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Month: October 2015

In honor of National Chocolate Day … my Top 10 chocolates

October 28 is National Chocolate Day! I usually pay no mind to these types of honorary, seemingly arbitrary national days of recognition. I’m not quite sure how to celebrate National Toothbrush Day or National Trash Receptacle Day — are balloons and party hats the norm? — or why we need to recognize almost everything under the sun.

But I love chocolate — almost to an epic proportion on the stereotypical level that women do. I recently bought a bag of chocolates because my lovely wife said she had a craving for them. A day and a half later, they were gone. She got at least one … I think. You just can’t leave that stuff around our house or else I, the Chocolate Monster — think of a big brown version of Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster shouting “chocolate!” — will scarf it all down.

So, in honor of National Chocolate Day, here’s a list of my ten favorite chocolate-flavored candies.

  1. White Chocolate Easter Bunny

    Every Easter, I can’t wait to bite into a big ol’ honkin’ solid brick of white chocolate shaped like an Easter bunny.

  2. Raisinets

    Who doesn’t love the mixture of chocolate and raisins? Unless you have a problem with raisins, that is.

  3. Whoppers

    What exactly are these things? A cookie? A piece of candy? Whatever gives these malt balls their chocolatey crunch is all right in my book.

  4. Mounds

    Here’s another chocolate candy with a special ingredient that doesn’t jive with everyone’s taste buds. If you don’t like coconut, you must not like these. Fortunately for me, I do. Every now and then, I’ll throw in an Almond Joy for the nut inside.

  5. M&M’s (Peanut Butter, Mint, Pretzel, Plain)

    These are an all-time classic candy. Bite-sized chocolate with a thin candy shell that melt in your mouth and not in your hand. I threw all of my favorite types of M&M’s together in this one category because there sure are a lot.

  6. Cadbury Caramel Eggs / Cadbury Caramello

    Chocolate and caramel is an excellent combination and these two products from Cadbury just ooze with deliciousness. As we honor the resurrection of our savior Jesus Christ, one of my favorite secular parts of Easter is biting into the Cadbury Eggs.

  7. Hershey milk chocolate bar / Hershey Special Dark / Hershey’s Kisses

    This is another product that could have been divided into different items, but they’re all closely related. I’m a big fan of dark chocolate and will reach for one of those before the milk chocolate bar. But both are delicious. And, of course, who can resist a bite-sized kiss to quell the oncoming hunger during snack hours? The only problem is that those things can turn into a meal if you’re not careful!

  8. Butterfinger

    This was my favorite candy bar as a kid — maybe the fact that Bart Simpson endorsed it had something to do with that. I still like to indulge in one of these every now and then and the combination of peanut butter and crispy crunch is too much too pass up.

  9. 3 Musketeers

    This has been my favorite candy bar since I grew out of my Butterfinger phase as a kid. The fluffy whipped chocolate inside provides a nice change of pace from the crunchiness of the Butterfinger, Kit Kat, Whoppers, and others. I also don’t feel as full after eating one of these as I do from some other chocolates.

  10. Reese’s Pieces / Peanut Butter Cups / Peanut Butter Chocolate Trees

    Reese’s Pieces are my favorite candy. Period. They’re not exactly a “candy bar”, so the 3 Musketeers holds that title for me. The peanut butter cups are delicious as well, but a little more difficult to open up and can be more messy. And every Christmastime — and throughout the year as well — Reese’s comes out with different-shaped peanut butter and chocolate bites. But Christmas is the best because they’re shaped as little trees — don’t ask why that makes ’em the best. They just are.

Honorable Mention:

  • Milky Way
    How do you list your favorite chocolates and not include this classic? It’s solid, but not the best in the universe.
  • Snickers
    Hungry? Why wait? Sometimes I need a few peanuts with my chocolate.
  • Kit Kat
    Give me a break. Break me off a piece … oh, who am I kidding? Give me the whole thing!
  • Twix
    Two for me and none for you … unless I like you.
  • Heath Bar
    For when I’m feeling like I need a little toffee in my life.
  • Junior Mint
    Just ask Kramer from Seinfeld: Junior Mints are “chocolate, peppermint, delicious. … They’re very refreshing.” The combination of chocolate and mint is an excellent choice. Too much of a good thing, though, can be overload.

Corrected vision can come from Jesus

The weak in sight can see more clearly than those whose eyes are clouded by the dust of the world.

Ryan Glab (10.16.15)

Think back to a time when you encountered someone with the thickest glasses you had ever seen.

Maybe it was a random stranger in the grocery store. Maybe it was a grandparent or other elderly relative. Or, maybe it’s you, as you push the bridge of your glasses back up to the top of your nose as your read this sentence.

Now imagine being lost in a desert in the middle of a sandstorm with hurricane-strength winds, where every grain of sand represents a sin, or an otherwise unbecoming behavior perpetrated by one of God’s children.

Which person in the two aforementioned examples do you think can see better?

We may be born with weaknesses and defects. Some of us may have better eyesight than others. But, unless we are born blind, we have means of correcting our vision.

On the other hand, if we traverse too far out and associate ourselves with the sinful ways of the world, we become blind to what is around us, wandering around lost and confused with no sense of direction.

We’ll always be sinners, but we have ways of improving our sight by avoiding the sinful desert and letting Jesus show us the way.

Beware the psychotic black coffee drinkers!

Next time you order a black coffee, don’t be surprised if you receive a few wary looks: people just might think you’re a psychotic.

According to a recent study conducted by the University of Innsbruck in Austria, results revealed that black coffee drinkers scored higher in personality questionnaires that assessed psychopathic tendencies.

How black coffee and psychosis are related is a mystery, but apparently psychotics don’t have time for cream and sugar. Maybe they all gather together in a coffee shop and share their psychosis with each other in some sort of psychopathic support group.

As a black coffee drinker myself, I assure you that both my natural, gentle personality combined with my faith and trust in the Lord has prevented any kind of psychopathic gene in my entire body.

You’ve gotta love science.

Scientists, and others who are professionally involved in the field, seek to find causality for why people or things behave the way they do. They want to connect stimulants to responses in an effort to better understand how life works, ultimately with the greater goal of preventing unwanted behaviors, diseases, or other unpleasantries.

For the most part, I’m glad that these studies exist. After all, I’m sure it’s safe to say that we all yearn for a day when cancer is obliterated, mentally disturbed people are reached before they do harm to others, and we’re able to prevent other disasters before they happen.

However, every now and then, studies are done that give results that make little sense at all. This is one such example.

Lawsuit in Paul Walker’s death misguided

I can’t even begin to describe how many things are wrong with this story.

I guess I’ll start with the fact that I’m fed up with the direction of this sue-happy country. Everybody wants to blame somebody for whatever goes wrong with his or her life, and thus, wants a bunch of money for it.

Just so you don’t think I’m too unreasonable, I will clarify that if there is legitimate reason to request that somebody else pay for money that you have lost, then I’m in agreement that suing them is within reason. What counts as “reasonable”, you ask? Such instances as when you miss work, you run up hospital bills, your property is damaged, or anything that has a finite and exact dollar amount.

“Emotional distress” or “mental anguish”, as the legal terms are phrased, cannot accurately be quantified, and thus, I have a big problem with people who use them as means for suing someone else.

If I walk down the hallway at work, trip over a loose cord and stub my toe on a doorframe, I’m pretty sure I’ll have mental anguish for all of about six seconds. Is that worth $500,000? How about a cool million? Heck no. But I guarantee somebody out there would beg for it. I wouldn’t give myself two bits in compensation for that.

But if a loved one of mine were to accidentally touch an exposed wire at work and died of electrocution, I’d be pretty distressed, right? Still, how do you put a dollar value on that distress? You can’t. You can put a value on wages that my loved one would lose from not working … but even then, how can you accurately determine how many years that person would have lived? You can’t.

The other problem I have with this story is the assignment of blame. We’re going to blame Porsche for being a faulty piece of machinery? What’s worse, is we’re going to absolve the driver of the car for killing the passenger?

Paul Walker’s friend, Roger Rodas, was driving the car that crashed and killed Walker well in excess of the posted 45 mph speed limit — between 80 and 93 mph. It’s absurd! If anyone or anything is guilty of Walker’s death, it was Rodas’ ridiculously illegal driving. Not the company that made the vehicle. Porsche didn’t say: “Here, we made this vehicle that has really good pick-up, so go ahead and ignore all the rules of the road.”

That’s insane. That’s like a gunmaker saying: “Here, these contraptions that we built will propel a bullet at fast speeds at whatever target you aim them at. So, go find a target and fire away.”

No! There are rules to abide by and it’s on every mature adult to know them and abide by them. Ignorance is no excuse.

A third issue that bothers me in this country is Americans’ “need for speed.” Or, more accurately, Americans’ problems with not knowing the rules of the road, or just blatantly ignoring them. It’s like a person will get behind the wheel of a Porsche and just want to see how fast they can drive and how cool they can look.

Finally, as the above article notes, there is precedence for a person suing Porsche and winning. In 1980, the article states, Cynthia Files borrowed her husband’s Porsche and drove 60 mph in a 25 mph limit. Supposedly Files was “caught off guard” by how violently the turbos kicked in and she panicked, overcorrected, and got into a crash that killed her passenger. She lived and walked away free and clear even though she had been drinking before getting in the vehicle. Meanwhile, the widow of the passenger who died in that accident sued Porsche instead of suing Files. And the widow won.

Say what?

Our justice system may be better and more advanced than a lot of third-world countries out there, but it’s still out of whack sometimes.

Take responsibility for your own actions, use sound judgements with a clear head, and quit asking for money that is not yours unless you’ve legitimately lost it because of somebody else.

Aaron Rodgers: ‘Not worthy’ of Michael Jordan comparison

Humility is a very appealing quality in a person, and I have a much bigger level of respect for Aaron Rodgers after seeing him exhibit that trait.

Not to be confused with a Green Bay Packers fan — I’m a diehard Chicago Bears fan — it’s in my innate genetic makeup to dislike the Packers’ starting quarterback. But I respect his ability to play the game because he has put up unrealistic statistics consistently throughout his career.

As a result of his dominance, Packers backup quarterback Scott Tolzien compared Rodgers to the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan.

“I mean, to me, it’s like watching Jordan in his prime,” Tolzien said of Rodgers. “He’s at the top of his game. He makes it all go.”

I, of course, scoff at any and all comparisons of current basketball players to Jordan. Can you imagine my response to that when a football player was compared to him?

But when Rodgers was asked about the comment, his response was filled with humility and grace.

“I’m not worthy of that comparison,” Rodgers said.

No, Aaron, you’re certainly not. But you’re worthy of my respect.

Tim Tebow surprises cancer patient

There are many in the football community who don’t like him, but I’m one of Tim Tebow’s biggest fans.

My assumption is that those who do not like Tebow are disgruntled about all the media attention he gets. And it’s true, he receives an abundance of attention for a quarterback who just can’t keep a job in the NFL.

With that said, I wouldn’t mind him getting more attention for the kind of person he is and, more specifically, for his strong Christian faith.

That could also be a reason why he has a lot of detractors.

For you see, every time Tebow approached the lectern for a post-game press conference during his playing days, he began his comments with: “I just want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” For Tebow knows, like all Christians do, that we are nothing without God’s blessings, and we are condemned to eternal death if not for Jesus’ sacrifice at the cross.

But in today’s world, I guess we aren’t allowed to offer a thank you without it offending someone.

Another gesture that probably rubbed people the wrong way is that Tebow frequently prayed before, after and even during games. Apparently the sight of a man humbling himself, dropping to his knee, and communicating with his heavenly father is such an offense to others as well.

Tebow has an incredible backstory and an ongoing legacy of serving those less fortunate than him and spreading the word of God. You can read more about his life on his Wikipedia page.

Here’s just one example of the kind of impact he has on others. This video is so touching.