Archive for the ‘philosofickle’ Category

it’s between you and God (and a few hundred other people)   Leave a comment

i have been exposed to some comments lately. some of them were in conversations i have had and some are just things i have seen people post on social media. they have been about God, and they were comments made by people that aren’t really into God. that is a weird statement i know. into God? can you be in to a certain degree? i mean… either you believe there is a god or you don’t. the ramifications of either side of the argument are HUGE. i think most people do not understand the stance they are taking by believing or not believing. but that is another blog.

if you DO believe… well then you must understand that your words and actions are not without consequence. you would live life with a LOT more incentive. is this you?

if you don’t believe… this one is tricky. if there is no entity to set the standards in your life (morals, values, etc.) then how do you justify your actions? your values? your value? why do you have any morals or regard for others? 

i don’t want to get too deep into this. that would pretty much avoid my real point. what i am getting at is people who “try” religion.

what exactly are you trying? let’s use Christianity as an example (mostly cuz that is what i know the most about, and that is what one of the comments was directed at)

the common misconception is that a thing like Christianity is a social club. maybe some religions are, but Christianity is not supposed to be that way. and yet it is. i will explain.

if i am a batavian (which i am), then i am of batavia. i am not a batavian if i hang with people who are from batavia.

i am a christian. the term “christian” was given to people who followed and emulated Jesus the Christ. so if one was to “try” christianity, one would NEED to know what Jesus was all about.

this is easy info to access.

we have about 3 years of recorded data on the life and death of Jesus. you can read all the stuff that he said and was said about him, or you can look at one little statement (biggest statement he ever made with few words).

what is IT all about?

He summed IT all up: Love God, and care for (love) your neighbors the same way you care for yourself.

So then… being a christian is to be like Christ, and that equals loving God and loving people. you might want to find out how to do that, but i think most people know how to love. if you know how you want to be loved then you know how to love. most people are not good at it but they at least know what is expected.

so if you are treated a certain way by a group of people who claim to be christian, but do not love you, well then… are they christians? perhaps. maybe they are just a bit self centered as we all are and are trying to mature and prioritize their “neighbors”. honestly… most people need to learn how to love. it takes practice because it takes fearlessness.

but my REALLY REAL point is that christianity is between you and Jesus. so you cannot say you tried it and didn’t like it based on the behavior of others. YOU are the one seeking to emulate the One who told us to love God and others. you cannot say it didn’t work for you, because YOU are the one with the work to do. 

Christianity is not a club in that you join and then receive benefits. YOU provide the benefits to those around you. if you are not receiving the benefits (love) then you need to keep loving and find others who are better at it than the ones you were associated with. but it’s still on you. 

whether you are or are not a christian is completely based on whether you love or do not love God and others. 

sadly… if you belong to a group of people who are simply charged with loving others, then you should be well loved. often this is not the case. like i said… loving takes practice. many people don’t try hard and never achieve any level of proficiency.

what about you?

my very last analogy… it is like joining a gym and then claiming the gym and the people in the gym did not work for you. 

i hope this is clear. i would be happy to elaborate on any part of this, written or implied.



Posted June 27, 2014 by john b in philosofickle, Uncategorized

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Time, and Time Again. And Again.   Leave a comment

time = experience

there are just some things you don’t know until you have lived long enough. you have to go through some experiences. i am an adult. it is weird to type that. i go to school with individuals who some might consider to be kids still. i mean really, when is a person an adult? you might be 18 and in some circumstances you are a grownup. you are responsible for some things. but when you get to 25 years of age, and look back at that younger you, that 18 year old… was that you really a grownup? no, i don’t think so. for me that is certainly the case. at 38 years of age I am just starting to see myself as a grownup, and only in certain circumstances. very few circumstances.

getting older has taught me some things. let me rephrase that. getting older has SHOWN me some things. whether I actually learn from those things is my choice. so getting older has taught me SOME things. a few things i still haven’t learned. there are some hard lessons. the voice of age says things like, “don’t wear that. ever again. ever.” but I might answer; “why? it’s still really cool.” and age responds with, “did you just say cool? you did. you said cool. i rest my case.”

some things are much harder lessons. you might be going about your business and by the end of the day the voice of age might have told you that, “you are not as strong as you were once, and you never will be again.”
“the most attractive you was 8 years ago.”
and realizations start to set in like: you actually are not as smart as you thought you were because you keep trying to learn new things and they are not sinking in.
you are deeply flawed because what the people you love want most from you, just doesn’t come naturally to you.
you have developed habits over the years that either hurt, or might hurt your loved ones.
what was so important to you for years is just not important. did you just waste all that time and effort?
you better figure out a new identity because the one you have is old, faded, and not really you anymore.

age is not bad; it just takes some work. refocusing. it can be a violent process. a serious throw down between me and me. or, you and you. the me of last year feels entitled. after all, isn’t me in the past happier than me in the now? but me in the now is the wiser one. the one who has seen more. knows more of life’s terrain.

i am going to bed now. tonight i had to shed last year’s me. but it’s ok, i’m still me.

Posted March 22, 2014 by john b in philosofickle

it never ends (you can Skip the complaining)   Leave a comment

it doesn’t happen often, but every so often someone close passes away. this week it was the very unexpected passing of my friend nick’s dad. he wasn’t old, and he wasn’t sick. it was a shock.

so as per usual i hit facebook for details, and really just to see if nick and his bro had posted anything (i didn’t think they would), and i wanted to see the friend responses. i was looking for a few things but really i wanted to know how to respond. i mean… i wanted to text or write, but… what do you say? i started 3 texts that day and just deleted them without sending. finally, later that night, i sent nick a text.

the thing that always gets me is that my friend’s dad is gone. that right there is my biggest fear in life. my dad will pass away sometime, probably not in the too-distant future.

while nick and his fam and friends are stricken with grief facebook is alive with funny pics, not funny pics, complaints, pics and updates about the glories of coffee in the morning, quotes from drake (which i am positive are NOT from drake), quotes from just about everyone… blah blah blah. it just becomes noise.

at first it angered me. then, when i wasn’t so emotional, it made a little bit of sense. it struck me that what was important enough to write about, or capture in a pic, was so trivial compared to the loss and the grief that many were going through. then i realized that many people go through that daily while i post updates about hockey, or constipation, or music, or whatever. it’s just how we get through life. no one wants to hurt. everyone wants to get past it. i am not suggesting for a minute that the passing of Skip will be forgotten any time soon. not ever. but the daily little stuff goes on. and it is good that it does.

i will always be frustrated with people who claim that their day is ruined because their car radio doesn’t work, or they spilled something, or whatever. i hate complaining. especially when i think about how wonderful nick’s fam is. and they are going through this right after thanksgiving and right before christmas. way to shoot future holidays down. so you can understand when i clench my teeth when you post loudly that this day was doomed to failure the moment you realized you didn’t have enough milk for your cereal.

life goes on but can’t we adjust our perspective a little? 

i get the distraction. we all need stuff to do and fix our attention on. maybe because of things like dads passing away. we look to little things to find pleasure in. that’s life i guess!

i look forward to finding simple pleasure in some xbox time with nick and fred very soon.

i will always remember skip. this world lost a great man. i feel bad for his family but i feel worse for the guys i know who never had a dad like skip; the women who never had or will have a husband like skip, and the men who never had a friend like Skip. 

ok im done. back to facebook…

Posted December 6, 2012 by john b in philosofickle

How Burger King Ruins Us   Leave a comment

ok, i actually really like BK. Bk lets us have it our way. and let me tell you, i like it my way. first thing to do is get the mayo off the burger. burgers are greasy enough. i dont need xtra grease on that fatty meat puck. step 2… xtra pickles. there… perfect burger. want bacon? go for it. you may have to pay extra but its soooo worth it.

the thing is… sometimes we dont get things our way. sometimes its best if we dont. there are a lot of people on this planet. what would happen if we all got it our way? and im not talking about burgers. but i think you knew that.

i run a gym. let me tell you what i deal with because everyone wants it their way…

1 lady wants a speaker next to a certain machine because she doesnt want to be bothered with bringing her own music. so i had to hang and wire up a single speaker for her.

another lady wants that same speaker off when she works out cuz that loud obnoxious music “has no rhythm”.  so i have to turn it off for her and then back on for the other lady.

one guy changes the radio station to classic rock every day. no one else wants classic rock so i have to change it back when he leaves.

one older lady wants a fan hung on the wall to point directly at her when she uses a certain machine. 3 of my other regulars unplug the fans when they come in cuz they want to sweat. but one woman always turns my thermostat down lower than it can actually handle so i have to monitor that too.

one guy (lets call him barbara) likes our gym because we are not a bunch of rules and clueless employees that enforce rules with no real idea as to why they have those rules.

then barbara went to the CEO of our company to complain about dust on some weights. then the director came to me and made me clean them. then not 5 mins later barbara comes up and asks how my day is going. i ignored barbara. that guy irks me. especially since i took his side when he got into a fight with another member. im rethinking that move.

some members want more treadmills while others want 120 lb dumbells.

the moral of the story is that sometimes you gotta just do your thing and stop worrying about all the extras. people get so used to having things just so. then they have the hardest time dealing with things and people that are not just so.

sometimes i really get discouraged. i want to leave people and just be alone. but i guess that is just me wanting things the way that i want them. so i take my own advice and let people be people and try to deal.

Posted September 4, 2012 by john b in philosofickle

Our Deceitful Comfort Zone   Leave a comment

As per usual, I have been kinda thinking about this topic for a little while but not really giving it any real amount of my attention until recent events encouraged me to focus on it. I thought it somewhat profound enough to be worth blogging. Of course, I have blogged for much less so that isn’t saying much.

I have been noticing people, and myself, and how we interact inside and outside of our comfort zone. That led me to come to a conclusion regarding their actions and how one gets/changes their comfort zone.

Comfort in life has been a pretty important topic to me in the past. Some people go to great lengths to achieve and protect their comfort and maybe even interchange the words happy and comfortable.

Here is the thing… the smaller your comfort zone, the more uncomfortable you are going to be in life. OR, you are going to spend more time in it and away from life. If you are only comfortable in a limited number of places then it stands to reason that you will stay away from uncomfortable places. Or, you will begin to be comfortable in more places, thus expanding your comfort zone and increasing your level of comfort in life. make sense?

let me put it this way… if you only like to eat 4 different things then it is likely that you will either rarely eat away from those things, or you will not enjoy eating most of the time. if you go out of your way to try new things then it is reasonable to assume that you will end up experiencing some new foods that you dont like, but you will probably also experience foods you DO like. the result? you just expanded your comfort zone and will likely be more at ease and find more enjoyment when eating.

there are quite a few examples to choose from and i am sure you can think of your own. in my own life, i have kind of gone out of my way to do things that intimidated me. i didnt do it for any noble reason other than it made me angry that i was nervous, or uncomfortable, or intimidated. so i did things to get over that. the unconcious result was an ever expanding comfort zone. 

people who shy away from uncomfortable situations will always have those same uncomfortable situations. i can’t live that way. i refuse.

maybe it’s my competitive nature. probably is.

i kind of confused this concept with being particular. being particular in taste is not the same thing. if you like what you like that is fine! the problem is when you will never do anything new and excuse is it with “well i just like this”.

im not here to say anyone’s lifestyle is wrong. doesn’t matter to me. all i am trying to do is point this out in case you haven’t recognized it yet for yourself.

in short, the more you refuse to leave your comfort zone, the more likely you are to be uncomfortable. big deal… unless you want to spend time with people that exist in a much larger zone. you either pull away from them or you expand your zone. your choice.

i have a few fences that keep my zone the size that it is. i have to work at diminishing the discomfort  that established those barriers. speaking in front of groups is one of them.

another big one is dancing. i cant dance. or maybe i can. i have no idea. the thought of dancing makes me feel ill. i have left many weddings early just to avoid that time of the night. for me its a little different in that i really have no idea what good dancing is and what bad dancing is. it all looks weird to me. hence… extreme discomfort. i am not sure that my zone will ever contain a dance floor.  so i guess we all have our issues.

Posted July 12, 2012 by john b in philosofickle

Mahwegde… ith whut bwings uth togethah toodayyy   Leave a comment

ok, so for those of you that cant read that title it says- Marriage is what brings us together today. its from The Princess Bride. you remember the priest guy who was going to marry Humperdink and the Princess? He goes on, “Wuv… twue wuvvv…”. so anyhoo when i hear the word marriage i immediately think of that guy who sounds like he had his tongue glued to the inside bottom of his mouth. and it was me that mentioned marriage. to myself.

i wanted to blog again so i just started typing about what came to mind. gotta be honest with you… i am kind of obsessed with marriage. one of my best friends gets married next week and then i get married one month after that.

what a scary exciting thought! ok yeah i am kinda nervous. in my mind it is like as if my hott lady is going to climb down a cliff, using a rope, and i am the one holding the rope at the top. if i let go she gets hurt. we are stepping up to the edge and about to tie the rope around her. oh oh!! maybe thats what they mean about tying the knot! prolly not. pretty sure thats not what they mean at all.

can i stop and switch gears for a second? everyone keeps calling me Mike. why do people think my name is Mike? At first it was just one lady at the deli, but now it is other people. the funny thing is, she must not have looked at my debit card even one time in all of the hundreds of times i’ve purchased NOS water from her. my name is john. it was never mike. do i look like a mike? can i at least be Iron Mike, or Michael Angelo, or Mikey Muscles or something like that? I prefer john though. it has served me well. it is very flexible and useable in all situations when you make it johnny_______.

back to marriage. so here we are approaching the date and i wish i could say it is just amazing. notice i said JUST amazing, because it is at least partly amazing. sarah is wonderful. could not ask for a better girl. and every day she is becoming a better sarah than she was the day before. certainly could not ask for anything better than that.

as we get closer to the date it is kind of good for the nerves that people give us stuff. her parents got us a sweet grill. i love kitchen stuff sooo much. and like i always say, “a great marriage starts with a good guy and a good grill”. ok well sarah actually said that. i just started saying it. but she said it first.  

it is a little nerve wracking thinking about the ultimate commitment. i just wish that wedding rings were magical. i wish that when you put them on all of a sudden your own desires kind of fade away and all you can think about is making her happy. i wish that all of a sudden your eyes only saw her as attractive instead of females in general being attractive. i wish the thought of kids was purely exciting and didnt carry with it concerns for loss of sleep and money and boogery colds and no more alone time. mostly it is that all of that is an overwhelming responsibilty that i have avoided for almost 38 years.  

for me it is just focus. right now i need to just focus on this time, which is fun, and the time when we are married and it is just us. and most of all, i need to focus on the One who says that if i seek Him all of the rest comes into its proper place. the One who gives us love and gently helps us to love. the One who asks me to treat her the way that i want to be treated. the One who reminds me that as much as i hold her rope she is also holding my rope.

i am very thankful to the pioneers that have come before us; her parents and mine, and for those around us that are making it work when it seems it hardly ever works.

Posted June 29, 2012 by john b in philosofickle

June 27 – A perfect day for asparagus   Leave a comment

well it is blog time again. i don’t really have any one thing that will be the theme of this blog. i have had a few things tickle my fancy lately (my friends know that i have an extremely ticklish fancy). and well, my friend nick mieney is dogging me to write so here is my blog in nick’s honor.

yesterday i went grocery shopping and realized something about myself. i can be thinking- “gee whiz im in a great mood cuz i found everything i was looking for in the store and the sun is shining and for the first time in my life i actually think some babies are cute and i cant wait to tear into this pomegranate greek yogurt”, then go the self checkout section (i am very independent to the point of offending people that try to be helpful), and lose my good mood in seconds. so i can be in the amazingly good mood, but when i scan that first item, and am putting it in the bag, and the computer voice tells me to put it in the bag not even a second after i have scanned it… i swear i cant control the expression my face makes. i reeeeeaaaallly want to smash that stupid machine.

seriously i need to work on that stuff.  i get derailed pretty easy some times. the problem is the primer to that situation. you know when you walk up to the self checkout area (no i am not talking about the mirrors by the dumbells at the Y where the guys check out themselves, i am referring to the machines at Tops) and there are a couple of people waiting, but as I am standing about 3 people back i realize that one of the 6 checkout machines is actually open but the person at the front of the line hasn’t noticed yet. ok sorry, that was the longest, worst sentence ever written.

but yeah, the checkout is wide open but the person hasnt noticed. so that is the first test. i usually pass that test rather easily. i over-ride my natural instinct to roll up a nearby magazine and hit them in the back of the head. no i am not cruel. i wouldn’t use a cosmo mag. i would grab a slightly thinner and lighter mag-rag that has a cover claiming that tom cruise is having an affair with a time-travelling fan from 2025 who saw the Mission Impossible movies and liked them (but doesnt like Vanilla Sky at all and wonders why he made it but still loves him enough to travel back in time and have an affair with him).

 so yeah, i kind of chuckle off the clueless shopper and step up to the next free checkout machine. then i scan my first item and the voice says “please put the item in the bag” before i can get it into the bag. instant sour mood. like using a sour patch kid for a suppository. you know, those super-sour candies that make your eyes flutter and half close and your cheeks quiver.

i am still generally in a good mood most all of the time. i love the summer. my thing is that when i lose that good mood, cuz i got irked, it usually brings out a rather extreme response from me.

lately i have been thinking a little more violently. i hope this blog isn’t used as evidence later after i have gone postal and people say this was the first signs.

like, for instance… (oh ps, never start a sentence with “like, for instance”)  

i think that politicians that obstruct items that would be for the good of the country, but are not from their party or would otherwise not serve them personally, should be shot for treason. im serious. the politicians we have now dont care about the country. they care about the advancement of their political party. we need an impartial board who reviews the actions of our government officials without knowing their names or party and determines whether their actions are selfish or without regard for the people. then the penalty is imprisonment or their legs. they can choose.

soccer players who flop on the ground, pretending to be hurt, should be trampled by all players still standing. or, upon video review by a panel of hockey players, they can be subjected to a beating by the opposing team.

so thats a couple of thoughts i’ve had recently. oh and i have been eating asparagus today, hence the title.


Posted June 27, 2012 by john b in oh ssstop, philosofickle