Monday, June 26, 2017

Why I Left My Religion

This is probably the hardest blog entry I have ever had to write, or will write. Mainly because it involves religion and today, people are so easily "offended" over the littlest thing if they disagree with you. That's why I started writing this towards the end of May, and I'm posting it now because I have gone over this repeatedly to change bits and pieces to make it look right.

On October 9, 2016 (about a year ago), I finally mailed the letter I wrote and requested that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints remove me as a member of the church. Some of you I told and asked you what you thought? Others found out probably another way. Some are finding out now. The hardest people I had to tell were my daughters because their mom and stepdad still take them to church... but luckily, my girls still love me.

If you know me, I was born and raised LDS, even though my parents came from different religious backgrounds (I'll come back to this subject at the end). I went to church when I was little and was baptized. But as I grew older, I drifted away from the church because I realized there was a great big world out there and I wanted to explore it. It wasn't until after I was married and a family members passing, and before I moved back up to Salt Lake, the (now ex) wife, twins and I started going back to church. We were planning on going through the church to "be sealed for all eternity" by taking classes being taught by another couple in the ward we were in... but we know what happened after I moved up here and where things are today. I'm glad I didn't go through with the "sealing", because it would have been for the wrong reasons, but I'm still sad for how things ended up in general.

Anyways, there were some other things I disagree with that caused me to leave the church. First off, my belief of the subject of the church and their restriction of gay marriage, or even the behavior. I believe that any person is free to love whomever they wants to love and even marry another person of the same sex, I have no issue with that because I believe everyone should be happy with whom they wish to be with. I grew up believing that being gay was wrong, and to treat them differently. When my best friend came out to me after my sister passed, it hit me like a ton of bricks-- not because this person was "this way", but because everything I believed, thought and was taught... was wrong. He and anyone who are gay, are all around us. To be honest-- they are a lot nicer people than those that are deemed "worthy" just because they are labeled straight... Yes, that includes me. I'm straight, but I'm not perfect (I'll admit it). People fear what they don't understand. And to those who think it's in the mind and it can be controlled by being straight or gay (that they can choose to be what they want, or become straight again), no they can not. Those that think and believe this (from the last sentence) is only fooling oneself. If either or both my girls, or any family members or more friends came out to me as being anything other than straight, I would still always welcome them near me and love them just the same, maybe even more to make up for those that don't have the love in their heart and accept them because of something that they were born to do.

The second thing was that I don't believe is that there is a heaven or hell as described in the books used in religion. I think we are already in a "heaven" and a "hell" right now, right here on Earth. When we are helping our fellow man, you are doing good deeds or acts, you are in "heaven"... like a heavenly state and helping others do good to keep the garden in their minds blooming to continue to do good for others. If you do bad, hurt or do something evil, you are on the wrong path, and you are only helping yourself and not helping anyone get anywhere. If there really is a heaven or hell as mentioned in the books, I'm still not sorry now... because I don't want to be doing good things now just to get into a place later. I'd rather know I'm doing good things now to help everyone here while I'm here and for future generations so I know I can try to leave this place a better place. Where we go after this... we don't really officially know. Although I'll be sad to pass on from living my life, as long as I have taught my girls to love, be strong, and help others... and that that gets passed on to the next generations, I know I did ok in my life.

Third, to get right to the point: I've thought hard on this, but I don't believe that there is a God, or even a higher being. I tried, I really did try to believe, but I just couldn't see it being true that there is a God. If you are probably saying, "Oh, he probably worships the Devil". (Chuckling) No, because with that too, I don't believe that there is such a creature. In school, they asked us to show our work to prove our schoolwork right. I still follow this way for anything in life. Yes, there is good and evil in life, but to put them in a "being" or "creature" form to help us make proper decisions to do good in life is something I can't go off of.

The last thing I want to say is that true love sees no religion when it comes to showing compassion or support for someone you deeply admire and want to be with. Love maybe blind, but it is not dumb. I've learned this from two important people in my life: my parents. My mom was born and raised LDS, my dad was born and raised to a certain point in his life as Catholic (but was still considered a Catholic even though he has not gone to church since a young age). They saw past this, that even though they were religious or not and what others may have tried to tell them what they should "really do", they saw the true love for one another... and that they wanted to look past religion and start a family, show their children the values of right and wrong, doing good and avoiding bad, and to help another... ANYONE, that no matter who or what you believe, you help your fellow human being get to the next step at any sacrifice. My mom being raised LDS, sacrificed her chance and beliefs to be married in any LDS temple, just to marry my dad. And I'm glad, not only because they had me, but because it showed me what selflessness is and what real love truly is. 

I wrote this not to stomp on anyone's beliefs, values or views, but to explain why I did what I did. That's all. I wish you respect my views as I do yours... even if I don't believe the same thing. That is the human thing to do. If you want to be mad, feel free to be mad. If you want to "Unfriend" on social media, that's fine. But remember, what my philosophy and what The Beatles said, "And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make."

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Summer 2017 - Week 4

Alright, I'm back. But if you are reading this one after another, you wouldn't know that I've been busy with posting cars on the other site.

June 25
After sleeping in, I woke up and then worked a shift at Dan's. Remember, the twins were up at my parents between entertained by them. As to what they did, there are no pictures of these dates to see what they did. :(

June 26
I had to first work an early morning shift at Home Depot, went over and slept at my grandmas house, and then went to go to work at Dan's. The girls were still at my parents having fun.

June 27
Because it was slowly leaking, our water heater was replaced before I had to go into work at Dan's. Girls were still at my parents.

June 28
A whole day off, so it was my turn to have fun with the girls and Amanda. We first drove over to Layton Common Park to feed the ducks with grapes, and then after we took a walk around exploring the park.

I thought we were right next to the pool they filmed the swimming pool scene from The Sandlot, but it was not. That one is in Ogden. We saw a nearby building say Art Council, thinking it was a museum. Turns out it was the place where they plan local events... especially movies in the park around Layton. So we walked a little further while heading to the car, and saw the Layton Heritage Museum. We walked through that and spent a good hour inside there looking at the history of the town. It's something you should check out because there is a few collectible items from US history too. After leaving the park, coming home and taking it easy for a bit, we went for a walk around the block, but cut back through the school yard and noticed the sprinklers were on out on the field. I told the girls that they could go play in the sprinklers. Destiny went and joined them and then we later joined them. 

We had a lot of fun playing in the water. Came home and dried off, made dinner, and then we all watched Galaxy Quest to show the girls the part where they filmed in Goblin Valley... where we went back in March.

June 29
Yay!, another full day off. We got ready and drove over to the Utah State Capital to take a tour.

We didn't see any notable politicians. After leaving, we drove over to the Cathedral of the Madeline. I was thinking it would be empty on a weekday, but a church procession was in progress, so we sat on a bench and looked at the stained glass, artwork on the walls and listened to the service. We left after 20 minutes after the members of the church started getting up to get the bread/wafer and wine/wine... whatever.

We then drove home and had our lunch... but we were not done for the day.

After lunch, we packed up the cooler and drove over to Liberty Park. We let the girls play on the playground and in the splash pad with other kids for a good while. I played with Destiny by throwing the ball for her.

Since we had a big park to walk around, we told the girls to get out of the water area, stop playing in the sand mixed with water, and to clean up. We stopped at a small pond real quick.

Then walked over to the giant pond that they have peddling boats on. I didn't have money at the time to do the paddle boats, so we walked around the lake and onto the little island by the crosswalk bridge. I took a group photo of us, then we walked back on the east side of the park.

I haven't been on that side of the park since I went to the Drum Circles almost 20 years ago, or the 24th of July when my cars reservoir blew up in my face...

(Side story) For those that don't know the story, on Pioneers Day back in 1999, I drove myself and 3 friends over there to celebrate and have fun (they had events going on). Well, the Hyundai I owned at the time would get hot and I'd put water in the reservoir to help (I know now). Well, doing that too much, you have more water than radiator fluid, and steam builds. Luckily it was emitting steam once we arrived. So I pulled over to look at it by lifting up the hood. Barely touched the reservoir cap and the pressure of steam shot hot water all over the right side of my face. Luckily, I was wearing sunglasses, or I would be blind today. But the hot water gave me a sunburn look on the right side of my face. I left them there to have fun while I went to go get aloe vera. The rest of that night is another story, but I'll continue on with this one...

Continuing with the original story... We walked back to the splash pad, packed up our stuff while the girls played a little bit more, then headed out. Since we were close, we stopped by at Dan's to get my schedule and to grab a giant Texas donut for later, then headed to the house to drop Destiny off. The reason was that we went to the local library to return and get more books for everyone except me. The girls and I signed up to get library cards-- yep, they were able to get their own cards even though they don't live up here.

After checking out their books, we headed home so we could start making dinner. We ate dinner, the each year the girls are up here, we celebrate their late grandpa "Grumpa" Rex's birthday. That is what the donut was for. I just hope they celebrate my dads in April (I'll write about this in a later blog post).

We grabbed plates and divided up the donut, then we sat down to watch Airplane!, the classic comedy. If you are getting upset about letting me watch a rated R movie that showed breast, relax. I edited it so it would be decent for them to watch and enjoy. The girls liked it.

June 30
I had to work a morning shift at Home Depot, but after work I picked up the three of them at the 7-11 near the Millcreek TRAX station. They took the bus and then TRAX to make it so we could go shopping for food. We drove to my old work, Super Savers, out in Rose Park. After getting groceries, we headed home to have lunch. We all took an afternoon nap, because of what was planned for that night. Amanda and I played cards while the girls girls did their math homework. Once it was getting close to the time of evening, we packed up the items that we were going to take with us and headed to Walmart in Centerville. We grabbed a few snacks at the store, and then headed over to Founders Park to watch this nights movie in the park.

Tonight, they were playing "The Croods". No wonder it bombed... I felt it wasn't that great of film. But the girls enjoyed it, and once it was over, we headed home because I had to work both jobs the next day.

July 1
We all got ready and headed to Home Depot because I had to work, but Amanda and twins did the kids workshop at HD. Quick side story, a coworker from Dan's says she saw the girls on the news (Channel 4 in Utah) because they did a piece about the Home Depot Kids Workshop being 20 years old. I can not find the video or piece on Channel 4's website because nothing is posted about it. But I can confirm it was Channel 4 because of a co-workers tweet.

Anyways, with it being busy at work and me busy working away, Amanda and the girls walked all the way to the McDonalds next to St. Marks Hospital because the Burger King next to Home Depot was closed for remodeling. After dealing with working in the heat while inside at Home Depot, I finally got off at Home Depot so I could go pick them up and take them to the TRAX station so I could drop Amanda off so she could head home. I took the girls with me to Dan's so my mom could pick them up there so they could go with her. My parents were going to keep them up at their house until Wednesday (July 5). My mom picked them up a little after I clocked in and was working, but even though I was supposed to take over as manager duties at 8, I ended up going home early for being sick due to heat exhaustion. Luckily, another coworker who was trained to be manager, took my duties and I had another coworker come in for those 3 hours that the one who replaced me was supposed to do.

I drove home shaking and driving with the A/C on. Came in the house to take a room temperature, but not freezing, bath to try and help regulate my body temperature. Amanda was out with her friend Annie when I arrived home, in case you are wondering. But after slowly getting out of the tub, I stumbled into to TV room and kicked the A/C unit on the lowest temperature it could go before collapsing on the couch. Yes, I had boxers on! But after laying there for 20 minutes, Amanda came home and took care of me. This is the first time I've experienced something like this, it's amazing to me how our bodies can really over heat if we are not hydrated enough and not kept at a level temperature. The rest of the night, I just took it easy getting fluids in me and resting.

Saturday, June 24, 2017


So I just got off work at Home Depot and headed over to the nearby comic book store, Black Cat Comics. Today. Adult Swim had the vehicle known as the Rickmobile, from the show Rick and Morty, in town on its way around the US. At this moment, I've only seen the Pilot episode.

When I arrived, I saw that the line to stand and pose in front of it wrapped completely around the building. With me needing to be at Dan's at 3, I was unable to stand in line. So I walked near it and took just a quick picture of the mobile itself.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Summer 2017 - Week 3

June 18
Sadly, I had to work a morning shift at Home Depot this day. You know, with it being Father's Day. But, I did ask for most of the week off at Dan's like I always do so I could have some time to be with my girls and to celebrate my birthday with them. I did have to work some shifts this week at Home Depot, but it was nice to come home right after to spend the evening with them.

So after getting off work at Home Depot, I picked up Amanda and Destiny (remember, the twins spent the past 2 nights at my parents house) and we headed over to my parents house. Before we left, I had to put on the shirt that the twins made me.

We had a BBQ outside. It was nice because my dad was able to join us. Since we brought our dog, and Annie and her boyfriend brought his dog, and we had Brodie there too, we only had one little tiff between to two big dogs because they almost fought for a scrap of food that fell on the ground.

After discussing it with my mom, we decided to let Ady stay at their house, while Chloe would come back with us for a night. They apparently had a argument the day before and it seemed like they needed some time apart.

So after the get together, we headed back home with Chloe. We first stopped and checked out Brighton Young Historic Park for a bit, then walked across the street to check out City Creek Park.

Those are something to do with kids, if they behave to the park rules. With someone needing to use a restroom, we headed over to a Dollar Store, and then to the 7-11 across the street. Received a compliment from a stranger when I was walking into 7-11, saying they liked my shirt.

We then headed home to play on the Wii again, and then started watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

We had to stop halfway because I had to be up in the morning to work a shift at Home Depot.

June 19
Like I said, I worked a morning shift at Home Depot, then came home and took a name. My mom came up and traded girls. So after my nap, we made dinner together, then played the Wii together. While playing, I went to do an over hand swing while playing tennis, and hit my thumb on the spinning fan blade. Yes, it was sore for a while.

After playing, we went for an evening walk with the dog. Ady started to have a bad tummy ache, so we headed cut across the school yard to make it home fast. After the kiddo took a bath, we watched a little MST3K. (Cry Wilderness)

June 20
Worked a very humid day at Home Depot. After getting off work, my mom dropped Chloe off at my work so I could take her back to my place. We stopped at Dan's for treats, then we headed home and packed up to head to Amanda's family's house for a BBQ. We were planning on going over to the nearby park where they live, but a heavy rainstorm that blew in kept us at the house. So the girls played with their chickens and jumped on the trampoline with the other kids.

We cooked up the hamburgers on the grill in the rain, then ate together. 

While the kids continued to jump after eating, the four adults played card games before Amanda's brother had to leave for work. The kids played a game too after, then since it was getting late, we headed home.

I just noticed that they still have the game pieces in their mouths.

June 21
With today being my birthday, I got to sleep in a little before Amanda woke me up because she had made birthday breakfast (for everyone). We got dressed and ready for the day, drove up to my parents and dropped Destiny off, then went bowling at Fat Cats. After, we came back to their house to have lunch, then we all did tie dye shirts out on the back patio with my mom.

Unlike previous years, we started to get ready for the inside luau (instead of outside).

Due to whatever reason Destiny has on jealousy of trying to make sure things that she thinks are hers, Destiny and Brodie had a big fight where Destiny bit Brodie on his back end hard. I was furious at Destiny for doing this to my little buddy. So she stayed outside the rest of the time we were there... We don't bring here over there anymore. To those reading, it had to do when Destiny saw Brodie sit on my lap. After putting him down, Brodie went over to eat his own food and growling pursued and that's where they fought. Same situation happened with the Glicken's dogs when their dogs sat on the girl's lap. Other than this defense/jealousy issue, she's just fine.

After I cooled down for her doing this, we went and lit the candles on my birthday cake. After spending enough time there chatting and enjoying our time, we drove home and headed to bed because I was exhausted.

June 22
Another whole day off? Sweet! So we had breakfast and got dressed. Earlier in the year, my mom gave me 4 passes to a free game of laser tag at All Star Lanes. So, yes, we loaded up and drove out to All Star Lanes in Sandy to do a free game of laser tag, then headed back home to have lunch before our next activity.

This time, we were able to take Destiny with us as we drove back out to Sugar House Park to go ice blocking.

Stopped by Dan's to grab my schedule, then back home to relax. Made dinner, then drove up to Park City to fish.

Drove back home to get straight to bed.

June 23
I had to work an early shift at Home Depot. Then after, I went over to my parents to change the oil in my car and to vacuum out my car. After finishing up, I drove back home to take a nap. The reason being is that we were going to the park to watch the movie in the park that night. That night, they were playing the original The Karate Kid. Since I had to work a full day at both jobs the next day, I had to get a nap in. After a couple hour nap, the girls and Amanda woke me up so we could get the items for the park rounded up and loaded up in the car... this included the dog. Then, we headed over to Reservoir Park very early to make sure we were able to get a parking spot because there is not a parking lot there (you park along the street). When I say early, I'm talking 3 hours early. Since we left the house early, we never ate dinner since we were going to stop and grabbed a couple pizzas from Little Caesars. We forgot one thing... we also needed drinks. So between Little Caesars and the park, we stopped at 7-11. After grabbing drinks, we finally made it to the park, unloaded everything that we brought and sat down to eat.

While eating, the people hosting the movie event, started setting up the inflatable screen and the vendors set up their tents. The twins went over and started playing with the outdoor games they had set up, and got to see and play with Cinderella and Belle (cosplay).

Before they started the movie, they host had trivia to win prizes. Amanda answered one question right, and won a special kind of blanket. Once it got dark enough outside, they started the movie. The girls stayed up and enjoyed watching the movie. Once the movie ended, we packed up the car with our belongings and headed home. Bedtime came very easily.

June 24
I worked a morning shift at Home Depot. While at work, Grandma Sheila picked up the girls to let them spend the night. I knew a few weeks prior that a custom mobile called the Rickmobile was coming to Salt Lake on this day. In fact, it was just a few blocks north of Home Depot. Once I got off work, I drove over to the comic book store where the Rickmobile was at, and saw that there was a very long line wrapping around the few buildings. This line was to let you pose in front of the Rickmobile. I didn't have time to stand in front of it, so I walked near it and took a picture of just the vehicle itself.

Headed and worked my shift at Dan's. After work, I came home and Amanda and I watched Ghost Adventures. Just a little tip: Don't watch Ghost Adventures at nighttime in the dark. Amanda and I are watching a few episodes, when around 12:45am in the morning, someone we didn't know knocks on our door causing Destiny to immediately start barking and us to jump because she barked.

(Note: I'll post another week of when the twins were up here, but I'm working on the toy car site. So it might be a couple of weeks before I post here again.)