29 May 2009

Beating the Games

"Hi My name is Stephen"
group: "Hi Stephen"
"I've been a game addict for..."

They have AA programs that I know of. Aren't there any GA programs somewhere. Gamers Anonymous. I have spent the greater portion of the last few days staring at the 2 1/2" by 4 1/2" screen of my game boy advance. The yard is still infested with weeds, the dog still could do well with loosing a few pounds, I could be eating good food and gaining a few pounds, and repairing my bike. Not to mention the books that I want to write, re-write, and edit. I guess the one advantage of playing games is that they are a relatively cheap form of entertainment. It takes far fewer dollars to play a video game then it does to regularly go out and watch movies at the movie theater or doing other activities. But alas, the cost of video games is much more than nickles and dimes (at least for our GA members) it costs time, attention span, and life.

Well I am going to "beat the games" as it were. I am selling that Game boy advanced and not be tempted by it's screen any longer. I want my life back. I want to do things that improve the quality of my life. I want to learn useful skills like how to fix a car, or do minor repairs on my plumbing. I want to create. I want to publish my books. I want to fullfill my dreams. I want to live.

So here's to living.


27 May 2009


I went to a barbeque with my church for memorial day and had a wonderful time, the food was good we played some games but what was particularly interesting to me was that there was a very kind man named Steve Wade there. Steve Wade is homeless and on a journey to Springfeild, MO in search of work. He was sitting in the pavilion in the park reading a book when we all arrived.
I took the opportunity to ask him what he was reading, it was a pretty standard secret agent novel. Steve excitedly told me a lot of the plotline about how two characters who are unknowingly working for the same man go after the same target and think the other is killed and there are twists and turns. I nodded on as it seemed a pretty "eeh" book plot.
When he was done we struck up a conversation about his life. I found myself listening to bits and peices of the life of Steve Wade. Steve is a man who grew up in a little town south of St. Louis, MO. When he grew up he used to work at a carnival giving camel rides. Think about that a moment, This guy used to work in a carnival. Most people I talk to on a daily basis do what I do, shove boxes arround or pound the keyboard for 8 hours a day. This man has taken care of Camels and Elephants. Then he has moved arround the United States and was even very familiar with Los Angeles where I have been for the last two years. He said he once met a Black man in LA that was big enough to hold 2 cantelopes in one hand. He said that the giant scared him half to death but turned out to be a gentle giant who offered him a cantelope.
Steve has been a truck driver, dish washer, Camel ride assistant and who knows what else I (now sadly) neglected to ask him about. This man has been places and done things that I wouldn't think in my right mind were possible. To make this point a little stronger, he has sleep apnea and has to tote a machine arround with him everywhere he goes and find a place with an electric socket to sleep at so that he won't die in his sleep. If I were in his situation I probably wouldn't make it, I would probably just die or make my way out of his situation and just become a box pusher like everyone else.
What is worse is that I didn't try to find out more about him and his crazy adventures. My mind went blank, and I didn't realize fully what I could have asked him. I didn't realize what kind of individual I had in front of me.
Luckily I did help him on his way, he said that he had spent his last dollar. Remember that $20.00 that I said I had waiting in my pocket for such an event. it burned down to $13.00 when the event came but I gave it to him. I gave it to Steve Wade. Hopefully when I meet my next Steve Wade I will not go brain dead.
During that Barbeque a member of our church said a prayer at the beginning. Steve said the prayer at the end. The simplicity and sincertiy of his prayer made the best prayer I have heard in a long while. I hope that I have learned a lesson from all this. I hope that I won't waste my next opportunity to talk with a Steve.


18 May 2009

Antique store adventures

I went to an antique store today for the first time in my life. I was quite surprised at the random asortment of stuff that sells for remarkably low prices. I mostly browsed hoping to perchance find a pocket watch, reguardless of the fact that I just recently bought a really nice pocket watch. I failed to find any pocket watches, but I did find a ton of stuff that collectors might possibly want. good thing I am not a collector, but being in that store gave me the urge to randomly horde a collection of stuff that I really don't need, like buttons. (or the urge came from the fact that I am a writer who has been playing with the idea of writing characters which have such odd collecting habits. that is the danger of being a writer I guess)
I found sports collectors cards, old atari and nintendo systems, pocket lighters, bayonetts, jars of buttons, dolls, glasses, odd boxes, playing cards, vinals, lots and lots of cheap (probably fake) jewlry, a Faux rolex watch that "works really well", something that looked like a toupe made out of black sequins, several almost complete sets of the harry potter books, oh yeah and tons and tons of books on everything from ettiquite with guests, psycology, books on church order, and tons of others things. Among the books, I was interested to find the Count of Monte Cristo and Tom Clancy's "The Sum of All Fears".

After much searching arround I finally left the store with a amazing deal. I purchased a fine (albeit cankered and slightly rusted) letter opener that was marked $2.00 but only paid 54c.
I felt rather weird walking arround with a verry knife like letter opener for 20 minutes.

I may have to take a few ganders at Antique stores later. 

12 May 2009

Don't forget to thank the homeless people.

So I have $20 in my pocket for one reason and one reason only. It is for the next homeless person I see. Now I know what you are thinking. Actually I don't know what you are thinking but if I had to guess it would probably be one of a few things. Perhaps you are thinking, "Show off. put your money away." or perhaps you are thinking "Well that is rather generous of you." maybe it is "Why give it to them. They get what they deserve the lazy bums." You know what. I don't care what you think. I do this for my own reasons.

The reason I have this gift in my pocket is because I believe that without the homeless people we are literally all unbelievably screwed if the economy really ever did get flushed down the toilet. When I served in Los Angeles I heard multiple tales from the missionaries who covered skid row about meeting people that used to live in big fancy houses and used to be worth nearly a million or more. Those people were taken in by the homeless and shown the ropes of how to survive on nothing each day. I honestly believe that if noone was out there with that survival training from the school of hard knocks, then when many of us who have grown up in our cushy lifestyle, with the staples food in our belly and a roof over our head, would probably last a few days before giving up, curling up in a corner and wait for someone to pick our bodies up and hauled off to the morgue. (I guess on the bright side of that, college medical students would have a surplus of cadavers to poke at.)

So frankly, while I have a roof, food, and a keyboard to type at. I should pay my homage to those who either by choice or bad fortune are living on the streets, they may just be the best defense against the doom of the unemployed population. I guess I need to take a trip into the city where I can find these unsung warriors.


07 May 2009

Jargon, I hate Jargon.

As much as I can see the usefulness of jargon in certain situations such as in any group of people where Jargon would permit them to communicate faster, I despise the general use of Jargon in places of public view. It is frustrating to go onto a career-finding website, whose sole purpose is to facilitate the contact between employee and employer, and find it riddled with so much jargon that one so devoid of business language such as I would be turned on my head trying to actually use this tool. When I look and see a position with the job title of “Sales Associate” I, a person of layman’s tongue, see the word “associate” and think of its literal meaning, one associated with something. I then ask, “Are they associated with the sales or are they an associate with the people being sold to, or are they only associates of the company selling the product and not part of the company it self?”. Why do they not just call it a “Salesman”?

            Another word I find far too commonly used in this website is “specialist”. In any other circumstance, this word at least holds the connotation of “one with experience.” In this setting, it is sometimes Jargon for, “Anyone who is willing to do this job.” (At least it is advertized as such, showing no requirements of any expertise in the field of labor indicated)

            However, this is not the only place I dislike seeing jargon. I dislike the use of any jargon around people whom are not familiar with such jargon, without the intent of teaching that jargon to him or her. It would be like me telling anyone outside my church that I am unavailable Tuesday night because I am at institute that night. Institute is a jargon for bible study. Our church has a ton of this jargon.

            Please speak always in layman’s terms whenever addressing the public.

01 May 2009

Ponder Time...

Recall to your mind the movie Whinny the Poo, (The old one) where it was a blustry day or whatnot, the scene where Poo sat down and, with his hand to his head he would sit and think "ponder ponder ponder ponder..."

I sat and did that today, maybe only the second time since I've been home. I sat and I pondered. I turned off my music, I pulled away from the computer and I just sat and thought. What an amazing relieving feeling it is. I asked myself in my ponderings, "Why don't I do this more often?" and then pondered my way to the answer, I have been trying to live too fast of a life. I have spent most of my time looking for music, or trying to read a book or trying to get some information, trying to take in all that there is to offer. I often find myself trying to multitask in this aspect. I try to watch a movie while I am also trying to do work on my computer. I try to listen to music while I am doing anything, playing games, writing, blogging, facebooking, whatever. I realized, life is a long time, eternity is a long time, there will be enough time to eventually see all I want to see, read all I want to read, learn all I want to learn and do all I want to do. It may not happen in this life, but I am sure it will happen. It is a comforting thought to think of eternity. It kind of helps you to relax, slow down, enjoy life, savor the tastes, smell the roses.

This is not to say that in slowing down I am relinquishing any sort of responsibilty or neglecting duty. It just means that in my spare time, I should take more time to just sit back and think without the distractions of a computer or X-Box.