Friday Fives – what’s the real value?

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What do you feel like you’re missing out on?

Friendships.  I miss my friends.  I miss all my Extel® crew***.  This is a function of two things… I am working a lot, and work odd hours.  The other thing, we moved out to the country.   Where once everything was 20 minutes away, it is now an hour away.  I love my life, and I love living out in ‘the sticks’, but it has taken a toll on friendships.  These days, we just hang out with our neighbors.  That being said, I fucking love our neighbors.  The people who live around us are such a cool community and we have all gotten really close.

What are some interesting life hacks for saving money?

When you have amazon prime, and free 2 day shipping, and a credit card already stored in the system… stay AWAY from amazon.com – nothing good comes from that level of convenience.  Almost anything you want, push a button, it will be here tomorrow.  No Bueno.

Here is another one – Spotify.  I used to buy CDs.  Sometimes, I might only listen to it once.  I don’t need to do that anymore.  With spotify, every album is right there.  I know I am late to the party, I just got it very recently… but I wish I bought it 10 years ago.  Wait, how long has it been around?  I used to be bullish on Pandora, and it is still nice for variety, but it can’t give you the music you want.  Seriously.  I have a Pearl Jam station… it plays everyone BUT Pearl Jam.  Apparently, due to licensing stuff, they can only play one song an hour from any one band.  Instead, they give you bands like Pearl Jam.  “you love Pearl Jam, so you will love Soundgarden.  Here is a TON of fucking Soundgarden, you fat fuck!”   the thing is… they are right, I do love Soundgarden.  Guess what, though, I don’t want to hear Soundgarden… I have a fucking Soundgarden station (that only plays Pearl Jam, mind you.)  I don’t want to hear bands LIKE Pearl Jam.  I want to hear Pearl Jam!

Phew… wow, that got a little ugly.  Guess I have been sitting on those feelings for about 5 years now.

What’s the worst purchase you ever made?

Nothing comes to mind.  I had a couple big Ford diesel trucks that were pretty much constant electrical problems.  It’s a shame, they were cool and fun trucks… but constant problems.  In fact… that reminds me of a great story that needs to be a commercial.  After 2 troublesome Fords, I bought a Toyota truck and everything was fine.  Back when I had the Fords (had 2 back to back) I was at the auto parts store every single weekend.  I knew the guys by name, and they knew me.  Once I got the Toyota, I never needed anything.  Seriously… everything just worked.  So, I went in one weekend after being gone for like a year.  They said “Mr Lang, where have you been?”  I said “Sorry guys, I got a Toyota.”  They looked at each other and shrugged.   THAT should be a Toyota commercial.

***That was my real name up there.  Someone please edit that out.

You are the editor, idiot.  Just go delete it – ed

What’s the best purchase you ever made?

Our little 5 acre piece of paradise.  We got horses and dogs and cats and fish and a view of the whole Rocky Mountain Range and a hot tub on the back porch to watch it all.   And… the coolest neighbors in the world!  Don’t worry, I am not buttering them up.  Lets be honest, none of them read this.  I think they even get their weather from Rush Limbaugh.  I still love them, though.  In case you think it is a stereotype that people who live on dirt roads are all gun nuts… it is 100% true.  I don’t know a single neighbor who has less than 10 guns.  Except Sally.  Go see Sally, she is a pottery genius, and my wonderful friend.  Here is her site, I built it for her.

What products/services are extremely overpriced but we pay for anyway?

Not me, but everyone else… tv.  The average cable bill is $120 a month after fees.  That is insane.  Here is what we have.  A $30 HD antenna from Costco.  Gets me all the local channels and then some for free.  In HD.  It’s amazing… no thicker than a piece of paper.  And we have Netflix, at about $10 a month.  That means my tv bill in one year is what cable/satellite people pay per month.  Also, in the bedrooms where the antenna doesn’t work (has to be line of site, and we live on top of a hill luckily) I bought Roku boxes.  That is a one time cost of about $50 each that gets every room Netflix and Hulu and Amazon.  Oh, we have amazon, too.  It’s Amazon prime, for the free shipping… but has a good collection of free tv and movies.  We also have Hulu, but that doesn’t count.  We are using Ashley’s account.  I gave her my Netflix password and she gave us her Hulu.

 

Note to editor – please take Ashley’s name out, or at least change it.

Why?  She doesn’t read this.  Well… maybe she does.  I guess we are about to find out.  😊

 

*** Extel – see what I did there?  We all worked for Nextel, but they are out of business.  We are ex-Nextel employees.  We are ‘Extel® ‘.  I need to patent that shit!

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the ‘war on Christmas’ is total nonsense

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I love Christmas, and I love you.  But, we need to clear some stuff up. It’s December again, and I got to hear about the ‘War on Christmas’ again this week.  I Have to address it, because the whole thing drives me nuts.  It is a manufactured jive from the right.  Specifically, this is Fox news jive.  It is created to feed the Republican agenda.  Now, let’s examine what the hell I am talking about.  The ‘war on Christmas’ is bullshit.  It’s a myth the GOP is willing into reality, and it’s mean spirited.

The GOP is trying to destroy Christmas, so they can blame it on the left.

There are two pieces to my argument:

1)    There is no ‘war on Christmas’

2)    If that is true… what’s the motive for that narrative?

There is no war on Christmas.  Christmas is not a religious holiday.  Personally, I don’t feel it was ever a religious holiday.  You can call it a marketing holiday, or a Winter Solstice holiday.  You can call it the birth of Santa Clause.  It really isn’t religious, though, and Jesus was born in the Spring. Christmas is a cultural holiday.  Example, I am an atheist, and I celebrate the crap out of Christmas.

What really gets my goat lamb is the persecution angle.  That Christians and Christian voices are being silenced and oppressed.

First off, 80% of Americans identify themselves as Christians.

Eighty Percent.  That is no minority, even by Karl Rove math.  Not even a tiny bit.  Remember how we supposedly left England for freedom of religion?  Remember how that was in our constitution?  Yet, your money says “in god we trust”, in court your swear on a bible, and in school you pledge allegiance to god and state.  Schools, businesses, and governments are all closed on December 25th.   The Christians have won, on every level.  Fine.  Good for them.  It doesn’t bother me at all, until… they say ‘woe is we, for we have no voice. We are persecuted in American culture.’  This is incorrect.  In fact, you have the ONLY voice in American society.  80% is more than a majority, it’s a mandate!

Full disclosure, I was raised Catholic and am now an atheist.  This is why I feel I have the right to talk on this.  I have no angst towards religion, or religious people.  I don’t care one way or the other.  Like olives on your pizza, or god in your heart?  Fine.  Both have the exact same impact on me. Just order me half, because I don’t much believe in olives.  See what I did with that?   That is why I make the big bucks.  I think religion is great if it is what keeps you from being an arsonist.  Me?  I don’t need heaven or hell to goad me into the right decisions.  I simply do the right thing regardless.  In that way, I am actually more moral than you.

You can believe whatever you want, it isn’t my business. As Jesus himself said, regarding free will – “whatevs, you guys”.   That is what makes America rad.  Adam Carolla said it nicely – “religion is like your genitals.  You shouldn’t show it in public, or cram it down kids’ throats.”

I love Christmas.  Look at my email sig file this time of year.  If you are lucky enough to get an email from me, you will see my Christmas holly wreath thingy I put on there every year. I celebrate it with gusto.  I have a Christmas tree, Christmas lights, and a Christmas bear on my truck.  Do you have a Christmas bear on your truck?  It is common knowledge, if you look at the Gnostic texts, that Jesus drove a pick up truck.  However, big Bible and big Sedan have been selling you a pack of lies.

The city and state building here in Denver says “Merry Christmas” across the top.  Guess what; that was paid for by my atheist tax dollars.  The very dollars that say ‘in god we trust’.  I think it’s great, and happy to contribute.  it doesn’t bother me a bit.  ***** tangent alert see below *****

One might think a faux intellectual and avid atheist such as myself would be the head of an anti-Christmas movement.

Nope, I am not here to be that guy.  You are welcome to believe in aliens hiding in ancient volcanoes who travel in space ships disguised as jumbo jets… and these aliens put negative thoughts in your head.  It’s like a super duper high maintenance Buddhism on mushrooms.

Wrong.  I love Christmas, and so do you.  Stop saying people are messing with it… or it will be a real thing on day.  Think of it like this.  Someone says “the bank is almost broke, get your money out NOW”.  Well, the bank wasn’t almost broke at all.  That was just a kid who get fired for taking selfies in the vault a la Scrooge McDuck.  However, now the bank is broke… because everyone came for their money.  Now the kid, Toby, gets to say “see, I told you guys so”.  So, that closes part 1 > there is no war on Christmas!

Part 2 > so if there is no such thing as the “War on Christmas”, why would someone say that?  Who benefits?

This is a ‘ false flag’ operation.  The premise is if you don’t vote in the GOP for everything, your next December 25th will be a Kwanza party.  Oh, and on Dec 26th, you have to get gay married.

Lastly, shut the fuck up about the ‘liberal media’, and the ‘media elite’.  Fox news has a larger market share than any other independent news source.  So, the media is not liberal.  On radio, Rush Limbaugh has between 15 and 20 million listeners every day.  There is no one else in any media outlet who has numbers even close to that.  So, why the fear?  Well, admittedly, not everyone is stoked about a country who tolerates gays and Mexicans and potheads and blacks. Where I come from, we call them ‘grandparents’.

There is no war on Christmas

It’s a false flag operation to get you to vote conservative

The media is neither liberal nor elite

Good liberals generally don’t have dick for power, we are too damn nice to succeed proper.

***** ok, about that taxes and holiday thing.  I do have one thing that SUPER pisses me off.  When I see cops guiding traffic for churches.  Not only does my tax dollar not represent the Christian majority… churches DO NOT pay taxes.  I don’t even think they should get to use the police or fire department at all.  Those things are expensive, and you don’t want to contribute.  So, when I see them having their own personal police force for the church… that just pisses me off beyond belief.  I wrote our mayor and town council and begged them to make the churches pay for that shit.

Rush Limbaugh – the hypocrite returns

Rush is a big stinky piece of crap, and those are my feelings before the whole ESPN scandal and drug problem. Full disclosure, I am a liberal on every level.  So, my hatred of him is biased and deep. I am not the first person to think he only inspires hate and miscommunication amongst people. Instead of hearing me tell you what a dick he is, let’s hear what Rush has to say. Rush, mind you, is a convicted and confessed drug addict.  Fact.  Drugs are terrible, and we should have compassion.  Normally, yes, but not for this fuckfaced monster who has driven more kids to suicide by feeding their parents this garbage below.

Upon his return to radio let’s reflect on some great Rush dialogue regarding drug users:

“We’re going to let you destroy your life. We’re going to make it easy and then all of us who accept the responsibilities of life and don’t destroy our lives on drugs, we’ll pay for whatever messes you get into.”
— Rush Limbaugh show, Dec. 9, 1993

“I’m appalled at people who simply want to look at all this abhorrent behavior and say people are going to do drugs anyway let’s legalize it. It’s a dumb idea. It’s a rotten idea and those who are for it are purely 100 percent selfish.”
— Rush Limbaugh show, Dec 9, 1993

“If (Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders) wants to legalize drugs, send the people who want to do drugs to London and Zurich, and let’s be rid of them.
— Rush Limbaugh show, Dec 9, 1993

“There’s nothing good about drug use. We know it. It destroys individuals. It destroys families. Drug use destroys societies. Drug use, some might say, is destroying this country. And we have laws against selling drugs, pushing drugs, using drugs, importing drugs. And the laws are good because we know what happens to people in societies and neighborhoods which become consumed by them. And so if people are violating the law by doing drugs, they ought to be accused and they ought to be convicted and they ought to be sent up.

“What this says to me is that too many whites are getting away with drug use. Too many whites are getting away with drug sales. Too many whites are getting away with trafficking in this stuff. The answer to this disparity is not to start letting people out of jail because we’re not putting others in jail who are breaking the law. The answer is to go out and find the ones who are getting away with it, convict them and send them up the river, too.”
— Rush Limbaugh show, Oct. 5, 1995