Space Heaters and Rice Cookers-So many Young Adults Living in Poverty

I like many of those in mine and the following generational cohort live below the poverty line.

The purpose of this piece is not to explain why so many younger people and even those in their mid-thirties to their forties such as myself are prone to living in poverty.

Rather, it is simply some of my observations of choices such people make and items that they use.

That is why the title of this piece is “Space Heaters and Rice Cookers.”

I also wanted to title this “Space Heaters, Rice Cookers, and Broadcast Television”, but thought the original title was more catchy.

Many of these people live in trailers, some that are decades old and the central climate controls have long been shot. It could also be that they may live in site-built houses that are old enough to have been built before centralized climate controls.

Therefore, to have comfort in the winter time, many of these people resort to using space heaters, which can sometimes result in serious injury and/or loss of life if the end-user is not prudent. If they don’t have access to a space heater, they have also been known to lay a mattress on the kitchen floor and turn on the electric oven or stove.

In the Summer time, they cool their dwellings with cheap window air conditioners, and nowadays one does well if one of these cheap window units lasts for the season.

Sadly all of this runs up the electric bill!

There was a time when window air conditioners were made very well, in fact, my maternal grandmother, God rest her soul, had some window units that lasted at least thirty-five years!

The next item that I observe myself and many other impoverished younger adults using is a rice cooker. This could be for the following reasons: Rice is a staple around the world, though now increasingly here in The States, vitamin, mineral, and energy-dense food, it is quite affordable on almost any food budget, it keeps well in storage for an extended time and when paired with the right foods such as beans, it offers a complete protein, in addition to energy. Rice also makes more luxurious foods stretch further when they are served over it. I also many times heard teenage boys playing football and shouting at each other to stay on the opposing team member like “white on rice.” I think of many impoverished young men who were lifted out of poverty because of their athleticism, but the phrase “white on rice” rings low income with me for whatever reason. Rice cookers are quite efficient, especially when one either cannot afford a microwave or owns a low-wattage entry-level model of microwave. I didn’t realize that rice cookers were an appliance associated with poverty until I was watching an episode of Steve Wilkos and he mentioned it in an episode of his show I watched a few years ago.

Sadly space heaters and rice cookers operate by converting electricity into heat. And depending on the individual model’s wattage they can potentially run up an electric bill. However, they are needed by impoverished young adults for subsistence and comfort (sometimes life-saving warmth.)

And that brings up my next point:

Broadcast Television-I was probably one of the few teenagers who watched broadcast television, just for experimental purposes. My parents always had and still do have cable, but I wanted to experiment with what I could catch over an antenna. This was before the digital mandate and many times the picture was very snowy and the audio scratchy. I was amazed when pairing a digital television with a decent antenna how the picture was, dare I say even prettier than a picture carried on cable?! And many people around my age get it now. They may have wanted cable in their childhood and teens but realize that it has skyrocketed in price, yet plummeted in quality and this has been going on for some time now (since about 2010.) Because of technological improvements to broadcast television, there are more channels, with more diverse programming. One can even see shows that were originally for cable but now can be seen for free with digital television and a decent antenna. While I was married to my now ex-wife, I installed an antenna for my then-now ex-in-laws. Since their antenna was a really good model, I use to enjoy watching television at their residence. My ex-wife demanded that we subscribe to some form of cable, even though we couldn’t afford it and this was a major point of conflict in our former marriage. Cable is not even available where my current (and I pray, forever) wife resides, but even if it was we wouldn’t subscribe to it. I’m just glad there is a fairly decent antenna that comes with the place, that pulls in the channels fairly decently. I just wish the news available on broadcast television was either more moderate or better yet apolitical.

I was not poor as a child and adolescent.

I grew up in a lower-middle-class environment as a young child and it became upper-middle-class sometime between my tweens and teens.

However, I have been receiving a disability pension since age twenty (for various mental afflictions) and worked on and off in my late teens to mid-twenties.

At the age of twenty-four-going-twenty-five, I stopped working altogether.

I also injured my back at the age of twenty-seven, when I fell down some stairs while bringing up groceries.

So I am not working poor, but I have associated with many working poor adults to have been able to write this piece. It was either people whom I knew through the church, ex-in-laws, jobs that I worked in the past or just living in South Louisiana.

Many of us on disability pensions also are subject to similar conditions as the working poor though in some ways they have it better and in other ways, we have it better.

I also use a rice cooker and watch broadcast television on the regular, though I have been fortunate enough to not need a space heater as of yet.

People such as myself and other impoverished individuals and families are often sneered at by the middle class and some older generations. They don’t realize that the economy has changed and not for the better, mostly because they have been fortunate enough to be shielded from all these economic downturns and stagnant wages.

I could go on about this, but The Good Lord is telling me to cool it.

I probably should conclude the piece now, before I start getting more offensive than I need to be.

I need to get back to blogging on the regular, it’s just I need to find the time.

Back to “Articles I have Written”

Why I am no longer a Roman Catholic

Before you, the reader read any of this, I want you to pray and ask God to prepare you for it and to open your heart and mind to receive it. My job is to simply provide the information in this piece. It is The Holy Ghost’s job to convict and it is God The Father’s job to judge. Jesus Christ and Him alone paid the price it required to make it right between a totally depraved mankind and a Holy God.

What I am writing here is nowhere as palatable as I would like to think most of my work is, but keep in mind that I am trying to be as gentle and kind with it as I can be.

I know this piece will probably offend a great deal of those who read it, including members of my own family and my in-laws.

I can live with that and the reason why I can live with that is that I feel right in my convictions that the roman catholic church is counterfeit and not of God at all.

I believe that the roman catholic church is nothing more than a perversion of true Christianity, mixed with the ancient derivative of the Babylonian religion.

It was not started by Jesus Christ, although some translations of the Bible use the word catholic to describe the original church.

There was a church located in the city of Rome, in fact, the Apostle Paul wrote a letter to it and much good doctrine can be learned from it. See the Book of Romans in the Bible.

However, The Bible does not mention a specific roman catholic church headed by a pope. That was the invention of Constantine and his successors.

Peter was not the first pope. Constantine was.

In fact, the title “pope” or “holy father” are even calling priests “father” are complete blasphemies, as Jesus Christ commanded His followers to “Call no man your father upon the earth: for One is your Father in Heaven.” See Matthew 23:9.

Before I go any further, let me declare that I believe the Bible is the Word of God and the final authority. It says so in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”

I can point out many and will point out some instances in which the roman catholic church goes directly against The Bible and this is one of the many reasons why I cannot endorse roman catholicism and maintain a clear conscience.

One major blasphemy that the roman catholic church projects on its adherents are the teaching that its traditions are equal to Scripture.

Jesus Christ had something to say about this in the Seventh Chapter of Mark when He was dealing with the Jewish religious elite of the day. It is recorded in verses 7-9, “Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching [for] doctrine the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men, [as] the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things you do. And He said unto them, Full well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your own tradition.” Christ went on to say in verse 13, still addressing the religious elite, “Making the Word of God on none effect through your tradition, which you have delivered: and many such like things you do.”

Not only has Rome put tradition on equal footing with scripture but for much of its existence had forbidden most of its subjects from reading the Bible at all. Once religious freedom became more prevalent, Rome kept most of its subjects from reading the Bible by falsely claiming that if a lay person were to read the Bible, it would cause him or her to go mad. This is a cunning satanic tactic, used to keep these poor Catholics from learning about the True Freedom that is found in Jesus Christ as opposed to the terrible bondage of religion. The hierarchy of Rome wishes to keep these poor souls in their heavy merciless bondage instead of the light yoke that Jesus Christ has to offer. The most unfortunate truth about all of this is that most roman Catholics become more interested in a dead and useless religion instead of a loving relationship with God Almighty accomplished through the final, perfect, and all-sufficient sacrifice that was obtained from the precious blood of Jesus Christ shed on that Cross, almost two thousand years ago!

When writing to the young pastor Timothy, the apostle Paul, warned him of how even in their day which predated Constantine by nearly three hundred years that wicked people would come in and infiltrate the church. It is recorded in 1 Timothy 4:1-3: “Now The Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God had created with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

It seems to me that this passage was predicting the coming of the roman catholic church because the description fits it to a tee and maybe this is one of the reasons why Rome has either forbidden or at least strongly discouraged (depending on the time of his history) its subjects from reading the Bible? Just some food for thought.

Rome has brazenly returned to the priesthood, something that was done away with when Jesus shed his precious blood on the cross. Not only that Rome fervently teaches that forgiveness must be obtained through confessing one’s sins to a priest and doing whatever penance the priest commands. This is a most terrible kind of blasphemy and abomination. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ was and is forever there to provide a wretchedly fallen people with not only complete reconciliation but direct access to a Holy God. Matthew 27:51 describes how when Jesus Christ died, “…the veil in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, and the earth did quake and the rocks were split.” This veil separated the Holy Room in the Temple from the Holy of Holies, which was filled with God’s presence. Only the Jewish Priest was allowed to enter the place and only at certain times of the year and while sprinkled with sacrificial blood. Anyone entering not under those conditions would die on the spot. Sometimes even the priest would die. But when Christ gave Himself, this system was done away with and anyone who surrenders his or her heart to Jesus Christ has direct access to God and such a person can boldly approach God’s throne of Grace with confidence to help them in times of need. The apostle Paul when writing to Jewish Christians encourages them to do this and it is recorded in Hebrews 4:16. I love how this is written to Jewish Christians, the very people coming out of this religious system of bondage. But, God did away with all of this bondage and He paid the most tremendous Price ever to do it. Do you, the reader, think He is amused that mankind has come in and replaced perverted what His Son accomplished and brought in a new system of bondage? The God I know is furious with all of this and He has every right and reason to be! All I can say is that He is merciful and takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (see Ezekiel 33:11.) Furthermore 2 Peter 3:9 says this, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but He is patient not wishing anyone to perish but all to come to repentance.”

All I can say is that God’s Goodness is so immense that it cannot be measured!

However, fallen man’s depravity is almost as immeasurable as God’s Goodness!

The verse of Scripture that comes to mind when I ponder this is Romans 5:20-21, “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: that as sin has reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord!”

I could cover more aspects of the roman catholic church and how they are in direct violation of God’s word but I think I just need to point out one more and that is how Rome teaches that salvation is obtained through works when the Bible says otherwise. I know that many will argue according to James 2:26 that Faith without works is dead. Yes, that is very true. However, these works are the result of salvation, not the requirement of salvation. Furthermore, Ephesians 2:8-9 clearly states, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and not that of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.” Boasting in one’s works instead of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as how one goes to Heaven and is saved from sin is severe blasphemy. And I’ve been around many Catholics and all I hear is boasting about their supposed good works. They say things such as, “I was baptized.” “I go to mass every time I am supposed to.” “I give to xyz charity.” “I obey the ten commandments.” “I was confirmed.” “I receive communion.” It’s just a whole bunch of I’s and nothing about what Jesus Christ did. The Bible says in Isaiah 64:6 that our own righteousness is like filthy rags before God. I am not a Bible scholar myself but I have heard other Bible scholars say that what filthy rags mean is used feminine products, to put it nicely. I’ve heard other Bible scholars say it means bloody bandages. Either way, it is nothing nice. If anything it’s beyond nasty. And in the Eyes of a Holy God, our good works, when compared to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ are that disgusting in his eyes. And yet Rome teaches that we must earn our way into Heaven through good works. Blasphemy!

If you, the reader, happen to be catholic, and somehow God has used these words to expose your religion for what it is, I promise you that there is indeed Hope and you don’t have to be subjected to this terrible bondage for a moment longer.

A little about me:

I was raised catholic, mostly in name only so that my parents would have an easier chance of my siblings and I getting accepted into catholic schools because they are a lot safer than the public schools in my district. Also, my parents believed that the strict discipline and rigorous curriculum would better prepare me for life.

From preschool through First Grade I wanted absolutely nothing to do with God. I resented my parents bringing me to mass every Sunday Morning or Saturday Afternoon.

However, by Second Grade things started changing and I began to take a liking to catholicism.

From Second Grade until about Sixth or Seventh Grade, I took mass and all the sacraments very seriously and I enjoyed going to mass.

I was a troubled child and only had a few friends, one of whom was and still is a devout catholic. He is also one of my friends from childhood whom I still keep in touch with regularly. I love him like a brother and I pray that he be freed from this catholic bondage.

From eighth grade until my sophomore year, I did my own thing, which was like a combination of catholicism, new age, and humanism all in one. I was in grave error.

During my sophomore year, I began reading the Bible earnestly. Also through my interest in radio listening, I began listening to many Christian broadcasts. This was preparing me for an encounter with Jesus Christ.

In the Summer between my sophomore and junior year, I became Born Again. The following October I started attending a really good Assembly of God church while also attending a catholic high school. This was a major source of conflict in my life.

There was one female classmate with whom I was good friends, never really a romantic interest just a good friend. She too was a devout catholic and had a heart of gold.

One morning in chemistry class the teacher decided to check if our textbooks were covered and if they weren’t we would get a zero out of thirty points. I’m not trying to be like Karl Marx, but this teacher had a strong middle-class attitude and some of the faults of the middle class are that they idolize achievement, education, and conformity to the point where they shun and sometimes persecute those who don’t. The teacher went around checking everyone’s book cover. The female classmate saw I didn’t have one, so after she was checked, she handed her neoprene book cover to me and I quickly covered mine but was still caught. Even though she is a devout catholic, she was following the command to “bear each other’s burdens” (see Galatians 6:2.)

From the church I was attending, I had learned of the shortcomings of catholicism but my heart was sadly not yet ready to accept it, knowing that, despite this chemistry teacher, there were some kind-hearted teachers at my high school, that genuinely cared about me and I had many friends and to learn that they were potentially hell-bound had ripped my heart to shreds. From learning this, I quit going to that Assembly of God church and went straight back into catholicism, which was the most foolish mistake I had ever made. The only defense I could claim is that I felt the same way that the Apostle Paul felt when he penned Romans 9:3, but I went about it completely wrong.

God could have let me fall away because of this, but instead, He dealt with me albeit harshly at times.

For years, like over a decade, I had lost my fellowship with Him.

Still He never truly left me nor forsook me, but He did allow me to go through some severe chastening.

Hebrews 12:11 says, “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

Furthermore, Verses 6 and 7 say, “For whom the Lord loves, He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.”

The Lord did severely chasten me indeed so much as to allow me to marry my first wife, who mistreated me every step of the way. However He also used that first wife to get me away from catholicism for good and as much as that marriage was unpleasant, it got me away from catholicism and possibly, if possible, losing my salvation.

At the age of 21, I started moving back to God, although I wouldn’t truly be back in fellowship with God until maybe the age of 33. I divorced my now ex-wife at the age of 31 going on 32.

All I can say is that God was tremendously merciful and faithful to me in that situation.

At the age of 34, my pastor told me that The Holy Ghost revealed to him that I need to be Baptized in The Holy Ghost. This is apart from water Baptism. I immediately began to pray for this. God told me that I would be Baptized in The Holy Ghost on the 34th anniversary of my being baptized into the catholic church. I accepted what He said, but was surprised. However, on March 29, 2021 (which is indeed the 34th anniversary) I was at a prayer meeting and I went down and asked to be Holy Ghost Baptized. Later that evening, I was speaking in tongues. The Bible doesn’t specifically say it, but I sometimes think God has a sense of humor.

At age 35 I married my current and pray forever wife. I love this lady and I want her until death. I find myself frequently thanking God for her and praying for my marriage.

Now, that was a brief testimony but I only used it for teaching, because this piece is about how to be right with a Holy God when one is a depraved lost sinner.

I think I have made it quite clear that roman catholicism is not the way.

Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. None one gets to the Father (God Almighty) but through Him!  He even said so in John 14:6.

Please choose Jesus and not a religion…

Back to “Matters of Faith”


Is Target Discriminating Against Men?

Almost three years ago, I had written a piece describing what types of EDC items a gentleman may carry that could be purchased at Target.

In that piece I had briefly mentioned how Target is selling less and less items geared towards men and how I didn’t want to further elaborate because I basically did not want to stir any controversy.

I now think Target has taken it too far and deliberately does not want to cater towards men or at least rugged manly men.

By the way, I will be the first to admit that in me there is a battle between a rugged, prepared, dynamic man and a soft, urbane and weak man. My disabilities bring out both of these men even though one would think that the disabilities would only bring out the latter.

My local Target and several other Targets of which I frequent seem to be low key discriminating against men, by selling less and less of what men would shop for.

When I was in my late teens, Target sold some really nice flashlights, decent multi tools as in Gerber, real Swiss Army Knives in fact Target was the first place I saw a Swiss Army Knife in real life for the first time almost twenty years ago, and just good outdoor gear in general. Fast forward to 2022, Target sells flashlights that would only be useful in a dmoestic setting although the said retailer carries one or two kinds of flashlights that could be labelled as “tactical” but I question whether they would hold up in a truly tactical situation. Target also no longer sells multi tools or Swiss Army Knives

Might I also add that my local Target used to have a food court that sold some fairly decent hot dogs, popcorn, chicken tenders and other on par foods but sadly this food court was converted into a Starbucks. The thing is, though, there is another Starbucks not even a block away from this Target. I think most men would prefer a hot dog instead of a latte` that they could enjoy while their wives or girlfriends shop.

By the way, I think I should try opening a coffee shop that would cater to men. We could have black coffee severe with sugar, heavy cream both or neither. We could have fried eggs. We could have V8 Juice. We could have toast. And maybe bacon and sausage. And if anyone is wondering how I take my coffee, I will tell you: five eights of my cup with strong black coffee and chicory if available and the remaining three eighths with heavy cream, in my younger years I would have taken sugar, but now I think that sugar masks the true flavor of the coffee. And if it is cold enough, I will take it hot and black, just to warm me up and get me going on a cold morning. Recently I have also been drinking English and Irish breakfast teas as well.

I’m a little off on a tangent, but I think Target is discriminating against manly men because of what wicked people in high places are trying to label manliness as toxic masulinity. At least that is what I think is going on and maybe I am being a little paranoid. And just for the record, if I can be proven incorrect, I will happily recant these positions that which I hold.

I will admit that there is such a thing as toxic masulinity and if left unchecked, it can do great damage at all levels and even ruin society at the core. But let’s not discriminate against gentlemen and those who enjoy things that are historically labled as “manly.”

So, no, I do not believe men should be jerks, especially towards those of the opposite sex, but I believe they can still be gentleman and retain just about all of their masculinity.

I strive to be a gentleman and I believe my wife would call me a good man as would my pastor.

I’m not trying to be macho or anything like that, but I still am a man and I would appreciate it if Target would sell products that I like-I don’t think that is too much to ask.

Target used to be a wonderful place for both men and women to shop and let me just say that my wife and I shop at Target quite frequently.

My EDC backpack was initially purchased at Target as was my wallet (both SwissGear) and I will continue to purchase these at Target because I am partial to the brand SwissGear and Target is the only retailer that sells SwissGear products locally. It would be nice if Target sold more SwissGear products, but I do not like the road they are headed on and I wish things would change.

It seems as if Target is acting more like something out of modern California than Minnesota in the 1960s and I wish this could be reversed.

I will admit that the electronics section at Target is still decent and yes I am somewhat of an electronics nerd, anyone who reads this blog at length will realize that. It would be nice if Target could sell some scanners, desktop computers, weather radios and Android tablets. It wouldn’t hurt to have a wider selection of calculators as well.

I notice that they don’t sell too many electronics that work off grid and maybe because preparedness is frowned upon by those same wicked people in high places or maybe I am again being paranoid.

It was draining to write this piece, but I believe it needed to be said, because I do not like the way things are going and me pointing out what is going on at Target.

If you, the reader, are reading this then that means it has my wife’s approval.

Thank you for taking the time to read this piece.

I hope God intervenes on behalf of humanity, but still I know that this world must come to an end, but I pray that in the mean time, He still richly blesses you.

Back to “Articles I Have Written”

Early Morning Thoughts

So, I am not diabetic.

Not yet, anyway.

My blood work that was done on May 25, 2020, told me so.

The Hemoglobin A1C numbers do not lie.

That means, at least for now, I can still consume energy-dense and highly palatable food and drink.

But I am careful about it, just for the record. I don’t want to abuse this grace that has been so liberally imparted to me.

At some point before this post, I had written about An Awesome Junk Food Combination, that I used to frequently partake in.

It was a Mister Goodbar and a Starbucks Vanilla Frappuccino in a glass bottle.

I would frequent a certain truck stop not too far from my residence just to buy this treat and I would make an outing out of it.

Well, I can still drink almost any sort of coffee I want.

I’m not one to drink Starbucks on the regular.

I much prefer Cafe` Du Monde Coffee and Chickory with Half ‘N’ Half and no sugar.

I’ll also settle for the Clover Valley Doughnut Shop Blend in a similar configuration.

Clover Valley is the in house food products brand for The Ruble, I mean, The Dollar General, for those of you who didn’t know.

So, while I may have had lunch at Starbucks a time or two in my early twenties when I was working, I probably wouldn’t be caught dead in a Starbucks at this point in my life.

The only time I now consume a Starbucks product is the Frappucinos sold in individual glass bottles at trucks stops.

And since I cannot pair it with a Mister Goodbar anymore, I don’t drink Starbucks at all.

I did, however, find a new candy bar, that I can enjoy.

Meet Nestle` Crunch!

It is a little similar to a Mister Goodbar except it is made with Nestle` Chocolate (and I am a huge fan of anything Swiss) as opposed to Hershey’s Chocolate and instead of having peanuts suspended in the chocolate bar, it’s puffed up rice particles suspended in chocolate.

Since I’ve been living alone, my love affair with rice has abounded.

I find myself buying and eating a lot of rice because it goes well with so many entrees.

There’s even a meal originating from East Houma where one takes fried fish, white rice and ketchup and eats them all together. Believe it or not, this seemingly odd combination is quite tasty.

I’m not from East Houma, nor have I ever established residence there, at least not as of writing this piece, but I have a definite appreciation for that side of town.

I could go on to compare Houma to New Orleans and point out the numerous striking similarities. I’ve realized this, by the way, since about April of 2018 and I know I would get a lot of laughs but I would probably also offend quite a lot of people, so I probably won’t write it publically for the foreseeable future. I have told it via text messaging or verbally to friends and neighbors and I indeed got a lot of laughs.

All right, let’s focus on the task at hand. I’m all over the place right now. I hope you, the reader, are amused!

What is the task at hand, though? There’s a lot on my mind at the moment!

So, since I am allergic to peanuts now, albeit only slightly, but enough to cause discomfort, much to my displeasure I, therefore, quit eating all peanuts. But, I can still have all the rice I want.

I guess it would then make sense that I enjoy Nestle` Crunch so much.

So my new favorite candy bar is Nestle` Crunch. I have been eating it now and then since early childhood, but as of recently, I find myself purchasing a bar or two every time I go make groceries.

By the way, making groceries is an outing for me and has been since about the age of twenty-five. Making groceries as a divorcee is more peaceful and fun than doing so as a henpecked husband

And if you, the reader, are wondering what do I mean when I use the phrase “making groceries”, it simply means grocery shopping. It’s a saying from the New Orleans English dialect known affectionately as “Y’at.” Some of my characters, especially in my Post Modern stories, frequently use this phrase as well.

And if I am going to be away from home, for any time I stock up on a few bars and store them in my EDC backpack, either as comfort food, a quick energy boost while not home or just so my evening medication can be better absorbed. I am currently looking for a sweetened milk and coffee based drink to pair with it. Might I add that I am open to suggestions!

Speaking of all this, I have yet to figure out whether or not chocolate and/or coffee enhances my writing potential as Wild Cherry Pepsi does.

Since I have absolutely no commitments other than going to church on Sunday and Wednesday and of course, my blog, I am trying to spend more time hanging out at the Houma City Docks and watching barge traffic. I feel so happy when I am at the docks. It’s peaceful. The people there are friendly. I have my scanner tuned to all the VHF Marine Channels so I can be informed as to when a vessel will come by and what direction is it coming from. And it sure is interesting to see all that travels by water and where it all comes from. It’s truly good clean fun and it is a pretty cheap hobby. And while I am engaged in it, I get all caught up in the moment and usually get some inspiration to write that is on par with a trip to New Orleans. Did I not say Houma was like New Orleans? My comparisons are both flattering and pejorative. By the way, I was hanging out at the docks several hours ago and just look at how it has caused me to write three pieces in just a short amount of time. Might I add that I hadn’t contributed to this blog for a couple of weeks? I hope all of my followers can forgive me and bear with me. My inspiration waxes and wanes, but I’m learning that during times of little or no inspiration, I must needs to make or at least find inspiration.

By the way, I was initially interested in watching trains, until I had a dream in October of 2015, that caused me to realize marine traffic. Not only that, but the days of railroad communications being in the clear are also severely numbered, whereas marine communications will be in the clear for decades to come. Watching barge traffic is almost as fun as watching trains and in some ways, it is even more rewarding and less risky, on every level.

I wish I could go on amusing you, the reader, with my thoughts, but my back is starting to hurt.

Who would have thought that a simple fall on some wet stairs six years ago would do so much damage to my back?

I thank God though, that my back injury isn’t nearly as bad as it could be.

All in all, I hope this post has been worth the read and I thank you for sticking with it until the end.

Hopefully, I can live up to my personal standard of posting new material at least a few times a week from now on.

This, therefore, concludes my piece, for now.

Have a blessed day!

Back to “Personal Reflections”

Ideas for Dating on a Budget

Valentine’s Day came and went and I had no one. However, I have had significant others in the past and I derived some of these ideas from previous relationships.

I also was suffering a considerable amount of writer’s block, for over a week, but now it appears to have left me.

Therefore, I’ve been inspired to write a piece about Ideas for Dating on a Budget.

Being disabled and living on a pension gives me a sharp edge of expertise on this very subject and I hope it will give inspiration and be a source of hope and happiness to all who are struggling financially.

This piece will contain a list of ideas for you to have fun while getting to know someone of your romantic interest and yet not draining your bank account or tying up too much of your credit line.

I will say that if someone only wants you for just your money and not your heart, then try to make yourself a better person, which ultimately can only be done through The Blood of Christ. All that money can be taken away quickly but it is very difficult to ruin a good heart!

If you are seeing someone and that person likes you because of your heart, then congratulations, this piece will be of great benefit.

I will say that if more people were attracted to hearts instead of finances, social statuses and even to some degree appearances, then this wretched world would be far less wretched!

Here are a few of my ideas:

For any given weeknight or a Sunday night watch and discuss the late local news together. This will give you and your partner a chance to know each others’ position on a number of issues and concern and it may help you or your partner form a position and be better informed in general. While doing so, both of you can eat a Hunt’s Snack Pack pudding of your choice. I mean a pack of four cups usually sells for ~$1+tax or just $1 if on SNAP. I know I frequently poke fun at The Ruble, I mean, The Dollar General, but this is a wonderful place to stock up on the aforementioned pudding and other similar snacks such as Vanilla Wafers (which go great with pudding) or Chips and Salsa. Since it is local news, there is no need for cable subscription although you will need a digital-ready television or a converter box for that older television set. You will also need a decent antenna. You can usually get a good enough and sometimes even a digital-ready television set for under $10 at Good Will and a wall-mounted indoor antenna can be had at again, The Dollar General or even cheaper on eBay.

For a Saturday lunch, let me caution you that this has a little bit of prep work, but: Go to Wal Mart and buy a loaf of Great Value sliced white bread an eight-piece fried chicken meal, the condiment of your choice, though I highly recommend Sandwich Spread and a small jar of pickles. Invest in a decent thermal mug for you and your significant other, if you are careful you can get each one at Five Below, but make sure it isn’t lacking any parts before buying. Also, buy the 2 Liter Sam’s Choice Soft Drink of yours or your significant others’ fancy. You can get the disposable utensils for free from the deli in larger Wal Marts. Then walk or drive to your nearest park, find a picnic table or spread out a blanket in a nice place to sit. Debone the chicken thoroughly and I mean make durn sure all the bones are out! Place it on two slices of bread, add the pickles and spread the condiment with the utensils you picked up from the deli. Then pour your soft drinks into a thermal mug and voila, you have several chicken sandwiches and drinks. Minus the thermal mugs this meal can be had for under $10! Sit and eat together then maybe cuddle on the blanket and look up at the sky while talking! If there are children nearby, some parents might get angry at public displays of affection, so just be mindful.

If there is a Circle K near you and it has a place to sit, another thrifty date idea would be to each get a microwaveable sandwich or biscuit or burrito which starts at $1.99+tax. The Jalapeno Cheeseburgers sold there are one of my favorites. But here’s the best part a Polar Pop Fountain drink of any size and some sizes are close to a Liter only costs 79 Cents+tax! Some Circle K stores have a dining counter and some have a picnic table outside and they are usually open around the clock. This is especially great if you and your bae are out late at night and hungry or thirsty. Be a little careful with public displays of affection while there because some of the workers may think it’s sweet, but others might be irritated by it.

For weekday mornings if both of you are available, an excellent idea is to go thrifting. Some of these thrift stores sell an article of clothing for 25 Cents! Yes, you read that right! You and your bae could potentially get an entire wardrobe for next to nothing! And while you and your bae are at it, choose clothes that make you highly attracted to each other, but as a Christian, I must add, please keep it modest. There are also some useful household and entertainment items that can be had sometimes for about 5%-10% of what they cost brand new at retail price. Many times these items are still in mint condition. And if thrifting in and of itself isn’t incentivized enough for you, just know that many times your money pays workers who are disabled and gives them a purpose!

For a stormy day, a decent idea would be to stay at one of your places and read together. Guys’ you should drive to your lady’s place instead of having her drive and put her in danger. You and your bae could even cuddle while reading. And I would be even more thrilled if you and your bae decided to read some of the stories I have written, but be cautious some of my fiction work can put the readers in the mood for intimacy, and as a Christian, I must state clearly that intimacy should only occur within wedlock. With that being said, I know very well that we are in a wretched fallen world and many times the flesh’s desires overpower the spirit’s desires. However, if intimacy occurs out of wedlock, the wedlock ought to follow!

For a Friday night date or a payday evening date first, take your bae to either Wendy’s or Taco Bell. There are several cheap and delicious meal deals that can be had here. If your bae likes Pepsi, Taco Bell. If your bae likes Coke, Wendy’s. Might I add there are some awesome Creme Sodas at Wendy’s! Although after eating at the establishments you and your bae might be embarrassed to be around each other. That’s why both of you go shopping immediately afterward, maybe get each other something small but nice and personable at Target or Wal Mart or even Academy. And while shopping for gifts for your bae, make use of the restroom facilities to purge all of that unpleasantness. If the night is still young then maybe go out for a drive and spend a few hours talking or listening to music or both!

This would be a great daytime outing any day of the week if you and your bae are near a navigable waterway: both of you could go for a walk along that said waterway and watch boats and barges pass by. Now I myself would love to have my scanner on and listen so I know when a vessel would be coming. However, the language that the maritime workers use over the radio even though they are legally not supposed to is filthy and highly offensive. So I would not turn my scanner on in that situation. Any young lady whom I would date, I would have a vast amount of reverence for her and therefore I would certainly not use filthy language in her presence nor would I want to expose her to it, but that is just me. I don’t curse in the presence of ladies, period no ifs ands or buts. The only times I find myself slipping up with bad language is if I am by myself or around worldly men. However, I noticed that even some worldly men clean up their language when talking to me! Anyway, this would be a cheap form of exercise and entertainment. There are usually parks or at least walking paths near most waterways.

And that’s all I can think of at the moment, but if others come to mind I will update this piece.

Furthermore, if you and your bae ever get married and/or if your financial situation ever improves, still do these every at least now and then. Not only will it be a budget-friendly getaway but it will also bring back very fond and pleasant memories!

These are very good ideas and if anyone were to turn his or her nose up to all of them, then they aren’t worth dating.

However, if someone would jump at the opportunity to spend time with you, these are very good ideas and you need to marry that person anyway!

That’s all I have. I hope you, the reader, have been well informed.

Thank you for reading. And yes, my writer’s block is gone for now!

Praise God!

Back to “Articles I have Written”

Hope for the Terminally Ill

This message is from a bondservant of Jesus Christ. You may be a family member or friend or spouse of a terminally ill person. If you are I state a warning: Do not hinder the work of enlarging God’s kingdom. If you know someone in such a wretched condition, give or read this to him or her immediately. Time may be wearing thin. Again I say Do not hinder the work of adding to God’s kingdom. You too can greatly benefit from the words this message gives.

You must know by now that you may be staring at death in the face. I cannot imagine the fear that could consume you. I worry about you, a lot. My biggest fear is where will you spend eternity? What you do with the message contained here can affect your eternal position.

What if I were to tell you that though you die, you do not have to go to hell? It is true, you do not have to go to hell. What is equally important is that you cannot earn your way into Heaven by being good or refraining from pleasure. You cannot earn your way into heaven at all, despite what many teach. Now maybe you know this already or not, but I just want to make sure you do.

God loves you. God does not want you to go to hell. The Bible says in Ezekiel 33:11 that God takes no pleasure in the death of a wicked person.   And yes we are all wicked, just some are forgiven. The Bible further says in Romans 3:10 that no human being is good, no not one. There may be people in your life who try to discredit the bible. I can explain that by saying that they are lost and perishing because the Bible itself says in First Corinthians 1:18 that the Gospel is foolishness to those who are perishing. Do not listen to them. Though they might have good intentions; they are ignorant.

God cannot stand sin. His holiness commands and demands that He be separated from it for eternity. satan, in the form of an evil serpent, tempted Adam and Eve to fall into sin. They rebelled against God and were given the curse of sin on them. So have all of their offspring. This is why we die. The Bible says in Romans 6:23 “for the wages of sin is death.” Immediately after, though it says “but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus, our Lord.” Still, there needs to be a sacrifice, or punishment, for all the sins that were ever committed. Every human must be killed in order for the payment of sin to be met. The payment also consists of burning in hell for eternity. God, loves humanity, we are made in His image and likeness and He does not want that to happen. But, there still needs to be a payment on behalf of humanity. God sent His Son Jesus Christ to deal with the sins of humanity. The Bible clearly says in John 3:16 that “God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten son, that whosoever believe in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Jesus became one of us. He died an agonizing death on the cross, by His own will, because He loves us that much. But He could not die, even from all the injuries until God the Father placed the sins of the world on Him. Then He died. This was the punishment for all of mankind placed on Jesus Christ. He went into hell for us. What would have taken us an eternity to pay for took Jesus only three days. He also rescued the Old Testament Saints from paradise and brought them to Heaven. Paradise is a part of hell that is empty now. It was for those who lived righteous lives and sought after God before Christ came into the world. No human being entered Heaven until Jesus rose from the dead. Now however the gates of Heaven will open to anyone who accepts Christ.

What I want to say is that, though there is a law, a very stringent law that everyone is upheld to; no one can fulfill it. No human being can live completely conformed to God’s law. No one will ever reach those standards. No one ever has. This is where the Bible may sound like it contradicts itself. One example stands out in my mind, and maybe sticks out in the minds of your family members:

In the story of the rich young ruler which appears three times in the Bible (Matthew 19:16–30, Mark 10:17–31 and Luke 18:18–30.) A young man asks Jesus how he might obtain eternal life. Jesus answers him to keep the commandments. The young man insists that he had done that since youth. Jesus tells him to sell everything he owns, give the money to the poor and follow Him.

Now, what Jesus actually meant by this (and if you get saved, the Holy Ghost will teach you) is no human being can earn his way into Heaven, no matter how hard he tries. Jesus was telling the young man that though he thought he obeyed the law, he wasn’t honest with Jesus and therefore still in sin and couldn’t save himself as he thought he could.

This is the real way to be saved and go to Heaven:

First, you must realize that you are a sinner that has offended a Holy God and therefore destined for an eternity in hell.
God loves you and wants to spare you that. In fact, God wants you to live with Him for eternity in Heaven.

The debt for sin must still be paid.

So; Jesus lovingly and faithfully dealt with that once and for all on the cross. He paid it all. There is no need for purgatory.

To be saved you must believe what I am trying to present to you. But not because I have said it but because the Bible says it and God will tell you it as well.

Then you must fervently and sincerely invite Jesus Christ into your life and save you. All you have to do is ask. Ask Him in your own words. Talk to him as if you would talk to a dear friend. Jesus greatly desires for you to be His dearest friend. God passionately wants to adopt you as His child, so ask Him to. And The Holy Ghost strongly desires to dwell within you. You will be the next of kin to Jesus Christ and will inherit the Kingdom. All you must do is believe what is presented here and ask God for it.

After you have done all of this, stay in a loving relationship with Jesus Christ. He will never leave you nor forsake you Deuteronomy 31:6.

What is also important is to repent of your sins. I do not know how much sin in your life, but ask God to search your heart. Ask the Holy Ghost to convict you of any sins. When he convicts you, humbly ask for forgiveness and pray for the grace to be able to repent.

Religion has profited no one, ever. True Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship with Jesus Christ.

If you wish, you may be baptized by immersion in water. This would only be to publicly announce that you have been saved. Baptism in and of itself will never save you nor will it wash away your sins. Also, share this with others if you have indeed believed.

Please deeply and thoughtfully consider this message.

If you know someone who is terminally ill, then make it your utmost business to deliver this to him or her. If you deliberately keep this from that person; you will have much to answer to God for.

…Jesus loves you…

About Fornication

So, yes, I am a Christian.

I also am a writer and plenty of my stories contain pre-marital sex.

Other Christians sometimes have moral objections to that and I have been confronted at least a few times.

I will also say that The Holy Ghost got a hold of me and convicted the daylights out of me.

Therefore, I try not to publicly display these offending stories anymore, unless I think I can teach a good enough lesson with such a story.

I know the Bible condemns and prohibits fornication at least to a degree.

But I also know that fornication is and always was prevalent throughout the ages of humanity. Maybe it was frowned upon more during certain periods the American 1950s or the Victorian Era but I am well aware that it still happened, even during those very prudish times. The difference was that it was kept quiet and made shameful not a normal thing like it is today. I do indeed believe that waiting for marriage to have sexual relations is a very reverent, pure and godly idea and I wish I would have. I just wanted to be loved and to make sure I would be loved I gave in to my then girlfriend’s now ex wife’s desire.

I do not believe in having multiple sex partners and I do indeed condemn that behavior. Such a lifestyle always seemed so empty to me. I know this belief of mine will make me unpopular with some, maybe many, but I also know that we all sin and that promiscuous people can take their judgment to the Foot of the Cross and be totally forgiven. Forgiveness is available to all who believe and repent.

There is one verse in scripture that doesn’t necessarily approve of fornication, but gives a remedy: marriage! Paul writes to the church at Corinth in First Corinthians Chapter 7 Verse 9 “But if they cannot contain themselves, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”

What I get from that is if you and your partner are going to bed with each other, you durn well better get married. Also before you lie down with someone make sure you love him or her and that their feelings are mutual. I do not know the exact formula for proving that, because every situation is different.

So, I know that plenty (most) of the stories I have written from 2007 until very late 2019 have characters that fornicate. I also will make durn sure well that these characters stay monogamously committed to each other and eventually get married. That is one thing I can virtually control.

Just because I write such stories does not mean I approve of fornication. Most of it is me being inspired by what I observe happening in Post Modern society. However I will not judge or condemn it either, because it has always happened and unfortunately is a significant part of the fallen human flesh. Flesh is rebellious towards God and His laws. But that is why Jesus went to the cross-to purchase forgiveness for all Born Again Believers. This offer stands to all humanity, but will only be given to those who repent and believe.

However, one should make the utmost effort to not sin. As for fornication and not sinning, I believe and I am convicted that if a couple truly loves each other and is willing to commit, then they should get married as soon as possible. This is the best way to repent of that sin.

What is horribly wrong in my honest opinion is people (or one person) who fornicate out of lust (just pure lust) and not love. This is a very selfish act and will do plenty of spiritual, physical and emotional damage to at least one party immediately and eventually both parties. I believe that at least committed, genuine and honest love, preferably within the confines of wedlock, must needs be a prerequisite to any sexual act.

Anyway, that is the conviction of my heart. It is also my explanation of why my characters in the past sometimes fornicated.

One of these days, I will write about cohabitation…

Works Salvation is a Damnable Heresy

I am a bondservant of the Lord Jesus Christ and this was written to a family member but never got delivered. The family member has since passed on, so I modified it to fit a more general audience.

As many people, unfortunately, tend to believe: being good is the way to get into Heaven. That is not true. That has to be the most damnable heresy in existence! The only way to get into Heaven is to acknowledge that you are a sinner that has offended The Holy God and that you deserve eternal punishment. BUT, then, equally, acknowledge what Jesus did for you at Calvary, and trust Him as your personal Lord and Savior and therefore enter into a personal relationship with Him. And know this truth: When Jesus died for you, He paid for the sins you have already committed and ever will commit, in full. The instant you accept and believe, this truth you will be saved and should be filled with comfort and assurance of your salvation. Now; this is where the doing good part comes in: When you are truly saved and know you are going to Heaven you should want to do good out of love for God and the desire to do His will. You will be motivated to do right out of love for God and not fear! As I have been told, “Good works are the fruit of salvation and not the root of salvation.”

Many organizations will try to discredit this clear and plain truth. Some of these organizations claim to be Christian, but they are simply not. They are liars.

I have Biblical evidence to back up what I am teaching is true. Let me state now that what the Bible says is the ultimate authority for any matter of the human condition. There are some organizations that will claim that the Bible is not sufficient enough. They are lying through their teeth. The Bible is the Word of God. Jesus is the Word of God Incarnate, read the first chapter of John’s gospel. If the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are the same; one will not go against the other. Therefore, if these organizations truly had the Holy Ghost; he would be promoting the Bible and not their own authority or traditions! Of course in order for Scripture to make sense to the reader anyway, one needs to be a Born Again believer enlightened by The Holy Ghost! The Bible will make absolutely no sense to a stiff-necked heathen! Maybe that is why these institutions try to discredit the Bible so much?!…

Speaking of The Bible, it warned of organizations like these: 1 Timothy 4:1-3 warns of a false religious system coming into existence: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, [and commanding] to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.” This was written by Paul to the young pastor Timothy in the First Century A.D. It was warning of the organized religious systems that appeared since and have successfully gotten their adherents away from The Bible and into false religion.

Some of these systems emphasis on tradition and make it equal to or greater than Scripture. As far as traditions are concerned Jesus warns against it in Mark 7:7-8 “Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, [as] the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.”

If you are not willing to accept the fact of the Bible as the ultimate and sufficient authority then this letter will not help you. Please don’t let that happen. Believe what I am writing to you and realize the truth. I have some scripture that will back up the fact of good works will not save you.

Works Salvation is, as I’ve said before, the most damnable heresy there is!

Doing good WILL NOT get you or me or anyone else into Heaven!

Saving Faith in Jesus is the only way to get you into Heaven!

The Bible clearly states this “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” -Ephesians 2:8-9

Mankind is truly depraved. If we were able to save ourselves and go into Heaven like that; I could truly see everyone bragging about what they did. However, no matter how much mankind tries; he cannot save himself. Jesus paid that price. Believe and accept that!

Look at it this way: God is a good God, there is no doubt. God is a loving God, there is no doubt. God wants mankind to live with Him forever and always has. This is why He sacrificed His own Son to make sure every human being would have that opportunity to live in fellowship with Him. If we had to earn our way into Heaven either on our own, be it completely or partially, we would never make it. Remember God is a good and loving God. God is so good that He would not let any believer’s salvation to chance being ruined. This is why He paid the full price. He makes sure that EVERY believer gets to Heaven and lives with Him forever no matter what! Would God pay the full price at such a tremendous cost but then let us do the rest, with the chance that we would fail? Perish the thought! The only way I could see a true believer losing his or her salvation would be if they flat out rejected it themselves. But even then God would go to extreme lengths to gather that person back in!

With all this in my remember that even Born Again Believers are still in the flesh, at least on this side of Glory. The flesh is rebellious towards God and even if you are saved you will still sin and slip up.

However; the Holy Ghost will convict and guide any truly Born Again Believer.

If you know the truth of being born again; teach it to everyone that is willing to hear!

Let’s try to repair some of the damage that works salvation has done!

I will thus conclude this with one final reference to Scripture:
Isaiah 45:22: “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.”

Why would I EDC a Weather Radio?

I get different reactions when I show off the items I EDC.

While, like most, I usually carry a tactical flashlight and some sort of metal tool or knife along with my keys, wallet, smartphone, and a wristwatch. My psychiatrist refuses to clear me for a concealed weapon carrying permit, but one day I might open carry my Ruger LCP. Without getting too political, I am absolutely 100% opposed to any and all forms of gun control!

As a Christian, I also carry a copy of God’s Holy Word, namely, the Bible. For doing so I get kudos from fellow believers and mockery or even hostility from worldly or lost people, but that is totally expected.

I frequently carry a scanner radio, but no one really bats an eye about that. In public, I am frequently mistook for a firefighter when I carry it.

There are two items I carry that frequently raise questions from others in the EDC community.

One item is a calculator which I can easily explain and most will accept the answer. After all, I’ve been fascinated by calculators almost as long as I have been fascinated by flashlights and that is since infancy. As a high school math teacher, my Mom EDCs a calculator or two for work, though in reality, she eschews them. However, she is the reason why I became fascinated by calculators. My Dad was a banking executive when I was born and I don’t know if he ever carried a calculator or not, because he was laid off from the bank a few months after my birth. He then switched careers and eventually became a special education teacher. Even though my Dad was a sporting goods salesman for a couple years during the career change, he isn’t into EDC at all. His Dad, my Paw Paw, was into EDC at least to some degree, although he only owned extremely budget-friendly items. My Maw Maw also carried a flashlight in her purse for as long as I knew her, until she became a shut in and passed on December 28, 2019. At one point I’m almost sure she had an old school Pelican MityLite 1900! There were always calculators around though while I was growing up and I had been carrying one on and off since the age of eight. So, even though I am fascinated by calculators, when asked why I carry them, I can quickly justify and have done so.

Another item that I continuously EDC is a pocket-sized weather radio. While no one has directly questioned my motives as to why I do so, I’m sure I at least get eye rolls when I post pictures of mine or pull it out and listen.

In this piece, I am going to give a testimony on why I personally carry a weather radio and while I don’t expect you, the reader, to follow suit, maybe my reasons for doing so will be better understood.

Let’s go back to the Summer of 1990. I was three and a half and my brother and sister were a few months old. My Mom was off from teaching school, but my Dad was at work, working as a sporting goods salesman. There had been some storms going on all day. My Mom had baked home-made biscuits earlier in the day. It’s something, I can fry chicken almost identical to Colonel Sanders Original Recipe and my Mom can bake biscuits almost identical to Popeye’s Buttermilk Biscuits. I taught myself how to fry chicken that way, mostly through trial and error but also by God’s Grace. However, my Mom got her biscuit recipe from an old Catholic monk. The storms had gotten progressively worse during the day, then our electricity was disrupted. At some point, it became dark as night though it was only midday. My Mom gathered us into the center of the house and we sat there by the light of an Eveready Commander 6 Volt Lantern. The model number was 5122.

Though I was always afraid of the weather, I don’t remember being too frightened. I think it was because I was holding a flashlight and even back then I was fascinated by flashlights. I stood in the hall eating a biscuit.

We had no idea if there was actually a tornado present because we had no weather radio.

There was a Sears transistorized AM/FM radio that was put away, but I guess my Mom was probably more focused on getting all of us to safety rather than looking for that radio.

Even if my Mom would have been able to locate that transistor radio, the battery could have very well been dead. There was no way of us to know when the Tornado Warning, if any, had expired.

At some point, the sky lightened up and the electricity came back on and I guess we took this as the all-clear.

Looking back, this probably had an impact on me and is most likely was caused me to have a compelling desire to be accurately informed.

As I am writing this, I am reminded that back in the day, weather radios were somewhat of a status symbol, associated only with the affluent. I mean they were heavily marketed to golfers, of which playing golf during a thunderstorm is quite risky, so a golfer would desperately need one. I wonder if Donald Trump ever carried a weather radio in his younger days whilst playing golf. To further back up my claim that weather radios once were and maybe still are a status symbol now, at least to some degree is that, I’ve only seen upper-middle-class and wealthy people in possession of one. I’ve never once seen anyone from the lower socio-economic positions to ever be in possession of a weather radio. I have even read an article or two about how the white upper class are almost the only ones who purchase weather radios and that poorer whites, as well as most minorities, don’t even bother purchasing one.

While at the time, my family was lower middle class and stayed there until between 1997 and 2000. Now they are almost upper-middle class.

I didn’t know there was such a device as a weather radio until the summer of 1997 when I was reading some hurricane preparedness literature.

I wouldn’t actually own a weather radio of my own until late December 2001. It was an Oregon Scientific WR-8000. Unfortunately, it killed on me in less than two years, but I did EDC it when I could.

I myself as an individual would be considered impoverished by most standards.

Yes, I’ll admit that fully.

The only reason I am able to afford a weather radio (and I do own several) is that I either purchase them on clearance as new old stock, a friend gives one to me or I buy one in gently used condition for a fraction of the cost.

Between December of 2001 and April of 2015, I had gone through a few portable weather radios, many of which killed on me, unfortunately.

I guess it is poor quality control because I did not abuse these radios by any means.

Since the Spring of 2006, I had wanted a Midland HH50B, but it would be over nine more years before I would actually purchase one.

I had some desktop models that were on constant standby as well as a Radio Shack Weather Cube as a backup.

Then one day in late April of 2015, my area was experiencing some severe weather. This weather resulted in the one and only train derailment on the Huey Pierce Long Bridge near New Orleans. The said bridge was about eighty years old at the time.

My standby models had alerted me to a Tornado Watch in advance.

Then there were quite a few Severe Thunderstorm Warnings issued.

My then-wife, now ex-wife, as usual, was watching television.

However, I told her to get dressed in case we would need to move quickly.

The amazing thing is, she actually listened to me, though this was one of the very few times she did listen to me.

A few minutes later we received a Tornado Warning for our Parish.

The sky, though again around midday, became dark as night.

My apartment manager invited the second-floor tenants to her unit which was downstairs.

My now ex wife and I left with the clothes on our back, though I had a Mini Maglite LED in my pants pocket and I also had an Energizer Weatheready 6 Volt LED Lantern in my hand.

We made our way down the stairs and across the parking lot as lightning fiercely flashed.

The sky was still dark as night.

Several of us stood in the manager’s downstairs unit, anxiously waiting for the weather to pass.

Minutes crawled by, but, then, finally, conditions began improving.

The cell service was in and out that day, so none of us could rely on our phones, for weather data though at the time I didn’t even own a smartphone. I would though, a couple days later.

Several young women were wondering when the Tornado Warning would expire.

Eventually, I walked back up to my apartment and retrieved my Weather Cube, which while battery-powered, is still basically impossible to EDC.

I stood and listened to the weather report then when the Tornado Warning expired, I let everyone know and we all went back to our units and resumed our daily activities.

That day made me realize that I should own a weather radio that I could EDC in my backpack and even in my pocket if necessary.

I knew I was going to bite the bullet and soon purchase a Midland HH50B.

A little over a month later, I was able to score one brand new with batteries for ~$10 and free shipping. Thank God for eBay! I had been wanting one for years, so I gladly purchased it with my spending money.

At the time, I was also a new smartphone user and when my new weather radio came in, there was some literature enclosed in the packaging about downloading Midland Weather Center for Apple and Android devices.

I did just that and subsequently downloaded it on almost every smartphone I have owned since.

Granted this app is unfortunately no longer available on Google Play, but it can still be downloaded and installed on Android devices if you know what you are doing.

As for the Midland HH50B, I EDCed it from June of 2015 until December of 2017 when my then-wife now ex-wife broke it in a fit of anger.

However, I liked it so much that I quickly ordered a new one and it arrived on my doorstep a few days later.

I still EDC it in my backpack everywhere I go. And if I can’t have my backpack with me but I know I will be away from home or outdoors for any given time, I will have it in my right pants pocket next to my EDC flashlight.

It has come in handy numerous times either for stand by alerts for severe weather when I am not home or for sheltering in place during severe weather and monitoring the progress thereof.

The times it has been most handy is when I go on road trips and I am the passenger. I use it in conjunction with my Midland Weather Center app and use the weather intelligence gained to assist the driver in avoiding severe storms. I’ve even used it to confirm that there were no tornadoes nearby when my Dad called and thought there were. That was on January 20, 2017 and I was traveling with a friend between Shreveport and Dallas. A day later, though, while heading back home I used my weather radio to keep track of tornado near Nacitoches, Louisiana.

EDCing a weather radio has been very beneficial and never once detrimental, so I plan to do it indefinitely

I don’t know if these reasons will convince you, the reader, whether to also EDC a weather radio or not, but I hope this piece at least validates my reason to do so.

I guess this, therefore, concludes my piece and I hope you, the reader, have been informed and maybe even a little entertained.

Thank you for reading!

Back to “Articles I have Written”

A Synchronous Dream

This is a true story that begins with a dream in progress.  The actual dialogue may have been slightly altered, but other than that it is a true story.  It is about a synchronous dream I had in June of 2006 and it is told from my perspective.  This dream predates some of my more current writing styles and I assumed, at the time, it contained supernatural instructions.  My assumption was further validated when I found out this was indeed a synchronous dream!

Without further ado, here is the true story:

A global conflict has broken out and being an able-bodied nineteen-year-old, I have been drafted. I stand on the curb waiting for the bus to take me to the basic training camp, but there she is, the girl I’ve been conversing with, standing beneath the glow of the streetlamp.  She is dressed in olive green capri pants and a white tank top.  Her reddish-blonde hair flows down to her breasts in a single braid.

The bus is approaching and my best friend is urging me to get ready, but I can’t stop looking at her.

I approach her and she runs up to me. She jumps into my arms and I lift her up. She wraps her legs around me. We share a kiss. She feels so wonderful in my arms. The driver sounds his horn.

“I wish you didn’t have to go!”  She tells me in distress.

“Neither do I.  I’m a lover, not a fighter.”

“Just, please, write to me every day.”

“I will I promise!”

My best friend yells, “Forget about her and get on the bus. We need to fight in Vietnam like my dad did many years ago.  And this time, we’ll show those gooks that we mean business!”

I let her down gently and her eyes swell up with tears as we share one final kiss.

The bus driver announces over the PA, “Board now or you will be court-martialed.”

“Get on the bus [blank] damn it.” My best friend shouts.

Reluctantly, I board the bus…

Suddenly, I wake up.

It was all a dream.

I collect myself.

Thoughts are racing through my head:

“Is this a sign from God that I should enter in a relationship with this girl I’ve been talking to online?”

“I guess I really do have feelings for her after all.”

“But she wrapped her legs around me. In real life, I wouldn’t dare let her do that because I revere her so much.”

“Of course, I’ve never been in her physical presence, so I don’t know what I would allow happening. I know well that the flesh’s weakness is, unfortunately, greater than the soul’s willingness.”

I keep all these thoughts to myself for now.

I’m off today, so I go ride in my boat, then later, I visit my grandparents. I don’t tell them about her though.

When I arrive back home that night, I log into the family computer and begin to converse with the girl.

Over the course of our conversation, she randomly mentions, “I could feel you holding me last night!”

I am in shock and awe.

Apparently, we had a synchronous dream. My feelings for her are now beginning to multiply.

I feel dizzy and am in a euphoric confusion.

“I dreamed about you last night.” I finally reply, then explain the dream.

She too seems shocked, but happy.

We don’t talk much longer and then I go to sleep as I have work in the morning.

I’ll see if I can pull a double…