An obscenity

This is an obscenity, and it makes me ashamed to be an American.

If this is how we treat our soldiers, we don’t deserve our freedom.

-JustPerry

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Too tired to fight (with a couple of exceptions…)

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When I was seventeen, I was passionate about…well…EVERYTHING.

If I didn’t like it, you were going to hear about it. I was the guy in the front line with the biggest sign (and the biggest mouth.) There were no small issues, EVERYTHING mattered, EVERYTHING needed to be fixed, and if you weren’t part of the solution, then by golly I was going to let you know you were part of the problem!

Now, almost 30 years later…I find that there are so many things that, well…I just don’t CARE that much about anymore.

It’s not that I don’t think they’re important issues. It’s not that my beliefs or opinions have changed (well, a few shifted towards the middle a bit), it’s just the exorbitant amount of ENERGY is takes to be on fire for something…24/7/365…man!

That righteous indignation (or arrogant “religiousness”, take your pick) seems to require a lot more kindling to get burning nowadays.

Abortion, homosexuality, sin in the church, Church Rights, politics…on and on…

It’s not that I don’t have a opinion on these (I ALWAYS have an opinion, lol)…I just don’t have the time or energy to get so fired up about them anymore. And if I do get on the subject, I’m much more likely to be sitting somewhere quite and comfy, with a cup of coffee in my had…and maybe a campfire at my feet…and not marching down main street carrying a sign.

Did I sell out? Give up? Throw in the towel?

I don’t think so. At least I hope not.

Because, don’t get me wrong, I still have a couple of things that I’ll spend all day on up the soapbox (or, more likely, in the kitchen) for…and most revolve around feeding people and teaching and helping kids.

Being passionate about just those few things is often exhausting, lol.

Frankly, all those other issues? Well, they’re someone else’s fight now…and whoever you are, please know that you have my respect, support and prayers.

If you want to talk…let’s go get a cup of coffee.

-Just Perry

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The art of diversion…

Henhouse

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Good…Good…

Journey to the Liberal Side

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KPAM Radio…a cautionary tale.

used-car-salesman

So, one morning at a Tualatin Chamber of Commerce meeting, this guy, a sales rep for local KPAM and Sunny 860 radio stations…let’s call him “Joe”, approached me, and with a firm handshake, tells me how much he respects what where doing with our MY KITCHEN cooking outreach, and how he’d like to sit down with me and talk about some ways to “really get our message out there.”

Joe was suave, sharp looking, and the very model of professionalism in speech and demeanor. Myself, flattered and grateful for the positive reinforcement, and desperate to drive traffic to support our outreach, of course, agreed to meet for coffee.

A week later, Joe sat down with me and showed me some impressive charts and graphs that assured me that his radio station, KPAM, out of Milwaukie Oregon, was the ideal demographic for our message.

The only catch was…I had to commit to a full year of advertising in advance, at $10,000, and that deal was ending at the end of the week.

Joe assured me that this was an AMAZING deal.

Okay, I’m not completely stupid (just more so than I thought)… looking back, this was an obvious and ham-handed used-car salesman tactic…and I fell for it hook, line, and sinker.

So, I signed up…and Joe promised me that they would have a professionally-recorded radio spot for me in a couple of weeks.

They did, and it was awesome. I loved it, and I was so excited that I talked about KPAM to anyone and everyone who would listen.  The first time I heard our radio spot, I had to pull over. We were finally going to get our name out there, and create a healthy and sustained funding source for our outreach and ministry!

A month passed (Feb-March), and then two…and I didn’t see any (I mean ANY) increase in our website traffic or sign-up rate.

Site Stats

Our growth rate remained exactly as it was since 2012, no spike during the run of our ads.

I wasn’t worried… Joe had told me that it might be a slow start and, honestly, hearing our ad on the radio stroked my ego enough to keep me happy, regardless of the nonexistent numbers.

Three months…still no noticeable ROI. I track down Joe at a chamber meeting and he, somewhat sheepishly, tells me that he’s leaving KPAM for a better “opportunity”, but he wants to meet for coffee and introduce me to…let’s call him “Jim.”

atrl89ibjs9gva5zatdkWe meet at a local cafe, and I’m introduced to Jim (who doesn’t seem nearly as impressive as Joe and, in fact, bears a striking resemblance to Les Nessman of WKRP fame…) He assures me that things are about to really take off, and with that, Joe shakes my hand, and is gone.

As far as Jim…I will never, not once, hear from Jim again, unless he’s trying to sell me something.

At four months, with still nothing to show for my money, I call Jim.

Eliminator

kpam-logoHe had just the thing, an annual radio call-in contest, “The Eliminator” always VERY popular with both listeners and advertisers. Only thirty businesses will be included in this “elimination” contest…scads of advertising, high profile placement during prime listening hours…a HUGE business opportunity for those who make it to the final rounds….only $1,000 to take part!

Apparently, I’m a sucker.

A month later (June), we were the last business to be eliminated, making it all the way to the 2nd place spot, with absolutely nothing to show in way of response.

Once again, no above-average increase in hits or sign-ups (see graph above), just another grand out of our outreach fund.

At this point, I was done. This obviously wasn’t working, and the only people seeing any money from our “advertising campaign”…was KPAM.

I called Jim and aired my frustrations. He kindly pointed out that I was under contract. I kindly pointed out that I wasn’t paying them one more damn penny, and please stop airing my ads.

They did.

Today, almost exactly one year later, I received a summons to appear in court for a lawsuit for the remainder of the contract, which I will likely have to pay.

Whose fault was all this? Mine of course. I was desperate, and foolish, and gullible, and I got taken by a used-car salesman.

My take away: anyoneKPAM Radio or anyone else, wants to lock you into a long-term contract with no promise of results, and no ability to part ways if it’s not working out…don’t walk, RUN away from the table!

You’re being sold a lemon.

BTW – I ran into “Joe” a few months later at Costco, he casually mentioned that KPAM “probably really wasn’t our ideal market” after all, and suggested a couple of other radio stations I could call…

Thanks Joe.

– Just Perry

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Bad food is OUR fault!

Bah! I’m SO tired of seeing post after post demanding that fast food joints get “healthy”, and that food manufacturers stop putting this, that, and the other thing in their products.

This is a FREE MARKET SOCIETY people! That means the manufacturer will sell whatever the consumer will BUY.

Why are they selling poisonous crap?

BECAUSE WE’RE BUYING POISONOUS CRAP!

Nobody’s trying to get into heaven by converting the heathen to high fructose corn syrup…they’re trying to make MONEY. All they care about it MONEY. If they stop making money, they change the recipe…if we stop buying, they stop making money.

Stop me when the math get’s too hard here.

It’s OUR job to make a change, not theirs…get it? All of the yelling, complaining, and snarky memes in the world are going to change absolutely nothing. A fat-cat losing his seven-figure bonus, will.

And PLEASE stop screaming about labeling…it’s not the microscopic amount of some obscure chemical that’s killing us…it’s the 1/4 cup of sugar in a soda, it’s the 1/2 cup of saturated fat in the double-meat bacon burger, it’s that fourth trip through the carb buffet.

Stop worrying about all the weeds until we’ve cleared the forest, you know?

Don’t like what’s in processed food? Stop buying it! When I buy an organic apple at the produce shop, You know what’s in it…?

Apple.

God forbid we have to made a side trip to the farmer’s market to pick up some decent produce! Go find a butcher who can tell you how that meat was raised and processed. Think it’s too expensive? (have you priced insulin lately?) then buy the good stuff and eat LESS of it.

Don’t know how to cook all that funny looking stuff? Put down the Ben & Jerry’s, turn off “Chopped” and go take a cooking class!

It’s not about “food deserts”, either! I refuse to accept that the answer to that problem is, “Poor people have to eat crap, so we should make it the healthiest crap we can.”

Teach our kids how to cook real food, how to grow their own produce, divert some of the billions that the bottom-feeding lobbyists are spending, channel it towards neighborhood gardens and fresh food delivery programs, and the “food deserts” will bloom.

Besides which, they’re buying SOMETHING there, right?

Nobody’s making Twinkies and Doritos in the back of the store because they can’t get them shipped in. When the Doritos and Twinkies stop selling, you’d be amazed how fast you’d start seeing apples and carrots on the shelves.

It’s friggin’ AMERICA people…we can get from one coast to the other in SIX HOURS and we can’t get celery to East LA?

Demand and profit drives what is available, not logistics.

We’ve become such a society of whiners! My god, turn off the idiot box, and go learn something. Do some research, find out what you don’t want to be eating (and why) and then don’t buy it! It’s not corporate America’s job to do our thinking for us! (Nor is it the government’s, btw). And if you think it is, just please remember that your trusting your family’s diet to a system that will always, always, always, prioritize buying low and selling high.

We are in control. We are NOT victims, it’s just easier to complain and hope someone else will do the work.

Okay, end of rant. 🙂

-Just Perry
joinmykicthen.com

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You deserve nothing.

oliver_twist_david_lean_0Thoughts for today…

Don’t tell me what you “deserve”…you deserve nothing.

I deserve nothing.

You see, there is no such thing as “deserve”, it’s an idealist fantasy constructed to rally people to a cause, an opiate of the masses, a balm for the cruelty of reality. There is no fair and unfair. There is only what happens or doesn’t.

You get what you work hard enough to attain, what you sacrifice for, what you’re smart enough, or blessed enough to seize when the opportunity presents itself,  what just happens through the course of random events, and the natural consequences of your action or inaction.

There is nothing wrong with kindness, and mercy, and generosity, and grace. Indeed, these are the things that separate us from the rest of the animal kingdom and, I personally believe, makes us “in the image of God.”

There is nothing wrong with an ideal, or wanting something better for yourselves or your society, with dedicating yourself to a cause. There is nothing wrong with noble aspirations…until we demand their reward as a given, instead of recognizing them as the fruits of our labors. Man is the only creature in the natural world that for some reason thinks that he is owed anything on the simple basis of his existence.

It’s an idea that’s as ignorant as it is arrogant, and it will ultimately lead to suffering, want, and failure for a person, for a race, and for a nation.

-Just Perry

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No one’s hands are clean

https://i2.wp.com/www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/files/2015/02/crusades.jpg

Okay, I’m going to get some flak for this, I know.

I have to be honest, I’m getting kind of tired of seeing the self-righteous posts by Christians, bashing all Muslims over terrorist bombings. Snarky comments about “the religion of peace” and such.

I’m not a Muslim. I’m a Christian, but as a Christian, I would remind my fellow Christians, before they start feeling too superior and holy, to go back and do a little reading on OUR history…

Little things like The Crusades, The Inquisition, the European blood libels, the Jewish plague massacres, the witch hunts of the 1400’s, John Calvin’s Protestant Inquisition, Oliver Cromwell, The Thirty Years’ War, the Salem witch hunts, the 19th century Jewish purges in Russia, Rev. Jim Jones…and many, MANY more.

Yes, you can pull jihad quotes from the Koran, and just as quickly, they can pull similar examples from the Bible.

Religion, any religion, that adopts the agenda of men, that twists it’s own teaching for political power, and that stops listening to the voice of God, is going to lead to suffering, repression, and destruction.

They’ve done it. We’ve done it.

No one’s hands are clean.

-Just Perry

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Bullies…

Bullying

To the person that commented on Facebook that bullying “toughens kids up” and prepares them for “the real world”…

Take it from me, as a kid who was bullied a LOT… If you had any idea what that life is like, you wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

The only thing that bullying “toughens up” is a soft heart. It steals the ability to trust, to hope, and to love. It steals joy and peace and faith.

I’m 46 years old, no one has bullied me in nearly thirty years…and I still instinctively raise my fists when someone surprises me from behind.

I think you need to take a good long look at “the real world” and consider if that’s the kind of world you really want to perpetuate…

-Just Perry

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Weight Loss Surgery. My honest advice 10 years later…

A dear friend sent me a message today, asking my advice, and I felt like I needed to share my response.

They asked, “I am seriously considering a lap band or gastric bypass, Can you please give me your advice and hindsight?”

My response:

Dear Friend,

Somewhere in the 450 range, before I stopped letting people take my picture.

Somewhere in the 450 range, before I stopped letting people take my picture.

I’m going to be blunt, and give you the worst of it straight up, because these are a few of the things you MUST know to succeed in this.

First of all, it’s very, very hard.

I had the roux-en-y gastric bypass about 10 years ago. It’s a rough month or two of recovery, and my recovery was considered very successful and free of any major complications. There will be pain, fear, a lot of work, a complete change in your cooking, eating, and social habits, and throwing up will likely become a normal part of your day for several months.

I lost about 2/3 of my excess weight (after a little bounce back), from a size 58/60, down to a snug 36, maintaining at 40. These are textbook normal results. For me, I would say the hardest part was mental…understanding that it wasn’t a “quick fix” (even when it felt like it) and that I couldn’t go back to my normal eating patterns even when I started to feel really good about how I looked. You won’t be able to eat the amounts you can now, ever again, but you CAN find other ways to sabotage you weight loss. Many do.

The ability to “melt away the weight” almost effortlessly falls into a finite period of time (12-18 months, typically), and you’ll want to do everything you can (healthy and with your doctor’s supervision) to lose as much weight as you can before your body acclimates and this window narrows. Have a plan!

At my lowest weight, around 220.

At my lowest weight, around 220.

Also, people, both close to you and strangers, will treat you differently, and that can take some getting used to. That was the hardest part for me. Who I was in most of my social circles (the funny fat guy) changed, and I struggled with my identity, even though I would have told you, pre-surgery, that I hated being “that guy.” You may stop being invisible, and possibly even be a threat to some folks who have taken your presence for granted in the past. There will be judgement and jealousy.  Hard-lines will say you wimped-out and took the easy road, doom-sayers will anticipate your return to obesity. Everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE, will have advice.

I spent a lot of time feeling like I was on display, and that the only subject of conversation from my (very well-meaning) friends was my weight loss. This may sound wonderful now, but I found myself wondering, “What did these people think of me before? What did they like about me, if this is all we can talk about?

Overweight people are typically insecure, and that’s not going to change, at least for a long time. It simple transfers to other issues of insecurity. Your focus will, by necessity, turn inward, and if you’re the emotional “giver” of your social circles (and many of us are to feel accepted), people who have been enabled by you may become resentful and drift away

Their problem, by the way, not yours!

It can be expensive too. If I had to do it again, I’d hit some thrift stores in advance and buy 2-3 sets of closes in every two sizes down from my pre-surgery weight to my goal weight. Some of these you’ll only wear once or twice, some sizes you’ll skip entirely.

You may lose interest in some of the (non food) activities you do now, and eventually realize that you were living life doing the things you COULD do, instead of the things you really wanted.

You will lose some acquaintances, and make new ones (I didn’t lose any real friends, tho.)

There will be new fears to deal with, both about eating, and gaining back weight, and there will be times when you regret your decision to have surgery, especially when it feels like EVERYONE else celebrates EVERYTHING good with food! You have to become pretty disciplined, and stay that way for the rest of your life. This is still hard, as I’ve never been particularly well disciplined anyway.

There will be mood-swings, and there will be times you wonder, “If THIS doesn’t make me happy, will anything?” By necessity you will be selfish and self-focused for a time.

Probably the most important thing I would say to anyone considering it, looking back, is that you MUST wrap your mind around the fact that weight-loss surgery will NOT “make your life better”…it’s simply a tool that can give you the POTENTIAL to make your life better. Weight loss can’t be the goal, a better life must be, and you need to fix firmly in your mind what you want that better life to look like, and plan goals beyond weight loss to achieve it.

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Currently 260 (ish) and still working on it!

Your medial facilities should offer you both pre and post-surgery counseling. Take it! In fact, I would say that anyone who won’t commit to taking full advantage of ongoing counseling, shouldn’t consider weight loss surgery, as they will likely fail.

That said, the surgery saved my life, allowed me to improve it vastly, and I would totally make the same decision again. There are moments of joy that can’t be described…the ability to play on the floor with kids or grandkids, buying clothes you like instead of just what fits or conceals, walking your first marathon, not having to “squeeze” into a booth or seat, and many, many more.

I hope that helps, I’m here to talk any time.

Just Perry

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