Category Archives: Leisure

5 Ways Porn Hurts Our Sons and Daughters

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*This post courtesy of AllProDad.com*

When the only thing they hear from adults about sex is that it is bad and you shouldn’t do it they know they aren’t hearing the full story. When parents fail to give the full picture of sex kids will go looking for answers somewhere else. The “somewhere else” is porn. I was recently speaking to a father who caught his twelve-year-old daughter watching porn. He remarked, “I’ve seen plenty of porn during my life, but the stuff she was watching was disturbing.” His experience is the new normal. The average age a child encounters porn for the first time is between the ages of nine and eleven, and mainstream porn continues to get more extreme, violent, and degrading.

The internet and smartphones have opened the door to an invading army of porn into the minds and hearts of our kids. The consequences are devastating. Here are 5 ways porn hurts our sons and daughters.

1. Sexualizing Our Kids

The term “teen” has been in the top three highest searched words on porn sites for the past three years. One year, 2014, it was number one. That should make us all sick. We are talking about kids. This means a majority of people looking at porn on the internet desire watching kids. When porn site visits outnumber Amazon, Netflix, and Twitter combined, think about how many people are looking to watch kids having sex. Think about how many child predators are being fueled and emboldened. What is all of this communicating to our sons and daughters?

2. Losing Innocence

The culture surrounding porn is reinforcing the idea that kids can be sex objects. [Tweet This] This was evident in 2010 when eight-year-old girls danced in a competition to the song “Single Ladies” with highly sexualized moves while wearing lingerie. The crowd on hand, which included the girls’ parents, wasn’t horrified. Instead, they hooted, hollered, and cheered. We are teaching our sons and daughters at a young age if they want to be noticed they need to be sexy. It all starts with our pornified culture. And kids have gotten the message loud and clear.

3. Feelings of Shame, Guilt, and Depression

What happens next is tweens and teens play at being sexy. They quickly believe the lie that the best place to learn how to be sexual is through internet porn, which is easily accessible and affordable in large quantities. The images of mainstream pornography they encounter within one minute of searching are violent and graphic. The images are burned into their brains forever. The pornographers are telling them that this is the sexual experience. Deep down they know they have seen something they shouldn’t have seen, but their brains can’t make sense of it. They are excited and embarrassed, but they don’t know why. They feel ashamed and guilty, but too scared to talk to anyone for fear of being in trouble.

4. Addiction

Little do they know what their developing brains have been doing while viewing porn. It’s released large amounts of dopamine, which gives the feeling of pleasure in the rewards center of the brain. This gives them the urge to come back again and forms a connection with the image (a connection meant for a person). This causes an addiction, which is more powerfully ingrained the younger their ages when they’re introduced. Since the feeling of euphoria helps them forget about their problems momentarily, porn becomes an unhealthy coping mechanism to distract them from the feelings of shame, guilt, and stress. Unfortunately, it only leaves them feeling emptier so they watch more and the cycle continues.

5. It Fuels Disconnection and Disrespect

Ultimately, porn leads to relational disconnection and degradation. They draw expectations of what sex will be like. Rather than sex being about connecting intimately with someone in the safety of commitment, it becomes a selfish pursuit of getting off. Sex gets cheapened to a physical act and people are reduced to objects of fantasy. A good and rich life is found in relationships. Sadly, this porn culture is leading our sons and daughters far from them. The best thing you can do is educate your kids about the lies and the dangers of pornography. Start early rather than later. At some point, they are going to encounter it and will need you to help them make sense of it. Keep the line of communication open and engage them in conversation so they don’t go it alone.

 What other ways do you believe porn effects our sons and daughters?

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Food for Thought: Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

caddy-shack

Last week I decided to do something that I normally don’t voluntarily do; I went golfing after work.  Okay, so it wasn’t the golfing part or the work part that is out of the ordinary.  Instead, I actually had to pair up with two guys I didn’t know in order play.

Few things get me out of my comfort zone more than golfing with strangers.  I don’t make friends with other guys very easily.  There are a number of reasons for that which I won’t get into here but the fact remains.  It is even more intimidating for me on the golf course because quite frankly, I am terrible.  Even though I am not one of those Type A competitive people, I do hate embarrassing myself on the golf course.  This was one reason why I started taking lessons this past Spring.  I am sad to report my game is still languishing.  I can hit really well in my lesson but once I am out on the driving range or course it is like I become someone else.  I am the Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde of golfing perhaps.

Rodney Dangerfield as Al Czervik in a scene from the motion picture Caddyshack. --- DATE TAKEN: Rec'd 10/04  No Byline   Warner Home Video        HO      - handout   ORG XMIT: ZX26917

My natural instinct in a situation like this is to be really quiet, not say much and do my best to avoid embarrassing myself with my mouth as well as my golf game.  I often don’t have any sense how the things I say sound to other people who don’t live in my head.  Thus, people often think I am upset, sad, lonely etc., based on how my face looks (resting bitch face is my problem) or how my voice sounds when I say stuff.  Most of the time I think I am being funny, at least a little bit.  It isn’t a shocker to say it takes a little time to get used to me and understand my sense of humor.

This time however, I knew I needed to step outside my comfort zone at least a little bit.  I am new to Nashville and when you get to be as old as I am, it becomes much more difficult to make friends and I need some golf friends.  Don’t get me wrong I still wasn’t Chatty Cathy or anything on the course but I made a solid effort to talk to them and ask questions etc.  By the end of the round (we were only able to get in nine holes) things on my end were starting to feel a lot more comfortable.  My golfing was still terrible especially from the tee box but it was just nice to get out there.

What I hate most about these situations is the fear of rejection (if I am being honest.)  I don’t have the time or desire to go into where that stems from but the fear is very real.  If I don’t step out of my mv5bmtcwmtq4oda1ml5bml5banbnxkftztcwmza0ndy2mq-_v1_cr030250141_al_ux477_cr00477268_al_comfort zone in this situation 99 times out of 100 I simply walk away and say goodbye to these two guys.  I knew I couldn’t do that this time.  Even if I never saw these guys again I at least needed to make an effort.  When our round was finished I handed them each a business card and made what was a passable joke about my golf game and offered to play golf with them again if they needed someone to tag along.

Now maybe they will call me and maybe they won’t.  Honestly, it doesn’t matter.  It felt good (and horrifying) to step out and make more of an effort to meet people than I am usually comfortable doing.  I have been around enough guys in my 40 years to know I am not the only one who struggles with this.  I only hope that by sharing this one experience with you, it will help you make the effort to get out of your comfort zone, whatever that is.

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Do You Know Your Whiskey? Every Man Should Know These 10

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Most of you probably enjoy a few fingers of whiskey from time to time.  If not, it is never too late to start, responsibly of course! Personally, few things are as enjoyable for me as sipping on a nice whiskey while smoking a good cigar.  Doing both of those things doesn’t happen often but when it does I really try to enjoy it and soak up the experience.

There was a time when I was pretty uneducated in the different types of whiskeys and there is a decent chance some of you might be as well so I thought we would discuss it in some detail.  I am sure most of you know that Scotch, is indeed, a whiskey.  You probably also know that bourbon doesn’t have to come from Kentucky to be bourbon (although scotch does need to be made in Scotland to be scotch.)

Once you get past those basics the amount of diversity found in whiskey can be a bit confusing.  If you are like me, you have no doubt pretended to know the difference between rye whiskey and single malt scotch when out with your buddies.

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Here is a quick review of the basics

Scotch
Distilled from a mash of water, yeast, and malted barley and aged in oak barrels for at least three years.  Scotch can be one of two types. It can be a blend of whiskey from different distilleries or it can be made by just one distillery.  If it is made by one distillery it is called “single malt.”  As mentioned above, in order to earn the name scotch, it must be made in Scotland.  If you are looking for a good blend you can try Johnnie Walker Blue.  However, if you have been paying attention then you know single malt is all the rage these days.

Like anything that is “the rage” it tends to drive prices up so be careful what you pick up.  Just because it is expensive doesn’t guarantee quality.  A reasonably priced single malt is the Balvenie Double Wood 12 Year.  You can usually find it for around $50.

Bourbon
Typically made from corn and aged in new oak barrels.  While Kentucky still has the reputation for making some of the best 6a00d8341d4d7c53ef0111683a7f04970c-500wibourbon in the world, there are a ton of small craft distilleries that make excellent bourbon.  I like bourbon because it still is a great value.  I am a huge fan of Makers Mark which you can get for $20 – $30 a bottle.  Blanton’s Bourbon Single Barrel is also good, starting at around $40/bottle.

Rye
Similar to bourbon, except of course that it is made mostly with rye and not corn.  Rye whiskey’s popularity took a dive after the Prohibition Era but in recent years has made a comeback.  I am not a big fan of rye whiskey but I am told that Sazerac makes a good one for about $27.  If you want something a little more serious in the rye category you can check out Woodford Reserve for about $40 per bottle.

Now that we have that covered let’s talk about 10 of the very best whiskeys out there.  Some of the prices aren’t for the faint of heart but I promise you these are all amazing.

Elijah Craig Bourbon.  Every year Heaven Hill releases a special limited edition bottling of this wonderful whiskey.  It is aged 20 years and takes on some amazing and robust flavors. $175

The Macallan 15.  Just last weekend I had the chance to enjoy a few fingers of this amazing single malt scotch.  You will find notes of rich chocolate, with a hint of orange, rose, cinnamon and raisin.  Pair it with a nice cigar and you can’t go wrong.  $110 – $130 per bottle.

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Highland Park 18 Year Old.  Another single malt scotch many people consider this the best in the world (not sure I agree but it is certainly good.) You will find notes of oak (duh!), smoke and sweetness in this whiskey. $120.

Spice Tree.  Some of the snobbier whiskey drinkers turn their noses up to blended scotch.  Don’t be like them.  Compass Box makes a great one that includes notes of spices and vanilla.  $60.

Lagavulin Single Malt 16 Year Old. This classic single malt starts smoky but ends with vanilla and caramel notes with a dry finish. $70.

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Redbreast 12 Year Old. We can’t leave off our Irish friends of course!  This is an excellent Irish whiskey that many people consider the only Irish whiskey worth drinking.  You will find strong notes of dark fruit. The finish is long and creamy with custard and spice.  Order online and you can find this between $40 – $50 a bottle.

Four Roses Single Barrel. Yes, yes I know.  Pappy Van Winkle tends to be the single barrel of choice these days.  Avoid the trendy pick and stick with Four Roses. This one also has dark fruit notes with a sweet cocoa, maple and spicy finish. $50.

Lot No. 40 Canadian.  If you can’t leave off Irish whiskey than you certainly can’t forget our neighbors to the north.  This is considered the best Canadian whiskey out there.  I don’t drink enough to say one way or the other on this one.  This is strong rye whiskey that has won many awards. $60

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Yamazaki Single Malt 18 Year Old.  Japanese whiskey is one of the most underrated whiskeys out there.  If you are looking to try something new I highly recommend this.  A few years ago someone gave me a bottle of this for free because they didn’t think it would be any good (they never even tried it!)  Lucky for me.  It combines wonderful flavors of apple and smoke.  This one can be expensive but I have found it for as little as $200 bottle.

Which whiskeys have we left off the list?  Tell us in the comments!

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Balls. Of. Steel.

Notice there are no chords attached to this insane man's ankles.
Notice there are no chords attached to this insane man’s ankles.

Facebook and many other social media platforms get a well deserved bad rap for all the non-sense that goes on via said sites and apps.  However, there are times when I appreciate them because it gives me a chance to see videos, read articles and hear news I might normally miss.  The picture above is just one of those examples.

It turns out they have mastered the art of wireless bungee jumping. This is done through electromagnetic fields.  In other words, the dude above is basically jumping off the bridge like a lunatic, hoping this thing actually works.

Check out the video here.  Being the first to attempt this kind of thing takes a serious set of steel balls.  I mean either it works or your dead.  There are only two options.  He isn’t doing this over water (although he would likely die doing that too) but rather over land.

I was blown away by his effort and facing down fear of certain death in order to push the limits of what we can do as humans.  It made me wish for the same kind of boldness in my own life when it comes to things that fall far short of life and death decisions.

I hope you enjoy the video.

Until tomorrow, make it a better day.

Andrew

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A “New” Drink to Chase Away the Dog Days of August

It is pretty much a guarantee that if I go out to eat with my father he is going to order a Southern Comfort Old Fashion.  I mean my father has been pretty consistent his whole life and that doesn’t change when it comes to his “go-to” drink.  Don’t get me wrong he will throw back beers with the best of them and certainly drinks things other than old-fashions.  However, if he had only one drink to chose that would be the one.  It is a classic drink that every man should enjoy as frequently as his liver will allow.

Therefore, I was surprised to come across the recipe for a Mexican version of said drink.  I actually ordered one last week when I was in Indianapolis for work and I have to say it was pretty damn tasty.  It certainly isn’t your father’s old fashion (see what I did there?)

Fair warning – if you don’t like your drinks spicy/smokey this probably isn’t the drink for you.  This beverage delivers a smooth smoky and spicy message to your taste buds, using reposado tequila instead of the traditional bourbon or rye.  What will really kick your taste buds in the ass is the use of Ancho Reyes – a sweet-spicy-herbal chile liqueur.  This liqueur combines the fruity Ancho Pepper and spicy cinnamon flavors which blends beautifully with a woody reposado and smoky mezcal.

I imagine it goes well with a nice seafood dish but I had mine with a filet and I had no complaints.  Get the recipe below.

What you’ll need:
¼ oz simple syrup (Demerara sugar is recommended)
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
½ oz Ancho Reyes
¾ oz mezcal
1 ¾ reposado tequila
Grapefruit peel for garnishHow to make it:
In a double old fashioned glass, add the simple syrup followed by the bitters. Roll the glass to coat the bottom. Add ice (preferably one large cube) and then the Ancho Reyes, mezcal, and reposado. Stir until chilled. Rim the glass with the grapefruit peel and then drop it into the glass. For a little extra kick rim the glass with chili powder after using the grapefruit peel.  Makes 1 drink.

You are welcome!  Until tomorrow make it a better day,

Andrew