The Nest …Why you should have it. From the Books of Mark

As we approach winter many may think to themselves why would I need to invest hundreds ($250 to be exact) for a thermostat? I have heard some say ” well I can just buy one that is programmable.” Well this is not your typical programmable thermostat and if your wallet is looking a little empty you might want to then this might want to be something you consider. In the article ( they talk about the features of the nest. It learns over time your patterns, knows the weather and adjusts accordingly, and best of all can be controlled from anywhere.

You will not have to reprogram it every season change. The Nest allows you to program the temps for both seasons and either run them simultaneously (heat cold swing) or separately. With the traditional programmable thermostats you have to remember to reprogram it every season. Now be honest how many of you take the time to do that? How many times have you had a programmed thermostat where it was supposed to come on but did not? I am not an employee or stock holder in the company so I have no investment other than passing along great savings to friends and family. nest_learning_thermostat_3

Now for the cool part(yes it gets better). The Nest partners with GA Power (and several other power ompanies) and you could get an additional discount for purchasing the device on top of the already hundreds of dollars you could save per year. Not only that but the Nest connects to several devices in the home. 

Some of you might say, ” What if my phone gets stolen?” You can control the nest from any computer by logging into the device. It’s as simple as changing your password to prevent your stolen device from accessing your thermostat. “What if the power goes out,” other might say? The HVAC unit won’t work if the power is out so independently of Nest you’re still in the same position. If you like the idea of saving money then this is a worth while investment that I highly recommend.

1 Comment

Filed under Random Things

The “F” Bomb – Is it effective? – From the Books of Mark

The other day I was driving to work and my local morning show played a commercial of little girls using the “F” bomb to talk about the reasons why women should have equality. Theare was so much discussion about it that it made my hour commute seem really really short.


For the purpose that is tryng to get across this is perfect. Their whole marketing scheme is on saying and doing the outrageous to grab the attention of anyone who is listening and or watching. These girls make excellent points. The problem is not that they use the “F” word, it’s that we have attached a negative conotation on the word.

I went to a a retreat where it was explained that there is no “good” or “bad” energy. It’s just energy. We assign value words and the learned behavior of what is good and bad passed on. I think there is also another theme going on here that is interesting to be broken. These girls are dressed as princesses, yet they are using one of the most foul words in the English language. I can hear my granny saying, “That’s not very lady like” or Girls don’t behave that way. But who made that rule that girls had to be dainty and demour? Watch the video for yourself what do you think?

Final thoughts, we live in a world where sensationalism is the only way to get the attention of the viewer (or that’s what they think). With all of our distractions the media teases us with plays on words  half-truths or lies just to get our attention. The only way to stop that is to demand better. Sadly, I doubt there is any going back from the place we are in now.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Standing Up For Your Children – From The Books Of Mark

1278769_642341699132155_7335429_oThis morning a local radio station, The Bert Show(  read and discussed a letter(click on it to go to the original post) that was posted by where a grandfather gives his daughter a piece of his mind for kicking out/disowning her son(his grandson) because he is gay. There are many who feel that the grandfather did the right thing and then there are those who don’t agree with the way he did it because he is essentially doing to the mother what she did to they son. Here are my thoughts on this…

First, I’m gay. I have had an attraction to other guys since I was at least in 1st grade. If you read the rest of my blog there are tons of my mishaps as a child and this exploration and how my parents attempted to deal with this in the mid to late 80’s and early 90’s. So after several years of substance and alcohol abuse I finally came out to my Aunt and Uncle. Let me say my sexuality was not the main reason I partied hard but I sure felt a lot more comfortable with myself when I was trashed.

My Aunt and Uncle told me that all they wanted for me was to be happy and after having watched me almost completely destroy myself I can see how that response is appropriate. 1 of my sisters already knew cause I came out to her in High School. Her response was I thought you were bi. This response was because we would watch Saved By The Bell I had a huge crush on Zack, Lisa, & Kelly, and we would fight over Zack almost every show. I wonder if we would have fought over AC Slater if we had been able to foresee that the S-curl would go away and he would turn into the yummy-licious Mario Lopez….but I digress( SQUIRRELL!!) I’m sure my Aunt and Uncle in the midwest knew because I came out to my cousin  when I visited them one summer.

The suggestion was not to mention this to my grandparents because they were from an old school and our family is very religious and fairly spiritual ( I would later learn that it is the other way around). I told my Aunt in the Northeast and her response was “honey is that all you had to tell me? I’ve known since you were 3. and the rest of the Aunts and Uncles all had pretty much the same reaction. While it was a struggle for me to say the words to the people I loved the most that I was gay this was not news to them for the most part. If anything they were g;ad that I had finally realized it as one of my cousins put it, “we knew but you had to figure that out for yourself we couldn’t tell you.”

SO as the radio station read this letter the calls started coming in and one of the personalities said something to the effect good for the grandfather even though he did the same thing to the mom by disowning her as the mom had done to the son. And the posts come in

“Really not impressed. You don’t disown family members for any reason.. ever. And you don’t’ call your daughter a bitch. Wonder where Mom learned her behavior from?”

“So basically if I read that correctly it’s perfectly ok for the grandfather to “disown his daughter” for her decision but not ok for her to do the same to her son? I personally couldn’t disown my child but this is hypocritical at best”

“He is kinda doing the same his daughter did.. I think this should be a teachable moment for him and love her even when he strongly disagrees with her decision.  Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

“Nobody is born gay. Its a choice, a lifestyle. Its like people saying God made me have to temptations. God doesn’t temp us.” (THIS ONE IS MY FAVORITE)

I get that there are 2 sides to every coin and one wrong doesn’t constitute another but here’s my response to those…

I disowned my mom’s side of the family (excluding the Minors and the Waring’s) for being bitches and bastards. When people treat you or the ones you love like shit (excuse my language) and no matter what you do i.e. make amends and try to repair the relationship by keeping your side of th street clean and loving unconditionally and they STILL act like assholes and treat you the same if not worse…then you disown them for the greater good. For my sanity. When and if they are able to realize how much pain and hurt they inflicted and sincerely come and want to clean their side of the street then open communications can happen. We don’t know the rest of this back story nor the amount of trauma the son was put through before finally being put out. I don’t hate them but if they were walking across the street I would give them no more attention that I would a stranger. If I’d had an adult stand up for me like this when I was younger maybe I wouldn’t have had to be sexually abused by my great grandmothers husband. If I’d had an adult stand up and tell my grandmother that she was being a bitch and that it was wrong to take her hate out on me just because I had my dad’s name and I was the only boy and I looked more like my dad than the girls then maybe I wouldn’t be so insecure. I think this grandfather did EXACTLY what adults should do when another adult is harming a child. You stand up and you guard that child because he/she isn’t strong enough to do it themselves. And when  no one does it that child learns that no one cares or will care and then has to make a decision…do I live the rest of my life believing that no one will ever truly care for me and kill myself or will I fight on b/c the best revenge is a life well lived? What if Chad had committed suicide and the grandfather said nothing. Cause that’s where I was. I have a lot of other pieces to my story but this was one of the factors in my upbringing and let me tell you it was the hardest decision I had to make …to live. At a time when all seemed hopeless and like the world was never going to give me a break (and this was also well before my personal indiscretions). For many years the only reason I chose to live was because I felt it my responsibility to be there for my sisters. I was content that way until they didn’t depend on me as much because they were growing up. Then I had to decide again was there anything worth living for.

I do not want to diminish the path I had to walk to get to be the person and man who I am today but I will tell you that I think often about what my life would have been like if the adults whose care I was in back then had protected my sisters and I where we would have been.

If you are an adult and there are children around you whether they be 5 days, 5 months, 5 years, or 15 you have a right to be their voice because as much as they are coming into their own and talk back and might be disrespectful their true voice still isn’t developed and it’s hard to say that someone is hurting me because all they want is to be loved and all the deserve is to be taken care of and that’s why when we have kids we don’t just push them out of the nest upon birth. If we as adults don’t defend our children they will never feel safe. EVER.

AND THE CHURCH SAID….Amen Amen and Amen.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Pray the gay away? – From The Books of Mark

 pray-away-the-gaySo I read an article on the Huffington Post about a family that had their son chose either his love for Jesus or his sexuality. The article is below

I don’t ever remember being given an ultimatum to choose between Jesus and sexuality but it has always been established that “it wasn’t what little boys did.” I grew up in church. We went on Sunday morning . A non-denominational interracial church there was only 1 service unlike some churches today.

We met in schools and hotels. The building was not what was the church the people were the church. The year was 1995. My mom had just died the year before, and my dad was in jail. I was empty, my heart hurt and was dark. I was angry and I wanted to be something, or somewhere else. I got baptized in the spring in the Atlantic Ocean.

The church told me I would have a powerful testimony, that God wouldn’t give me more than I could handle and the number of people I could help by overcoming would be tremendous. I studied the bible, I had a disciple. I was being disciple. I have a journal full of notes I took at each service. The time came to talk about my sins, to be free of the secret so I could step into the light. I confessed my attraction to men.

The rules for me were no different for me than that of my other male counterparts. Love thy neighbor as thy self, Turn from lust, don’t be gluttonous, or greedy, envious, prideful, slow to anger. The guys, when they saw an attractive woman or saw a commercial on TV that was sexually provocative turned their heads, changed the channel or confessed if they had impure thoughts. Masturbation was treated the same way. It was confessed and we prayed harder…with greater conviction that we be saved from the obsession, from the lust, from the impurity. To save ourselves for the one that God had planned us to be with.

There was one small problem. The guys didn’t have to be around the girls constantly. As a matter of fact it really only happened at church, church functions, church southeast conferences, church camp, or on double, triple, quadruple etc. dates as we got older. I however were around the guys all the time. It was hard not to lust when the object of my lust surrounded me at every turn or glance. I suppressed it talked, to my discipler we read more scripture and prayer more together.

I got older and as the anger subsided the puberty took over and the fear crept. We moved from Charleston to Atlanta. Same church. At church camp we met. Some of us have known each other 1994. There were others I have known or had known me since at least 1986. We had all grown up. My baptism felt fake. The praying wasn’t helping. I went on date with the girls. There wasn’t anything there and there wasn’t ever going to be but I tried. Atlanta was different. there were things I heard about here that I never were even a thought. If there had been other gay men around I was totally oblivious. No one ever said that there were others. I felt like I was alone. No one ever treated me any different. The men loved me the same they had before they knew.

I left I stopped going to church. I couldn’t anymore I was miserable. Leaving didn’t change the miserable. All that Bible in my heart and in my head only made being away worse. I went off to school and started to drink. I drank heavily. The drugs started. It got out of control. I went back the church. I had no friends outside of church it was the only place I ever felt like I belonged. We were in college now and things were much different.

This article struck me deep because this kid’s story was my own and several others’. For some reason I didn’t die from my addiction but I could have easily. It should have happened because I didn’t care anymore. I had given up on everything and everyone. The one thing I wanted was for it to all go away but the only thing that I knew I had control over was whether or not I stayed not everything else.

The church and the Bible didn’t cause me to drink and drug.  I did it  because I wanted to escape.

I didn’t choose to be gay. My Aunt Faye told me when I came out to her, ” Honey is that all you have to tell me? I’ve known since you were 3.” Everything in me tried. All they ever wanted from me was to love God.


Filed under In the news

Underestimated – From the Books of Mark

Sometines I wonder why people underestimate me. What I think I have come to understand is that folks underestimate because they are only capable of seeing 1 dimension of a persons soul and heart. Some can’t see at all. When a spirit like yours is around they don’t comprehend so they go with what is obvious. I saw a show that said “when you’ve done things right it’s like you’ve done nothing at all.

They underestimate the intricacy of having it done right so they are oblivious to it even having happened. Or the fact that when we go to turn on the light we don’t think too much about the currents that run through the house and all the small details that happen as we flip the switch because we only expect the light to come on and only notice it when it doesn’t.

My true friends and family know me and can see right to the core of me. Every fear, joy, laugh, tear, love, heart break. When they ask how are you and I say I’m good they know what my good sounds/looks like and they know to say are you sure.

The friend who inspired this post is one of those people. From the day I met her I knew she was a force to be reckoned with. I could see all of her. My Aunt Re tells me I’m too smart for my own good and that when I put my mind to something I’m a force to be reckoned with.

Some people can see the colors between the colors. Single out 1 blade if a ceiling fan at its highest speed. Know how the power gets from the power plant hundreds of miles away to a switch in the house and some just can’t…

1 Comment

Filed under Random Things

America’s use of the N word part 1 and 2 w/ Don Lemon of CNN News – From The Books of Mark

I think Buck Davis said it best in part 1!!


And Don laid it straight in Part 2. Let the marketplace decide her fate. If we don’t like it don’t buy it. The LGBT community did this when they boycotted Target and Chick-Fil-A

And the follow up in preparation of tonight’s 7pm story with Don

1 Comment

Filed under In the news

The “N” word and Paula Deen – From The Books of Mark

I don’t know Paula Deen personally. What I do know is that I’m guilty of prejudice. I’ve said stuff. I don’t have enough money to be in the spot light (and now that’s I’ve made this Facebook statement and several others will probably never will be) so my job and livelihood won’t be in jeopardy. Truett/Dan Cathy Owner of Chick-fil-A has a prejudice which he voiced fairly loud in a written statement but he hasn’t lost his livelihood.

How many of us go to Home Depot to hire Latino day laborers and pay them much less to do a job that we know would cost thousands of dollars to have done. They aren’t certified yet we trust them to put on a roof to save a few bucks. Sounds like racism to me but no one is squawking about that? Racism is defined as


/ˈreɪsɪzəm/ Show Spelled [rey-siz-uhm] Show IPA


1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.

2. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.

3. hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

Origin:  1865–70;  < French racisme.  See race2 , -ism

What about Snoop and Biggie and Tu-Pac and a majority of the rap community? Should they too be banned from selling their product w/ explicit lyrics at Wal-Mart or BET for using the “N” word? Why is it celebrated in one community and shunned in another? It should be shunned  and unacceptable in both. The word brings bad feelings and memories so no one should be allowed to use it. I find it very hypocritical. Changing how it ends is also irrelevant. Changing the “ER” to “A”, taking off the “ER” and adding “GGA”, taking off the last 3 letters and just leaving 1 “G” or taking of the “GGER” and/or replacing it w/ ZZLE doesn’t change the fact that the word intended on being used is just hateful.

Is the difference b/c there is no malice intended? BULL! IF we are going to make an example out of Paula Deen then everyone in the public eye who has used any racially derogatory statements or used racial slurs should lose their endorsement. I find it hypocritical that Wal-Mart (of all companies) would pull back on Paula Deen but they can’t offer their employees more than minimum wage or insurance? Wal-Mart is far from a company of moral standing and steady moral compass. I believe the woman when she says she is sorry and this has weighed heavy on your heart. It doesn’t excuse her actions but the woman shouldn’t be condemned.

Jessie Swinton, my mother’s mother, told me once that she didn’t want her neighbors to see white people stopping by her house. She also said to me in a car accident, and I told her that my friend Ryan and I were ok, BEFORE she asked how I was her response was and I quote, “Well what was that WHITE GIRL doing in the car anyway?” She didn’t use any derogatory words but the hate is still there.

I say again if Paula is gonna be made an example of then let’s make an example of all public figures who use or has ever used the “N” word. I would like to start w/ the Rap/Hip-Hop community #pauladeen

1 Comment

Filed under In the news