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I used to be an addict. Some people can recover.

By “some” people, I’m referring to myself as the fully-recovered. In high school I wasn’t interested in drugs, and only had alcohol a few times over friend’s houses, and to be honest, being 13 and drunk on whatever was laying around and trying to hide it from your parents when you get home is no fun. Literally only happened like twice before I turned 18. In college, I went the other way. I actually wound up in the hospital from alcohol poisoning my first semester of college. 1.75 liters of Vodka. The doctor at the time said I shouldn’t be alive. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that, all the barfing, or the guy next to me, also strapped down saying, “Nurse, can I get a glass of water?” all night. My BAC was .8 Yeah, no zero next to that: point eight. Anyway, it was a few months before I could drink again, and 30+ years later the smell of Vodka still makes me sick. A few years later, around 94, my friends were determined to get me to try weed, but I was never interested. Till a friend of mine that had been away a few months came back. I finally said yes. Once I did that, I was like, “May as well try it all”. Next was LSD, and shrooms, weed with crystal on it, Special K, Ecstasy, Opium, Coke, and pretty much every pill anyone ever passed to me. I did it all. Except needles. I never got hooked, until a guy a roommate and I knew came over with a bundle of rocks. A bundle then was like 30 or so. What started out as a fun night wound up being a $30,000 a month habit for several months where we stole everything we could get out hands on, ultimately leading to my winding up incarcerated for two years for larceny. The roommate I had at the time never got in trouble for that, but his life spiraled and he killed himself in 2013. I didn’t even know, I had stopped talking to him in 2011 after he said something rude about a girl I was dating. I felt terrible when I heard the news, I’m pretty sure I could’ve helped him. I have to live with that. On the fully-recovered part: crack was all I thought about for years. To this very day I still remember the sweet smell and the rush and euphoria from using it. I liked Opium, but I loved crack. Strangely, the soap Lever 2000 smells like Crack to me so I avoid using that soap. It has been 28 years since I touched Cocaine in any form. It just scares me that much. And for court at the time I had to do NA or AA, and while “inside” , of course. I just never felt like what they were saying applied to me. I was addicted to one thing, not everything. Like if you’re hooked on donuts, do you give up pizza? Over the years after I got out in 97, I still had run-ins with the law, I still abused drugs and alcohol, but it eventually got old. I started caring about showing up at work sober and not having to deal with hangovers, I didn’t want to have to deal with getting sick, scoring, or the people associated with any of it. Bars became an empty experience for me: I was just done. It’s now 2022, almost 2023, and I’ve been married for 9 years—No kids yet, although at my age I feel like I missed out, and my 35 year old wife does want them. I still drink, but very rarely. And I have expensive taste now like Macallan 18 for liquor. Too expensive to drink like a kid. I quit smoking cigarettes 3 years ago thanks to my wife constantly bugging me about it. I haven’t smoked weed in like 15 years, and the only time I take any pills now is if they’re prescribed. And I prefer not to. I’ve had my dentist give me Percocet a few times when I had dental work done and I just tossed it in the medicine cabinet. If I needed something I opted for Naproxen. I used to have a friend who was in AA, still is as far as I know, but we’d hang out at a local coffee shop and his AA friends would always assume I’m in AA, and then ask why if I wasn’t I was at a coffee house. It would make my friend laugh, and he’d tell them, “See, that thinking is why you are in AA and he isn’t.” I think AA is good for most of the people in it, but I don’t think everyone is always an addict. I think some people, like myself, were an addict, but time healed us.

I didn’t forget, I’ve just been Busy.

When I first started this blog back in 2009, I think, it was just a way for me to get my book ideas on “paper” for me to see and read. Then I started blogging about everything. I had quite a bit of traffic at one point, I had over 20,000 unique visitors a month. Now it’s way lower because I post like once every few months. And I have thousands of spam messages on my blog and I’ve tried a few scripts to remove them, but short of deleting all my comments at once, I don’t know how to take care of that.

So, I’ve been kind of depressed lately, I should be doing Uber all day, but I’ve been gaming instead. It’s not fair to my wife, and I feel like shit because of it, which makes me more depressed. Before the pandemic, I loved doing Uber. Then I switched to food delivery, which I mostly did post starting Uber only during the lunch and dinner rush. Now I pretty much just do that when I go out. I do passengers here and there and there’s a Lyft quest I might try for this weekend, but it’s 40 trips, and it’s only a guarantee of $505 if you do it. At least, if you make that much you don’t get anything extra, but there are streak bonuses not counted in the total, which means more money. I need to do the math.

Anyway, I will try to post more soon.

I know it’s been a while. I didn’t forget.

August. A lot has happened since then. Not really life-changing, I’ve just been busy with work, and life in general. I’m still doing Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Grubhub, Instacart, and Shipt, but I have stopped riding. Back in October my derailleur on my mountain bike broke. It now only shifts between 1-7 and clicks like crazy. If I had a bike stand I could probably fix it, but I don’t want to. I got this bike just to get around when my car got repossessed a few years back. I plan to buy a GT in the near future and get back out there. The problem now is last time I rode it was kind of warm, October, and now it’s crazy cold in the mornings. It’s not my favorite weather, but I want to get in shape and that means committing to riding in most conditions. Maybe snow days I’ll take off.

In later news, we’re suing our former landlord. We left the place looking nice and in good condition. We had plenty of issues there we didn’t create, but left it looking nice. We asked for the security back sending the letter after we moved, certified and regular mail, it got signed for, and nothing came. We paid rent on time every month for 5 1/2 years, even during the rent moratorium during the pandemic to the tune of almost $115,000. Our security was $1700, but even though she’s the one that didn’t renew our lease, she felt entitled to it. So we’re suing. Wouldn’t you know it, she counter-sues claiming $5,000 in damages when we moved out. So now she’s going to look like a bully in court when she can’t prove any such claim. People suck.

Uber, you SUCK!

A reply to someone’s post about Uber banning them from ordering: They just did the same thing to me. This is after deactivating me as a driver for alleged safety violations which none of 8 people over a month could find any record of. 8,000 trips, 4.9 rating, 100% on the delivery side, deactivated permanently. Then they tried to say I failed my background check after 4 years of driving for them, provided them a copy of the check they emailed me saying it was clear. Then they tried saying I had a duplicate account, which I do not. For every issue they had an excuse why I was banned, or couldn’t order. Ironically, my Postmates account works for delivering and ordering. I even asked them, “What could be so bad that I did that you had to ban me for life, but not on Postmates? And since my wife is also on the platform as a driver and customer, why’s it fine for her to order food to our hosue which I can get at the door, but I’m too dangerous to order it myself?” I have no accidents, no reports of any nature, no arrests, no tickets, never once been accused of anything untoward by Uber or customers/passengers: just *poof*: Banned. Still on Lyft, still on DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates, Instacart, and Amazon Flex. But Uber thinks I’m a shitty human being and wants nothing to do with me.

I just got banned on TWO LGBTQ reddits and reported on one. What the fuck.

I was asking in two of the LGBTQ pages about the states and their Trans ban for sports. I wasn’t trying to be hateful or anything, just asking how it’s fair for people not post-surgery or on hormone therapy to compete against women in high school sports. It just seems like there’s a huge advantage there. Anyway, that’s apparently what some people called hateful. I got reported for inciting hate. It’s not inciting hate. It’s called asking questions, but everyone is so fucking sensitive nowadays no one can ask anything.
 
If you ask about gender, you’re at best a sexist, at worst a bigot. If you ask about race, you’re just a racist. If you ask about religion, you’re a bigot. No one can talk about anything, but then we’re all supposed to care about the issues: without any explanation why something’s wrong. We’re supposed to just accept what other people say with no explanations, we’re not allowed to have our own feelings on the topics: what the fuck.
 
Some people can have questions and not be bigots. I understand that when you ask how it’s fair it implies that they’re not the same as women or girls born biologically female, but here’s the thing: they’re not. I’m not saying they should be treated differently, but there are cases where they should be. Which is why the Olympics requires that they have the hormone therapy so they don’t have an unfair advantage in strength. I think it’s ultra-far Left to say, “No, they’re the same, nothing should be required.” If they’re exactly the same with no differences at all, how come they can’t get pregnant? And people will use the excuse that a lot of women can’t have children, but in those cases it’s when they have something wrong like a disease or had to have a hysterectomy, or something like that. It’s not usually just because they can’t. And men and women have different chromosomes. Men are XY. Women are not, so there are biological differences. 
 
This reminds me of now how being Transracial is a thing. Yeah, you can be born White and identify as Black and everyone’s supposed to agree you’re Black. And I have a problem with that because they can turn it on and off when it’s convenient. Like they never have to worry about police brutality, and when they apply for jobs, or loans and people see they’re White they’ll get treated that way. But if they identify as being Black they can take advantage of things like scholarships for Blacks like in the movie “Soul Man”. That’s not right. Being Black is a real struggle and no one should be able to identify that way that isn’t Black and pretend they face the same struggles in life. 
 
And I know it’s not the same thing. The Transgender community hates being compared to the Transracial community, but here’s the thing: eventually it will go far Left, and they’ll get told they just have to accept it or they’re bigots, just like we get told if we don’t accept Trans students in sports with no HRT that we’re bigots. And I know from the comments I got that they hate this example, but South Park did an episode on this. I’m going to post a picture, then explain:
 
 
In the episode, the athlete on the left in the picture identified as a woman, so they had to let her compete. Yes, I italicized that on purpose for emphasis. The point was if you simply identify as a woman, these organizations have to recognize your right, as a woman, to compete against other women. Naturally, she destroyed the competition. Eventually Strong Woman and PC Principal both lose their shit because they realize we’ve gone too far to the left, but they’re afraid of upsetting PC babies. South Park is really deep most of the time, and it stuns me that most people don’t get it. People look at the surface and dismiss it, but they have dealt with pretty much every social issue there is. Like words that got canceled, etc. 
 
So, yes, I do think there should be more than just identifying as one gender or the other when it comes to things like competing. And, yeah, I do think we should either have unisex bathrooms or have the people in there have all the same sex organs. I don’t care if you used to be a woman, if you’re post-op and have a penis you can use the Men’s room, and if you used to be a man and now have a vagina you can use the Women’s room. Why is that controversial? Since no one’s allowed to ask, you could find yourself in a dressing room at a pool or something when what appear to be a man is in there getting undressed with everyone else, and because you’re not allowed to ask questions you just have to assume they’re Trans. You really can’t see how someone could take advantage of that? I’m not saying for a second anyone Trans would do anything shady like use that to get in a different dressing room, but plenty of heterosexual men would if they knew no one was allowed to ask any questions. What if it’s a Heterosexual Cis pedophile? We have to wait till after they commit a crime to ask any questions? That doesn’t seem right. 
 
My solution for the bathroom situation was deemed hateful, too. Here it is: we make all bathrooms unisex. We make all locker rooms unisex. Then we teach children, and adults, that the human body is not shameful and comes in many different sizes and shapes. But it was deemed hateful because the Trans community, apparently, wants to force people to just accept them and accept what thy do with no questions asked. Which means Trans women with penises in the Women’s locker room. Or vice versa. Sorry, but that’s going to cause problems. The cool thing about my personal web page is I can ask questions and post ideas. I am not in any way saying to not respect them or give them less rights, or to hate on them in any way. But some situations, more thought needs to happen. Not every situation is the same. If we have to accept their rights and pinions they should have to respect ours, too. Equality doesn’t mean you get the superior position. It means you get an equal position. Equal in every way. So if you have an unfair advantage, it needs to be adjusted. If you’re trying to force your beliefs on others, it needs to be adjusted. 
 
Dating is yet another area where I’ve heard some things that don’t make sense to me. Being accepted as people doesn’t mean Hetero Cis men are required to date you. I and no one else is a bigot because we want to date women who were born biologically female. And how would we know? Some of us would. If you’re open to it: fine, but it shouldn’t be a requirement for you to be equal that men have to date you, or vice versa. I knew a pro-op girl years ago who used to pick up men, and not tell them, an assume they must be okay with it. It never ended well for her, but she refused to tell them, and the same bad things kept happening. I think you should tell people. My opinion, but if a guy is hooking up with you and reaches down expecting to find a vagina and winds up with a penis in his hand, yeah, some men are going to be pissed. Some Trans women never get the operation. So that need to be addressed ahead of time,. You can’t expect a man to be okay with not having a vagina when they’re looking for a woman with a vagina. Why is this controversial? Go look for men that are cool with it. Stop trying to force every man to be cool with it. I prefer women who were born with vaginas. I’m not apologizing for that. No one should have to.
 
This shit is how Republicans are born. You push people too far to the Left and they snap and go the other way, to the far Right. That’s not what you want, and it shouldn’t be all or nothing. There should be common ground. I always wondered what would happen if a Trans man who didn’t say anything would up with a Trans woman who didn’t say anything: there’s no one to force to accept you in that situation, so would they lose interest? It really feels that way a little. I’ve even heard Gay men say to me, “How do you know you don’t like men if you don’t try?” Umm, because I’m not sexually attracted to men. I’m not anti-Gay, I just don’t think I need to let a guy have sex with me to prove that. I don’t prove I’m not anti-hammer by hitting my finger with a hammer: I know it’s not what I want. And I’ve even had Gay men say to me, “I could have you if I wanted”. Umm, no you couldn’t. As hot as you think you are: not gonna happen. Now, can I tell you if a man is attractive in general? Sure, I can do that. I don’t have to be attracted to them, personally to say something like, and my wife will love this if she ever reads it, that Dr. Mike from YouTube is a good-looking guy. I’d have to be blind to not recognize things like that. But my penis isn’t interested. And then some people will say stupid shit like, “What if a man offered you a million dollars to have sex with them”. Umm, probably take the money and go to my happy place, and do what I needed to for the million dollars. But that’s not being Gay, that’s being open to being rich. Well, not even rich nowadays, but with enough money to buy a house, start a business, and have a bunch left over invested. But it’s just a silly “what if”. 
 
So, to sum up: no, I am not against any community. Yes, I do think we need to have discussions on what’s fair and what isn’t. No, I don’t think asking or having opinions makes people bigots, or sexist, or racist, or whatever label you want to use. It’s not Transphobic to ask questions. Transphobic would be saying things like they shouldn’t be allowed to get married, or get jobs, or apartments, or whatever. It’s not asking why it’s okay for someone with a penis to be in the woman’s locker room, or how is it fair for someone biologically male, not on HRT to compete against biological females. And when people ask questions, you can give answers, and explain your position. That’s how people learn. 

A friend of 29 years doesn’t want to be friends any more.

One of my friends doesn’t want to be friends any more because I’m not as extremely into politics as he is. He’s far right, I’m center left. He believes in conspiracy theories, I don’t. I don’t care who comes up with the theory, I just don’t believe it. We’ve argued about things before and agreed not to talk about politics, but the subject comes up anyway from time to time.
 
When you take the position that everything, literally every problem in America is because of Liberals, you’re taking an extreme position on the far Right. I am not an extremist. I live in the real world on the CENTER Left. I see problems with BOTH sides, but lean towards preferring we do things like help the common man.
 
We don’t show we’re a great nation by increasing the amount of people we put in poverty. That’s failure, not success. I believe in things like equality. Other people having the SAME rights in no way takes away your rights.
 
I guess I’m just really frustrated that after 29 years of being friends I see someone who was pretty Liberal back in the day, who for most of our friendship could talk, discuss, even argue about stuff without losing his cool is now so far to the right that it’s either all his way or not at all. I feel bad because I know what he thinks, that I’m the one who won’t see the other side of it, and that’s just not true. The problem is I cannot, nor will I ever, trust websites that are on either extreme. And a lot of people claim that’s what the main stream media is, but it isn’t. Being popular doesn’t make you wrong. Being fact-checked, or peer-reviewed doesn’t make you wrong. It means you have the standing to make a claim and back it up with science or data. That’s all I’m saying. If you were really as open-minded as you claim I’m not, you’d question everything like I do and go do the heavy lifting and really research things and then ask yourself if it sounds true or not. That’s what I do and in the past have called out people for making shit up about the Right. I usually say something like “We should be better than this. Let’s get mad at what they actually did, not make shit up”.
 
Like imagine if I said something like “It’s already been proven the Proud Boys started all those fires in the summer”. I’d look uninformed, right? Because it’s NOT true. Even IF one or two happened to be there they weren’t behind all that. That’s what I’m saying.

What happened to the Blue Wave?

“The predicted “blue wave” didn’t happen.”

—That’s only because there are far more batshit-crazy, far-right wanna-be fascists than we counted on. We thought Trump had jumped the shark, but what we learned was there’s no new low that Republicans would say they’ve had enough of. Historically, the country always does better under Democrats. It’s not partisan, you can look it up. Under Democrats less people die of health issues, suicide rates drop, violent crime goes down, contrary to what Republicans think government actually spends less, the people earn more money, education scores rise, but most republicans see things like those are a major problem because our corporate overlords lose control of the people. And pretty much all Republicans care about is the 1%. The ideal Republican world is George Orwell’s “1984”, or possibly Wells’ “Time Machine”, or modern day Russia or North Korea. Of course, I suspect most Republicans never read either of those books, because they’re books and all, and as such “Liberal propaganda”. But if they had their way we’d live under a totalitarian regime. That’s why they say things like the only fair election is one in which they win.

I’m trying to figure out of these Picasso sketches are real and worth money. Let me know if you know how to check.

I’ve also managed to score a few Normal Rockwell prints, and one Van Gogh, although of all the prints I seriously doubt the Van Gogh is real. It just looks too flat and clear. The Picassos are obviously real sketches, but the question is was he the one who sketched them are are they reprints. The Rockwells are clearly panted, but, again, by him, or by someone else?

Health care is too damn expensive in the US.

“While employers pay most of the costs of coverage, according to the survey, workers’ average contribution is now $6,000 for a family plan. That’s just their share of upfront premiums, and doesn’t include co-payments, deductibles and other forms of cost-sharing once they need care.” —That’s if you have an employer. If you’re self-employed you either pick a catastrophic plan, a bronze plan, neither of which cover very much, or pay a LOT more for Silver or Gold. Even then with Silver and Gold most things aren’t covered and you run into that deductible.

Here’s what I don’t get: places like Canada their health care costs are a tenth of what ours are for the same or better care. The US ranks around 20th in the world for quality of health care, so that idea republicans have that we have the best care simply isn’t true. How you “feel” doesn’t reflect reality. Like we all think our education is the best in the world, and that isn’t true, either. Both are very good, but how do countries with much longer life expectancies, with higher qualities of life, and more satisfaction manage to do it? Higher taxes. I don’t know, for me the trade-off is worth it. Americans are so greedy it’s sad. Instead of having the most people in the developed world die who could’ve been saved we choose profit. Instead of rehabilitating people who run afoul of our laws we choose to piss away tax dollars to lock them up. We have the highest incarceration rate in the world and with many prisons being for profit, you can see why. And those people are statistically more likely to hit that revolving door because we’d rather spend tax money to give to for profit prisons because it “feels better” to punish people, than to divert them to programs that are proven to work and end those cycles.

Mr. Medal of Freedom, Rush Limbaugh is a great example of that. He’s a hardliner when it comes to drug abuse. He says we should “put them in jail and throw away the key”. But having means, when he himself became addicted and got busted with illegal prescriptions wanted our compassion and understanding, then bought his way out of trouble. He now has no sympathy for other people without means in the same boat and still thinks we should lock them up and throw away the key. He’s a hypocrite. Especially when we know the programs he benefited from can actually work for other people, too, if they want the help. But, yeah, let’s keep pissing away tax dollars on things that don’t work to avoid spending them on things that do.

And Trump’s latest plan to gut the ACA further than he has, and to dismantle Social Security and Medicare to pay for his tax cuts to the top will only make the situation much worse. Everyone over 65 reading this probably gets one or both of those programs. If they go away completely you’d be fine? If so, why are you using either right now?

Using tax dollars in ways that make sense isn’t Socialism. Not even that Socialism is a dirty word. Republicans love using Venezuela as the ONLY example of what will happen to the United States if we take care of the poor, if we have decent free education, and make sure everyone has food, and medicine when they need it. It’s funny how you never use countries like Norway in your examples. Or New Zealand. Or Canada. Or Japan. Japan has one of the longest life expectancies on Earth, the lowest murder rate in the world, and somehow the people manage to make a decent living, and have pretty decent lives. But, yeah, let’s keep saying the US can only turn out to be like Venezuela. That assumes the majority of Americans are too stupid to go in any other direction. That sounds like a red state problem to me. The life expectancy in the United States is longer in Blue states with Connecticut having the longest life expectancy in America. Blue states also have lower crime rates, lower health problems, lower amounts of suicide, higher test scores, less teen pregnancy, less abortion, more college graduates, higher per capita GDP. We can do it if we all work together.

We just need to eliminate greed, and be willing to compromise and use some common sense,

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