My Blog

A Review of The Uniden BC144XL Programmable Desktop Scanner

Just so everyone knows, I am not the owner of this featured image; it is from a picture that I Googled and cropped.

I had first discovered scanner radios in the Summer of 2001 at the age of fourteen and a half.

However, I had little to no income due to my age and my parents aren’t big on technology to appreciate such a device. It angered them that I could potentially eavesdrop on other’s communications, especially law enforcement and government operations. In fact, they were appalled when they found out that such an item existed.

And, at the time, even an entry-level scanner cost at least $100, brand new.

So, I had no hopes of getting one.

Well, until September of 2002, that is.

My local Wal*Mart had a Uniden BC144XL on clearance for $30.00+tax.

I borrowed the money and purchased it at once.

That was the first scanner I ever owned and what this piece will be a review of.

At first, I had a slight amount of consumer’s remorse when I took it home and set it up.

There was only a two-digit LED display, that didn’t show the full frequency readout.

There were no search functions, which meant I could only program the frequencies I knew-this resulted in a lot of trial and error.

I later found out that at the time, local law enforcement in my Parish was on the Louisiana 800 MHz Motorola Smartzone Trunked System, so I could not pick them up whatsoever with this scanner-and boy I was ticked off at that fact!

While it was capable of picking up The Feds, there were no Federal Government operations within range.

However, I did find some use for it and I ended up enjoying it.

For example, I frequently listened to my local fire department and eventually neighboring fire departments. I discovered 2 Meter local Amateur Radio operations in my area. I listened in on analog cordless phones that operated in the VHF Low Band. There were some local businesses and utilities with wide-area repeater coverage that I would listen to. And I would eventually use it for listening to marine communications and even railroads, some months later.

In December of 2002, with the money I was gifted for Christmas, I upgraded to a Uniden BC80XLT, which had more channels, covered 800 MHz, had search functions, and was portable. I had that newer until the Fall of 2005 when someone sabotaged it. I may write a review of it someday.

I sold my first scanner approximately a year later because I needed the money for other things.

For years, I regretted selling it, especially in more recent years when the bulk of my scanner listening transitioned from law enforcement to railroad and marine traffic.

On this day, January 3, 2021, I purchased a duplicate Uniden BC144XL in fairly decent condition for roughly the same price I paid back in September 2002. It was a late birthday present to me from myself. Thank God for eBay! I plan to use it in conjunction with my Realistic Pro-59, which I shall compare it to.

In these ways it is better than the Realistic Pro-59:
It has double the channel memory with sixteen channels as opposed to eight.
It also covers 29-54 MHz in addition to 137-174 MHz and 406-512 MHz.

The Realistic Pro-59, has better antenna connections, though, at least in my humble but honest opinion.

The user interface between the Uniden BC144XL and the Realistic Pro-59 is very similar, with the Uniden BC144XL being more advanced.

Well, they are both Unidens though one is a true Uniden and the other is a rebadged Uniden made for Radio Shack under the Realistic name.

I don’t have the receiver sensitivity ratings for this scanner, but I am durn sure that it is more sensitive than any of its modern-day counterparts and that is a crying shame. I was amazed at how far away it could pull in signals from, even with just the stock antenna. I cannot wait for my duplicate to come in the mail!

I already have a general idea of what I am going to program in it:

The first few channels will be for local and neighboring fire departments (almost all on VHF High Band.)

Then I will store my local utilities (Electrical on VHF Low Band, Waterworks on UHF Band.)

Then a few amateur radio frequencies (2 Meter and 70 Centimeter Bands. Might even program some 6 Meter and 10 Meter FM frequencies since a new sunspot cycle is beginning!)

Then railroad and marine, that is a must (VHF High Band.)

Finally maybe a few local businesses (Mostly UHF Band.)

I haven’t decided where in my residence that I want to use it, since I already have a tabletop scanner in each room.

I will admit that I bought it for the sentimental value but also for the powerful sensitivity because I’m convinced that it pulls in signals clearly that my newer scanners won’t even stop on.

In my teens, I would have given it a low rating, maybe 1 or 2 out of 5 stars, because of all it lacked

However, at the age of thirty-four and with totally different listening habits I can give this scanner a rating of 4 out of 5 stars, only because it lacks a full frequency display and a search function. However, it does make up for it in being well-built, long-lasting, and extra sensitive.

I mean many scanners that were made 25-35 years ago still work perfectly even though they may be partially or even mostly obsolete. Well, they are still perfectly fine for most of my listening tastes!

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again:

Will any scanner made today or even within the last decade still be functioning 25-35 years in the future?

Somehow, I don’t think so.

All in all, I guess this concludes my review of Uniden BC144XL.

I cannot wait for my duplicate to come in the mail and I hope that you, the reader, have been informed and maybe even entertained.

May God richly bless you!0

Back to “Product Reviews”

Christmas Eve Scenes from my Stories

Christmas has always been my favorite holiday, even prior to coming to Christ in July of 2004.

Yes, I do uphold and affirm that the primary reason for Christmas is to celebrate Jesus Christ coming into this world in order to purchase the gift of eternal salvation to all who surrender to Him.

May we never forget that!

On the secular side of the holiday, I also associate it with, romance and spending time with those who are near and dear to us, be it a spouse, a lover, family or friends.

Furthermore I see it as a time to be kind to everyone we come across.

On this page, I plan to share scenes from my stories that happen to take place on Christmas Eve. Many of them are from the stories I wrote when influenced by Post Modernism.

I know that 2020, has been a miserable year for all of humanity and my prayer is that all that which was robbed from us will be restored and replaced in 2021!

I hope that these scenes will bring some cheer to you, the reader.

If I had to choose a physical location for these following scenes, they would all take place in The Greater New Orleans Area.

Without further ado, here they are:

…Grocer and Writer, Christmas Eve Scenes (I sincerely apologize for the mention of premarital sex)…:
*BY THE WAY THIS SCENE WAS WRITTEN IN THE SUMMER OF 2014*
*JUST FOR THE RECORD GARTH COOPER IS 22 GOING ON 23 AND SAMANTHA ABBOTT IS 17 GOING ON 18*
GUY’S PERSPECTIVE
It’s Christmas Eve and my grocery work is finally done for the night.

So, with that, I clock out, text my girlfriend, and head to her parents’ house. The traffic is congested terribly tonight but, I finally make it to the suburbs. As soon as I pull up in the driveway she comes walking out the door. We embrace, then kiss beneath the glow of a street lamp.

“Let’s go to your place,” She tells me, placing her soft hands under my shirt and rubbing the hairs on my chest.

“Very well, baby,” I reply.

We walk to my car and I open the passenger door for her.

She steps in.

Then I sit down in the driver’s seat and start my engine. Quickly we leave and then head for my house in the working poor section of the city.

I drive through all of the traffic but finally make it to my neighborhood, then my street. I park my car against the curb, then escort her out.

I open my hurricane fence, then we walk through my front yard, up my steps and into my front door. I lock and deabbolt the door as she sits down on the sofa. I go to my refrigerator and get us each a pint bottle of Borden Egg Nog. I open one, then hand the other to her.

“I’m already so fat. I probably shouldn’t drink this,” She tells me with hesitation.

“I think you are beautiful just as you are, baby, but I’d love you and revere you no matter how thin or heavy you are.”

“I know I found someone good, because you want me even though I’m so big. I love you so much for that!”

“I love you just as much, I think you are beautiful and I’m so glad to have you in my life!”

She then embraces me and we begin to drink our egg nog.

I turn on the television and adjust the rabbit ears. We catch the late local news, already in progress.

An indifferent reporter tells of several unrelated murders that took place in the city over the past twenty four hours.

“What a waste! I don’t see why people desire to take each others’ lives,” I say, disgusted.

The reporter continues to talk of the whole world preparing for war and that global conflict could break out at any time.

We both shudder.

“Why don’t we turn this miserable thing off and focus on each other?” My girlfriend says.

“Very well, baby,” I tell her, point the remote at the TV and push the “Power” button, then ask “What would you like to do?”

“Well there is one thing I would love to do, but I think it’s illegal.”

“What is that?” I ask.

“Be intimate with you.”

I hold her hands and say, “Yes. I want to be intimate with you as well, I really do. I love you with all my heart and would do anything for you. I’m just afraid of how your parents would react.”

“I promise I won’t tell anyone. It would kill me to know that I’d be the reason you go to jail, so I’ll keep it between you and me.”

“Your parents could still figure it out, though. Especially when they find out how much time we spend together alone.”

“I know, but I don’t think my dad would be that angry, even if he found out. Once he sees how you treat me like a princess, he’ll want me to keep you. He hates seeing me constantly rejected and lonely all the time.”

“I wish I could completely believe that. Maybe I’m just being a little paranoid, but the last thing I need is a criminal record.”

“But just thinking of how you love me for who I am, when I was turned down and mocked by so many others, makes me desire you so badly right now, though.”

“I promise, as soon as you turn eighteen, I will make love to you.”

“But that’s not for another six weeks. A lot could happen between now and then. You could be drafted off to war. Our city could be bombed. One of us could be murdered We are not guaranteed tomorrow, so let’s make tonight worth it. Be mine and seal our relationship forever.”

“You’re right. Being drafted scares me to death. I’m a lover, not a fighter. But I’m not really a lover either though.”

“”Wow, you’re a twenty two year old virgin? I can’t believe you’ve never been with anyone else, because you’re so cute!”

“That’s right. No one ever put up with me like you do, and none of them were ever worth it either.”

“Am I worth it?”

“You are indeed worth it and more.”

“Then will you be intimate with me?”

“Yes. You made me realize that I need to love you as much as possible, because there is no guarantee of the time we have left together. We will share the experience of fully knowing each other and only each other and no one will be able to take that from us, no matter what they do. No war, no criminal, no distance, no government nor anyone or anything else will be able to take what we have away from us. I will be your one and only, both now and forever, no matter what!”

“Oh, I love you so much!” She says kissing me wildly.

“I love you too, baby. I hope to give you nothing but bliss tonight.”

“You already are!”

With that we walk to my bedroom and become fully know to each other. After multiple releases we cuddle into the night and fall asleep in each others’ arms.

In the morning we wake and I make her breakfast.
GIRL’S PERSPECTIVE
It’s Christmas Eve and I just got a text from my boyfriend. He just got off of work and is coming see me-I feel so elated!

The minutes crawl by, but as I am looking through the dining room window, I see the headlights of his old Toyota pulling onto my parents’ driveway.

So happy to see him, I come walking out the door and we embrace under the glow of a streetlamp.

I place my hands under his shirt and rub his chest as I tell him, “Let’s go to your place.”

“Very well, baby,” He replies.

We walk to his car and he opens the passenger door for me. He’s so sweet to do that.

I step in and he enters on the driver’s side and starts the car.

Quickly we leave and head to his house.

The traffic is awful tonight, but finally, we are in his neighborhood and now on his street.

He parks the car against the curb, gets out then opens the door for me and escorts me inside.

I sit on the sofa and he goes to his refrigerator and gets us each a pint bottle of Borden Egg Nog. He opens one and hands me the other.

“I’m already so fat. I probably shouldn’t drink this,” I tell him with hesitation.

“I think you are beautiful just as you are, baby, but I’d love you and revere you no matter how thin or heavy you are.” My heart melts when he tells me that. I want him forever because he feels that way.

So I tell him, “I know I found someone good because you want me even though I’m so big. I love you so much for that!”

“I love you just as much, I think you are beautiful and I’m so glad to have you in my life!”

I then embrace him and we begin to drink our egg nog.

My boyfriend puts the TV on and we watch the news.

The reporter talks about several murders that took place today in our city.

“What a waste! I don’t see why people desire to take each others’ lives,” My boyfriend says with disgust.

The reporter then tells of the whole world about to be at war.

We both shudder.

“Why don’t we turn this miserable thing off and focus on each other?” I tell him.

“Very well, baby,” He tells me, turns the TV off, then asks “What would you like to do?”

I guess it’s time to be truly honest with him about what I want to do.

Here goes: “Well there is one thing I would love to do, but I think it’s illegal.”

“What is that?” He asks.

“Be intimate with you.” There I said it. I could not picture anyone better to lose my virginity to because he is so sweet to me.

He gently holds my hands and says, “Yes. I want to be intimate with you as well, I really do. I love you with all my heart and would do anything for you. I’m just afraid of how your parents would react.” Oh my, he feels the same way! How I wish I was legal, now more than ever!

Softly and soberly, I tell him, “I promise I won’t tell anyone. It would kill me to know that I’d be the reason you go to jail, so I’ll keep it between you and me.”

He’s very leery now, just like when we met. “Your parents could still figure it out, though. Especially when they find out how much time we spend together alone,” He tells me.

Let me see if I can comfort him somehow because I want his body so much. “I know, but I don’t think my dad would be that angry, even if he found out. Once he sees how you treat me like a princess, he’ll want me to keep you. He hates seeing me constantly rejected and lonely all the time.”

“I wish I could completely believe that. Maybe I’m just being a little paranoid, but the last thing I need is a criminal record.”

I know these laws are to protect me, but they could not protect me from myself if I would have ended my life last Thanksgiving. I very well could have done just that if he rejected me. But he didn’t reject me, he loves me more than I ever dared dream. All these laws do is prevent him from loving me more.

I’ll tell him about that, just like this, “But just thinking of how you love me for who I am when I was turned down and mocked by so many others, makes me desire you so badly right now, though.”

“I promise, as soon as you turn eighteen, I will make love to you.”

“But that’s not for another six weeks. A lot could happen between now and then. You could be drafted off to war. Our city could be bombed. One of us could be murdered. We are not guaranteed tomorrow, so let’s make tonight worth it. Be mine and seal our relationship forever.”

He’s opening up now, “You’re right. Being drafted scares me to death. I’m a lover, not a fighter. But I’m not really a lover either though.”

“Wow, you’re a twenty-two-year-old virgin? I can’t believe you’ve never been with anyone else because you’re so cute!” To tell the truth, I want him that much more now!

“That’s right. No one ever put up with me like you do, and none of them were ever worth it either.”

“Am I worth it?”

“You are indeed worth it and more.”

“Then will you be intimate with me?”

“Yes. You made me realize that I need to love you as much as possible because there is no guarantee of the time we have left together. We will share the experience of fully knowing each other and only each other and no one will be able to take that from us, no matter what they do. No war, no criminal, no distance, no government nor anyone or anything else will be able to take what we have away from us. I will be your one and only, both now and forever, no matter what!”

“Oh, I love you so much!” I tell him with passion as I kiss him over and over again.

“I love you too, baby. I hope to give you nothing but bliss tonight.”

“You already are!” I tell him with tears of joy in my eyes.

Hand in hand we walk to his bedroom and become intimately known to each other.

This moment is so special for both of us.

After we are both exhausted we peacefully fall asleep in each other’s arms.

In the morning we wake and he makes me breakfast.

…I could picture Canon in D playing as these scenes unfold and if it were ever to be shown either as animation or live action, I would have them walk into the bedroom and shut the door behind them, then I would show the outside of the house at the bedroom window with the light going out and snow beginning to fall…

…KEEP READING…

…A Disabled Electrician turned Writer (again, I apologize for the mention of pre martial intimacy)…:
*I BEGAN THIS SERIES IN 2017, BUT THIS PARTICULAR SCENE WAS WRITTEN SOME TIME IN 2019*
*JUST FOR THE RECORD, ANNABELLE JENKINS IS 18 GOING ON 19 AND JOHNNY JOSEPH ELDER IS 25 GOING ON 26*
It’s Christmas Eve Morning and Annabelle and I are getting out of bed.

Today and tomorrow will be very busy, we will be visiting neighbors and family.

We are going to Mrs. Angela’s today then Annabelle’s family this evening.

Tomorrow we are taking a train to the countryside to see my family. Annabelle will be meeting them for the first time and I hope they accept her.

The alarm apps on our phones are bothing going off.

I’m wearing pants with no shirt and Annabelle is wearing her white night shirt and a red panty.

I give her a kiss.

She giggles then we rub noses.

I run my fingers through her long thick hair and she puts her glasses on.

We kiss once more.

“I have a gift for you, Annabelle,” I tell her.

“I have one for you as well Johnny,” She replies.

Should we exchange them right now?” I ask.

“There’s another gift I want from you first!” She tells me, then sits on my stomach and pulls her shirt over me, placing her breasts in my face.

I’m very turned on.

She places her bottom near my face and says, “Enjoy me!”

*EDITED OUT DUE TO SEXUALLY GRAPHIC NATURE*

“I love you so much, bae!” Annabelle says as she grabs me with all her strength.

“I love you too!” I reply as I catch my breath.

We cuddle into the morning until the alarms go off again.

“Now we can exchange our Christmas gifts.” Annabelle says as she beams.

We get our clothes back on then we each go to our sock drawers in the dresser and pull out the gifts.

I pull out a box with a ring in it. The jewels sparkle in the sunlight coming out of the window. I then say, “This is a promise ring. I promise to be yours and only yours. I want you and no one else! I hope you feel the same way.”

Annabelle smiles from ear to ear, grabs me then kisses me.

“You’re so sweet Johnny and by the way, it’s beautiful! For the record I also want only you and no one else!”

“I would want to buy you an engagement ring, because you have my heart, but I don’t want to scare you off.”

“It wouldn’t scare me, it would be a dream come true!” She pauses and then says, “Now your gift,” She hands me a wrapped box.

I tear the wrapping paper with my Helping Hand Multi Tool.

It’s a Samsung Galaxy Prime Smartphone.

Annabelle then says, “You could combine your smartphone plan and your wireless internet and save a few dollars each month. Plus you no longer have to be tied to your computer for Internet Access.

I hug Annabelle gently and kiss her head. I rub her love handles and look into her eyes as she smiles at me.

“Do you like it?” She asks.

“Of course I do,” I reply. But then continue, “But how could you afford it?”

“I had cleaned some houses a couple times and saved little by little. I hope you like it. Besides you’re almost twenty six and it’s time you get a smartphone.”

“You’re right bae. I didn’t want one in the past because I always wanted something rugged, but that was when I was working. I’m not working anymore.”

“And with your data plan you can use it as a portable router, so you can still connect your computer to the Internet.”

“Wow bae! I do like it a lot!”

“Once it is set up, we can take a selfie together and have it as our background photos.”

“And we can send sexy pictures to each other.”

“Now you’re getting it!”

I then hold Annabelle by her waist and lovingly kiss the back of her neck.

“I love you!” She says.

“I love you too, bae and I’m now wishing that I had got you an engagement ring instead of a promise ring, because I would marry you. However, you’re the only one I would marry.”

“I know bae.”

“How about I buy you an engagement ring as soon as my loan to pay my deductible is paid off.”

“That’s fine, bae. More importantly, give me your time, your loyalty and your affections.”

“You’ve got those forever.”

“I know that too, bae, and you’ve made me happier than I’ve ever been.”

“I’m hungry. What about you?”

“Yes, bae, that’s how you know our love making was wonderful!”

“Then why don’t I make us some French Toast?”

“That would be so good, I’ll help.”

We walk to the kitchen and I pull out my last few slices of Melinda’s store brand bread.

I beat some eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla and nutmeg in a bowl then I plunge and immerse the slices of bread in the mixture.

Then I place an iron skillet on my gas range and light it.

I place some butter in the skillet and it begins to melt.

After the butter is melted, I place the slices of bread on the skillet and slightly brown them.

Soon breakfast is ready.

I pour us each some Tropicana Orange Juice and place our French Toast on some plates.

Even though we are living in sin, we still say grace because we are still thankful to God for all the blessings He liberally gives us.

I watch Annabelle scarf down her food and I think she is so cute.

I’m also eating fast, because all the intimacy made me so hungry.

“I’ll do the dishes,” Annabelle says.

Just clean the skillet, we can do the rest when we get back after Christmas Day.

Annabelle then cleans the skillet, then we get dressed.

“What would you like to wear bae?” Annabelle asks me.

“Some black pants and my evergreen work shirt.”

Annabelle looks through my bottom pants drawer and gets my pants out.

I struggle to take my pants and underwear off. I get a sharp pain in my lower back.

She then gets a fresh pair of socks and underwear out of the top drawer and helps me put them on.

She then helps me get my pants on.

I put a white tee shirt on then my evergreen work shirt.

Annabelle then puts on a long green skirt and a white fleece shirt.

Then Annabelle helps me put my boots on and we grab the present and walk out the door.

It’s bright and sunny outside, but very cold.

We cut across my yard then through the gate of my hurricane fence then a over to Mrs. Angela’s house.

We walk up Mrs. Angela’s steps and then knock on her door.

She is wearing a red pants suit as she greets us, “Oh, it’s my favorite couple! Come on in. What brings y’all here?”

“We’re going to the country to see my family tomorrow, so we wanted to visit you for Christmas,” I say.

“And we are going see my family tonight,” Annabelle adds in.

“Y’all both seem unhappy about that,” Mrs. Angela says.

“Well, the fact that Annabelle is younger than my youngest sibling, my family might see me as a sicko.”

“And Oliver’s weird son Maurice will be visiting with my family.”

Mrs. Angela looks at me and says, “I don’t think your siblings will have any problems with you and Annabelle’s age difference once they see how much y’all love each other.”

She then looks at Annabelle and says, “What does Maurice do that makes him weird?”

“All he does is talk about video games and he cannot deal in reality. No one wants to hear about the video games. He’s twenty one but he acts twelve.”

“Don’t yall both like to write fiction?”

“Yes.” We reply in unison.

“Then why don’t you get down to his level and maybe you could teach him to write the story line to a whole new video game and then he would be a big success.”

“Well, that’s a good idea since he is the one who will be taking us to the rail passenger terminal,” Annabelle says.

“I look at Annabelle and say, “Maybe he could fix my computer when it is on the blink and in return I could teach him to write,” I add in.

“He custom builds high spec computers for his games, I’m sure he could. But then he would insult you, Johnny, for having an outdated computer,” Annabelle remarks.

“Does he work?”

“Yes. He’s a computer game salesman, but that’s all he talks about,”

“Well I hope there isn’t too much drama for y’all,” Mrs. Angela says, then continues, “Actually, I have some gifts for you, from me and Roger.”

“We have gifts for you and Roger as well,” Annabelle says.

I reach into the tote bag and give Mrs. Angela a Rock N Roll compilation CD album, then say, “See if this music brings back memories of when you and your husband were young.”

She puts the CD in her stereo system and the music begins to play.

“Yes it does bring back memories. Thank you Johnny!”

Annabelle then gives her a bottle of body wash.

She smells it and says, “Oh it’s Heavenly! Thank you Annabelle.”

Mrs. Angela then says, handing me a small wrapped box, “Now this is for you, Johnny from me and Roger.”

I open it and am now very happy. It is the Leatherman Style PS I’ve had my eyes on. I clip it to my belt loop and then say, “Roger must have seen me eying on this in the supply house. I bought him this Klein screwdriver set, because I saw him eying it in the supply house as well.”

Mrs. Angela then hands Annabelle a $40 Target gift card.

I look at Annabelle then say, “Bae you can buy some sexy clothes from there,”

“I think I will,” Annabelle says.

“Have some Christmas Punch with me,” Mrs. Angela says.

“Is it spiked?” Annabelle asks.

“Yes, but you need something to take the edge of your nerves off.”

“Okay, I’ll take some,” Annabelle giggles.

“I’ll take some too.” I add in.

“Not too much now,” Mrs. Angela says with a smirk.

We both drink a glass.

“Feeling better now?” Mrs. Angela asks.

Annabelle and I both nod.

We listen to the music and dance.

“Oh, if only my husband was here!” Mrs. Angela says, then continues, looking at us, “Be sure to always honor and cherish each other because y’all never know much time y’all will have together!” There is an awkward silence, then Mrs. Angela says, “There’s a Christmas movie being broadcast on television in a few minutes, why don’t y’all watch it with me?”

“Sure,” I say.

“We’d love to!” Annabelle says.

“It’s on CBS, set of my television for it, Johnny,” Mrs. Angela says.

I turn her televison on, tune it to the local CBS affiliate and then adjust the antennas as we sit and watch.

Mrs. Angela sits in her recliner and Annabelle and I sit on the sofa where we first met.

After the movie concludes, I look at my watch and Annabelle then says, “We need to get to my mom and Oliver’s apartment. Pray that thers is no drama, Mrs. Angela.”

“I sure will,” She replies, then walks us to the door and continues, “Y’all have a Merry Christmas!”

“Same to you!” We reply in unison.

We leave Mrs. Angela’s house and walk to the apartment complex.

We enter the grounds then walk up to the building and up the stairs.

We knock and we are greeted by Maurice with a laptop in his hand.

“Johnny and Annabelle are here!” He shouts.

“Let them in!” Debbie Lou shouts back from the kitchen.

We walk in.

“Could we exchange gifts now that they are here?” Maurice asks.

“Sure, why not?” Oliver replies.

I reach into my bag and pull out a Hyper Tough miniature tool set and hand it to Maurice as I say, “This is for you, in case you want to work on your computer.”

“Wow! Cool! Thanks man!”

“Thank Annabelle too, it’s from both of us,” I tell him.

He awakwardly hugs her and says, “Thanks sis!”

We then pull out a bottle of cherry wine and I say, “This is for Mrs. Debbie Lou,”

“Oh, y’all shouldn’t have!” Debbie Lou says, then opens it and pours a glass.

“And for Oliver,” Annabelle says, then I hand him a sports almanac.

“Cool!” He says and begins to read it.

They both hand us each a $100 Gift Card to Melinda’s.

I’m grateful but Annabelle rolls her eyes. But we still thank all of them.

Maurice goes back to watching gamers on YouTube.

Debbie gradully gets drunk on the wine.

Oliver puts on his reading glasses and is buried in the sports almanac.

Annabelle is extremely irritated and whispers to me, “You see that, we are not going to spend time as a family,”

I try to comfort her and, “At least it is peaceful, right.”

“You’re right, just hold me close to you,”

“I will hold you close to me all night…”

We snuggle on the sofa until everyone goes to bed.

We then walk to my house by the light of my flashlight.

After arriving home, we pack then sleep in each others’ arms…

Second Chances:
*THIS SERIES WAS BEGUN IN LATE DECEMBER OF 2019 AND SPORADICALLY WRITTEN THROUGHOUT 2020*
*JUST FOR THE RECORD MY MALE CHARACTER IS 32 GOING ON 33 AND MY FEMALE CHARACTER IS 25 GOING ON 26*
PART 1:
It’s Christmas Eve Morning and I am waking up on my living room sofa.

I look mY Casio wristwatch and it indicates that it is 10:59 in the morning.

My smartphone is charging on the nightstand next to my sofa.

I unplug it, then I give my newly found girlfriend a call.

It rings once, then I hear her answer, “Hey you!”

“Hey,” I reply.

“I’m glad you called,”

“Of course. How could I forget,”

She then giggles happily.

I continue, “I just wanted to touch base with you because I am just waking up.”

“Aw that’s sweet,” She pauses and then continues, “Are you doing anything this evening?”

“No, I hadn’t planned anything.”

“Then maybe you could come to me and my two room mates’ house and have dinner.”

“I’d really like that!”

“You would?”

“Of course. It means I get to visit a beautiful young lady!” I pause, then continue, “Now which beautiful young lady am I talking about?”

“ME!” She replies with a happiness in her voice.

“That’s right and don’t ever forget it”! I tell her.

“You just made my heart flutter!”

“And you make my life so bright!”

“I wish we would have met a lot sooner!”

“So do I!” I pause then ask her, “Is there anything I could bring?”

“You don’t have to bring anything but you’re handsome self.”

“But I have an ulterior motive-I want to stay on your two room mates’ good side because I want out relationship to work as smoothly as possible and there be no drama.”

“Aw, you’re so thoughtful! If you want then, you could bring some Cherry Cordials and a couple two liter bottles of RC Cola, then. We all drink RC Cola like crazy and we’ve been craving some Cherry Cordials!”

“Consider it done, then!”

“Yay!”

“What were you doing when I called?”

“I was getting ready to take a bath.”

“I’ll be doing that too so I can get ready for the day.”

“Where are you going to buy the candy and soft drink for tonight?”

“I was going to go to Melinda’s.”

“I know you’re on a fixed income, so maybe you could go to The Dollar General instead where they will be cheaper,”

“You mean The Ruble General!”

“What do you mean?”

“Oh. That’s a joke I made up year ago. The Ruble was the official currency of The Soviet Union and I always say that shopping at The Dollar General is like shopping in The Soviet Union because of the long lines and product shortages.”

“Oh. Now I get it. You’re so smart and funny!”

“Thank you! I’m glad you think so!” I pause then ask, “Do you know where one is?”

“Just across the train tracks. RC Cola is on sale for 2 liters for 85 cents and the Cherry Cordials might be on clearance by now.”

“I might see some trains then. I think trains are so cool!”

“You’re going to like it in this city-there are plenty of trains!”

“There’s a much more important reason why I like this city, though!”

“What is it?”

“Because you live here!”

“You’re making me blush!”

“You’re so cute when you blush! Well you’re always cute!”

“I wish I was there to kiss you!”

“I would definitely kiss you in return!”

“I know you would and I feel so happy!”

“I hope I’ll always make you happy!”

“Just always be as sweet as you are and just be patient with me even on my bad days and you will always make me happy!”

“I have bad days too, so I could somewhat relate to you, so I’ll be patient with you. Please be patient with me as well!”

“Then let’s make a pact: We will always be patient and understanding with each other, especially our mental issues!”

“Agreed! And I wish I was there to seal that pact with a kiss!”

“Aw well you may kiss me as soo as you see me this evening!” She pauses then says, “Not may, but must! You must kiss me!”

“I’d be honored to! Speaking of that, what time should I cross over?”

“Five PM is fine.”

“I’ll be there!”

“Yay! Now, we both need to bathe to get ready for the day, but I cannot wait to see you this evening!”

“As do I! Now you go enjoy your bath!”

“You too.”

“Okay bye.”

“Bye baby!”

We then hang up.

I go into my bathroom and open the valve on my wall heater, then strike a match and light it.

I then draw some hot water and sit down in the tub.

I wash my hair with my favorite shampoo then I wash my body with Dial soap.

It’s nice and warm so I relax for a while.

I feel my face and, even though I look clean shaven there is still a slight amount of facial hair, so I shave.

Afterwards, I rub some conditioner on my face and dry off.

I go into my bedroom and put on some black dress pants and a white tee shirt. Then I put on my belt socks shoes and an Evergreen Oxford shirt.

I sit on my bed then check my bank account on my smartphone.

There is $35.66 left in my account.

I know what I’ll do: I’ll go to Melinda’s and buy a Weather Radio for my girlfriend and her two room mates as a house warming present. Then I will buy the candy and soft drinks from The Dollar General.

I put my jacket on then I walk out of my front door, locking it behind me. Then I walk down my steps, across my front yard, out of the gate to my cyclone fence and off to Melinda’s.

My neighbor is angrily staring at me the entire time, but I manage to ignore him.

I make it to Melinda’s and I go to the housewares section.

I look feverishly for the Weather Radios but I don’t see any.

A clerk is passing by on skates, so I ask him, “What happened to all your Weather Radios?”

“Check the clearance bin,” He replies.

“Will do.”

So I walk to the clearance bin in the fron of the store. There is one Midland WR-120EZ marked down to $5 from $29.99. I’m thrilled. I pick it up then get in line to check out.

Finally it is my turn.

The young cashier scans my Weather Radio and I tell her, “Tell your boss that I say thank you for such an awesome deal! This will make a good gift for my girlfriend and her room mates.”

She smiles and says, “Well we’re glad you found it!” T

She tells me my total then I pay with my debit card.

I’m approved then a receipt is printed out.

“Do you need a bag?”

“No thank you.”

She hands me my receipt, then I say, “Thank you also for working on Christmas Eve and I want you to have a Merry Christmas!”

“Same to you and yours!”

I leave Melinda’s and walk back home.

My neighbor is picking up pecans from his pecan tree when he sees me with the Weather Radio in its package.

“What junk did you buy with my tax money?”

“A gift for my girlfriend.”

“You don’t deserve a girlfriend.”

“That’s none of your business.”

“It should be my business because you and her are going to make a baby and then the government is going to pay for it.”

“I’m going inside because I won’t dignify that with a response.”

“Because you know I am right.”

I up my steps, unlock my door and enter then lock it behind me.

I place the Weather Radio on my sofa, then I go to my utility room and get my personal shopping cart and push it through my living room then out of the front door, which I lock.

Then I guide it down my steps, across my front yard then out of my gate and along the sidewalk to The Dollar General.

I head east.

My neighbor asks me, “Where are you going now?”

“Why does it matter?” I ask him.

“If you live off the government you should have to give an account for all that you do and everywhere you go,”

“Well thank God you’re not in power,”

“I served my country though and I think you owe me some respect,”

“Yeah from what I hear you served your country to avoid jail time!”

“If you disrespect me again, I’m going to kick you where the sun doesn’t shine,”

“You lay one hand on me and I will press charges. Now if you want to be such a jerk, don’t talk to me again!”

“You’re just a spoiled, entitled snowflake brat and I question whether or not you’re really disabled. You just need to be horsewhipped in my opinion and I should report you to the government.”

“You’re harassing and threatening a mentally disabled person and if you don’t stop, I’m calling the cops!” I tell him as I pull out my smartphone.

“You may have won the battle but you haven’t won the war,” He says, then goes inside.

I make my long walk to The Dollar General, thinking about how I could lose my benefits if the wrong people in the government believe my neighbor.

The anxiety compels me to walk, so I walk hard making it to The Dollar General in record time.

I buy five boxes of Cherry Cordials and five two Liter bottles of RC Cola and pay for my items then go back home, making it back in record time.

I enter my gate, then cut across my front yard and up my steps. I unlock my front door and enter locking it behind me.

Then I sit at my computer and write for my blog until its almost 5 PM.

I then place all my purchases in my shopping cart, then I grab my EDC back and walk out the front door, locking it behind me.

Afterwards, I cut across my front yard then out of my gate and walk to my girlfriend and her room mates’ house, arriving there at 5 PM sharp…

PART 2:
The house that my girlfriend and her room mates live in is a lot like mine. It must have been built around the same time.

I knock on the door and am greeted by one of my girlfriend’s room mates. It is the one who set us up.

“Come in,” She says.

I push my shopping cart loaded with cherry cordial and RC Cola, into the house, as I tell her, “This is for all of you from me.”

“Thanks. That was really nice of you,” She says.

“My pleasure,” I reply.

The other room mate comes into the living room and says, “Our room mate is crazy about you, just so you know, so I hope you only have good intentions with her. She’s had her heart broken before, so you better treat her right and not hurt her!”

“I’m crazy about her, as well, actually and I myself have been hurt before, so I will make it my utmost effort to treat her with reverence and love!”

“We’re holding you to that statement!”

“Where is she anyway?”

“She’s using the toilet right now but she’ll be out shortly. Just make yourself comfortable.”

I sit on the sofa. The television and cable box are tuned to the Music Choice Channel that plays Christmas Music.

I listen to the music while the two other room mates prepare the food.

Suddenly, I hear the toilet flush. Then I hear the sink turn on and off.

My girlfriend then walks into the living room and sweetly greets me wearing a knee length red dress, long white socks and brown buckle shoes as she says, “Sorry I wasn’t there to let you in but I had to potty real badly.”

“Oh, that’s all right,” I tell her.

We then share a sweet kiss.

“Is that us sealing our pact?” She asks.

I reply, “No that was just a greeting.”

I kiss her even more strongly and sweetly, then say, “This is us sealing our pact!”

She then hugs me really tightly and I gently rub her love handles.

We then sit on the sofa together and I pull the weather radio out of my shopping car, then say, “I wanted to give you and your room mates this, so y’all can be alerted to bad weather. I can set it up for you if you want.”

She looks at it and then says, “Cool that was really sweet of you,”

“Well, I always want to be prepared,”

“I know and it’s very cute!”

Her two room mates walk into the living room and she holds up the Weather Radio still in its package and says, “Look what my boyfriend got us!”

“Neat. That will come in handy during the spring and summer,” One room mate says.

The other one tells me girlfriend, “Since you stay in the living room, you can put it on the table next to your convertible sofa and if there is a tornado in the middle of the night, it will wake you up, then you can come get us and we can all go inside the hall closet.”

I then interject and say, “It also has a compartment for backup batteries, so y’all can take it in the closet and listen for progress of the bad weather. I have one set up in my house,”

“Do you own or rent?”

“I own. I have to pay a mortgage for the next thirty years, but at least it’s mine,”

“Cool we’re cousins and our family owns this house. We both work and we can easily commute to our jobs from here so that’s why we stay here. We met your girlfriend at church and we let her stay with us.”

“I help out with the utilities whenever I get my disability check and I keep it clean,” My girlfriend adds in.

One of the room mates says, “She’s very sweet, you’ve got a good woman on your hands!”

The other one answers, “He seems like a keeper though and they do make a cute couple!”

“Thanks for the kind words. I could really use some encouragement,” I tell them.

“Is something bothering you?” My girlfriend asks.

“We can talk about it later, because we’re having a good time and I don’t want to ruin that, but my next door neighbor is making trouble with me,” I tell her.

“I won’t mind if we talk about it now, besides we made a pact, so let me help you!”

“Okay, here goes: my next door neighbor has been stalking and harassing me ever since I moved in the other day. He watched me make groceries at Melinda’s and then pay for them with my EBT card. As I was walking in my yard, he commented that his taxes paid for my groceries and that I was a lazy mooch,”

One of the room mates then said, “You have a medical condition and you need help, so don’t feel bad, in fact take advantage of it. Our friend also has a medical condition and Lord knows she deserves all the help she can get.”

The other room mate continues, “You probably don’t get enough from disability to buy much food, so you do indeed need food stamps.”

“It gets worse though, he was harassing me again today and threatened to report me to the government because he thinks I am faking my disability,”

My girlfriend says, “He thinks you’re faking it because your medicine obviously works very well, but those in the government know how you would be if you didn’t have that medicine, and they know how that medicine hinders any significant amount of work, so they won’t cut your benefits. But just to be on the safe side, we can all pray for you!”

I hug my girlfriend to which she begins to play with my hair, then I say, “Thank you. I do feel better now!”

She kisses me, then says, “Of course. You know we made a pact though and I can be a handful at times too!”

“And I promise to try my durn well best to comfort you when you have an episode. You wouldn’t break up with me during an episode though?”

“No. I would never break up with you! I know a good man when I see one and the only way you could lose me is if I died or you became abusive.”

“Well, I was abused in all kinds of ways by my ex wife, yes it happens to men as well, so I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. I would only hit someone if my life or the life of someone I care about were in danger.”

One of the room mates then say, “She was sexually and physically assaulted by an illegal Mexican immigrant and that is why she is like she is.”

“The other one adds in, “But she is really sweet in spite of all that and as long as you are good to her, she will make you her king.”

“I know she told me this the other night. And just for the record I want her to be my queen! She knows this already, but if it makes y’all feel better, my abusive ex wife is also a Mexican!”

“Most people our age can’t stand Trump and maybe it’s because he is a disgusting individual, but at least he has a backbone and tries to do what’s best for the country,” One room mate says.

“Yes and he knows the Mexicans are a threat to our safety and security, not to mention they suck up resources that y’all need desperately, so he tries to keep them out of this country,” She pauses then says, “We’re both nurses so we see all of the people that are physically harmed by the Mexicans.”

My girlfriend then says, “I’m afraid of the Mexicans, don’t get me wrong, but it’s Christmas which is about Christ coming into this world to save us from our sins and Christ wants to save the Mexicans as much as He saved all of us! We all need a savior in His eyes!”

I feel convicted over what my girlfriend just said, but I say, “You’re so right baby, Jesus Christ is the reason for Christmas, and I must say you have a very Christlike spirit!”

“You do too and that is the main reason why I must confess that I am falling for you. I hope you feel the same way.”

I look into her puppy dog eyes then I tell her with a kiss, “I most certainly do feel the same way my only regret is that we didn’t meet much sooner!”

She steals a kiss. Then she plants several kisses all over my face.

“Y’all are so sweet!” One room mate says.

“And cute too!” The other one adds in.

They then go into the kitchen and continue preparing the dinner.

My girlfriend and I snuggle together on the sofa. She rests her head on my chest and I plant several kisses on her.

Time goes by quickly and then the dinner is served.

Happily we eat, then we watch Christmas movies.

Her two room mates then go off to bed.

I look at my watch. It is now near midnight and snowing outside.

“You don’t have to go home, you can snuggle with me all night long. I’d hate for you to walk home in the snow.”

“I’d like to stay, but I do revere you and our relationship.”

“Then be reverent and snuggle with me all night long. I won’t make you do anything sinful, although, I definitely want to do more than snuggle with you!”

“I desire you as well, no one has ever turned me on like you do!” I pause then continue, “But I want The Lord to bless our relationship,”

“Well, if it makes you feel better, we won’t have any privacy to do anything sinful, but you can still snuggle with me throughout the night. In fact, I’d really like that!”

“Very well, I’ll stay!”

I take my medicine with a sip of RC Cola and a few green beans from the casserole.

She begins to kiss me passionately.

We roll out the bed then get under the covers and snuggle all night long.

She sleeps partially on top of me and wraps her legs around me.

It is the happiest night I’ve had in a very long time…


That is all I have for now.

I hope after reading these, that you, the reader, have a little more to be merry about this Christmas and that you indeed have a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year in 2021!

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A Review of the SwissGear 3906 Backpack

Just so we can be clear, I do not own the featured image on this page. Rather, I downloaded it from SwissGear’s company website and it is their property, not mine.

Now, I had thoroughly enjoyed my SwissGear 3918 Backpack which I owned from July of 2020 until some time in October of 2020 when an integral part of it cracked.

I had spent the night at a friend’s house and there is a woman who sponges off of him. She is constantly bringing shady characters into his house and I am sometimes afraid that they will steal my belongings. So, I had kept my SwissGear backpack underneath the seat of the car I owned at the time. The next morning I retrieved it and the plastic piece that regulates the suspension straps had cracked. I could no longer use that strap. To say the least, I was ticked off.

So, later that day, I exchanged it at my local Target for store credit loaded on a gift card. I bought another SwissGear backpack but, I didn’t fancy it much. I’m not sure of the exact model number but I intend to sell it when I can.

So, then on November 3, 2020, I had a little money left over after paying all my monthly expenses. Therefore, on that day, after voting, of course, I purchased a SwissGear 3906 Backpack and that is what this piece will be a review of. Honestly, I hope this is the last backpack I will need for at least a few years.

Let me first say that as many of you know, I have a compulsive need to EDC or everyday carry. I’ve been engaging in this behavior positively since the age of seven (early 1994.) So I’ve been doing this long before it was cool and I have caught some considerable degrees of flak over the years for being this way. After all, it wasn’t until my mid to late twenties that EDC became accepted as a norm. I’m not sure about catholic churches but definitely in Protestant churches many of the faithful bring their EDC items to church services. I mean, I have been doing so since about 2017.

So I have had this backpack for a little over a month and a half at the time of writing this and so far I enjoy it even more so than my 3918. I think the reason why I like it even more because there is more carrying space for items that I specifically carry.

As mentioned in a previous review of SwissGear backpacks, I have high regard for the Swiss. So, naturally, I like to show off an item that represents them. Furthermore, the emblem of the cross against the red background is also one of my ways I make a statement for Jesus Christ and my faith in Him. That is why I use Swiss themed backpacks and other travel gear whenever I can.

What stands out most about why I like this particular model so much is in addition to a laptop sleeve as well as a tablet sleeve, there is also a sleeve for files and folders. I also appreciate the fact that there is a place for books where I can place my Bible and Bible study materials.

There is a place for my medication and medical supplies.

There is a compartment for my glasses

There are spaces for the small items I carry with me.

There are pockets where I can carry drinks.

And there is even a spot for me to put my computer repair tools!

This is what the company website had to say about the SwissGear 3906:

“Pack your essentials for school, work, or your next adventure with the Swissgear 3906 Laptop Backpack. Made of a durable polyester fabric, this bag has all the features you are looking for in an everyday backpack and is the ideal companion for those that are always on the go.

Built around an ergonomically sound shoulder strap and back panel carrying system, this backpack features a large main compartment perfectly suited for carrying bulkier items such as binders and books. Also featured is an electronics-only compartment for better laptop protection as well as a full-featured organizer compartment for pens, notepads, and ID cards. Remain hydrated by putting that water bottle or cold drink in either of the two stretch mesh side pockets. And for those frequently needed items, there is even a spot for them in the top compact zip pocket and the well-disguised front vertical zippered pocket.”

SwissGear is indeed telling the truth here!

I think this company makes the perfect everyday carry and travel accessories for any civilian!

SwissGear’s website also lists these additional features (and I shall add my commentary on them):

Electronics compartment with padded tablet pocket and padded laptop sleeve with built-in corner hold-down strap designed to carry most 15″ portable computers-I don’t currently own a laptop but I hope to in the future. However, I do carry my tablet and Bluetooth keyboard here.

Large capacity main compartments with built-in file/folder pocket-Perfect for carrying my Bible and related materials.

Organizer compartment with key/clip fob, slip pocket, and multiple divider pockets-I carry my tactical flashlights and radios here.

Front quick access pocket and vertical-zip pocket and for more frequently needed items-This is where I carry my medicine and medical supplies.

Ergonomically contoured, padded shoulder straps with built-in suspension and breathable mesh fabric for hours of carrying comfort Padded, Airflow back panel with mesh fabric for superior back ventilation and support-As mentioned before, this makes carrying comfortable even in hot climates. This also is a more comfortable carrying method considering my lower back pain.

Add-a-bag trolley strap on back panel to easily glide over carry-on’s telescopic handle-This makes rail, air, or bus travel easier, at least when carrying multiple pieces of luggage.

Twin-compartment side mesh pockets for two water bottles and more-Perfect for staying hydrated whilst on the go.

Padded top carry handle with side metal carabiner-style D-ring to attach gear to-This is where I attach my keys.

Mini loop for hanging-I guess this would be useful for schoolchildren when they hang up their backpacks.

The physical specifications according to the company website are as follows:
Dimensions: 18 x 12 x 6.5 inches or 45.72 X 30.48 X 16.51 centimeters.
Tare Weight: 1.1 pounds or .0498951607 kilograms.
Volume: 23.7 Liters or 6.260877641 American Gallons or 5.213271185 British Gallons.

…And, yes, I did indeed use my Texas Instruments TI-36 X Pro to carry out the conversion of these measuring units!…

…Furthermore, that said calculator does indeed have a place in this backpack!…

So, yes I do enjoy this backpack probably more than the others I have owned. I just hope this one will actually last me for at least a few years. I said that already but it definitely bears repeating.

I will probably continue to purchase SwissGear products to meet my carrying and travels needs as long as they are available.

I cannot think of a better travel gear company for the money.

Therefore I give this backpack a rating of five out of five stars!

And this concludes my review of the SwissGear 3906 Backpack.

I hope you, the reader, have been informed and maybe even entertained.

May God richly bless you!

Back to “Product Reviews”

A Review of the NiteCore i4000R Tactical Flashlight

Just so you, the reader, know, I do not own the featured image on this page. Rather it is the property of NiteCore, a Chinese manufacturer of tactical grade flashlights.

I have stated it several times before and I will gladly state it again:

Flashlights made by NiteCore are the best flashlights to come out of Mainland China and quite possibly, the best products to come out of Mainland China period.

I have been a fan of NiteCore flashlights since mid-2017 when I purchased the MT06 tactical penlight.

In January of 2018, I subsequently purchased a NiteCore MT20A and in the latter parts of that year, wrote a review of it.

Then in April of 2020, I purchased a NiteCore i4000R from the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong on eBay and it took over a month to arrive in my mailbox. That said tactical flashlight is what this piece will be a review thereof.

In the time it took for this flashlight to traverse its warehouse in Hong Kong to my mailbox on the outskirts of Houma, Louisiana, I was getting quite annoyed and anxious. I was also paranoid about it being contaminated with the Novel 2019 SARS Coronavirus. Still, I was quite excited when it finally arrived. Immediately, I charged up the battery and when it was full, I began carrying it in my backpack.

The NiteCore i4000R boasts a maximum light output of 4,400 Lumens-that is over four times brighter than a standard household 60 Watt bulb!

It is top-heavy and also features a crenelated strike bezel, which can be deployed in defending oneself.

If that weren’t enough, the tactical strobe feature has a constantly changing strobe pattern, making it even more effective as a self-defense weapon.

This flashlight is primarily marketed to law enforcement, but can also give peace of mind to any civilian who knows how to use a flashlight for self-defense. Furthermore, it can be carried in places where “true” weapons (such as guns and knives) are downright forbidden because legally it is not a weapon!

On an ordinary day, I will usually carry my Streamlight Junior LED flashlight.

However, if I expect any sort of trouble, I will carry my NiteCore i4000R.

I have never had to use it as a weapon, but I know it will give me at least some degree of peace.

I have used my Streamlight Junior halfway as a weapon, when confronting someone knocking on my door or my neighbor’s door at a strange hour. I must admit that both times, the person knocking was harmless and someone we knew, but they were disoriented and stepped back at least a few feet. My Paw Paw, God rest his soul, taught me the tactic of shining a bright flashlight into the eyes of someone at the door, to disorient him or her. Of course, his flashlights of choice were those budget friendly 6 Volt lanterns and, if you, the reader, haven’t figured it out by now, my flashlights of choice are lightweight, compact tactical models. His flashlights put out 60-75 Lumens but in their defense, they had the Candlepower to back those Lumens up. My flashlights, on the other hand, put out hundreds and, in this case, a few thousand Lumens, but overall, don’t have the Candlepower to back those Lumens up. However, his flashlights likely would fail in a truly tactical situation, whereas mine would still be going strong.

Except for self-defense applications, this flashlight would likely be overkill for most civilians. However, to a flashaholic such as myself, this is one of the best flashlights I own. It was even used by me as a self-defense instrument in a dream I recently had.

By the way, this is on par with the best flashlights made here in The States and even those made in Germany!

I will go over some of the features and specifications, as listed by the company website:

As I stated before, the maximum output is 4,400 Lumens, provided by four independently controlled Cree XP-L2 V6 LED circuits.

…Bare with me, my back is starting to hurt tremendously. I’m about to take a Baclofen and chase it with some orange juice. Be right back…

…All right, I am back. It’s my ex-wife’s fault that I have this back injury because she insisted we make groceries on a rainy day, and of course, trying to be a good husband, I gave in to her request, but then I slipped and fell down some wet stairs and though I didn’t know it at the time, I ruined my lower back muscles from the impact of the fall. Now I cannot even write at length, much less almost any other form of work that which I was qualified to do, because of this injury. Of course, she likely feels no guilt about this because she hated the overwhelming majority of my written content…

So with that 4,400 Lumens is a throw of 230 Meters or ~755 Feet and beam intensity of 13,300 Candlepower. According to the company website, this amount of light given off by this illumination instrument is “ideal for law enforcement, assault operations, self defense, search and patrols.”

Also, according to the company website, further elaborating on the four independently controlled LED circuits, which are, “Powered by a constant current circuit to provide durable usage with guaranteed safety.”

The featured rechargeable battery is a NiteCore patented 21700i Lithium-Ion battery.

The strobe featured can be instantly accessed by a dedicated button, even while the flashlight is off! I think this, aside from the tremendous amount of brightness if the best selling point of this flashlight.

And of course, there is the Advanced, Randomly Changing Strobe, which I think is the second best selling point! Human eyes are unable to adapt to the strobe.

There is an anti-impact reverse polarity protection system, which makes this ideal to be used mounted on a firearm!

The flashlight has a built-in charging port that uses a standard USB-C connection and is covered by a metal ring.

Also featured is an advanced temperature regulation system that adapts to the ambient temperature.

Furthermore, there is a last used mode memory, power indicator light which is accurate down to one-tenth of a volt IP-68 water resistance and a 1-meter drop impact resistance.

Finally, the lens is crystal-coated and scratch resistant and the Aerospace Aluminum body is has a military-grade HA-III hard-anodized finish!

The physical specifications are:
Tube Diameter: 25.4 millimeters or 1 inch.
Head Diameter: 32.6 millimeters or 1.28 inches-this makes the flashlight top-heavy and therefore excellent for striking in self-defense tactics.
Tail Diameter: 28 millimeters or 1.1 inches.
Overall Length: 159 millimeters or 6.26 inches-short enough to carry concealed in most hip pockets.
Total Weight: 135 grams or 4.76 ounces or just over a quarter of a pound-will not weigh the end-user down, even for a long period on foot.

The brightness levels are as follows:
Turbo Mode: 4,400 Lumens, 13,300 Candlepower, 230 Meters or ~755 Feet Beam Distance and 30 Minute Runtime.
High Mode: 1,100 Lumens, 3,300 Candlepower, 115 Meters or ~377.3 Feet Beam Distance and 2 Hour, Fifteen Minute Runtime.
…My back is starting to hurt again, but if I take another Baclofen it will be the third one in a twenty-four-hour period…
…I will try and press on but I am in a great deal of pain!…
Mid Mode: 330 Lumens, 930 Candlepower, 61 Meters or ~200.13 Feet Beam Distance and 7 Hour, 45 Minute Runtime.
Low Mode: 50 Lumens, 160 Candlepower, 25 Meters or ~82 Feet Beam Distance and 40 Hour Runtime.
Ultra-Low Mode: 2 Lumens, 4 Candlepower, 4 Meters or~13.12 Feet Beam Distance and 380 Hour Runtime.

By the way, I used the previously reviewed Texas Instruments TI-36 X Pro to convert some of these Metric Units into English Units!

I typically use it whenever I need to express any such measurement in both English and Metric units for my product reviews!

Included Accessories:
NTH20 Tactical Holster-designed specifically for law enforcement and also compatible with MOLLE systems.
CR123 Battery Magazine-in case the rechargeable battery is depleted and there is no charging source nearby.

While I do carry this flashlight in my EDC backpack, I have only carried it on my person for any given amount of time quite sparingly. The last time I carried it was because I had spotted a shady young man walking around my church at night. We were finishing up our evening Bible Study and Prayer Meeting and it does get dark this time of year, but I was escorting two ladies (a mother and daughter) home on foot and did not trust this fellow as far as I could throw him. Thank God, while I was holding the flashlight and ready to deploy it as a defensive weapon, I did not have to. My God is more effective than any weapon ever created! I could think of a handful of other times I was ready to deploy this flashlight but didn’t have to.

All in all, I definitely like this flashlight and I wish American companies could make something of this caliber but at an affordable price.

I give this product a 4.95 out of 5 stars only because I wish the tactical tail switch was better recessed to prevent accidental activation.

Other than that keep up the good work, NiteCore! As much as I hate to admit it, your company is beginning to put American and even German-made flashlights to shame!

I guess this, therefore, concludes my review of the NiteCore i4000R Tactical Flashlight. I hope you, the reader, have been informed, illuminated and maybe even entertained. May God richly bless you!

Back to “Product Reviews”

A Review of the Texas Instruments TI-36 X Pro Calculator

Just for the record, I do not own the featured image on this page. I must need give credit whereupon credit is due and the featured image is property of Texas Instruments, inc.

For almost as long as I had been fascinated by flashlights, I too have been fascinated by calculators. Similar to my fascination with flashlights, my fascination with calculators has waxed and waned throughout my childhood and adolescence, but they are both very strong in my adult years.

My two favorite brands of calculators are Casio and Texas Instruments and I like the latter a little more than the former.

I had begun permanently carrying a calculator in the latter parts of 2012, namely a TI-12 Math Explorer (the 1997 version.) In the following months afterward, I also had begun to carry with it a TI-30XA (the current version.)

In March of 2014, my writing had started to evolve, as did my experience in repairing or souping up computers had increased. I had also begun to start doing research more extensively on calculators. Soon, I had realized there was a Texas Instruments TI-36 X Pro that was put on the market some three years before that. It wasn’t long before I wanted one. In June of 2014, I had spent my spending money on a flashlight that I still carry to this day. However, a family member had gifted me $20 from a sum of money he had won at a casino. I didn’t split that money with my then-wife, now ex-wife, because after all, she has a major hang-up about gambling. So, I was free to use that money however I had pleased. We were babysitting two of her nephews that following day and I took them to ride with me to the Houma suburb of Bayou Cane, so I could secretly purchase that said calculator. They kept the secret safe with me and goofed off with me for the entire ride. I stopped at an Office Depot because I knew that was the only store that stocked it locally year-round. Sadly it was out of stock. However, after talking to the sales associate and later the manager, I had learned that I could have it shipped to my residence at no extra charge. Happily, I went with that option, paying the first $20 in cash and the remaining amount after sales tax with my debit card. A brand new TI-36 X Pro arrived on my doorstep a few days later, via UPS. And that said calculator is what this piece will be a review thereof.

As soon as it arrived on my doorstep, I opened it up, then used it to convert one unit used to measure barometric pressure into another unit used to measure barometric pressure. The weather was changing that day, as in quite frequent in Louisiana. I was amazed at the accuracy and precision with which it carried out the conversion. I began carrying it in a dedicated pouch of my EDC backpack along with the Mini Maglite I had purchased earlier that month.

Yes, I will admit that there are plenty of features on this calculator that I will probably never need, nor do I understand what they represent. While I am pretty proficient at arithmetic, I am terrible at almost all other higher level Mathematics. Still, there are certain features on this machine that I frequently use, especially when doing unit conversions or even just simply writing out my monthly budget. There are even base-n calculations such as converting between decimal, hexadecimal and octal, which come in handy with programming higher level scanner radios or if I ever needed to assist a computer programmer or coder.

And not only that, I believe this is the best looking scientific calculator that is currently on the [common] market. Change my mind!

In the days and weeks after purchasing this calculator, I went on to write some pretty wonderful stories and the one that stands out most is my “Grocer and Writer” stories. Maybe the tremendous pleasure I associated with finally owning this calculator created the ideal mental state and electrochemistry to be creative? Of course in the hours before beginning those stories, I took a trip to the New Orleans area.

I have since purchased spare units, but I keep my original TI-36 X Pro in a safe undisclosed location because it does have sentimental value.  It has sentimental value because certain items of mine cause me to have a connection with someone whom I had known in my childhood (January-July of 1991) but since lost all contact with. This calculator and flashlight somehow have that connection. I now think that this girl I had briefly known in my childhood may have been an angel because I spent years searching for her but with no success. She would now be in her mid-to-late thirties, assuming she was born between 1984 and 1987. During most of the year of 2014, which was the beginning of the end of my faulty former marriage, I had begun to desire to find this now young lady again, so I strongly associate the year 2014 in general with her. Before I met my ex-wife and even after to an extent, this girl from my childhood was the inspiration for my writing and was the unknown driving force to cause me to pursue writing. In the latter parts of 2018 until December 4/5 2019, I was in a very loving relationship with a young lady, who in many ways reminded me of the girl from my childhood and was even born in the year in which she and I were, for lack of a better word, together. If you, the reader, poke around in the fiction section of this blog, you will see some of the stories where I have derived my inspiration from this girl I once knew.

My first one came off the assembly line somewhere in China in February of 2014. My current unit, which I still EDC, came of the assembly line somewhere in The Philippines in April of 2017. I’m wondering if the updated units in the Philippines have corrected the software bug that plagued the earlier models?…

All in all, I will now list some of the features and specifications that the TI-36 X Pro has to offer:

By the way, I’ve obtained this information from the company website, but I also added my commentary…

Four-line display-very clear too!

One- and two-variable statistics-I would likely never use this feature, but who knows.

MultiView™ display shows multiple calculations at the same time on screen-Excellent for writing a budget or balancing a checking account!

Select degrees/radians, floating/fix, number format modes-Very useful with navigating with a GPS or several different GPS units!

Choose from three solvers: numeric equation, polynomial and system of linear equations-This would have been nice in high school, but probably would have landed me in trouble! This particular model came on the market five years after I graduated high school anyway.

Display a defined function in a tabular form-The best way to show a function without an actual graph!

Determine the numeric derivative and integral for real functions.
Perform vectors and matrices using a vector and matrix entry window.

The last two features involve high-level mathematics that goes way above my head, but maybe one day, I’ll try to learn it.

The TI-36 X Pro is recommended for the following STEM-related courses:
Algebra I and II-Probably forbidden or at least frowned upon because of its built-in equation solver.
Geometry-Overkill and again probably frowned upon.
Trigonometry-A Graphing model would be of more use.
Statistics-Never took this course, but I can imagine its usefulness.
Calculus-There are features that would come in handy for this course, though I never took it.
Biology-Probably overkill.
Chemistry-Probably is forbidden or at the very least frowned upon because of the permanently stored constants.
Physics-As with chemistry, it’s probably forbidden or frowned upon, for the same reasons, though I never took physics.
Computer science-Could be very useful, especially with those learning programming.
College math-Actually we were required a TI-84.
College science-Never took these courses, but I see where the store constants may be of great use.
College engineering-Never took any of these courses either, but I know this calculator is popular with all engineering.

According to the company website, here is a more detailed list of the functions, some of which I had already commented on:
Review and edit previous entries via a scrollable home screen
Paste inputs or outputs into new calculations
MathPrint™ feature entry and output mode for viewing calculations in math notation, including answers in terms of pi, square roots and fraction
Three solvers: numeric equation, polynomial and system of linear equations
Numeric derivative and integral for real functions
Vectors and Matrices
Symbolic notation of π
Toggle key to change the form of answers between exact and decimal approximation
Stacked Fractions and Fraction functions
Fraction/decimal/percent conversions
Change between improper fractions and mixed numbers
Automatic simplification of fractions
Random number and random integer generator
Central MODE menu for selecting calculator mode settings
Menu settings
Functions accessed directly through keys or through pull-down menus
Negation key
One constant operator feature
Combinations and permutations
Trigonometry
Hyperbolics
Logs and antilogs
Convert angles from degrees to radians to grads
%, x², ¹/x, yˆx, π, x!
Fixed decimal capability
(x,y) Table feature with Auto and Ask-x options
Basic Data/List Editor with three lists
List Formulas
One- and two-variable statistics with permanent stat variable input storage
EOS (Equation Operating System)
Nine physical constants
Eighteen metric/English conversions
Up to eight pending operations
Up to 23 levels of parentheses
Error recovery capability
Quick/easy reset of calculator via two-key press or menu for exam purposes
Eight memory variables (x, y, z, t, a, b, c, d)
Scientific and engineering notation

And here are some of the physical characteristics:
Four-line × 16-character, easier-to-read LCD display
Battery powered with solar cell assistance to lengthen battery life
Auto Power Off
Hard plastic, color-coded keys
Non-skid rubber feet
Impact-resistant cover with quick-reference card
Snap-on protective hard case

Even though, as I had mentioned before, there are some features on this calculator that go way above my head, it is still one of my favorites if not my favorite calculators ever made.

I carry it in a dedicated compartment of my EDC backpack where I store the rest of my tool that which I use to repair or soup up computers. Like most other Texas Instruments devices, it is built very ruggedly and will last, likely way past its obsolescence where it will then be a cool collector’s item.

While I have owned one of these is some way shape or form since June of 2014 and it is December of 2020 at the time I am writing this, I still thoroughly enjoy this device and give it a 4.85 out of 5 stars, only because of the software bug concerning fractions involving Pi.

This, therefore, concludes my review of the Texas Instruments TI-36 X Pro. I hope you, the reader, have been informed, entertained, and maybe even enlightened!

May God richly bless you!

Back to “Product Reviews”

Thoughts and Humor on Communism and Government Subsidized Housing

So, since the Spring of 2020, I had begun to liken the apartment complex in which I currently reside as I am writing this piece to a Communist or Soviet State. I have also begun to create jokes about the complex I formerly resided in with my then, now ex-wife. I do this only in jest and mean no harm or malice of it, whatsoever. Those of you who know me in person, know very well that I am immensely grateful that I have a safe and affordable place of my own. They also know that I feel a strong sense of community with my complex and my fellow tenants. They have become closer than my biological family, literally! Many of them are also part of my Blood Washed Heavenly Family, praise God! If I ever move out and purchase a home of my own, I want it to be near this complex so I can still visit everybody daily!

I don’t go public with my political humor too much, but I think one will appreciate the complexity that it took for me to come up with these jokes and how I was inspired to create them.

I have so far lived in two subsidized apartment complexes because as of now, the amount I get from my disability pension cannot cover most market-rate rent prices in addition to my other necessary living expenses. I truly believe that it is personal greed that is driving up the cost of housing and it is also what makes Communism or Socialism appear so attractive to many people within my age group. Some folks my age have to work two and three jobs just to make rent. Anyone that can think should be able to see why so many young people are angry about this. I mean, so many people are working their best years away at jobs for which they are overqualified and underpaid and therefore have little to nothing to show for it. They also have little time to no time to do what they enjoy. Such an existence is unbearably miserable. Such an existence turns citizens into serfs and even borderline slaves. Such an existence makes Communism and/or Socialism look relieving, refreshing, and even prosperous!

Now, for every record, I am certainly not advocating Communism or Socialism, but I do believe there should be access to affordable housing for everyone. Home ownership for all or at least much more than currently would be nice as well. Unfettered Capitalism does stand in the way of these desires tremendously. That is a fact! Unfettered Capitalism can and will eventually bring back the feudal system. People in my age group are afraid of this because they will lose even more.

Still, I don’t think that the have-nots ought to use lethal or even brutal force to take what they want or even need away from the haves, which in essence is Communism and also some strains of Socialism. I am neither condoning nor endorsing anyone who suggests taking what is not rightfully theirs, whether in reality or just morally, by force. There are more peaceful and, yes, even godly alternatives. We need cooperation and compromise from both sides. We most of all need both sides to help each other and to understand each other. Wicked people in high places want the exact opposite though. These wicked people want to incite a class war and race war and war, in general, to overthrow what is currently in place and establish the most oppressive government ever. It will be even worse than the darkest, bleakest dystopian novel ever written.

My biggest complaint about Communism and Socialism is that in many aspects and executions of the two, they are in direct conflict with my Christian Faith! My next biggest complaint about Communism and Socialism is that they have failed almost every time they were implemented and in places where they still succeed is only due to outside Capitalist influence and support. I believe with all my heart that my biggest complaint about these nefarious economic policies is the cause of my second biggest complaint about them.

And government-subsidized housing is indeed a Socialist policy/practice, but it helps millions of people tremendously, myself included.

Still, there are certain aspects of government-subsidized housing, that make it only attractive to those who have no other choices.

So I began to make jokes about how the apartment complexes in which I resided were like miniature Communist countries.

Let me back up to July of 2017. As some of you who have followed me on social media for a lengthy amount of time, you will know that I frequently poke fun at the Dollar General chain of retailers by referring to it as “The Ruble General.” I came up with this joke while wanting to make some groceries for my dinner. I specifically wanted some pickled beets to have as a side dish. So I drove to the local Dollar General hoping to find a can or jar of pickled beets. There were none. Not only that, the said store was out of several other grocery items of which I had intended to purchase. Then there were long lines and cluttered aisles. So I got back to my then friend’s house and posted to Facebook how I thought the Dollar General should be called The Ruble General because shopping there is very similar to shopping in the Former Soviet Union and/or all of the Sattelite States. I had been listening to NPR all afternoon, that day and there’s something about NPR that fuels my creativity. For those of you who didn’t know, the Ruble was the official unit of currency for The Soviet Union. The Ruble was to the USSR what the Dollar is to The USA and various other sovereign states. So, it has become one of my trademark jokes to refer to The Dollar General as The Ruble General.

Well, my back is starting to hurt, so I just took a muscle relaxer and chased it with some ginger ale. In the recent weeks and months, my lower back pain has been getting worse, so I sought medical attention for it, after being in tremendous pain while doing a task as simple as reformatting my neighbor’s laptop. Therefore, my physician prescribed me a muscle relaxer known as Baclofen. I’m too afraid to take anything stronger, or something with narcotic properties nor do I think I need such a pill, to begin with. I’ve seen how pain pills ruin lives and cause more problems than they solve. Therefore, I shall avoid them for as long as I can. My two favorite activities are going to church and writing. And sadly it is during those two activities that my back pain acts up the worst.

So, moving on, I will also admit that I have a fascination with and even an admiration for the Polish electrician turned politician, ultimately the first president of Post-communist Poland, namely, Lech Walesa. I truly believe he is an honest man, a family man, and an ethical man. I had first learned about him during my Sophomore year of high school while reading ahead in my World Geography book. I read about how his Solidarity campaign brought down Communism in Poland and eventually contributed to the entire collapse of the USSR! Like any good man, there will be those opposed to him and try to ruin his name, but I don’t believe the lies said about him. What is amazing is that his motives behind starting Solidarity were to be able to feed his family. He was a hardworking marine electrician who loved his wife and children and likely did his best to provide for them. Therefore, he was infuriated by the rising food prices in Poland that a worker’s wages did not keep up with. See, Communism did not and does not solve this inflation problem! Likely, inflation is inherent to all economic systems. So, he positively channeled his fury and frustrations and started what would become Solidarity on the grounds of the shipyard at which he was employed. All in all, I had partially forgotten about him after I completed World Geography and turned in my textbook. But then in my very early thirties, I began to read more extensively about him, through online sources. There were pictures of the insides of the apartments in which he resided. I was quite amused when I observed how the living room of one of his residences was strikingly similar to the living room of the apartment that I shared with my then-wife, now ex-wife. By the way, Lech Walesa is still happily married and his strong marriage puts my faulty former marriage to shame by a factor of about (6^6)! Just so you know I chose the number 6 because he is about 6 years older than his wife and I am the same age as my now ex-wife. One thing I have since learned about relationships is that couples with an age difference get along much better than couples who are very close in age. Case in point, Donald Trump is about twenty-four years older than his current wife and say what you want about him, but they appear to have a very solid marriage and they are raising a brilliant son! I could go on about this, but there are more important matters to cover in this piece. I may, someday, write more extensively about how couples with an age difference get along better than couples without an age difference. By the way, it doesn’t matter if the man or woman is older, I’ve observed happy and solid relationships in both scenarios.

And look at that, I’m just realizing my back has stopped hurting! This Baclofen treatment does indeed work, God be praised!

It was late one evening in the Spring of 2020, that inspirations for my jokes of referring to my apartment complex as a miniature Communist country started to develop. I was doing laundry in the laundromat and was also listening to a new portable scanner, which I had recently purchased. It is the entry-level Whistler handheld model, the WS1010. It is a far descendant of the Radio Shack Pro-32. I had also installed a high performance, multi-band antenna on it, in hopes to pull in signals better than the pathetic stock antenna. On that evening, I was particularly interested in trying to see if there was any traffic on a certain VHF Low Band frequency that was licensed to the Waterford 3 Nuclear Power Plant. Granted, it is located about fifty miles from where I was, but I am very much aware of how VHF Low Band Signals travel quite farther than their higher frequency counterparts. The frequency I had in my scanner, by the way, was 37.46 MHz. It was assigned to Entergy for use at the aforementioned power plant, but I just checked the FCC records a few minutes ago and couldn’t find it. And I ashamedly admit that I failed to maintain a Christian vocabulary when I couldn’t find it. All in all, I was trying to see if I could hear any traffic on that frequency during that Spring evening. There was none. However, my mind wanders at times and when it does, it sometimes brings forth creativity. The such happened on that evening. I began thinking of the fact that I was trying to listen in on the operations of a nuclear power plant. A younger me would have associated this with The Simpsons, but my current (age 28 to present) self began to think about Chernobyl instead. I pondered extensively about it. Then I began to realize how this apartment complex in which I reside does indeed have some very Soviet qualities. At some point, I had decided to scan other channels in that scanner and picked up a signal from The Feds, but it was sadly encrypted, or at the very least encoded, and the scanner I was using is an analog-only model. But the thoughts of how I feel like I am living in a Communist country, albeit a very benevolent one, while I am in this complex began to multiply. They brewed for a few months. At some point in very late August or early September, I began to refer to my apartment complex as: “The People’s Republic of [insert complex name here.]” I won’t say the name of my complex on this blog, because of my safety. And also for the safety of my neighbors.

I was driving a friend around and had to stop by my apartment to pick up something and he commented on how the buildings in the complex do appear very Soviet. I don’t see how, but to a degree, I trust his judgment. Although, I think he may be confusing Soviet architecture with 1980s architecture in general. Of course, there were numerous housing projects constructed in the Soviet Union during the early 1980s. All in all, I ask my Christian friends to pray fervently for his salvation. He is highly intelligent on diverse subjects and equally skilled in many things that which I value. In fact, he too, for most of his working life was a marine electrician just like Lech Walesa, but also was employed in road construction, as a freight train conductor and most recently, a corporate chauffeur. He holds the highest amateur radio license there is, can build complicated antenna systems and is an avid model railroader. He is one of my biggest supporters as far as my creativity goes, he laughs at my jokes more than anyone else and also more than anyone else, aside from The Lord Himself, has helped me tremendously whilst I was going through a divorce. However, he lacks what is most important of all, namely: Jesus Christ. His lack of Christ and flat-out refusal to come to Him is starting to cause issues in my spiritual life. If that weren’t bad enough, he either shuts down and lately has become hostile when I talk about my faith. If it gets any worse, I am going to have to make a choice between him and Christ, and I know I must needs choose Christ.

Because of the highly unreliable nature of our complex’s laundry equipment, these machines frequently eat our money. This is overwhelmingly frustrating, especially since the majority of us living here are indeed on government pensions and therefore our incomes are limited. I made a joke out of it by saying, “Oh well, the laundry machines are eating our money again, I must inform the Politburo at once!” From those of whom I was brave enough to tell that joke, I received plenty of laughs. Politburo is an Anglicized spelling of a Slavic portmanteau of the words, Political Bureau. Certain Slavic words are amazingly similar to English words and my theory behind that is much of modern English has words that are derived from Greek and Latin, as do Slavic languages. So, every Communist state has a Politburo. Actually, the phrase of “…must inform the Politburo…” is from Goldeneye when MI6 agent James Bond meets with Soviet Defence Minister Dimitri Minshkin in the Saint Petersburg National Archives about General Arkady Orumov indeed being a traitor to the USSR, and which Minshkin tells Bond of how he “must inform the Politburo.” Well, Goldeneye is one of my favorite movies, and the video game, namely for the Nintendo 64 console is my all time favorite video game. By the way, I’m highly amused on how my Ruger LCP II appears quite similar in appearance to James Bond’s PP7 or Walther PPK, depending on the movie or video game, and has the same ammunition capacity, assuming one is using a standard magazine clip. My next gun will hopefully be a Ruger LCR in .38 Special! By the way, speaking of firearms, the overwhelming majority of Communist countries and also countries with significant Socialist tendencies are notorious for flat out banning the civilian ownership of firearms. There are wicked people here in The States that have this nefarious practice in their agenda, too, I won’t lie.

My back pain is slightly coming back. If it gets worse, I will take another Baclofen and likely once again, chase it with some ginger ale. It may not seem like I have written much in this piece and, it’s true, I haven’t, but it is taking me the course of several hours to get this piece done. It was actually in the neighborhood of about two hours ago that I took my last Balclofen and it was over twenty-four hours previous to that when I took the one prior. I’m allowed to take three pills in a twenty-four-hour period and as of now, that is more than enough.

So I ended up taking another Baclofen because the back pain was getting slightly more than I could bear and I do want to get this piece finished. And, yes I chased it with some ginger ale. I like both Schweppes and Canada Dry, by the way. I will admit that I was afflicted with a mild case of Covid in late July and early August of 2020. But because of prayers most of all and but also highly aggressive treatment, I survived and am back to normal save coughing a little more than I used to do! Yes, God be praised, indeed! Before this bout with Covid, I drank Wild Cherry Pepsi, those of you who have been reading this blog since the earlier days and those of you who follow me on social media are very well aware of this. However, during my quarantine, a family member delivered me some groceries, one of them was a case or two of ginger ale and I have since been hooked on it. Ginger ale is indeed an acquired taste, but once acquired it is a very refreshing soft drink! I suppose I could write more about my experiences with Covid, but if I do, that piece will trump this piece in terms of controversy and I don’t think the world is ready for it! Anyway, I’m just waiting for this Baclofen to kick in and do its wonders so I can focus on concluding this piece.

Durnit, my back is still very tight at the moment, but I am going to try and press on.

So our complex has its own sewerage treatment plant. Those who live in closer proximity to it, are subjected to the highly offensive odor of Hydrogen Sulfide. I’m not sure as to why but as of lately that smell has been very present in the complex. If that weren’t enough, a day or two ago, an alarm was incessantly blaring at the sewerage treatment plant. I won’t pretend to know why our sewerage plant has an alarm. I know little to nothing about it, actually. A younger me would be fascinated by it and would naturally want to check it out, but my current self doesn’t want to be accused of tampering with it and risking eviction. All in all, I decided to make a joke, which went along the lines of, “Oh no, our sewer plant has been infiltrated, I need to contact the Politburo about this at once!” Those whom I told this joke to in person were in hysterics. I could have elaborated more on that by claiming that the sewerage treatment plant was infiltrated by either a spy, the special forces unit of an opposing state, or insurgents and if the alarm goes off again, I just might elaborate more!

The only hint I will give about my complex is that a Dollar General is situated right next to it. Dollar General is known for setting up its stores in low-income areas. I could write some jokes just about that, but, when one gets to thinking about it, they’re not funny. They would, in essence, be making light of the fact that a greedy corporate giant taking advantage of the vulnerable and impoverished, all to turn a greater profit. In reality, I don’t have any complaints about this particular Dollar General and I shop there almost every day. I’m sure all of the workers know me and I would hope they would find me to be a friendly and respectful customer. Well, around the same time, the alarm for the sewer was going off, the transformer that is dedicated to electrical service for the Dollar General next door had malfunctioned and the store was without power for about a day. Of course, this was gold material for my type of humor and I started cracking jokes along these lines, “Well, The Ruble General that serves The People’s Republic of [insert complex name here] has experienced a power cut and now we the people cannot buy groceries or supplies. Can the Politburo do anything about this?” As part of CYB purposes, the management at this Dollar General disposed of all frozen and/or perishable foods that could have spoiled due to a lack of adequate refrigeration. I personally know of people who took those foods from the trash bin and I praise God that they were able to get some food for free and that it didn’t go to waste. This sadly happens a lot more in a truly Communist country such as Venezuela and I won’t make light of it, because it’s not funny. Guess what, though: Communism does not solve the ills of humanity! Many times, it only exacerbates them, and I believe this is so because it attempts to remove God from anything and everything. The Bible says, though, “God is not mocked.” By the way for those of you who are curious, that statement is made in Galatians 6:7, and yes I am taking it out of context, but the statement is still very true, regardless. And, yes, I spent a good deal of this piece mocking Communism but in the earlier parts, I pointed out why it is becoming popular again. I’d like to think though, that I also pointed you, the reader, towards God, through Christ.

We are more divided than ever and instead of cooperating and compromising, we want to kill or at least maim each and all those who are diverse from ourselves. Who can solve this mess we’re in? Only one, of course: Jesus Christ! Whether you like it or not! But, consider following Him and if you do, you shall not be disappointed!

Yes, I know this piece is more controversial than what you, the reader, are used to when you read my blog and I apologize if you have been offended. If you were indeed offended, at least I made you think, right? Maybe even provoked the types of thought that bring forth growth? However, if you, got any laughs at all from this piece, then kudos to you, and thank you. Most of those with whom I shared these jokes in real life were laughing quite a bit.

I hope to continue posting material for my blog, and I know I haven’t been posting as frequently as I ought to, but I’ve just been busy forming communal bonds with people in real life. But I do appreciate each one of you that reads my work!

My Baclofen hasn’t kicked in yet and I realize it is getting near 3:00 AM in my part of the world as I write this, so I need to take other medications as well. Actually, it is now closer to 4:00 AM after editing and fine-tuning my grammar. Likely it will be near 5:00 AM by the time I post this piece!

I think, though, I have gotten my point across nicely and I sincerely hope that you, the reader, have been informed as well as entertained.

May God richly bless you!

Back to “Personal Reflections”

Two Lovers Attacked by Workers of Darkness

This story came to me in a dream I had in the early morning hours of November 18, 2020.

I haven’t had a dream like this that I can recall since maybe the age of 19.

My psychiatrist wants to help me analyze my dreams I have for the next month or so and to pick out the most outstanding ones to share with him during our sessions.

This is a romantic dream to a high degree but I will state for the record now that my lover in this dream is an unknown person. She could quite possibly be my future spouse, but she is someone with whom I think I have yet to be acquainted. I have been romantically interested in quite a few young ladies who fit similar to her description, but I know it is none of them.

A tactical flashlight is used as a life saving self defense weapon in this dream.  I clearly remember from the dream that the flashlight in question was a NiteCore i4000R, for those of you that are curious.

Without further ado, here is the story:

Everything seems to be going right in my life.

I am in love with a young, fair, and sweet SSBBW. Her feelings towards me are mutual, and this truth swells my heart with elation. We bring so much happiness to each other. My only regret is that we hadn’t met sooner.

Yes, we have found happiness in each other, but now we must need to go into hiding.

There are a false prophetess and her daughter who are after us. They want to kidnap and silence me. Much worse they want to shed my lover’s innocent blood. My speculation for their ill motives is that they feel high, but unjustly, offended, maybe even threatened by the content of what I write and share with the world. Furthermore, they harbor unmatched envy for my lover, well, frankly, because she is a lady and they are whores. I have kept tabs on these wicked women for years and I am very much aware of their deep hatred for the innocent and virtuous.

So, we built a makeshift shelter on my family’s property in the neighborhood I grew up in.

We walk on the property hand in hand under the light of a full moon.

Lovingly we embrace. We press our bodies against each other, then our lips become locked in an unforgettable kiss. Deeply we stare into each others’ eyes as we are overtaken by the tide of passion. We exchange several more kisses as our tongues wrestle one another.

“You complete me like no other human being dead or alive can!” I tell her with great confidence.

“Then let me complete you even more!” She replies with a hunger and thirst in her voice.

“You are a lady and I do revere you immensely!”

“Then give me what I need!”

“Are you sure?”

“More than ever before. Now let us go to the shelter compound at once!”

“Very well, my love. Say no more!”

“Lead the way.”

We begin to briskly walk to our hideout when there is a flash brighter than the midday sun. A fractional second passes and there is a cloud of vapor surrounding us. We both collapse to the ground blacking out.

Unknown to me how much time has passed, I come to and find myself deep in the woods.

I take to my feet and scan my surroundings noticing a dark altar in the middle of the clearing.

I call out my lover’s name but am only greeted by a sinister laugh.

The false prophetess, dressed in priestly robes, and her daughter, dressed in a brown wedding dress come marching towards me.

They present me with a document, a marriage contract, to sign.

I refuse.

The false prophetess grabs my chin and says, “If you want that little girl you are playing house with to live, you will sign this contract, thereby becoming the eternal husband of my daughter.”

“I will never love her nor will I ever consummate that marriage.”

“Never say never!” The false prophetess says with an evil grin.

“What do you satanic harlots want from me?”

The daughter speaks, in a cut and dry tone, “For you to honor your past and fulfill the obligations thereof!”

I think back to the days of when I dabbled in the dark arts and grimly realize what is now required of me.”

I hang my head in shame and defeat.

But then, I am filled with a glimmer of hope as I realize that my tactical flashlight is still in my pants pocket.

So, I tell the false prophetess, “You’re right I am required to honor my past. In hopes that my lover will live, I shall humbly submit to your proposition.” I reach in my pocket for my tactical flashlight as I continue speaking, “As a measure of good faith, I will sign that document with my favorite pen, making it ever more binding.”

The false prophetess gleefully smiles as she holds the top of the contract with her left hand and the bottom with her right hand. I continue to reach for what they think is my favorite pen.

Slowly, I move.

There is a great tension in the night air.

Tarrying no more, I quickly deploy my tactical flashlight instead of my pen, then activate the high powered strobe shining it right into the false prophetess’ eyes. She turns her head away and I begin to jab her head and body multiple times with the crowned bezel of my flashlight. She growls and hisses in pain and anger, dropping the document and falling to the forest floor.

She is down but only for the moment.

I breathe a sigh of relief, but then she comes up again and advances at me. She attempts to sexually molest me. I pretend to be vulnerable just enough so she can let her guard down, then I see a clear path to strike on her, so I connect and deliver my fatal blow to her with my flashlight. She collapses gasping for air and coughing up blood. I will not publicly disclose the tactics of which I use to turn a flashlight into a lethal weapon.

As the false prophetess breathes her last breath, her daughter flees in cowardly terror. I rip the marriage contract to mere shreds and fragments, then I destroy that unholy altar, upsetting every stone that it was built upon.

But now I realize how I must find my lover before my unholy bride finds her.

Frantically, I search for her and call out her name.

Bitter anguish grips my heart increasingly each time I call her name and hear nothing in return.

Suddenly I wake up, alone in my bed, and collect my thoughts…

Back to “Works of Fiction”

Laundry Day-An Online Romance

Ezra woke up in the very late morning.

After lying for several minutes on his couch, thinking about Sadie, he prepared his breakfast of two fried eggs sunny side up, a slice of toast with sugar-free raspberry jam, and a drink of coffee, chicory, and hot milk.

After breakfast was ready, he sat in his kitchen eating and drinking while listening to his countertop scanner.

Two boat captains were coordinating their movements on the Intracoastal Waterway, one was of a towboat with six loaded barges in tow and the other was a tugboat by itself. They were also communicating with other vessels in the area.

Ezra had now finished breakfast and placed his dishes in the sink, but wanted to continue listening in. However, knew he had to do his laundry for the week.

So, he reached into his EDC backpack and pulled out his portable scanner, then set it to monitor the VHF Marine Band. he placed it in his right front pocket

He then took $3.25 worth of quarter-dollar coins from his safe and placed them in his back pocket.

Afterward, Ezra retrieved his laundry basket and bottle of detergent along with his smartphone and everything else, then walked down to the laundromat.

He unlocked the door, then found a washing machine that wasn’t in use, so he loaded it with his clothing and detergent, then placed the $1.75 worth of quarters in and started it.

While his load of clothes was washing, Ezra sat on a bench and listened to marine traffic on his portable scanner.

He heard a bridge tender notifying all mariners of the lunch rush hour curfew in effect.

Ezra listened to other marine channels where he heard some fishing boat captains speaking in Vietnamese.

He also heard dockyard mechanics coordinating with the servicing of boat engines.

Finally, his clothes were washed, so he switched them to a dryer that wasn’t in use and put the remaining $1.50 worth of quarters into the coin slot, and started it.

He continued listening to his scanner when Sadie called.

“Hey baby,” He answered.

“Hey you,” She replied.

“What’s going on?”

“My cousin and her boyfriend are here and I have you on speakerphone.”

“Well, hi everyone!” Ezra said.

“Hi,” Alyssa said.

“What up?” Nicky Joe added in.

“Oh, I’m down in the laundromat watching my clothes dry.”

“What are your intentions with my cousin?” Alyssa asked.

“Well, let me first say that I think she is the most beautiful young lady, I have ever seen and that I have a tremendous amount of reverence for her. I will also admit that I am indeed falling for her, but my intentions are to treat her like a queen, to shower her with affection, to be there for her in any way I can, and hopefully one day to marry her!”

“I see. You know she weighs over four hundred pounds, right?”

“Yes. I know. And I adore every pound curve and inch of her! You see, the thing is I like super-sized ladies. A skinny female would not make me happy, but someone Sadie’s size would make me happier than ever.”

“You’re sick!” Alyssa interjected.

“Don’t listen to her, Ezra, you’re very sweet! She’s just jealous,” Sadie added in.

“Thank you, baby!” Ezra answered.

“Oh, yeah, like I am jealous. Dream on!” Alyssa said.

There was an awkward silence, then Ezra’s scanner began picking up two fishing boats communicating.

“Who’s that in the background?” Alyssa asked.

“I’m listening to boat traffic on my scanner.”

“Why would you want to do that?” Alyssa asked.

“Because he likes boats. He takes some cool pictures of them too!” Sadie said.

“Yes. And it keeps me out of trouble.”

“Can you hear the cops on that scanner?” Nicky Joe asked.

“No, I can’t. It’s an older model and I don’t listen to the cops anyway.”

“Mine can hear the cops but I got to keep it on the DL.” Nicky Joe added in.

“Listening to the cops is depressing to me because it’s always hearing about all the bad stuff going on. I’d much rather listen to boat traffic, nothing wrong with that,” Ezra said.

“Hey, dawg, whatever, to each his own,” Nicky Joe replied, then asked, “What kind of ride you got?”

“A 1985 Jeep Comanche which I am very proud of! I restored it myself.” Ezra answered.

“I customized my ride, I have a 1999 GMC Yukon with twenty-six-inch rims and a dope sound system!” Nicky Joe said.

“Mine is all pretty standard, but it’s still fun to drive,” Ezra humbly stated.

“You pack any heat?” Nicky Joe asked.

“No, my psychiatrist won’t clear me for a concealed carry permit,” Ezra answered sheepishly.

“I gotcha. I can’t get a concealed carry permit either, because of my record, but I still pack heat. Ain’t nobody gonna tell me what I can or can’t carry.” Nicky Joe brazenly said.

“I have found other legal ways to defend myself though,” Ezra answered.

“Like what, dawg?” Nicky Joe asked with curiosity.

“Oh that’s top-secret,” Ezra answered with confidence.

“He sounds dangerous,” Alyssa added in.

“He’s not. He’s really sweet and in a lot of ways reminds me of my Daddy,” Sadie added in.

“I think he’s a loser, what do you think, bae?” Alyssa said.

“He seems lame, but maybe he’s good for Sadie, there’s someone for everyone,” Nicky Joe added in.

“We don’t have to take this, I’m going to my room, both of you can leave now,” Sadie said with anger and frustration.

Sadie left the living room then slammed her bedroom door and locked it.

“Ezra, I’m sorry they said those things about you and I hope you still want me,” Sadie told him.

“Of course I still want you. I just hope the rest of your family is more accepting,”

“They will be, I’m almost sure of it, especially once they see how sweet you are and how you make me happy.”

“Do I make you happy though?”

“Oh, yes. Like more than ever!”

“Could it be, then, that they are jealous of us? I mean you said how Alyssa was always in competition with you and maybe she sees that I make you happy, so maybe she wants to sabotage our relationship.”

“I think you’re right, baby.”

“And Nicky Joe and I don’t have anything in common, but I wouldn’t call him lame as he did to me.”

“I know. I’m sorry he said that. I think you’re wonderful, though, so forget him.”

“His opinion of me doesn’t carry any weight as far as I’m concerned, but your opinion of me carries the weight of the universe.”

“Well, then the whole universe is in your favor because I couldn’t ask for a better man than you!”

“I’m falling even more for you, Sadie Claire Macbride!”

“And I am falling just as much for you, Ezra Lee Toussaint!”

“Don’t ever worry about Alyssa or Nicky Joe again, because it’s like you pointed out, they are jealous and they want to sabotage our relationship. Deep down Alyssa thinks that because I’m so fat, I don’t deserve happiness and she sees that I am happier than her, despite most men choosing her body over mine and it fills her with envy.”

“Well, I want you by my side forever!”

“And I will be!” Sadie paused, then continued, “Hey, would you mind me reading some of the stories from the blogger that I subscribe to? His work always gave me hope that I would find someone and now I have, because of you.”

“Sure. I’ll switch my scanner off and you can entertain me while my clothes dry.”

“Awesome, these stories have really helped me.”

Alyssa began to read the stories out loud to Ezra.

He hung on to her every word, falling even more for her.

He continued listening, then finally said when she came to a stopping point, “It’s as if he knows both of us because I can relate to many of his characters.”

“So can I!” Sadie said with vindication.

“I only wish I could write like him, though.”

“It’s okay. Maybe when we have children, and they are having a tough time we can read his blog to them as well.”

“You actually see that much of a future with me?!”

“Yes, most definitely! And so much more too!” Sadie paused and, then continued, “I hope that’s okay with you.”

“It’s wonderful. I am the happiest man on the planet. Do you know why?”

“Why?”

“Well, there’s this beautiful young lady from Alabama that I am absolutely crazy about. She has long reddish blonde hair. She stands about five feet. She has a very sexy body that I want to kiss every inch of! She is so sweet too! And she is mine all mine! Who is this beautiful young lady?”

“ME!” Sadie replied with joy.

“And don’t ever forget it!”

“I won’t!”

The dryer then buzzed indicating that Ezra’s clothes were dry.

“What was that loud sound?” Sadie asked.

“The dryer telling me that my clothes are done. I need to bring them back up to my apartment, then I need to also check my blood sugar.”

“You will call me later, though, right?”

“Of course, what time would you like me to call?”

“Well call me at eight o’clock tonight and every night after that, but you can also call me in the morning, whenever you wake up if you want. I have to eat lunch anyway, because I’m really hungry.”

“Well then you, please eat! I will do everything I need to do, then I will call you at eight o’clock tonight.”

“I’m looking forward to it.”

“Until then, just know that I want you by my side forever!”

“And you just know that I will be!”

“Okay, bye baby.”

“Bye.”

Back to “An Online Romance”

Celebrating God’s Divine Providence

At the age of seventeen and a half, I came into a relationship with God through saving faith in Jesus Christ.

My life has been improving overall since, although there have been some ups and downs.

Even prior to my coming into this sacred relationship, I recognized where God has watched over me and provided for me every time I needed help in some way shape, or form.

He started drawing me some time at the age of fifteen going on sixteen and I fully realized everything in July of 2004 at the age of seventeen and a half. I surrendered to The Gospel and therefore put my faith in Christ at that very moment. It took a life of rebellion and defiance and finally a mental breakdown before I had accepted The Gospel.

Even after salvation, though my life is far from perfect. It will never be perfect, at least not on this side of Glory!

But, God has met every one of my earthly needs and always in His perfect timing.

He also grants the appropriate desires of my heart, especially when I delight myself in Him.

I know I could never make it without Him, in this life and especially the next!

Some years ago, I was sitting in church and the Pastor/Teacher was preaching on the even when Jesus Christ miraculously fed five thousand men and many more women and children. That particular event is recorded in every Biblical Gospel narrative.

For those who want to read them; the Scripture references of this miracle are:
Matthew Chapter 14 Verses 13 through 21.
Mark Chapter 6 Verses 31 through 44.
Luke Chapter 9 Verses 12 through 17.
John Chapter 6 Verses 1 through 14.

The Pastor/Teacher went on to say how the five loaves of bread were the size of pistolettes or maybe dinner rolls and the two small fish were likely sardines. He went on to say that likely the young boy’s mother had given them to eat while he went out and about. It was a meal that was easily transportable, even while on foot. In other words, the loaves of bread were not like the size of a loaf of sliced bread one buys at a modern grocer and the two small fish were sardines which are indeed quite small. This meal likely could not hold up a grown man, much less five thousand men and at least just as many women and children maybe more. Calorie needs in those times were likely more than they were now because life, in general, was much more physically demanding. But Jesus using Divine power was able to multiply the fish and bread to feed everyone there and their bellies were completely full. Like more full than they had ever been in their lives. And not only that there were several baskets full of leftovers. The point that made itself clear was that Divine Providence is perfect and all needs are totally met. And as the Cajun in me would say, there is even some lagniappe! God always goes above in beyond because He is all-powerful!

While going through a divorce and moving into my own place, there were quite a few trials but ultimately, God allowed all things to work together for my good and He definitely carried me through this difficult time. As my Paw Paw would have said, had he lived to see the divorce finalized, it was as if I ‘fell into a pile of dung but came out smelling like roses.’ He used a different word than dung, of course, but it’s a word I refuse to use because I’ll assume that it would offend any ladies who may be reading this piece. Furthermore, I, as a Christian, ought not to use that word he used nor should I utter any other filthy or offensive word. I slip up in my speech from time to time, but every time I do, The Holy Ghost convicts me and I subsequently ask God for forgiveness! Therefore I used the word dung instead because it is the word in the Bible that is used to describe any sort of fecal matter. By the way, it wasn’t the only time my Paw Paw used that analogy to describe a situation I was faced with, which simply means that God has been taking care of me for a long time, as in even pre-salvation!

So during the time I was going through a divorce, I could sense God’s Hand upon me. In July of 2018, I was one-day making groceries and was meditating on that aforementioned sermon I had heard some time ago. Immediately, I thought of how I should buy some sardines and pistolettes and eat them when I got home, even if just by myself as a reminder of God taking care of everything for me. I did just that.

Now I will admit that nowhere in The Bible are we as Christians commanded to eat bread and fish, to celebrate God’s providence. There is, however, a meal that we are commanded to eat of unleavened bread and wine (or grape juice) as a memorial to Jesus’ sacrificial death. Yes, I do celebrate this at my local church and every other Christian should as well. By the way drinking any un-fermented fruit juice in Biblical times could have proven fatal because of microbial pathogens and no one in that day knew about the health benefits of pasteurization (killing microbial pathogens with strong heat.) Somehow they figured out that the alcohol produced in fermentation made these fruit juices safe to drink, although if consumed in excess resulted in drunkenness. There is a book in the Catholic Bible, but not the Standard Bible, the Book of Sirach, where it does indeed teach that the inebriating effects of alcoholic beverages were meant to allow the drinker to forget his or her troubles and have a joyful time during feast and festivities. To this day, this is likely the main reason why so many people drink alcohol. This could also be one of the reasons why Catholics have a more lax attitude towards drinking than Protestants do. The numerous references of Scripture that warn against drunkenness are likely there because of the many sinful behaviors that drunkenness results in. These were written not to stop us from having a good time, but to protect from the consequences of the foolish things that are said and done when one is inebriated. God has our best interest at heart, remember that. His commands are guidelines which are there simply to protect us from our own sinful selves.

All in all, eating this meal of sardines and dinner rolls or pistolettes (whichever is available in the bakery section of my grocer) is something I thought of on my own, but while I am enjoying this meal, I eat with a prayerful and grateful attitude, thank my God for taking care of me and providing everything I need and even for the appropriate things that I want. I am not sure if anyone prior to myself thought of this meal, quite possibly several others thought of this, I doubt that I am the only one. However, I eat this meal because it tastes good, it is very filling and it reminds me of how much I depend on God. Our relationship with God is the only relationship where our clinginess will never be annoying because He loves us that much. In fact, He deeply desires for us to cling to Him! He will also fervently chase us down when we stray from Him. He does this not in an abusive way but out of His loving concern for us! Those who think otherwise don’t know Him therefore cannot trust Him. But I sure trust Him! And I’m learning to trust Him even more.

If you, the reader, feel God moving on you to also partake in this meal, then do it reverently, prayerfully, and gratefully. Acknowledge all that God has done for you! Praise Him and give Him the honor and glory He deserves! Then enjoy your meal.

By the way, we should say grace every time we eat, sometimes I forget to do so, to which I get immediately convicted by The Holy Ghost and I ask for forgiveness then say grace.

I’m not trying to start a new practice or anything, I am simply doing that which makes me realize all that God has provided for me.

I’ll admit that I do enjoy this food combination and I will equally admit that not everyone else does. I’ll also admit that not everyone can eat this because of either dietary restrictions or allergies.

In that case, do what works for you, but make sure it lines up with God’s Word and honors Him above all!

I hope you, the reader, have been informed, enlightened, encouraged, and maybe even inspired!

May God richly bless you!

Back to “Personal Reflections”

Contact Me

Island Drama (Sequel to “Scanner Drama”)

I initially wrote this around July 4-5, 2005 and have subsequently edited it every now and then. If the material seems dated that is because it does indeed take place in July of 2005 on the he fictitious but sovereign Archangel Island located somewhere in the Tropical Pacific.  This island state has been fighting off pirates and insurgents since its inception in the mid to late 1990s. Now the war monger president George Walker Bush has declared war on the young nation of Archangel Island because it harbors American defectors dissidents seeking asylum there. Grant West and Adrianna Parker are two of those defectors and have begun a new life for themselves with Grant helping provide security for cargo freighters and Adrianna working in a government nursery.  Their life will now be severely disrupted because of this illegal and unjust war.

In order to better understand this story, please: Read the Prequel

Without further ado, here is the story:

…Archangel Island…

…July 2005…

T’was a hot summer evening on Archangel Island. A red sunset was shining over the ocean. Grant West and Adrianna Parker were lying on the warm sands together when a middle-aged man approached them.

He spoke, “Get some good rest tonight, West. Tomorrow; we are going out to sea,” He paused then continued ¨You see that sun, `Red sky at night sailor’s delight, red sky in the morning sailor’s warning.'”

Grant answered “Yes sir I’ll be ready. I just need to spend some time with my special girl. AS for that rhyme, where I come from we say `When egrets take flight, foul weather in sight’.”

The man answered, “Ah I understand. I remember when I was YOUNG like you two. I’ll go now.” He paused, then continued “But; I want you to be at the docks 0600 hours sharp tomorrow morning. Bring your weapons and gear and be sure to set your watch.” He then left.

Adrianna leaned against Grant and said, “How many DAYS will you be gone?”

“I don’t know, it depends on how much arms we will be loading and how many ports we dock at. I will be thinking of you and missing you. You can go up to the LIGHThouse and look for us. I will carry my radio on me, and I will buy you a radio so we can keep in touch.”

“That radio wouldn’t replace you, Grant, no one or thing in THE WORLD could do that.”

Grant looked at her with exceeding PASSIONS and said, “Well Adrianna you are so sweet and hot and loving and BEAUTIFUL and the list goes on and on. When I will hear your voice while I’m out on the water, I will close my eyes and imagine you are there. The crew might have to adjust the controls of that boat until it TURNS around because I’ve gone crazy. Crazy for you, that is.”

Adrianna said with concern, “Oh, Grant, don’t do that, you would get fired.”

“Maybe, but when I get back our bed will be rocking more than that boat ever has, even in the worst of storms.”

“Well just don’t do it in front of ALL those CHILDREN I’ll be looking after.”

Grant looked up at the sky put his arm around Adrianna and said, “We have made ONE good LIFE for ourselves here. To think I was a wanted criminal. Now I protect men and cargo from pirates and insurgents while you work at a nursery.”

The mosquitoes were starting so they decided to head into their dwelling. After locking the door, Grant and Adrianna went into their bed and cuddled. All the lights were turned off and the only way they could see the full moon reflected upon the ocean and into their window. Grant ran his fingers through Adrianna’s hair. She smiled at him and kissed him, then petted him on his face. A cool breeze was blowing in from off the ocean and into their screened window. They were both shivering and held each other close together. Grant unbuttoned Adrianna’s shirt, and then pulled it off. He started rubbing her smooth, pale, creamy skin gently. From the feeling of Grant’s masculine hands on her skin and the cool breeze blowing in, her nipples became erect. Grant kissed Adrianna on her chest and neck. Adrianna giggled teasingly at Grant as she unbuttoned his pants and shirt. Grant put his hands up her skirt and untied it. Her skirt fell to the floor. He rubbed her bottom gently AS he started pulling down her panties. Adrianna threw them on top of Grant’s head as she laughed. She then pulled down Grant’s boxers. They admired each others’ bodies for just a moment, then climbed and covered between the sheets. They rolled around in the sheets hugging and kissing each other passionately, as they made love. Both were moaning and sighing with pleasure as they were overcome by each other. After climaxing several times, they slept between the cool sheets. Grant lay intimately close up against Adrianna with her arms and legs around him. Morning came quickly. The pink light was barely making it through the dense fog. Grant stood up from the bed. He walked to the bathroom and started to dress as Adrianna quietly lay in bed asleep. He finished dressing and walked out of the dwelling. On his way out he gently kissed Adrianna on her forehead. He headed to the supply store and walked in.

The owner of the store greeted him and asked, “How can I help you?” The man had several scars on his face and missing teeth.
Grant answered him pulling out his radio “I work on a boat and I am going out to sea today. I want to keep in contact with my girl. Would you carry any radio that is compatible with this one?”

The man examined Grant’s radio and said, “Certainly do. You see these devices talk through our satellite. As long as you both are in the range of it you can talk to each other. Several businesses on the island got together and launched it so they could have a practical way of keeping in touch. We also use the satellite for defense operations.” The owner went to the back of the store and came back with a package. Grant went to pay for the radio when the shop owner pointed down at a combat knife under the glass counter. He said, “If you are going out to sea you will also want to buy one of these.”

He handed the knife to Grant, who looked at it then said “It is a nice knife, I think it will do well with the rest of my gear.¨

The owner replied ¨I’ve heard about you, taking out four thugs with almost just your wits. You remind me of me when I was much younger. I think you will make a decent asset to guarding our logistics. I used to do the very thing, but now I work with arms dealers, and I supply the island with tactical gear.¨ Grant simply nodded then paid for both items and walked out of the store.

The middle-aged man from the previous evening followed Grant out of the shop and approached him “Hello my name is Blaze. I could not help but overhear your conversation.”

Grant shook his hand once again.

“The captain has told me about you. Stick with me and you will be fine.”

“Well let me go tell my girlfriend goodbye and then I will be reporting for work. I’ll meet you at the port.”

Grant walked back to his dwelling. He unlocked and opened the door and met Adrianna. She was still in her nightclothes.

He hugged her and kissed her immediately, then said, “Here you go Adrianna this is the radio I told you about. We can keep in touch now. Grant handed it to her and she set it down on the nightstand.

“It is a somewhat reassurance, but not a replacement of you Grant. I don’t know if I could stand being alone without you.”

“I know it will be lonely, but at least we can hear each other’s voice no matter where we are. I know I would go insane if I couldn’t hear you talk to me.”

Grant packed several pairs of tee shirts, pants, socks, boots, razors with lather and aftershave, his long tactical flashlight with its belt holster, his new combat knife in its scabbard, and his communications radio.

“Grant you sure are BOLD you know that. You’re risking your life going out on that dangerous water. Since you got me that radio, I want you to talk to me every chance you get. If I don’t hear from you, I’ll grow RESTLESS.”

Grant looked at Adrianna soberly and gently said “I must go now, I don’t know when I’ll be back.”

Adrianna threw her arms around Grant. Grant kissed her passionately and held her for just a moment longer. They both opened their eyes and then backed from each other.

Adrianna said, “Be safe Grant. I love you so much!”

He kissed her once more and replied, “I love you too,” then left their dwelling.

He walked out to the dock where all the others were starting to arrive. He attached his radio, flashlight, and knife to his belt.

Blaze saw Grant and said, “Come here man, it’s time to report to work.”

The captain was standing amid all of them. He spoke, “Good morning everyone. I am a man of few words. We shall be leaving shortly and will be stationed on a patrol boat to escort a cargo freighter on the high seas. We will anchor on the high seas as the freighter goes into foreign ports to pick up the goods we are purchasing. We will continue to escort the cargo freighter once it returns to our position on the high seas. Make sure each of you has a knife, and be sure you know how to use it. I hope that we will have no casualties on this trip, but I can’t promise anything. Your duties are to protect your fellow crew members and all the cargo we are carrying at all costs. Remember, all of you are permitted to use lethal force, if necessary. That is all. God bless.”

Grant secured his belongings and boarded the boat along with the other men. The engine was started and not long after a course was plotted and they headed out to sea. The ride was mostly smooth AS the boat was cruising all of them were sitting out on the deck, keeping a watch for attackers. Grant kept to himself. He was listening to his radio, in case Adrianna would call. After not hearing her for a while, he realized that she was at work taking care of children.

Blaze sat near Grant and offered him a cigarette.

Grant shook his head, then replied, “Smoking causes erectile dysfunction and I want to be a lover to Adrianna as long as possible.”

“I fully understand. Best you don’t get addicted anyway.”

“I do have a question, though.”

“Ask away.”

“Tell me, Blaze. Why do all these foreigners attack us?”

“They are jealous of us. Our sovereignty is undeniable proof of their incompetence and failures and that makes us detestable in their sight. These foreigners do not have access to much money so their boats are not heavily armed. They sure know how to fight hand to hand though. You see that radio, never tell your location on there. Those foreigners monitor our satellite communications. They come out of nowhere on small boats and try to steal our cargo. They come onto our boats and attack. Thankfully we know how to fight back. Remember Grant it is legal to do anything to those attackers once they climb aboard. I execute them and use the fleshly remains of their bodies for crab bait.”

Grant then showed his long tactical flashlight to Blaze and said, “I once smashed a bully’s windpipe with this. It could effectively stop someone with a knife or better yet hand to hand, due to the blunt force it provides.”

“I heard about that when you defected from The States and applied for asylum here on Archangel Island. Very impressive.”

“Thank you, sir!”

“I was able to read the news reports about you from The States as well.”

“How’d you do that?”

“Our Defense Intelligence Service shared it with me when I was commanded to mentor you.”

“How did they portray me?”

“Most of them were thirsting for your blood but a very select few were singing your praises.”

“Somehow I am not surprised.”

“Try not to let it get to you. As long as we maintain our sovereignty, you will be safe.”

Grant nodded.

“Now, another hour and our shifts are over,” Blaze told Grant.

Grant kept a sharp eye on the lookout for attackers and the sun was beginning to set.

Blaze looked at his watch and said, “That’s it-the shift has ended. Get some food and rest.”

Blaze and Grant walked into the galley and were fed a meal of deep-fried cod fillets, thick fried potatoes, coleslaw, and a premium crafted cola to drink.”
After Grant had eaten and drank his fill he went to the top of the boat, pulled out his radio, and called Adrianna.

She was just getting into the big empty bed when she heard his voice, “Hello Adrianna, are you there?”

Adrianna replied “Yes I am here. Where are you right now?”

“I’m afraid I can’t say, we have enemies listening in on us as we speak.”

“You are okay though-right?”

“Yes, I am fine. I just got off of my shift. It was a good first day. How was yours.”

“Well, I think I am pretty good with THE CHILDREN. I had fun today and the pay is decent. I never thought I could make this much money doing this kind of work.”

“Yes, my love I think we will like it here.”

The letters AI1COMM in Morse code followed Grant’s transmission. A synthesized computer voice came in and said, “Please keep the satellite communication brief.”

Grant then said, “We cannot talk too long, our Rescue and Defense services use this satellite for their communications also.”

Adrianna replied, “Okay I don’t want us to get in trouble. We can talk later, baby.”

“I guess we could talk for a little while later, but I love you as much as ever.”

“I love you too, Grant.”

The call was then disconnected.

Grant walked down to the sleeping quarters of the boat and placed his radio in his pocket and went to sleep. He dreamed of Adrianna. Meanwhile, she put her radio in the charger and crawled in between the cool sheets of the empty bed, and went to sleep to dream of Grant.

The next morning Adrianna woke up to the crash of thunder and the splashing of rain. She got out of bed and went into the bathroom to get ready for work. She walked out all dressed up as the rain was still coming down hard. Adriana put her raincoat on, grabbed her radio, and walked out of the dwelling to her work. Hours passed. The rain had stopped and the sun started to shine. Adrianna took the children outside then tuned her radio to the satellite up-link frequency. She keyed it up and called for Grant.

Grant heard the call signal coming through as he was preparing to begin his shift for the day.

He answered, “Hello Adrianna, my baby.”

Adrianna replied “I miss you so much. I am constantly thinking about you.”

“Well, I would like to take you into my arms right now and make the purest, sweetest, most passionate love to you.”

“Grant watch your mouth. Those kids might be able to hear my radio.”

“They will understand when they are our age.”

A little girl was approaching Adrianna, so she told Grant, “I have to go right now Grant, there is a little girl that needs my help right now.”

“Okay, I will talk to you at the end of this shift. I love you, Adrianna.”

“I love you too, Grant.”

The call was disconnected.

Grant soon began his shift, keeping a watch for pirates.

Adrianna looked at the little girl and said, “Allie, what’s the matter?”

Allie replied, “Some mean boys are picking on Romey. They want to beat him up I think.”

“Thank you for telling me, now just stay right here,” Adrianna thought of how Grant was jumped when they were in the States. She had an idea that would prove to be successful.

She walked up to Romey and said, “Romey come with me.”

The other boys started to make noise as if they thought Romey was in trouble.

She then told him, “Now I have heard that those boys wanted to hurt you. Is that true?”

Romey looked down at the ground and said, “Yes it’s true. I just want them to leave me alone.”

Adrianna replied, “Well come play over here with Allie and me.”

Romey smiled and nodded. They walked back to where Allie was standing.

Adrianna said, “Could I talk to Allie in private for just a few seconds?”

Romey, replied, “Sure I guess.”

Adrianna told Romey, “Just stay where I can see you.”

Romey went a few feet away and closed his ears.

Adrianna told Allie, “I need you to be Romey’s friend AS he doesn’t have any. I would appreciate it if you would just go play with him. It would be good for him to have someone like you to play with and talk to.”

Allie smiled and said, “Sure, I would be happy to do that. Romey is a nice boy and he is so cute but those others are mean to him.”

Adrianna then called Romey over. He came up to her and she said, “Romey, you and Allie go play together. Don’t go too far from me.”

Allie said, “Come on Romey we can go swing together.”

They swung together for a few minutes, then Allie said, “Let’s go play with Miss Adrianna.”

Romey nodded in agreement. They walked up to her.

Allie asked, “Will you play with us?”

“Sure, Allie, what do you want to play?”

“Let’s play with your radio,” Allie said with excitement.

Adrianna replied, “That’s not a toy.”

Allie made a face of disappointment.

Romey then asked, “What do you use it for?”

Adrianna replied, “I use it to talk to my boyfriend, while he is out at sea.”

Romey replied, “That’s so cool. Allie we could play those phones in the toy box.”

Allie replied, “Yeah Romey, we can pretend that I am Miss Adrianna, and you are her boyfriend out at sea.” Adrianna giggled and said, “OK you two, just stay where I can see you.”

‎ The Defense Intelligence Services alerted the officials, who forwarded the critical information to the population that Archangel Island might soon be under attack.

The sirens started blaring and Adrianna ran up to Romey and Allie, then grabbed both of their hands. She ran with them down to the bunker. Adrianna and the other workers escorted the rest of the children down. When all were in Adrianna found Romey and Allie.

Allie asked, “What is going on?”

Adrianna replied “President Bush is preparing the American forces to attack our island and our fleets. I need both of you to cooperate and do what we tell you. Both of you stick together in case something should happen to me.”

Romey blurted out, “That durn Bush!”

Allie oblivious to the situation giggled a little.

So did Adrianna but she then said soberly, “I’m an American defector and so is my boyfriend and we don’t like him either, Romey.”

Allie replied as she started crying, “I don’t want them to take you away.”

Romey said, “I’ll fight them if they try to take you or your boyfriend away.”

Adrianna hugged them both and said, “They might have to take me away. Romey, promise me that you will not try to attack the Americans, because they will beat you and lock you up.”

All three had tears in their eyes.

Grant came through over the radio, “Adrianna, is everything all right over there?”

Adrianna replied, “I am all right as are the children, we are just shaken up.”

Grant replied, “We are coming home, so the Americans don’t attack any of our ships. I’m told that several arms dealers will arm us and drop the supplies via air. Some mercenary pilots have decided to guard our airspace, but I will soon be reassigned.”

Adrianna said, “Grant please be safe. I love you so much.”

Grant answered, “I love you too Adrianna.”

A transmission from the communications headquarters came through. It was the voice of a woman, which said, “Keep the satellite communications clear except for necessary traffic.”

Time passed by slowly. There was total silence in the bunker, but the air was filled with anxiety. Thirty-six hours later the fleet of boats docked. Grant got off and ran to the daycare center. He knocked on the door and was greeted by a guard from the Archangel Island Government.

He asked Grant, “What is your purpose here?” Grant replied, “My girlfriend, Adrianna Parker, works here and I need to see her.”
The guard replied, “Follow me.”

Grant entered the bunker. He looked around the room until his eyes landed on Adrianna. He ran up to her and they kissed.

The guard said “You two can both go home, for right now. Grant be prepared to fight soon. Adrianna, don’t go too far. We might need you to help the children.”

Grant and Adrianna walked to their dwelling. They settled in when the telephone rang. It was Blaze, he said “Report back to the government headquarters building in the morning. Bring your knife and radio. Also; you must buy a pistol and an assault rifle. We will be organized into security platoons to guard the island. I have been named the leader of our platoon. The good news is, you get to go home every day. The bad news is, we will probably be invaded. Get everything in order now.”

Grant broke the news he just heard to Adrianna.

Adrianna started sobbing as she threw her arms around him. There was a silence as they both climbed into bed. They held each other somberly and then started to make love with great emotion. After experiencing passionate intimacy once again, they snuggled together and were soon asleep.

Morning came all too quickly and bitterly.

Adrianna told Grant, “I can’t lose you.”

“I will do my best AS I have no other choice.”

Both were crying at this point.

Grant looked at Adrianna deeply, knowing he might never see her again if an invasion indeed occurred and he was killed in action.

He kissed her passionately and hugged her with a tight grip. They held each other closely.

There was then a knock at the door.

They both answered it and were greeted by Blaze

“Grant it’s time to go,” He said.

Grant nodded with a somber look.

“I love you so much, Adrianna!”

“I love you too, Grant!” They hugged and kissed one final time.

Then Grant walked out of the door. Adrianna watched them walk until they disappeared into the fog…

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