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It was my intention to begin a series of threads on Universal Basic Income (UBI). However, the recent events in Santa Fe, TX have caused me to go back to my earlier rants about anti-gun philosophies.

I am calling these threads as I intend to publish them on Twitter. Though the platform has begun to allow the use of 280 characters, longer thoughts simply don’t fit. Yes, it would be better to just write a blog post such as this on WordPress.com. However, when I do, and I post the blog on Twitter, no one reads it. But, post a Twitter thread and it gets read immediately.

This past Friday, a deeply troubled young man gained access to his father’s shotgun and .38 revolver, went to his high school in Santa Fe, TX and killed 10 people, mostly students, one teacher, wounded 13 others, including police officers then surrendered.

Note that in this case there was no AR-15, no “assault” weapon, and seemingly, no failures in our law enforcement system. I was not surprised that social media was immediately ablaze with rhetoric about another mass shooter with an AR-15. Yet, when corrected, the ranters were still ablaze.

On the one hand, they should be ablaze. We have a problem in our society, especially concerning our teens in high schools. Santa Fe was not the only school shooting since Parkland; yet, as several of those were foiled by quick thinking officers, we heard little. Wonder why?

Yes, dear readers, it seems that the anti-gun advocates cries of “we don’t want to take ALL your guns, just the bad ones”, wasn’t the real truth. Now, we begin to hear the real agenda, “We want ALL your guns.” Why do you think that gun owners resist these attempts without fail? It’s because we know the real agenda. We have for quite some time now. We don’t believe you any more.

The safety bubble that you live in does not exist. All crime and shootings will not immediately cease to be if the law abiding gun owners turned in their guns. It hasn’t happened in Australia. It didn’t happen in the UK or Europe. It will not happen here. The bad guys will keep their guns and when the rest of us do not have sufficient firepower to stand against the criminal, the criminal will win.

Anti-gun crowd: “But, at least there will be less mass shootings, less murder, less killing!”

I have stated this before, and I will state it again here for you. The standard for us giving up our guns is not LESS. The only standard where we are willing to give up our right to bear arms is ZERO! Zero chance of murder. Zero chance of home invasion. Zero chance of bad guys taking over our government. Zero chance of any need for self defense.

Anti-gun crowd: “But, that will never exist. No one can guarantee that level of safety!”

Bingo! We have a winner! That is absolutely true and agreeable. On this side of heaven and Christ’s return those conditions will not exist; therefore, we will not stop fighting for the right we have to self defense. It is not logical to blame the overwhelming majority of gun owners and carriers that abide by our laws, don’t cause problems, and on the contrary, provide safety as needed. That’s not common sense.

Anti-gun crowd: “Well, what’s your solution then?”

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked this question. Again and again, gun owners give many good solutions for the problems in our schools and in society. Harden our schools against bad guys. Do this by limiting access into the schools. Which means one or more of the following: metal detectors, controlled access doors, funnelling, armed guards or police, armed teachers. Those are all good choices for our schools many of which can be done without excessive cost or without upsetting the anti-gun crowd.

Yes, we have existing gun laws that need strengthening. States and counties need to be required to submit those folks that aren’t permitted to purchase or possess firearms to the NICS database promptly and without fail. Restraining orders and other types of situations involving domestic abuse need to be reported correctly to NICS quickly. Laws for the removal of firearms from someone involved in these situations needs to be written well and enacted, not vaguely, not leaving loopholes, and always with due process in view.

However, when we propose any of these solutions to the anti-gun crowd, the response is always: “So, what’s your solution?” The response is the same because the only response the anti-gun crowd wants to hear is, “Ban all the guns!”

It is horrendous that these types of school shootings continue. However, we allow some things that feed the beast. We allow the shooter to be recognized, splashed across media, and then glorified by others. No we don’t do it intentionally for this purpose, but it happens. It has at least since Columbine. While there is a need to know by the public, we also need a system in our press to minimize the exposure of the shooter so that other disturbed young people cannot latch onto an exemplar. This in no way means we wish First Amendment restrictions. It is something that our national press has to figure out and accomplish on their own. They are bright people. They need to work on it.

I don’t even have time to go into the mental health debate as that would require another lunch and a lantern.

Yes, guns are dangerous. They kill. I hope we can at least learn that it is not the type of gun that is the problem, though that is of little solace. I hope that the crowd that is just venting emotion will settle down and get some sense back. But, it is good to know that the anti-gun folks are now telling the truth. It is much easier to deal with any issue when both sides are honest. And, yes, I’ll be honest: the right to self defense existed long before the Constitution and regardless what the anti-gun crowd does, I’ll not back down. I’ll not give in. I’ll keep mine.

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Being a Christian


Being a Christian… Is not about drinking beer, but about whether or not you are drunk. Is not about dancing, but whether that leads you to regretful behaviors. Is not about smoking, but about…

Source: Being a Christian

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Being a Christian


Being a Christian…

Is not about drinking beer, but about whether or not you are drunk.
Is not about dancing, but whether that leads you to regretful behaviors.
Is not about smoking, but about whether you value the body God gave you.
Is not about hunting or fishing on Sunday, but about whether or not you spend time with God’s family on Earth.
Is not about following the rules, but about developing self-discipline.
Is not about quoting chapter and verse, but about knowing God’s story.
Is not about politics, but about knowing right and wrong and doing right anyway.
Is not about divorce, but is about making the marriage you have work.
Is not about the music you listen to, but about whether you also give God the same effort in worship.
Is not about four letter words, but about whether one of those words you use is ‘love’.
Is not about driving over the speed limit, but about respecting the authorities God places over us.
Is not about quibbling over who gets into heaven, but being extremely grateful about how diverse the body of Christ really is.
Is not about whether we sing or play instruments in worship, but it is about lifting up God’s Name in praise.

Just my beliefs folks.

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Well, no actually, you won’t find that information here. I joined LinkedIn about four years ago because of a lost job.  Allegedly, LinkedIn was the supreme way to get noticed and locate …

Source: How to get the right tech job from LinkedIn

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Today is Thanksgiving and I am sitting on the couch at my wife’s parent’s house enjoying being around everyone.  Our kids and grandkids will be here later to enjoy food and family.  Yes, this is a cliché Thanksgiving post.

Not everyone is here though.  There has been loss and there is also separation. So, it is not always as easy as it seems, but then for many, holidays are never as Hallmark-y as they make it out to be.

In our bible class at church we are studying John’s gospel.  He’s that “other” guy in the group.  The one that didn’t write like all the rest.  One of John’s repeated motifs is the “I AM” statements from Jesus.  “I AM the Light that has come into the world,” Jesus says.  “I AM the Bread…”, “I AM the Good Shepherd“, and “I AM the Resurrection and the Life”, are also statements of Jesus.  I suppose these hearken back to when Moses was at the burning bush asking God what His name was so that the Hebrews would know whom it is that Moses is talking to them about.  God’s only answer was, “I AM THAT I AM“.  He needed nothing more.

I think that at this time of year, it is good that we see that same simple statement in ourselves and the kind of spiritual power those small words have.  I am…

I am…thankful.  That is the biggest thing for this year.  It has not been easy for me or my family.  Since losing my former job in 2012, I was finally hired after five months of searching by a nearby hospital.  I am thankful for being able to keep a roof over our heads and food upon the table.  My new situation doesn’t allow for much more than that, but we have still been blessed and cared for every day of this past year.  Regardless of how little we had in our pockets, God provided for us all year.  I am thankful for these blessings because I know that others have even less and are still thankful.

I am…a runner.  Didn’t think I would stick that in here, did you?  No matter what has happened this year in other ways, I am still a runner.  I still get up twice during the week to run before the sun is up, and every Saturday I still go out for my long run.  My only race of the year will be in a week at the Dallas Marathon, where I am running the half.  I was fortunate to register back in the Summer and I am looking forward to the race. Yes, I am still a runner.

I am…a cyclist.  Well, we have to keep it going don’t we?  Cycling  is an expensive sport.  However, it can also be simple.  I managed one organized ride in May, but I have still been riding.  I have friends that have gotten up early on Sundays to ride a few miles and when they aren’t available, I realized I could still get up early and ride for myself.  While I don’t ride as many miles as in past years, I still ride and have made a few good routes around town.

I am…a triathlete.  Well, this one is just on faith.  I stopped swimming about a month ago just because it got very boring.  I did manage to make my distance up to a mile a week for a while this year from mid-Summer until Fall.  However, 1800 yards in a 20 yard pool can get very old.  So, I will just sit out for a while until I just have to go back.

I am…still in ministry.  I thought that when we started over at a new church that I would just be “around”.  That isn’t the plan I see.  There have been opportunities all year for ways that I can serve and I have been glad of the opportunities.

Yep, it’s been quite a good year after all.  And, just think: Christmas is just around the corner and many new adventures await.  Happy running, and happy thanksgiving!

 

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Tonight it’s Friday evening, but I am ready for Saturday morning. My shorts and socks are laid out. My shoes are at hand. My water bottle is freezing to death in the fridge. The weather is irrelevant, but rain would be nice. I am ready.

Why? There is no race tomorrow. My distance is not special. There is no one waiting to run with, just myself. Why all the prep? Why the ritual? Because it’s Saturday. It’s my long run day.

Saturdays are important to me as a runner. It’s the day to run long. The day to run slow. It’s the day to run and see everything wake up. It reminds me of why I run. It maintains the idea that I am just a little insane.

Not every runner runs long on Saturdays. Some run long on other days and at other times. Long is relevant only to each individual runner. Our distance may even change over time and season.

I run long on Saturdays not to race others. I only have three people that I have to do my best to beat, me, myself, and I. Tomorrow is Saturday again and those three will be running. I better be also. Happy Running.

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I hadn’t done any serious cycling since last Summer.  Though I had gotten out on the bike a few times this Spring, it’s been difficult trying to find time and place to do everything.  I was concerned whether or not I was ready to ride 60 miles at the Head for the Hills rally this past weekend. But, I was anxious to get out on a really long ride.

This ride is in Cedar Hill, TX; very near where I live.  I think this was my fifth year to ride it, but I’m not sure. It has always been a fun ride that is not too challenging.  I even got lost year before last and ended up in Mansfield, TX and had to make my way down a major highway just to get back to Midlothian.

I checked the weather the night before because wind can be a major factor on this ride.  My Weather Channel app said that the wind would be out of the north-northeast at 10 to 15 mph.  That didn’t sound bad.  However, the weather man ( or my weather app) lied about the wind speed.

I actually ran into a couple of folks I knew and lined up with them for the start.  They were talking about riding together, but when the start happened, there was too much waiting, so I took off.  Times a wastin’, ya’ll.

The whole first 35 miles or so was not only good, it was scary great.  We were moving fast.  I knew we had the wind at our backs, but it was only 10-15 mph, right?  We must just be moving well.  NOT.  The wind was at least 20 mph, and probably gusting higher. On some descents, it made it white-nuckle scary.

The back roads around Cedar Hill and northern Ellis County can get pretty narrow.  Many of these are chosen for the Head for the Hills ride and they are chosen well.  The twists and turns make the ride fun.  However, when you are dropping into a tight downhill turn on what is really only a one lane road at about 24 mph, the fun dies back somewhat.  I was fortunate in that I was in a large group of riders and could depend on them hollering back if any cars were coming.

I ran across one lady rider that was down just after a curve.  She had a lot of help around her, but I still thought it appropriate to ask if she was alright as she was being helped to the side. “Nope, not really.  Everything’s not quite alright,” was her answer as I peddled away.  I saw another guy go down in front of me.  I still don’t know what happened to him.  He was about 100 yards in front of me with his partner when he just flipped out and went down; on a straight road.  He was OK too, so I rode on.

When we made the turn back to the north, all the fun stopped.  Facing a 20 mph wind on a bike is a chore.  But, I’ve done it before and the ride still had to be finished, so I dropped the gears and the speed and just kept it up.  We made it up to the 40 mile rest stop fairly soon after the turn.  I decided it was time for a good rest before tackling the wind and the hills back to Cedar Hill.  This is a good rest stop because it is at a glider airport.  This time I got to see a glider get pulled up into the air.  It was a good day for gliding.  Lots of wind.

The last 20 miles or so were uneventful.  Just slow gutting it out against the wind.  Did I mention it’s all uphill back to Cedar Hill?  But, near the finish of the ride, things picked up. One guy near the finish that said he was going to draft off of me for a while.  I thought that was funny.  I’m not usually fast enough to draft from.  I also got a crack out of the two ladies that had just decided to stop at the Dairy Queen at the highway and have some ice cream before finishing.  Then there was the group of guys that turned back into the ride about a quarter mile from the race.  They had stopped to have lunch at Babe’s Fried Chicken before they finished.

I finished up in 5 hours even.  Certainly decent and typical for me at 60 miles.  However, we took off at 8AM and I was at 20 miles at 9:12 and 40 miles at 10:40, so you can get an idea of how much the wind slowed me down.  Five hours put me back in exactly at 1 PM.  You can see that it took from 10:40 to 1 PM just to get the last 25 or so miles done. Whew!

Cedar Hill is always a good ride.  I’ve hardly ever had any rain beyond just a few sprinkles.  It is often windy in one way or another.  A north wind in May is unusual and its a little better on this ride to have a south wind.  In addition, this ride helps a lot of folks in their area with the proceeds.  I’d recommend this one to anyone in the DFW area, especially because it’s close to us.  Most rides are much further out.

I’m probably going to be writing less for a while.  I’ve got several things I would like to work on besides just this blog.  I’d like to get a tech blog going and see how that works.  I’ve lost some of the motivation I used to have for writing, but thankfully, people keep actually reading what I write.  That always helps me remember that there is a good reason for what I’m doing.

I think I’ve finally gotten together a workout plan that works for my new schedule.  I run on Monday and Thursday mornings before work.  I spin on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to take off a little of the pressure from running.  I am doing my long runs on Saturday mornings (unless I have a ride).  That has helped in getting the longer miles in without getting up at 4 AM.  Now, I ride on Sunday afternoons when I can by taking the bike to Campion Trail.  I’d rather ride out myself, but the traffic just doesn’t work well.  I round this off with one or two evening swims, if I can.  That schedule should keep me fit and ready for whatever I want to do.

That should be enough for now.  My next ride is the Tour de Pepper in Dublin, TX in early June.  I’ll probably write again after that ride.  Happy running and cycling!

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