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Showing posts from 2016

Six Months...

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We’re winding down to the last couple of months of 2016. To tell you the truth…I couldn’t be more relieved to see a year end. It’s not the usual feeling that I have around this time of year because as I’ve moved through my 30s I have taken note of the passage of time a lot more than I did when I was a kid.
When you’re young you look at late October as something that is exciting because Halloween is coming up and the beginning of the holiday season is starting. You’re going to be getting some time out of school soon and there is going to be a lot of candy and presents and food and it’s just a great time of year.
As I’ve gotten older I still revel in the celebration of these last few weeks because I have had a family and that kind of hits the reset button on the holidays. You go trick or treating again because you have kids to take. Christmas becomes fun again because you get to be the maker of the Santa magic that you used to experience. But here in the last year of my 30s it has cha…

Think Before You Pink!

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It happens every October.
This time of year we start to see the leaves change their color, pumpkin spice takes over every snack that we love, and deserted store fronts suddenly reopen to sell us fake blood and rubber masks. But another thing that starts to happen is that the pink ribbons start to pop up everywhere.
At first they start to crawl across your computer or phone screen as you scroll through social media. Then you see the key chains and the magnets when you’re in the checkout at Wal-Mart. Then stores start to ask you if you’d like to donate to this or that.
It’s breast cancer awareness month.
I noticed it this morning when I was checking my email at work. Our HR director sent out a memo to tell us that there would be a banner in front of our break room through the end of the month. She said we were welcome to write the names of any women in our lives that had breast cancer and had either survived it or died from it.
Breast cancer is something that has probably touched all o…

Spare The Rod...

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Growing up in central Alabama I have been no stranger to a “whooping” every now and again.
There were times when I was out with my family at a movie or at the grocery store that I “acted up”. That’s a southern term for misbehaving not to be confused with “acting a fool” which is a whole lot worse. If the “acting up” occurred in a public place it would usually mean a lick. If the offense happened in a restaurant where people were trying to enjoy a meal it might have meant two or three licks. If I was brash enough to “act up” during church then the punishment was usually at least five licks and it was probable that I was going to get them in the parking lot.
My dad had a big, thick leather belt that hung on the inside of his closet door. Now, he had a whole lot of belts. Many of them were dress belts meant to be worn with a suit on Sunday morning. Some of them were way out of style and he hadn’t worn them in years but they still hung there. But that one belt that he wore most of the ti…

Happy 50th Anniversary To Star Trek

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To say that I’m a Star Trek fan is a bit of an understatement.
When a person is growing up there are a lot of things in their environment that leave an imprint on them. People, voices, smells, and sounds leave their fingerprint on your brain as they surround you in your formative years. Decades later you might catch a whiff of banana bread baking in an oven and have a synapse fire off deep in your brain that carries you back to your grandmother’s kitchen when you were six. You might see a picture of a statue that your family visited when you were twelve and suddenly remember that vacation with perfect clarity.
One of the things that has been a part of my life from my earliest memories was Star Trek.
Even before I called myself a fan I remember seeing the images of a man with pointed ears come across my TV. I remember the sounds of the computer beeps and boops and the phasers when the Enterprise was firing on an enemy. I never sat down and watched the whole thing but whatever adult wa…

If Our Marriage Were A Person

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As I got ready for bed last night I looked at you and made a joke.

“Tomorrow our marriage will be old enough to drive.”

I said it to be funny, but it made me think. What would our marriage be like if it were a person?

Our marriage would definitely be a girl. I say that because it is strong…sometimes stubborn…but has a lot of moments of sweetness. She would have long dark hair. Women with dark hair are hardworking. They don’t back down when things get tough. They’re the ones that roll up their sleeves.

Her eyes would be as blue as the sky on a crisp and cool autumn day. The paleness of her eyes would seem to be able to look through you, into your soul. She would be able to see who you are and you would not be able to hide anything from her. This is because of the openness of our marriage. We don’t hide who we are from each other.

She would be emotional. When times were bad she would wear her heart on her sleeve. She would fly at you like a hawk if she felt threatened by you. If you hu…

The Social Purge

Over the past few years I’ve noticed something about myself. My ideas about the world around me are changing. Things that I used to have a problem with no longer upset me. And things that I was once accustomed to is really starting to bother me. I don’t know if it’s something that comes with age, but ideologically speaking…I’m a different person than I was twenty years ago. Actually, I think I’ve changed a lot just in the last ten years or so. I’ll give a few examples.
When I was a kid growing up here in the south I was taught that homosexuality was a sin and that anyone that is homosexual is going to Hell. I no longer think that way. I now think that homosexuals are regular people who have a lifestyle that is a little different than mine. I believe that their choice of mate should have nothing to do with their rights and that loving someone is not a reason to go to Hell.
I was raised in an area that was pretty thick with racism. The hatred was mostly directed toward black people, bu…

It's okay to not like things...

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Right now the world is a very serious place. There is a lot of violence happening all over the place. The past few months has seen hatred spewing from both sides of every issue. And then last week the internet proved that there are people sitting primed and ready to pounce on any issue.
ANY issue.
Last week Nintendo introduced a new app called Pokémon Go. It’s an augmented reality game based on the popular franchise from the 90s. If I just lost you then give me a second to explain two things…what Pokémon is and what augmented reality is.
In the 90s there was a cartoon series along with a bunch of video games called Pokémon. The basic premise was that there are tiny monsters all over the world called Pokémon. They all have unique powers and live in different habitats. On the show there were kids that would catch the little creatures and use them in tournaments against one another. The video games, toys, card games, and board games worked on the same idea.
As far as augmented reality…t…

Wake up call!

Anyone that has read this blog or the blogs that I had before know a little bit about my struggles with my weight. I’ve delved into it in depth before in writing and on my podcast, Shrinking Shawn. I’ve been at a hiatus for a while now as I haven’t been able to get a good running start back into weight loss so far this year. I’ve been stagnate for all of 2016. I’ve lost a little weight but it hasn’t been very much.
My battles with my weight have very much mirrored my father. He didn’t grow up overweight like I did, but he put it on as an adult. He’s lost a significant amount of weight and put it back on several times in my lifetime, just as I have. I’ve seen him try every diet that you can think of. He was a vegetarian for a while. He did the Atkins diet. He rode a bike. He golfed. He took daily hikes.
He was a fireman for most of my childhood. He was forced to retire from the fire department about 15 years ago because he had developed COPD and an enlarged heart. A week ago we got th…

A Few Thoughts On Tolerance

I’ve really been biting my tongue lately. There have been so many stories that have circulated in the last week or so that have done nothing but spawn hate speech toward one group or another. So, instead of going on a rage-induced rant on Facebook or getting into a Twitter war with someone, I decided that I would calmly lay out some things that I believe here in my little corner of the internet.
A couple of weeks ago there was a mass shooting in Orlando, FL. I’m sure you’ve all read the story so I won’t detail it. But, essentially, a man gunned down a whole lot of people in a night club and about 50 of them died. It is one of the most horrible shootings in US history…though all shootings are horrible. There has been speculation that it may be considered a terrorist attack since the shooter identified as being affiliated with ISIS.
The thing that has really gotten to me is that this club was a “gay club”, meaning that most of the people that hung out there were homosexuals. As I read …

Magic City Con 2016--In The Books

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The plan for this blog is to post a variety of topics. I have a couple of podcasts that tackle different subjects and I have a couple of other things that I have feeling about. So far since I started posting here I’ve talked a bit about my food addiction recovery and a little about bullying. But there will also be movie reviews and general musings of life. Today, I thought it would be a good idea to stick to the site’s title about the geek that my kids have as a dad.
This weekend I went to Magic City Con. I’m sure that even if you’ve never been to a con that you’ve at least heard about them and know what they are. But, if by chance you don’t, I’ll try to explain it. Although, I do believe that to truly understand and appreciate a con you have to experience one.
Of course, “con” is short for convention and it is generally used to compare to Comic Con, which is the biggest one there is…at least as far as I know. Comic Con was originally created to be a comic book convention where peopl…

Meeting Ricky Dillon...Whoever That Is

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When you have kids you start to hear a lot of names that you probably wouldn’t hear otherwise. What I mean by that is that you get exposure to celebrities that a lot of people your age have never heard of. I’m pretty well versed in popular culture. I know who Jay-Z is. I’ve heard the latest Justin Bieber, and I can name all the guys from One Direction…Harry, Niall, Louis, and Liam (Zayn left last year).
But we now live in an age where the word “celebrity” encompasses a lot more than it used to. I’m used to it referring to actors and actresses on TV and in film. It also referred to musicians and famous athletes. But now a “celebrity” can be a politician, a news anchor, or the woman that plays Flo on the Progressive commercials.
YouTube has created a lot of celebrities. People that used to be regular Joes picked up their phone and made a couple of videos and now are international celebrities. There are a few “YouTubers” that I watch. But there are tons of them out there that are teenag…

The New Age of Fat Shaming

Let me ask you something. Would you walk up to a person that you don’t know and comment on the way they look? Would you criticize the way they dress or the way they fixed their hair that day? Would you go a step further and tell them that they are unattractive or that they have an ugly face?
We’re doing that every single day. Every time we go on Facebook or Twitter and see one of those memes that has a picture of someone that looks like a hot mess and we share it. Every time we click like on a post that’s making fun of the big girl at the gym or the extremely overweight guy running around the track. It’s called fat shaming or body shaming. But for some reason we think its okay as long as we aren’t saying it to that person.
Many of us know the pain of hearing off-hand remarks about our weight. Many times they are not meant to hurt, but how could they not. I know what it’s like to have a boss jokingly refer to you as the “fat guy” in the office. I felt the pain of having a grandfather …

Broken Chairs and Broken Hearts

I’ve been struggling a lot with the food addiction posts, mainly because my weight loss went on a hiatus for a while. If you didn’t already know, my mother passed away back in April. She suffered from cancer for a couple of years. But before she died I went to Florida where she was staying in a hospice. My wife and I basically lived there for over two weeks to help with her care and just be there with her until the end. That was a very stressful time for me. I ate a lot. We practically lived out of a vending machine for the most part and survived off of fast food the rest of the time. I can’t tell you how many times I had a double-decker oatmeal cream pie for breakfast.
Through circumstances that I have no control over, it was decided that my mother’s funeral should wait a few weeks after her passing. She was cremated, so some of the family didn’t feel that there was a hurry to have a service. This has made my stress level a little higher for the past month or so. I don’t have a lot …