Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A week after the fast

Well it's been over a week since I finished the fast.  It's definitely helped me make some life changes.  I eat tons of vegetables now, and have second thoughts about eating crap.  I went through ALOT of pain to get this far with the fast and I want to carry it further by living healthier.  I've also been spending more time doing physical activity after work - riding the bike, taking the dog for a walk etc. so on... I'll probably sign up for a martial arts class in the new year.

I haven't checked my BP recently but I fully intend to.  I imagine the more I keep living like this the more it'll go down.  My sister asked me if I gained any spiritual insight during the fast.

Just this; to fast for any greater length than 3 days, you're going to probably suffer some.  Especially if you've abused your body in the past.  Time moves slower as you fast as well, so at times it can seem to be absolute torture.  You have alot of time to think and meditate and consider things while you fast.  Which, incidentally is probably why it's recommended for mentally ill patients.  Some have made full recoveries due to a fast.

At any rate, when I was going through the worst of my my detox, where my head was literally exploding inside, the pain was almost unbearable.  But the more I surrendered to God, and let go of it and relaxed and let it happen, the less pain I felt.  Perhaps that's the most important thing in a fast... surrendering your body and letting go of all the worries and stresses.

It's a healing process, body and soul.

Cadmanz...Holding steady.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Day 4 Post Fast


  This fast has definitely improved my life.  I can sleep so much more deeply now, even if I wake up momentarily.  My head feels clearer, and I appreciate healthy food much more.  I've pretty much decided not to drink anything with caffeine any longer.  To limit my snacks at work to nuts and vegetables, and significantly reduce the amount of fast food in my life.

   As well, once I've finished recovering my body from the fast (I'd like to give it a week before doing anything punishing to it) I want to start doing physical activity daily that will help my body stay in good shape and resist migraines.

   By monday night I was thoroughly nauseous at the idea of any more fruit, so Jana made me some chicken noodle soup, which hit the spot perfectly.  Tuesday morning my breakfast was fruit, and snacks were assorted vegetables as well as almonds.  My lunch was chicken soup again.  For supper I had bean enchiladas my wife again cooked for me.  Which was excellent, however I think I ate too much soup and beans and had some stomach cramps at night while I was sleeping.

   I've reined it in a bit more today and stopping well short of feeling full.  Hopefully that will help.  Tonight is just left overs.

   I just can't get over how light and free I feel after only 10 days of fasting.  No doubt the decrease in blood pressure, the detox, and lifestyle change is all working together to give me a much clearer mind than I have before.  We'll see how this continues to unfold.

Cadmanz... healthy and happy

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Day 3 Post Fast

Sorry I haven't had a chance to write much.  Busy with Halloween and stuff yesterday.

I will write more tonight but just a quick note.  The 10 day fast was a success, even though I couldn't take the fast to it's conclusion, my BP has dropped, I sleep using only one pillow at night and am able to sleep through the night undisturbed and wake up refreshed.  My migraines have almost entirely gone and what headpain I have is pale compared to anything I had prior to this fast.

I just wanted to leave a quick note but I promise I will write in much more detail tonight.

Cadmanz... Success!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Day 11 of Fast - Breakfast

Wt: 181.5

   Sorry people, I just couldn't make it to 21 days this time.  The thought of going to work for a week feeling like I was hungover and nauseous just didn't appeal to me... and 10 days of being an invalid was getting me ready to climb the walls.  I broke my fast this morning with 3/4 of an Apple.

   So far so good, no discomfort from reintroducing food into my system.  Although the apple DID taste divine. It'll be about 5 days before I can resume normal eating quantities.  I truly hope this has helped lower my blood pressure, and if not completely rid me of migraines - curtail them at least.

    Interesting facts; When we take drugs, illegal or otherwise, and have other harmful substances introduced to our bodies, whatever the body can't elliminate, it turns into fat cells.  SO, when we fast, those substances are again reintroduced into our blood stream.  This has been proven, when researches drew blood from fasting patients and discovered traces of drugs in their blood stream.

    The people who are going to have the easiest time fasting are those who are athletic and those who have taken good care of their health and have used drugs sparingly.  Little wonder I had a week of fierce headaches.  I obviously haven't completely detoxing.  It's not finished until the tongue clears up, and other changes happen outwardly to the body.

    I WILL try again, definitely not so close to christmas, and hopefully be in much better shape when I do.  I plan on increasing my vegetable intake, and working out alot more.  Maybe I can burn away some of those poisonous fat cells.

Cadmanz... Climbing the walls

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Day 10 of Fast

WT: 183lbs

 HALLELUJAH!!!  Last night was the first night since this fast started that I haven't had a headache all night.  I think THAT part is done.

   On the other hand, all day today I've been feeling a big nauseous... as though I was binging on wine or port last night.  Not the greatest feeling in the world.   Oh well.  I'm heading into the home stretch.  Just a little longer and I'll break the fast.  Hopefully every day that I continue brings me closer to better health.

   Although I am really getting bored of not being able to do much, and the lousy lousy taste in my mouth is really getting old.  I'm looking forward to Christmas and making up for all of this downtime and stuff by getting out and having some fun.

  Not much else to report here.. spent the day at home watching TV and hanging out with my little girl.

Cadmanz...Almost... almost...

Friday, October 28, 2011

Day 9 of Fast

Wt: 184.5lbs

  It looks like the weight dropping is starting to slow down, which is completely normal.  Last night was rough at first.  I was starting to lose it, from so many nights of migraine headaches while I sleep I was frustrated and angry.  Fortunately, after praying for a while and finally surrendering I relaxed enough and fell asleep.  Even though I had a headache most of the night I woke up 3 or 4 times briefly and fell right back to sleep.  The most restful night I've had since the fast began.

   Thank God.

   Anyways, I've decided to end the fast at 21 days.  I recently discovered that it takes half as long to break the fast as the fast itself was.  That means it'll take me roughly 10 days to get back to regular eating again.  With company Christmas parties and such coming up, I can't allow my fast to continue beyond that.  It would be dangerous and foolish of me to think that I could cut the fast any closer than that.  Particularly with all the food and alcohol that are usually served at these events.  The temptation would be great, and it would be rude to only eat 3 tomatoes at a party when they've invested so much into the event.

    So if all my issues aren't resolved by then, I'll be eating healthier and exercising more, and then in the spring I'll do another fast.

    In any case, I don't look at it as a failure.  I think of it as a stepping stone.  Thus far, it's been the longest one I've had since 2002, and if I make it to the end, it will be the longest I've ever done.  And hey - it's not that much further to go... 12 days after all, can go by very fast.

Cadmanz...  Almost halfway there...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Day 8 of Fast

WT: 185lbs

  As you may have noticed, I havent gotten my BP checked recently.  I still will, but probably more sporadically now.  At this point with all the headaches and migraines I've been having, it's almost useless. They tend to feed off of each other and the migraine and BP increase together.

   Every other part of this fast has been pleasant except the migraines.  I believe I probably still would be having them if I was eating, regardless - I'd just be able to hide them better with drugs, or wine.  Which also, is not a terribly healthy way to live.  So with that in mind, I persevere.  All the same... it can be very discouraging.

   I learned last night, that the majority of people who fast need less sleep than the person who is eating, simply because the body expends so much less energy.  Little wonder my nights have been restless.  I just wish I didn't wake up with a headache.  I could handle the less sleep stuff if it weren't for that.

   Here's some really fun stuff, my tongue, I noticed last night, is now covered with a white slimey coating.  I have become completely inured to the taste, although when it began it was absolutely awful.  From what I've read, when the tongue clears up, the breath smells sweet and the eyes begin to shine... That's a signal that the fast is ready to end.

   Ok, some more fun stuff... not so gross.  I was reading about how some other inexperienced fasters had broken their fasts...  Some REALLY bad food choices.  One woman and her daughter chose to break it with chocolate bars... they had to fast AGAIN before they could eat.

Another guy decided to have a huge steak dinner with all the fixings... he was hospitalized.

Ditto to the guy who broke it eating potatoes.

And for the diabetic who managed to do a long term fast... Well... he died real healthy after breaking his fast with some dates.

SO here's how you break your fast.  CAREFULLY!!!  You do NOT binge.  If that's all you want to do, don't bother fasting.  Just stick with your drugs, your better off.

Break it with fruits... and very little as possible.  For a fast of 14 days, I would suggest 4oz of Apples every 2 hours for the first day.  8oz the second, 12 oz the third, and then on the 4th a lunch of salad and fruits, breakfast and supper of fruits only, ditto on the 5th with perhaps larger proportions.  You WILL be ravenous, but do NOT give into the feeling.

After a week, you should be able to resume normal eating, but as always be careful.  You don't want to end up the hospital or on your bed in agony.  If you take your time while breaking the fast, you can reap all the benefits your sacrifice and patience has bought you.

Cadmanz... Still persevering.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day 7 of fast

WT: 187

   SO... Last night was absolutely wretched.  On a scale of 1-10 for migraines last night was almost an 11.  I felt like my friggin eyeballs were going to fly out of my sockets, but I did learn several coping techniques... In case you're interested;

Peppermint on areas of tension,
Headband with Loonies on both temples... TIGHT,
Ice packs behind neck and on forehead,
Sleeping with no pillow

Mind you I'm still not having a solid night's sleep, which is really frustrating.  I hate waking up every two hours.  I hope this isn't the norm for the entire duration of the fast.  From Herbert Shelton's book he said the fasts are generally pleasant and memorable experiences.... I can't wait to get to THAT point.  So far, I'm still detoxing and I hate hate hate this stage.

A friend theorizes that it's because of all the perservatives we eat... Which would NOT surprise me in the least. Mass production is a wonderful thing, but I wonder if we're killing ourselves while we do that? :P

Anywhoo, I remember doing an 11 day fast when I was 25 and I do NOT remember dealing with all this crap... mind you, I didn't have the frequent migraines that I do now, nor did I take ANY drugs back then... And... well... I was 25... If I had a hangover it was gone in 3 hours.

In any case, most reports I've read has it that the real fun starts around day 10... And day 14 the ketoacids transition easily between the brain blood barrier increasing focus, clarity and mental concentration.  And finally at Day 21, it's been reported that people tend to become more zen and more spiritual at that point... more self aware.  Interesting...

Either way, I'm not trying to cause a revolution, I just want to wind the clock back a bit... get healthier, be able to do stomach crunches without a frigging gut, and sure - it would be nice to prove to some of the people who think I'm nuts to think fasting has any value... that it actually DOES.

So - day 7!  Yay!

Cadmanz... Persevering...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Day 6 of Fast

WT 188lbs

   Day started out good.  A little tired though, been having headaches at night while I try to sleep, but other than that, it's been good.  Then at 2 in the afternoon a friggin migraine hit.  Nothing to do with the fast I don't think, probably some weather change.

   So tonight I'm just kicking on the couch and surviving this migraine.  Sigh... not too much to report today.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Day 5 of Fast

WT: 192lbs
BP: 142/90

  MUCH better day today.  No much for headaches anymore.  Thank GOD.  I was able to work and focus on it.  The only downside is I have nose like a blood hound.  I can smell a bag of doritos being opened clear across my office.  It kinda sucks at times.  Fortunately the hunger phase has also ended.  I can see and smell food without salivating and wanting to eat.

   And the really nice thing about fasting is I have more energy than I should.  I didn't sleep well last night, woke up almost every hour, but in spite of that, I had lots of energy at work.  However, when I walk around I sometimes have to catch my breath.  My mouth sometimes taste like I liked a sewage drain too...  Not much I can do about that.  It usually passes after a while though.

   I've also bought a 4L jug of distilled water.  I've read somewhere that it might make the toxins stage pass faster.

  Anyways, it's all looking really good here.  BP going down, weight going down, head feeling better...  I can handle this.

And yes - my BP IS getting better for those who are worried.  It's come down to the levels it was when I checked it on Thanksgiving.  I'm hoping it'll go down even further.  120 or less would be nice.

Cadmanz onward and upward!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Day 4 of Fast

Wt: 194lbs
BP: Unknown

    Last night was absolutely wretched.  I slept waking up every 2 hours, needing to drink and sometimes use the bathroom.  My head was absolutely pounding, but felt better when I elevated it with a second pillow.  Go figure.

   All the glucogen should be completely gone from my body now.  I feel alot weaker, needing to catch my breath just walking up the stairs.  My wife told me to go brush my teeth ASAP cuz it smelt like boiled eggs. LOL  I guess my body really is detoxifying now.

   Got a wee headache this morning, so I'm still running deaf.  Gonna camp on the couch and watch TV.  I'm more worried about how it's going to go tomorrow.  I gotta go back to work and I can't really just lie on a couch to do my job.  :P  Unfortunately, I can't really take time off either.  I'm looking forward to when the friggin' "detox" part of this is over... It's getting old. :P

   Oh and I had alot of food dreams last night.  LOL  I would dream that I ate something, and then run to the bathroom to spit it out because I'm fasting.  It's kind of like when you quit smoking, for the first while, you keep having smoking dreams and then feel ashamed you're smoking and put the cigarette out.

  In fact, quitting smoking is alot like fasting...  It's just as hard, believe me.  So if you ever quit smoking, you CAN fast.  And another thing... Once when I was a smoker, I did a fast... on day 2 I was craving a cigarette SO bad...  Well, lets just say, after that, cigarettes didn't appeal so much anymore and I stayed away for nearly a year after that.  The memory of how SICK I felt after I smoked...

  So if you ever want to try quitting smoking... go for a fast. LOL Two birds with one stone, and it's pretty effective at getting ALL the nicotine out of your system, DAMN fast.  I kid you not.

   Anyways, if I get around to checking BP today, not sure if I will, I'll post it later.  It's probably still in the 140s or 150s... Until this detox and headache goes away, I don't think it's really going to drop.  My neck is totally throbbing and my eyes hurt when I see sunlight.  I've turned into a vampire and gone into the dark of my basement.

    Catching up on alot of shows and comics though... I'd game, but with the way my head feels, I just don't feel like doing anything that takes any real mental work... which is why I'm not looking forward to tomorrow if I'm still pushing out toxins.

   Why do they have to go out through my bloody head anyways?  I think I'd rather have diarrhea than migraines. :P

Cadmanz - Keeping keeping on...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Day 3 cont'd

Spent the day relaxing, watching TV and napping alot.  It seems to have helped, my BP has dropped down to 147/89

Thank god, the high BP was worrying me.  Although I've had my CI turned off all day.  Every time I turn it on, it ends up hurting like hell.

Day 3 of Fast

Wt: 195lbs
BP: Unknown

   Day 3, the last day that most people have any glucogen in their system.  Thank God.  My heart and my pulse feels like it's quieted down.  My head hurts alot less.  I slept pretty well last night, only waking up periodically to drink some water.  It turns out, I can now sleep without a second pillow under my head.  I have very mild sleep apnea, but with only one pillow, it's guaranteed to act up.  So I always prop my head up.

   It's terrible on my neck, but it's the only way I can get any sleep.  Fortunately, this fast, so far, has allowed me to be rid of that.

   Today is mainly being spent at home, relaxing, and enjoying my family and not doing much of anything.  I don't want my heart to work too hard, and I want my system to rest up.  The work week and fasting is hard enough.

   I also found a yahoo group all about fasting.  Which is great for me, there's even a few doctors who drop in there from time to time.  It's hard to find others who are trying this...

  Oh - I'm also spending most of the day being deaf.  My implant is turned off, it seems to help keep the headache away as well, which oddly seems to feel like it's inside both of my ears pounding away last night. :P  Not fun.

Cadmanz... be back later.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Day 2 of Fast

Wt: 202.5 lbs
BP: 171/93

    Ugh, finally near the end of the second day of the fast.  The headache has gotten progressively worse as the day goes on.  Sleep wasn't too bad last night, but the pain was still there while I was sleeping, albeit I was getting migraines at night the week before anyways, so that means little to me as it is.  However, I can't use any drugs to assist.

    Tongue has gone white, and there's a crack down the middle of it.  From what I've read this is normal.  One more day and the glucogen should be completely exhausted.  I'm hoping by Sunday or Monday the pain will receed and I'll feel worlds better.... one can hope.

   Here are some interesting links on fasting;



Anyways, I'm going to kick back on the couch the rest of the night and relax.

Cadman signing out.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Day 1 of fast

Day 1 of Fast
Weight: 201 lbs
BP: 150/90

   First day of the fast has begun.  I've removed most situations where I'm confronted with food from my daily routine.  However, you still drive past fast food, and people in the office still snack.  The only way I could entirely avoid food is to stay in a sanitarium for the duration of my fast.  Unfortunately, that's not really an option.  As nice as it would be.

   I finished my last bite of food at roughly 8pm last night.  I started the day with a very clear head, no migraine but by 11am the fasting headache kicked in.  I don't expect it to be gone for at least a few days.  The headache has two purposes.  It's removing toxins from the bloodstream, and also, the body is starting to starve for glucogen and trying to get me to eat again.

   By the end of the 3rd day, I should be completely exhausted of glucogen.  After that, my body will switch to metabolising ketoacids.  Hopefully not long after that my headaches should diminish.  This is probably the hardest part of the fast, as it can be quite painful and difficult to sleep during this stage.  It only serves as a good signal that I need to eat and live more healthily in the future.

   As tempting as it is to give up and get a juicy Wendy's burger, and have a bottle of wine to cap it off, I have a focus, and a goal, and I'm not going to give up this time, for any reason aside from extreme danger to my health.

    I particularly don't like where my blood pressure is at, it seriously needs to come down.  I want to live to one day see my daughter graduate and get married and have kids herself.  Drugs aren't going to improve that, exercise and healthy food alone won't remove the problems from my body either.  So I'm driven to continue this and see where it leads me.

Travis Penner

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Preparing for FastDay

October 19, 2011

    Tomorrow starts the first day of my fast.

    I'm looking forward to it.  Yesterday I stopped at London Drugs and did a blood pressure test.  It's not very encouraging (151 over 89).  I'm looking forward to seeing what improvements the fast will have on my blood pressure, and likely will also affect my migraines.

   The vegetarian diet I've had in the last week has also been enjoyable, actually.  My wife has dug up some really good recipes and we've enjoyed the change.  As well, since she's a diabetic, her sugars have behaved better while on a vegetarian diet.

    Tonight I'll be going out for supper with my grandparents and that will be my last meal for a while.  You might think I'm crazy, but I can't wait!  There are so many benefits to be had.  And I'm going to try and document as much quantitive data as I can.

   I've read that once the brain switches from using glucogen for fuel to ketoacids, the brain's efficiency jumps to 200%.  I wish I knew of a way to accurately measure that.  To see if it changes my IQ or some sort of mental performance benchmark.

   Anyways, more to come!

Travis Penner

Monday, October 17, 2011

A new adventure

October 17, 2011

 It's been a while since I wrote.  And exactly a year since I started this blog and was unemployed.  Alot has changed in a year, alot has been learned.

   I've gotten involved more in theater.  I've gotten my A+ for computers.  I've learned more about our marriage and how much I love my wife, and our life together.  We've learned how to trim down our budget.  We've changed our plans in a heartbeat when we were told of our little girl's impending arrival.  And best of all, we've learned some things about parenting and love our daughter more every day.

   It's been a very good year,and I'm looking forward to the next.

   In two more days I'm going to begin a fast.  For those of you who don't know what fasting is; it's the cessation of eating food and drinking ONLY water.  No juices, no nothing.  Just water, and that's it.

   Fasting has numerous health benefits.  So many that I couldn't even list them all, as I don't know ALL of the possibilities that fasting can bring about.

   Simply put though, fasting allows your body to rest and repair itself.  The heart beats easier, the stomach rests, allowing the kidney and liver to purge itself of toxins that have accumulated.  The arteries soften allowing plaque to be purged.  Massive amounts of salt is urinated, and your body's salt content can finally be moved, swiftly, from the body.

   Contrary to popular opinion, fasting does not kill you.  Fasting is also, NOT starving.  At any time you are eating less than your required caloric intake per day, you are starving.  However, to cease eating, is completely different.  There are metabolic functions that can only happen when the complete and total cessation of food has occurred.  When those metabolic changes occur - your body chooses to break down FAT, and NOT muscle.  Only when the fat stores have been completely exhausted, will it then turn to muscle.

   However, science has shown that even a person who is NOT obese, can go up to 90 days without food.

   Rest assured, I will not be going THAT long.

   I say all this to help you understand that I'm not on a suicide mission, nor am I in a protest.  But should you be interested, I'm not the first person to fast.  Gandhi, and many other historical figures have fasted.  Fasting has been part of history and religion LONG before this culture of excess.  It is only in the last 100 years have we become a culture of fast food, and supermarkets.  Food is plenty in our western society.  Even our bums eat better than the pioneers, paupers, and serfs of the past.  And infinitely better than people in parts of 3rd world countries.

   It's my personal opinion that everyone should fast, regularly.  No matter how healthy they are, if they want to continue good health and many years of well being.

   That being said; why am I choosing to fast right now?

   My primary reason is to get rid of migraines.  I've had them since I was a boy of 10 years old.  I can remember filling a sink with hot water just to dunk my head into it and relieve my migraines.  I can remember deciding what I want to read, based on how big of a headache I had... an Archie comic is MUCH easier to read than a Sci Fi novel when your head feels like a dozen hippos doing a conga line inside it.

And here are some other reasons;

-Lower blood pressure
-Sleep better (mild sleep breathing disorder)
-Lower triglycerides and improve my blood's condition
-Prevent Alzheimer's
-Improve vision, and to safeguard good vision for a long time
-To get healthier so I can enjoy working out more
-Increased energy and stamina
-Improve my heart and reduce risk of heart attack

   There are probably more reasons that I have not yet listed.  But also, I've studied fasting for quite some time, and I'm fascinated by it.  There's very few people who have done it, and no one I know, besides myself, who have ever done a long term fast.  I've done 11 days, ten years ago, but this time I plan to fully experience it, and make a record of it.  If you're interested, check in here.  I will be documenting it as much as I can.

   I truly think fasting is one of the greatest tools nature has offered us, and has long been neglected.  My goal is not only to improve my health, but also to prove to myself and others, how infinitely precious this gift is, and how essential it is to everyone.

   Can similar results be achieved by exercise, good eating, and drugs?

   Yes and no.

   Drugs never really heal you.  They usually only correct the symptom but never the underlying cause.  I truly believe, that when we fast, we allow our bodies healing abilities to finally have the opportunity and time to fully remove the underlying cause.

   While exercise, and good food are great, they will never be able to protect, prolong, and restore the body to optimal condition.

   Think of fasting, as a renovation.  Which it essentially is, it's a chance to clean your house, and allow the contractors to come in and update things and make it as best it as it can get!

   One last thing.  If you're interested in this, feel free to read and join me on this journey.  If all you want to do is treat me like a head case and try to talk me out of it, don't bother.  If I have to, I will close off this blog and make it private if it comes to that.  I'm open to questions, and genuine interest, but I've heard enough BS from people who still believe that FOOD is life.

Finally I leave you with this;

Matthew 6:25: 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?
And the best of them all;
Isaiah 58:6-12
6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
   and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
   and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
   and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
   and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
   and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
   and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
   you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
   “If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
   with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
   and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
   and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The LORD will guide you always;
   he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
   and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
   like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
   and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
   Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Full Circle

   Well it seems I'm no long unemployed.  Starting Monday I'll be working again.  Now that I have my beautiful daughter, plans needs to change.

I really tried to get into IT.  And if I wasn't a parent now, we could still afford it.  Not that I regret anything.  It just means some dreams need to be put on hold for a little while.  And that's ok - my daughter is worth more than any IT job I could take.

The hardest part of going back to work, in fact, is not being able to see her all day every day.  She and I have gotten pretty close in 2 and half months.  She smiles at me easily, and just picking her up calms her right down. I love it when she clings tightly to me.  She's daddy's girl.

So, I'm grateful for the last few months since I lost my job.  I've done a few plays.  Gotten to build great friendships with people.  Explored some dreams of my own, and had time to think some pretty deep thoughts.  In fact, I know myself better than I did before.  I think I'm happier and more at peace with myself than I have been in years.

I know for sure my marriage is far far better than it has ever been.  So I have to say - I can recommend, in fact, I highly recommend, losing your job!  Every 10 years in fact, everyone should take time to reflect and get to know themselves again.

Of course, not everyone can do that.  So in lieu of job losing; take time to make friends with yourself.  Too many of us bury ourselves in work, play, and life and forget that there's a person deep inside each one of us, if neglected too long, can get pretty damn cranky.

So lastly... I'm going to get a little religious here.  If you're not into that.... take off.

So yeah, deep thoughts.

I've spent alot of time in the last few months, talking to the Father, and to Jesus, and getting to know them pretty well...  I've read the Bible since I was a kid, and know it VERY well.  So I don't always have to read it to hear them.  Sometimes, a verse will come to mind.  And then again; sometimes Biblegateway.com can be pretty handy too.

I've had some deep questions, serious questions.  About so many things.  Loving your wife.  Does God change?  What does Jesus really say about homosexuality?  Who's saved?  Are Paul's writings scriptural, that is to say, are they the words of God? What does Jesus want from us? and so many more....  I love it.  Since I've been through 2 cults, raised extremely conservatively, and all the religious crap that I've had in me forever...  It's GREAT to have the freedom to really pull things out and seriously question them.

The only time that it's HARD, is if you're afraid to let go of your preconceptions and are unwilling to change your beliefs.  Otherwise, it's exciting.  It's breathtaking... and I LOVE IT.  In fact, so many beliefs I've held for a long time have changed.  I believe, that so much of what we believe has been tradition handed down from the time of Constantinople, and through the ages til now.  And if we fail to question those beliefs...

Then how can our faith even be real?

Anyways... Those are my thoughts today as I spend my last Friday of unemployment.  Take care; have a great summer - and I promise, I'll keep writing.

Travis Penner - Cadman and Seeker

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Harold Camping, False Prophet = Satan's Henchman

Ok, I have to warn you, this post is going to get a little religious.  This whole Harold Camping, end days thing has a burr up my ass.

There are two things I hate above all.  Con men, and Cults, and I think both kind of go hand in hand.  Both are out to get your money and both devastate family, friends, and the person's own soul and being.  Jesus had plenty to say about these people back when he was on earth.  They were called Pharisees.  If I could, I'd have em all drawn and quartered right here, right now.  Kip McKean and Harold Camping would be at the top of my list.

After hearing about all these people who gave up their jobs, their bank accounts, and left their families to follow Harold, not unlike myself 13 years ago, I had to ask... Are they just gullible?  Some, sure, but not all.  Some I think are fairly intelligent.  I hesitate to think of myself as an idiot as well, after all.

I'm intuitive with computers, I can hack my personal electronic devices, set up a network, build a computer, do banking, plan a vacation, seduce my wife into marrying me, and adopt my first baby, so maybe I'm not entirely mentally handicapped.  And maybe, just maybe, they're pretty smart too.

So then, it begs the question - why?  Why in God's name, would you follow someone who's giving you a bill of sale for heaven's gates?

I think people really are disillusioned by what present day christianity has to offer.  Please understand, I'm not going to make blanket statements here, but I am going to say, a large number of institutions (I refuse to call them churches) I've been to are check in spots.

Check in at 10:45am and checkout at 12:00 after the pastor's sermon has finished.  There ya go, your passport has been stamped, another couple hundred of those and you'll get into heaven and God'll be proud o' ya!

And people see right through that.  Why in god's name would sitting in a pew, listening to some blowhard talk about something that I can't even relate to, much less CARE about, make a difference in my life, here and in eternity?

What good is being part of this institution?  When we care more about voting on the color of pew our group is going to buy than we do about the homeless sitting on the streets a block away?

I have something to say about that too.  Those institutions that call themselves Churches.  If Jesus was the example, then they're doing a crappy job of following it.  Jesus never came to set up an institution.  They all met in people's homes.  The Church was a bunch of believers hanging out, and having a blast.  The institution was the synagogue of self righteous people who thought they had a bill of sale saying they were Abraham's descendants and they'd be going into heaven.  God save us from those sinners up the block, drinking wine, eating good and hanging out with that bum they call Jesus.

Yeah, I have a problem with that.

And I think most other people do too.

So when some guy seems genuine, loving, and offers you the most amazing thing; a relationship with Jesus that seems authentic....

It doesn't matter how out of joint he twists the bible.  They'll believe him, and like little sheep, they'll docilely follow him into the slaughter.

James 3:1 1 Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

 And since we're on the subject, let's address some of what Camping says;

Matthew 24:36 - 44

 36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[f] but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark;39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
   42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

And in case THAT isn't clear enough;

Luke 17:23-24

23 People will tell you, ‘There he is!’ or ‘Here he is!’ Do not go running off after them. 24 For the Son of Man in his day[a] will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other.

There...'nuff said.  I think I'm preached out for today.  I have much more I could say, but "since brevity is the soul of wit; I shall be brief."


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hurrying up and waiting

Sorry I haven't been keeping things up to date on here very much.  I don't really know if that many people actually READ this; so I'm not always motivated to keep it updated.

But alas; two of my friends who shall remain unnamed (Kristi, and Jen) bug me about it from time to time, as does my wife occasionally, SO - I shall write.

Here's the scoop.  I have my A+ exam coming up this Friday; so I've been studying about 6 or 8 hours a day just to make sure I pass... I'd rather not have to shell out $300 to take it again, so if I fail, I'm going to be rather upset.

Not to mention the baby is due by April 6th, so when she shows up on the scene, I highly doubt I'll get much further studying in.

Things have been going well though.  We've been getting to know the birth mother and bringing her food at least once a week, she's absolutely exhausted as she nears the end of this pregnancy.  I think she wants to see the baby out as much as we do.

In addition to me studying, my wife has also been hitting the books.  Her exams also come up  in April, and the two of us have become surly as constipated dragons guarding their horde, she has very nearly bitten MY head off when I suggest getting together with other people.  SO, call her at your own risk.

Oh!  And in addition to all this excitement, I shall be getting a hearing aid on my left ear.  It seems that people who wear hearing aids (even if they ARE deaf) tend to get put higher on the implant priority list than those without... which sucks.  BUT, on the bright side, my audiologists tells me that our ears, magically mysterious things they are, still process sound and stuff even if it ain't ALL getting to our consciousness.  So piping sound into my left ear will keep it healthy, and prepared for implantation.

Now if only sticking a hearing aid in it will magically revive my ear to working order once again... We can all hope for miracles. :P

Oh and for those who've asked.  The job sitch.

Well Jana's going to be starting her mat leave in July.  As such, I've let any potential employers know I will not be available til then.

The one that I was talking with a little while back, was fine with this; and ask that I let them know when I'm back and able to work full time.  While not really a job offer per se, it's an encouraging step in that direction.

Hmm... I think that's it for updates.  Tonight I'm off for another night of rehearsals for Joseph's Technicolor Dream coat.  I hope I see some of you there at the show!!

Travis Penner

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Upward and Onward

So - I was going to write pretty soon after my last post.  I was just waiting for that recruiter to call me.

Well... She didn't call until just last Thursday.... 2 weeks since my original interview.

So now I have a second interview for Monday morning.  Tomorrow.  I'm looking forward to it; but not the part where I have to say "I'm unavailable until July."

Uhm... yeah.  3 months :P  But there's nothing to be helped for it.  The baby is pretty much ready to come out any day now, and the wife can't take her mat leave until July.

Oh well - that's the ride, called life.  Always something going on.

In the meantime we've been busy getting the house ready for babyhood.  Jana's been exposing the animals to as much baby stuff as possible to acclimatize them to babyness.  We think our dog is really going to have a jealous fit after the baby comes.

Aside from all that excitement; I've been busy working with the cast on Joseph.  4 weeks left to get everything prepared.  We move into the theater April 9th, which in itself shall be interesting - the baby should be here by then.

Oh and on March 25th, I take my A+ exams.  Which I'm fairly confident about, I think if I took them right now, I'd get 90%... good thing.  I don't want to fail when it costs 300 bucks each time I take it. :P

Sorry for the disjointed blog this time.  Not too much really has changed.  This one's just an update... really.  I'll probably have lots more to say in the coming weeks though.

On more interesting thoughts and recollections.

Friday night I was at a friend's birthday party.  It wasn't bad at all.  Not long after we arrived we were attempting to make a margarita using a blender...  I'm not sure what recipe the girls were using, but apparently it turned out pretty foul.  In an attempt to make the birthday girl happy, Jana and I went out to pick up a few things, and a martini shaker for her.

I don't know if they ever used it, about an hour or two later we left.  Jana was just too wiped out to stay much later.  However, I was quite piqued with the idea of making my own martini.  My lovely wife bought me a martini shaker yesterday, apparently it was on sale.  And it's quite nice, it has different recipes for making different drinks all engraved on the side of it.

So that's my plan tonight.  I'm going to see if I can make a James Bond Martini... however I can't remember... was it "Shaken, not stirred" or was it "Stirred, not shaken"?

And really... how can it taste any different anyways?

Also interesting, Friday night I got to talking to birthdaygirl's brother.  Really easy fellow to talk to, we had fun.  Especially interesting was our conversation about Zeitgeist.

Now I've heard of these films before, but the last person I spoke to about it, was a bit sycophantic about it.  Which really turned me off of the stuff (if you're reading this dude, sorry, but it's true)  Anyways, her brother actually made it sound interesting, and rather than fearing the image of a demented prophet foaming at the mouth screaming the injustices of government and modern society, he made it sound like a reasonably interesting documentary.

Perhaps when I have some free time I might check it out.

What do you think?  Have you seen Zeitgeist or any other documentaries that have changed your world view?  Or even influenced your understanding of God and faith?

Travis Penner

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Almost the end of the unemployment era

It's almost 3 o clock, and I'm kicking back in Starbucks across the street from Metafore where I just had an interview.

It went really well, thanks to my friend Kenneth who got me in the door.  I had a really nice visit with the recruiter.  This is the first time in my life I've ever felt passionate about working in any industry.  Like I said before, drafting was never anything I really loved now that I'm looking into getting into IT, and really really trying my damnedest to, I'm excited about it.  Hopeful too.

Kimberly, the recruiter, and I talked for nearly half an hour.  I think it went really well, especially as she says the next thing she's doing this afternoon is calling some job sites and seeing if she can place me right away.  She's going to call me back tomorrow and let me know how it goes.

I'm torn though.  The baby comes along in 5 weeks, and my wife can't take mat leave until July.  If she gives me a job tomorrow, do I take it and end my EI?  Even if I can only work full time for 5 weeks, and once the baby comes; stay at home for nearly 3 months before my wife can take mat leave?

I guess I'll wait and see what happens tomorrow when she calls.  Worse comes to worse, I'll have to tell her I can't effectively work until July.  We certainly can't live without the added income for 3 months.

This is all what's going through my mind right now... while I'm very excited that the interview was so positive.  It looks like I may no longer be getting up and staying home every day.  That, in a way, is a relief.  I've enjoyed the time off from work, no question, although it's been less of a vacation, and more of an internment of studying and house errands.  In fact, except for Christmas break, I've barely gamed at all.

It's a good thing though, I've spent more of the last several months involved with people and life than I have in years.  Thank God.  It's nice to know that not everyone in life is out to suck me into a cult, or treat me like the office idiot.  The impression I got from Stantec. :P

And yes, the baby is 5 weeks away.  We've pretty much gotten everything we need in preparation for her.  I've even set up a web cam in the baby room that we'll be training on the crib so our out of town family can see the baby.  And so can I, if I'm in another room.  Who needs baby monitors?  My laptop IS a baby monitor!

 I'm almost finished studying for my A+, theres not many pages left.  Tomorrow I'll probably look into booking the exam, I definitely want the certification well before the baby comes, and hopefully before I'm actually working.

Aside from work, study, and the baby, I've been helping out on the rehearsals for Joseph's technicolor coat.  As always there's drama, and situations.  But it's fun, 7 weeks to go before they perform!  And there's alot to squeeze in those 7 weeks!

Anyways, another half hour before I head out to go get the wife from work.  I think I'm going to get a little bit of studying in before that.

Keep in touch, I'll write more soon!


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Funeral For a Friend

I just got back from a funeral this afternoon.  A friend's baby only lived for 7 hours after birth.

Funerals always make me introspective.  It takes me back and makes me consider many things.  Mostly I try to understand it.  The first time I ever really encountered death was when I was 14.  My 16 year old cousin commited suicide.  He was also deaf, and it made me wonder - will that happen to me as well?

I was a weird funk for a week or two.  I was also playing Worlds of Ultima: Martian Dreams, and that kind of gave me some weird ideas about death.

Now I'm 34, and have wrestled enough with life to give me a better perspective on death than I did when I was 13.

Some people ask, why would God take away the life of a little innocent?  Personally, in some ways I think of it as a blessing.  Who knows what future that child may have held, if she lived?  Perhaps God was sparing her from something worse.  I don't know.  What I do believe, is that when children die, they're immediately in paradise with Jesus.

Let's be honest.  This world is a house of tragedy.  For all the joys it presents, there's always a current of darkness that surrounds us.  In a world where we have genocide in South Africa, Hitler in Germany, George Bush in the US, and uncountable nitwits in Canada.  We can honestly say that this life is far from paradise.

So do we blame God?  Really?  How can we?  We ourselves who make poor choices that hurt ourselves and those around us, are not blameless either.  We couldn't dare accuse God of being heartless.

If we could actually step back and see the tapestry of life, every moment that has been or could be, and all the other paths that might have happened if other choices were made, other circumstances were changed...  I think we would be stunned and amazed at how much God has influenced for the better.

I'm certain we could all agree that if Chariman Mao were never born, Hitler, Stalin, James Harvey Oswald... God knows the list can get longer.  Would the world be a better place?

Perhaps.  But I'm inclined to believe that God allowed those things to happen, and influenced the situation of evil, so that good may result.  There could have been even worse men, more heinous than those that would've taken their places.  God knows, this world has no shortage of evil men.  I wouldn't even try to make sense of these tragedies - but I trust that God has.

So today as I left the funeral, my heart went out for the two sweet parents who lost their precious one.  I can't even begin to imagine the strength of faith and character it took for them to smile, and greet people.  To work on the play Titanic, while the future of his child was a mystery.  What would I have done if I were in his place?

I can't say.  I do believe he knows now, who his true friends are.... and he knows how strong his faith is.  And I hope that's a blessing to him and his wife.

On a personal note.  My wife and I haven't been able to have kids since we got married.  Sure there are times we wonder why.  But through it all, I've simply have faith that when it's time, it'll be time...  After all, Abraham waited a hell of a long time for his son.  And like I've said so many times before, Heaven is a place of second chances.  If it doesn't happen here, I'm certain that even better things are in store.

Travis Penner

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Well, Titanic's wrapped up and I'm out of theater for a week.  Next week I'll be working on Joseph's technicolor coat.

In the meantime I'm back to studying for my A+ and getting things done around the home.

Yesterday exciting developments happened.  We got a call from our adoption agency and we've been matched up with a birth mother.  Sometime soon we'll be meeting her.  We may well be parents as soon as April.  3 months away.

So as you can imagine, it's pretty crazy for us.

Lots of thoughts go through our heads...  What will name the baby?  Is it a girl or a boy?  What health challenges will it have?  How will our lives change once we have a baby in the house?  What will it be like as we raise it?

It's an exciting time.  I'm sure it sounds absolutely pedestrian to some, and it happens to parents the world over when they have their first child...  For us, it's very exciting, as my wife hasn't been able to have a child of our own.  To suddenly be gifted with a child, only a few months around the corner...  It's an amazing time for us.

So I better get my studying down pat and done, because in 3 months, I may be very very busy.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Got an Interview!!!

I know it's been a while.

Even my wife was shaking her head at me last night, "You haven't been blogging!"

And to be honest, I'm a little worried sometimes if EI might be checking up on my activities or if potential employers might take offense...  So I took a little time off.

Christmas has been crazy busy, running everywhere, getting gifts, meeting people, making dinners...  When finally we had no plans, we basically collapsed at home and sighed in relief.  Thank God.

After Christmas and NYE, a friend of mine took me out to Las Vegas with him.  He wanted me with him for CES.  We did so much walking I lost 10 pounds.

And as I walked through Vegas, so aptly named as Sin City.  Seeing all the porn everywhere and the shallowness of some of it.  I couldn't help but think, "Not all that glitters is gold, nor is all that's sexy is real."

Ain't it though?  Beautiful girls on flyer's everywhere, Mexicans handing out cards with naked girls and phone numbers on 'em.  Nightclubs promising that even the sorriest looking fellow will get laid...

Even without my wife, it wasn't too hard to behave down there.  After 3 days there, the constant inundation of sex without strings almost made me feel sick.  I probably would've enjoyed things alot more with my wife along.  My friend is a good guy, but there's something about having your BEST friend with you to share everything with - there's no replacement.

So we left the sunny skies of 14 degree weather in Vegas and with mixed feelings returned home to -30 weather in Calgary.  I was glad to see my wife, horrified to be living in this weather.

Today is the first day the cold snap has finally lifted a bit, it's -10 outside...

And I'm dog sitting my parent's golden retriever who is about as dumb and annoying as they can get... I can finally kick him outside when he annoys me too much and be rid of him for a while... he won't keel over in -10...  he COULD keel over in -30... And I'm not cruel.

Most of the time.

So immediately after returning home from Vegas, I began working with the crew on Titanic in the evenings.

We have two massive sets to move.  The plan was to reconfigure them 26 times throughout the show to give the audience the feel of a massive ship.  It was also like a ballet, moving these massive staircases around.  It took 8 people, 4 people on each set.

My crew consisted of 3 small girls, 2 of them in the early teens.  We were so in sync, moving that set around, getting it on the spikes quickly and almost perfectly.  Except... in the last half of opening night, a wheel blew on the other set.  Not mine.

With 15 people on top of the set, those wheels were easily supporting over 2 tons of weight.  Lesson learned, always get better wheels than you think you need to support massive weight on sets.

But hey - it's theater... something ALWAYS goes wrong.

Anyways, after that we went down from 26 scene changes to 2....

We move the sets as sparely as possible now, with NO ONE on them.  Any weight and the broken wheel will gouge the stage... not a good thing.

I was pretty disappointed.  I really liked the way the set moved and it added that little bit of magic to the show.

C'est la vie.

Three more shows left, and then I move on to working with Joseph's Technicolor Coat as ASM.  That'll keep me busy in the evenings.

And thank GOD for theater.  While I'm out of work, I need something outside of the house to make me feel like I'm still alive, still useful, and still matter.

In the meantime during the days I still study, send out resumes and catch up on necessary chores.

It's not a bad life, but I'm looking forward to getting a job again.

Speaking of which, I have an interview tomorrow.  I really hope it goes well.  It's for IT Support, which is exactly where I want to be!