Life just sometimes sucks.

Posted: September 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

Life is a pain. I am learning the importance of money in life’s travels causing me to feel like I’m in a downward spiral. This all started from me accepting a lower paying job with better benefits and a great retirement plan. Unfortunately I didn’t realize that the severely lower pay would strike so hard at the center of my life.It has caused undue stress on myself and my family. Never have I argued so much with my wife and I am always feeling angry. I believe most of this is caused from a shortage of money. Use to I would have a few hundred left over at the end of the month. Now I am living paycheck to paycheck. It blows not being able to provide your family with their wants. It also doesn’t help with a wife who thinks we are still on a larger income. I can’t blame her though. It is human nature to get use to one lifestyle and it is hard to just switch it off. This leads to massive arguments that I wish never would have happened. I need a turn around soon, I don’t know how much more I can take.

I will leave off with these words. I am starting to learn what Bill Gates once said to a group of High School students. These rules of life are starting to form meaning in my own life. The major ones for me are:

Rule 1 : Life is not fair – get used to it! (or as I like to say “Life sucks, get over it.”)

Rule 2 : The world doesn’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 6 : If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault (or anyone else’s), so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 8 : Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer.

*This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9 : Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF.

*Do that on your own time.

These are lessons to live by.

Another essay I wrote early in my English 1A class.

Stereotypical U.S.A

Stereotyping[1] – I have never understood it.  Why would one person judge another just by the color of their skin, the way they talk, or their habits?  I have found that it is better to judge someone by the way they are on the inside than by outside judgments.  Thomas Jefferson said “all men are created equal” (191) in our own Declaration of Independence.  There lies the problem, there are too many that would live under the country code than enforce it.  Good examples of this are in the works “Forth of July” and “Just Walk on By: Black Men and Public Spaces” by Audre Lorde and Brent Staples, respectively.

The judgment of people by race, creed, and color has been going on for centuries.  Since the Greeks and Egyptians, the Nazis and Jews, and the present day American and Muslim rivalry we have judged others by appearance.  Why do we do this?  I do not know.  Brent Staples states “I learned to smother the rage I felt at so often being taken for a criminal” (386) just because he was Black.  Why did he even have to feel this way?    People fail to remember the oppression our ancestors went through when this country was created.  The British government of the 1700’s restrained them and looked at them as a lower society as well.  No one complains about history when they revolted against the oppression exerted by the British.  Why is oppression by any other minority any different?  There is none that I can think of.  Jefferson stated the many things forbidden, refused, and prevented in our own “Declaration of Independence” (188-190).  I feel that independence is really what all people are wanting.

I myself, being white, also feel this same stereotyping from others in my own race.  I remember moving from my home to join the military and automatically I was viewed as a “dumb” hick from southern Illinois.  Most people did not even know what southern Illinois was like.  All they knew was Chicago, which is nothing like the rest of Illinois.  Just from the way I talked with a slightly southern draw and wearing my boots and hat I was judged as being unintelligent and backwoods, like I didn’t know what running water was.  I was estranged from the rest of my peers because of where I was from instead of who I was.  I can relate, although not on such a grand scale, of what Audre Lorde means when she says “But we hadn’t done anything!” (242).  I had done nothing to offend these people I would call peers, but they ostracized[2] me because of where I was from.

Actions can produce similar reactions from people.  Brent Staples tells a story of taking a late night walk and, just because he was black, scaring a woman because he was walking behind her (384).  Would it been any different if he was white?  I bet she would have been more comfortable being followed by a white man.  It is the way people were raised, I think.  I do not justify this way of thinking saying this.  I myself was brought up in a very prejudicial area of the United States.  It was many years after I moved away that the first Black family moved into my hometown.  It took me until I was 18, when I moved to Evansville, Indiana, to understand that there is no difference between any of us.  In Evansville, where there were many more minorities, I began to learn to judge a person by who they are, not what they are.  I do not see Black, Mexican, Chinese, Korean, or Jew.  I see criminals, dishonesty, untrustworthiness, and liars.

I do not understand the difference between white, black, red, yellow, purple, or green.  People are people no matter where you are.  They all deserve the same rights as put down by our “Bill of Rights” and our “Declaration of Independence”.  Our country agreed:

all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” (Jefferson 191).

These words were not just meant for the ones we want to have it.  They are meant for all.

Works Cited

Jefferson, Thomas “Declaration of Independence” 50 Essays, Ed. Samuel Cohen. 3rd Ed.

Boston: Bedford, 2011: 187-195. Print.

Lorde, Audre “Fourth of July” 50 Essays, Ed. Samuel Cohen.  3rd ed. Boston:

Bedford, 2011: 239-243. Print.

Staples, Brent “Just Walk on By: Black Men and Public Spaces” 50 Essays, Ed. Samuel Cohen.

3rd Ed. Boston: Bedford, 2011: 383-386. Print.


[1] to categorize individuals or groups according to an oversimplified standardized image or idea

[2] to banish or exclude somebody from society or from a particular group, either formally or informally

The only way to shop!

The only way to shop!

I don’t get this Black Friday thing anymore.  Don’t people realize that it is the electronic age?  Most websites I know still have extremely good specials on “cyber” Monday, if they don’t start on “Black” Friday, that compare with what you will find live in stores.  I personally don’t see the fun in bumping into an old lady who would beat you with her cane for a crock pot, or getting crushed to death by 1000 lbs of flesh to be the first person to a TV; I don’t care what size it is.  How about being pepper sprayed by enthusiastic trailer trash in a WAL-MART.  It just doesn’t sound fun for some reason.  I’ll just keep my shopping until after Black Friday or I’ll do my shopping online on Cyber Monday … aw, hell, who am I kidding; I’ll be doing all my shopping on Amazon like usual.

P.s. Here’s my Amazon wish list

WARNING: OLDER MEN SCAM

Women often receive warnings about protecting themselves at the mall and in dark parking lots, etc. This is the first warning I have seen for men. I wanted to pass it on in case you haven’t heard about it.

A ‘heads up’ for those men who may be regular customers at Lowe’s, Home Depot, Costco, and even Wal-Mart. This one caught me totally by surprise. Over the last month I became a victim of a clever scam while out shopping. Simply going out to get supplies has turned out to be quite traumatic. Don’t be naive enough to think it couldn’t happen to you or your friends.

Here’s how the scam works:

Two nice-looking, college-aged girls will come over to your car or truck as you are packing your purchases into your vehicle. They both start wiping your windshield with a rag and Windex, with their breasts almost falling out of their skimpy T-shirts (It’s impossible not to look).. When you thank them and offer them a tip, they say ‘No’ but instead ask for a ride to McDonald’s. You agree and they climb into the vehicle. On the way, they start undressing. Then one of them starts crawling all over you, while the other one steals your wallet.

I had my wallet stolen September 4th, 9th, 10th, twice on the 15th, 17th, 20th, 24th, & 29th. Also October 1st & 4th, twice on the 8th, 16th, 23rd, 26th & 27th, and very likely again this upcoming weekend.

So tell your friends to be careful. What a horrible way to take advantage of us older men. Warn your friends to be vigilant. Wal-Mart has wallets on sale for $2.99 each. I found even cheaper ones for $.99 at the dollar store and bought them out in three of their stores.

Also, you never get to eat at McDonald’s. I’ve already lost 11 pounds just running back and forth from Lowe’s, to Home Depot, to Costco, Etc.

Please, send this on to all the older men that you know and warn them to be on the lookout for this scam. The best times are just before lunch and around 4:30 in the afternoon.

More sleep … less homework

Posted: November 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

I am beginning to feel the effects of full time work and advanced college classes.  Calculus is kicking my ass, English has sooooooo many papers due.  This 10 page report is going to be the death of me.  I still have to revise all my previous papers before the end of the semester and do all my other work that’s due.  How do people handle this heavy workload?  I find myself tired at work and grumpy all day.  I have not been able to get into the wood shop (even on weekends) to build anything except to do school work. I’m just praying this semester’s end comes real soon (and I pass my classes).

Posted: November 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

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She Works Wood

I’ve been thrashing about trying to learn this program.  At WIA I won this sketch up pack and I discovered over the weekend that I like it … a lot.

So I still consider myself a beginning intermediate level woodworker.  I didn’t grow up wood working, wasn’t exposed plans and the like or other things that would have help my woodworking foundation.  I am a geologist by training so at least I have some natural inclination and some training visualizing what I can’t see.  And I took a lot of art in high school, so I can draw a little bit.

So I’m determined on my current project (the desk) to visualize where I’m going before I start making it.  And I really want to learn sketch up.  Here’s my practice along with Robert sketch.  

I’m bettin’ by the time I get through disc 2 I’m going to know most of what I need to…

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Posted: November 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

The D.I.Y. Initiative - Self Sustenance

Some of you may remember my DIY Combination post where I said I wanted to begin building a raised bed planter in order to experiment in gardening.  Well, I’m proud to say, the quest has begun.

My raised bed planter is complete; at a much cheaper cost than I first believed.  It came to be $51.00 for a 4×2 box.  Although this is a little small it should be enough to start.  The main purpose of this was to start a composting heap anyway, not so much growing veggies and fruit immediately.

This all started with, believe it or not, losing my wallet in my English class.  I went to pick it up from my instructor and she introduced me to a lumber yard that I had never heard of before.  I picked up 40 feet of rough 1×8 cedar cut to 4 foot lengths (since my vehicle couldn’t fit…

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This is an essay I had to do for my English Composition course.  I found it a little strange that we had to do an essay on lying (especially so close to an election day), so I thought I’d post it here.

Ray Gilmore

English V01A

8 November 2012

 Liar, Liar

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Moses 41).  This is what we more commonly learn as “Thou Shall Not Lie” as children in Sunday school.  Why is it we do not follow this?  Many people attempt to be good and follow this rule but in reality it is infeasible to think that people do not lie.  Are we all going to hell then?  I doubt that.  Many times there are reasons we lie, and good reasons.  Stephanie Ericsson and Langston Hughes explain details of why we lie in their essays, “The Ways We Lie” and “Salvation”, respectively.

Even though the Bible says “Thou shall not lie” (Moses 41), Hughes shows that even in church lies are given out like candy.  When you are seeking salvation a child will hear people say “you can see and hear and feel Jesus” (Hughes 179).  It is a figure of expression that children just can’t understand.  Sure it makes you feel good inside but a child will hear this and expect a physical manifestation.  In the end Hughes says “I couldn’t bear to tell her that I had lied, that I had deceived everybody in the church, and hadn’t seen Jesus, and that now I didn’t believe there was a Jesus any more, since he didn’t come to help me” (Hughes 181).  Although the “lie” that the church gave the child was done to help, it left a lasting scar that he would not understand for years.

Lies are ways we can give “compliments rather than a frank opinion” (Ericsson 160) to others.  When your wife asks “Does this dress make me look fat?” you had better make sure it sounds positive.  The correct answer to this is no, no matter what the truth is.  All lies have their consequences though.  They can harm as much as they help by giving a false sense of hope or make other think they are seen one way but find later it is just the opposite.  This can bring on a feeling of insecurity in the person that the liar is then responsible for.  On the other hand, not lying can be just as difficult.  People may take offense at what you say truthfully even though they asked you for an opinion.  What a two sided coin we live in society today.

I am not saying that lying is right or wrong.  It is up to a person’s own judgment and morality on whether lying is appropriate; which I do believe it is, in certain situations.  If your choice is to lie, you better be a good liar.  Make sure that it can’t come back on you.  Even a compliment to a friend can come back to bite you with “Why did you tell me I look good? Frank told me I look like hell.  I never want to talk to you again.”  Friendships can be lost and images of perceived truth can be changed with a single lie.  Be careful what you say it could harm more than help.

Works Cited

Ericsson, Stephanie. “The Ways We Lie.” Cohen, Samuel. 50 Essays, Third Edition. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011. 159-168. Print.

Hughes, Langston. “Salvation.” Cohen, Samuel. 50 Essays, Third Edition. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011. 179-181. Print.

Moses. “Exodus.” Various. The Holy Bible, New International Version. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984. 31-53. Print.

Wow, this blog was initially intended to be a gripe and complain blog; where I would rant and rave about anything and everything.  Well it still will be but it seems to have expanded into something much more than that.  It has become a legend of my life, so to speak, showing all the different things I do in life.  I found it has become a tool for me to show different things to everyone who cares to read it.  Of course, my main love is woodworking, and I promise there will be many more of those, but also expect blogs about my other activities that I participate in.  Also, if anyone has information about goings on in the Ventura County/LA County/Santa Barbara County areas let me know.  I’m always looking for new things to blog about.  Remember, your comments are always welcome, if they are constructive, and feel free to follow my blogs.  Both Tireddoggie and DungeonDoggie would be welcome additions to your lists, I think.  Also check out our Ventura College English Class Blog, The D.I.Y. Initiative.

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I”m back on the porch!

My Woodworking in America extravaganza is over for 2012, and it was an outstanding, educational, and fun time for all!  Rubbing elbows with people you view as idols is very inspirational; I’ve already made preparations to hit the shop and start cutting dovetail joints just for the heck of it.  The most inspirational of all the presentations has to be Classic Joints with Power Tools by Yeung Chan.  Although Yeung is not as well known as Chris Schwarz or David Marks, his work is impeccable with joints in the oriental style.  These joints are so beautiful it is hard to realize they are made with nothing more than a table saw and a morticing machine.

From the point I first stepped into my hotel room on that rainy Thursday night, I knew it was going to be one of those “special weekends”.  Even though the streets were flooded with rain I didn’t let it get me down.  My excitement was so intense, the next morning I released my stimulation with an explosion of fury.  I was out the door of my hotel in a rush and before I even reached the convention center, I was walking down the street and encountered a wonderful site:

Yes, there was a Starbucks along the walk to the convention center.  I get my favorite coffee walking to a convention on my favorite hobby; you can’t beat that with a stick.  Then I encountered one of my favorite ways to shop…an outdoor shopping mall.

I must say, no wonder the Tournament of Roses is held in Pasadena.  Pasadena really is a wonderful place.

I arrive at the convention center at 07:30 am, check in, and what happens?  I have to wait for thirty minutes until the market opens.  I was like a child on Christmas morning waiting for his parents to get up to open presents.  At 08:00 am it was on!  All the woodworkers raced into the marketplace to see what new and exciting things were awaiting them.  WIA provided bagels and coffee and at 09:00 am we all started heading to the seminars.

Tomorrow I should have another post to describe the “meat and potatoes” seminars and what they consisted of.  That’s all from the porch today.  Come by the porch tomorrow for part II!