Look at that, a blog post…

A couple of months ago I was chatting with my oldest son about his IT/computer class. He was telling me about how much he enjoyed the course, and that he was getting a fantastic grade! All great news!

Then he told me that he was doing a Google search and my blog came up. His friends were all standing around, and up popped my header image of my wife in her wedding dress, flipping everyone the bird! He and his friends got a good chuckle out it. And so did I.

It got me thinking about my blog. It’s been a very long time since I’ve posted anything! And to be honest, my lack of posting here has bothered me. And I can’t really put a finger on why? Well, that’s not entirely true.  I think it is that I have/had expectations around my content. Why? It’s my site! I am “THE BOSS” so to speak. So why place any expectations at all on myself!?

It bothers me because I really enjoyed blogging over the years, but life has gotten in the way.

And by life, I just mean the busy life I live raising 4 boys, and trying to keep my marriage together. NO ONE prepared me for how hard it is to raise more kids than there are adults in the house! By the end of the day, I am usually completely spent from working, cleaning up the various messes they have made over the time I’ve been at work, putting them to bed; and at that point I try to weigh if I should go out for a night ride(to keep my sanity), hangout with my wife(to keep my marriage), or my older kids(to just hangout with no strings). It’s never perfect. It’s rarely perfect.

I’ve come to learn that I will never be everything for my family, my work, my friends, my wife, my blog. There would need to be 4 or 5 of me, and that would be a scary thing! No body wants that many of me…

What keeps you motivated to blog/write? Below are some bloggers giving some inspirational reasons they blog.

Hope to see you back here again soon.

 

Readers tell us why they blog.

via The Space That Blogging Provides: Readers Respond — Discover

 

 

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Gandhi was a horrible pedophile racist asshole.

http://internetisinamerica.blogspot.ca/2011/12/you-know-who-was-kind-of-jerk-gandhi.htmlThere, I said it. Gandhi, by many written accounts including his own journals; was racist, a pedophile, let his wife die a horrible death, and wrote Hitler to say that the world got him all wrong…Yes, that Gandhi.

Let me start by saying that I am far from perfect. We all are. We all have shitty days, things we wished we could do over, words that we are embarrassed to have said, and even skeletons in our closets we hope don’t see the light of day. Let’s get that part out of the way. Gandhi had shitty days, just like you and me.

Even forgiving those times, Gandhi was a jerk.

Today I stumbled upon a well written article listing out the Top 5 Reasons Gandhi was Actually a Jerk

  1. He was a horrible father and spouse abuser
  2. He was pen pals with Hitler
  3. He sort of had a thing for his underage relatives. . .
  4. …and oh yeah, possibly German-Jewish bodybuilders, too
  5. He kind of didn’t like black people.

I would probably have shortened the list to Top 3 or 4 reasons as I have no issues with Gandhi having a gay love affair with a German bodybuilder in principle. Who cares!? Well, his forever suffering wife, and excommunicated gay oldest son probably would. So there is a larger issue of being a douche bag hypocrite. So, I guess I’ll leave it on for that reason.

Then, being a pen pal to Hitler. On the surface, I think of all the people that become pen pals with Charlie Manson, and other equally messed up criminals. Does that make them jerks? No. But I suppose if you wrote Charlie Manson to say that you completely understand why he killed a bunch of people, and that those victims should be happy to accept their fate, then that probably would make you an asshole. Damn, I’ll keep that on the list too.

It doesn’t surprise me as much as makes me disappointed that popular culture seems to get truth and fantasy mixed up. What next? Don’t tell me Mother Teresa was sort of a jerk too…

 

 

 

 

How to be a successful psychic – Delanceyplace

I have always been a skeptic. Well, maybe not always, but as far back as I can remember. In fact, one of the beliefs that gnawed at me from a young age was that of god. I just didn’t buy the story. My mom had a bible in the kitchen miscellaneous (junk) drawer that she never read, so I took it out and started from the beginning.
20111105-223713.jpgI couldn’t believe what I was reading! Not to offend anyone that believes it, but I was flabbergasted as to how a person could read the bible and believe it as an absolute truth.
I started asking questions about who wrote it. Humans wrote it? But it was the word of god, right? Isn’t he able to make it himself and give a copy?
Then I started asking about how the world could have been populated by Adam & Eve. How could they live for almost a thousand years? Wasn’t there some really creepy incest going on?
That was the start of me questioning the validity of there being a god. And from that point on, ghosts, the sasquatch, angels, psychics, spirits, leprechauns, monsters, hell, the afterlife, heaven, mermaids, homeopathy (the list is quite extensive!!), etc…have been given equal treatment. They are all bullshit. Believe what you want, but question it all.
With that, I do find it fascinating when I have friends, family, co-workers that go to psychic readings, tea leaf readings, palm readings, tarot card readings etc…and are absolutely convinced they have spoken to their deceased loved ones. How did the psychic do it? Much like a magician, there is a method to their readings.
Find below an excerpt from Delancey Place all about how to be a successful psychic. A good read!
Today’s encore selection — from The Full Facts Book of Cold Reading by Ian Rowland. If you want to become a psychic, which is a $2 billion industry in the U.S. alone, there is perhaps no better instruction book than Ian Rowland’s The Full Facts Book of Cold Reading. Rowland, a highly successful practitioner, freely admits the tricks involved, and meticulously catalogues them for his readers. A good part of the book explains how the psychic can convince the client of his or her psychic abilities (e.g., “The Fuzzy Fact”) and achieve a successful reading, but the book also explains how to handle situations where the client rejects the psychic’s statements as incorrect. Two of the ten methods outlined in the book for dealing with this rejection — focus and awareness — are excerpted below:

 

“There are going to be times when the psychic offers a statement that the client rejects. Now and again the client will say that a statement is incorrect or just doesn’t mean anything to her. This isn’t a problem for the psychic. There are many ways in which she can still be right, or at the very least partially right. In the world of psychic readings, if the client accepts a statement then the psychic wins and if she rejects a statement the psychic wins anyway!

 

“There are two main ways for psychics to deal with a negative response: revisions and codas. I will deal with the revisions first, because I think they are more interesting and useful. Later we will look at the two commonest codas. There are numerous revisions, but here are the eight that I think are most useful.

 

Focus: This revision applies when at least part of a statement is right, even if it’s just one word or one idea. The psychic places all the focus and attention on the part of the statement that is right and allows the rest to fade away, forgotten and unmentioned:
‘I’m sensing the name Jane or Jenna in connection with your place of work. Someone you don’t necessarily know very well but you see her often. Can you place this person?’

 

“If the client happens to work with anyone called Jane or Jenna, or anyone with a name that sounds similar, this is a hit. However, suppose the client says:

 

‘No, not really. I know a Joanne, but she’s nothing to do with work. She’s a friend from my school days.’

 

‘Yes, that must be who I was getting. I was sensing a female name starting with J, you know, Jane or Joanne or something like that, and I knew it had to be someone you have known for quite a long time. And you have known her a long time, haven’t you?’

 

“The psychic places all the focus and emphasis on the bits that are right, and simply forgets about the rest. A slight refinement is for the psychic to hint that she only got something wrong because she did not trust her psychic powers:

 

‘Oh, she’s called Joanne is she? Well that’ll teach me! I wanted to say Joanne but then I got this impression about Jane or that kind of sound. I should learn to trust my first instincts, shouldn’t I? Okay, but nonetheless I knew that there was someone in your life with this name that you’ve known a long time. That’s right isn’t it?’

 

“When using the Focus revision, the psychic’s delivery and tone of voice can help to make the error seem a trivial distraction of no consequence. Example:

 

‘And this house you lived in at the time, I see a number 2 on the door. That’s right isn’t it?’

 

“If yes, this is a hit. If not, the psychic says:

 

‘Well, all right, I’m obviously confused about the exact number but not to worry, it doesn’t matter. This house that I’m seeing is the important thing, and the reason I want to mention this house is that …’

 

“The psychic goes on to talk about something completely different, forgetting about the problematic numeral as if it had never been mentioned. The client can generally be relied upon to also forget about it. A happy conspiracy of forgetfulness adds greatly to the impressive nature of many psychic readings.

 

Awareness: The psychic suggests that her statement is correct, but the client may not realize this as she isn’t aware of all the facts:

 

‘I’m sensing the name Jane or Jenna in connection with your place of work. Someone you don’t necessarily know very well but you see her often. Can you place this person?’

 

‘Not really, no, I don’t think I know anyone with either of those names.’

 

‘Actually, there’s a good chance this might not be your place of work. It might be someone your husband or a friend of yours works with, at some office or something like that, and you might not know them personally.’

 

“The psychic is basically saying she is right, but the client isn’t in a position to know that she is right. A useful variation is to suggest that nobody is aware of the crucial information:

 

‘Actually, this might be someone whose first name is actually Jane, but she always uses her middle name for some reason. Even people who have known her for a very long time aren’t aware that in fact she regularly uses her middle name, which I sense is quite different.’

 

“Another variation is to suggest that there’s a reason why a given piece of information might not be available to the client, such as embarrassment:

 

‘I’m sensing this name Jane or Jenna, and she’s recently had a medical issue to deal with, yes?’

 

“If yes, this is a hit. If not, the psychic says:

 

‘Actually, she may have kept rather quiet about it. I sense it’s perhaps not something she would talk about much. I don’t think it was anything particularly serious so we don’t need to dwell on it.’

 

“Yet another variation is the suggestion that the client’s memory may be at fault, or that she was never fully aware of the situation in the first place. This can be made to sound entirely forgivable:

 

‘And when you were younger, I see an accident involving water. Does this make sense to you?’

 

“If yes, this is a hit. If not, the psychic says:

 

‘I sense it’s going back some time, perhaps when you were very young. You may not remember much about it now.’

 

“The Awareness revision is never used in such a way as to make the client feel stupid or ignorant. The psychic always makes it clear that the lack of awareness is entirely understandable and blameless.”

Excerpt from The Soul of an Octopus. Interesting!

“The scientifically correct plural [of octopus] is not octopi, [but octopuses] … (it turns out you can’t put a Latin ending — i — on a word derived from Greek, such as octopus). … Here is an animal with venom like a snake, a beak like a parrot, and ink like an old­-fashioned pen. It can weigh as much as a man and stretch as long as a car, yet it can pour its baggy, boneless body through an opening the size of an orange. It can change color and shape. It can taste with its skin. … Most fascinating of all … octopuses are smart. …

By steve_lodefink - Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4012223
By steve_lodefink – Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4012223

Close up of suckers
“Their mouths are in their armpits — or, if you prefer to liken their arms to our lower, instead of upper, extremities, between their legs. They breathe water. Their appendages are covered with dexterous, grasping suckers, a structure for which no mammal has an equivalent. And not only are octopuses on the opposite side of the great vertebral divide that separates the backboned creatures such as mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish from everything else; they are classed within the invertebrates as mollusks, as are slugs and snails and clams, animals that are not particularly renowned for their intellect. Clams don’t even have brains. …

“A giant Pacific octo­pus — the largest of the world’s 250 or so octopus species — can eas­ily overpower a person. Just one of a big male’s three-inch-diameter suckers can lift 30 pounds, and a giant Pacific octopus has 1,600 of them. An octopus bite can inject a neurotoxic venom as well as saliva that has the ability to dissolve flesh. Worst of all, an octopus can take the opportunity to escape from an open tank, and an escaped octo­pus is a big problem for both the octopus and the aquarium. …The giant Pacific octo­pus is one of the fastest-growing animals on the planet. Hatching from an egg the size of a grain of rice, one can grow both longer and heavier than a man in three years.

For more, please visit Delanceyplace.com!

Featured Voices: Why I’m Genderqueer, Professional, and Unafraid

Jacob Tobia seeks gender empowerment in the professional world. When being visibly gender nonconforming raises eyebrows on the street, how can someone stay true to their identity in the workplace?

Source: Featured Voices: Why I’m Genderqueer, Professional, and Unafraid

Why does it feel like that time Dubya got in?

drumpfI hate Donald Trump. There is enough dirt on this guy, and his despicable moral compass, to think he would have no hope in hell of winning an election; let alone be the President of the USA!! And, the guy hasn’t ever been a politician!?!

Really America, what the hell are you smoking? Don’t answer that…

Maybe I’m just being overly sensitive as a Canadian who could not believe people actually voted for Stephen Harper, our right-wing conservative Prime Minister. Luckily for us, he lost this time around. Well, lucky in the short-term because the long-term implications of having a anti-science, religious semi-dictator in power running a country; is terrifying for me.

Our environment is damaged. Our reputation is damaged. Our ability to help those in need is damaged. It will take time to repair our country.

And Harper is not a fucking loonie like Trump is!

Please citizens of America, do everything in your power to fix your corrupt electoral system, and don’t vote in a fascist asshole. You just got rid of one, remember?

Big Bob with the Big Bat

New_years_rideSo, one night (one of many), my friend Peter and I went for a gorgeous night ride in one of our favourite riding spots. The Abyss…

It was January, and recently we had been experiencing snow, so the opportunities to put mountain biking rubber down on grippy forest floor were slim and spotty depending on the weather forecast.

We went out for our weekly (sometimes twice weekly) late evening ride. Our standard, “meet at the Gate at 9”, with the night as our oyster.

The night did not disappoint. We hammered through protected and forested lush single track; with sections of pillaged clear cut and slushy, snowy lines in between. I, as usual, chasing the rear wheel of my super fit riding buddy; hoping he was going to choose a good line through the narrowly lit path I was blindly flying through just behind him.

At the end, we both rode as fast as we could down our last trail, to finish off yet another fun, and exhilarating ride.

After, we took some time at “the Gate” to catch up over the last few days. It’s like our debrief on all the stresses of the last week, and how we are handling this thing called “life”. Probably successfully considered to outsiders as male bonding time. Peter is like a brother, and our conversations together end up meaning as much as the time we spend snaking around on our favourite trails together.

While talking about law, politics, juicy new bike parts and frames, our relationships, we saw a shadowed figure approaching. He didn’t look meek. In fact, as he came closer; it was quite clear this guy was big…

And, he had a bat.

Source image

Yup, I’m sitting here in my ‘counselling session’ and now; well, I’m about to die. Fuck.

I say hi. He replies with equal friendly gratuity.

He says, “oh, i see we have some enthusiasts!” ; while shining his flashlight back and forth between our cars and illuminating our freshly muddied bikes attached to the back of each.

We start chatting. He’s the neighbourhood ‘watchdog’. We chat about some idiot that parked his truck in the same spot as us, and proceeded to steal tools from a neighbour back in the new development on the other side of our forested trailhead. That there have been a few teen aged partyers around in the forest from time to time, and that his next door neighbour had a bunch of things stolen from his garage.

I sensed his frustration. I understood the large bat accommodating Big Bob. But at the same time, I felt at ease with Bob. He was a nice guy. One of those people we all wished we had as neighbours.  We all introduced each other, understanding that we were all innocent folk, and chatted a bit more.

Bob told us about how long he’d been in the neighbourhood, a few other things in making idle chat, and then mentioned those pesky problems his area had been facing.

He mentioned one night a few months ago, coming out in the dark with his bat and flashlight, and saw a mini-van, “with kids car seats in the back”, and a bike rack sticking out the back. He was worried. So, he called the cops. This person, possibly a mom, was out in the forest. At night. In the fucking dark. With his/her bike.

This couldn’t turn out well. What the hell would someone do that for? They may never return.

So, Bob called the cops.

Right away, I saw the connection! I drove that minivan!!!

A few months back, I had my regular bike rack break off the back of my car. As I was just in between some expenses, I used the van instead of my car to get out for my regular night ride. I had gone out for a gorgeous fall ride; and just like normal; I finished the ride with a grin on my face, and texted my sometimes-concerned with what the hell I’m about wife, I was alive and coming home.

The place where we park is a dead-end road slash cul-de-sac. I was doing a U-turn as I was leaving, and saw a local RCMP car parked doing some paperwork.

At 11 o’clock at night…??

I thought that was odd, but went on my merry way. Home to my family, and happy that I get the both of best worlds. Time to see my kids grow, time to hang out with my super supportive wife, and that special time I have hammering through the forest with only the part of trail my light can keep up with, in front of me.

I am one lucky man. Bob didn’t kill me with his bat. I have friends, family, kids, and a wife that supports my passion. And I am fortunate to experience the magic that is night riding!