I know it has been a while, so let me catch you up. I am now ready to begin college on August 20th at The University of New Orleans. Because I have forgotten so many formulas and rules in math, I am officially listed as an Interdisciplinary Studies major, but I will be changed into the Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering programming in a couple of semesters. I actually had a high enough score when I took my initial ACT test over 2 decades ago, so I am sure it will all come back quickly.
We started our adventure today going to the UNO campus to get my free UNO Class of 2016 T-Shirt, which I received a coupon for when my official admissions packet was delivered last week. The coupon said I had to redeem by today. Of course, I get there only to find out that the 2XL shirts are locked up, and no surprise, the only person with a key is out. I was given a waiver so I can get my free shirt next week when I come in for orientation.
We sat down as a family before we left the house and decided as a family to participate in Chick Fil A Appreciation Day. We passed one store on the way home, which seemed to be packed, and a good ten to twelve deep at the drive thru. We had already decided to visit the newest store in our area, which has a huge parking lot, and a double lane drive thru. The parking lot here was almost full (only store on this lot), and the drive thru was 20 cars deep in both lanes. We waiting in the drive thru, ordered, and made our way through the process. The service was friendly, accurate, and surprisingly quick for the volume of traffic. Brunella asked the cashier at the window, "Has it been this busy all day?" to which everyone around the window responded "This is the busiest day we've ever had!".
I have said before that I have always felt that if two people love each other and want to share their lives together, they should be allowed to. However, asking for mass acceptance of "gay marriage", "marriage equality", or "same sex marriage" is not something the general public will openly embrace. My stance has not changed one iota on this.
For those who are confused, meaning you don't understand how I can support people being able to love who they want, but support Chick Fil A, please allow me to explain as clearly as I can. The CEO of Chick Fil A was interviewed by a Christian publication, and admitted he supports the traditional family. He saw he was blessed to have a successful company, and that this privately held company was started and run by people that were monogamous with their partners and still married to their first spouse.
Don't believe me, here's the article for you to read yourself. He at no time said he hates anyone, or that he doesn't want to have gay customers, or that he refuses to hire gay candidates for employment. He simply said he supports the traditional family, as do the management of his company. That is his right. It's a privately held company.
In fact, if you read closely, he also says Chick Fil A is not a christian company. Christianity is a personal proclomation, not a business practice. It doesn't mean that he may not quote some scripture or speak about how God has guided his life if you meet him. But, he is not attempting to push his beliefs on his employees. He is trying to show through his personal actions that his life is deeply enhanced through his Christian beliefs.
The outcry from the Gay community to boycott this company would be the same thing as the Christian and/or conservative community boycotting Amazon because it's CEO gave millions of dollars to support Gay Marriage. It would be the same thing as starting a boycott of Ellen because she is gay and openly lives her live with her partner. As a person you are free to do any or all of those things. As a country, we have to be able to think clearly, allow people to have their own beliefs, and not cry racist, bigot, or homophobes every time someone disagrees with your opinion.
With this move the gay community and their supporters have started down the path of people like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and the rest of the three ring circus that pops up when they find the slightest possibility that they can call any activity racially motivated. They don't care about facts, they don't care about the truth, all they care is they can get their face time on camera calling for "justice" or "equality" or "truth" as they see it, even if reality is 100% against them.
This is not how you win the masses to your cause. This is not how you get people to see your side. As today's actions across the country prove, you instead have people in outright rebellion against you, your actions, and your cause because instead of fighting the good fight, the choice was "let's show our muscles and hurt them where it hurts".
Today showed me that there aren't as many people out there just listening to the drive by media, believing anything that is told to them. To me, this is a sign that there are many more of us that are tired of these stupid, childish, and divisive games. I hope this branches beyond this one issue, and this same desire and drive continues through election day.
The time for this type of hype and hate mongering is over. If you want to discuss an issue, be able to use more than fear, lies, half truths, personal attacks, and class warfare to make your point. The reason every issue seems so polarized today is because too many have used smoke and mirror techniques to skirt around a real discussion to gain leverage instead of actually making a point. Slogans are nice, but our country needs real leaders, men and women willing to face our growing problems, work together for a real, tangible solution, and have the courage to implement the changes needed to fix things now.
I heard on our local talk station that the gay community wants to play more games by countering today with "National Same Sex Kiss Day at Chick Fil A" on Friday (8/3/2012). So, I propose a little trick used across the country to counteract another set of game playing hate mongers, Westboro Baptist Church. If you can, stop by your local Chick Fil A with your significant other, and turn it into National Sexy Kiss Day At Chick Fil A . It may seem slightly childish, but disrupting a man's business because he is following his Christian faith is worse than anything I'm suggesting.
If the player isn't working on your browser, click here.
So the mecca for every gamer is the E3 Conference, which is going on in Los Angeles this week. With school being out, Logan woke me up this morning with the glee of a kid on Christmas morning. "Dad, it's today!" he beamed as he entered my room. He has been reading articles for weeks. He actually set the DVR to record all the coverage. I am sure I will get the "Dad, come see what I found on the DVR!" interruption for the next few weeks.
Don't tell Logan this, but if I could afford it, I would have a room just for my games. I love to play, and I enjoy being able to figure out a way to win. I've had more time to play lately, but I can't bring myself to spend the long hours I did before we had 5 kids engrossed in whatever title I was working to complete.
Logan started playing against me when he was 5 or 6. I have been a die hard Madden freak since my old boss used to kick my ass back before PS3 and XBox360 were reality. Logan wanted to "play daddy" as soon as he could hold the NES controller. At first I'd let him just hold the controller, then he would get his butt whipped 125 - 3. The past several years, he has learned how to really balance his offense, so we're usually within a touchdown of each other. It has become a bonding thing for us. This past year's Madden is the first year I haven't bought the title on the day it was released. We usually spend a few days a week playing through the Superbowl.
As my interest moved to titles like Call Of Duty, Battlefield, and Need For Speed; Logan has become a die hard fan of Mortal Kombat, Multi-player games, Batman Arkum Series, and Wrestling (WWE and TNA). Logan and I have been playing as a tag team on WWE titles since the first WWE title for PS3. He loves to do double team moves. He creates the same guy in every game. He's 7 feet tall, wearing a bright red skull mask, and all red clothing. I guess having a face to face with KANE at 4 years old scared the kid.
We both love Assassin's Creed, and have both played all the games out from start to finish. We almost missed the game-play preview of the new Assassin's Creed III, which of course we have already pre-ordered. I really enjoyed it. Looking forward to playing the new game. This is a new assassin, in America during the revolutionary war. It's going to be a great change, and I hope to get to it before Logan confiscates my copy.
He knows all the back story on all his favorite games. He is constantly researching on what's happening in the gaming world. He's always had a gift of being able to figure out a way to quickly get through games. It may not be what the game authors envisioned, but it always is something that seems obvious once he does it.
I was actually surprised when I went to the living room and he didn't have popcorn, sodas, and 3d glasses ready to go. As each new game was revealed, Logan's smile got bigger. Mine too, but don't tell him I said that. I'm pretty sure Logan has his Birthday, Christmas, Easter, Valentine's Day, Mardi Gras, Fourth of July, and Father's Day gifts planned for the next two years even if he isn't suppose to get presents for all of those.
E3 continues tomorrow, and the toys will continue to roll out all week. I try not to geek out all that much, but when there is this much stuff to watch, it's hard not to be the kid in the candy store.
I've been a little under the weather lately. I've been dealing with a condition my doctor call Positional Vertigo. Since I've had one bout of Vertigo that lasted three weeks before, I am much happier to only get a dizzy spell when I make a sudden change in position (laying down to sitting, sitting to kneeling, etc.). I am attempting to fight this with sinus medicine this time, because when I got this last year, I was given antevert and felt even more weird the entire time I took it.
At first, no matter what position I moved do, I got a short dizzy spell. It caused me to fall off my toilet this past Thursday. I'm OK, just embarrassed (had to ask for help to get into my chair again) and bruised from hitting my chair on the way down.
I am currently at the point where I only get dizzy when I make a drastic change, like laying on my stomach moving to my back, or from sitting up to bending over to grab something on the floor. I try to avoid both as much as I can for the time being.
I hate feeling sick, and this condition only adds to my overall feeling of I can take care of myself like I want to. The frustration I feel when I want to do things I used to, like work on my truck, or mow the lawn, or something as simple as handle my own laundry. The house has been modified to allow me to get around, but washer in in a hard to maneuver area of kitchen, and dryer in a shed under our patio where I can't enter. So I have to allow others to do it for me. No one has complained about it, but I want to be able to do things myself. You don't realize how important the simple things are until you are unable to do them yourself.
I know I usually write about what's going on, or some story I found. But I spoke to an old friend this week, who reminded me how many people look here and on Facebook to check up on me. He asked me three or four times, "How are you really doing?". Truth is, as I've said before, I faced the loss of my feet while in the hospital/nursing home from October until Christmas of last year. I had nothing to do but sit out on the back walkway at the home and come to grips with what my new normal has become. I did all my screaming at God, got out all my frustration, my anger, and my loathing of myself. It's not that I never had visitors, quite the contrary, I had people coming as often as they could. But even if you have visitors, there are still many more hours of being all by yourself.
The reason I seem so at ease with what has happened to me is because I did it to myself. I made the choices that led to both amputations. I spent years after being diagnosed with diabetes acting like it was no big deal. I chose to let work take priority to my health. I didn't put my focus on eating right, or exercising, or even trying to make a change that would help me. I focused on the wrong priorities. That is what I spent weeks quietly coming to grips with. If I had put my mind to it, I could have prevented all of it.
The hardest thing for me now is I want to focus on getting better, changing the bad habits, but I can only take minor steps towards that goal. After spending $12 -18,000 a year to have medical for me and the family while working for the past two decades, I can't get Medicaid and I can't do anything substantial without it. Without prosthetics, I can only work my upper body. So my only choices are limited exercise and watching what I eat.
Even though gastric bypass was discussed during my initial stay in the hospital, without Medicaid for followup care, they won't consider it. Even if I could get medical coverage outside medicaid, most plans will make me wait 6 months to a year before considering it, or won't cover gastric bypass because they deem it elective surgery.
So I am trying to take the high road. I have everything in place to start school in the fall. I will work with LA Vocational Rehab to get my prosthetics. And I will do what I can to eat right, and exercise until I can to a better position. I have to practice what I preach. It will all fall into place when the time is right.