Thursday, February 27, 2014

PLEASE Don't Tell Shoe!

Well, boys and girls, it was exactly one year ago today that Cheaper Than Therapy was launched into cyber-space! I cannot think of a more appropriate time to write my final post to this silly little experiment.

We've covered a lot of ground in the prior 52 posts. I got an initial ego boost as I thought this thing was spanning the globe! I had to be educated as to the "misinformation" that comes from the world wide web and it was a humbling experience. These things called "BOTS" crawl around the information super-highway and "ping" everything in their path. And they do it from servers all over the globe. And they greatly inflate the statistics page that Blogger provides.

Consequently, I have not had "Page Views" from dozens of countries and amassed the World Wide following that I thought. Best guesstimates are somewhere around 5,000 legitimate page views, including 2 or 3 foreign countries. My "tens" of fans, though, have been faithful and supportive and it has been an overall positive experience.

Most of you were in dire need of the free education I've provided you over the past year. In the end, however, this whole thing might just have been about two posts. "Has It Really Been Thirty Years?" stands out clearly in my mind. And of course, "Does Anybody Want a PB & J?" was by FAR my favorite and most heart-felt entry.

I need to give a shout out to Stainless, Oil Can, The Denton Yogi, and of course, Shoe for conversations that have sparked ideas and inspired entries over the past year. In my attempts to teach them (HA!), several posts evolved from those  little chats.

Now, I've got to say one of the hardest things I've ever had to say. It pains me greatly to post on the World Wide Web the most important thing I've learned in the past year. SHOE WAS RIGHT!

You may or may not remember Shoe's opinions about Facebook. Shoe stands firm in his conviction that he doesn't do Facebook because, in his words, "I'm a grown-A** man!" It is with the most humble and contrite heart that I now confess that he is, indeed, correct in his assessment.

I could not care ANY less about your experience on Facebook. The following is true for me:

1) Facebook is by FAR the biggest TIME-WASTE in my life. This is no doubt due to this silly smart phone that accompanies me everywhere I go. It's just too tempting to pull it up and I do it way too meetings, at meals, in front of the TV, and driving down the road. This MUST stop.

2) Facebook is like pouring gas on the fire of my self-centeredness! I explained that early on in "Self Centered--You Have No Idea." My check-ins, my Nike run posts, my, my, my, my, my! The whole idea about CTT was that I'm sick and tired of ME! Yet, Facebook condones and encourages that ME behavior.

3) Facebook encourages and exacerbates my growing frustration with you. You are supposed to unwaveringly and whole-heartedly LOVE everything I say and do. But instead, some of you write several paragraphs on MY Timeline and use phrases like "respectfully disagree." WHAT? Are you kidding me? Then, of course, a few of you are guilty of FWI (Facebooking While Intoxicated). I am embarrassed for you and, hopefully, with you.

4) Sadly, most of you just don't get Facebook. One or two of you do. And your posts crack me up and give me great joy. The rest of you take yourselves so #### seriously, that when I throw out things for sheer "shock value," you resort to name calling and disdain. "Trimming the Friends' List" is for pure shock value. I have NOT unfollowed everybody on my list! Good grief! Can you really not see that? I just thought I was self-centered! Your responses make me look like an amateur at self-centered obsession!

I have not disallowed any comments to this blog. I have reserved "moderation rights." But everything that has come in has been posted. Since it's obviously difficult to figure out how to comment in Blogger, most of you comment on my Timeline. I have not deleted any of them. But I have sat in amazement and awe at what some of you have felt the "need" to share. Like I've said before, it's free to set these things up. Knock yourself out! I've never understood your compulsion to write YOUR blog on MY Timeline.

I am most humbled by the Private Messages that come in weekly to the posts. You are the ones that inspired me to continue, because you wanted to discuss some of these things without trying to prove how smart you are in a public forum. Your lack of self-centeredness is a great example to me and I truly envy your humble hearts.

The only way my tens of readers see this is through my Timeline link. So, I will keep Facebook up through Monday or Tuesday and then deactivate for the last time.

In the end, I can only blame myself for not being able to handle this. It's really not your fault! Some of you exasperate me. But you were doing that way before CTT, and will continue to that in the future until I can come to grips with that silly cliche, "Live and Let Live."

So, I'm throwing in with Shoe and becoming a grown-a** man! What a joke! We're not grown-a** men. We're both too self-centered and immature to handle this "new" social media craze!

I just hope that I will continue run and occasionally go to the gym. I'm not even sure a workout counts if I can't announce it to the world!

May God Bless You All!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Long Held Beliefs Just Not True!

As we all know, the Bible clearly states that "God helps those who help themselves." Right? It has to be in there. I've heard it a brazillion times. It's true. It's in Scripture. It's a rule!

Actually, no. It's not in Scripture. No where in Scripture. Not even in the front part that most of never read. That was a stupid statement. Cause it's not even in the back part, that most of us never read. Don't lie to me about your intense daily Bible reading!

However, it's been said and repeated so often,  I would surmise that most ordinary folks walking the street are pretty sure that God helps those who help themselves and it's somewhere in the Bible. Maybe, it's in Hezekiah.

I'm not sure "Pet Peeve" is a strong enough term. But recently, I've had to deal with a couple of "other" truisms which make me want to throw myself from an 80 Story building and catch my eye-lid on a rusty nail.

Have any of my tens of readers ever heard that wise saying that "The Customer is ALWAYS right?"

I have no idea who deserves the credit for formulating this long held belief. I do know a couple of things: 1) He was obviously a customer! 2) He was absolutely full of meadow muffins!

I am not going to take the time to enumerate the dozens of reasons why the above statement is simply not true. If you happen to fall into the category of believing it is, you would not understand them anyway and nothing I can say will change your mind.

But know this: Nine times out of ten, the customer has no expertise, no knowledge, nor experience with the product or service he is buying. To suggest that he is "always right" is nothing short of preposterous! Whew! I feel better having gotten that off my chest!

The nonsense above, however, pales in comparison to the oft cited "There's no such thing as a dumb question!"

Uh, excuse me! Oh, yes there is! There is such a thing as a dumb question and I've been on the receiving end of thousands of them!

Oh, I get it. I really do. In the classroom, questions are encouraged. No one should be left behind. Nor they should they be afraid to ask a question if they are truly lost. But, my experience suggests that "being lost" is seldom the reason for asking a question.

Being stupid is! And couple that with an insatiable need for attention in a setting like.....maybe a Bible Study.....and some genius is bound to ask a dumb question! It generally starts with two words: "WHAT IF......?"

The dreaded hypothetical question. Are you kidding me? Are you really about to bring this whole study, discussion, class, or whatever to a grinding halt by asking an ignorant hypothetical question? It's obvious that you are. And it's obvious that you haven't read my post about it being better to look stupid than to open your mouth and remove all doubt!

Very few of my tens of readers have ever been in a class I've taught. I wish you could see the eyes of the attendees when I announce at the beginning of class that, "BTW, when I'm teaching, there is such a thing as a dumb question!" It can certainly be off-putting. But it sure makes things easier for me. And almost always insures that I'm never asked again. That, too, is a good thing.

The hypothetical question does have its place. I am saddened that no one posed a hypothetical question when President Kennedy and those MORONS advising him were planning the Bay of Pigs. Certainly, President Carter could have used a hypothetical when they were planning to free the hostages and that tragedy happened in the desert. The "Devil's Advocate" is necessary in strategic planning. I see that. Lives can be saved.

But for the most part, the hypothetical question in a study or discussion is pure discussion/study Anthrax! And I often find myself wishing I could sniff it, snort it, drink it, inject it....or however Anthrax is supposed to be ingested.

Mark Twain is credited with saying, "No generalization is worth a d##n, including this one." Think about it. It will take time for some of you to get it. But, it's my blog. It's my crazy thoughts. I feel a sense of ease just knowing I've said it.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Do You Want To or Need To?

The problem with having hundreds of channels available on the TV is that I waste too much time sitting in front of my "golden calf", clicker in hand, just running the channels. Last night was one of those nights. I happened upon TLC's "My 600 LB Life" and I could not hit the remote.

It was just like all the other shows about obesity. I'm not going to go into it. It's the same story! At the end of the day, it's about addiction. And it is VERY sad.

Now, let me get this out of the way. If you are reading this and you are slightly overweight, need to lose a few pounds, just plain fat, or grossly obese....I am NOT going to condemn you. I am NOT going to judge you. I do NOT think your weak-minded. I do NOT think you lack will power! At the same time, I am NOT sure that you're a victim! What I've come to learn in the past few years is that generally speaking, there are FEW victims. Mostly, there are volunteers.

The truth is, we all have issues that we NEED to address. Everybody on the planet has things in their lives that they NEED to change. The question is only this.....Do You Want to?

A few weeks ago, in a Tuesday night Bible study, we came across what, at face value, is the stupidest question Jesus ever asked anyone. In John 5, Jesus happened across a paralyzed dude at the Pool of Bethesda, who evidently had been an invalid for 38 years. Jesus walked right up to this cat and had the nerve to ask him "Do you want to get well?" (John 5:6)

What? Are you kidding me? What an incredibly crass and inappropriate thing to say to a guy that's been crippled for 38 years! Come on Jesus! You should be ashamed of yourself!


I will leave the answer up to the reader. Think about it. Think real hard about what changes would come about in this guy's life if Jesus healed him. Being dependent upon others was the only life he knew. Being carried around, being fed, begging for money. What would healing mean? Getting a job? Feeding himself? Wiping his own butt?

The dude NEEDED healing. The Carpenter asked him if he WANTED healing!

It's not always an easy question. And the answer is not always YES. Many of you know that my best friend drank himself to death back in 2010. It was absolutely the most horrible thing I've ever witnessed. He really NEEDED to sober up. He did NOT WANT to......even a little. He made it very clear to me. Almost verbatim, he said, "Kevin, I've been to those rooms and I can read. The 'rules' state that the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. Kev, I have NO DESIRE to stop drinking!"

I actually respect that. Once he laid it out like that, the pressure was off. He had set the terms. He was aware of the consequences. And he died at 50 years old. I don't love him any less or miss him any less. At least the dude was honest! And he answered the question.

Last night, a recurring theme for this obese woman was whether or not she REALLY wanted to change.

That's the question we all face daily. Do I NEED to? or Do I WANT to? It may be the toughest question we will ever have to answer!