Recent studies have shown, making up everything you say is 95.2% more efficient than doing research.

If you like reading nonsense, you've come to the right place. If you have a thirst for knowledge, you should know that I make up 100% of the stuff I write on this site, without doing the tiniest bit of research.

I enjoy making people angry, and chances are you'll be offended by something on this blog - by design. Your hurt feelings make me happy and your tears sustain me.

If you want to argue about crazy ideas or ill-conceived political schemes, this may be just for you. I reserve the right to edit your comments to make you look like an idiot.

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Christianity and Gay Marriage

If two men stand at an altar and vow to love each other forever, God isn’t confused by that.

Christians are told to love their neighbor as themselves. So, what if your neighbor is gay? What if your neighbor wants to marry their partner? What’s a good Christian to do???

I have a few thoughts, all of which are sure to offend one side or the other. As is my tradition.

I believe that Christ would want us to love them, not judge them, and try to be a positive witness (or light) to them. Jesus wasn’t keen on beating people over the head with His message. He was more of a “let them come to me if they want to hear” kind of guy. People were drawn to Him because he was loving, had a message that resonated, and was a person that you would want to be around.

But Christians, I’m about to call you out.

A lot of Christians have a giant stick up their rear. I’m not sure I can pinpoint the origin of this phenomenon, but it’s quite apparent, especially to non-Christians.

So let’s get what the Bible actually teaches on the table right up front. In Leviticus 20, we are commanded not to “lie with a man as one lies with a woman.” So basically, no homosexual sex. However, the same chapter also says we should put anyone who curses their parents to death. James 2:10 says “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.” Eeek. So if we… get drunk, have lust, overeat, steal, or curse someone, we are accountable for the WHOLE LAW!?

That’s a pretty heavy realization, one which Christians like to give lip service to, but not actually follow in practice. Homosexuality is a sin according to the Bible, and it’s an “outward” sin – meaning everyone around you can see it. Lust, on the other hand, is an inward sin. Those who are committing inward sins LOVE to look down on folks committing outward sins.

It’s often argued that Christian marriage is a picture of Christ’s love for the church. I agree with this interpretation. But here’s where I disagree with the typical Christian stance on enforcing marriage “laws” through the government. God can tell the difference between a Christian marriage and a non-Christian marriage. He doesn’t need our help identifying it. Two non-Christians marrying each other isn’t a picture of Christ and the church, either.

As Christians, we have a responsibility in our own marriages to make them as close to a picture of Christ and the church as we can with His help. But we also have a responsibility to love our sinful neighbors, as we are sinners ourselves and Christ loves us.

The government cannot legislate what constitutes a Christian marriage, because the concept of Christian marriage has nothing to do with the government at all. Legal marriage exists solely for taxation and estates, nothing else. If two men stand at an altar and vow to love each other forever, God isn’t confused by that. And we need to spend more time worrying about our own marriages and less time worrying about doing God’s job for Him.

The sanctity of marriage is not in any way reduced when a gay couple get married. To argue otherwise is to miss the entire point. Christian marriage is the picture of Christ and the church. No other marriage is – BUT, no other marriage is TRYING to be that picture. We are so hung up on the word that we are completely ignoring the CONCEPT.

If I have an orange and you have an apple, and you insist on calling your apple an orange, it makes no sense for me to get mad about it. WHO CARES what you call your ever-lovin’ stupid apple? If you like your apple and you want to eat it and you think it’s an orange, more power to you!

I’m so tired of the Christian platitude of “love the person but hate the sin.” We should love the person because they are no worse and no better than us, and loving them is what we’ve been commanded. That should be enough, if you’re really a Christian.


Our gun rights are as fundamental to Americans as our right to free speech, our right to due process, and our right to practice our religion.

Over the weekend, a crazed Muslim who also may have been a deeply repressed gay man unleashed his anger by killing 49 innocent people in a gay nightclub in Florida. He was an American citizen, although he reportedly told hostages he was doing it because he wanted America to “stop bombing his country” which certainly sounds like he felt that he was really not an American at heart. All of that is beside the point. He walked in and shot people who had done nothing to him.

I cringed for two reasons. First, it’s a national tragedy. I am a Christian and very staunchly pro life. Over the years I’ve even changed my position and now oppose the death penalty. I think all Americans should have the same rights and privileges, regardless their color, what they believe or who they love. The fact this appears to be both a homegrown terrorist attack AND a hate crime is particularly disturbing. Secondly, though, I cringed because I knew what was coming – the gun control hand wringing and politicizing.

Of course, it took two seconds for everyone on the left to say “see, guns are bad” and everyone on the right to say “hey, get your hands off our guns you commies.”

In order to understand America’s obsession with guns, you have to go all the way back to the beginning. You can’t understand the 2nd amendment without understanding that America’s roots were revolutionary. America was founded to escape government tyranny and set up a system where that could never happen. If you look at the founder’s own writings, it’s incredibly apparent they wanted an armed populace for this very reason.

“I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians.” – George Mason, co-author of the 2nd Amendment.

“Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence.” – George Washington

“Americans have the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the people of other countries, whose leaders are afraid to trust them with arms.” – James Madison.

“What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.” – Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, December 20, 1787

“The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.” – Thomas Jefferson, letter to to John Cartwright, 5 June 1824

“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.” – William Pitt, Speech in the House of Commons, November 18, 1783

I end with that last quote for a reason. Necessity. That’s what we are hearing now. We MUST act on gun control because bad, crazy people keep doing bad crazy stuff with them. No discussion at all about the uncomfortable fact that nearly all of the mass shootings of the past 20 years have happened in “gun free” zones where good people aren’t allowed to carry.

I’m going to say this as clearly as I can: To disarm the American people is to fundamentally destroy the roots of our founding. It is not just an insult to the 100,000,000 responsible gun owners in America, it is an insult to our own heritage as a country.

The left will say the right to bear arms was only for the “militia” referenced in the 2nd Amendment. In order to believe this, you have to completely ignore everything that the writers of the Constitution and the 2nd Amendment actually said about it. And this has been upheld time after time by the Supreme Court. Hillary has said that the Supreme Court is wrong on this Audio. But they weren’t, and she is.

The slippery slope effect is strong with us, too. We need to ban “assault rifles.” Politicians who say this are only demonstrating they don’t know the first thing about guns. I will go on the record here. I have multiple AR-15s. I have a dozen handguns. If the government suddenly decided that I have to turn in my AR-15s, I could still very easily kill 50 people in a nightclub.

An AR-15 holds between 10 and 30 rounds. My 1911 handguns hold 10 rounds, and my Glocks hold 19 rounds. But, 45 magazines are much smaller and easy to carry than AR Magpul magazines. And guess what. A .45 round is GIANT compared with an AR .223 round (I circled the actual bullet, which is the part that shoots out of the gun). See the picture:


If I loaded up a dozen magazines for my Glock with hollow points, I could inflict just as much damage as this guy did with his “assault rifle” and it would be much lighter for me to carry, and much easier to hide on my person. It takes less than 2 seconds to change magazines in any gun, “assault” or not. Even revolvers can be reloaded with a speedloader. Watch this if you don’t believe me, watch the first 10 seconds of this video: Speed Loader.

NO ONE has “automatic weapons.” They’ve been illegal since the 1980s. Every AR-15 and every handgun works by pulling the trigger once for each shot. You can’t just go in and hold down the AR-15 trigger and go nuts like a war movie. The term “semi-automatic” means that when you fire a shot, the next round gets loaded into the chamber. Guess what, folks. That’s no different than a revolver, which has been around since 1835.

All this argument trying to differentiate guns based on how scary they look is moronic. In this picture, we have two rifles:

Assault Rifles

They are EXACTLY the same except one is black and has a collapsible stock, and the other is wood and doesn’t have a collapsible stock. The black one would be considered an assault rifle (and was banned under the 94 ban), because, well, it looks scary.

The left talks about common sense, but what they seem to fail to recognize is that unless every single type of gun is outlawed, mass shootings will still happen, because some people are fricking crazy. People killed 3,000 people with airplanes and box cutters on 9/11. The Boston bombers used COOKWARE. Timothy McVeigh used fertilizer to kill 186 people. Bad people will always find a way to do bad things, and even if guns ceased to exist, it would still be incredibly easy for a crazy person to kill a bunch of people. Guys who lose it and shoot their wife and kids will just grab a knife and do the same thing – except it will be a much slower, much more agonizing death.

Imagine if you will, though, the government figures out how to do a real, nationwide gun ban/buyback like they did in Australia. There are about 350 million guns currently in circulation. Because it has always been a constitutional right, very few of those are actually registered and documented anywhere, unless you happen to live in a fascist state like Illinois, California, New York, or Massachusetts. That means the government to really effectively find most of the guns, they’d have to search house to house and seize privately owned property that Americans paid for with their hard-earned money.

Let’s assume, however, that the government comes up with the 250 BILLION dollars it would roughly cost to do a buyback at cost. (Pete’s very rough estimate.) At least 20% of the population would hide their guns. That would leave about 70 MILLION guns still out there, and the only thing that would increase would be black market gun sales and black market violence. Instead of just drugs getting smuggled in from Mexico, it would be guns. The genie is already out of the bottle, and it can’t be put back.

It worked in Australia because Australia wasn’t founded by revolutionaries. Our gun rights are as fundamental to Americans as our right to free speech, our right to due process, and our right to practice our religion.

Can both sides of the aisle agree that people on the no-fly list shouldn’t be able to buy guns? Of course, we should be able to agree. Felons already can’t buy guns. People who have been adjudicated cuckoo also already can’t buy guns. Selling guns to suspected terrorists seems like a really bad idea. Of course, these people should have the right to a process of getting taken off of the no-fly list, because this isn’t communist China.

I will always choose a little bit of risk to keep my freedom, and you should too, proud American. So go buy a gun. Not because you need one today, but because it’s your right, and someday, if things keep progressing the way they are, you may just need it.

Supporting Trump Isn’t Racist or Sexist

Today it seems that if you support Donald Trump (for whatever reason), you are automatically deemed a racist, sexist, xenophobic redneck idiot. As someone who supports Trump and DOESN’T hate minorities or women, I find this disturbing. I also don’t care for the label of “idiot” but at least with that one, you can consider the source.

Hillary Clinton represents everything that is wrong with American politics. She is beholden to special interests, particularly foreign ones, and also seems to be a pretty mean-spirited, war-mongering hack.

Here are some of the things the current political system has gotten us (regardless who had power):

  1. Endless “police actions” (read: WARS) throughout the world wherever we have financial interests, but not where we don’t
  2. An elite class of people/corporations who can buy whatever power or influence they want, by legally bribing candidates
  3. A completely retarded healthcare/insurance system that is even more screwed up than when it was run by greedy corporations
  4. Literally anyone can cross the borders into the US without so much as a glance. I accidentally crossed into Canada from Maine and probably would not have even been noticed until I reached Montreal
  5. Political correctness has devolved into “you can have free speech unless it hurts my feelings”

These are just a smattering of the things that are wrong with the system, and they are the tip of the iceberg. The country is going to hell in a handbasket, and we just keep on bringing back the same asshats who give themselves raises and better insurance while passing laws that restrict and bankrupt the rest of us.

God help you if you’re in the middle class. You get to pay for all of the social programs AND you get to pay to prop up the corporations taking advantage of every loophole that 60 years of lobbying can get you.

Donald Trump is a blowhard. He speaks many times without thinking. I think we can all agree on that.

Here’s what Donald Trump isn’t: He’s not a racist or a sexist. He has married, promoted, hired, and supported more people of color, people from other countries, and women than any other major executive you could name. AND if you look at wage disparity, Trump kicks Hillary’s ever-lovin’ rear end all over town. She’s not even paying her own campaign staff equitably between male and female. He famously said that women should make what men make if they do the same job as a man at the same level. Hillary tried to turn that into a sexist comment. Really??

Trump famously wants to close the borders. For that, he’s called a xenophobe and a racist. But if you ask any family that immigrated here legally, they are with Trump. There’s a right way to do it. We can argue about how easy it should be, but there shouldn’t just be a “come on in whoever you are” sign at the border. We need to know who is here. That’s not racist. That’s what it means to be a sovereign nation.

He famously said “they aren’t sending their best, they’re sending their criminals, their rapists.” The media immediately changed “their” to “they’re” in their reports so they could claim Trump thinks all illegal immigrants are rapists. Asinine.

Trump wants us to return to American exceptionalism. He wants us to bring the jobs back here. He wants to protect the borders and get out of the phony-baloney wars that we’ve inserted ourselves into all over the world – a practice which has directly resulted in 100’s of thousands of deaths, a fair amount of which were civilians and children. Trump says what he thinks. No focus groups, no lying, no special interests.

If we get Hillary, we get 4 more years of the same stuff – except this time with an untrustworthy, warmongering, Wall Street and Saudi beholden shill. We conservatives will be longing for Obama by the time she’s done.

If you want to say I’m an idiot for supporting Trump, feel free. But don’t you dare tell me I’m a racist or a sexist or throw your ridiculous social justice politically correct BS at me. Ad Hominem arguments are a pointless waste of time.

Why I Chose Odyssey 7q Over Atomos Shogun

I’m an early adopter. Being an early adopter lets you (in many case) input to future product updates and it’s generally fun to play with toys when they are sparkly and new.

When Atomos announced Shogun, I was thrilled. At the time, I was shooting BlackMagic cameras and Shogun was the only recorder on the market with 12G-SDI. It could record RAW from the BlackMagic Cinema Camera and the URSA. It also promised to be compatible with just about any 4k camera coming onto the market.

Shogun was also cheap for what you were getting, especially if you factor in all of the promised firmware updates.

I ordered my Shogun and waited. And waited. Finally, it arrived. One TEENSY little glitch, they promised they’d fix… it could PLAY YOUR FREAKING VIDEO BACK. The little “Play” button was greyed out. Come on, man. But I got over it, because by that time I was shooting URSA and CFast 2 cards are wicked expensive and were hard to find at the time.

Atomos slowly released updates with the features they had promised originally would be there from the start.

Then I changed cameras. I wanted something run-and-gun capable, which the URSA most certainly is not (not to mention Blackmagic Design shares Atomos’ affinity for promising a lot and delivering very little), so I went with the workhorse Sony FS7.

Sony doesn’t mess around. When someone, anyone finds a glitch with their professional camera products, they actually fix it. Fast. When Cinema 5d discovered a RAW output glitch, it was fixed within a couple of months. After mucking around with a company that doesn’t ever deliver what it promises (BMD), I was super excited to start working with Sony.

Some projects dictate using all 14 stops of dynamic range that the FS7 can offer, and the way you do that is by recording 12-bit RAW .DNG using the XDCA-FS7 extension unit to an external recorder. Sony makes a recorder, but it is $5350 plus you need a $2000 interface unit. That’s a lot of cash to do what Atomos promised/promises that the Shogun can do. But the date for Atomos support of the FS7 is constantly pushed back further and further. Now it’s saying sometime in the 3rd quarter of 2016. Mmmmhmmm.

I had always steered clear of the Convergent Design Odyssey 7q because every review I read said the interface is terrible, the screen isn’t as nice, it’s basically poopy compared to the Shogun. But I was left in a situation where I could spend $7500 for the Sony system (plus another several thousand in proprietary media) or I could find a nice used 7q.

I did one better, because I found a used 7q that already had the RAW license on it (normally $995 extra). I went into it with tame expectations of the screen, interface, and build.

What I got shocked me. The Shogun feels like a plastic toy compared with the 7q. Even the power connector is a well-designed Neutrix that actually stays in place. The first impression out of the box was good. I always felt like one drop would be the end of the Shogun. The 7q feels like it could take a punch.

Then I turned it on, plugged it into the camera, and watched as the 7q detected the FS7 and instantly presented me with all of the available recording formats for FS7 RAW recording, which include HD, 2k, and 4k ProRes and .DNG. I thought – it can’t really be that simple. I didn’t read the manual. I spent 2 minutes pushing the various buttons on the touchscreen and I feel confident I know exactly how to use it. Within 5 minutes of unboxing, I was recording gorgeous Cinema DNG RAW in all of its 12-bit glory.

But there’s more. Shogun, by it’s design (single drive) is permanently constrained to 30P when shooting 4k or UHD. The 7q can shoot 60P in 4k and UHD, and it can shoot TWO HUNDRED AND FORTY FRAMES PER SECOND in 2K. WHAT?! Holy Snikeys.

If you only ever shoot ProRes and you never plan to go over 4K30P, the Shogun will probably work fine for you. If you want to shoot anything more, you simply must get the Odyssey.

The Republican Bill of Goods

Something went wrong somewhere along the way, post Reagan. I’m not sure what it was, and I’m not smart enough to analyze it. We were sold the American dream. We were told that anyone and everyone, no matter their circumstances, can become one of “them.” Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, they said. And if you don’t succeed, clearly there’s something wrong with you.

After many years of voting against my own self interests, I’ve finally caught on.

Listen to me carefully. The billionaires… the oligarchy… the elite… the powerful…. YOU are not one of them. YOU are NEVER gonna be one of them. You just aren’t. Period. End of story. If you’re incredibly lucky and have a genius idea at exactly the right time and place, you might make a few million dollars. That is a rounding error for the people who actually run things.

You are never gonna be the powerful elite. Back in the late 2000’s, General Electric had a year when they earned over 10 billion in net profits. They paid zero dollars in taxes. To put that into perspective, that same year I earned $60,000 working two jobs. I paid $10,000 in taxes. I personally paid more in taxes than GE. The game is rigged, and those who are at the top have rigged it so that no matter what, they will always win. Wall Street, the big banks, the powerful multi-national corporations. The Koch’s and the George Soros’s of the world.

These are the people who have convinced us that if we just keep voting for people who will “incentivize” corporations, the money will flow like water. We, my friends, are idiots.

If you read my blog for the past 10 years, you know I’m very staunchly pro-life. We had 12 years of Bushes, we’ve had both houses of congress. We’ve had a pretty strong majority on the “supreme” court. Guess how much progress we’ve made on our pro-life promises? I’ll give you a hint: it’s zero.

It does not matter who you vote for, because the Supreme Court has taken that issue out of our hands.

We conservative do a really good job of focusing on all the wrong things. We are so upset about “sanctity of marriage” (as if God can’t tell the difference between a legal contract and a Christian marriage), guns, and calling global warming a hoax that we’ve completely lost sight of the fact that we are being horribly screwed by the very people we are electing. We love to interfere in other countries. Saddam is a bad guy who is killing Kurds and invading Kuwait. That’s terrible, but we didn’t go in because he was hurting Kurds. We went in because he was jeopardizing our cheap oil. Do you remember the Rwandan genocide? We didn’t do squat because they don’t have anything we want. Every single war we’ve been involved in during the last 30 years has been financially driven. And let me tell you who loves it. Lockheed. Northrop Grumman. GE. Raytheon.

We are a country that is so delusional that we believe “God is on our side” and “We are constantly helping all of these helpless other countries.” Bull. We are doing whatever benefits us financially, nothing more. Neither party has any desire to change anything, because elections are expensive and corporations have deep pockets.

If we want to have the slightest chance of making our country great again, the first thing we have to do is level the playing field. We have to get money out of politics. We have to get out of our incessant policing of the rest of the world and start worrying about our own problems. We have homeless, we have hungry kids, we have sick people going bankrupt, we have a true jobless rate that is much higher than official unemployment. We have a broken system.

The American Dream is dead. You cannot be anything you want to be. You cannot pull yourself up by your bootstraps. You can only be part of a revolution. Not a revolution of violence. A revolution of ideas. Stop believing what these lying crooks on both sides of the political aisle are feeding you. It’s all about the money.

2015 Christmas Letter

So, we meet again. I’m fully aware that I didn’t even call when I broke up with blogging. I could have at least texted you. But I didn’t, and that’s something you’re just going to have to live with.

After October of 2013, my life was altered in a very permanent, very drastic way. A little tornado named Elaina entered my life and now my blogging time is spent hiding in the bathroom trying to get my Reddit fix.

2015 was a really long, tough year for the Lucas family. But here we are, still standing. In January we finalized our adoption home study, which involves fingerprints, financials, interviews, home visits, and microchip implants. Nicole and I were excited to get the process going, however, so we could adopt a baby before Elaina was ready to go off to college. In January, I also took over the worship leader position at our church, a church that is 50% young families and 50% people over the age of 65. As you can imagine, song selection is like a game of Russian Roulette where every chamber is loaded.

Then, in February, I blacked out for the entire month.

In March we went to visit my mother-in-law’s fiance’ in Scottsdale, AZ. The weather was great, and aside from taking a cranky toddler on an airplane, it went off without a hitch. In what we’re told is supersonic speed, we were matched with a baby-to-be in Americus, Georgia (town motto “We may be hot, humid, and gnat infested, but at least we don’t have any stores, restaurants, or attractions”).

When we returned from Arizona, we opened the door to our house and heard a waterfall. Water was pouring down the walls and through the light fixtures. The 2nd story bathroom supply line had burst and pumped out a week’s worth of water (about 60,000 gallons) into our house. It was a gut. I called ServPro and booked us a room at the hotel, where we would live until August.

The advantage to having your house flood is that you get to have all new floors, sheet rock, paint, and kitchen cabinets. The bad part is that you have to live in a hotel room with a 1 year old and a 10 year old. This also put the nursery decoration on hold for our impending adoption. We knew we were cutting it close – the baby was due in August and the house was due to be completed in August.

Over the summer Olivia competed at dance nationals in Branson, MO (mottto “We’re just like Vegas without the nice hotels”). Her team won “best of show” and all was happy. Ironically, we were living in a hotel while checking into another hotel. Double dipping on the Marriott points…

Then in August, we got the call “baby’s on the way.” We loaded up the kids into the SUV and started the long drive to Americus. We dropped Nicole at the hospital just in time to catch the baby and cut the cord, while I took the girls to the most disgusting, shady, dirty, 90 degree hotel room I’ve ever seen.

The next morning, my mom arrived and took over watching the girls so I could go to the hospital and meet the little guy. We named him Brandon after my friend and fellow worship leader Brandon Hollis. The mother signed the consent and we took him back to our hotel and began the wait for interstate clearance.

Sadly, in Georgia, they have a 10 day revocation period for an adoption consent. On day seven, the mother revoked her consent, and we had to take Brandon back to the social services building and hand him over. Then the long, sad drive home began. The girls were crushed. I was mostly angry. Angry about all the money down the drain. Angry that I’d wasted the only boy name I liked on a kid I wasn’t going to end up raising.

Now we wait and see what’s in store next.

Not the best year, but we certainly learned a lot as a family. Looking forward to turning the page. 2016 is bound to be better!

2013 Christmas Letter

When we last left off, I told you all that I hoped by this letter I’d be talking about a baby. I almost can’t comprehend 2013 as I sit here and try to put it into words. It’s been a wild ride, filled with anxiety, tears, fears, happiness, pain, and immeasurable blessing. So here goes 2013. January. Giving injections to Nicole. That’s how the first several weeks of the year started. Big needles, little needles, boxes and boxes of pills. The whole thing is overwhelming to even think about now that it’s all in the past.

The IVF process started in November 2012 when we began our orientation and started planning. After months of hormones and shots, craziness, and anxiety, on January 18th they finally did Nicole’s egg retrieval for IVF. She was sedated and sent to the operating room where they jabbed a huge needle into her ovaries 43 times. Of those, 22 were mature, 8 fertilized, and 5 made it to day 5. They transferred 2 eggs back on day 5, and 2 of the final 3 made it to freezing on day 6. Then we waited.

So get this. February 14th, Olivia, after a year of nada, tells me she loves me. Just one week later, we find out that we have a baby on the way. Also, a coworker told me I needed to “call Google and get screenshots of our deleted website.” You simply cannot make up this stuff. This is the same coworker that sent me a tersely worded email telling me I needed to “make sure I let her know in advance if she’s going to have a computer virus so she can back up her files.” The same person said the following to me: “I’m a really good artist; my sister is a painter and a sculptor.” Eh? True. Story. I’m an expert at Constitutional law, too – because my sister has a Ph.D.

Oh, did I mention in February we found out we were expecting our little IVF rainbow baby? March was memorable because of the first two sonograms and the visit where we heard the heartbeat for the first time. That pretty much sums it up. If you haven’t experienced that yet, I hope you get to. Oh, and I got to see the Weinermobile with Olivia.

April. Our first anniversary. What a wild ride this has been. Just two years prior I was being verbally abused on a daily basis by a selfish, lazy narcissist while she played all day and expected me to do everything for her. Now, I find myself living with an amazing, loving woman, and doing such activities as rhinestoning dance costumes. I could never have predicted any of this.

May can be summarized with this: On my birthday, I felt the baby kick for the first time. After fighting the urge, we finally gave in and scheduled a gender reveal party. When the pink balloons popped out of the box I’m pretty sure there were a bunch of really happy ladies. In June, what turned out to be the first domino of managers quitting at my company. She gave two weeks of notice then came in for only 6 of the days, in no particular order. This left me with the joy of figuring out her job and transferring my “knowledge” to other people who had no desire to add that to their job description. I am so tired of people leaving and doing it without any consideration. I long for, and will relish the day that our company is ridiculously successful so they can kick themselves for leaving the way they did. I have all your names on a list, and they’re all scratched out.

The only good thing that happened in June was Nicole’s birthday, which we naturally spent at the T-Rex cafe, because everyone knows that’s the best food money can buy. July brought our family vacation – the last before baby Nugget arrived. We decided to do San Diego, mostly because I love San Diego, but also so Olivia could see the “other” SeaWorld. We paid the big bucks so that we could have close encounters with Belugas, penguins, walruses, and other assorted wildlife. Nicole and Olivia even got kisses from the Beluga. I got some beach time and we racked up some Marriott points to boot. I even accidentally tipped a valet $100 and got treated like a celebrity the rest of the week.

In what may be the most shortsighted, stupid act in history, one of my managers quit in July because he got his nose out of joint about this very blog. You know I often say if you’re offended by a post, the shoe probably fits, because I’m not thinking of you… well, clearly the shoe fit and he didn’t like how it felt. In July, I also learned that bouncing back is harder the older you get. After falling while teaching Olivia how to roller skate, the guy came over and asked if I was ok and if I needed help. Naturally, being a guy, I said Heck Yeah I’m OK. Then I tried to get up and realized that I was in fact NOT OK. Sadly he had already skated off so I had to crawl to the edge of the rink under my own power. The 3D ultrasound we got in July was amazing. The first picture was so crystal clear and perfect that Nicole cried. Both of our parents were there along with grandparents and Olivia.

August 5th was a day that will live in infamy. It was the day I sent the final cash payment to my ex from our divorce settlement. I paid it off 3 years early. And now that it’s paid, allow me to tell you something. When a man divorces a woman after finding out she’s running around with other men, getting naked at drunken parties out of state, and generally not being a very good wife, the system is so screwed up he will still end up paying in a divorce. For me it cost $61,000 in cash and a $39,000 Jeep. That’s a ridiculous amount of money when you consider the circumstances. But it’s still a bargain when you consider I don’t have to spend one more second with someone who disrespected me in every way she could think of.

After a horrible SNAFU involving a heart catheter product failing during our clinical trial, I got to spend several days convincing the trial hospital continue the trial and another day or two with our engineer, Alex, cutting apart defective catheters in a clean room and reassembling them. Such is the life of an medical device startup. August was our second attempt at going to a Royal’s game as a family. This time it was above freezing and I insisted we stayed for the whole game. The older I get, the more I appreciate baseball.

September is literally a blur of painting and fixing our rental house that was destroyed for no apparent reason. With a week to go before our baby’s arrival, I decided it was the perfect time to have all of our home’s floors replaced. Nicole was super excited about it.

The beginning of October brought us a couple of false alarms that sent us to the hospital, followed by a scheduled C-section on the 7th. Nugget decided to cause a full week of contractions with absolutely zero dilation. The day of the C-section finally arrived, we went to the hospital early and sent Nicole in for her spinal block. She was a trooper and finally after listening to the assisting physician refer to his resident as “dumbass” four or five times, they invited me into the operating room. They cut her open, started tugging, pushed her back in, tugged some more, climbed on Nicole’s ribs and shoved, and the next thing we knew, a 8lb 2oz baby popped out – COVERED in hair. Nicole and I looked at each other for just a second, wondering if they’d mixed up samples in the lab. But upon closer inspection, it was clear she was 100% ours. Elaina Kay Lucas joined us 10/7/13 at 12:10PM.

The day before Halloween, I packed up a huge suitcase full of literature and product samples (read: disassembled parts), weighing in at 104 pounds. If you fly much, you know this is way overweight and most airlines won’t even take it if you pay extra. I tipped the skycap $100, paid the $75 overweight fee, and included a product brochure on top so TSA wouldn’t shoot me for checking a bag full of circuit boards and wires. I threw a minor fit in my hotel room as I missed Lainey’s first Halloween. Then I got over it and went to sleep, and then it was November.

After starting the company in 2006, we finally launched our first new products in November at the American Dental Association meeting in New Orleans and the Society for Neuroscience in San Diego. Naturally they were one week apart and I had to attend both. The neuro was a SMASH hit with all of the nerds at SFN.

Bad Things – Good People

All my life, I’ve heard this question. It’s used by those that don’t believe in God to justify their disbelief in a good God. Surely if God is all-powerful and all-knowing, then He wouldn’t just wipe out good people with a tornado, right? This is a natural human reaction to suffering, but it’s bastardization of who God really is. God created us in His image, and wants all of us to love Him.

He did not make us robots, because by definition, love can’t be programmed or coerced. What makes it confusing is that He knows everything that will ever happen. So why even bother making Ted Bundy? Christians frequently throw out the “everything happens for a reason” platitude, which isn’t even Biblical, to explain it. Sometimes the reason something happens is that a human being has decided to be an asshole. That’s not a very comforting reason, but it is THE reason. God sent Jesus to die for all of our sins. That includes Ted Bundy. Ted Bundy had free will to choose to follow God or not follow God. The fact that God knew what his choice would be does not mean that Ted didn’t have the choice.

That’s a difficult paradox for us to understand, because in our minds, if God knows in advance, he should just only create people he knows will choose Him. But that’s not love. You’ve gone right back to a scenario where God has simply constructed paradise on Earth. There’s a second aspect to the bad things happening to good people argument. What is a good person? Am I a good person if I follow the 10 commandments, go to church, and pay my taxes? Or am I a sinner just like everyone else on Earth? God doesn’t assign degrees to sin, and when we do, it leads to silly arguments like wondering why bad things happen to good people. A) there are no good people, and B) god doesn’t MAKE bad things happen regardless. Bad things happen for a bunch of reasons.

People are killed by weather because they live where deadly climatic events happen. Nobody’s ever died from a tornado or a hurricane in Arizona. Most bad things that happen in the world are at the hands of other people. Some of those are purposeful, some are accidental. But none are at the hand of God. People die from sickness. Did God make them sick? Does God use sickness as an instructional or disciplinary tool? Or is sickness A) a normal part of life with an imperfect body, or B) a result of crappy decisions like what to eat and what activities to engage in, or C) a 1:1 result of doing something you shouldn’t be doing? People make choices.

For example, we eat garbage and way too much of it. If all you eat is grease, salt, and sugar, you cannot blame God when you have a heart attack, stroke, or diabetes. If you shoot drugs or engage in promiscuous sex, you cannot blame God when you get Hep C or HIV. If you do skateboard or BMX tricks, you cannot blame God when you break your neck. People are hurt or killed by other people’s choices.

My unborn but full-term baby was killed in 1998 by a drunk driver. The person driving drunk chose to drive drunk. God didn’t make him drink or drive. He did that himself. Sadly his choice affected others. That’s what happens when there are 6 billion people all making bad choices on a daily basis.

Bad things don’t happen to good people. Bad things happen and there are no good people.

100 Things About Pete

1. I had a girlfriend in Kindergarten named Jill. She was my last girlfriend till I got to college.

2. I quit drinking alcohol 10 years ago.

3. My first alcoholic drink was in Hawaii when I was 20. They didn’t check my ID.

4. My hair fell out when I was still in high school and I had a combover by my senior year.

5. I didn’t shave my head until I was 22.

6. Yes, that means I had a combover for five years.

7. For most of my childhood I went to a home-based church with about 25 members. And it met in my house.

8. I went to a Christian school and my graduating class had 11 kids.

9. I once hazed my brother so he could join my club. Once he made it in, he realized I was the only member of the club.

10. I was a finalist in a science symposium sponsored by KU and the US Army when I was a senior in high school.

11. My project was so stupid, to this day I can’t figure out why I was selected.

12. While at the symposium, our sponsor from the Christian school rented us a movie that had about 9 sex scenes. I’m not making that up.

13. I have seen virtually all sci-fi and action movies made between 1980 and 2010.

14. Our family of six lived on my mom’s salary as a check-out clerk at the grocery store when my dad quit his job to become a writer.

15. We ate a lot of beenie weenie.

16. Almost my entire life I planned on going to the University of Kansas. Go Jayhawks.

17. I didn’t take one single class at KU.

18. I took 205 hours of college courses. I’m pretty sure that would have equaled a Ph.D. if I’d planned better.

19. My favorite kind of food is Japanese.

20. In 2009, I made more money doing freelance photography than I made at my job.

21. My siblings all moved out of state. They suck.

22. I am paying alimony to my ex, not because she is incapable of work, but because she DIDN’T work the last two years before the divorce.

23. I lost a full-term baby to a drunk driver when I was just 19 years old.

24. Sometime between the time I was 18 and now, I killed off enough of my swimmers that my wife and I had to try IVF.

25. My favorite place to visit is San Diego, CA. 2

6. Two of my long-term girlfriends, I never kissed. I thought kissing was nasty.

27. When I met Nicole, I realized kissing rocks if it’s the right person!

28. I used to be able to get computers to behave just by being in the same room with them. I’ve lost that touch. I must be getting old.

29. I prefer contemporary design. I’m far too lazy to do anything about it, though.

30. I met my wife online. eHarmony works.

31. My favorite vegetable is cauliflower.

32. Even as an adult, the smell and taste of broccoli makes me gag.

33. I work with a full-grown adult who tattles on me on a regular basis.

34. When I was growing up, I was certain I’d be a professional musician.

35. I have been cheated on in every relationship I’ve had thus far, except for my current marriage.

36. I’ve been far to passive about my feelings, wants, needs, and desires for the majority of my life.

37. I don’t feel like I have a right to ask for what I want.

38. I’ve been truly raging angry only two times in my life.

39. Usually I just simmer inside, which is probably why I’m such an anxious person.

40. I used to be a boob man. Then I was a “depends which way she’s walking” man. Now I’m a butt man. I think it’s a sign of maturity.

41. I think there’s nothing sexier on a woman than a smile.

42. I think I’m very smart and I’m frequently reminded that I’m totally wrong.

43. I spend more time on Pinterest than any straight man should spend.

44. I decided when I first saw Nicole that I was going to kiss her at the end of the date, before we sat down and talked.

45. My first time on a roller coaster was Space Mountain and it was because my grandpa lied to me about what it was.

46. I have about 20 pairs of wingtips.

47. I only wear argyle socks.

48. I have 20+ suits but only 2 pairs of jeans (only one of which fits me).

49. I overthink things way too much.

50. If everyone who ever “borrowed” money from me paid me back, I could retire.

51. I naively assume that if I am good to people, they will be good back.

52. Being a dad has been a new found joy in my life.

53. I frequently wonder how a dad could walk out on his kids.

54. I have obstructive sleep apnea.

55. I used to have a heart syncope, but I grew out of it.

56. The baby I lost would have just turned 13 years old.

57. There are four people on the planet that I truly detest. My wife says I should forgive and forget. She’s probably right.

58. It has taken me 34 years to start learning to set boundaries.

59. I’m not stupid. Just foolishly optimistic.

60. I’ve been in 6 churches since I was 18. George McDowell is the best pastor bar none.

61. I am the girl in my relationship. So I’m told.

62. I need glasses to read, but I haven’t worn them in years.

63. The smell of beer is great… the taste, not so much.

64. I can remember long strings of numbers, but I can’t remember anything else.

65. The best part of waking up, is Pepsi in my cup.

66. When I was 23, the Senior VP of HR at my company labeled me Pete the Hatchet.

67. I have a Master’s degree in supply chain management and forecasting. Most people don’t know or care what that is.

68. My IQ is somewhere between 100 and 200.

69. According to the DISC personality assessment, I am high D followed by C. I just don’t see it.

70. I prefer Nikon over Canon, not because of the camera bodies, but because of the optics.

71. At one time, I owned 12 guitars.

72. There isn’t enough persuasive power, begging, or money on the planet to get me to be a worship leader again.

73. I think yellow gold looks tacky and outdated.

74. I am a medical device patent holder.

75. I have fired more than 50 people in my career, and all of them have made me nervous.

76. One time I fired a lady and she told me to watch out, because she has a high-powered rifle and knows how to use it.

77. I was once surrounded by angry union members and threatened, and was only saved by the cops.

78. I worked with a woman at my old job that propositioned me almost daily for 6 years. I never gave in. And no, she wasn’t fat or old.

79. I am frequently tempted to edit my old posts to make them align with my current viewpoints, but I never do it.

80. I will always choose salty over sweet.

81. When I was eight I zipped my manhood up in my shorts and had to go to the hospital.

82. The nurse who looked at it was so nice and understanding, that’s probably why I ended up marrying a nurse.

83. I once put a nail through my hand on accident. It hurt.

84. My eyebrows grow at an alarming rate.

85. If I roll onto my back when I’m asleep, it instantly wakes me up.

86. If I wake up in the night, it takes me an hour or more to go back to sleep.

87. I pee more often than anyone I know, and I don’t have anything wrong with my prostate.

88. Before my first marriage, my ex’s best friend called me and tried to talk me out of it. I sure wish I’d listened to her.

89. The taste of mint makes me gag.

90. For nine years, not a day went by I didn’t think about my lost baby. For the past 3-4, it hardly crosses my mind.

91. I have written more than 433,000 words on this blog. Most books are around 90,000.

92. I like dogs.

93. I’m allergic to cats but I think they’re hilarious.

94. Nicole turned my entire life upside down when we met, and I’ve never been happier.

95. Pessimistic people irritate the bajeezus out of me.

96. Chicken is my preferred form of meat.

97. I never liked the nightlife, and I never liked to boogie.

98. My iTunes has everything from Mozart to Metallica to Garth Brooks to Chaka Khan to Chris Tomin.

99. When I first met Nicole, my “shuffle” setting during my commute played Kenny G’s “Wedding Song” almost daily. I have more than 5,000 songs. I took it as a sign.

100. My BMI is 27.5, which is apparently “overweight” but not “obese.” Suck it, BMI chart.

Pete Peeves

The things that annoy me are a fascinating topic to me. I’m sure it will be quite boring for you, so I suggest you stop reading now. I have pet peeves.

People who spit in the sink and don’t rinse it down. Really any foreign substance left in the sink, actually. I have chairs being left out when you get up from the table. I feel like everywhere I go I am pushing in chairs. I hate it when people dispute my facts and assertions. Especially when they’re right and I’m wrong. Dumb people who are condescending to me are a big one. Bad design or typography make me want to gouge my eyes out. Dirty things where they don’t belong – shoes on the kitchen counter, dirty underwear on the sink or on the bed… gross. I’m sure each and every one of you could list off 20 pet peeves of your own, so please don’t even think about judging me for mine. But I have to wonder about the origins of my pet peeves.

Why the heck does it bother me if people don’t rinse their spit? Is it pure germaphobia? Was I spit on as a child and scarred for life? Maybe I’ll never know. But I know it hits my gag reflex. As in, spit in the sink makes me want to buy a new house. I don’t want to clean it, look at it, or even acknowledge that it’s there. And it’s not just spit – I have the same reaction to soap overspray from a pump bottle. Why is there soap drool in the sink?!

The chair thing – I think I may be the only person on the planet that pushes chairs in. It makes no matter what context, they just don’t. It’s probably the same mental defect that makes people leave their shopping cart next to the cart return instead of in it. Pure laziness. I really don’t know why this bothers me. Is it simply OCD? Was it all the time I spent sitting in time out? Everyone dislikes being disagreed with, so I won’t analyze that one. But the condescension… so frickin annoying. It’s one thing when a Ph.D. or a subject matter expert talks down to me. I can live with that. I, right or wrong, respect when people have devoted a lifetime to learning about a topic. I wish they weren’t butts about it, but whatever. They’ve earned the right to be a butt.

Dumb people, on the other hand, have not earned that right and I want to punch them. I am fully aware I am not a professional designer. I bombed out of design school. But… I was exposed to a great deal of really incredible design work. I know good design when I see it. And typography – I took 18 hours of college typography. It’s the one thing I actually got good at. Comic Sans doesn’t even enter the equation. If you don’t know what kerning and leading are, you sure as hell shouldn’t be doing any design work and calling it “design.”

Ok, I just looked at my list of pet peeves and I am coming to the realization there’s a theme. Germs. Gross things being left where they don’t belong is just another example. Poop goes in the toilet. Dirty clothes go in the hamper. Shoes go on the floor. Anything less would be uncivilized. And now I need to go increase my dose of OCD medicine, cuz wow. Those are some dumb pet peeves.