Category Archives: Obese Obsessions

Schilling Away

Since I have become a stay at home dad, I have wondered how we can afford it.  I asked around as I got to know people and learned that many clipped coupons, sold 21st century Avon (Jamberry, Amway or Pampered Chef were the ones mentioned at the community center) or clicked sites for pennies.  I have done the latter for years so just increased that trend and have actually made some pocket money.

I have $100 in gift cards to the Home Depot sitting on my desk (a bookcase/ shoe rack/ side table).  They are from 3 sites that I cashed in.  All of these are built off the Amway model of getting friends involved for more money.  Anyways this is a not so subtle plug for you to join and give me more pennies.  If you don’t care, stop reading after the first one, I’ll be back next week with more amazing stories.

Stefan Wolf Art Society 6

My buddy Stefan is an amazing artist.  We’ve known each other for nearly 15 years and he has always had a sketch book with incredible visual interpretations of conversations, funny quotes turned into images or just sketches of Newsweek covers.  They were always really well drawn and generally funny. He draws good.  He also carves and makes incredible wood block prints.  Some of the sketches are random but his prints were always so detailed I thought they were better than most art for sale.  When we met many years ago I thought he should try to sell it.  When we were roommates years later, I tried to get his portfolio to help get his work in coffee shops.  Then he got married and he started getting some commissions among friends but being forced to produce was stressful.  Now he has a kid that he stays home with while waiting for high paying forestry jobs to come to him.  So finally a few months ago, he allowed me to start posting some drawing and woodblock prints for all to consume and make him money.  The cool part with Society 6 is that if you upload it for a print, you can also get it on a shirt, bathmat or coffee mug.  So now you can get random cartoons on coffee mugs, and amazing prints for your bathroom from the same artist and place.  And two SAHDs get some cash off your purchase, unequally divided to artist.

Link to awesome- https://society6.com/jeremiahmeeks

Swagbucks

I have made nearly $50 a month for the 4 plus years I have been apart. I get points by running videos on an old smart phone and my laptop, occasional surveys and less occasional online purchases they track and give points for.  They also have a real bonus system that rewards you for making about a dollar a day with a few extra dollars at the end of the month.  The only problem is that you have to keep finding a way to earn your points when they change the limits on videos or when the surveys think you are lying.  But for $50 a month I give it a try.  I do this almost daily.  It annoys the beautiful Hannah sometimes.  Most of the time she doesn’t notice.

I get 10% of your earnings (you get all yours too) plus $4 when you sign up. It’s a pretty amazing deal honestly.

Link- http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/guidooconnor


Instagc

I started using this last year and struggled to find a way to make much money with it as most of the offers and surveys were the same as Swagbucks.  Until last month when I found (or they updated) the streaming videos and now I get about a dollar a day from running videos while I sleep.  Plus they currently have a holiday bonus program that you can get up to 10% bonus of earnings made between now and December 31st.   Also they live up to their name, when you redeem a gift card you get a link right then to print it off (or you could use online).

I get $0.10 at signup and 10% of some earnings.

Link- https://www.instagc.com/guidooconnor

Microsoft Rewards

This is how I check the news most days, getting points by clicking through top stories.  There is a daily limit in points so it only takes a few minutes and generally once you go through all stories you have your points.  I redeem the points for Starbucks, almost all the time.  So this one is a marriage helper because the beautiful Hannah loves her an Iced Coconut Milk Mocha Macchiato in the summer and Peppermint Mocha with Coconut milk in the cold (it’s available all years kids).  I can redeem a couple gift cards a month if I do all the special deals.

I get nothing, but you can get points from signing up through instagc or Swagbucks
Mypoints
I’ve been a member since 1998 it says.  That is like 15 email addresses ago.  It is simple, you get emails.  You click the link.  You get 5 points.  You see a special deal for 1500, but they want your credit card info and you don’t really want to join a wine and cheese of the month club so you X out, and click the next.  I go through the emails once a week, and redeem the points a couple times a year.  Not a big money maker, but I apparently have gotten a few thousand in 17 years (point values change so can’t really tell).  Also they just got bought by Swagbucks so things are changing and might merge soon.

Ibotta

Just started using it.  Works best for those who buy a lot of beer, wine and packaged foods it seems but also gives me discounts on fancy diapers, eggs, milk and bread.  Which has slowly added up.  Anyway, if you shop at Walmart and like barcodes this is for you.  Please use my code- kspldjm and get $10.  I get less.

So if you made it this far, you get to see me admit I am kind of pitiful and or ridiculous.  But I make a few dollars a week by having technology work for me generally while I am doing other things.  I only do a couple every day and having completed daily goals is nice for my head.  Anyway. Bye

If you do sign up for any of the above and want my pointers just text or email me.

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Filed under Administrative, Obese Obsessions

Growing Up


CAM00210Growing up sometimes happens fast.  When I met the beautiful Hannah I quickly knew I wanted to start a life together with her…so we did and in less than 8 months from the first time we talked we were married.  Since we were not fresh out of college and I was edging closer to 40 than 30, we decided to try to have a baby only 9 ish months after that.  Then while home on leave from work with said baby we ended up looking at houses to buy.  So in a matter of less than two and half years I have gone from being single and alone to being a married father and homeowner.

As for the housing decisions…

We had discussed it and liked the idea of renting for a while still because of the costs of upkeep.  But we were in a massive place that required renters for us to be able to ever eat out, do fun things that cost money or travel the state and region like we were apt to do.  So when the first one that was perfect and just a block from where we were fell through we kept looking.   We broadened our search and lessened some of our initial desires and actually had an accepted offer on a home.  But that was before the inspection that concluded it was money pit, so we walked away and narrowed our search criteria to just what was perfect.  The beautiful Hannah also spent a couple nights in the ER during that time of walking away from the less than perfect house.  So when the drama and paperwork on the less than perfect (but great backyarded) house was finished we listed what was needed in a house and waited…for a week… for it to show.  And now we are homeowners.

But the real issue with these recent life changes of fatherhood and home owning I have had to give up some desires in my head.  I have had to become an adult that doesn’t keep a nice debt cushion but attempts to live debt free (besides the mortgage now).  I have a couple someones to protect and look after and who are affected when I just want to travel on MasterCard’s dime and pay it off as I am able.  And I no longer want to sleep on the floor of Singaporean bus stations or on the 8th bunk in the small room of a mildly shadey but very economical hostel.

But I still want to travel and learn.  To visit friends in far away places and experience what I used to and what they still do.  I want to visit new places and meet the beautiful Hannah’s friends in their faraway places.  The desire to explore, learn and continue to grow is there and stronger than ever.  And yet, as I walk to Target on my lunch break to buy some headphones because I droped my old ones in the not yet used but still gross toilet at work, I wonder if it is possible.

I wonder if I have become the adult I didn’t want to become when I visited Portland as a dirty hippie 15 years ago.  The wonder grows stronger when I see a red headed traveler with bad “completely natural” dreads and cut up camo pants and a jean jacket vest.  I am distracted from my book about how to make my baby sleep through the night and watch this kid for a few stops on the bus home to my just purchased house.  I wonder if he is real or a ghost.  To say I see myself in him is an understatement because besides that one large patch on his jacket, I was dressed exactly like him in July 1999.

I watch as people avoid him, make no eye contact and judge him in this town where judgment isn’t allowed.  I see in his eyes some kind of pain or loss.  I watch him mouth the words of some song on his overly large headphones that is what he needs in that moment.  I see him get off the bus when it gets crowded and hear him say under his breath “I’ll just walk”.   I notice that his shoes have more miles than my bike this year probably and he is looking at his bus ticket to see how long he can use it and where else to go.  And even before the bus leaves he has sat down at a public picnic table to watch the world go by.

After getting a glimpse of the old me, I realize I like being an adult.  I wonder if that kid as well will take a job as an accountant, that lets him live in a foreign but adventurous place.  If he will wake up daily for a boring desk job that requires a shower and haircut and insulated lunch sack but pays mid five figures.  If he will keep dreaming and giving to passions that won’t die.  If he will go through periods of trying to figure out life that ends with him buying a house for his wife and three month old son to nest and build memories in.

I wonder if that random dude will let that new less adventurous life become his normal.  Because it seems like I have grown up enough to allow it to become mine….as long I get to travel back to Asia and a national park with my little family next year!

 

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Filed under Adulthood, Freewrite, Global Community, Marriage, Obese Obsessions

Fasting from Self-Control

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

I use to be good at fasting.  I would give up food, technology, sleep, or work to be more self-disciplined.  To rest, pray and grow my faith in what I could not see.  To be part of something outside myself.  For years, I gave up meals every Sunday and subjected my body to a 40 day juice fast a year. In doing so, I also tore up my stomach and most of my digestive system by not doing it smartly. Forcing my body to live off highly diluted orange juice with the occasional grape juice.  After realizing the weight loss and gain of this was highly unhealthy, I let myself turn off all technology and just read, write, walk and visit with friends for a day.

It was good to not be obsessed with technology for a day thinking back to the days not so many years ago, I didn’t have it or my home computer sat turned off most of the time because I didn’t have time or a need to use it.  What did I do before I realized the internet had more information than I could handle and Netflix more movies than I needed to watch?

Then I went back to school and life became busy.  Sundays became homework days and the technology was always on again.  Not intensely needed, just in the way that I felt like I needed to check my email 6 times a day including the Sabbath.  That there must be some article on Facebook or RSS feed to read and become more rounded…even though I paid more attention to the pictures than words for the 6 days before.

At some point in that I felt like the call to give up something and stick to a solid lined Sabbath was legalistic…so I fasted legalism.  I fasted from having to give up food or technology, or anything.  In time I also stopped finding time to really rest, to read, pray or grow in faith or be outside myself.

Which leads us to 2014 Jeremiah…

Now I can’t give up soda or cookies or donuts knowingly for a day…telling myself “You can’t have sweets today.  Just let them sit on the table without touching them.”  I always figure out an excuse for why I deserve them or create a stressful situation that would be solved by food.

I can’t think about turning off my computer for a week without having something to fill that space like being in nowhere Montana or driving 2400 miles.    Again, there is always a reason to check email again and again…especially now that it is on my phone.

For months I have been telling the beautiful Hannah my body needs a reset.  I should do a cleanse or a food fast.  But there is always some reason in my head not to so it hasn’t happened.  Then at the beginning of the year I got a flu bug and my body did cleanse itself.  Which has allowed me to justify the sweets, the lack of discipline and failure at knowingly fasting anything.

So I am still good at fasting… self-control.

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Filed under Freewrite, Obese Obsessions, Overthinking, Transparency

Heathen or Overthinker?

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Sometimes I go to church and feel like a heathen. Not because I don’t believe in Jesus…but I think because I believe in Him too much and want Him to be someone I can believe in.  I believe He is good and choses love over all other emotions…hate, fear, anger.

It is probably because I spent most of a decade skeptically digging into the Scriptures, discussing faith, debating faith and seeking answers in the earthly and spiritual realms. At the end of that I found a lot of middle ground that most Christians with pulpits don’t seem to like to be near.  I believe He created an evolving creation on His timeline. I believe He mourns and cries out about divorce and the purity of marriage as much as He does about the sanctity of traditional versus same sex marriage. I wonder if He is offended when churches use a one off or annual event as “mission”?  If maybe he wants his name to be praised and lifted up in word as much as deed and vice versa?  If things like a van ministry should be more than just driving people to church and if anti-abortion pro-life movements should operate outside of the church walls as well as in? If those who are pro-life for the unborn, but support and defend governmental procedures like the death penalty, war(s), personal firearm ownership, and profiteering healthcare makes Him shake His head.  If He looks at humanity and wonders how we have taken our free will for granted so much…or if it is just me that thinks that way?

Now before you think I am ragging on some small-town church or specific Christians, I am not. I am talking about all those who identify as Christ follower, Christian, believer in Jesus or followers of the Jesus Way, or however they decide to self-identify.  And all churches are flawed including the one I call home, which spends as much on the decorations for a 200 person dinner as the entire monthly food and supplies budget of a small ministry that feeds the forgotten and under resourced weekly.  We are all at fault in this it seems whether socially, politically, or Biblically liberal or conservative.

I wonder if those red letters (as applied by humans and machines) are enough or if we should follow his follower’s words as gospel too. If the red letters are the ones we should focus on. If the Beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount are as important as the Book of Romans. If the Lord’s Prayer is as important as the partially manuscripted verses of the Gospel of Mark 16. If the Golden Rule is as important as the Ten Commandments.

If He lives and speaks to us as much today as in -5 BCE, 28AD and 100AD. Because when I was doubting Him at church twice in the last month He showed up…and those moments were more powerful than any sermon I have heard in the last decade plus.

Which leads me to wonder…

Is it wrong to be a skeptical Christian?

Is it right to claim God’s authority as final on social and governmental issues?

Aren’t we all heathens for worshiping false gods and sinning 90% of the time no matter how hard we try to be exclusive and sinless?

Comments allowed below!

 

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Filed under Heathen Healers, Obese Obsessions, Overthinking, The Jesus Way

Passion

Passion: Things that set a heart afire

Passion: Things that set a heart afire

This was written over a month ago, so some of the timing is off.  It doesn’t affect the story unless you are in email communication with me about some specifics…

A few months ago I was thinking about passions.  I used to have a lot.  Travel, justice, relieving homelessness, anti-trafficking, racial reconciliation, bible studying, intentional community planning, prayer chains, blogging, reading blogs, silly Facebook gaming, documentary watching, sleeping in, beer connoisseuring, new restaurant trying, happy hour partying…  They were many and all quite superficial.  There were reasons for that, like not truly knowing people and using these “passions” as a way to make friends.  The formula was simple- “The more groups, the more friends.”

Today, I have a couple passions.  Learning how to live life with my wife and ending homelessness.  What these two small passions lack in volume they make up for in depth.  It is no longer something I walk in and out of.

For obvious reasons, I am not attempting to meet 6-10 peoples or groups a week for a cuppa, meal, happy hour or late night chat.  Juggling that many friends and connections I was never good at remembering their stories.  Whether the story was about where they came from or where they were going.  Whether their job ended or grandma in Montana passed away when they were 4.  I was a bad friend because I was spread so thin, even if I was attempting to be passionate.  Instead I spend as much time as I can with the beautiful Hannah, occasionally hearing the other side of a story I was apart of, or telling the same story she has heard 18 times by now.

Instead of ignoring one group of homeless in favor of another, there are people I know all around town.  And I am no longer just saying, “Sorry, we just do a meal.”  Yesterday, I hugged a friend goodbye at the Greyhound station as he prepared to travel for 3 days and 8 hours across the country to a home that has walls not made of paper and plastic.  Today, I bought a ticket for another friend we sent to his family and an apartment in the Midwest two years ago, so he can come see us again.  Tonight, I will go by a hotel to make a payment on a room for a new friend who just hasn’t caught a lucky break in four to five years.  It was a long road and long struggle to get him just a little bit of money, but here’s to hoping we can give him a two week financial reprieve to move forward.  Then next weekend, a team including myself will move a single mom and her two kids back into housing from the streets.  We are hoping to provide the relational support needed to keep her from becoming overwhelmed in the circumstances of being on the fringes of the American Dream.

As with most things in life that I really cared about a year ago, that American Dream is becoming no longer important.

I have real passions now.  Not superficial, overwhelmed, inch-deep passions. But passions that I give up work time off for.  That I give up free time for.  That I give up introverted time for.

And passions that I am a better man for.

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Filed under Freewrite, Obese Obsessions, The Jesus Way