I’m Going to Kill A Man

Image links to source

Image links to source

Author’s Note: This is a fictional short story. It should not be construed as a plan to kill someone; read to the end, and hopefully, it all makes sense. Enjoy and leave some feedback!

 

I’m going to kill a man.

I know who, I know where, and I know how. It will be quick and clean but satisfying; the culmination of what feels like a thousand years of hatred, bubbling up from within my heart. I’ve planned it so carefully. Everything will be perfect. Nothing will go wrong.

I can’t stand it anymore.

Injustice. Rage burns within me, rising up through my throat and dribbling out of my mouth as so many black, venomous words. It consumes me. It defines me. It is all I know. But, I’ll put a stop to it tonight. Tonight, justice will be served. Tonight, the poison will stop forever. I will have vindication, I will have revenge. No, not revenge. Justice. That’s what this is. It’s justice. Long overdue for what he did; the sins that shackled my hands, and darkened my future.

I will no longer pay for what he did. For what cannot be undone.

The voice that he stole will be awoken again. The words that have gone unspoken will now be heard. He can’t stop it! It comes at him like a storm in the night, relentlessly pursuing and encompassing him. His evil heart even now plays its final cadence; the sad conclusion to a cacophonous symphony of an engorged and decadent life. Beat by beat brings him closer to his demise. Oh, how I relish it!

The scent of candles hangs still in the air as I make my final preparations. My mind is swirling from the glimpse of impending resolution. A few short hours more and my campaign shall be complete. This insect, this monster, this loathsome parasite that has sucked the marrow from my bones shall be snuffed out. I recall each of his deeds…the crimes of a man lost in himself, destroying his family in a miserable rebellion against God and man. Those I love most have been torn apart by this ravenous beast. Hours upon hours…wasted and lying at the foot of a forgotten life. I’m the shell of the man I used to be, and it’s all his fault! Why am I so blind? I can be who I once was, but not while he lives. He gives me no choice. He takes and takes and takes. He has to die. He must suffer as I have suffered. This retribution cannot be undone. The price must be paid for these crimes…somehow.

It’s raining outside. How fitting a scene for my righteous retribution. I take my implement, my sweet device of deliverance, and silently creep down the hall to the study; his favorite place to commit his crimes. I open the door, and tightly grip my crowbar.

With a yell, I leap forward and slam the bar down onto my adversary. The brightly lit screen shatters with the first blow. In seconds, all that is left is a smashed wreckage of plastic and wires. It needed to be done to kill the man, the man that was me. But is he dead?

Breathing heavily, I fall into the leather chair that sits in the corner of the study. The crowbar slips from my hand. As I sit, fear begins to cloud my heart. Maybe I didn’t kill him. Maybe I’m not strong enough. Our mutual heart whispers his lies to me. He can’t be killed so easily! Freedom, seconds ago seeming so close, has evaporated. I feel his grasp closing around me again, pulling me down. Help!

In a panic, my eyes fall on an open book, sitting on the nightstand. I’ve never seen that before. The dim light in the room illuminated one short passage, and as I read it, understanding dawned. This was the answer, the resolution to my iniquity. Perhaps He could help me. I picked up the book and began to read, those first words still clear in my mind:

Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God.

 

 

3 Things to Know Before Going to Cancún

View from our room

View from our room

Hola amigos, I’m back from the wedding and subsequent honeymoon in beautiful Cancún, Mexico. This being my second time traveling outside the continental US (the first being a trip to Europe), I was excited to get outside of the resort area and try and experience some authentic Mexican food and culture. I learned a few things on the way, so I decided to impart some of the things my wife and I discovered about Cancún.

Before I lay it out, I would first recommend going to Cancún because it’s flipping awesome. There’s tons of all-inclusive resorts and the city is simply beautiful. I found that the people of Mexico were extremely friendly and all the staff who assisted us were incredible. The resort even sent us a plate of chocolate strawberries to congratulate us on our honeymoon! Everyone in Mexico very enthusiastically congratulated us on our marriage; it was really cool. Contrary to popular belief, Mexico is not just an “extension” of America. It is its own separate cultural identity and it’s pretty cool.  So now, 3 things to know about going to Cancún.

#3. Take a bunch of tip money

In Mexico, you tip almost literally tip EVERYONE. You tip your drivers and bartenders (and at an all-inclusive resort where everything is already paid for, that can be a lot), your servers, your receptionists at the front desk, your tour guides, etc. The cool thing is that we took the advice of some friends and brought a ton of $1 bills so that every time we tipped for something, we just gave a $1. That way, you can tip on a budget and still feel like you’re not being a tightwad. We found that many of the people we tipped did not give off an aura of expecting a tip, which made tipping really rewarding. At the end of our stay, we gave our favorite server a $10 tip because he was so awesome. It feels great to be able to do that, so don’t forget to bring tipping money everywhere you go!

#2. Go to Market 28. And ignore the guys asking if you would like a song.

Market 28 is the flea market in the center of Cancun, where a ton of merchants hawk their wares and you can haggle for a good price. Inside Market 28, there is a kind of Mexican food court with a bunch of family style restaurants. All these restaurants offer the same lunch deal: 55 pesos for a drink, soup, and the main meal. That’s like $3.50 American dollars, and it’s about as much food as you’d get at a nice restaurant here for $15-20. And it was incredibly delicious. Also, ignore the musicians, because they charge a fat tip, to the tune of $5 for a single song. Still not happy about that…

#1. Check the prices at the Mexican Bazaar at La Isla Shopping Mall before heading to Market 28

La Isla is the touristy shopping center in the center of the hotel zone. It’s super cool and it has an aquarium at the center (which we didn’t visit due to our budget, but it’s still cool that it’s there). There’s a Mexican Bazaar store in there that has really great prices. We saw a couple items there in the $8-10 range and when we saw those products at Market 28, the merchant tried to sell it to us for $62! So know a baseline price for comparison for what you want to get before trying to haggle a merchant to ensure you’re actually getting a deal. In general, a merchant at Market 28 is going to quote you a price 3 to 4 times higher than what you should actually pay.

2 Times I Won’t Post

Hola readers, just a heads up that SnowedIn is taking a break until January 15th, since I’m getting married and going on my honeymoon. Consequently, no posts on the 1st or the 8th. Enjoy your New Years celebrations! And since I have nothing more to say, enjoy this beautiful picture that I took recently.

20131227-105734.jpg

3 Really Weird Stories From This Week

Roosevelt Optimus approves (unrelated to post).

Roosevelt Optimus approves (unrelated to post).

The Internet is a strange place. If you haven’t figured this out, it’s time you did (in a beneficial and productive way, of course). Every once in a while, you have to stop and look at the expanse of the Interwebernet and marvel at the completely random stuff you can find. It’s even more interesting when it’s about current events, which just proves that people are weird, not the internet. Here are three great examples of just….weirdness.

#3. China buys a twentieth of Ukraine (maybe)

Huh? China has reportedly purchased about 3 million hectares of arable farmland in Ukraine

What? If you’re uninformed, you may not realize that China has a lot of people. Like, over a billion. They consume 1/5th of the world’s food supplies but possess only 9% of the arable farmland in the world. Which poses a problem for them. So what do they do?

They buy a country. Because why not? When you need farmland, you need farmland. Of course, Ukraine is denying that 5% of their land has been purchased…but that’s a small detail. The size of the land China has bought is roughly the size of Massachusetts.

Pictured: Site of China's future community garden.

Pictured: China’s future community garden.

Read the whole story here.

#2. NASA will pay volunteers $18,000 to stay in bed for 70 days

Huh? Our great nation’s space program is looking for volunteers to do their best impersonation of an incurably lazy man. For 70 days.

What? NASA wants to figure out how much your muscles and bones will be affected by doing pretty much nothing for 2 months. They’re doing tests with simulated microgravity and want to see how the body will respond to “space-like” conditions. There’s a catch though: you have to be really crazy fit to even apply. They only want to watch healthy people deteriorate; not already deteriorated people deteriorating further.

Poor guy. He could be getting paid to stay in bed.

Poor guy. He could be getting paid to stay in bed.

Read the full story here.

#1. Pakistan had an earthquake so powerful, it created a new island

Huh? Actually, it’s kind of a tragedy because there’s a lot of people who have probably died in the earthquake. But, the 7.8 magnitude quake did apparently create a new island.

What? The island is reported to be 20 to 40 feet high and 100 feet wide. It’s roughly 350 feet off shore, and spectators actually gathered to watch it happen. Talk about bizarre. New islands are rare for earthquakes, even big ones. Another major geographic feat of earthquakery? In 2011, Japan’s earthquake shifted the whole country over by about 8 feet. 

This guy wasn't too happy about it.

This guy wasn’t too happy about it.

Read the whole thing here.

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Do You Practice These 9 Essential Habits?

oldman

This post is reblogged and summarized from the Art of Manliness article The Child Is the Father to the Man: 9 Foundational Habits Young Men Should Start Now to Raise Themselves Right

Good habits are hard to make and hard to break. Everyone needs a routine that they can settle into; something that adds purpose to their life and gives it structure. Brett McKay over at Art of Manliness is a big proponent of intentionalism (the art of acting with intentionality, foresight, and planning in order to accomplish your desired goals; as oppose to just flying blind). Recently, he posted about 9 habits men need to start in order to make themselves the men they want to be in the future. I think it applies to women to, so without further ado, here they are.

#1. Save 20% of your money

It’s important to start good habits early. McKay recommends that you start saving 20% of your paycheck as soon as you are earning one. It doesn’t make sense to wait until “after high school” or “after college” because that turns out to be a big regret for many people. Start saving now, and that will help you prepare for the unknown.

#2. Exercise daily

I can’t agree with this one enough. It’s so important to establish an exercise routine so that you can avoid numerous health problems down the road. Along with conquering excessive weight gain and weight related diseases, exercising daily helps you feel better about yourself mentally and emotionally. Get up earlier in the morning to get your workout in, and the rest of the day your body will feel the strenuous effects from your workout. It’s a highly satisfying feeling.

#3. Eat healthy

This may be the hardest of the 9 habits McKay lists. The reason for this is that planning your diet takes a significant chunk of time out of your schedule, and then you have to stick to it. Once you get the planning done, the implementation isn’t so hard, but it does present it’s unique challenges. Of course, the benefits outweigh the disadvantages, and this habit is really necessary to living a long and happy life. Better to implement it now than after a serious illness that prompts it.

#4. Plan weekly and daily

I admit to not having implemented this one yet, but I’m getting closer. McKay is a huge fan of this as it’s the core of intentionalism. Basically, the principle is that you sit down and plan out your week and then each day you plan out what you need to get done. McKay has used this extensively, planning his week down to the minute in order to get everything done. I have no doubt that this habit yields great benefits, but I have yet to implement it. Check back with me on that…

#5. Read for pleasure

This one is so key in a digital world, where everything is about speed. I love reading articles, but books have so many benefits that it’s hard to discount this advice. Although he doesn’t say this explicitly, it’s implied that this means physical books. I like that idea, but if you can’t get to a physical book, read a book on your smartphone or tablet device. I just finished “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” and have just started another Holmes adventure. Another method I would recommend is listening to audiobooks while driving. I have a lengthy morning and evening drive, so I am currently listening to “Kidnapped” by Robert Louis Stevenson. Another good habit along those lines would be to incorporate listening to sermons into your drives. That’s a great benefit for your spiritual life.

#6. Brush and floss

This one seems obvious, but don’t let it slip away from you. Keeping up on your oral hygiene can save you a lot of pain and expense later on in life. If you need convincing, let Owl City instruct you. 

#7. Meditate

McKay is talking about a more abstract kind of meditation that’s focused on relaxing and disciplining your mind. That’s really great, but meditating is actually a very Scriptural practice. Pick a Bible verse and just set aside a few minutes to just think about it. The challenge is actually focusing on what you’re trying to think about, as many distractions are waiting to lure you away.

#8. Journal

Keeping a journal is actually quite fun because you get to look back at what you wrote  years before and laugh at yourself. But in all seriousness, it’s a great practice but hard to make time for. It’s a lot easier to blog nowadays, but there’s something about actually having a book that makes it more worthwhile. This is definitely a habit to seriously consider adopting.

#9. Serve

This is a really great addition to the list. As Christians, we are already called to serve our fellow man, but it is a good reminder that service requires intentionality As Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” We should take that to heart and adopt a servant attitude towards our God and fellow human beings.

The only habit that I would add is getting up early to do your devotions. It’s so necessary to read the word of God everyday. Jesus is the living water. If we don’t drink, we will die. So read your Bible everyday and be intentional about what you’re reading!

 

That’s all folks. Be sure to check out the original article over at Art of Manliness!

Give the post a like and follow if you enjoyed it!

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New Blog and Focus

Hello all,

I’ve changed The Rampart Review into my new blog, SnowedIn. The reason for this is that I just didn’t feel like the name and focus of TRR fit with the kinds of things I’ve found myself wanting to write about. There will be plenty of the old blog appearing throughout these pages, but the new focus of the blog is to feature more of the wonderful things in life in short, bite-sized pieces. I’ll have plenty of commentary throughout, but I want to focus on producing and aggregating topics rather than long-winded commentary on social issues.

With that being said, the name changed shouldn’t affect subscribers too much, but the new blog address is ImSnowedIn.wordpress.com for now. It may change later on, but the theme and everything will remain.

And now, stay tuned for a fresh blog post tomorrow that I had fun writing! 😀

100,000 Years Away

Imagine this scenario: Jesus doesn’t come back for another 100,000 years.

That’s a seriously long time. What if the end of the world is so far away, we can’t comprehend even the slightest notion of what that means? It kind of puts things into perspective, doesn’t it?

The fact is that we humans, and particularly the breed commonly known as Americans, are entirely obsessed with ourselves. We think we are the focal point of history, the very reason that life on this planet exists! Everything is about me, me, me! We obsess over how great our lives are, how great our country is, and generally, how fantastic we are as people.

But if life on this planet continues for another 100,000 years, what is America? Just another empire that has risen and fallen. We tend to get ahead of ourselves by declaring ourselves as the greatest country that ever has or ever will exist.

And we are deceived because we think that somehow makes us better people. In 100,000 years, will America even be remembered? Perhaps another nation has taken it’s place in history as a bastion of freedom and liberty. Perhaps America is nothing but an ashes on the trash heap of history.

Perspective is everything. We would do well to have one characterized by humility.