Posts Tagged With: Daily Life

THE BENEFITS AND DANGERS OF GINSENG

Ginseng Roots

Ginseng Roots

2016-08-15 @ 10:47 CDT

Until very recently, I’ve been drinking coffee and cocoa to help stimulate my brain and body. I decided to quit both and test the effects of something I tried for a while – Korean ginseng – more thoroughly. (The above image comes from here and was found on Google Images.)

The good thing about ginseng – for me – is that it has all of coffee’s ability to stimulate the blood flow without the “high and crash” that comes with caffeine. It’s also good for me to be free of the addictive qualities of coffee.

But while looking for images of ginseng, I found a very thorough article on ginseng by a medical doctor: “Benefits and Dangers of Ginseng“. I thought the link worth preserving and noting here.

Early in his article, Dr. Kumar writes:

The term Ginseng is used to represent over eleven species of various plants. The true benefits of Ginseng may not be widespread among all these species but is specific to a few. It is difficult from commercial labelling to get a sense of which ones represent the true Ginseng potential.
As with many similar herbal remedies, Ginseng falls under the herbal supplement category and its sale is not subject to the same level of research, scrutiny and regulation as pharmaceutical drugs. This allows traders to mix fact with fiction and it gets difficult to seek sensible advice.
It is always useful to have balanced view of the benefits, dangers and potential interactions of these remedies before one decides to take it.

Korean Ginseng Tea (c/o Amazon.com)

Korean Ginseng Tea (c/o Amazon.com)

The species represented here (cf. Amazon.com) presumably is Panax ginseng. Korea began cultivating ginseng when worldwide demand outstripped the wild supply.

(יוחנן רכב)

Categories: Culture, Daily Life, Google, Health, Internet, Science | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

THE SECOND MOST IMPORTANT DECISION WE’LL EVER MAKE

Wedding Dress and Tux (c/o PaperCulture.com)

Wedding Dress and Tux (c/o PaperCulture.com)

2016-08-03 @ 00:00 CDT

I haven’t been able to get to this blog for quite a while, not least because somehow I got locked out of it. But as my wedding to Yisraela Batya is 18d 16h and not much more at this writing (the time and date is Sunday, August 21, 2016, @ 5:00 PM), I think I need to write an update on what’s going on. (The above graphic is based on a design found here.)

Johanan Rakkav's Wedding Ring (c/o Tungsten World)

Johanan Rakkav’s Wedding Ring (c/o Tungsten World)

First, the timing of the wedding, to the day, hour, minute, and second if memory serves, may be tracked using a special timer I created here on Time and Date.com. Second, we have made great strides in preparing for the wedding and the days immediately following, although there is still much to do. Third, we have made excellent progress in putting our financial houses in order – something which really delights me, as I often think I wouldn’t know a workable budget if it bit me on the ankle.

Yisraela Batya's Wedding Ring (c/o Palm Beach Jewelry)

Yisraela Batya’s Wedding Ring (c/o Palm Beach Jewelry)

As the days go on and my love for Yisraela blossoms more and more fully, so does my sense of responsibility. This is the second most important decision I will ever make, following only the commitment I made at Christian baptism.

In like manner Yisraela has a decision of like importance to make – once again, second only to the commitment she made to God and the Church of God at baptism. We both take our preparations and our mutual commitment very seriously.

As is usually the case, the bride is the busier of the two of us at the moment. That will change a few days after the wedding, when I have to coordinate the move and storage of my belongings during the last week or so of August.

Earthlight Orchestra: "Hey, Christopher Alain (Catalyst Mix)"

Earthlight Orchestra: “Hey, Christopher Alain (Catalyst Mix)”

For the occasion, I did my utmost to bring my favorite original song to perfection. A combination of Finale (with Garritan instruments), Scala, Audacity, and further professional mixing did the trick. The results may be heard (and purchased) here on CD Baby. The song, so long simply a work of imagination, is now dedicated in real life to my fiancee, Yisraela. ❤ – (יוחנן רכב)

Categories: Church of God, Culture, Daily Life, Music | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

A JOURNEY OF UNDERSTANDING

Earthrise Over Compton Crater (NASA/LRO/Wikipedia)

Earthrise Over Compton Crater (NASA/LRO/Wikipedia)

2016-07-08 @ 00:00 CDT

On this Gregorian date, I am 57 Gregorian years old. Oh frabjous day (insert sarcastic tone of voice). 😉

But turning points in one’s life – my soon-coming marriage being a far more important one to my mind – are good times to stop and reflect. Tonight, before I went to bed, I decided to take just such a break.

I found it difficult to decide which version of the above poster I should put up. Should I put up the one I made which points out that the Earth is, in effect, my personal, psychological (not religious) “mandala” – a symbol of the wholeness of self that I seek, a wholeness rooted in a unified understanding of “both geos and kosmos“? (See this page, section “Functional Analysis”, subsection “Extraverted iNtuition”, for the basis of that last turn of phrase.) Should I play with the joke that “it’s a small world after all”, or should I note soberly that we really are “one world”?

In the end, I picked the idea that says all of the above and more to me, the one that states the root of everything else I seek to believe and to do: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

But my mind branches out from there in many directions of discovery about myself, others, and the world. One of the most profound directions began (formally) when I signed up for Vicky Jo Varner’s Type Discovery course on 2009-03-16. What I allude to about psychological type is based on what I started learning there. In time I was able to extend another psychologist’s model of how personality type works onto a biblical foundation. Here is how my mind is meant to work as a Christian, with the Eternal God ruling it and the Ego (in effect, how the biblical “Spirit of Man” behaves) being subordinated to Him while being in very close touch with my inner Self.

The "Converted" ENFP Psyche (After Haas/Hunziker)

The “Converted” ENFP Psyche (After Haas/Hunziker)

I used to have discussions of my studies of this particular topic on this blog and on another which I took down. Perhaps, should my very limited time allow it, I can start such discussions again.(יוחנן רכב)

Categories: Bible, Culture, Daily Life, Despair.com, Humor, Inspirational Posters, Internet, Personality Type, Psychology | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

OPPOSITES ATTRACT

Love, Anime Style - Poster (c/o DIY.DESPAIR.COM)

Love, Anime Style – Poster (c/o DIY.DESPAIR.COM)

2016-05-25 @ 22:00 CDT

(I post-date this blog because I’ve been too busy to write this news. The date above is the date of the event, if not the exact hour.)

I never thought I’d see this day. I am actually engaged to be married at 56 years old (almost 57) – with Yisraela Batya, who is relatively older (in-joke). This will be my first marriage – as YB would put it, her only real marriage. The date has been set for August 21. The wedding will be small and private.

We have already picked out the rings, and by a feat of HTML legedermain, I was able to copy the images off the appropriate Web sites. It seems easiest just to repeat our stories as recited on Facebook, word for word.

Yisraela's Ring (Style)

Yisraela’s Ring (Style)

Last night was date night. Technically, every night is some form of date night. When we started out setting aside a night just for a date, we weren’t seeing each other every night already. But we are a strange couple.
I had been sending John links to jewelry stores on line for it seems like months. It probably hasn’t been however. I was as subtle as a fly buzzing around your head at night. And he saved every link. What a guy he was and is.
One night recently he opened some links while I was there and asked me subtly of course, what kind of ring would you like? I am someone who loves vintage everything. And there it was. He loved it, I loved it. He saved it to his files as being the one he’d purchase.
Then he sent me the next day the ring he wanted. I agree it is John. We both love the rings we picked out for ourselves and each other. So now we just have to order them. And I can’t wait!
I arrived for date night, he had me listen to a song he has been working on and perfecting for years, before I ever moved here. I think if there is anything perfect in this world, this song along with the writer qualifies. It gave me chills.
Then after talking for a bit, he began talking about us. And he said I had planned on doing this under the moonlit sky like you had mentioned. By now I was becoming more curious. And he said I know the setting isn’t what I had thought of, but the time was right.
“Will you marry me?”
I teared up as I thought about how many ups and downs we’d had in just trying to help each other through our many struggles. And how far we had come and how much God has made our love grow. I’ve never had anyone so gentle, kind, compassionate, committed, and determined on not giving up on us,like John.
When the man asks you if you will marry him, and you know it is God’s plan, and you feel for him as he does you, the only answer is “yes.” He took my hand, and kissed it. He told me how much he loves me and said, “We don’t have the rings yet, but we will order them.” But it just seemed like the right time and place to ask you first.
No one has worked so hard to help me, keep me, and remain loyal and true than this very special man. Our rings amazingly have similarities and I have never seen one like the one we picked for me. And the one John wants is just like him. So unique, so special. So about 8pm Wed evening he proposed to me. When we order the rings we can always photograph them and put them up for our friends and family to see. I have had so many pieces of jewelry in my life from diamonds to Sapphires to Jade and some others. This one is so beautifully unique. I’ve never seen another one like it.
Just like I’ve never known a man as unique and wonderful as John. My love and respect continues to grow. And we’d not be as far as we are if not for our love. I guess the polite thing to do here is to let my beloved say his peace too.
I am one of the most blessed woman in the world. I love you John….forever and eternally. ❤

Johanan's Ring (Style)

Johanan’s Ring (Style)

My turn for storytelling: The song I was working on so hard for so long, and especially these last several days, is entitled “Hey, Christopher Alain”. I use two programs (apps, they’re all called these days), Finale and Scala, to create and then to re-tune musical sound files on my computer. I’ve been learning some special tricks on Finale which have vastly improved the results.

The more I gave the “final push to perfection” on the song yesterday, the more the effort seemed to express my love and emotions for Yisraela Batya. (If sung by a man to a woman, the title is “Lady Selene” – just for the record.) If only it were so prepared for another time, I thought, more appropriate for asking YB formally to marry me – when we both had our rings, for example. Well, when YB heard the song and responded so positively to it, I realized then was the time to ask her – but (true to form) not without expressing a little regret for the exact time and place. But I wanted the time and place to be spontaneous and a surprise anyway.

I was looking forward to a good night’s sleep last night. I made the half-mistake of listening to the song one more time, and discovered why some voices just weren’t “speaking” in the middle of the song (they needed to be raised an octave). That exposed some other harmonic errors which I needed to correct too. (As they say in computer programming, “there’s always one more bug.”) But this late morning, the score finally is what it is intended to be. I wish you all could hear it.

woodbar

Hey, Christopher Album (Earthlight Orchestra)

Hey, Christopher Alain (Earthlight Orchestra)

I have yet to publish the “perfected” version of “Hey, Christopher Alain” (“Alain” is just pronounced as “Alan”, although the original Scottish and French pronunciations differ), but I just remembered that one can order earlier versions of the song via my CDBaby page (Earthlight Orchestra). This version (not the same as the original single, advertised above) was published in honor of, and about the time of, New Horizons’ flyby of Pluto.

I will have to find some way of publishing the latest version. The application of Finale’s Garritan instruments – to say nothing of other small but vital refinements – makes that version sound light-years ahead of this one, which is only MIDI-to-WAV.

woodbar

As for the rings: My ring is tungsten (so it says – why not tungsten carbide, as is often used today?) with laser engraving (it probably will be narrower, as I requested 6mm rather than 8mm – tungsten is heavy). YB’s is described as “emerald-cut-genuine-aquamarine-platinum-over-sterling-silver” in the source code of the Web page which features it. The styles seem to complement each other and certainly illustrate our personalities well! ❤

(יוחנן רכב)

Categories: Daily Life, Despair.com, Internet, Music | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

WHAT IS “NORMAL”?

The "Converted" ENFP Psyche (after Haas)

The “Converted” ENFP Psyche (after Haas)

2016-04-27 @ 12:03 CDT

“What is ‘normal’?” people ask about human behavior – sometimes seriously, sometimes as a joke. It’s a good question, but to answer it properly – I mean when the question is serious – one has to think in terms of intelligent design. Thinking in terms of unintelligent evolution leads to no answer which works for everyone. Or if an evolutionist does find such an answer, it is only because his careful observation of a universe which could not have simply evolved forces him to.

In terms of the design paradigm, “normal” – in the way I’d phrase it – means “operating according to factory specifications”. Much of the problem people have with each other is that they don’t know – or sometimes care – that “factory specs” differ from one individual to another and one group of people to another.

Unknowingly for most of my life, and knowingly and systematically for about the last 5-6 years, I’ve been seeking how different people and groups have different “factory specs” and how to explain the differences. I ought to start posting here again about some of the tools I use to explain those differences, and how diagrams such as the above summarize my own “factory specs”. (יוחנן רכב)

Categories: Daily Life, Personality Type, Psychology | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

“DRAMA” IN THIS PRESENT EVIL WORLD

Siberian Tigers Fighting (c/o Google Images)

Siberian Tigers Fighting (c/o Google Images)

2016-01-22 @ 11:00 CST

My apologies for the length of this post—I hope it will make the content more useful to the reader, not less.

The online Urban Dictionary is one of my “resources of last resort” in searching out information on our popular culture. I don’t recommend using that resource except as such a “last resort”. Its content reflects the increasingly vulgar, antisocial, and unspiritual nature of modern American society. That said: the fact that people “on the street”—sometimes, as it appears, with rather impressive credentials and/or positive life experiences—contribute anonymously to its definitions can make the resource unexpectedly useful at times.

At this writing, what “drama” means in our society, and how one should respond to it, has been the focus of conversation in some corners of Facebook. Ironically, Facebook is one of the best tools there is for breeding and transmitting “drama” such as the Urban Dictionary defines it. Not for nothing does a pastor I know, citing direct experience, call Facebook “Two-Facebook”. Users of Facebook acting one way In Real Life and another on Facebook, or two different ways on different parts of Facebook, pose one of Facebook’s most common problems.

At any rate, in hopes of lending clarity to the discussion of “drama”, I give the Urban Dictionary’s best “take” on the word. Now please understand: the following definition, useful as it is for understanding “drama” and related words in popular culture, is not to be applied to anyone who has genuine, deep problems—either by the person with such problems or by any onlookers.

DRAMA
A way of relating to the world in which a person consistently overreacts to or greatly exaggerates the importance of benign events.
Typically “drama” is used [that is, applied by or engaged in] by people who are chronically bored or those who seek attention.
People who engage in “drama” will usually attempt to drag other people into their dramatic state, as a way of gaining attention or making their own lives more exciting.
Common warning signs/risk factors of drama or a dramatic person are:

1. Having one supposedly serious problem after another.
2. Constantly telling other people about one’s problems.
3. Extreme emotionality or frequently shifting, intense emotions.
4. Claiming to have experienced negative events that are highly implausible.
5. A boring job or mundane life.
6. Making claims without sufficient evidence or a lack of detail about supposedly serious events.
7. A pattern of irrational behavior and reactions to everyday problems.

[Examples of use of the word “drama”, or of what that word represents, as given by the contributor:]

Sarah had a slight fever and mild cough. She decided to use drama, in order to receive sympathy and attention, so she told everyone she was deathly ill.
Debra lost her keys then spent four hours crying and yelling at her husband.
Mary did not answer her cell phone for an hour, so John feared that she had died in a horrible car accident.
Someone stole Steve’s can of Coke from the break room fridge, now he believes that someone at work is trying to destroy him.

by AgActual December 23, 2009

Others on Urban Dictionary, trying to explain what “drama” means in popular culture, note that 1) backstabbing, gossip, blackmail, and related negative social actions are very frequently involved with what our society calls “drama”; 2) women and teenage girls in our society increasingly thrive on that kind of “drama”; 3) there is a strong element in such severe “drama” of trying to get someone else involved in whatever argument is going on, and to get that other person to take one’s side against the other person in the argument, with partiality; 4) some contributors say sarcastically that one should “seek professional help” for an addiction to causing such “drama”, or “if all else fails”, one should “grow up”. (Radical immaturity certainly is associated with “drama” as our popular culture defines it—hence both the pieces of advice in point 4).)

There is a strong bias in the contributions as nobody singles out men as being “dramatic” in this way. But far too many men are. (Some of them are running for President this year.)

Nobody giving input to the Urban Dictionary calls trying to help others in a legitimate way, dealing with real crises in one’s life or the lives of others, telling others about a long chain of legitimate problems, or anything else which a Christian should do with or to other people, “drama”. Such edifying actions are not part of the popular definition of the word—that much needs to be made crystal clear! And while there are warnings in the Bible against getting involved—at least improperly—with that kind of “drama” in others, there are also examples and forms of encouragement for those who can make peace in such situations. I want to study those various passages to get a fuller picture before saying anything more about the biblical teaching and example.

But going beyond what the Urban Dictionary talks about, there is such a thing as denigrating the real problems of others—as if the problems were “all in their head”, being exaggerated for the sake of attention, and so on. Unfortunately, these days I hear plenty about that sort of denigration, especially by people who don’t understand anything about those who suffer from depression, PTSD, or other psychological problems. Such people often mistake the symptoms of some or all of these problems for the symptoms of immature, self-serving “drama”.

But let’s stop and think, using both “head sense” and with “heart sense”. People who are “dramatic”, in the way the Urban Dictionary would describe the problem, are so because they want to be—but nobody wants to struggle all their lives against the effects of a trauma. But to struggle against the effects of trauma is not immaturity—it is courage of the first rank. It is the human mind using its God-given capacity to seek internal balance against all opposition.

In particular, speaking of those who are traumatized through bad family relationships, the way they understand and interpret parent-child relationships especially is compromised. (I speak as a student of personality type models—this is the consistent observation I’ve made to date, about people who suffer from PTSD of this sort.) Frequently this compromises how such people deal with God on the one hand and legitimate human authority on the other, unless God intervenes. This is not immaturity—it is normal reaction to abnormal conditions.

I think that one of the ongoing crises among the faithful will be telling the difference between people with deep, legitimate problems and people who are addicted to immature, self-serving “drama”—and knowing what to do with each class of people.

(יוחנן רכב)

Categories: Culture, Daily Life, Google, Internet, Urban Dictionary | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

I CAN SEE WHAT’S HAPPENING…

2015-11-12 @ 08:15 CST

And if he falls in love tonight
It can be assumed
His carefree days with us are history
In short, our pal is doomed

…well, everybody should be so doomed

(יוחנן רכב)

Categories: Culture, Daily Life, Internet, YouTube | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment
 
 

A FRESH START…

Kintsukuroi (Original Image c/o Wikipedia Commons)

Kintsukuroi (Original Image c/o Wikipedia Commons)

2014-06-16 @ 06:10 CDT

With any grace, the above photograph and caption – which I found on Facebook – will be the perfect summary of my life as I portray it on this blog. (Wikipedia’s article on the Japanese aesthetic philosophy itself is well worth reading.) – (יוחנן רכב)

[EDIT @ 2015-11-16: Blogs written by true Christians, like true Christians themselves, have this principle apply to them:]

(Joh 15:1 ESV) “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.
(Joh 15:2 ESV) Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”

Categories: Daily Life | Tags: | 3 Comments

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