The Personal Crisis I Face whilst Listening to NPR

A recent personal conflict of mine is whether I should listen to NPR (National Public Radio) or not.

The local NPR stations that are available in my area are WWNO on 89.9 FM from The University of New Orleans and KTLN, its translator station on 90.5 FM which serves the Houma-Thibodaux Metro.

I do enjoy listening to that radio network because I find doing so enhances my vocabulary, therefore my writing. And not only that, I find it makes me more informed as an individual. It was through listening to NPR that I first discovered the Coronavirus back in January of 2020. I appreciate their science programs and some of their cultural programs as well.

Since my early thirties, I’ve also tried to be more civic-minded and involved in my community at all levels. NPR allows me to do this, at least at varying degrees.

NPR is very educational, entertaining, and informative. And best of all it is free. At the most, I have to pay for the radio receiver and the source of power. So it’s not free, but it is very cheap as opposed to other mediums of information and entertainment.

So, yes, listening to NPR does bring me a considerable deal of happiness and benefits.

…BUT…

I find some of their news reporting leads a little more to the left than they should. After all, NPR is supposed to serve the entire American public, not just certain factions.

Don’t get me wrong, throughout my thirty-four years on this planet (at the time I am writing this), I have been scattered across the political spectrum. Since the ages of thirty-two or thirty-three, though I would consider myself fiercely Moderate. All I’m going to say is that it was a combination of having disabilities, one of my romantic relationships, and just my strong sense of community in general that has made me more Moderate than I used to be. I espouse some Conservative values and I espouse some Liberal values as well. But there are a few Conservative values I eschew, likewise, there are some Liberal values I equally eschew. As I’ve stated before, I know, as a Christian that we live in a flawed, fallen, and imperfect world. There is no getting around it and there are certain judgments that God has placed in this world and humanity. What I have noticed in recent years is that Liberals try to completely remove God’s judgments while Conservatives try to exacerbate God’s judgments. Both of these tactics would be considered playing God in my book and they are both going to have to answer to Him for it.

Okay, so I think I have established my position on my Moderate political stance.

I’m not trying to just attack Liberals in this piece, but I will point out that NPR tends to be more Liberal than Conservative, especially in recent years. Ideally, NPR should not be Conservative, Moderate, or Liberal. NPR should be apolitical, especially because it is meant to serve all of America.

I find the said radio network was especially harsh on the recent Trump administration.

On a Wednesday evening in late January or early February 2020, I had finished listening to NPR for a sizeable portion of the day. They were consistently badmouthing the president at the time.

So, I walked to my church and was waiting for everyone else to arrive so we could have our Prayer Meeting and Bible Study.

At the time I was EDCing a compact Bible and its translation was The Christian Standard Bible.

I was reading that Bible and came across Proverbs Chapter 31 Verse 3, “Don’t spend your energy on women or your efforts on those who destroy kings.”

Immediately I felt the strong Conviction of The Holy Ghost come upon me for listening to NPR earlier that day.

Like most of the American media, NPR had an agenda to destroy the Trump administration.

Now when that scripture was written, the only types of heads of state were kings. Donald Trump was certainly not a king, but I can safely say that the Bible does not endorse destroying any other sort of world leader, no matter how unpopular. The 13th Chapter of Romans will back this belief of mine up, by the way.

Thus began my crisis over whether or not I should listen to NPR.

I know I am a Moderate and a Christian and most American Christians tend to be staunchly pro-Conservative and equally anti Liberal.

I think this is because conservatives tend to be more espoused to Biblical principles, protect religious freedom and they are also mostly Christian, whereas Liberals tend to be more humanist, are not in favor of all religious freedoms and some have been known to persecute Christians in diverse ways.

I’ve mentioned previously in lesser detail how a goal/fantasy of mine is to be married to a super-sized lady and living in a neighborhood that is gentrifying. We would spend our days reading or writing and listening to NPR, to be more informed and to provoke more creativity. Likely we would have a daughter who sings in the school choir. And we would be a civic-minded family in general. I still think of this as a goal and fantasy, but I’m more hesitant about it after I received Divine Conviction about listening to NPR. Also, I am quite single at the moment, but I would still definitely want to be married to a super-sized lady and eventually have children with her. God has shown me very certain attributes about my future spouse, by the way, and I know I just need to wait on Him to bring her into my life.

I’ve seen media sway the political minds of other family members of mine, on both sides of the spectrum.

NPR could even sway my mind if I still listened to it as much as I have in the past.

As a Christian, the only Liberal policies I can truly get behind are those that are meant to protect the vulnerable amongst us, but doing so without a hidden agenda!

By the way, I think I discovered NPR sometime in 2005 and I had listened to it at length for the first time in December of 2005. I had a pocket-sized radio and was sitting on the outside balcony of a public library. It was late afternoon and the skies were overcast. Still, the atmosphere was enough to be tremendously inspiring. And at the time I was on medication that crippled most of my emotions, yet I was still inspired. I don’t remember any of the content of what I had heard that day, but it was still powerful enough to lift my mood and make me more lively, despite all these artificial chemical restraints! I’m not sure what made me stop listening to NPR, but I wouldn’t listen to it again until the Summer of 2017 while doing laundry in the afternoon. During that Summer, I would frequently listen to NPR while sitting on the back porch of a friend. My then-wife-now-ex-wife would be inside watching television. It was a peaceful time in my otherwise stressful marriage. Usually, I would listen to the afternoon program, “All Things Considered.” By the way, she would get angry if I tried to listen to it on my car radio while she was riding with me. I would listen to NPR on the regular whenever I could. In May of 2018, I moved into my current residence, but it is difficult to catch my local NPR station because a nearby FM transmitter bleeds all over most of my radio dials. And even if I could catch it, this constant talk about Coronavirus and other unpleasant issues these days makes it very depressing and hard to listen to. It’s not like it was in 2017 and before!

All in all, I wish I could get in touch with someone who influenced NPR and tells him or her that maybe they would have more listeners if they tried to serve the entire American public instead of just pandering to liberals like the rest of the mainstream media. NPR is supposed to be of a higher caliber than that and therefore should at least try to do better. Imagine if they fairly and accurately reported the news and still did their educational pieces how much listenership they could gain! I won’t hold my breath though. It took Divine Conviction from The Holy Ghost to call me out on listening to NPR and therefore it will take Divine Intervention on a massive scale to make NPR better for everyone.

Until then I wish there was a comparable broadcasting service that was available on the scale that NPR is and truly served all of its listeners.

I guess this, therefore, concludes my piece on the crisis I face for listening to NPR.

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

May God richly bless you!

Back to “Personal Reflections”

My First Love

I was but four years old, the very first time I had fallen in love if one could call it that. This girl had the biggest impact on my life, more than probably anyone else with whom I crossed paths, aside from Jesus Christ.

Only those very close to me know this fact and many others assume, that my first love was a girl two years my junior whom I met in September of 1994 and lived up the street from me. I was with her from ages seven to nine.

The reality is, I met my first love some time early in 1991.

It was while attending a church nursery and/or preschool in the railroad town of Schriever, Louisiana.

This was a very rough time in my life, but this girl was so sweet to me, that I couldn’t help but fall for her, even though I was so young.

The reason why my life was rough at this time is that my brother and sister were infants and my parents didn’t have much time for me. I guess I took this hard because before this I was an only child. The other reason is that someone tied to my family was frequently beating the living daylights out of me. I have since forgiven him for beating me and am only bringing it up in this piece because it contributed to this traumatic part of my childhood. I was also special needs but no one at the time realized it.

I was sent to this church every Monday and Tuesday so I could interact with children around my age. To tell the truth, I hated going there, even though it was the only place I saw her.

She and I were always the first two children to arrive in the morning, so that is how we grew “close.”

There was also something about her, even though she was maybe only a little older than me, that she could tell when I was in distress and always had a way of comforting me.

There was even a time I happened to see the man who was beating me while being driven to that preschool and had my first of many panic attacks as a result.

When I arrived, Kristen saw that I was upset and somehow, she managed to calm me down.

There were numerous other times as well when she comforted me, though the only phrase I ever remember her saying is “Don’t worry.”

I ended up falling for her because of her kind heart, but also I thought she was beautiful.

She had porcelain skin, brown eyes, and light brown hair.

She frequently wore either blue and pink dresses. I don’t think I ever remember seeing her wear pants or shorts, which makes me wonder if she was raised in the United Pentecostal Church International or a fragmented church with similar doctrine. This church, by the way, was not UPCI or a non-denominational/fragmented church. Some of those churches strictly enforce dress codes, especially for women and girls, and also frequently teach their members to be reclusive from society and could be the reason why I have not seen her again.

Then in July of 1991, I would be taken out of the church preschool. Unfortunately, I would attend a far worse place for the next nearly ten years.

I remember the day I left very well. She crawled up to hug me goodbye, but I turned her down for fear of being teased.

That probably hurt her feelings immensely and I still regret it almost 30 years later at the time of writing this.

This was one of the worst mistakes of my life and if I had my life to live over, I would somehow have found a way to stay in touch with her, knowing what I know now.

To my knowledge, I’ve never seen her again.

The one time I think I might have seen her was on Easter Sunday, April 11, 2004, at the Wal-Mart in Thibodaux, Louisiana, but this is strictly speculation.

Since 2001, I’ve been trying to locate her and over the years I have asked hundreds if not thousands of women and girls with her first name if they were indeed her. None of them have ever told me “yes.” Many of them never replied, to begin with. Unfortunately a few have blocked me, for nothing more than asking an honest and harmless question. I feel as if people have become extremely block happy in recent years.

In 2004 and 2005, I went back to that church to look for her and did come across a couple of classmates since then but none of them remember her. Pay close attention to that fact!

Because her first name is Kristen, that means there are numerous methods to spell it and I am nowhere near sure of the exact spelling. This on top of not knowing her middle or last name nor even what year she was born in has made locating her all the more difficult.

This is the first time I am 100% public about this very personal story in my life, previously, I’ve only told people whom I deeply trust and I’ve gotten mixed reactions ranging from them thinking I am delusional to them thinking that she and I are indeed meant to be and to not give up on finding her one day.

While I was going through a divorce, I had renewed efforts in trying to locate her.

My main fear is that with me going public with this personal story, there will be some imposters that show up, which is why I have left out the details of exactly which church in Schriever, Louisiana, I met her at or the names of the teachers and other classmates, all of which I vividly remember.

I’ve come across several other classmates from that preschool and nursery, over the years, but the most shocking thing is none of them remember her at all.

I know some would maybe think that she was an angel that only I or maybe a few others could see.

The only reason why I wonder whether or not she’s an angelic being that only I could see is that I remember the teacher saying her name.

BOMBSHELL: She is the truest reason why I decided to start writing back on April 10, 2003. I used my memories of Kristen for most of my inspiration in my early days of writing.

There had been other women and girls who had inspired me to create characters and there had been some young ladies who reminded me of characters I created.

Unfortunately, I got into a relationship with a young woman which resulted in marriage and then ultimately divorce. The relationship lasted from 2007 to 2018.

Around 2014, I started searching for Kristen again, but to no avail. In that year, I also started writing stories again with her as my inspiration. Several of them are up on my blog.

In the latter parts of 2018, I stopped searching altogether, because I had entered into a very loving and stable relationship with a young lady that looked like a younger yet grown-up version of Kristen. Also, I took the fact that she was born in 1991 as a sign that she was the one. Unfortunately, on December 4/5, 2019, she called it quits on me. I was crushed but am finally starting to heal from it. I had gotten into a few brief relationships since but I always ended them for one reason or another.

A certain part of me wants to find her and find out whatever happened to her. Then my delusional self would either try to get to know her and maybe we could fall in love again or at least find out where she is now and let her know the impact she had on my life because it is a tremendous one, then wish her the best. I’ve also come to terms that she could be deceased and if that is the case, I want to visit her burial site and pay great homage and reverence to her. If she is still alive, romantically available and we meet again and get to know each other, physical features such as her size or facial beauty will not matter to me. Almost everyone who knows me knows that I am only attracted to plus-sized and/or super-sized women with pretty faces, but for her, I would try to pursue her no matter what she looked like. Also, nothing in her past would matter to me either, I would take her for who she is because I would remember how kind to me she was back then. For her, I could relax just about all of my standards. I do realize though that this is just a fantasy and that I need to move on.

Since 2014, I have been mentally creating stories of her and I together again after she helps me make a daring escape from some terrible people that had me captive. Because 2021 is the thirtieth anniversary of her and I meet, I may write down some of these stories. By the way, in my mind, they always took place in the year 2021! Possibly stay tuned. There is only one I wrote and did so in February of 2018.

Just for the record, I no longer think she and I are meant to be. The Lord has been showing me what my future spouse will be like and, she is similar in some ways but younger and nowhere near as maternal (for lack of a better word) towards me, though still very loving and affectionate. Also, with me being the male sex, God expects me to do [most of] the protecting and comforting not the other way around, so this is probably the main reason why he hasn’t allowed me to find her, assuming she is not an angel. At the risk of sounding unpopular, God indeed has established certain gender roles! Don’t shoot the messenger…

That’s all I have, for now, thank you for taking the time to read.

Back to “Personal Reflections”

Rest in Peace Don Michael Ratcliff

Mr. Don Michael Ratcliff, Sr. was born in circa 1946 and passed away on October 23, 2018.

He was a native of Morgan City, Louisiana and a resident of Bourg, Louisiana.

I was not informed of his death on time, in fact, it wasn’t even a year ago that I had found out he had passed away at the time I am writing this.

The only way I was made aware of his passing was by attempting to friend request him on Facebook, but never getting an acceptance. So, I eventually contacted his daughter, Gena Ratcliff Thornhill, who informed me of the sad and troubling news.

She and I subsequently exchanged a few messages about how awesome of a person he was.

Mr. Don proudly served his country in the United States Navy, then afterward worked as a highly-skilled electrician.

In later years, he became the groundskeeper at my high school, Vandebilt Catholic High.

That is how I was able to get to know him.

He and I shared many interests.

We both were into electronics and he even taught me some of the basics about it, such as how the Standing Wave Ratio of antennas feedlines and their connections works. He spoke to me in detail about his mother’s old police scanner, obviously a crystal controlled model. He taught me about the microwave relay dishes mounted on the various communications towers that dot our land. At one point he was into Citizen’s Band Radio using the handle, “D-Rat.” As mentioned before in other posts on this blog, he collected calculators, like me, and always wanted to see what calculator I was carrying for my schoolwork. From his daughter, I learned that he was a Mathematical genius and probably could have taught it at Vandebilt, if he had the credentials (he definitely had the competence.) She also mentioned that he would solve frequently complicated math equations just for fun.

I later worked with him and the rest of the maintenance crew in the Summer of 2005 and he is the one who got me to eat sardines and Vienna sausages on the regular.

He carried an electrician’s knife on his person at all times and his daughter also told me how much he liked that knife.

I also remember him frequently keeping a loaf of Evangeline Maid sliced white bread, a Creole Tomato, and a bottle of yellow mustard in the boiler room. Many times for lunch, in addition to his Brunswick Sardines or Libby’s Vienna Sausage, he would slice that Creole tomato with his electrician’s knife of his and place the slices between two pieces of bread with mustard. Believe it or not, this simple but seemingly strange food combination is actually a delicious treat. I can’t for the life of me remember the brand of mustard he used. He would then use that electrician’s knife for every other task that required it. He is the reason why I carried an electrician’s knife for at least a few years and still have one in my tool satchel.

His style of dress was a tee shirt with a breast pocket, blue jeans, a Timex Easy Reader wristwatch, and a plaid shirt over his tee-shirt during cold weather. In the breast pocket of his tee-shirt was almost always a pack of Doral cigarettes. He also wore a ball cap that advertised one of the electrical supply houses that which he frequented.

We would exchange lots of jokes about various subjects.

One evening in December of 2005, I remember calling him on the phone to ask a question on the electrical specifications of an aftermarket AC adaptor that I planned to purchase for my laptop and he was able to properly advise me. I then ordered the adaptor and it powered my laptop perfectly.

I never knew of his passing until over a year later and I wish Vandebilt’s administration or public relations personnel would have properly informed the students, faculty, staff, and alumni of it. I would have wanted to know so I could attend his memorial, as I truly looked up to him.

What’s done is unfortunately done, though.

All in all, Rest in Peace Mr. Don.

I enjoyed and benefitted from all that you taught me, it was an honor to work with you and it was fun to be around you!

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!

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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!

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I EDC a Calculator in addition to a Flashlight

Since infancy, I have been highly fascinated by both flashlights and calculators.

Anyone who knows me well enough is already pretty much aware of this.

Because I feel the need to be perpetually prepared, I always carry a flashlight on my person.

Because I think they are cool and useful, I also always carry a calculator in my EDC backpack or on my person.

I didn’t carry both a flashlight and calculator permanently together until late 2012 when I was 25 going on 26.

The combination was a Xenon Mini Maglite painted blue paired with a TI Math Explorer. These are now stored in my tool satchel.

Fast forward to June of 2014, I started carrying a Xenon Mini Maglite painted black with a TI-36 X Pro.

Then in 2019, I would sometimes carry a TI-34 MultiView with either a Mini Maglite painted blue or a Streamlight Jr. LED or both.

In the featured image is my NiteCore i400R paired with a Casio fx-300ES PLUS, which I began carrying in the late Spring of 2020.

The first time I carried a calculator was in early 1995 at the age of 8. It was a discarded Casio fx-991 of some kind that my Mom had gotten from one of her students. But I didn’t pair it with any flashlight.

Then in October of 1996, I purchased a Tiger Electronics Data Pad which was a toy electronic organizer. Sometimes I would pair it with a small flashlight of which, I cannot find any data on. I didn’t carry both of them together that often and they eventually gave out.

In December of 1997, I briefly carried a Royal scientific calculator but I don’t remember the model number. It was another hand me down from my Mom’s students. One morning, while waiting to catch the bus, I observed a low flying plane. I imagined to myself how cool it would be for me to be aboard that plane and using that calculator to assist with computing fuel consumption and other variables needed to fly. I didn’t have a decent pocket-sized flashlight to pair it with.

In the summer of 1998 at the age of 11.5, I purchased what would become my favorite flashlight until I discovered the tactical models, it was a Garrity Mini Rugged Lite, yellow in color. Also around this time, my Mom had purchased a value pack of LeWorld brand calculators and I took the smallest one. It was very compact, maybe the length and width of a bank card, but vertical instead of horizontal. I don’t remember the model number, but if I ever see it on eBay, I’ll purchase it. Anyway, during this summer, my Dad was teaching Special Ed Summer School and was stationed at The School for Exceptional Children in East Houma, Louisiana. Both Special Ed and Regular Ed students were attending there. I would tutor some of these kids and would usually wear a pair of Navy Blue shorts, but had that recently aforementioned flashlight and calculator in each pocket. It was for checking their math problems but also keeping scores on their worksheets they were assigned. I felt pretty important being only 11.5 yet tutoring kids. One of these days in the Summer of 1998, I was shopping while carrying this flashlight and calculator at one of the Rouse’s Supermarkets in East Houma. While I have a photographic memory, I cannot remember if it was the one on East Park or the one on Grand Calliou Road. All in all, I always liked shopping at Rouse’s.

Then after this, I didn’t carry a calculator for about two years, unless I needed it for school. I would still carry a flashlight now and then but would be frequently harassed for doing so.

In January or February of 2000, at the age of 13, I purchased a Value pack of Rayovac Industrial flashlights, a 2 AA, and a 2 D model bundled together for like $8.99. I carried the 2 AA model until it was misplaced. I still have the 2 D model.

In July of 2000, I was shopping for school supplies with my Mom and she purchased me a TI-30 X IIS, the 1999 edition. I carried it at home and school, sometimes with either the aforementioned Garrity or Rayovac flashlights.

In August or September of 2001, I misplaced that Garrity flashlight and quit carrying flashlights for a while. I was more interested in carrying communications equipment instead. I only carried calculators with my school supplies, although the groundskeeper Mister Don Ratcliff, God rest his soul, shared an interest in calculators among other things with me and he always wanted to see my calculator. This trend of not carrying flashlights would continue until 2005, although in late 2003 and early 2004 I would sometimes carry some very budget-friendly flashlights, namely an Energizer Super Charge and a Lumilite Industrial 2 AA, respectively.

On May 5, 2005, I began to carry a flashlight permanently. I have since been through a plethora of different models, but now in 2020, I’m either carrying a NiteCore i4000R or a Streamlight Jr. LED.

In the Summer of 2006, I began carrying a 2 AAA Mini Maglite, which is the smaller Mini Maglite, on and off.

In the Summer of 2007, I was carrying that previously aforementioned flashlight more often and paired it with a really neat LeWorld calculator that was solar-powered and had a greenish segmented LCD instead of the plain black and white segmented LCD I was used to. The iPhone came on the market around this time and I remember saying as I would pull that calculator out of my pocket, “Wait, I have an iPhone too…This is my iPhone!” Well, it did slightly resemble an iPhone or at least I thought so. I misplaced it around 2015 but I wish I knew the model number so I could get another one on eBay.

In December of 2007, I purchased a TI-89 on clearance at Radio Shack and I did carry it on me at times until I sold it in the Summer of 2009. There were several flashlights I had paired it with.

In the Summer of 2008, I was required to use a TI-84 for school, because a TI-89 was forbidden. I flunked that class anyway, twice actually, which was the equivalent of college algebra 101. I’m very deficient in Algebra hence the reason I can repair computers but not program them.

From November 2008 to September 2011, I was working, at least most of that period and didn’t think much about calculators, although I did carry a very basic Texas Instruments model on some of those jobs. At one job, in the Spring of 2009, I was selling shoe molding to a customer and pulled out that calculator to compute how many linear feet to cut for that customer. He ended up tipping me $10 when he saw me pull out my calculator, not bad since I was making only $8.50 an hour! He commented on how I was the smartest yard hand there. Not to blow my own horn, but maybe I was. I know I was overqualified for that job, but hey, it was 2009, all jobs much less good jobs were scarce. I think the fact that I was overqualified was what got me laid off months later. All in all, I had carried that calculator with one of my Mini Maglites or an Energizer 3 Watt Tactical flashlight and a Klein pocket knife. In January of 2010, I acquired a job as a grocer and while I could have used a calculator, I never really carried one save the cheap company-issued units. When I was given the dairy clerk job for that grocery company, I did all of my figurings with pen and paper. There is indeed a calculator made by Casio that is designed for retail and warehousing, but it isn’t readily available in The States. That’s a big mistake on Casio’s part if you ask me. I did always have a flashlight on me at that job and anywhere else. My coworkers took note of it and some even gave me flashlights. Not a single person harassed me about my flashlight interest. In September of 2011, I quit due to drastically reduced hours. I haven’t been employed since.

In 2012, I was frequently helping family, friends, and now ex-in-laws with various do-it-yourself projects. I soon realized a calculator that could do a quick and easy fraction to decimal conversion would be quite helpful. I knew a TI-Math Explorer would fit the bill, so in November of that year, I searched on eBay and found one in near-mint condition for $6.99 and free shipping. I had just enough in my checking account to cover the purchase, so I did. It has indeed helped with many do-it-yourself projects. This was the beginning of me permanently carrying a calculator as well as a flashlight.

I now have a calculator or two in my EDC backpack as well as a few flashlights for whatever situation should arise. They have come in handy quite often and yes I do show off sometimes.

As long as I can help it, I plan to carry a flashlight and a calculator for the rest of my life.

I’m no longer harassed for carrying flashlights but now and then I am still harassed for carrying calculators. However, I frankly don’t give a durn at all.

By the way, there are different ways people pronounce the word calculator and I usually get a big kick out of it. Most say it the normal way, but some say “cack-you-later” and others say “cackle-ater.”

There’s even a rap song about calculators and it is pronounced the first different way.

It always made me laugh hearing that, for so many reasons, even though there is a lot of filthy language in it.

All in all, I guess this concludes my piece about how I carry a calculator in addition to a flashlight.

My back is killing me and not only that, I have to go check on my laundry.

I hope you, the reader, have been informed as well as entertained, and may God richly bless you!

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Dave Matthews’ Impact on my [Young] Life

Just to set the record straight, I do not own the featured image on this page and I humbly give credit to all whom credit is rightly due.

I think just about any teenager has a singer or band that he or she idolizes.

For me, the singer I idolized when I was a teen was Dave Matthews and his band, The Dave Matthews Band.

I was fifteen going on sixteen when I discovered them.

I remember where I was the first time I knowingly heard one of his songs.

It was in August of 2002 and I was with my Dad and my Brother. We were driving to Metairie, Louisiana (a suburb directly west of New Orleans), to have our family computer serviced.

We were passing somewhere in Saint Charles Parish, Louisiana, either Boutte or Paradis, on U. S. Highway 90 when the song, “The Space Between” came on the car radio.

I listened very intently and took in every lyric.

The melody was also had my undivided attention.

It was pure genius or at least to me it was pure genius!

Prior to this, I listened to the music of The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Eminem, Limp Bizkit, some Rappers and a few Punk Rock artists.

This would be a life changing event as far as my taste in music and my outlook on life.

I would begin to become more tolerant of others and eventually adopted an attitude of “live and let live” or “to each his own” and the bulk of developing this train of thought was the result of listening to Dave Matthews. Not only that, listening to their music would also trigger several dreams I have had and still remember!

Within a year, I would be a completely different person.

The computer would be getting serviced for a week or two, but when we got it back, I began to listen to several of Dave Matthews Band songs.

Each song I heard had influenced me in a very positive way. The music would make me want to be my best human self, at least prior to coming to Christ.

Listening to these songs made me a more kind, tolerant and romantic person and would eventually cause me to become a writer (keep reading and you will find out more about that.)

In November of 2002, I had caught a severe respiratory infection and missed a week of school.

I did spend a good portion of that week listening to Dave Matthews Band songs on my boom box.

I also discovered the song, “Where are you Going?” This could have been the beginning of me wanting to be more romantic.

Fast forward to January 5, 2003, I first saw the video to the song, “The Space Between” and was totally mesmerized! It was everything I expected it to be and even more!

Later on in January 2003, I had to go under for a procedure and I remember listening to a Dave Matthews Band CD while in the waiting room. I remember songs like “Crush” and “Crash into Me.”

At another point in early 2003 I had heard, “When the World Ends” and was totally satisfied by the lyrics.

In the early morning hours of February 9, 2003, I had a dream that I was living in a dystopian version of New Orleans where a girl and I were in love and on the run. We are eventually detained but the jail cell collapses then I break off my handcuffs as well as hers then tell her, “Take my hand, Cause we’re walking out of here!” That line is directly from the song, “The Space Between.” We escape but she later dies from internal injuries caused by recent police brutality. I end up blowing my brains out and waking up. That dream by the way was made into two stories that I wrote and probably was one of the catalysts that would cause me to become a writer in the first place!

For the rest of February and March of 2003, if I was listening to music, it was probably The Dave Matthews Band.

I still have a copy of Dave Matthews statement about the 2003 U. S. invasion of Iraq!

On the evening of April 10, 2003, I wrote my first story, a love story, and was listening to several Dave Matthews Band songs while writing it! I was absolutely filled, flooded and overflowing with raw emotions. His lyrics always seem to have that affect on me.

Fast forward to that wonderful Summer of 2003 and I had discovered more songs such as “Grace is Gone” and “I’ll Back You Up.”

In October of 2003, I was at a party getting plastered and I remember attempting to sing, “Grace is Gone.”

My school uniform shirt had also become partially unbuttoned and one of the others at the party commented about my hairy chest, to which I replied in a totally drunken stupor, “Oh yeah, I have a hairy chest like Dave Matthews!” I’m still reminded of this well into my thirties!

Fast forward to June of 2004, I suffered a mental breakdown.

Then in July of 2004, I converted to Christianity.

When I found out that Dave Matthews was/is Agnostic, I gradually began to listen to his music less and less.

Years later I found out he did the song, “I Did It” and felt totally vindicated.

Some more years later, I heard, “Ants Marching” and looking back, I totally get the lyrics.

I’ve always been able to relate to his lyrics somehow, like more than any other secular artist.

And the solos that his band members play must take an incredibly high degree of talent to compose and perform.

Then, this year, 2020, I started listening to him again, and just for the record, my Christian faith is stronger than ever.

I recently discovered the song, “Don’t Drink the Water.” What is amazing is that I was watching barge traffic while listening and paying attention to that song for the first time. It definitely could strike some emotions in the year 2020, consider all that is going on.

I am, however, careful about what I listen to and no I don’t idolize Dave Matthews or his band anymore, because that is a violation of God’s law, but I sure do enjoy some of the lyrics and music.  Not only do I reminisce about the past but I look to the future and take in the present all at the same time, while listening. The music and lyrics are just that powerful!

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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”

I’ve been Carrying a Flashlight Permanently for Fifteen Years

I have been fascinated by flashlights since infancy. Almost everyone in my immediate circle and probably most of my readers is well aware of this. Because I am fascinated by flashlights, I want to always have one with me. I had been carrying flashlights on me on and off throughout my childhood and teen years.

…But…

On May 5, 2005, I decided to carry a flashlight on me everywhere I could.

That was fifteen years ago today.

I have pretty much held to that decision and there have been very few times that I have not carried a flashlight on me since.

I can probably count those times on one hand.

I would have carried a flashlight permanently on me much sooner in life but while I was in the upper levels of grade school, I was mocked and harassed for liking flashlights by other kids.

By my late teen years, I didn’t give a durn.

So, what made me decide to start carrying a flashlight on me?

We can go back to the Autumn of 2003 to answer that.

I was a sophomore in high school and some thunderstorms had gone through the area, knocking off the power.

We had to sit in class in the pitch-black classroom.

My Mom teaches at the same high school I attend and my EDC bag was definitely in her vehicle. I had an Energizer SuperCharge rechargeable LED flashlight in there.

I had offered to go to my Mom’s vehicle and get my flashlight but due to security reasons, the teacher refused.

It drove me crazy that I was in total darkness and couldn’t do anything about it.

This would be the catalyst for me to get interested in flashlights again.

A few months prior, I had a 4 D Cell Maglite that was ruined by leaking batteries so I was hesitant to sink too much money into an expensive flashlight.

This is why I didn’t own tactical flashlights right away.

I even helped with parking for football games and the cops that were working security details laughed at me for not having a tactical flashlight.

I either had a very cheap Rayovac Value Lite or my Energizer Supercharge.

I had known about SureFire since February of 2003 while reading a Gall’s catalog, but I knew I could never afford one.

In January of 2004, I had my first of many ear infections and while waiting to get some medicine filled, I was looking at the flashlights in Wal Mart.

I wanted a small pocket-sized model to carry discreetly but wouldn’t get a Mini Maglite because of what happened to my first Maglite flashlight.

I bought a 2 AA Lumilite Industrial flashlight which I would have until 2007 when the switch gave out. I did indeed carry it, but not religiously.

Fast forward to June of 2004, I bought one of my favorite flashlights of which I would own several, a Garrity Mini Rugged Lite, on clearance at K-Mart. Unfortunately, while I was hospitalized in the late Spring and early Summer of 2004, it was ruined by leaking batteries.

I was more interested in buying radio equipment than flashlights at this point in my life anyway, so that is why I only bought cheaper flashlights.

On October 24, 2004, I shopped at Academy Sports and Outdoors for the first time and was amazed by the wide selection of tactical flashlights sold there.

However, I could never afford them as an unemployed seventeen-year-old.

…Fast forward to May 1, 2005…

My Mom wanted to go shopping at the Wal*Mart in Galliano, Louisiana, and she wanted me to come with her.

I wanted to come anyway, so I could listen to boat traffic on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway with my scanners while on our way down there.

I think my Mom wanted to buy some craft supplies, so I went looking in the sporting goods and eventually at the flashlights.

It was there that I first saw a tactical style Garrity LED flashlight with red and blue lens filters and a Nylon pouch.

And it was under $15!

I didn’t have any cash on me that day, but I knew I would be buying one soon.

For the next few days, I hustled, doing whatever chores I could to come up with the $15 or so.

Finally, on May 5, 2005, I had enough cash and I went to the West Houma Wal*Mart and purchased one.

A friend also gave me cash to purchase one for him.

Ever since then, I have been carrying a flashlight on my person.

It came in handy after Hurricane Katrina and I subsequently upgraded to other flashlights since.

During other power failures at school and on jobs I previously held, I was always one to pull out my flashlight.

More recently, it has helped me in church whilst trying to locate switches for the light and sound systems.

Almost no one harasses me about carrying a flashlight anymore, and those that did aren’t in my life anyway.

I don’t know why people would want to harass me for liking flashlights. Have they not heard of ‘to each his own’?

No one is harmed because of my flashlight fascination, but quite a few are helped.

Currently, I alternate between carrying a Streamlight Jr. and a Wowtac A1, but I have tried a plethora of other models.

I don’t care anymore if someone harasses me for liking flashlights and as long as The Good Lord wills it, I will carry a flashlight on me for the rest of my life.

I look forward to seeing advances in LED and battery technology and I’m sure will be amazed at what the next fifteen years will bring.

This, therefore, concludes my piece on how I’ve been carrying a flashlight on me for the past fifteen years.

I hope you, the reader, have been informed and entertained!

Back to “Personal Reflections”

 

The History of my Attraction to Bigger Females

NOTE I know that I originally wrote this in the latter parts of 2017, but I am modifying it for 2020…

My name is Eric John Monier and I am attracted to plus-sized and super-sized women.

Those of you who know me well enough are already very much aware of this.

In this piece, I will attempt to explain to you, the reader, of my attraction to bigger girls, women, and ladies as well as the history of it.

I don’t know exactly why I am attracted to this body type, but a woman with a soft belly, thick thighs, plump caboose and ample sized breasts in addition to a pretty face will drive me crazy in a lot of very good ways.

I used to not be attracted to bigger girls in my preteen years and up to age thirteen. I guess because the few that I had come across always had explosive tempers. I was so ignorant and close-minded at the time that I never put two and two together that maybe the reason that they had such tempers was from all the harassment they endured. I should have been able to figure this out because I was harassed quite a bit, myself, and yes, for a time it did cause me to be mean, but for whatever reason, I never put the pieces together. I feel terrible about what I used to say back in those days and I will NOT repeat it here. One downside of having a razor-sharp memory is remembering all the bad things I ever said and done, sometimes more than the good.

Since age fourteen or fifteen, my attitude began to drastically change, however, but I wasn’t out of the closet about this attraction until I sixteen or seventeen. And I wasn’t public about it until age nineteen.

I think the first time I was attracted to a plus-sized girl was when I was in seventh grade, at Saint Mary’s Nativity School. She was in sixth. I was harassed a lot at that school, but this girl always smiled at me, was very nice to me and even laughed at my jokes. I never asked her out because I knew if I did, I would be harassed even more for going out with her. I won’t reveal her name, even though I remember it well. I’m glad she’s married now likewise, I hope and pray that her husband adores her as she ought to be.

Fast forward to eighth grade, February 20, 2002, I was at a pep rally and two boys were trying to pick a fight with me. A beautiful plus-sized girl was standing near me in the bleachers shouting for them to “stop” and that they were “so mean.” After that day, I had a major crush on her that would last throughout high school. The only reason why I never tried to approach her, again, was fear of what others may think of me. I remember her name as well, but I won’t reveal it. She’s married now and has children, and, my God, I hope her husband treats her like the wonderful queen she is.

A little about my weight history:
In August of 2002, I was wrongfully and forcefully medicated on a terrible drug known as Risperdal. As a result, I gained a little weight. Before this, I was very underweight (5’4″ 100-115 pounds), but now I was slightly overweight (5’6″ 160-170 pounds.) I guess, because of this, I thought it would be more acceptable to date a bigger girl. However, none were interested in me or other cases, we had mutually planted each other in that wretched old “friend zone.”

On March 15, 2003, at the age of sixteen, I was attracted to a plus-sized girl who I later found out was a couple of months my senior. This was the first time I made a pass at a plus-sized girl. She accepted but then broke up with me a day later at the urging of her parents. This hurt resulted in my first time getting drunk.

In late March or early April of 2003, I was taken off all medication and maybe lost a little weight as a result.

Also in April of 2003, I discovered writing as many of you know.

In that wonderful summer of 2003, at the age of sixteen and a half, I had become known as a romantic writer by my peers and had a secret webpage displaying my work. I had other webpages as well and a fourteen-going-on-fifteen-year-old girl had contacted me online and we began a steamy online and texting relationship. She was slightly plus-sized, but I thought she was so beautiful and she thought I was cute. We also had similar sexual kinks, even though we were only minors, of which I won’t publicly disclose. Unfortunately, I lost all contact with her in the latter parts of 2004, but I do remember her name. It would be wonderful to find her again.

Fast forward to between June 14 and 17, 2004, I suffered a mental breakdown and was put on that wretched medication, Risperdal, once again. By December of 2004, I weighed around 198 pounds.

In January of 2005, I was now eighteen and put on an anti-convulsant, used off label as a mood stabilizer, Topamax, in addition to what I was already taking. This caused a dramatic amount of weight loss in a short amount of time. By that April, I was 5’6″ and 122 pounds!

Even though I had lost a lot of weight, I remained attracted to plus-sized women and girls. I don’t know why.

Unfortunately, none of them felt the same about me.

I was in an online and phone relationship with one girl, from September 2005 to December of 2005 but she was very skinny and tall. One of the reasons, but not the main reason why I ended it was because she was indeed too skinny. I feel so terrible admitting this though.

It was now late January of 2006 and I was on a more weight neutral medication known as Geodon. I also became very vocal about my attraction to bigger members of the opposite sex. I figured if people wanted to distance themselves from me because of this, I didn’t need them in my life anyway.

I was a senior in high school and there was one plus-sized girl, a freshman, whom I had a crush on. I think she liked me too, but I’m not 100% sure. Many people told me to pursue her, but while I highly revered and respected her and wouldn’t dare do anything sinful or illegal with her, I was still afraid of catching various charges. In December 2006, a few months after I graduated, I went on one semi-date with her at the mall, but we ended up freaking each other out. We remained good enough friends, until the latter parts of 2017. Also, from August to December of 2006, I had dated a few plus-sized young ladies, but never really got close to any of them and the relationships always ended in disaster.

On January 7, 2007, I had just made twenty a few days prior was working at my local grocer, pushing buggies in the parking lot. I saw a beautiful plus sized girl walking into the store. Soon all the buggies were picked up and I resumed bagging groceries. She went up to the cashiers of whom we mutually happened to be friends with and asked for them to tell her where the tuna fish (not remoulade sauce-ha) was located. Before bagging groceries and pushing buggies (which is more fun in my book), I was a stocker. Therefore I had an intimate knowledge of where everything was located in the store. I kindly offered to show this young lady where the tuna fish was located. We walked to the tuna fish aisle together and she placed several cans in her buggy. Then I resumed bagging groceries, but asked the two cashiers if they knew that girl and if so how old was she. They told me her name and her age (nineteen.) I had them print out a blank receipt and I wrote my two phone numbers on it. They then handed it to her. As she was leaving the store, I told her to call me and that I get off at five. On my way home, my phone rang and it was her. She invited me over to her parents’ house and we have been together until January 18, 2018. We got married three years and two days after we met and but our divorce was finalized on October 11, 2018. She didn’t like being plus size, but every time she complained about it, I told her how if she was skinny I would have never given her my number, to begin with.

In the summer of 2007 until April of 2010, I took Abilify and gained 100 pounds. I used to joke that the weight gain was an STI from then-girlfriend, later wife, now ex-wife. Since April of 2010, I’ve taken Geodon, though I tried other medications but usually no longer than a week.

I had talked to several women post leaving my now ex-wife and most of them were either plus-sized or super-sized. However, none of those relationships progressed very far. One was even skinny but lied and said she was a BBW, but we mutually ghosted each other.

Another was beautiful and super-sized, but because of our location distance, she put me in the friend zone which I now accept and we are still good friends to this day.

In the latter parts of 2018, I met and fell in love with a beautiful and sweet super-sized young lady. She treated me like a king and I treated her like a queen. We vindicated and complimented each other in many ways. And not only that we were madly attracted to each other physically! No one had ever made me so happy before or since. However, she called it quits on me on December 4, 2019. I was crushed, devastated and heartbroken. No one in my eyes could ever measure up to her, no not even close, and I even told her that every day. I was very serious about being true to her to the point that I found myself acting the way televangelist Billy Graham acted towards his wife, even though she and I never were even engaged. We were, however, talking very seriously about marriage, until she called it quits. However, this happened for a reason and I know The Lord has someone else for me, I just have to wait on Him. I just pray that she is either at least plus-sized or preferably super-sized. I would not be happy with a skinny or muscular woman nor would I try to make such a woman gain weight because I see that as a form of abuse to her.

I don’t like being overweight that much. I know it makes me look younger at times, but it is unhealthy for sure and makes me feel tired all the time. I guess I am a perfect hypocrite, because, while I don’t like being like this, I’m attracted to women who are. And as long as she has a pretty face, the bigger the better! Still, I definitely would not want to suddenly one day not be attracted to bigger women because then a part of me would die. I wouldn’t be myself anymore. What the Internet has taught me more than anything else is that I am not alone in any of my interests or attractions and there are a lot of other guys who are also attracted to plus-sized women.

Bigger women most certainly deserve to be loved too, and from what I’ve found out there are a lot of guys besides myself who are willing to love and adore them just as they should be loved and adored!

Body Shaming is Cruel Unnecessary and Obsolete and I hate being body-shamed when it does happen to me.  However, I am usually able to just brush it off. I don’t do it to anyone, regardless of size, because I try to see the soul of a person instead.  However, being a carnal human being, I tend to be nicer to a plus-sized or super-sized woman, than someone of different features in any given situation that arises.  I know this is wrong, but I am not perfect and never claimed to be.

I guess this concludes my piece on my attraction to bigger females.  I hope you, the reader, have got something out of this and now see that beauty is literally in the eyes of the beholder.

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