A Late Valentine’s Day History Treat

It was recently bought to my personal attention by a very eager contributor to The Scorpion Army that I skipped anything about Valentine’s Day yet another year. It’s true, I do skip it, it’s a stupid “holiday” in my opinion. I truly dislike absolutely everything about it, especially the commercialization of how one is to show love or affection. It just blows my mind the amount of money dole out, and for what? I could mention Christmas and Easter as well, but we’ll get back to those another day altogether. Since I’m way behind on the whole email reading thing I’m just now getting to this one, I hope she understands. But, this is an interesting look at the iconic Valentine’s Day heart’s origin, or at least one opinion, and if nothing else it sparked my interest a little. I’ve said for a long time that the worship of the ass of females should be a religion. Anyway, I don’t know where she got the information below or how accurate it is, but it made me smile, so I chose to share.

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The familiar double-lobed heart symbol seen on modern day Valentine’s Day cards and candy was inspired by the shape of human female buttocks as seen from the rear. The twin lobes of the stylized version correspond roughly to the paired auricles and ventricles of the anatomical heart, but is never bright red in color and its shape does not have the invagination at the top nor the sharp point at the base. The ancient Greeks and Romans originated the link between human female anatomy and the heart shape. The Greeks associated beauty with the curves of the human female behind. The Greek goddess of beauty, Aphrodite, was beautiful all over, but was unique in that her buttocks were especially beautiful. Her shapely rounded hemispheres were so appreciated by the Greeks that they built a special temple Aphrodite Kallipygos, which literally meant, ‘Goddess with the Beautiful Buttocks.’ This was probably the only religious building in the world that was dedicated to buttock worship.

What the traditional “heart shape” actually depicts is a matter of some controversy. It only vaguely resembles the human heart. The seed of the silphium plant, used in ancient times as an herbal contraceptive, has been suggested as the source of the heart symbol. The heart symbol could also be considered to depict features of the human female body, such as the female’s buttocks, pubic mound, or spread vulva. The tantric symbol of the “Yoni” is another example of a heart-shaped abstraction of a woman’s vulva.

Burn………Baby……….Burn

WARNING: The following presentation discusses a form of wood finishing which involves the use of an open flame, a torch to be more specific. Please be familiar with your particular device and read all cautions and warnings for said device. The Sting Of The Scorpion Blog nor myself will not be held responsible for any errors in your judgement. The information provided in this post is educational under the assumption that the person attempting this particular technique has a certain degree of common sense. Therefore, if YOU fuck it up YOU yourself is responsible for fucking it up, not me or this blog. One needs to be aware of the dangers involved when using an open flame. In the end, practice first, practice again, and be extremely fucking careful. Again, I will not be held responsible for YOUR errors or victories. The following information is based on my personal experience and knowledge. Got it?

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When I lived in Japan I was very lucky to have stumbled upon an older gentleman who was willing to teach me a wood finishing technique called Yaki-Matsu (burnt pine). Since then I have practiced and somewhat perfected my own personal version of this wood finishing technique. I cannot stress enough, seriously, that this can turn into a disaster in a blink of an eye since wood burns, but with a little practice one can tame the flame to make a very unique look on anything made of wood. Also, let me just state that I have 30 plus years experience in woodworking and cabinetry. Therefore, I hate to call this a DIY style post. My intent is to share a technique of wood finishing that others can try on small to large projects. Before you try any of this at home be sure you are aware of what you are doing and be responsible enough to know your personal limits and skills.

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In reality this post won’t be an all inclusive do it yourself post on how to burn the grain of the wood to get this special look. Basically, I’m just answering all the questions in advance since it might be hard to grasp the concept and design of my project personally. As one can see from the pictures, my project was to create an island space in a rustic nature to blend in with the cedar woodwork in my sister’s 100+ year old farm house. Also, before all of y’all self appointed experts try to get in my ass for not doing it your way just feel free to hold those opinions. Like any “tradition”, I have taken this technique and made it my own. Trust me, I’ve ruined more than one piece of wood over the years. As mentioned, my sister wanted something unique, not the typical look, not something out of the box, and something that had a ” wow factor”. Overall, it was a very tall order to fill, and not to mention that this has been a time consuming project to say the absolute very least. So let’s begin the highlight reel.

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Where y’all see an island used to be a wall with a pass through hole in it. First step, demo the wall and support the second floor. Then to create bar height seating as well as an island that is kitchen counter height. The secondary purpose of the island was for storage. Once the construction portion was complete it was time to talk finishing it all off. I chose to “antique” and distress everything except for the two cedar posts and the actual counter and bar surfaces. Antiquing this much area, to include the ceiling features took a great deal of time. I remind everyone that everything you see was created, from the tongue and groove beaded boards to all the trim, the cabinet doors, and so forth. I left my treatment of the top a secret, a surprise that was either going to make or break this project. By now I can assume that many of y’all have Googled the term “Yaki-Matsu” so I can simply tell y’all it is a technique in which the grain of the wood is kissed with the open flame of a torch. I chose this instead of staining or leaving it natural because of its true uniqueness, as no two boards look the same. When the time came to mount the wood I used square headed barn nails that I liberated from a 147 year old barn we tore down last summer. Yes, I have hundreds and hundreds of feet of barn lumber and no it is not for sale. At the time of these pictures I had not applied the varathane yet. After burning the one all that needs to be done is rubbing the wood down with a dry, clean, soft cloth.

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I will post more pictures when I’m 100% done. Hell, the purpose of this post was to let some concerned individuals know what I’ve been up to because they think I have quit blogging or that I’m dead. So far I have around 200 hours invested into it, I probably have at least 20 to go. Just know this, as a final warning, one will come across occasions when using the torch in the house becomes necessary to touch up edges and so forth, remember that most things in our houses don’t react well with open flames, I’m just saying. I guess as I look back over what has been written I can see this wasn’t much of a tutorial at all, which is fitting because I such giving instructions for the most part. If nothing else maybe y’all learned that there is yet another way to beautifully treat wood without stain or paint. I suppose, in the end, I’ll just share some pictures with y’all and call it good.

Why I Stepped Foot In Church

Normally I would not attempt the madness called church on my own, but this last time I went to church not to be preached at, but to enjoy the music of the church symphony orchestra which has a member who is like one of my own children. We go to all of her events, in school or in church. I enjoy the way she can make the cello talk to you, she’s finishing out her freshman year of high school, but listening to her play that cello one would never guess her young age. It may just be my opinion, but she is great. So, that’s what led me to church, I enjoy the way she plays, it makes everything in life, the problems and troubles, just fade into the background where they belong. But, that’s not why we are here today, today I’m going to discuss how my attire was not proper enough to be in a church. Clearly there is confusion, unless you are looking to be offended that I’m not in slacks, a nice shirt, a tie, a jacket, and shiny shoes with a belt to match, oh wait, you are. All I can ask is why? Especially since this wasn’t a “service”, it was a performance.

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I wore what I would wear pretty much anywhere, black Wrangler jeans (no holes, clean), black leather belt, 3 button shirt (black in color, no logo, clean), black gator skin cowboy boots (polished, clean), and a black Stetson with a simple silver band (Stetson is a name/brand/style of a cowboy hat). So, it wasn’t as if I showed up wearing surf shorts, tank top, flip flops, and a ball cap. This is my basic “dress up” clothes, also good for funerals, weddings, and graduations. In fact, after walking in, finding our seat in the main hall (we picked 5 out of the nearly 1300 chairs, its a big Baptist church), I removed my hat, placing it in the seat next to me on my right with my wife on the left. Clearly I’m not a member of this church, I’m here as a guest with invitation in hand, given to me by my other “daughter”. After the 2 hour performance which resulted in a standing ovation and constant applause for the 62 members of the symphony orchestra, it was time to stand in the walkways to hug, shake hands, and chat, all of which I did while standing there wearing my hat. Some would say I stand out above the crowd being I’m 6’8″ to begin with. But people focused on more, people focused on the fact that I was wearing jeans and I had a hat on in church.

The message I received loud and clear from mr. preacher man was that my attire was not proper and will not be welcome in the future, this was said in a snotty rude way, very derogatory and unappreciated by me. I was left with but one option, in my opinion, which was to lean in to him, getting my lips very close to his ear as I pulled him close by the shoulder to say “go fuck yourself”, then I kissed him on the cheek, shook his now trembling hand, and walked out. I never looked back, no need to look back. Shortly after I see my wife and kids following up in my footsteps, we get in the truck, and we left. My wife did not become aware that anything was even said until a few days later, when she spoke with the preachers wife, who she knows outside the church professionally. Of course she asked if it was true, of course I told her it was, and no more was said about it. That whole night does nothing but reinforce my dislike for organized religion, I did nothing wrong and his actions/words cannot be justified in my opinion. Since when do I need to be dressed a certain way to be inside a church, no matter what is going on? So, I got to thinking that I had some thoughts to discuss, and in a long drawn out way that is why everyone was invited here today. So lets begin.

The so-called worship wars of recent years may have produced a winner. Many congregations/denominations remain divided between traditional and contemporary styles of “church”, but in most places the contemporary appears to have gained the upper hand. Your worship services have become increasingly relaxed and informal affairs. You can see it in what people are wearing. Church for today’s worshipers is not a dress-up event. Whatever is clean and comfortable seems sufficient. When it comes to church, attire doesn’t much matter. Most people I have spoke with over the years understand there is nothing particularly spiritual about a dress or a coat and tie. I was even told by a Sunday school teacher of my son’s that God is scarcely impressed by such things as clothes. She quoted something to me that day, “People look at the outward appearance,” we are reminded, “but the Lord looks at the heart”.

I do not intend to wade into the broader debate over worship styles; that’s a different discussion. But I do wish to raise a question about this fucking outdated way of thinking that when it comes to public worship since my clothing matters so much. This common assumption, it seems to me, deserves more scrutiny than it typically receives. Over the last several generations, American attire in general has lurched dramatically toward the informal. A feature that quickly dates an old photograph, just look at a picture of your grandparents. The changes are part of a broad shift toward the convenient, comfortable, and individuality. It’s a shift we see on display everywhere we go each day. Ever been to Walmart?  It’s easy to imagine how one might look over-dressed there, but less easy, short of immodesty, to imagine being under-dressed. Jeans or shorts, tee shirts or tank tops, flip-flops or sandals: these draw scarcely any attention, while full dresses or a suit and tie appear strangely out of place. Relaxed, even rumpled informality is in; suiting up in your “Sunday best” is out.

Many seem convinced it’s a good thing, because, again, it’s the heart that counts. Yet precisely for this reason, because it’s the heart that counts, I want to suggest that what we wear in our public worship may matter more than we think. To grasp this connection, let us extract some helpful insights from daily communication we all see. Verbal behavior refers to all those ways we use language to communicate: speaking, writing, sign language, etc. Nonverbal behavior focuses on all those ways we communicate without words: facial expression, gesture, posture, eye behavior, vocal inflection, our use of space, or touch behavior. In our everyday relationships only a small percentage of what we communicate is conveyed via verbal channels. The rest is conveyed nonverbally.

The avenue of nonverbal communication I will call one’s physical appearance and dress shows more about a person than words, or does it?. Here are a handful of observations based on our human interactions.

The wearing of clothing is exclusively a human characteristic. We share many attributes with other creatures, but the inclination to clothe ourselves is not one of them. Where, if any, is there a moral or even a spiritual dimension to human clothing? Why is so much emphasis put on clothing? Our clothes serve a variety of practical, social, and cultural functions. Protection and modesty spring first to mind, but our clothes do far more. We sometimes dress to conceal or deceive. More often our clothes serve to reveal. We use clothing for decoration, for sexual attraction, for self-expression and self-assertion. By our attire we display our gender, our religion, our occupation, our social position, or causes with which we identify. Many dress to impress, while others choose the reverse: they express their rejection by intentionally flouting accepted clothing norms.

Our clothing is one of our most elemental forms of communication. Long before our voice is heard, our clothes are transmitting multiple messages. From our attire, others immediately read not only such things as our sex, age, national identity, socio-economic status, and social position, but also our mood, our attitudes, our personality, our interests, and our values. We constantly make judgments about one another on the basis of clothing. Common wisdom has it that you can’t judge a book by its cover. But this is only partly true; we regularly read one another’s covering. What’s more, we’re better at it than we think.  We spend our lives making judgments based on appearance and then testing those judgments in our subsequent relationships. In this way, we become rather adept at the process. Judgments based on appearance are rarely fucking accurate, of course, and we are wise to hold them tentatively. But it’s almost impossible to avoid making them in the first place.

Because our clothing is one of the fundamental ways we communicate with others, what we wear is never a purely personal matter. Our attire exerts a social influence on those around us. What we wear can shape patterns of communication around us, depending on what messages people are picking up. Consider, for example, the varied cues we send by the way we dress: “I want people to notice me.” “I’m very confident.” “I want to hide.” “I care only about comfort.” “I want to look seductive.” “I repudiate you and your expectations.”

How we dress not only affects us individually; it also affects those around us. How we feel and who we are influences the clothes we put on or leave off, and the clothes we put on in turn shape how we feel. Changes of clothes can generate a change of mood. As an example, I felt different in my Air Force uniform than I did in street clothes. In some settings our choice of clothing can make or break us. If we like the way we look for a job interview, for instance, it will tend to strengthen our confidence. We feel better about our chances, as reflected in improved posture, more fluent speech, more dynamic gestures. On the other hand, inappropriate dress can suck the fucking life out of our confidence. We have all experienced the uncomfortable effects of feeling under-dressed or over-dressed in a particular social setting.

Much of the social meaning of our clothing is contextual. The appropriateness of our clothing is often dictated by the situation. Dress that would send a given message in one setting might send a very different message in another. Times change, values change, situations change; what was proper ten years ago may not be proper today, or vice versa. All of the above is why we should not conclude too quickly that because God looks on the heart, what we wear to church doesn’t matter. Our internal and external states cannot be so easily disentangled. The fact is, when it comes to how we clothe ourselves, our external appearance is often an expression of our internal state.

What is worship, after all? It’s the act of acknowledging and praising God as God. Is that not a personal choice? According to my wife, “when worshipping, we come before God with awe and reverence, focusing on him in loving contemplation, celebrating him for who he is and what he has done. We willingly bow before him in surrender, delighting in the privilege of extolling his worthiness. In worship we join our small voices with the celestial choirs in a grand chorus magnifying the Creator and declaring his excellences, his purity, his power, his beauty, his grace, his mercy, and his love.” No, I do not agree, but we smile and agree that will do not agree. In reference to what she said, I ask, can’t that be done naked or in a suit of medieval armor? I think the term “stink-eye” covers the expression on her face the best, she was giving it to me.

According to the bible (yes, I’ve read the bible a time or three in my life), God called his people to public worship. It’s everywhere in the Bible. Your corporate worship of organized religion is supposed to please God? Everyone who has ever built a fire knows how quickly lone embers cool and die. But gather those embers and they create a furnace effect that burns hot. Corporate worship of organized religion is no different, its designed to generate that furnace effect in people. Where there is collective thought there is collective action, do as the crowd or the crowd will be undone, the absolute fear of the sheeple culture.

So what sort of clothing might benefit such an exalted occasion? Observers in the gallery of the United States Supreme Court are forbidden to wear hats. Out of respect for the importance of what’s taking place there, the Court’s firm rule for visitors is, “Inappropriate clothing may not be worn.” If this is so for a merely human institution, what might be suitable attire for God-honoring worship? Must there be a rule, must we give a shit, must it cause such an uprising within the walls of the churches of organized religion? Readers will be relieved that I have no dress code to be here at The Sting Of The Scorpion Blog. Read at will, however you are dressed, you will not be judged here in the House of Scorpion. But why don’t I care how you are dressed? Why do I not feel the need to judge how you dress when you are doing what you are doing? I reserve the right to judge you only at Walmart and Starbucks, y’all know who you are and why.

That which is special, that which is our best, that which is sacrificial: We may be tempted to think such standards made sense in the context of Israel’s ancient worship but have little to do with us in the modern world. After all, none of us shows up at church on Sunday morning bearing sacrifices now do you. Everyone has their own reasons for going to church, some go to worship, some to ask for forgiveness of their sins, and one of us went to hear the incredible musical talents of a young girl whom he adores as his own. If you ask me, which your not going to, so I’ll just say it now, I don’t think any of us belong in a church. Salvation isn’t found in church in words translated 10,000 times over by MEN who aren’t concerned about me and you. Think about it. Want a “relationship” with God? You want something/someone to believe in for the comfort of your soul? How do men give that to you? How do you really know what are looking for in the first place?

The question for all of you is this: When you gather for worship, does this sacred event generate within you any similar sense of “awe and reverence”? A perceptive observer of the contemporary church scene might be forgiven for scratching her head over such a question, wondering whether you have grown oblivious to the significance of your own gathering. How often, she might ask you, do you prepare for Sunday as if it mattered, guarding, for example, Saturday nights so as to be fresh and focused the next morning? How come your pre-service gathering so often sounds more like a bowling alley than a people meeting to offer themselves fresh to their God? How is it you are so susceptible to the lure of personality and entertainment up front, obscuring the God-centered purpose for which you have met? How prevalent is the notion that you can worship just as well at home, or on the golf course, or before a TV screen, or perhaps forfeit worship altogether due to inconvenient weather, the priority of other things, or who may be preaching that week?

Not just anything will do when you come before God. He is still honored by what is holy, what is our best, what is sacrificial. The kingdom to which you have come, says the writer to the Hebrews, requires us to “offer to God acceptable worship with reverence and awe,” because “our ‘God is a consuming fire” (Heb. 12:28–29). The casual attitude toward worship may indicate that you have failed to grasp this important point, a sign of your being more conformed to this world than so transformed in your minds that by testing you are able to discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Don’t you know you are not allowed to make your own decisions? What of your church attire? You deceive yourselves when you breezily claim that God does not care what you wear to church. God cares about your hearts, and what you wear is often an expression of your hearts. So what does your relaxed worship attire say about you? What internal disposition are we revealing when we dress no differently for church than we do for a trip to the mall or hanging out with friends around a barbeque grill? Could it be that our casual dress, chosen merely for our own comfort and convenience is a reflection of an equally casual, can’t-be-bothered attitude toward worship itself? What about those around you? What message is your choice of clothing sending them as you gather for worship?

Can Christians who gather for worship afford to ignore what their church attire may be saying to those around them? Does your choice of clothing communicate to others that this gathering is an important occasion, thereby encouraging them to see it as important as well? Or does it send them in the opposite direction? Why is it that the wrong clothes can distract your fellow worshipers.In this way and others your choice of clothing can be sinful. But this does not render your everyday (“common”), come-as-you-are attire “spiritual” or “honest.” If you care for your fellow worshipers as you ought to, you will take them into consideration as you dress for worship. We will clothe ourselves in ways that edify them and strengthen their own worship. We will attempt to avoid the nonchalant attitude that says this event is entirely routine; that it merits nothing special from me; that my only consideration in what I choose to wear is what is easiest and most convenient. Such a self-centered attitude is corrosive to a true spirit of worship. Instead, the goal in our choice of clothing should be to express to the Lord and those around us that this event matters, that I view it as a holy occasion, one which deserves our highest regard. If the first audience for our nonverbal messages is God himself, and secondarily, our fellow worshipers, dress that best suits these first two audiences may also serve a third: outsiders who join your public worship.

Evangelistic gatherings can in many ways be designed to fit the unbelievers you are trying to reach. But this is harder to do with your corporate worship. The church must first shape its worship to honor God, a goal to which all else must be subordinate. But thankfully, watching believers do what they do can have its own evangelistic effect. Attire that genuinely reflects a God-honoring attitude toward worship may well contribute to a similar result. Can you take a wild guess at what that is? You can guess until you are blue in the gills but you will never truly have your own answer unless it is spoon fed to you, just my personal opinion of course.

None of anything I have said above leaves us with a dress code for being in church, no matter the reason. It certainly does not translate automatically into coats and ties for men and fancy dresses for women. Idealizing bygone eras won’t work here; the meaning of human clothing is too contextual for that. It varies too widely from place to place and time to time, and there are too many other variables to consider. We are left having to judge for ourselves what is appropriate for worship and what is not. Every denomination has their own dress code and rules, whether you want to admit it or not, they do. Want to know my rule? Fuck your dress code!

However, all of the above should at least warn you away from the glib assumption that God actually cares about what we wear to church; or that what I choose to wear in church matters. How I dress is a purely personal affair and that my own convenience and comfort are all that need concern me. The truth is, one of the ways we express ourselves as human beings is by the way we dress. Wittingly or unwittingly, our clothing gives us away. God certainly does not need this expression to know your hearts. But as for the rest of us, we do indeed look on the outward appearance, even when peering into our own mirrors. In this way the clothes we choose for church may have things to tell us about our hearts that God already knows, but that you need to hear from other people because you thrive on judgment of yourself as well as others.

You express this embodiment totality in the corporate worship of organized religion through your shared symbols, rites, and rituals; through your posture and gestures as you bow, kneel, or lift your hands; through your actions when you stand or sit in unison or pour out your hearts musically in congregational song. Just remember, your clothing belongs on this list. By it we express to God and those around us what the occasion of being in church means to you. This is why we are taught, brainwashed, when we come to church, our clothing matters.

Wow, that turned into something sermon like. Wait, all of you reading this will burn in hell unless you……. Unless what? I mentioned before, in the House of Scorpion you are free to do as you see fit how you see fit doing it. I have mentioned once, a long time ago, my own convictions and why I have them, so I will not repeat them now. I also mentioned, some of you may find it very fucking hard to believe tho, that in my youth it was my desire to become a Catholic priest. I wanted to be the one bringing the message to the people, I had many years of education for this purpose, many years I allowed myself to be brainwashed, many years of dismissing my own questions and answers, and ending in disappointment because I started to choke on the bullshit being fed me. Who is at fault for my misguidance? Why, me, of course. Something I corrected and haven’t looked back upon. Or have I? As years have passed, I continue in my reading about the commercialization of corporate organized religion, a term many Christians do not like hearing because they don’t like hearing that they are but a cog in a wheel that is just spinning in circles. But, as are most things written here, they are just my opinions on the world around me. I am not wishing to do battle with the “church” or religion or Christians, but I will not be treated as if my mere appearance is so non conformant that it tarnishes the grace of the church I stand in, to watch a symphony concert no less. Next time, yes there will be a next time, I will go in my slacks (dress pants), but I will be wearing flip-flops bitches!

What have we learned today? Not that I was teaching anything, but I’m curious if you have made the choice to look at what is actually important. What is more important, the message or the dress code? This is on my rather lengthy list of why I don’t attend church services. How can Christianity dismiss everything around us, science, evolution, dreams, and individual thought? I don’t want to be part of the “collective”, I prefer not to be in the herd of sheeple looking for salvation. Salvation from what? Damnation from what? One day we need to discuss corruption, greed, and our sinister needs to be one step ahead of our neighbor. I’m pretty sure we all want the same thing, just to live a happy life, a life we see fit, a life we are comfortable living. Until then, we struggle with our own happiness because that is what we are fucking taught to do after generations of brainwashing we don’t want it any other way. Why do we need to be led? Why do you desire being led? Why? Sorry, I can’t answer why, you must first look into the mirror and decide if you are comfortable in your our skin, then you can start asking fucking questions you might not like the answers to. We must all live with who we are individually to be happy, we can’t do that as sheeple, we can’t do that as a part of the collective thought. Who knew, right?

Until we speak again, I leave y’all with a final thought. I do care about my fellow humans, probably to a degree that few of y’all could ever understand. But, it’s hard to sit by idle and watch us destroy ourselves over stupid shit that doesn’t matter in the first place. Here’s an idea, find the person you cherish and live a happy life. The end my friends, the end. For fun, before y’all leave, get a better understanding of the sheeple by reading The Parable Of The Sheep found in the tabs above as well.

Does Tequila Qualify As A Hobby?

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There is no doubt that people continue to make choice, there really are no boundaries or limitations, because tequila will NEVER let you down. Y’all don’t have to take my word for it, y’all don’t have to let the fact that tequila is my favorite alcohol, nor do y’all need to let my 20 plus years of bartending make a difference, but one can NEVER go wrong drinking tequila. As an insulin dependent type 2 diabetic, I wonder if it was coincidence that my diagnosis only happened within a few months of me quitting drinking. Things that you’ll read might get you to wondering the same damn things I’m wondering.

As the Pringles campaign so eloquently put it, “Once you pop, the fun don’t stop.”

You know that group of friends who can never decide what type of round to buy at the bar? These people spend their time arguing between Jameson, vodka and Fireball. But do you know the one suggestion that will shut them the F up? That’s right — tequila. I mean, people went as far as creating deep-Fried tequila that will actually get you drunk. Do you see people doing that with vodka? I think not. So get ready to open your eyes to the benefits of tequila, some of which you never even thought could be possible.

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1. It helps lower blood sugar. How exactly is this possible? Well agavina, which is a sugar that comes from the agave plant used to produce tequila, triggers insulin production and therefore lowers blood sugar. We can thank our friends at the American Chemical Society for this one.

*** Exhibit A ***: A sweetener created from the plant used to make tequila could lower blood glucose levels for the 26 million Americans and others worldwide who have type 2 diabetes and help them and the obese lose weight, researchers said here today.

The main reason it could be valuable, they explained, is that agavins, a natural form of sugar found in the agave plant, are non-digestible and can act as a dietary fiber, so they would not raise blood glucose. Their report was part of the 247th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

The meeting, attended by thousands of scientists, features more than 10,000 reports on new advances in science and other topics. Being held at the Dallas Convention Center and area hotels.

“We have found that since agavins reduce glucose levelsand increase GLP-1, they also increase the amount of insulin,” said Mercedes G. López, Ph.D. GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) is a hormone that slows the stomach from emptying, thereby stimulating production of insulin. She added, “Agavins are not expensive and they have no known side effects, except for those few people who cannot tolerate them.” In addition, agavins, like other fructans, which are made of the sugar fructose, are the best sugars to help support growth of healthful microbes in the mouth and intestines, she said.

Agavins can help people feel fuller, which could help them eat less. Agavins contain fructoses, which begs the question: Are agavins like high-fructose corn syrup, a processed sweetener that has gotten a lot of bad press recently? López pointed out that, indeed, high-fructose corn syrup is loaded with fructose sugars and, therefore, can raise blood sugar levels. But agavins are fructans, which are fructoses linked together in long, branched chains. The human body can’t use them in that configuration, so they don’t affect blood sugar, she explained. Agavins also sometimes get confused with agave nectar or agave syrup, which appears on many health-food store shelves. These products contain fructans that have been broken down into individual fructoses, so they are much more similar to high-fructose corn syrup.

Also, she and her team said agavins are better than artificial sweeteners, which are absorbed by the body and can cause side effects, like headaches. “One slight downside, however, is that agavins are not quite as sweet as their artificial counterparts,” she said.

Of course, the agave’s claim to fame is as the plant from which tequila is made. López explained that agavins are the only carbohydrates used to produce the drink. All ethanol in tequila comes from the fermentation of glucose and fructose generated after agave pines are cooked. But because the agavins are converted to ethanol, agavins are not found in the finished product.

López said that in the study, her team fed a group of mice a standard diet and added agavins to their daily water. They weighed the mice daily and checked their glucose blood levels weekly. Most mice that drank agavins ate less, lost weight and their blood glucose levels decreased when compared to other sweeteners such glucose, fructose, sucrose, agave syrup and aspartame.

“This study represents the first attempt to evaluate agavins as sweeteners in spite of their lower sweetness compared to sugar,'” she said. **” End Exhibit A **”

2. It aids in weight loss. Yes, you heard me correctly; there are certain components in tequila that can help you lose weight. In further tests done by the ACS, tequila helped overweight mice lose a significant amount of pounds.

3. You don’t get hungover. You may quickly disagree, but we’re not talking about that shitty watered-down tequila most people are accustomed to. Rather, we are discussing real 100 percent pure agave tequila. Try drinking this instead and see if that headache becomes a memory of the past.

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4. You can drink it straight without wanting to throw up afterward. Have you ever tried throwing back straight shots of vodka? Chances are they’re coming right back up. When it comes to tequila, you can rest assured that it will sail smoothly down your throat.

5. It helps fight cholesterol. OK, let’s get scientific for a moment. Increasing fiber in your diet helps in the reduction of cholesterol levels. Like fiber, agavins lower triglycerides in the blood and levels of cholesterol as determined by researchers in Plant Foods For Human Nutrition.

6. Tequila may be used to help treat colds. Back in the 1930s, doctors were known to promote this tequila concoction to fight off the common cold: .5 ounce of tequila blanco; .5 ounce of agave nectar; .5 ounce of fresh lime juice.

7. It helps you numb the pain. Tequila has been proven to dilate the blood vessels, which results in better blood flow, minimizing pain levels. When it comes to emotional pain, you can bet tequila is the remedy for that too.

8. It can serve as a “drug delivery system”. WTF does that even mean? OK, so basically when drugs are taken, the acid in your stomach typically breaks them down before they can even hit your intestines. Why is this a problem? Because it decreases the drug’s effectiveness. Tequila serves as a protective barrier of these drugs as they work their way into your system.

9. Diabetics can indulge too. The high amount of sugar that is present in alcohol is what poses an issue for diabetics. The thing with tequila, however, is that it has significantly less sugar; therefore, it will have much less of an impact on blood sugar.

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10. You look like a damn badass on a first date. How many times do females worry about what to order on the first date? I only know this because I’ve had countless conversations with friends on whether or not it’s appropriate to order anything but wine. The answer? Order tequila and stand out from the crowd. Make a long-lasting impression because you can be certain he will always remember you as the girl who ordered tequila on the rocks on your first date.

11.  It won’t make you feel as fat as vodka and beer. Raise your shot glass and cheers to this because tequila helps to regulate the absorption of fat in your intestines! And when it comes to alcohol, everyone knows how much drinkers detest bloating.

12. You don’t have to waste your calories on a chaser. One of the best parts about ripping shots of tequila is that you don’t need soda to chase them with. Honestly, you don’t really even need a chaser because the taste of tequila is that good, but if you can’t really stomach it, there are always limes!

13. Everyone respects a person who rolls up with a bottle of tequila to a pregame. There are always those people who insist on bringing a bottle of Fireball to every pregame they go to and the word we use to describe these people is: basic. A unique individual busts out the tequila and really gets the party started.

14. It cleans your colon in a different way than you may think. Touching upon the points found in eight,Researchers at Mexico’s University of Guadalajara claim that blue agave found in tequila helps deliver drugs to the colon, which helps to treat illnesses such as Crohn’s disease, colitis, IBS and even cancer.

15. It chills you out and helps you sleep. Everyone knows tequila and relaxation go hand in hand. You don’t need to drink an excessive amounts one or two shots will do. Next time you can’t fall asleep, try sipping on some Don Julio.

Below are some recommended warning statements tequila producers should add for friendly public service announcements.

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WARNING: The consumption of tequila may leave you wondering what in the unnatural fuck happened to your bra and panties because tequila does make your clothes fall off ladies.

WARNING: The consumption of tequila may make you think you are whispering when you are really not.

WARNING: The consumption of tequila may cause you to tell your friends over and over again that you love them.

WARNING: The consumption of tequila may cause you to think you can sing.

WARNING: The consumption of tequila may lead you to believe that ex-lovers are really dying for you to text them at four in the morning.

WARNING: The consumption of tequila may make you think you can logically converse with members of the opposite sex without spitting or drooling on them.

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WARNING: The consumption of tequila may often lead to attempting and successfully repeating the revered tequila body shot. Will you give or receive?

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WARNING: The consumption of tequila may cause you to roll over in the morning and see something really scary (whose species and/or name you can’t recall).

WARNING: The consumption of tequila is the leading cause of inexplicable rug burns on your forehead.

WARNING: The consumption of tequila may create the illusion that you are tougher, smarter, faster and better looking than some really, really big redneck who proceeds to kick your ass.

WARNING: The consumption of tequila may lead you to believe you are invisible, resulting in you attempting to grope members of the opposite sex. Sometimes this works out, other times not so much, what the hell, roll the dice.

WARNING: The consumption of tequila may lead you to think people are laughing along WITH you.

WARNING: The consumption of tequila may cause a disturbance in the space-time continuum, wherein gaps in consciousness appear, and eventually disappear forever.

WARNING: The consumption of tequila has been known to inexplicably cause pregnancy.

WARNING: The consumption of tequila is a major factor in dancing like a talentless teenage boy.

WARNING: The consumption of tequila may cause you to tell the same boring story over and over again until your friends or perfect strangers feel inclined to SMASH YOUR HEAD IN or at least entertain the idea.

WARNING: The consumption of tequila may cause you to say things that you think make you sound clever to people you are trying to communicate with, this is your brain lying to you but the tequila takes over and speaks for you.

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The Sting Of The Scorpion Blog disclaimer. Never have I claimed to be a medical care giver nor do I have any formal or informal education and/or training which would quality me to give medical advice. The preceding post was for informational and entertainment only. You go read and find your own conclusion. However, I am a formally trained bartender with over 20 years of professional experience, since retired, so I do feel I know something about tequila, which so happened to be my specialty and my personal preference in alcohol, so call me a little biased. If the preceding made you think, entertained you, filled you heads with useless information, left you wondering, and left you thirsty for my friend tequila, my job is done here.

7 Myths About Christmas Explained

One time each year, the world acts civilized for a few weeks. The “holiday” season brings out feelings and thoughts of goodwill and brotherhood in the masses, who would normally be at each other’s throats, for one reason or another. It’s a sad as shit commentary on the state of things that humans can set aside their differences and actually be nice to complete strangers, but just long enough to say “Happy Holidays” instead of Merry Christmas so nobody gets their their fucking panties in a knot.

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I say Merry Christmas. Get over it.

Beginning on Black Friday, the day just after Thanksgiving, although it was on Thanksgiving day this year in the United States, the Christmas season is an officially open invitation for Americans to go on a retail feeding frenzy. As long as you’re not battling your way through the mall or other retail big box stores, someone will offer you good wishes for your holiday season. You may, however, be surprised by the number of widely held beliefs that are inaccurate, misinterpreted, or just plain wrong in regards to the Christmas season. Here’s a look at some of the most common Christmas holiday misconceptions, and how they came to be.

#1 Who Wrote “’Twas The Night Before Christmas”?

An anonymous New York resident submitted this well-known verse, “A Visit From St. Nick,” to the Troy Sentinel in 1823. Clement C. Moore, a local professor and poet, claimed it in 1836, though its structure and style matched none of his other published works. Another family in the area came forward to state that their patriarch had been reciting the poem to them each Christmas Eve since at least 1809. Many suspect that the verse came over with Dutch settlers, because of all the cultural references mentioned in the work. Regardless of its origins, the majority of people are familiar with this poem, but don’t have a clue who gets the credit for writing it or it’s actual origin.

#2 Are Real Christmas Trees A Fire Hazard?

Every year, of the millions of Christmas trees put up all over the world, only a small percentage of fires occur that can be traced back to shitty wiring. Generally, the problem is faulty or overloaded wiring, and not the actual tree, that is to blame. Fire safety experts advise that a real tree is no more hazardous than artificial trees, as long as people are “smart” and remember to keep it watered. But hey, we live in the land of blaming inanimate objects for short comings, why change and accept responsibility once a year. Safety? Fuck safety, we need more fucking lights! Right? Right.

#3 Was Jesus Born On December 25th?

Oddly enough, though bible scholars agree that Christ was more likely born in late Spring or early Autumn, many people still subscribe to the belief that Christmas day is the actual date of his birth. Too many seasonal signs in the scriptures point to the likelihood that he was born during a warmer time of the year. The presence of shepherds in the fields is one of the more blatant signs, but I’m just saying. Centuries later, the Roman Catholics were spreading Christianity to the far reaches of Europe, and trying to assimilate the masses of heathens by superimposing the Christian faith over the pagan traditions already in place. In an attempt to overshadow the pagan celebration of the Winter Solstice, one of Christianity’s more important holy days was intentionally scheduled for December 25th.

#4 Is Christmas The Most Important Christian Holiday?

It may be surprising for many people to discover that, while the celebration of the birth of Christ ranks high in the religious charts, in the eyes of theologians, it comes in second. The birth of the Son of God is an important earmark in history, but the more notable spiritual moment occurred when Christ’s divinity was proven – at his resurrection. Easter marks the historical point where Jesus stopped being a man, and became immortal, and religious scholars consider this the most important landmark in the Christian faith. Interesting enough, the actual date of Easter is also in question, as its springtime celebration coincides suspiciously with the pagan fertility ritual, Ostara, which is where we get Easter eggs and bunnies. Sneaky, huh?

#5 Did Three Kings Visit Jesus In The Manger?

The bible does not say anything about kings visiting Jesus, at any time during his childhood. Scripture states that three wise men followed an exceptionally bright star in the east, finding their way to the Son of God, and bestowing expensive gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Since these alleged ‘wise men’ still believed in astronomical portents, and none of them had a Eurail pass, it is more likely that the magi caught up with Jesus around his first birthday. Centuries later, a mosaic in Ravenna, Italy, depicted the ‘gifts of the magi,’ and the names of the ‘three kings,’ Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar became part of this nativity myth and is still alive and kicking today.

#6 Is It Sacrilegious To Shorten Christmas To “X-Mas?”

The sad truth behind this myth simply illustrates how little modern Christians know about this holiday. Contrary to the belief that people who write “X-mas” are taking Christ out of Christmas, the habit of abbreviating the name is based on the Greek spelling of Christ, “Χριστός.” The Roman spelling also starts with an X. Entomologically, the argument could be made that people who write Christmas as X-mas are keeping the “Christ” in Christmas. This whole ‘X’ thing probably appeals to American rednecks, who can’t spell worth a shit, I know this personally.

#7 Are Santa Claus, Saint Nicolas And Father Christmas The Same Person?

The modern interpretation of Santa Claus, at least in America, is an amalgam of characteristics from several traditions; however, each of these traditions had very different points of origin.

Saint Nicolas was a Turkish bishop who, around the fourth century, dedicated his life to giving to the poor. He died on December 6th, so when the church canonized him, this date became St. Nicolas Day. In the 15th century, as attention focused back onto Christmas, and less on December 6th, Christians of that era wanted to keep the gift-giving tradition, and he became Father Christmas. The Dutch brought St. Nick to the New World, calling him sinterklaas. So, in America at least, Santa Claus is the modern representation of these varied cultures.

These widely held, but incorrect, beliefs don’t dampen the holiday spirits. It is more common these days for everyone to get their panties in a twist when someone says “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays.” Let’s face facts, not everyone celebrates Christmas, but my family and I do, hope that doesn’t get anyone’s ass all chapped. In reality, those who don’t celebrate Christmas don’t offend me, to each his own, the end. Many of your neighbors celebrate Hanukkah, or Kwanza or some will even argue with you to say they are the real Christians who do not believe in Christmas. These days it’s not uncommon to find new age pagans and wiccans, celebrating the Winter Solstice. Count yourselves lucky that, despite your differences, total strangers are willing to extend you the tidings of peace, brotherhood, and goodwill. Considering the intolerance that is so common in the Christian faith and throughout the world, take what you can get from your non-Christian neighbors, and don’t make problems where there aren’t any.

Regardless, of how – or what – you celebrate, have a safe and Merry Christmas season, and a prosperous New Year. So, there you have it, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it, Merry Christmas from The Sting Of The Scorpion Blog.

Posted From Scorpion Sting’s Motorola Droid Maxx!

The Most Perfect Question Known

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“When I was young I spent my days and nights with so much curiosity. Curiosity because I had the uncontrollable urge to learn, I wanted to understand everything. As a child I wanted to ask the questions that would enhance my knowledge of everything imaginable. Little did I know that I was using tools I was born with to help me grow and function in the world. Many years later now and I see the same thirst of knowledge in my son. Many people consider the question of why to be annoying, I look at it as an opportunity to explore.

But why do we stop asking so many meaningful questions the older we get? Perhaps it’s because we are taught fear and learn self apprehension. I say fear because maybe we’re afraid to find out what the answer would be, afraid to learn the truth. Perhaps finding out would change our path in life, which for some might bring about new opportunities but for others may bring about anguish and anxiety. I don’t suffer this fear, I want to know the answers good or bad. Maybe that is why I see many things and just cut to the chase and ask WTF.

I also say apprehension because to ask questions might bring with it uncertainty of what we may have to face the other side of the question asked. Sometimes we may feel it’s easier for someone else to ask the questions so that we can live our life without having to make decisions. Sometimes, more often than not, it is easier to be the sheeple. Why would people prefer to be lead? Why not cut your own path? Why? Because we are taught this way early on and many continue to live their lives that way. In the end continuing the cycle of ignorance.

Beyond parenting with school aged children I believe school should play a much better part. In school we’re taught to focus on finding the correct answers to questions that have already been asked, rather than ask our own questions. The problem with that is that one can never expand their minds that way. Without expanding our minds, we hold ourselves back, and we do not think out of the box. Someone else’s belief system will also become our belief system, someone else’s version of the right way to live our lives becomes our way, the way we mature into adults is someone else’s ideas, and so the cycle continues for generation after generation after generation.

We need to be allowed the opportunity to set up our own system so that we become individuals in our own right from a very young age. We also need to recognise other people’s beliefs just as we expect them to recognise ours too. When we learn new things we push ourselves beyond what we already know. We also allow ourselves to explore other people’s opinions of what they tell us so why not take the next step and ask why. Only then will we start to view the world differently. Seeing the world from a different point of view gives us more opportunities to be encouraged, to ask more questions so that we continue to challenge ourselves further. We may even make many new connections and many new discoveries along the way.

So I ask everyone here, why ever stop asking why?”

The above represents the first draft of a speech I have been asked to give on the final night of the science camp my son left to attend Monday morning. I was told that parents, teachers, friends, relatives, and the attending 7th and 8th graders would like to hear a motivational speech from me since many of the attending students are current and past Scouts (both Boy and Girl Scouts) that look up to me. Really? 90% of the reasons I am no longer a Scout leader is because I didn’t teach just out of the books, I tried to get the young minds to question what they didn’t understand until they found an answer which satisfied their inner curiosities. But, since I had been in many of their lives for around 14 or more years I saw no reason not to accept the honor. There is one requirement, it must be about learning.

While writing it I found myself thinking about if I were to write it right here what would it sound like? And I see it needs some polishing to say the very least. I can’t speak to this crowd as if they were reading a blog post. So, I will be refining it, tweaking it, and polishing it up so it will be a shiny turd of a speech. So far it has been interesting, I can’t remember writing a speech since high school because anytime I generally speak to a crowd I do it a la carte or very off the cuff. No, I am not nervous about giving the speech and no I don’t regret accepting the challenge, I only worry about dropping an F-Bomb (fuck) or three. I probably won’t bore all of y’all with the refined version other then reporting how it all went when the deed is done.