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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Irreconcilable Differences

Married couples often get divorced by claiming that they have developed irreconcilable differences. But some couples don't even get to the point in their relationships where they get married in the first place. Such was the case with me and my high school sweetie, Cheri Duncan. For years, I have felt guilty for having given her a hard time about a relatively trivial matter, involving a dramatic presentation in which she said the word "shit".

Now I am realizing that it's good that we did not get married. She's tolerant of both homosexuality and legal abortion. The first is something with which I strongly disagree, but the abortion thing is inexcusable in my opinion. Gay sex has few unwilling victims. Abortion, on the other hand, is nothing short of murder in the name of choice. Cheri was a good kisser, but I could get no joy from kissing a person who endorsed legalized murder.

Abortion and the John Wesley Club

When I recently searched the Internet for the name of an old girlfriend, Cheri Duncan, I was thrilled to find her, working at the Public Defender's Office in Houston Texas. I entertained hopes of reigniting my loving relationship with her. I was even willing to cut her some slack when I learned that she was associated with a liberal group called the NALT  (Not All Like That) Christians. (That group believes in tolerance of homosexuality.) But there are certain things which are so important to me that I consider them to be non-negotiable. Protection of the fundamental right to life, in relation to the abortion issue, would be one of those things.

On the web site for the John Wesley Club, of which Cheri is a member, I find a statement which strikes me as nonsensical gobbledegook; "We are pro-choice, often very reluctantly… in fact, almost all of us would describe ourselves as essentially pro-life — but from the legal and practical side, we are pro-choice.  We understand the gravity, risk, and sometimes desperation in the choice to terminate a pregnancy. Many of us are conflicted about this issue, however, but we support Roe vs. Wade."

Excuse me, I've been hearing this kind of crap for years: Describing one's self as "essentially pro-life" while simultaneously defending a legal practice that has resulted in MORE THAN 50 MILLION DEATHS, is like saying that one is "essentially in favor of human freedom" while defending the legal practice of slavery!!! The mind boggles when one considers such a statistic. "Essentially" my ass. There is nothing essentially pro-life about the defense of such actions.

I am not "conflicted" about the abortion issue; nor was Norma McCorvey, the woman whose case made abortion legal in the first place. She repented of the role she had played in America's holocaust.

What a shame. Cheri was a great kisser when I dated her, but it's very clear to me that our thinking has developed along very different lines since that time.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Dan Savage and My Old Girlfriend Cheri Duncan

When I lived in Chicago, a column I often saw in the Chicago Reader was one called Savage Love. Written by a gay man named Dan Savage, it seemed to have been created for the express purpose of offending heterosexual people, particularly conservative Christians.

In response to politician Rick Santorum, who had compared gay sex to pedophilia and bestiality, Savage decided to "Google bomb" Santorum, by associating his name with the frothy anal substance associated with gay sex.  I remember reading the specific column in which Savage wrote that, and I seem to recall that it so offended me that I send him an email, via The Chicago Reader, about that subject. (He replied that he couldn't imagine why any Christian would read his column at all. I sent him a reply saying that I thought that people should know their enemies intimately, on order to effectively combat their erroneous ideas.)

While one might have argued that Santorum's comparison was unwise, since sex with other men is neither sex with children nor sex with children, I thought that Dan Savage's retaliatory campaign against Rick was truly vile. Santorum was quoted as saying, "That’s Dan Savage. You know, it’s the lowest debasement of public discourse. It’s offensive beyond anything that any public figure or anybody in America should tolerate, and the mainstream media laughs about it." (To read more, click here.)
Recently, I was Google searching for an old girlfriend, with whom I was passionately in love before she broke up with me, named Cheri Duncan. Cheri appears in a YouTube video, speaking in support of a group calling themselves the NALT Christians. NALT, as in "Not All Like That". The group consists of  Christians proclaiming their belief in full LGBT equality", and seems to equate bias against gay people bias against people based on characteristics such as skin color, height, gender and other things of that nature.

Wow! Talk about obtuse.

Essentially, such people are believers in biological determinism, and in the idea that sexual preference is a matter of genetic programming, not a matter of free will decisions. They argue that the biblical texts which refer negatively to homosexual acts are not talking about the kind of thing done by modern gays, since the gay rights movement is something that got its start only in the 1970s in America.

Like many of the things said by gays and their defenders, I find such an argument to be disingenuous and unpersuasive.

On the web site for the NALT Christians Project, 3 names are listed on the Contact Page, with email addresses: Wayne Besen (wbesen@truthwinsout.org), John Shore (john@johnshore.com) and Dan Savage (savage@thestranger.com). That's right, the same Dan Savage who demonstrated the limits of his tolerance of differing opinions by choosing to "Google bomb" Rick Santorum with an insulting and truly puerile round of name calling.

Cheri Duncan and I broke up because I had unwisely tried to be her conscience, by constantly bugging her about her decision to do a monologue presentation from the play (later turned into a movie produced by Paul Newman) entitled The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-In-The-Moon Marigolds. In that monologue, she said the word "shit", which bothered me because I'd been taught that Christians ought to keep their speech free of profanities and crude words. (In hindsight, I have used words considerably worse in my life, including the "f bomb", in anger.) I should have dropped the matter, after expressing my opinion on the subject while talking with Cheri. But I was young, and I did not yet realize just how fragile relationships could be.

The issue of homosexuality never affected my relationship with Cheri. And I later came to deeply regret the manner in which I'd treated her with regard to her speech monologue. But I think that good relationships ought to be able to withstand disagreements about matters pertaining to morality, politics, etc.

I do not regard my opinions about homosexuality as nearly as important as my opinions about abortion. Abortion has millions of helpless victims. whereas homosexuality does not. But I do think that people ought to take responsibility for the choices they make, instead of speciously blaming genetic programming.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Gary S. Paxton

One of the very first vinyl records I ever owned was a 45 record containing the novelty song "Monster Mash", which was recorded by Gary S. Paxton. It was a fun Halloween song, designed to  appeal to kids or the style of music in which it was performed. For some reason, the version of that song which one can hear on Spotify was recorded by some guy named Don Hinson with a band named The Rigamorticians, which has an MP3 album at Amazon.com entitled "Monster Dance Party".

Later, when I was a young Christian studying at the School of the Ozarks (later renamed College of the Ozarks), I bought a Gary S. Paxton album entitled "Astonishing, Outrageous, Amazing, Incredible, Unbelievable, Different World Of Gary S. Paxton". (No one could claim that it was the most succinct or humble album title!) It had songs with titles like "There's Got To Be More To Livin' Than Just Waiting To Die," "Victim of The System," "Jesus Keeps Taking Me Higher and Higher," and "You Aint Smoking Those Cigarettes (Baby They're Smoking You)". The vinyl LP is obviously long gone, but one can still preview or buy MP3 versions of all those songs at Amazon.com, on this page. Paxton is best known as a country musician, but the album had elements of rock, pop and soul too.

Inasmuch as I bought  that album before the Jim Bakker scandal, it was just a fun album to me, with some fairly good pop/rock Christian songs. Paxton was involved in the production of gospel albums by Tammy Faye Bakker, who was renowned for the ludicrously excessive manner in which she applied her mascara, which tended to run whenever she cried during the broadcasting of The PTL Club. (That seemed to be quite often, since her tears were apparently effective when used in order to persuade people to donate funds they could ill afford to donate.) Tammy Faye became obsessed with Paxton, which apparently played a big role in causing Jim Bakker to have a one night stand with Jessica Hahn (ostensibly because he wanted to make Tammy Faye jealous).

The reputation of Christianity, and televangelists in particular, was seriously tarnished by the shenanigans of Jim and Tammy Faye. (Not that  Jerry Falwell was any better.) Every Halloween, I'm reminded of the Monster Mash, and of the scandal with which Paxton eventually became associated.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Thoughts About Strap-ons

Visit almost any sex toy web site, and you will find a category of products known as "strap-on dildos". Sometimes, the dildos are hollow, which means that men can use them as "extensions" for their own genitals. (This type is known as a PPA, or Prosthetic Penis Attachment, according to this page at BigSexToyStore.com.)

I guess I can understand why a guy might want to wear the hollow type. When used as an extension, such a product could make it easier for him to give physical pleasure to his woman, especially if he is one of the numerous men who suffer from erectile dysfunction. (There are other ways to deal with that issue, such as penile implants, but as it says at Wikipedia, "Most men will not wish to proceed to surgery when properly informed of the likely outcome and risks of complications.")

Of course, a man would still have to get some kind of erection in order to use an extension, but his member would not have to be as big as the dildo could be.

I think that a hollow strap-on could be worn by a woman, not just by a man. She obviously wouldn't need to have anything to insert into the hollow part.

Why would a woman want to use a strap-on dildo of any kind, whether hollow or not? It depends. Some male partners may consider themselves to be straight, but they may still want to occasionally "take a walk on the wild side". "Pegging" is the name for a practice in which a woman "anally penetrates a man, in most cases using a strap-on dildo harness". The practice has also been described as "bend over boyfriend", the acronym for which is BOB, which must annoy the heck out of the folks who run the Christian ministry known as Band Of Brothers (which has the web address of www.bellinghambob.org). Speaking of acronyms, DILDO is also an acronym for Direct Input Limited Duty Officer. I guess that the "duty" is sexually pleasing a person with penetration of a bodily orifice.

I think that strap-ons are also popular among lesbians and bisexual women. The idea that two women could sexually satisfy one another might seem a bit weird, since a woman does not have any physical endowment suitable for penetration of another woman, unless one counts her fingers (or, in extreme cases, her firsts). But where nature has not naturally endowed a woman with a penis, technology (albeit a primitive technology, based on a modification of the dildo, which has existed for some 30,000 years) has come to the rescue.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

About Chocolate and Sex

Traditionally, guys have given boxes of chocolates to women on Valentines Day (the symbol of which is a "heart" which in reality looks more like an actual vulva than an actual heart). There is a biological reason for that: In an article entitled Top 10 Reasons Why Chocolate Is The World's Most Perfect Food, it states that chocolate contains tryptophan (the ingredient which, in turkey, causes folks to fall asleep on Thanksgiving Day) and phenylethylamine, which "reaches peak levels during orgasm".

That reminds me of the dessert they used to serve at the Baby Watson's fast food place near Harvard Square in Cambridge, where I worked as a pizza and sandwich cook. (Our New York-style cheesecake was originally made by a company called D'Aiuto's Pastry Corp.) Dennis Saide, the manager (from Lebanon) had his own unique names for products sold there. As I recall, his butterscotch brownies were called "gay bars", and the chocolate cheesecake brownies (like the one I just ate at Starbucks) were called "chocolate orgasms". His slogan, printed in yellow silkscreen ink on our brown aprons, was "Baby Watson: The creamiest thing you've ever had in your mouth". Something tells me that cheesecake was not the first thing that came into a lot of people's minds!

Of course, if the sex-like excitement from normal chocolate (like my favorite brand Cadbury) is not enough, one can always buy a piece of chocolate molded to resemble a real penis, complete with a sugary cream meant to look like a man's ejaculate. Such products can be bought from United Indecent Pleasures. It's not an American company; rather, the address seems to be in the Mediterranean islands. But if you're willing to pay for your very own chocolate dick, they are always willing to accomodate you. Just email them at findways@unindencent.com.

David Gilden and the Kora

Back in the 1980s, I lived for 7 years in Boston, Massachusetts, and I worked at the Harvard Coop in their record department. I'd moved there because I wanted to study jazz piano at the Berklee College of Music, which had alumni like Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and Gary Burton.

One of the things I really liked about living in that area was the proliferation of street musicians, aka buskers. One such musician was David Gilden. He'd studied at Berklee, and while visiting the Smithsonian Museum, he'd learned about a West African musical instrument called the kora, which he spells with a c at his website www.coraconnection.com. You can hear David play in a YouTube video at http://youtu.be/GjQJ1nn63Oc. The kora is a delicate sounding instrument, or at least it can be; but when it's played in a duo, featuring the percussion instrument known at a balafon, it can also sound quite vigorous.

Interestingly, David has even adapted the kora in order to play classical guitar pieces by Bach and others. That makes sense, since the strings of the kora are similar to the gut strings or nylon strings often used for classical guitar music.

I Love Grilled Cheese

The phrase "government cheese" was used disparagingly by critics of the Reagan administration to imply that Reagan's administration did not care about the needs of the poor. In point of fact, the Wikipedia article about that phrase says that such cheese had been given to poor folks ever since the 1960s, which (news flash to Democrats) was way before Reagan ever took office.

Processed American cheese was generally the variety on offer. My family never received government cheese, to my knowledge, but I liked American cheese a lot. Often, that was what one got when one ordered a cheeseburger or a grilled cheese sandwich in a typical diner in the Midwest, where I was raised. I later learned that I tended to prefer other varieties, like cheddar, longhorn and similar types. I liked those kinds because the cheese got stringy, in a nice way, when it was melted between two slices of bread.

I was reminded of grilled cheese just now when I checked my email, which included a Yelp.com link to a review of restaurants in Chicago renowned for their good grilled cheese sandwiches.

When I first moved to the Lawson House YMCA in Chicago, my room there had no kitchen. So I was pretty limited in terms of my weekly menu. I could eat at fast food restaurants like McDonald's, but McDonald's had no grilled cheese sandwiches.

I liked cheeseburgers, but sometimes I was in the mood for a plain old grilled cheese sandwich, which I'd made for myself quite often when I was a young man in Missouri. Lawson House later put small microwave ovens in the rooms of each of the residents, but a microwave oven is a lousy way to make a grilled cheese sandwich. The cheese needs to be melted, sure, but the bread also needs to be toasted. Toasters were verboten there, as were hot plates.

When I did a temp job assignment in an office complex out near the OHare Airport, I discovered a small restaurant there that actually had grilled cheese sandwiches on the menu. So I could satisfy my craving for such sandwiches on days when I was scheduled to work there. (I hadn't yet seen the Yelp.com review of other restaurants that served such sandwiches, nor had I heard of the chain of restaurants, based in Ohio, known as Melt.)

I eventually bought a little electric skillet which I used for such things as making grilled cheese sandwiches, but I had to hide it out of view whenever they had one of their scheduled room inspections. How ridiculous! A grown man treated like a toddler and forbidden from cooking basic food items if they could not be microwaved. They said in their lease that we were forbidden from owning any appliances that produced heat (which presumably included toasters).

I guess they had never tried to remove a light bulb that had been on for a while. I guess they had never heard of the toy known as an Easy-Bake Oven.

To say that I am glad that I no longer live in Lawson House YMCA would be a mild understatement, not just because of their idiotic policies about such things as toasters, but also because they stupidly accepted donated mattresses infested with bed bugs. I often awoke with painful bed bug bites on my hands and feet (and even on top of my head a couple of times). It felt a bit as if I was living in hell.

Thankfully, when I moved from Chicago to Bellingham, Washington in 2010, I did not bring my bedbugs with me. I did have other difficulties here, including several ministrokes, which might have happened even if I had not been so poor that I had to live at Lawson House. But the bedbugs and the stupid rules about toasters were thankfully a part of my past.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Paranoia Will Destroy Ya

I remember hearing a tune on the radio with the memorable line "paranoia will destroy ya'". I had no idea of who had recorded that tune, so I just googled the phrase. http://alturl.com/fbo3v is the short URL for the page on which someone answers that question, and reprints the lyrics.

It would be hard to conceive of a better example of the destructive power of paranoia than Jim Jones. In an article at TheAtlantic.com, a survivor talks about what it was like to be a part of The People's Temple:

Do you think he really believed he was doing something good for the world?
It's hard to know the mind of Jim Jones. He was a very complex, confusing character. In some ways he was a good guy. He was passionate about interracial integration. The People's Temple built schools, built housing, built a health clinic, built a kitchen, cleared fields, harvested crops. His goal was to set up this utopian community where everything would be fair and equal.

At the same time, he was very paranoid. He could not accept the fact that one person would leave him, ever. He had us all sign papers -- Jim called them compromises. They were blank sheets of paper, or typed sheets of paper that he'd cover up while we signed our name. He had something he could blackmail all of us with. One guy tried to leave and Jim said he'd use his paper against him so he'd never see his children again. So he came back. The thing was, too, that Jim would not let children off the compound. So if you were going to leave, you were leaving your child. There was no way of getting a child out of Jonestown.

Scary, huh? Most pastors are not paranoid to that extent, or even close to it. But any time a Christian leader acts as if he or she is exempt from criticism, as have several pastors I have known, that person is showing that he or she has tendencies which are different from Jim Jones only in degree, not in kind.

Jim Jones apparently attracted a lot of racial minorities to the People's Temple, because he did seem to be their friends on some level. But black folks can be paranoid, too.

John L. Jackson wrote a book called "Racial Paranoia: The Unintended Consequences of Political Correctness". Jackson is black, so his words seem to be worthy of attention.

I'm sympathetic with blacks who have been victimized by genuine racism, but there are others (e.g., Barack Obama's former pastor) who have used charges of racism as a means of manipulating others to give them what they want.

Church Abuse Is Not Always Sex Abuse of Children

Do a web search on the phrase "church abuse", and you will almost always find web pages pertaining to sexual abuse of children or minors. That is most likely because one of the most egregious examples of such abuse pertains to Catholic priests who have perpetrated such abuse. (And it's not just the Catholics. The COGIC denomination, aka Children of God in Christ, is Andrae Crouch's denomination, and there's a Facebook page related to the web site www.reportcogicabuse.com.)

The truth is that there are many different levels of abuse one can get from church leaders, as anyone knows who read the horrible story about the mass suicide committed by the followers of the delusional egomaniac Jim Jones. I still remember the news photos showing the bloated bodies of the members of the People's Temple in their compound in Guyana. Powers Boothe played the part of Jim Jones in a TV miniseries about that event.

Church abuse can rise (or sink, to be more accurate) to the level of Jim Jones or sexually abusive priests or pastors, but it very rarely does. More often, it takes the form of subtle abuses of power and authority of church leaders (often, but not always pastors) who arrogate to themselves the right to control aspects of a person's life that are frankly none of their business, like what college the person attends, what job the person accepts, what woman the person dates or marries, and so forth. Jeff Van Vonderen (www.jeffvanvonderen.com) has coauthored a book entitled "The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse", and he has his own web site (http://www.spiritualabuse.com/) specifically related to such abuse. I highly recommend the book, because Jeff and his co-author David Johnson clearly respect the authority of the scriptures, even though they do not equally respect all pastors.

Why do I care about such things? Because I have witnessed megalomania on the part of pastors far too often for my tastes, and it left a bad taste in my mouth.

Bottom line: I love God, but only God is God. When a pastor's behavior conforms to my understanding of what God requires, then I will be happy to treat that person as someone worthy of respect (if not unconditional obedience), but not when that is no longer the case.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

My Halloween Costume for 2013: I'm Going As Myself.

Here in Bellingham, in the Cordata neighborhood (right down the street from Christ The King church), there is a shop for a company named Spirit Halloween (www.spirithalloween.com). I went in there today for the first time. They have all kinds of products with which one can celebrate All Hallows Eve. From fake eyeballs and severed fingers to all manner of costumes, they have it in stock. They also sell pumpkin carving kits from Pumpkin Masters. (A guy working in the shop told me, however, that he'd be more likely to buy the Dremel pumpkin carving tool sold at Amazon.com, because that unit was powered from the wall outlet, whereas the Pumpkin Masters saws were battery powered.)

They also sell a lot of safety-oriented things like glow sticks, to protect kids from being hit by cars while they are out trick-or-treating in the neighborhood. (See www.halloween-safety.com.)

Some Christians deplore Halloween, due to the roots of the holiday in a tradition going back to the Druids, who worshipped Samhain, the Lord of Darkness. To some Christians, that probably sounds uncomfortably similar to worshipping Satan!

But one doesn't have to dress like Samhain or Lucifer or Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th movies in order to frighten a Christian. Judging by the recent treatment I have gotten from a couple of Bellingham churches, one merely needs to threaten to tell the truth. You know, that thing that ostensibly sets people free!

Brad Howell, from Hillcrest Chapel, told me that I would be arrested if I dared to show up at that church, because I'd threatened to tell people that they had done absolutely nothing to help me when I'd pled with them to find a house sharing situation so that I would not have to stay at the Lighthouse Mission.

Needless to say, I did not appreciate getting that letter from Brad. But I still was a believer, so when Steve Loeppky did some practical things to help me out, I decided to attend his church, Mosaic.

Well, it seems that the more things seem to change, the more they stay the same. The same old bullshit, I mean. Recently, I was banned from attending Mosaic, because I'd audaciously asked a woman to let me know if she would be interested in going out for a cup of coffee in order to get to know me. I mentioned that I was feeling in need of a female partner, and I found her attractive.

Ooooh, scary. NOT.

When I talked about this episode with Fred Sprinkle, who works at Logos Bible Software, he said that he thought my invitation might have seemed "weird" to that woman because I was somewhat older than she. OK, maybe it did. But she is presumably an adult, even if she is younger than I. Since she is capable of sending an email herself, all she had to do was to send me a message telling me that she was not interested, as another woman from that fellowship, Deborah Lutz, had done. (I was disappointed when Deborah did that, but I can take no for an answer and I stopped asking her.) Instead, like a baby, the aforementioned woman went running to Matt Atkins, asking for his protection. Hence, I got a text message on my cell phone, telling me that I would no longer be welcome at that church.

 I always thought that Christian ministry was supposed to be about love and compassion. But I've encountered far too many power hungry pastors to believe that that is how everyone sees things.  No wonder so many people have turned away from God altogether. They may rationalize the decision to do so by claiming that they can't deal with inconsistencies in the Bible, but really, I think it has a lot more to do with the inconsistencies they see in the lives of people who claim to speak for God.

P.S. In all fairness, I should acknowledge that I learned yesterday, from an email from a fellow believer, that the woman I'd asked out for coffee was only 19 years old. Holy cow! I knew that she was younger than I; that was obvious. But I would never have seen her as a potential partner if I'd been aware that the age gap between us was so large (nearly 40 years).

19 is not legally a minor, and that woman is only a couple of years younger than my parents were when I was born. So I still maintain that it was preposterous for Matt Atkins to call me a predator. (I have never "preyed" on anyone, man or woman, and I find such an accusation to be unjust and insulting.) But I guess that I can understand why she might feel that my written invitation to have coffee with me might have seemed a bit "weird" to her. In retrospect, it seems a bit weird to me too. I really have got to get better at estimating women's ages based on their physical appearances.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Memoir Crafters

Last week, I attended a meeting at the Bellingham Library, featuring a woman named Sara Geballe. Sara operates a business known as Memoir Crafters. She helps people to turn their memories into books.

For some folks, these books may fall into the category of "vanity books", traditionally published by vanity book publishers. They are mostly for the benefit of close family members and friends who care enough about them that they want to learn more about them.

That is a valid thing to do for some people. But other people are more interested in creating books which can actually be sold in traditional bookstores (or at least online stores), partly in order to make money, and partly in order to make a difference in the culture in which they live. Some may even aspire to be "literary lions".

I am in the latter category. For one thing, I have no family members who are close enough to me that they would be fascinated with my life. For another thing, I have goals which could conceivably be advanced by writing and publishing my life story, or at least aspects of that story.

The main trouble is that there's an open question regarding whether or not I can afford Sara's services. If I can't, then writing my autobiography may have to be a do-it-yourself project for me.

Kezia Noble

I just saw a video at YouTube (http://youtu.be/mfLHrWntB_8) entitled How To Attract Younger Women. The video featured a very attractive woman (from the UK) named Kezia Noble (http://www.kezia-noble.com/about/).

Boy, that message really resonated with me.

I then learned that Kezia had written a book called "The Noble Art of Seducing Women: My Foolproof Guide to Pulling Any Woman You Want".

I am not a pervert, nor am I a "predator" like my FORMER pastor Matt Atkins would like you to believe. I'm just a normal (albeit slightly handicapped) man who has the same sexual desires as most straight men. But it would be a mild understatement to say that I've been "unlucky in love". I hope to change that, and the sooner, the better.

A Robot That Flies Like A Bird

I'm watching a Ted Talks video in which a guy named Marcus Fischer discusses and demonstrates a robotic bird that can fly just be flapping its wings, just like a real bird. Here's the link.

Pretty cool. And the bird probably won't even poop on people walking beneath it.

Imagine how useful Fischer's flying robot would be for surveillance during wartime. The enemy would never suspect (unless the enemy was the wizard Gandalf) that the "bird" flying overhead was actually a spy, fully equipped with video cameras in its eye sockets. In an article about a device known as an "ornithopter", Wikipedia states that such devices have indeed been used for such purposes. The article can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ornithopter&printable=yes.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Who Is Lord?

When I was living in Sioux City, Iowa back in the late 1970s, I attended a nondenominational church that met at Morningside College. I liked many aspects of that church, as I have often liked aspects of churches I have attended. But I found certain aspects of that church very troubling.

One pertained to the attitudes that I saw there, regarding the arts and the importance of excellence. At a Maynard Ferguson jazz concert I attended, I approached a brother from that church, inspired by the excellence of Maynard’s music. I said to that brother, “I’d love to have a Christian group that would play music that good.” “That could never happen,” he replied. I asked him why not. He said, “Any true servant of Jesus would be so busy praying and reading his Bible that he would have no time left over for practicing his music.” I was appalled. In his mind, discipleship meant settling for mediocrity in all other aspects of one’s life.

The other thing that troubled me was the fact that the leaders there seemed to practice a type of control which was almost cult-like, even though the church could not have been described as a cult in the doctrinal sense.

I was told that people who became members of that church had to agree to relinquish control over major life decisions to the church’s Board of Elders. Decisions like what college to attend, what woman to marry and so forth. Never mind that those elders might not be in possession of the relevant facts that would come into play when making such decisions.

What was even worse was that they demanded unanimity. If even one member of the Board of Elders voted Yes when all of the others were voting No, then it was thought that they needed to pray more about it so that every single brother would say Yes (or No, as the case might be). I found that ironic in light of the fact that early church leaders like Paul and Timothy often disagreed with one another.

Given the attitude I’d seen in relation to excellence in the arts, I could see that the decisions these folks would make for my life would be totally wrong for me. I fervently desired to create music and art that would glorify God, and I couldn’t see how it would benefit the Kingdom of God for me to create works of art that would impress no one.

I learned that that church’s policy stemmed from a doctrinal movement called the Shepherding Movement. Associated with Bob Mumford and Derek Prince, the Shepherding Movement was soundly repudiated by Pat Robertson, who (in spite of the fact that he sometimes made flaky statements that were ridiculed by the press) knew a cult when he saw one.

I found myself thinking about that church this morning, because I read an article by Rob Walker, in the April 2013 issue of Atlantic magazine (pages 88-89). Entitled “Putting the ‘I’ in IPO”, the article was about a guy named Mike Merrill, who founded a webzine called Urban Honking. Merrill had heard about the concept of crowdfunding, a valid concept which has funded many projects, like the creative projects (e.g., the movie Blue Like Jazz) funded by Kickstarter.com.

Merrill hit on a plan to raise funds. It was one which many people would regard as bizarre. In exchange for their “shares” purchased from him, shareholders would get to call the shots regarding areas of his life which most folks would regard as none of their business. They decided that he would not get a vasectomy, that he would register as a Republican, and that he and the woman he’d been dating would enter into a three-month “Relationship Agreement”.

To his credit, Merrill did not require unanimity, the way the Sioux City church did. A simple majority vote would do. It was downright democratic. Not only that, but the people making decisions about how Merrill would live his life were people who were willing to tangibly invest in his life. It's not clear that churches involved in the shepherding movement were similarly willing to do anything to help those in their charge to achieve their life goals.

Still, I was reminded of the fact that I’d been attending a church where they felt obliged to throw in their two cents about aspects of my life pertaining to my intense desire to find and marry a compatible woman.
I've begged for help from my pastor and others in the church, in terms of matchmaking help, but I have seen scant evidence (despite occasional lip service) that they intend to help me in that way. (I would very likely change my mind in that area if I actually got a call or email message from a woman saying, "So-and-so suggested that I contact you so that you and I could have coffee with one another."
I was told by my pastor, Matt Atkins, that he thought that I ought not to aspire to marry a woman not very close to my own age. (In his words, he thought that if I did so, I’d be “fishing in the wrong pond”; as if women were scaly fish comparable to trout.) I wrote back to him to point out that compatible does not have to mean "born within four or five years of one another" or even "born in the same decade". It's worthwhile to read the Wikipedia article about Age Disparity in Sexual Relationships (also known as May-December relationships).

I was inclined to ask which "pond" was appropriate for someone my age. Should I now resign myself to the idea that I could only find a wife by visiting the nearest hospice?

I was not blessed with marriage when I sought it earlier in my life, but I still desire what I have always desired: To marry a woman who is attractive to me, both physically and in terms of compatibility. Physically, women older than I am are only rarely attractive to me. Raquel Welch, always known as a sex symbol, is still very pretty (some might even say "hot"), and I would be fine with the idea of marrying a woman that looked like Raquel, even though she’s at least a decade older than I am. But very few women age as well as Raquel has aged.
I know that beauty eventually fades, but I’d like to at least experience a few years of love (and yes, sex) with a woman to whom I could honestly say, “I find you to be beautiful.” It seems to me that women like to hear that from the mouths of the men to whom they are married!

There are people who think that they are entitled, on the basis of the fact that they are fellow Christian believers, to tell me who I should and should not date. Given the fact that they do not seem to feel any particular obligation to help me to find a woman, I cannot help but think that they need to butt out and allow me to select women on the basis of what appeals to me. If I ever do find a woman, it will not be those people who have to spend every day of the rest of their lives with that woman.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Stupid and Unnecessary Bing.com Feature

I'm sick of web programmers who think they are clever imposing features on people who never asked for those features.

An example, seen recently on a number of web sites I've visited recently, is the Click to Search link placed atop web-based images. The screen shot shown below will give you an idea of what I'm talking about. I saw it on the Wikipedia page about musician Barry McGuire, and fortunately, I have PDF Create software, so I can print web pages (at least at Wikipedia) as PDF pages. (Plus, Wikipedia thoughtfully offers the option of downloading an article as a PDF file.)

But PDF Create doesn't capture all web pages equally well, so I like to make screen shots (using the Microsoft Snipping Tool program) as an alternative way to capture information. The problem is that this idiotic Click to Search link (which doesn't even successfully guess what the search term should be in some cases, although it did so in the case of Barry McGuire) is totally unneeded, and it makes it impossible to make a good clean screen capture, as you can see from the graphic image below.

Hey, Microsoft, I know about Bing. I'm not an idiot. If I wanted to do a Bing search, I'd visit that web site. Personally, I tend to prefer to do searches with Google, although I do know that Bing offers certain features which are genuine improvements. But stay the bleep off of other web pages and sites!!!

Barry McGuire and The Mamas and The Papas

Spotify pops up whenever I boot my computer up, and the program suggests artists I might want to listen to, based on previous selections. Today, it suggested The Mamas and The Papas, a group I never really cared about enough that I would listen to them on my own. But I thought, "The heck with it. The Mamas and The Papas it is." So that's what I'm listening to at the moment.

The song "Creeque Alley" wasn't as popular as "California Dreamin'" or "Twist and Shout", but it had an interesting line which referred to "McGuinn and McGuire". The McGuire to which it referred was Barry McGuire, who later recorded a number of Christian albums. I heard Barry in a live concert at what was then Southwest Missouri State University. He talked about his days of smoking dope and doing other things that a lot of hippies were doing at the time. He talked about coming to the Lord. I really liked his music, especially the remake of "Eve of Destruction", which got a new spin after he became a Christian.

Barry did some nice recordings with the Second Chapter of Acts, like the one I just listened to from the album "To The Bride", which had a rockin' version of the traditional tune "This Little Light of Mine". The title of the tune on that album, however, was "Come To Praise The Lord". That album was a live album, and seems to have been recorded pretty well.

Rudy's Pizza

I just posted a blog article about how I missed great Chicago restaurants like the Giordanos restaurant, which made delicious deep dish pizzas. But Bellingham WA is not completely lacking in its pizza attractions. For instance, there's Rudy's Pizzeria (http://www.rudysbham.com/), which offers a very nice selection of toppings, some of which I do not recall ever seeing at Giordanos. Cashews? Almonds? Walnuts? Sunflowers? Not the standard ingredients seen on pizza.

There's also Goat Mountain Pizza. They make pretty good pizza, sold by the pound. But they really need to get a full-fledged web site, instead of just using Facebook for that purpose.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Missing Chicago's Restaurants

There are a lot of things I do not miss about Chicago at all. But I do miss some things, as expressed in the message I sent via www.giordanos.com:

"I lived in Chicago for 19 years, at the Lawson House YMCA on Chicago Avenue. When I first moved to Chicago, I thought that the deep dish pizzas served at Giordanos were pretty weird, since the tomato sauce was put atop the cheese, not the other way around. But I liked it, even though it was a bit messier to eat. Usually, I bought your thin crust pizzas, simply because the deep dish pizzas were too much for one guy (even a big guy like me) to eat by myself.

Here in Bellingham, WA, where I moved in 2010, there are good things in the culinary department; specifically, the delicious fresh salmon, which is hard to find in Chicago. But I do miss the great Giordanos pizza, and the great ribs at Barnelli's Pasta Bowl near the old location of the Rock 'n Roll McDonalds."

Funny Girl

When I was a student at Glendale High School in Springfield, Missouri, I was in a production of Funny Girl. Specifically, I sang in the chorus line.

We did tunes like Rat-A-Tat-Tat (which required us to wear WWI army uniforms, and which is strangely absent from the Spotify version of the soundtrack). I never again partook in any theatrical presentation as a member of the cast, but it was a big deal for me, even though the musical only played for three nights. The experience was notable for several things:
  • The LP record I bought later was only marginally better than our own music. I was amazed after I bought that record to hear that our version had sounded so much like it.
  • The high school girl who played the Fanny Brice part played by Barbara Streisand in the movie got knocked up before she even graduated. It was my first ever introduction to teenage pregnancy. I, on the other hand, am 57 years old, and I still haven't lost my virginity. :(
  • The choreographer for the production had a dance number that required that he kick high in the air. He kicked so high, in fact, that he split his pants and accidentally kicked one of the microphones hanging from the ceiling over the stage.
High school can be an unpleasant experience in some ways, but I had just become a Christian, and that first year of high school was one in which I was getting heavily involved with New Wine Coffeehouse, where we had guests like Larry Norman, The E Band (with Greg Volz, who later went on to sing lead for Petra), the Children of the Day and our own local Christian rock band, Rainbow's Promise. Eventually, New Wine shut down, which greatly disappointed me.

KJV Versus Other Translations

There are some people who insist that only the King James version of the Bible is acceptable. (Specifically, Fundamentalist Baptists.)

In addition to the fact that the KJV was not even available until 1611, that's really stupid for another reason: Grammatically speaking, the KJV IS JUST PLAIN WRONG!!!

Consider Galatians 6:9, for instance. The KJV says, "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."  But anyone familiar with the rules of English grammar knows that it should say, "weary in good doing". I could use a whole lot more well-doing. It's doing good, not doing well, which tends to cause weariness to people.

Fortunately, other translations seem to grasp the distinction between doing good and doing well.

Lifestyles of the Poor and Not-So-Famous

In the 80s, when I lived in Boston, I would sometimes watch Robin Leach on TV. Robin hosted a TV show called "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous". It was an ode to conspicuous consumption. No doubt, Donald Trump would have been proud to be on Leach's show.

America is a land where all citizens consider themselves to be potential millionaires. But the fact is that many of us are barely getting by, Obama or no Obama. It's a bit galling to have one's face rubbed in that fact. Spending time living in a homeless shelter in Bellingham, WA, as I did recently, was an experience in humiliation.

Fads That Make Big Money

The Pet Rock was a fad conceived of by Advertising Executive Gary Dahl, according to this Wikipedia article. According to the article, Dahl became a millionaire (which was a bigger deal back in the seventies than it is today, although I'd still be happy to make a million). All because he got the idea that people could be persuaded to pay good money for rocks they could get free in many places.

Meanwhile, many people struggle financially in spite of the fact that they work their butts off!

Rainbow's Promise

When I was a high school student in the early seventies, my second home (when I was not attending school) was a Christian coffeehouse in Springfield, MO named the New Wine Coffeehouse. The guy who ran that coffeehouse, with the help of various long-haired hippie-type Christians (aka Jesus people or Jesus freaks), was a man named Kenneth Asplund. (His sons helped out, and one of them went on to become a pastor of a church I attended later in Springfield.)

New Wine was the site of occasional gigs by Jesus music pioneers like the Children of The Day and Larry Norman. We also had our own Christian "house band" named Rainbow's Promise. They'd started in Texas using another name, which I've now forgotten. The lead singer, Steve Powell, was a handsome guy who reminded me of the actors from the TV sho The Hardy Brothers. He had a very good voice, and the band could definitely rock out. But you do not have to take my word for it.

Amazingly, I just found a YouTube video featuring songs from that album. (Amazing how software can remove pops, clicks and other defects from old vinyl LP records.)

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Ecstatic Over Her New Purchase Or Gift

Here's a link to a YouTube video in which a woman puts together her new sex machine (the Caesar 2.0, sold at Amazon.com and Vibrators.com and AdultParagon.com, among many sites). The video is worth watching, just to hear the woman's squeels of delight, and to hear her say things like, "You guys really need to leave me alone now. Me and Caesar need to get acquainted."

If I could afford this type of machine, and if I could find a woman to gift with the product or a similar product, it would thrill me to buy it for her and watch her use it.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Christians and Nymphomania

There are some people in the world who equate love for God with lack of interest in sexual things. (I still remember being told as much, when I lived in Boston and worked at Baby Watson, by a co-worker named Bill, who had a big handlebar moustache.)

Visit http://christiannymphos.org/, however, and you will see that that is not the lens through which all believers see sex. A nymphomaniac is not just a person who accepts sexuality as a good and necessary thing; he or she is characterized by what Wikipedia calls "hypersexuality". A nympho is a nympho, whether or not he or she is a believer.

The Christian Nymphos web site, of course, is primarily for married spouses. There's no question that marriage is the ideal context in which sexual intercourse should take place. However, if pastors and other Christians will not play an active role in helping Christian men and women to find mates so that they can have sexual intercourse in that context, those believers have no one to blame but themselves if the believers in their midst find that the pressures associated with constant deprivation (sometimes for periods of numerous decades) make them vulnerable to temptations that might be regarded as fornicatory.

CraigsList Is For People Tired Of Being Virgins

If you've ever seen the movie "The Sessions", in which Helen Hunt plays the part of a sex surrogate named Cheryl Cohen-Green, you know that it's about a handicapped man named Mark O'Brien, whose handicap was so severe that he had to be wheeled around the campus of the college he attended on a gurney. (He'd had a motorized gurney at one point, like a motorized wheelchair but more extreme, but he was always bumping into people when he drove it.)

Mark O'Brien, like all normal men, longed to experience love and sexual intercourse with a woman. But most of the women he met were home care assistants he'd hired on account of his disability. His overtures to them were spurned, even though they cared for him on some level. So he was still a virgin, in his late thirties.

When I learned about that movie, I really related to the movie, on account of the fact that I, too, was a virgin. (I was considerably older, as a 56 year old man.) I was gratified to note that the priest with whom Mark O'Brien consulted about his desire to see a sex surrogate had essentially told Mark that he believed that God would cut him some slack, on account of his physical disability. My handicap is not as severe as Mark's was, since I need no gurney, but even so, walking any long distance, especially up a steep hill while carrying my laptop computer, is a real strain for me.

I actually contacted Cheryl Cohen-Green, and we had several pleasant phone conversations. I was seriously thinking about visiting California, where she and most other sex surrogates work and live. But difficulties in making connections with other surrogates in that area caused me to think that it might not be an option for me after all.

I next investigated the option of visiting one of a number of legal brothels in the state of Nevada. I corresponded with several of the prostitutes working there, including Madison Graham (The Love Ranch) and Airforce Amy (The Bunny Ranch). Amy had been featured on an HBO TV series called "Cathouse". Here's a link to the Wikipedia article about that series.

Paying for sex was not something I'd ever wanted to do, but it seemed likely to me, on the basis of my handicap and on the basis of my past failures to establish any kind of a relationship that might lead me to marriage, that I would never experience sexual intercourse any other way. (There was always the option of buying a realistic love doll from RealDoll.com, but even though those dolls were pretty amazing in terms of their physical appearance, I wanted to have sex with a REAL WOMAN, not a RealDoll. Besides, good love dolls cost way more than I could afford to pay.)

Recently, I learned about another option. I'd told my case manager Michael Justin about my attempt to start up my own singles group, called Get Hitched, in connection with Meetup.com. In fact, I've scheduled the group's first meeting for tomorrow at 12:15 p.m. at the Round Table Pizza restaurant. But it seems unlikely that there will be more than a couple of people there; in fact, even though one woman has RSVP'd me to let me know that she'll be there, I may in fact be the only person there. I've ordered a large pizza for the occasion, but I may find myself with a lot of leftovers, since I normally don't buy a large pizza just for myself.

I told Michael that I really needed to publicize the group with something more than just the flyer's I'd posted on a couple of bulletin boards in town. EDDM mailings would enable me to reach tons of people with information about the group. But EDDM mailings are expensive! (EDDM stands for Every Door Direct Mail.)

Michael suggested that I look into CraigsList in relation to my desire to meet women. I'd had one or two bad experiences with CraigsList in the past, but I decided to follow his advice. At that site, I discovered that they had a Casual Encounters section, specifically for men and women seeking to get laid. I ran an ad there, and two women responded. One sent me a link to a web page showing her with bared breasts; the other sent me an email attachment which similarly showed her topless. The latter is from Ferndale (much closer than California or Nevada), and she's 23 years old. (And WOW, she really looks good with her top off.) She knows that I'm 57, but she's still interested in "hosting" me in her Ferndale home.

UPDATE: I just got a third response from a woman. Like the first two, she sent email attachments showing her bare breasts, but neither of the photos she sent showed her face.

I understand that women whose CraigsList ads state that they are looking for "generous" men are usually hookers, but so far, neither of the aforementioned women have said anything to me to indicate that they might charge me money for their sexual services. I don't know what the Ferndale woman does for a living, but the other woman who also showed her face works as a teacher's assistant, and while I suppose that a teacher's assistant might also be a hooker, it seems unlikely. It seems likely that either of the women I mentioned will want me to buy at least one dinner for them, and I'm willing to do that.

To have sex with a woman to whom I am not married would be regarded by many of my fellow Christians as fornication. Undoubtedly. But I regard fornication as a relatively mild offense, in comparison with adultery, which my father committed while married to my mother. Fornication is certainly MUCH milder than what King David did when he had Absolom murdered on the battlefield so that David could marry Bathsheba. (The Wikipedia article about Bathsheba shows an old painting of Bathsheba, hanging in the Louvre museum, and she had nice boobs too, or at least the model for that painter did.)

We Christians talk a lot about grace, but in practice, we're often unwilling to extend grace and forgiveness to people who find that the legalistic requirements of the church are heavy burdens to carry, despite our rhetoric about God's ability and willingness to forgive.

I would still rather experience sexual intercourse in the context of love and marriage. But when I pled with my pastor and others in my church for their help in making a love connection, I got the impression that they did not plan to do much of practical value, in that regard. (One woman's idea of "help" was to recommend that I read a book entitled "Sexless In The City", as if I couldn't have written a book with that title myself.) So it seems to me that they really have no business butting into mine and dictating to me what I ought to do vis-a-vis sex. I WILL NOT DIE A VIRGIN!!! (A friend of my brother's named Donald recently died, at an age only 3 years older than my current age. Can you hear the clock ticking? Because I certainly can.)Abraham Maslow listed sex as one of the most fundamental human needs, right alongside eating, sleeping, defecating and so forth. My pastor has "pooh-poohed" that notion, but then again, he HAS a wife, as do most of the men in my church.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Pat Boone and the F-Word

Wikipedia has an article about a documentary film, by director Steve Anderson, about a word which many people find offensive. The film was simply called "Fuck".

In the article, it states, about Pat Boone (the man who became a Christian in the late 60s or early 70s, and who played the part of David Wilkerson in the movie The Cross and The Switchblade), "Boone argues for less usage of the word in society, and points out that he uses his own name, 'Boone', instead of the word."

Now, I am in agreement with Pat, regarding less usage of the word, because there are some people who use it mindlessly, like some other people can't talk without saying "um". For some people, "fuck" or "fucking" or fucker" (and the even more offensive word "motherfucker") takes the form of noun, verb, adjective, adverb, and just about every other type of word. It's kind of similar to the way that Beavis and Butthead, the cartoon characters, might derive glee from saying "ass".

Still, saying that a word is far too prevalent is not the same thing as saying that it should never be used under any circumstances. I have been known to say the word when I was really angry. And I think it's a perfectly good word when one intends to talk about copulation, aka coitus, aka intercourse, aka "making love". Can you imagine a person saying to his or her spouse, "Let's copulate, honey"? Or "Copulate with me harder?" I don't think so!!! I can't speak for personal experience yet (since I'm still a virgin at the age of 57), but it seems to me that one has to be lost in the land of euphemisms to painstakingly use any of those terms in everyday circumstances.

There is a category of sex toys (usually quite expensive) called "fucking machines" on the web sites where they are sold. Basically, these are machines (many of which can be seen at www.mylovemachine.com) which thrust a dildo in and out of a woman's vagina at some pretty impressive speeds. (The Caesar 3.0, for instance, operates at thrusting speeds of 75 to 300 strokes per minute!) Judging from some of the videos I've seen at YouTube, some of these machines are fairly quiet, but others are quite noisy. Check out the video at http://youtu.be/TfYxtnXWZc8.

I'm Facebook friends with Pat Boone. So I think maybe I'll send him a message, asking if we should now call the Caesar 3.0 a "Boone-ing Machine"!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Charming? You Decide.

Chelsea Charms, seen in various YouTube videos, is a woman known for her enormous (surgically enhanced) breasts. (Chelsea isn't her real name.)

Her 164XXX bra size requires that she get bras from a custom bra maker in Texas; no normal clothing store sells bras that big.

Host Philip Scofield, when he had her on a British news talk show called This Morning, couldn't keep his eyes off her. During his interview with Chelsea, Scofield's female co-host asked Chelsea what had motivated her to get her breasts enlarged to that extent. She replied candidly that she really liked getting attention from people, and that was a good way to do it.

Also, she said that she'd made a fair amount of money, as an adult entertainer.

I'm a normal guy, and I do not deny that I like boobs. But Chelsea is a bit of a freak. And I don't even think that her "big bazooms" make her look very good.

I'm amazed that she says that she hasn't had enormous back problems as a result.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Attack Of The Sex Machines

There's a funny video at http://youtu.be/e_dvOQzruSA, in which two black men attempt to deal with the proliferation of sex machines, which automate the process of penetrating a woman's "lady parts" to give her an orgasm. (In all fairness, some machines of that nature can be adapted to male sex toys like the Fleshlight, but it's pretty clear to me, from what I've seen on the web, that the machines are being marketed primarily to women.)

To see a web site which specializes in selling such products exclusively, visit http://www.mylovemachine.com/. Or if you prefer to see one of the most famous and most expensive machines of that nature, visit http://www.sybian.com or http://rebootyoursexlife.com/. Kat Smith is a black woman who hosts the G-rated videos at the latter site. One of those videos states that the Sybian can help to make a woman "multi-orgasmic". In that video, a couple testifies that the Sybian has rebooted the sex life of the couple.

In the aforementioned YouTube video, the men shown in that dramatization hate the idea of being replaced by a machine. But even if a machine has the ability to make a woman "multi-orgasmic" (to use the term used by the folks at Sybian), a machine can't listen to a woman with empathy after she's had a hard day at work. A machine can't pray for a woman, or kiss and caress her. I'd be willing to do that for a woman, if I could find one who would love and cherish me as she wanted to be loved and cherished. If I ever get the chance to do that, I will do my best.

Besides, such a sex machine could enhance the lovemaking sessions of a real couple. Some seem to require the participation of a partner (although not necessarily a male partner, alas). For example, there is a product that consists of a power drill, attached to a dildo, and sometimes marketed as the Drilldo. I've seen other names used, but I like Drilldo, since it reminds me of a Christian guy I once knew named Jon Speckman, who would refer in conversations about sex with his wife Debby (who had suffered with cancer) to "drilling" her! For him, I suspect that it was just a metaphor, but with the Drilldo, it wouldn't have to be. (I've also seen a sex machine made by adapting a dildo to a reciprocating power saw. But the name Sawdo wouldn't sound as good.)

If my woman (or rather, any woman I may get in the future) wants to use a Sybian in order to get orgasms more intense than any I can give to her solely with my natural endowments, I'm fine with that. In fact, I would very likely get turned on by watching her do it.

Expensive "fucking machines" are available mostly from specialized sex shops on the Internet, but I've also seen a number of those products at Amazon.com. I don't know whether or not the company sells sex machines, but I've even seen dildos at the web site for Walgreens (http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/dildos/ID=361975-tier3). Walgreens, for crying out loud! It's hardly surprising that they don't stock and display these products at your friendly neighborhood Walgreens, but they are clearly not averse to selling them online. Drugstore.com, also sells dildos, (http://www.drugstore.com/sexual-well-being/dildos/qxg180704-0), including the Clone A Willy kit for making custom dildos modeled after one's own penis. Of course, some might argue that a dick is a dick is a dick, but there might be women who would prefer knowing that their dildos were modeled after the penises of their husbands or lovers.

By the way, I wouldn't recommend one of these machines for a woman afflicted with PGAD (Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder), also known as Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome (PSAS). The last thing that such women need is more intense orgasms; they can get orgasms just by exercising, riding horses or standing near washing machines. But interestingly enough, masturbation is one of the ways that such women get relief. To watch a YouTube video about that syndrome or disorder, visit http://youtu.be/zRf4zMEP5ZA.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

A Stroke Not A Ministroke

Yesterday, I was walking a relatively short distance, from my apartment (1213 Whatcom Street, Apartment 118) to the Subway sandwich shop on Lakeway. Yet, I was still struggling as I walked with my cane. Admittedly, I had my laptop computer with me, and it can get pretty heavy in its bag. Still, I could have easily done that at one time.

As I walked past a somewhat elderly woman living near that store, she asked me if I needed help. I replied that I didn't need more help than I normally did. (My new "normal" is something which I would not have regarded as normal at all at one time.) I told the woman that I walked with a cane on account of having had several mini-strokes. At least, that was what they told me at PeaceHealth St. Joseph's hospital.

I've always found myself wondering whether or not the term "mini-stroke" really applied to what I'd experienced. I couldn't help but think, "If this is 'mini', I'd hate to see 'maxi'."

That perception was affirmed by the woman with whom I spoke yesterday. She told me that she took care of stroke patients (as a nurse, as I recall), and it looked to her like I'd had a full-blown stroke, just based on the way that I walked.

Later that day, when the Subway sandwich shop closed for the evening and I walked back to my apartment, I found myself struggling even more than usual. I called my roommate Everett Barton and told him about my conversation with that woman. I said that there were times when I wanted to scream, "I WANT MY BODY BACK!"

There's a guy named Dale McMurtrey, who serves my church as a leader. Ostensibly, after a recent heart attack, he technically "died". But frankly, when I watch him walk around at church, he looks a lot healthier than me. At church, I've never seen him walking with a cane.

When I recently sent Dale an email message, to make him aware of the singles group I was trying to start (which I've decided to call Get Hitched), he sent me a reply saying that he didn't want any more emails from me about that particular subject. The email to him had not really been addressed to him; it was just a copy of an email addressed to a woman from Mosaic Church named Donna Vander Griend. In the email to Donna, I'd asked her to make people aware that I planned to hold the first meeting of the group at Round Table Pizza (Sunset Square in Bellingham) on August 31, 2013, at 12:15 p.m.

Dale has no reason to want to attend a singles group himself. He's been blessed with a wife (Lori) and a beautiful daughter (Amy). Why would he want to join Get Hitched? But I naively thought that he had been gifted with empathy, and that he cared about bearing the burdens of his fellow Christian believers. Being single is a real burden for me, compounded by the burden of my recent stroke-related physical problems. I've begged for help in relation to my single status when speaking with folks at Mosaic. So far, however, I've seen very little to suggest that those who have given lip service to the idea of passing on my contact information to single women looking for mates was likely to ever be any more than lip service. That's why I decided to start Get Hitched (organized via a page at Meetup.com, and also via another blog I recently created for the group). I know that I can't be the only person who is sick and tired of being a virgin, with no partner (e.g., "helpmate") of the opposite gender!

In the movie Fiddler On The Roof, there was a song, sung by a young woman: "Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match." In communities of old that role was played by people who recognized that some people needed help in the love department. (Todd Rundgren sang a song entitled, "We've Got To Get You A Woman.") But Dale apparently doesn't think that he has any reason to have an interest in helping me to find a mate. He hasn't literally said, "I've been blessed with a wife. Who gives a shit whether or not you are similarly blessed." But frankly, that's how it feels to me.

When my mother came to Bellingham to visit with me, she made a phone call to a friend in my hometown of Springfield, Missouri. She learned that Don Freeman had died. Don was a man who had been involved with my brother in connection with Alcoholics Anonymous (which my brother Matt unfortunately needs, since he is an alcoholic). Don was 60 years old when he died, just 3 years older than I am now. At least he'd been married (and unfortunately divorced), so he was not a virgin when he died. If I die when I am 60 years old, unless something changes for me very quickly, I will not ever have known what it's like to have sex with a woman. I do not want to still be a virgin when I die. There have been other major disappointments in my life, related to such things as my desire to make a living doing work which I actually enjoyed doing (e.g., making music and art). But never having experienced sexual intercourse would have to be at the top of the list of those disappointments. Sex is on my bucket list. I've always wanted to have sex in the context of a loving marriage, but I am at the point where I find myself investigating alternatives which would not be endorsed by most Christians.

Brothels are legal in the state of Nevada, and provided that one can find the money, one can find some very attractive women (like Airforce Amy, the "Michael Jordan of sex" who works at The Bunny Ranch, where she was featured in an HBO series called "Cathouse") who are quite willing to play a role in one's "devirginization" (to use Amy's term).

My roommate Everett Barton lost his virginity when he was 17 years old. That's pretty common, according to a Wikipedia article on "Adolescent Sexuality in the United States". So essentially, I am 40 years older than the age when males usually lose their virginity, and I am still a virgin.

It is inordinately hypocritical of men like Dale McMurtrey to harshly judge and criticize brothers who resort to visits to brothels, sex surrogates and the like, if they are totally unwilling to help those brothers to make love connections with women who could help them to meet their needs sexually without ever needing to commit fornication.

Would God forgive me if I visited Airforce Amy and had sex with her? I think so. For crying out loud, God forgave Mary Magdelene, who was a prostitute, and God forgave King David, when he murdered Bathsheba's husband on the battlefield. I would never contemplate murder as a means of getting a woman! Even adultery is something I would not consider, because I do believe in the value of a promise, and I cannot fathom how a man could want to betray a woman who had actually committed her life to him by getting married to him. My father betrayed my mother in that manner, and I thought that it was disgraceful for him to do that. But if I were to see a prostitute at a brothel, I would not be betraying anyone, other than God, who has demonstrated time and time again throughout history that such offenses are forgivable.

Even so, I have not yet fornicated once, despite having grown up in the era of "free love". I would rather not have to resort to doing so. If people like Dale McMurtrey would help to bear my burden of singleness by helping me to find a mate, then that temptation would be obviated.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Extremely Pro-life

For years, the pro-abortion lobby has engaged in disingenuous name-calling as a means of attempting to discredit the pro-life movement. In reference to anyone who does not think it's particularly cool to scald an unborn child with saline or to rip it apart with surgical instruments, they use the term "extremists".

Well, I am proud to be one of those extremists. What could possibly be more extreme than to persuade women that it is in their best interests to kill their own progeny? I used to hear some so-called feminists arguing that the problems of the world were all men's fault, and that women were inherently kind and caring and "nurturing". Well, I am sure that that's the case with a lot of women, but treating the child in one's womb as if it is a disposable piece of trash does not seem very nurturing to me. (If you want more proof of how women are no more nurturing than men, study up on Elizabeth Bathory, the most prolific female serial killer in history, although the millions of deaths attributable to legal abortion in the United States make her body count of 650 young girls seem small in comparison.)

Norma McCorvey, who was manipulated by the attorney Sarah Weddington in order to win the historic Roe v Wade case, publicly repented long ago of her role in that socially disastrous Supreme Court decision. Feminists For Life has demonstrated over and over again that true feminism in the classic sense is contrary to the agenda of the "pro-choice" movement. WEBA (Women Exploited By Abortion) demonstrated that many women deeply regretted having killed their unborn children. Bernard Nathanson, the former abortionist credited with presiding over roughly 60,000 abortions as the director of CRASH (the Center for Reproductiveand Sexual Health), repented, as Norma McCorvey had done, for the role he had played in snuffing out the lives of huge numbers of human beings.  (For information regarding other repentant former abortionists, like Carole Everett, click this link.)

So I say to NARAL, NOW and  NAF (National Abortion Federation), you idiots can sling all the mud you want to sling. You can slander me by implying that I am a clinic bomber, even though the worse crime I've ever committed is accidentally speeding, which got me a speeding ticket.

For those who want to see a really powerful movie which exposes the lies of the abortion industry, I highly recommend October Baby. Also, I want to recommend that everyone wanting to be properly informed about this crucial issue visit www.Abort73.com. (The 73 is an obvious reference to the year when Roe v Wade changed the face of America.)

Newsweek magazine recently ran a cover story about how the pro-abortion movement had won in 1973, and had (according to the magazine) been losing ever since that time. I am not sure that I would say that the pro-life movement has ever "won", since abortion remains legal even today. Incremental victories, to be sure, but I will not rest until every abortionist in America is put out of business. I cannot help to accomplish that goal myself, but what I can do is to talk about the issue with people whenever I get the chance to do so. Please help me to spread the word.

October Baby, The Movie

The movie industry has in times past kissed the behind of the abortion industry (and an extremely profitable industry it has been for abortionists). But the tide is turning in a positive direction. A new movie named October Baby furnishes a powerful, moving refutation of the idea that abortion is a good thing for women or for people in general. If you have a chance, see the movie or rent the DVD and play it for your "pro-choice" (pro-death) friends.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Jane Fonda in 1968

For some reason, I just clicked on a link which took me to a YouTube video featuring Jane Fonda, reviled in some quarters for her role in helping to promote the cause of the Viet Cong during the Viet Nam war. The aforementioned video featured Jane in a truly cheesy movie named Barbarella.

A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since 1968, which was one year before America landed the first man on the moon.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Yahoo Is REALLY Screwed Up ... and so is Flickr

I wanted to use Flickr.com to host an image so that I could add it to my previous blog post here, since Google seems to have eliminated the ability to upload an image file directly from one's hard drive to Blogger.com. (What's up with that? One used to be able to do that, but there no longer is a Browse button when one clicks the Insert Image icon.)

OK, getting the image onto my hard drive wasn't a problem. But what good is that if I have no means of adding it to the related blog post?

I set up an account earlier with Yahoo, with the e-mail address of pettigrew.mark@rocketmail.com. But logging back into that account is next to impossible. I had created a random password, using a Random Password generator found online. But every stinking time I enter that password into the Yahoo sign-in dialog box, and every time I hit Enter, it DOUBLES the password I just entered, and then it tells me that the signin did not work. Well, DUH! Of course it didn't work, you IDIOTS! Your sign-in form is clearly screwed up, and it's virtually impossible for ANYONE to sign in. Wow, I guess I will have to find an image hosting service, not Flickr, which is not connected to Yahoo in any way whatsoever.

The GoFrrr Ball and the Booby Ball

The other day, I bought a used file cabinet from a guy here in Bellingham. I learned when I visited his place that he ran a company named ProBall. His name was Glen Bevan. He demonstrated the primary product manufactured by his company: A ball designed for playing fetch with one's dog. He called it the GoFrrr Ball, also known as the Rocketball, and it had an elastic strap which essentially allowed one to shoot the ball further than one would be able to easily throw a ball. Needless to say, it would be a nice little product, for people wanting to take their dogs to the park for a nice game of fetch. Useful for children and baseball players, too.

When I first saw the product, I couldn't help being reminded of another ball I had seen online. One company called it the Booby Ball. Amazon.com carries the product, too, as seen on this web page. It's sold as a gag gift or a stress reducer.  Basically, it's a rubber ball with a woman's nipple.

I was reminded of the fact that some women have been known to say that "men are dogs". When I saw the Booby Ball, I found myself thinking that if Glen were to combine his GoFrrr Ball with the Booby Ball idea (by manufacturing a version with a woman's nipple on the end), he'd have a product sure to entertain a group of horny men at their next outing. "Hey, guys, are you up for a game of Booby Ball?"

I was reminded by the title of a Joan Rivers book, entitled "Men Are Stupid . . . And They Like Big Boobs: A Woman's Guide to Beauty Through Plastic Surgery" .

As a man, I slightly resent Joan's characterization of men as "stupid". And by the way, it seems to me that men's attraction to big-breasted women makes total sense, from an evolutionary point of view or if you will, a survival point of view (if you are not a big fan of the theory of evolution). Women with bigger breasts are presumably better prepared to nourish their babies with milk from their breasts. A woman's breasts, first and foremost, are not parts of the body designed for erotic stimulation for men, but rather, they are body parts designed to enable women to nurture their young. Back in the days, that's how they were viewed, and it is not uncommon to see Renaissance paintings in which the Virgin Mary nourishes the baby Jesus with milk from her breasts.

So, call me a dog or call me a stupid boob, but I really think that Glenn ought to take me up on my suggestion, which I made to him when he was delivering my used file cabinet.

Check out the following links, if you want to visit a couple of web pages with info re: the male fascination with mammary glands:

http://www.cracked.com/funny-212-boobs/
http://brosome.com/3-reasons-why-men-like-boobs/

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Linda Apex

I recently made a new Facebook friend in the person of a lovely young woman named Linda Apex. Usually, it seems that I am relegated to dating women who are fairly close to my age (and who, it often seems, are a little bit long in the tooth), but Linda is 24 years younger than I, and yet she strangely seems to actually be interested in (or at least open to) a romantic relationship with me.

Is that just a cruel illusion, or could it be that after long last, I might dare to hope that I could marry someone who actually makes me excited to be alive? It's hard to say at this point. She seems to have the right attitude, based on things she's written to me in Facebook messages. But I am such a gullible guy. I tend to have high hopes that later end up getting dashed.

I remember such a period of my life a number of years ago, when I fell for a person (met via CraigsList) identifying herself as "Valentina" ... ostensibly a Russian woman (who, like Linda, was considerably younger than I). I started to get suspicious when I noticed that Valentina virtually never answered my pointed questions with anything but vague generalities which could almost have been generated by a computer algorithm. I searched online, and found that others had received correspondence from this same woman, using almost identical phrases. I'd read that she had a game where she would claim that she'd taken the initiative to travel to America, and then she'd been detained by authorities who'd demanded money, which she supposedly had to pay so that she and I could get together. I was glad that I never sent "Valentina" a dime, and I was glad that I'd paid a small amount of money to do a background check on her. In hindsight, I'm not even sure that Valentina was a real woman. I was older and wiser.

So at this point, I am still wary and cautious with regard to Linda here, even though it could very well be a situation where she is for real. The fact that Christian musicians like Sherman Andrus and Marty McCall have befriended Linda on Facebook makes me feel a little bit better. She may be scamming me, but if she is, at least I am not the only sucker out there. (By the way, I notice that ALL her Facebook friends seem to be men.)


Thursday, January 03, 2013

Now I Am On Zoosk

A while ago, I signed up for a Christian dating service known as ChristianMingle.com, but I never paid them any actual money. Pretty stupid, I know, because none of these companies do anything for you unless you put down at least a little bit of money.

Anyway, long story short, I just signed up for Zoosk.com today, mainly because it seemed to be well integrated with Facebook. I will probably regret having done so, but frankly, I'm sick and tired of being lonely. I think, no I hope, that I will be able to handle the expense of a Zoosk membership.

I guess I will periodically post a blog article to let you know whether or not this proves to be something worth doing.

As for the question of whether I should have signed up for a dating service exclusively for Christians, well, I do plan to make it plain to anyone I meet on Zoosk that my Christian commitment is important to me.

Jon Gibson: Stevie Wonder for Believers

Stevie Wonder was (and still is) a very soulful and talented musician. If you agree, check out the music of Jon Gibson, if you never heard it before. I really think you will dig it. (Did I just say "dig it"? Yeah, it's the wannabe hipster in me.)

Here's a link to an interview with Jon, and to a recording of his music. Share the information if you know of anyone who likes the music of Stevie Wonder.

By the way, as Jon points out in the interview, he's a white guy. Soulfulness knows no color.

A Time To Love, A Time To Hate

http://www.fastpencil.com/publications/1307-Forgiveness is a link to a book I found online today, and I have to say that this looks potentially as good as the Jay Adams book "From Forgiven to Forgiving", which I think I have already praised in this blog in the past. (If I neglected to do so already, let me highly recommend that book now.) Jesus wants us to be forgiving people, but he does not want us to be condoning people. When we forgive people without expecting anything from them in the way of repentance, we go much further than even God goes, and we basically spit in the face of God by telling Him that it's OK to abuse people. In effect, we perpetuate the abuse by failing to take a stand against it.

The book at FastPencil.com is "Forgiveness" by Helen Whitney, and it seems to be available as an eBook. (Buy an eBook and save a tree, or at least part of a tree.)

Remembering BBC

Recently, I left the following comment on the very well-written blog of a new Christian friend (John Feeney) with whom I had become acquainted on Facebook:

In your blog post you refer to distortions promoted by "fundamentalist" Christians.

The trouble is that that term has been co-opted by certain believers who are by no means true fundamentalists in the classic and historic sense.

Example: Fundamentalist Baptists often teach things which are nowhere to be found in the Bible. For example, I knew Christians at Baptist Bible College in my hometown of Springfield, Missouri. They believed that dancing was a sin (never mind those troublesome OT verses about David dancing before the Lord), and they believed that good Christian women would never wear pantsuits or jeans.

Folks at BBC were so strict that, believe it or not, they argued that they should not invite Jerry Falwell to speak at their campus (where he was an alma mater) because he was too "liberal". Wow! You know that Christians are too conservative when they think that Jerry Falwell (infamous for the Teletubbies episode) was a liberal.

Needless to say, the long-haired Jesus people with whom I hung out at the New Wine coffeehouse downtown were not cut from the same cloth as the BBC administrators or students.

A Lifetime of Learning

People used to comment, when they would see me carrying my book bag, that I must be a student. Sometimes it was true, but often it was untrue, at least in terms of formal learning. But I would reply that I considered myself to be a lifelong student, and I prayed that I never stopped learning.