept away in order to please your and FF’s wants? By telling B that she will not see her sisters until they are 18, if she does not work things out with FF, is manipulative and just as emotionally hurtful to her as the original harm. You are simply de-validating her hurt and feelings by forcing her to be around someone she truly does not want to. What if you could only see B if my wife (N) and I were there with you the whole time, would you feel comfortable with that? Or you can see B once the three of us have sat down together worked out all our differences and all became best friends, then you could see her with us there, would that feel like a good compromise for you?

I wish B had the courage to tell you her truest of feelings, but she doesn’t. It doesn’t matter how many times you tell her she can be honest with you, she has made it clear she won’t do it. She told me about her phone conversation with you on Monday, and then her talk with FF. I have made it clear to you several times that she is to have no contact with FF. B Has made it clear she wants nothing to do with FF, yet you corner her in a situation where she has no choice but to speak with him. She fears that if she told you no that you would stop coming to see her. When we were talking to B she said well I guess it kind of makes sense a little if mom wants me to see her and FF first. Hear that “IF MOM WANTS ME” not what B wants, not her needs first. If in fact FF, and you, have changed why is it still what FF wants before your daughter? If in fact he has changed so much, what exactly is the harm in B seeing her sisters once a month for 4 hours? If he in fact changed and was sorry and loved her so much why would he still keep her away from her sisters? This does not sound like a man who has changed, or a man that loves her.

The things you BOTH are doing to B does not show remorse or love, it shows something so far from those things, yet you both still do it. Letting her see her sisters is not a separation of FF and his daughters that is the reality that you have a daughter that leads a separate life, should you choose to be a part of her life, then it is HER life you are entering it is not her entering YOUR life. You may want your whole family together Satan, but in reality that is not what B wants. After I quietly listened to B tell me the whole conversation with you and then with FF I asked her one thing, I said if your sisters did not exist would you WANT to see and work things out with FF. She looked at me, smiled a bit and said well NO. I find it funny how the minute I mention taking you to court you all of a sudden want a relationship with B, after you had just written her off. I find it funny that once child support became a reality all of a sudden FF wants to talk to B. My personal opinion is if it were not for child support FF would still not want anything to do with B, and I am sure you would still be out of her life. One of my theories for why you are manipulating her in this way has nothing to do with FF being “sorry” and “loving” B, but has everything to do with child support. I have a serious question to ask you; if I agreed to no longer collect child support from you in exchange for you never seeing B again would you take it? Or if I changed it and said I will suspend child support in exchange for B being able to see her sisters, and a guarantee she would never see FF again, would you take that? This is an honest serious proposition.   

B simply wants to know her sisters, I can not for the life of me, understand how you can feel it is right to keep that form her, dangle them in front of her to entice her to like your husband, that Satan is yet another example of why we are so very protective of B when it comes to all of this.

As her father and her sole physical guardian at this point in B’s life I am put in a position to make a decision, I don’t like to do this, I want B to feel like she has choices and learns how to make the right choices, but she is so easily manipulated by you and so badly wants to see her sisters that she is stuffing away all those hurt, sad, angry feelings in order to achieve this. I know this because she lets all those stuffed away feelings out to us, and we are the ones holding her for two hours while she sobs, and hurts, and hates you, and hates all of this, and worst of all hates that she was ever honest about FF, because if she had just taken it from him then none of this would have ever happened and she could see her sisters. She said something to me on Sunday that will stick with me for a very long time. She told me she hated her life. As a parent this is the worst thing you can hear coming from your child’s mouth. To me this broke my heart, but you will read this and think nothing of it, because you have only shown that you and your husband’s feelings come first and B’s last. You wonder why I have so much “hate in my heart” towards you, it is because your and FF’s actions has caused my daughter unspeakable pain. I love my children, and as a result I can hold no respect for somebody who has caused them so much suffering. As her parent I have to step in at this point and put a stop to this.

B is not allowed to be around FF at this point. Until either she attends some therapy, or we see that she and her feelings are being put first, and she is more emotionally stable on the situation. I will determine when that is based on what B shows us. It would be a very big gesture of change and love for B to be able to see her sisters once a month for 4 hours; this in no way will cause any damage to your daughter’s relationship with FF. I would assume the girls know they have a sister that lives with her dad, so seeing their sister once in a while is not some crazy emotionally harmful event; many many kids out there have the same type of family structure. If you decide that she can see the girls, please give us advanced warning of when you will bring them. If you decide that you still believe she should not see them then we will deal with that as B expresses her feelings about it. And if you decide she can not see them then I ask you, for B sake, do not discuss her sisters with her anymore, as she always comes home very upset after those discussions.

B is NOT allowed to speak to FF. You should have run that by me before you did it. If that happens again, or you continue to hang her sisters over her head in order to manipulate her, we will be going back to supervised phone conversations. If you continue to manipulate her using her sisters to see FF, then I will cut off all communication between you and her. Yes you were awarded to see B two Sundays a month and you can take me back to court, but I am sure Referee M will see your tactics for what they are. I wonder what he would think about you not letting her see her sisters for two years, after he chastised you for that very same decision. I wonder what he will say when you use her sisters as a manipulative bargaining chip in order for her to see FF, who is the last person she ever wants to see, and who her therapist and family members have stated she shouldn’t see him. I wonder what he will think when B asks you what if she doesn’t want to see FF, and your response is she will have to wait until they are 18. When she said she doesn’t want to see FF your response is “well you will just need to wait?”  I no longer want to continue this merry-go-round subject, make your decision and then let’s be done with this.

As for mothers day Satan, just because you are her biological mom doesn’t mean you are the “mom” in her life. N has and always will be the mom she turns to for anything and everything. You really need to earn that title, because you tossed that away long ago when you tossed aside your daughter like trash. You know very little about her life or who she is. You are not the one holding her when she is hurting; in fact you are the one causing these hurt feelings. N has been there for all those things, and N is the one along with me who needs to console her pain caused by her own mother. N knows everything about B in every way. This is what makes a mom, and sorry but you haven’t cut it for many years. The B you see for 8 hours a month is NOT the real B.

Finally you and FF claim to be religious, but what would Jesus or God think of what you are doing to your daughter which according to things you have said or wrote was in His name. Would God/Jesus approve of your and FF’s behavior??

In August I will be getting my yearly birthday tattoo. I originally thought I may add color to the Buddha/Bonsai tree on my left arm, but now I am thinking of something much different. I came across this optical illusion last year which I thought would make a really kick ass tattoo you can check it out here http://www.kidworker.com/kidz_downloads/KidZ%20Music/illusion/illusions.htm. (It is the good/evil picture.)

Ever since I saw this picture I have been chomping at the bit to get it added to the work I already have on my body. The question is where should I get it? I have always said I would never get sleeves on my arms, but when I look at them it appears they are turning out that way. There is not much room to add individual pieces. The only options I have is to build pieces around my existing tattoos. This can really only be done with the consult of my artist. When I look at my arm I am having a really hard time trying to find a place where it will look good with my existing work.

I thought about my back where I only have one tattoo, but I just don’t think it would look very good back there. I feel like it may look out of place and off balance. I may add it back there if the good/evil was a centerpiece to a larger tattoo. Perhaps I could have an angel on the top and a demon on the bottom with them fighting for my soul in the middle. This may look good but the overall scope of the work would take a few years to finish. I have zero tattoos below my waste, and unless I decide to get a tattoo on the back of my legs this will probably remain the same. I have two tattoos on my chest, but I cannot see this tattoo idea fitting anywhere on there. I refuse to get a tattoo on my stomach or my sides because of my belly. I am confident I will one day lose my belly; at this point I will consider getting a tattoo in these areas.

This means there are only two places left to get this tattoo my neck or my front chest shoulder area. I think the front shoulder area may look good, but I am very symmetrical when it comes to my tattoos. When I got my tattoo on my wrist I had to get one on the other. Same goes for my arm or chest tattoos. I am just not sure this is the best place to put this specific piece. I would end up with anxiety and I wouldn’t be able to wait another year to get my next tattoo on the other side. This leaves my neck as the next best option.

I have always wanted a tattoo on my neck for as long as I can remember, but I have never come across something I found worthy to put in such a visible place. I feel this tattoo fits the bill as a worthy tattoo. I have showed this design to a few people without really explaining what it is and I love how some people see “good” while others see “evil,” because of this I think it is a unique idea which works out great for me. I think if I am able to get this it may end up being my favorite tattoo yet.  

I have asked several people if this would make a good neck tattoo and the responses have been in favor of moving forward with this idea. I have also placed a poll on this blog asking my readers opinions on this topic. I am 98% positive this is going to be my next tattoo I just need to meet with my artist and find the best size and placing. I was really excited about the piece I got last year, but I must say I am far more excited about this idea. I think it will make a great addition to my overall work. The bad part is I need to wait four months before this can become a reality.

I wrote this post on the day I put the poll up on this blog to see my reader’s response. My wife is 100% against me getting a tattoo on my neck, so I decided to let my readers be the decision maker. The results are 37.5% say I should move forward with the neck tattoo and 62.5% say I should not. It looks like I will not be getting this tattoo on my neck. This is really okay with me because I met with my artist and we decided the best place was going down on my right forearm.

I am still very excited about this tattoo since he showed me the placing of the piece. This tattoo goes great with the existing themes I have on my body. I just need to figure out how to get my wife to agree with me so I can get the work done way before my birthday in August.

Thank you for all those who took the time to vote.

“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”
Scott Adams 

This makes me think of the movies “Pay it Forward,” and “Evan Almighty,” which happens to be two of my top 200 movies of all time. I know you may be thinking 200 is an odd number to have, but it is what makes the most logical sense. “Pay it Forward” is great, because it shows the ripple effect over this one boys acts of kindness. It amazed me how many lives were changed over those three little actions. “Evan Almighty’s” primary message, is how we can all change the world with one act of random kindness at a time.  These movies made me think of what role I play in acts of kindness; besides “The Bucket List Foundation” I do very little to better my fellow man. I write about how greed keeps us from thinking about the needs of others in our society. I do not consider myself a greedy man, but I wonder why I do not practice what I preach.

I think one of the reasons for this, is I have not been in a position to really execute these acts of kindness. I am aware, that what I am in a position to do is acts of kindness towards my family, but I even find myself having trouble with this. My doctor says this can be attributed to my Anti-Social Personality Disorder. I actually had an opportunity to display an act of kindness, but I passed on the situation.

I went to get our morning coffee, and there was this younger gentleman with a makeshift duffle bag made from a bed sheet tied on all four sides. He said he needed a ride to Mystic Lake Casino, so he could catch a bus into downtown Minneapolis. He said he only had ten dollars on him, which wasn’t enough for the cab fare. He went on to say he had a pretty bad fight with his girlfriend, and he had to quickly get out of the house before there was a domestic violence issue. I honestly told him I just didn’t feel comfortable giving a ride to someone I didn’t know.

As I was preparing my coffee I kept thinking to myself that I should give him a ride to help him out, but then my other side was telling me this was a bad idea, because he could take my car and rob me, or possibly worse. I think this is a key reason why people hesitate to help out those in need. It saddens me to say but the society we live in today is violent, and void of morals. You really cannot tell who you can trust and who you can’t. I think because of this people are hesitant to do the right thing. It would have been so easy for me to do this guy a solid, but this voice in my head was telling me he can’t be trusted.

What interests me the most is the ripple effect random acts of kindness can have. It is amazing to me how the smallest things have such dramatic effects way beyond what we even realize. This makes me think of the butterfly effect, and how the most minor trivial changes can drastically change the future as we know it. It would be amazing to do a social study on what would happen if every citizen made it a priority to do one act of random kindness a day. Would this mass ripple effect alter the outcome of the human race? How much would our society be altered if we all made this a priority?

I want to do my part and better society and my fellow man, but I am at a loss for how to do it. I suppose this can be done through my foundation, or I can start looking for the smaller things. I believe the message in “Evan Almighty” was focused on how the main characters acts altered his family. Evan was so focused on his work that he neglected his family. In the end his journey was one of creating a stronger family unit. I stated earlier, how I am in a position to give these acts of kindness to my family. I think this is a great start, and in reality should be my top priority over anything else. I would imagine these acts towards my family would have a massive ripple effect, even more so than giving that guy a ride.

Now that I think about it, I do perform random acts of kindness, anytime I am on the floor in the nursing home. I go out of my way to interact with the residents here, and I always leave them with a smile on their face. I know I leave them with a feeling that they are valued. You would be amazed at how this vital human need is lacking in our nursing homes. I can do my part everyday I come to work, and in all my interactions throughout the day. I can do my part by strengthening my family unit, and by nurturing an environment built on unconditional love. Maybe this is the simplest way to change our world.    

God asks Evan “How do we change the world.” Evan answers “one single act of random kindness at a time.”

 Evan Almighty

One of my greatest regrets in life is not taking school seriously. There was so much knowledge I missed out on, and I kick myself to this day. I was never really into school when I was younger. I was always in trouble getting detention, suspensions, and expulsions. My high school experience was limited to one class in which I lasted around twenty minutes before I just walked out on the class. Needless to say I was expelled within a month or two. When I was a teenager my priority was trouble and drugs. I honestly thought at that age I would become a career drug dealer, so I felt little need to learn anything.

I did not leave this life style or frame of mind until I reached my early twenties. Once my mind finally cleared from all the substances I had been feverishly consuming everyday for the last ten years, I finally realized that I needed an education to further myself in life. When I enrolled into college I was excited to begin learning for the first time in my life. When classes finally started, I was hit with a dose of reality as to how ill prepared I was for this experience. I had no idea how to properly study, and I lacked the basics of early learning. Despite these setbacks I managed to get A’s and B’s in all my classes, I was in heaven learning things for the first time. I ended up falling two semesters short of getting my B.A. in Philosophy.

I have noticed over the years since I left school there are many things I know very little about. This lack of knowledge has been a jumping off point for many of my insecurities. It wasn’t until around four months ago I decided to start a “learning list.” I decided I was going to start a list of everything I wanted to know more about. I carried this folded up notebook paper in my back pocket, and if I came across anything I didn’t know, or something I wanted to know more about I wrote it down on my piece of paper. The plan was to make sure I was setting aside sometime everyday to pick something off my list and learn as much as I could on the topic.

Time went by, and the only thing I had managed to do with this list is add things to it. I was having trouble finding the free time to dedicate to learning all these things I wanted to learn. It wasn’t until I decided to only write in this blog three times a week, I was able to find and dedicate my time to this project. I am happy to say that I have been able to finally cross some things off this list. I am overjoyed with this new found time.

When I started this I was just reading as much information as I could find on the topic. I realized I was not retaining all of this new found knowledge. I was discouraged because I was spending free time on something aimed at improving my intelligence, but I was unable to retain everything. I pondered this conundrum for a while and came up with the idea for weekly “learning books.” I decided that along with reading the material on a subject, I would also transfer key information into a word document. At the end of every week I would print a new volume of the learning book. My goal is to not only add new stuff every week, but to also go back and read past volumes. I feel that if I record all this into a booklet, and go back and read it over and over then the information will stick.

I am thirty-one years old and I desire to know so much more than I already do. I have always wanted to further my knowledge on an array of subjects. I feel this idea and structure will be a perfect tool in furthering my independent education. I am sure I will be using this new found knowledge to write some new posts. Perhaps I could create a new ongoing series called “The Learning Corner” or something like that. Whatever happens I know right now I feel very proud of myself. I would recommend this model to anyone interested in learning new things. It seems to be working for me.

I was going to write about my oldest son today, but I am just filled with to much internal conflict, and yucky emotions. My daughter (B) had one of her monthly visits with her mom yesterday, and as usual it didn’t go to well. I am disturbed over this whole situation. I know I have written about this several times, but just writing about it eases some of my intense emotions over this subject. I am also frustrated over the next “Dylan Thomas” book I am writing, which is causing me to feel torn over what I want to do with this blog. I think I may need to take a step back and focus on this book, but I have a hard time letting this blog go.

Last night when B was dropped off from her visit with her mom, she ended up crying for over two hours, because she was so upset and hurt over her moms’ refusal to let her see her sisters. I am not really sure how the conversation over this came up, perhaps B just asked her mom again why she can’t see them. When her mom started seeing her again she told B that she wouldn’t be allowed to see her sisters until she agreed to see her step-father (Fuck Face.) B wants nothing to do with FF because of all the shit he has done to her. The excuse she gave B last night was she can’t see her sisters because she doesn’t want to “separate” FF from their two girls. This probably means the same thing, just worded differently, but that is not how B understood it.

B told her again that she doesn’t want to see FF, so does this mean that she can’t see her sisters until they are 18. Her mothers’ response was “well looks like you will just have to wait then.” She couldn’t stop crying, she said she doesn’t even know what they look like, and if she saw them walking on the street, she wouldn’t even recognize them. She said she doesn’t understand why her mom is doing this to her, and she can’t deal with how painful this is. She then uttered a phrase I had hoped none of my children would ever say; she said that she hates her life. I know pre-teen and teenagers utter that phrase often, but I could tell by her pain that she truly meant it.

Needless to say this caused me to see red. I am very protective of my children, and the fact that someone is causing my little princess deep emotional pain, just doesn’t sit well with me. I have grown so sick and tired over how much agony her mother has caused her over the past six years. I just simply can’t understand how her mother can so easily hurt her without even a second thought. B has been put through tremendous pain over this situation, but I have never seen her cry and hurt so much as I did last night. I was enraged over this; I did the impulse thing and texted her mom. I told her “I hoped I was wrong about religion, because I know there is a special place in hell for sick twisted people such as yourself, and hell is exactly where you belong.”

It is bad enough that her mom shows no interest in her life beyond there two four hour visits a month, but not allowing her to see her sisters is just plain evil. B is so sick with depression she didn’t even want to get out of bed this morning and felt so sick she didn’t even want to go to school. I am waiting for a call from the nurse to come pick her up. I really should have just let her stay home. I feel so powerless over this, and I want to fix this for her, so she doesn’t need to hurt so much.

I am also torn and frustrated over the “Dylan Thomas” book I am working on. I had already decided to not write a blog post everyday so I had more time to work on this book, but I am finding this is not curing the problem. Writing these books is rather difficult, and requires much more time then I have. The problem here is, if I have time and I can’t find the magic then I end up just staring at the computer. I need this magic to write these damn things, and it frustrates me that I cannot just summon this magic at will. I am only four pages in and even this has taken me four hours. The “Dylan Thomas” format is written in four or more line stanza’s where the last word always rhymes. Writing a learning book in this style is very difficult. I captured the magic yesterday, but lost it in short order. I was devastated over this, because I have been trying to conjure up this magic for over a month. To have it, and then lose it is tearing me apart.

I am thinking I may need to put my blog aside, so I have more time to work on this book. I will still try to write posts when they come to me, but I am not going to make this a priority right now. This makes me a bit sad, but I need to get these books off to an agent. I have a better chance of success with the DT series than I do with this blog. I apologize to my regular readers, but I promise I will write at least one post a week.