Saturday, March 31, 2012

Getting Rid of the Penny Part 2

In 2008 I posted about the Canadian federal government wanting to get rid of the penny which you can read here.  Well, in the budget handed down by the Canadian federal government recently, one of the things they said they want to do is that they are getting rid of the penny.  By the end of the year, the penny will be taken out of circulation.  Back in 2008, it was rumored that was happening.  It looks like it finally happening.  Also back in 2008, it was said that the penny is losing value.  Is that still the case?

It take 1.5 cents to produce a penny.  But for some odd reason, the higher the coin amount, the cheaper it is to produce it.  You would think it's the other way around, but it's not.  In terms of saving money for the government, it makes sense to take the penny out of circulation.  In a 2010 article by CBC Business, it talks about various countries pennies and they get by without it.  Then senator Irvin Gerstein said it costs to keep the penny, but it would also costs to eliminate it.
“By some estimates, the production and use of the penny represents hundreds of millions of dollars every year in direct costs to taxpayers and lost productivity," Senator Irving Gerstein said in a statement, adding "there would be costs associated with eliminating the penny, as well.”
Back in 2007, 62 percent of businesses were in favour of getting rid of the penny.  That means they will have to round to the nearest nickel.  Australia and New Zealand have had no issues in doing so and they haven't had a penny since the 90s.  But will this work for Canada?  Apparently it will.

The Senate has recommended to get rid of the penny. Which is what they will do at the end of the year.  According a 2010 article by Maclean's, the penny has been called outdated and since it's inception, it's been seen as worthless and flimsy compared to the sterling that was issued for years prior to the penny's 1858 debut.

I'm on the fence about the penny.  I don't neither like it or hate it.  I heard a person say one time that it's useful.  But like it's been said, it's no longer useful.  If the penny was never useful, than why couldn't they have killed it and continued using the previous currency?  That would seem like the most logical thing to do.  But for the people who hate the penny, I guess they can rejoice in some roundabout way.  The penny is on it's way out and I guess we will use it while we can.  How do you feel about it.  Like I said, I'm on the fence ala I'm indifferent.

Lent 2012: Five Time, Five Time, Five Time, Five Time, Five Time

Due to absent mindedness, I totally forgot about a Lent update.  Not that anything eventful happened.  I feel these Lent updates are lackluster.  Maybe I'm putting to much stalk in something big and eventful happening.  Maybe I'm also putting to much stalk in the fact that readers of my blog want something interesting to read and not just a boring 'ole update.

Perhaps the fact these updates are uneventful means that I'm doing something right.  Maybe my next update will be more eventful... Or not...

Until next time... Peace, love, and bacon grease!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Song of the Day #39

I am posting this song in memory of the legendary banjo player who died yesterday.  R.I.P. Earl Scruggs!  You were the master of the banjo!

"Foggy Mountain Breakdown" by Earl Scruggs and Friends (Steve Martin, Marty Stuart, Paul Shaffer, Vince Gill, Randy Scruggs, Garry Scruggs, Glen Duncan, Albert Lee, Jerry Douglas, and Leon Russell)
YouTube link

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Song Obessions

I like to credit myself as coming up with the "term song obsession."  A song obsession is a song that I can listen to for a period of time and not get sick of it.  The term never really came about until a few years ago.  But song obsessions go back to my childhood.  Here are my song obsessions that I can remember.

"Ordinary World" by Duran Duran
YouTube link

"T-R-O-U-B-L-E" by Travis Tritt
YouTube link

"Take Away My Pain" by Dream Theater
YouTube link

"These Days" by Foo Fighters
YouTube link

"It's Gonna Be a Lovely Day" by The S.O.U.L. S.Y.S.T.E.M
YouTube link

"Count On Me" by Default
YouTube link

"All At Sea" by Jamie Cullum
YouTube link

"Take a Picture" by Filter
YouTube link

"American Psycho" by Treble Charger
YouTube link

"Light Up the Sky" by The Afters
YouTube link

"Here With Me" by MercyMe
YouTube link

"Word of God Speak" by MercyMe
YouTube link

"Just the Way You Are" by Bruno Mars
YouTube link

"Who I Am" by Nick Jonas & The Administration
YouTube link

"Santa Monica" by Savage Garden
YouTube link

"Still Alive" by Jonathan Coulton featuring Sara Quin
YouTube link

"Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)" by C+C Music Factory
YouTube link

Monday, March 26, 2012

Random Fact #9

On season 3 episode 48 of "Corner Gas" entitled "Telescope Trouble," you see Officer Quinton Davis played by Lorne Cardinal playing a guitar upside down while singing "Kumbaya."  You can view the episode below where it happens.

YouTube link

Moderate, Moderation, Moderating

While on Skype this evening, I asked my friend Mark what I should blog about.  He suggested to rant on coffee, but there is nothing to really rant on.  So our conversation ended up at moderation.  Basically the moderation aspect of it stemmed from him trying to quit coffee and how his body reacted.  He doesn't see anything wrong with drinking it, but it's just learning to not drink a lot of it.  It's all about moderation and that is a good principle to live by.  Also that this would be a challenging and interesting issue to wrestle with.

Looking up moderation in the dictionary, I've found the definition of moderation which is spot on:

1. The state or an instance of being moderate; mildness; balance.
2. The act of moderating.
3. In moderation within moderate or reasonable limits.

Even though that definition of moderation is true, but what it actually looks like is different to all of us.  Some see moderation as what it is defined in the dictionary while others don't have or don't care to have a sense of moderation.  Sometimes having a sense of moderation is hard for people in various things they do.

There are two quotes that come to mind: 

The ancient Roman playwright Terrance says:
"Moderation in all things."
One of the United States founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin says:
"Do everything in moderation, including moderation."
It's easy for Terrance and Benjamin Franklin to say to do things in moderation.  But if you are an addict, it's not always easy to moderate the thing you are addicted too.  To some addicts, getting it under control and moderating it might seem like an illusion.  A drug addict or an alcoholic will do what they can to get their next fix or their next drink.  It's easy for people who don't have an addiction to moderate such things, but if you've ever been an addict, you will know how hard it is.  Once you are an addict, you have that mindset to always be an addict.  With a lot of alcoholics, they can't control it because once they fall off the bandwagon, they'd have to start on the road to sobriety again.  Plus with a lot of people the issue of relapse is always there.  As I said, the idea of moderation is an illusion to people with addictions.

I am think of the following Ernest Hemingway said:
"Live life to the fullest."
This is an interesting concept and words to live by.  Living life to the fullest can mean many different things to people.  But does that mean having to moderate the way you live your life?  You can live life to the fullest with moderation.  You just have to know what areas to moderate yourself in.  Some people may moderate themselves in one area that you wouldn't and vice versa.  It's all in a persons perception.  What sort of things should we moderate verses what sort of things we don't need to moderate?

In my life as a Christian, I've come to learn over the years that shouldn't be a moderate Christian.  Basically, you shouldn't be just a Christian that believes something and that is it.  You should strive to learn more and have the want to know more.  Christianity is something you shouldn't have to moderate because of how society looks upon it.  Don't let society be the moderation tool you use to in how much you want to know or be willing to learn about Christianity.  If you believe in it, why let society or what people think stop you?  If various people throughout history of Christianity were moderate about their faith, than we wouldn't have the great and notable figures like William Wilberforce, Martin Luther, etc..  They didn't sit around and just be moderate about it.  So why should we be?

I've seen in the western world that we have a lack of moderation when it comes to what we eat.  More specifically, junk food.  We have become a slave a to junk food.  I know this to be true because I've at various times have had a lack of moderation when it comes to junk food.  This lack of moderation is of epidemic proportions and it shows.  North America is the fattest continent in the world while the United States of America is the fattest country in the world.  The companies that manufacture and produce junk food know that we don't know how to moderate our consumption of it.  They use this to spend tens of billions of dollars in various forms of advertising, contests, and whatnot.  We need to learn to moderate with junk food or it will just get worse.  I know I need to put it into action after Lent, but it's something we all need to do for whatever reasons.  Moderation is not such a bad thing.

I've heard that moderation is key and in life that is true.  But what you choose to moderate is up to you.  You are not some mindless robot that can't think for itself.  So here is to moderation!  Good luck!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Song of the Day #38

This cover of a Smashing Pumpkins song I heard on CBC Radio 2 on Friday on my way to work.  It's a unique sound on a classic Smashing Pumpkins song.

"1979" by Jacksoul
YouTube link

Russell Peters - My Favourite Comedian Of All-Time

Today I was texting my friend Mark and we got to talking about Russell Peters.  That name is familiar to a good lot of people, but to others, that name means nothing.  He is an Indian (not Native American) Canadian comedian.  I've been a fan of his for years.  But we talked about his style of comedy mainly.

 I call Russell Peters are a cultural observationalist.  What I mean by that is Peters makes observations on the cultures of the world.  At times during his routine, he does exaggerate at times.  But at other times, some of the observations he does are close especially about Indians.

My friend Mark said he is a one trick pony.  But a lot of comedians are "one trick ponies."  He also said that he does one style of joke.  A lot of comedians do one style of joke.  For instance, Jerry Seinfeld only does the "have you ever noticed" type joke.  It's not like Peters is the only one who does one style of joke.  Plus he does the style of joke he does well.  Every time I see something I've never seen form him before, I laugh so hard.  He gets me going.

There are a number of comedians out there that get me laughing.  But Russell Peters is tops for me because it's not just the style of joke he does, but he can do different accent too.  He is incredibly good at it.  That's another part of what makes him so good.  So give him a listen and see for yourself.

No matter what your stance is on Russell Peters, he will always bee my number comedian of all-time and number one Canadian comedian of all-time.  He is vastly better than a lot of other comedians out there like Dane Cook. I've only heard one joke Cook has done that was good.  Otherwise he is vastly overrated.  You may think Peters is overrated and that is fine because you are entitled to think what you want.  But as long as you give him a chance, than that is all I can ask.

Here is a clip of a hilarious Russell Peters joke!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Music Being Overplayed On The Radio

As I was on the way to work yesterday, I was listening to CBC Radio 2 as I have been for the last number of weeks.  It was yesterday I realized that CBC Radio also prone to overplaying songs like stations that play mainstream do.

Nada Surf's "Jewels and Gems" has been getting a lot of play.  You can say that it's been getting overplayed.  CBC Radio doesn't follow the same mold as mainstream radio.  But that doesn't mean they are not prone to this.  The difference between mainstream radio and CBC Radio is that mainstream radio overplays music that is topping the charts while CBC Radio doesn't necessarily.  Or mainstream radio plays "classic" songs and beats them to death.  

There are a number of artists and bands that should be on the radio but are not is astounding.  A lot of radio stations like to claim that they have "variety."  But if all they are playing is the same artists or bands, than how much variety do they really have?  CBC Radio 2, across all shows, do have a nice variety, but they still fall victim to overplaying music.

If I ran a radio station, I'd play certain songs more than others.  But I'd still try to incorporate a nice mix.  I don't want to fall victim to overplaying music.  With how vast the world of music is, we should strive to incorporate a lot of it.  Saying some artists or bands are not radio friendly is an archaic notion.  But with being able to make it in the music business by simply being on the Internet has left radio with a vast number of acts not being on the radio.  This also contributes to music being overplayed on the radio.

Is it wrong to want a happy medium?  If you went through the artists and bands are not considered radio friendly, than you'd see that probably a good three quarters of them could make it on the radio.  My idea for a radio station format is play not only my favourite artists, bands, and songs.  But it's to also bring the listener artists, bands, and songs that they've never heard.  Just expand the mind of the listener to want to check out new music.  I love giving people recommendations for music.  I love trying to get out of a box in terms of what they listen to by helping them expand their mind.  Sure a lot of people are stubborn and don't want to check out new music.  You can also see this as a contributor to the problem of music being overplayed on the radio.

Whatever the case maybe, music is too vast for it to be in such a funk in terms of it being played on the radio.  It's a shame that mainstream music is a slave to what is on the charts.  But if I ever setup a radio station whether it be traditional, Internet, or satellite radio, I hope to change all of this.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lent 2012: Four Score and Seven Years Ago...

Lent week four is in the books for 2012.  Nothing much to report.  Just going along without any problems.  I have had a truly uneventful week in terms of Lent.  In a chatroom I go in, we've been having a couple memorials for a friend and room member that passed away on March 9, 2012.

That's it, that's all.  Join me next week for what should be another uneventful update.  Bon voyage!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" - My Childhood Cartoon, A Connection To The Bible/Christianity, & More

Yesterday I texted my friend Mark and asked him what I should blog about.  He said "X-Men, I am."  I replied, "I don't know what to say..."  Mark answered, "Just talk about a childhood cartoon."  With that I instantly thought of the original "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles."

The "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" was a favourite of mine growing up. I used to know the theme song, had a bunch of action figures and accessories, have "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game," seen all three live action movies, seen the CGI animated film, and I even bought the comic where the Ninja Turtles and April O'Neil meet for the first time.

The original cartoon itself was a staple during my childhood.  I remember it would be on after school.  That was one of the highlights of the day.  I would watch it as all kids would do rooting on the Ninja Turtles to stop Shredder's "evil" plan. No matter how hard or how long it took, they succeeded.

The Ninja Turtles who are good always battle Shredder who is evil.  This reminds of Pslam 34:13-15.
13 keep your tongue from evil
   and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good;
   seek peace and pursue it.  15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous,
   and his ears are attentive to their cry;

Romans 12:21
 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Or Romans 16:18-20.
18 For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. 19 Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice because of you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.  20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.
   The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
Basically you can see the Ninja Turtles as good and Shredder as evil.  With the Ninja Turtles defeating Shredder and stopping him from his evil plans.  It's like God stopping Satan from doing his evil plans.  Just like God, the Ninja Turtles try and protect the world by doing good.  They try to not be overcome by evil and help the people they "serve" not to be overcome by evil by not letting Shredder deceive them.

People want to believe in something and some of them are quick to believe in the first thing they are told/heard.  Evil wants you to do that, but you should resist the temptation to believe the first thing you are told because you may end up following evil (Shredder/Satan) and instead follow the good (Ninja Turtles/God/Jesus).  Like God, the Ninja Turtles try to show people the right path to walk down.  Sure we may stumble, we may fall, but we must not give in to the temptations of Satan and Shredder.  Doing so is part of their plan.

I liked Michelangelo for the longest time.  But I than realized that Raphael got no love because he was touted as uncool.  The others have something like Leonardo is the leader, Donatello can build and fix things, Michelangelo is looked upon as cool.  What is Raphael?  He can been the role model for people who are not considered cool.  He can kick ass like the rest of them.  So I don't get why he is looked upon as uncool.  What did he do to deserve having this thrust upon him?

The "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" series that came out in 2003 and whatnot, I can't get into them.  They are not the same as the original.  If you like the newer series, that's all well and fine, but I think they don't hold a candle to the original.  There is a new "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" series set to air on Nickelodeon.  Three notable names will be voices of the Ninja Turtles.  Jason Biggs from "Saving Silverman," "American Pie" series, "Loser," etc; Sean Astin from "Rudy," "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, etc.; and Rob Paulsen who has done many voice over roles with him being the original Leonardo.  I hope it will be a throw back to the original.

Here is something that I fear may hurt the plot of the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles."  Michael Bay, who seriously ruined "Transformers," is wanting to turn the Ninja Turtles into aliens.  He is a cunt and will be lynch mobbed if he goes through with it.  If you were a fan of the original series, you'll find this so enraging if he goes through with it.  Even Kevin Munroe who directed the 2007 film "TMNT" went to Kevin Eastman, the creator of the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" if he could do that CGI animated film.  If I was Eastman, I'd tell of Michael Bay to not screw with his work because Bay would be taking MUTANT out of "Teenage MUTANT Ninja Turtles."  After all, it's not "Teenage Alien Ninja Turtles."

Monday, March 19, 2012

Chris Tomlin with All Sons and Daughters Review

Last night I went to a concert headlined by Chris Tomlin.  His opening act was All Sons and Daughters.  Both are praise and worship/contemporary Christian.  The ticket was free.  That's why I went.

I never heard of the opening act, All Sons and Daughters before.  So I had no idea what to expect from them.  They have nice harmonies.  Their lyrical content is your usual praise and worship and contemporary Christian.  I was hoping that David Leonard would do more on the piano.  He could have done more than just play standard chords.  Anyone with basic piano training could do that.  Their energy was more laid back.  It felt more reflective.

All Sons and Daughters were overall not bad.  I wouldn't run out and buy their albums or anything like that.  But they were enjoyable.  They didn't play a long set which is expected with opening acts.  David Leonard looks like my former "resident mentor" at Covenant Bible College, Ryan Quist in the face.  If anyone knows Ryan Quist, than you'll find the humor in that.

Chris Tomlin came on after a short intermission.  I went to the front in the "praise pit" as Chris Tomlin called it.  Now most people know a lot of his songs as they are used in worship like "How Great is Our God," "Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)," "Indescribable," "Our God is Greater" and others.  A lot of his songs are used by churches for worship which is why these songs sound familiar.  The energy he brought was actually quite amazing (no Brian Frable references, Mark).  I surprisingly got into it.  Everybody was getting into it.  I don't go out of my way to listen to praise and worship music per se, but Chris Tomlin was awesome.  I felt something that I haven't felt in a long time.  I truly felt God.  By the end of the concert, my voice was shot.

I'd consider going to see Chris Tomlin again.  He was actually very good.  He changed my opinion slightly of praise and worship/contemporary Christian artists.  I was never a fan of Chris Tomlin per se, but I could get into his music a bit more.  One of Chris Tomlin's guitarists also looks like my like my former "resident mentor" at Covenant Bible College, Ryan Quist.  If anyone knows Ryan Quist, than you'll find the humor in that.  He looks like him more so than David Leonard.  The guitarist has the same receding hairline, hair colour, and facial structure.

Overall the concert was actually good.  It's not in my top three.  But it's in my top ten.  Praise and worship/contemporary Christian music is not for everybody even some Christians.  But at least give Chris Tomlin a listen and even go to one of his concerts.  You may find you'll like it.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Blogging Resolution

My posting rate is up vastly compared to other years.  I made it a news years resolution to blog more and that is exactly what I am doing.  Let's hope that I continue to do this all year and not flop on my resolution.  Usually I never make new years resolutions, but this one is doable.

Here is a song about new years resolutions

"New Years Resolution Song" by Rhett and Link
YouTube link

Sin, Sinning, and Sinner

The idea of sin, sinning, and being a sinner is not some new revelation.  It goes back to the Biblical times and probably even further.  When I look up sin in the Bible, one passage comes to mind.  Romans 1:18-32 is that passage.  I made mention of the aforementioned passage in a recent post in which I grappled with the topic of taking the Bible literally or not.

Talking with a friend about this passage before posting that entry, I understand that passage a lot better.  The Apostle Paul is not segregating one specific group of people such as gays.  He is saying we are all sinners.  People like to condemn other people or groups as sinners without first looking at themselves.  I've even been labeled a sinner.  I find it hypocritical that I am being labeled as a sinner when the person telling me that I am one is a sinner in their own right.

Who are we as mere mortals to judge people in this fashion?  The ultimate judgement will come when we die.  Or that is what is supposed to happen anyways.  But it is in our human nature to cast upon judgements of what someone does that we see as "not right."

I think of a quote by the poet Alexander Pope (1688-1744) who said "to err is human, to forgive, divine."  He is basically saying that any human can make a mistake thus we should try to forgive them just as God would show mercy and forgive sinners.

I myself at times find it hard to forgive.  It's something I struggle with.  I should forgive their sin and just move on.  But I'm not this perfect being that can easily do something like that.  Sure I'd like people to forgive the sins that I've done.  That will not always happen.  So I try to deal with it as best as I can and move on.

If you think this world is going to be free from sin, than you are oblivious.   A world free from sin is something to strive for, but it will never happen.  I'm a sinner and it's up to me just like it's up to you to change this.  I know it will take time.  But you have to take it one step at a time. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

First World Problems, Third World Delights

Do you notice what first world nations (wealthy developed nations) complain about verses third world nations?  The stuff we take for granted is a luxury in third world nations.  The stuff we cast aside because "we don't like it" or it's not according to "our standards."  The developed nations have become too picky about the smallest things that the bigger issues we face seemingly become not so important that when it comes to do something about those bigger issues, it's almost like it's too late to do anything.

We complain that our eggs are not scrambled right, our cell phones don't this feature or that feature, our TV is not HD enough, our computer isn't the right brand, our clothes weren't tailored right so it doesn't work with certain footwear we own, etc..

There are people out there in this world in third world nations that would wish they could be so lucky as to be able to complain about such things.  But instead they have to worry about where they are going to get their next meal from or when.  They have to worry about when they are going to make their next bit of money from.  They have to worry about whether they can survive the night or even that day because the conditions they live in and have to deal with leave them illnesses that can kill them.

The mindset of those in first world nations verses third world nations are vastly different.  In first world nations, we have this materialistic, always in a rush, all about me, etc. type mindset.  But in third world nations, they have a mindset that, I'm starving, don't have any money, poor living conditions, etc..  A lot of them remain positive as they do have this mindset.

If our materialistic items were taken away and we were told to live by our means, than a lot of people in first world nations would go mental.  They wouldn't know what to do with themselves with computers, smart/super phones, brand new vehicles, entertainment centers with 60 inch TVs, video games, etc..  Us in first world nations worry about whether we are plugged in and connected to the world where news is old five seconds ago, a video going viral, being on the bandwagon of the latest fad, etc..  People in third world nations only dream of something like that.  But as I said before, people in third world nations worry about when they are going to make their next bit of money from, whether they can survive the night or even that day because the conditions they live in, and have to deal with leave them illnesses that can kill them.

The sad thing is that the first world nations are so fixated on themselves and the stuff they want that they can't see the true problems of this world.  That's why I can respect the ones that do try and help in third world nations by missionaries and whatnot.  I'm not saying everyone needs to be a missionary, but start somewhere.  Change people's views of the first world nations that we are not all self absorbed, materialistic, ass clowns.

Song of the Day #37

This is such an amazing song! When I heard it yesterday on CBC Radio 2 Drive, it brought a tears to my eyes as I thought about my friend Penny Deboard who is no longer with us.

"Dedicated to You" by Johnny Reid
YouTube link

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Lent 2012: Three Down...

I was going to post this update yesterday, but I didn't.  So here it is.

Lent week two went well in terms of what I'm fasting from.  But the latter half come to close on a more somber not.  A good friend and ex-girlfriend passed away on Saturday, March 9.  She was admitted into the hospital in the middle of January.  She was on the road to recovery when heart problems took her life.  She was loved by many online and off.

Losing someone you were close to is always hard.  The grieving process takes time.  But as you grieve, you still need to live your daily life as best as possible.  I am thankful that I have someone special to keep me sane through this time.  It's not easy for her either.  She is also grieving the loss of the same friend.  In essence, I'm here for her too.

I'll be grieving going forward for a while.  Let's see what week three holds.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

"Super Size Me" and The Fast Food Epidemic

At church on Sunday, a few of us got on the topic of fast food and the Morgan Spurlock documentary "Super Size Me."

It got me thinking.  Thinking about how fast didn't really change since it was released, or has remained relatively unchanged in a lot of ways, about how it effects not just your health but also your budget, how their "healthy alternatives" are not as healthy as you think, how you are no longer asked if you want it "super sized," among other things.

Since "Super Size Me" was released, I've noticed that not many things have changed about the fast food industry.  They still offer you greasy burgers, deep fried food, etc..  With all the facts presented in the documentary and throughout the history of the industry, you'd think they'd try to change stuff for the better.  But as you can see there has relatively no change.  If there has been change, than show me.  I'm talking about big change.  Not some some insignificant change that means nothing.  The fast food industry is due for a change.  But there seems to be an unwillingness for all the fast food joints out there to change.  They only mask it with clever wording, advertising, dumb jingles, and add stuff to their already crap menus (for the most part).  Even if they don't add stuff to their menu, they are probably thinking "why bother mess with what is working..."  It's only working because the world, especially the western world is has become a slave to fast food.  But I digress, change needs to happen!

Along with that change, fast food joints are trying to offer "healthy alternatives."  But is it truly healthy?  Lets take a salad for instance.  By looking at a salad, it seems healthy, right?  Sure, I guess.  But if you examine stuff you put on the salad like the dressing, it can defeat it's purpose of being healthy.  Some dressings can be made with high fat ingredients.  I'm not saying this because I don't like salad.  I'm just saying that their so-called "healthy alternatives" are not as healthy as they want you to believe.  Even a chicken snack wrap from McDonalds is filled with tomatoes, lettuce, and whatnot; but the sauce put in it is filled fat and calories because they'd rather use that instead of the low fat sauce.  It seems like "healthy alternatives" is an oxymoron in the fast food industry.  With clever advertising and spin, anything can be presented as a "healthy alternative."

Fast food is not healthy.  If you've watched "Super Size Me" before or have viewed it all through, you will see that people have tried to sue McDonalds because it made them fat.  The problem is nobody forced them to eat it.  They bought in to the catchy jingles, subliminal advertising, the images they see in all forms of media that drove them to going to McDonalds or any other fast food joint.  In fact, I can probably say for certain that they consciously made the choice to go McDonalds and eat their food thus it making them gain weight.  Nobody forced them to go to McDonalds.  As bad as fast food is, nobody is to blame but themselves.  They knew before hand that fast is bad, but they still partook in it.  Hell, I do it, but I'm not blaming anybody for going to there and getting it.  People need to stop looking for a scapegoat and snap back into reality and blaming other people for the fact they gained weight.  It has been proven that fast food is not a healthy choice.

Aside from fast food not being healthy, it effects your budget.  For instance, to buy a burger, fries, and a drink at A&W costs almost $10.  I'm bad for buying fast food, but I keep being told that you can buy stuff to make a meal for about that much.  Plus the money you can save on not buying fast food, you can save it in the bank.  I've been better at not buying fast food lately.  It does leave you with more money because even the cheaper fast food joints it can add up.  In this day in age when people are complaining about not having any money because they can't find work, they sure do spend a lot of money on fast food.  The proof people spend lots on it is because the fast food industry in the United States is worth $126 billion.  That proves people don't care that it effects their budget if the industry is worth that much.

The only thing I've noticed is that McDonalds, for instance, doesn't ask you if you want to "super size" it.  Super size is just large in essence.  But they stopped asking you if you want after "Super Size Me" was released.  The Western world specifically had this idea that bigger was better, but not always.  Sure I always upsize my meal to large.  But it's out of habit I do and not because it was ever offered to me.  I remember working A&W back in the day and the cashiers were told to offer "bear size."  It's becoming common practice to go for the smaller size.  But than again Tim Hortons changed their cup sizes and made their medium a small, large a medium, extra large a large, and a new extra large size.  But than again, Tim Hortons is a coffee shop and not a fast food joint.  So that's probably a moot point.  Either way, the offering to upsize your meal has become pretty much an obsolete practice.

Fast food is still such an epidemic especially in the Western world.  We are still a slave to it and we don't seem to care.  We are feeding the fast food machine keeping it going.  I admit, I've helped feed the fast food machine and I need to stop.  But, as I've said, I've vastly reduced feeding it lately.  Speaking terms of the United States, they must not be in a financial crisis if they can make the fast food a $120 billion plus industry.  As long as we continue to support this industry like we do and keep it an epidemic, than nothing will change.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Song of the Day #36

This song is in the genre I don't usually gravitate towards.  But I do dig this particular song because it has Tegan and Sara featured in it!

"Body Work" by Morgan Morgan Page featuring Tegan and Sara
YouTube link

Taking The Bible Literally Or Not

The Bible has been examined, questioned, held in high regard by Christians, etc. throughout history. Now a lot of Christians take the Bible literally for whatever reason. I pose this question to you: Is it wrong or a bad thing to take the Bible literally? I'll let you stew on that for a moment...

When I was a child, I took things in the Bible at face value. That is vastly different than taking things literally. Now, for instance I took the creation of the Earth at face value. To me as a child, the creation was just that. I didn't necessarily take it literally.  God created the Earth, animals, day, night, people, etc..  I took it for what it was.  I didn't take it as some literal account of how the Earth was formed.  Is there any evidence to support that this actually happened?  Or is it some story that has been passed down for centuries and is supposed to be taken as the literal account of how the Earth was formed?  Legit questions and concerns that need some answers.

Another item in the Bible that a lot of people take literally is the idea that homosexuality is a sin.  They are totally taking Romans 1:18-32 out of context.  They are misinterpreting it as homosexuality is a sin thus taking it literally.  Basically Paul is saying we are all sinners which is true.  Don't use the Bible to make excuses for your homophobic attitude and your exclusion of gays.  You are taking what Paul is saying and twisting it to say what you want.  What you are doing is hermeneutical gymnastics which is twisting the Bible to say what you want.

I don't take everything in the Bible literally.  I never grew up taking things in the Bible literally.  I just took things at face value as I've stated.  Not everything in the Bible can be taken literally.  You have to really study the Bible to know what should be taken literally and what is just a story.  You need to pay attention to the context and not take it out of context ala Romans 1:18-32.  But with a good lot of people, they just read the Bible and not bother to look into it deeper or even ask questions.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Lent 2012: Week Two Down

Week two of Lent has been vastly better in the regard that I haven't broken it.  I've been dealing with other stuff that the stuff I'm fasting from hasn't been an issue.  It is easy to not have to think about it when I have other stuff on my mind.  It's also good to surround yourself with people and items that will take your mind off it.

Not much to report. Week three is in order. Let's hope it's a good one for myself as well you.

Song of the Day #35

Looking at my friends blog and one of his posts was talking about this song.  So I decided to have it as the next song of the day!  It comes off their very good album "Lean Into It."

"Green-Tinted Sixties Mind" by Mr. Big
YouTube link

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Random Fact #8

I found this out on Facebook.  But the Oreo turns 100 today.  In that hundred years, it has become an iconic cookie.  Happy birthday to the Oreo!  How do you eat your Oreo?

Friday, March 02, 2012

Funk Off

I am in another funk.  Haven't experienced this in over a year and a half.  I told myself I never wanted to feel like that again, but here I am feeling like this again.  I got little sleep and it made work crap.  Being in a funk is so emotionally and physically draining.  If you've never been in a funk, than you'd have no clue as to what I'm talking about.

I don't want to get into the reasons as to why I'm in a funk.  The fact I am in a funk is just UGH!  I hope this doesn't last as long as last time.