Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help You Lose Weight? Yup, But There’s a Catch

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Known for its tangy, bitter taste, apple cider vinegar is constantly touted for its health benefits, like curing your acne, getting rid of your dandruff, and even soothing your sunburns. Some researcheven suggests that drinking apple cider vinegar can help you lose weight. That’s why the ingredient has been making its way into everything you eat and drink, like teasmoothies, and salad dressing.

But can a shot of vinegar really burn fat if you have more than five pounds to lose?

There is some evidence that the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar can be good for your weight, since it targets your body fat, explains Carol Johnston, Ph.D., R.D., associate director of the nutrition program at Arizona State University, who has done research on the subject.

Acetic acid is produced through the fermentation process and contributes to vinegar’s pronounced flavor and odor. While it’s technically toxic when taken in large dosesapple cider vinegar only contains 5 to 6 percent acetic acid, according to the National Poison Control Center.

When you consume small amounts of this acid through apple cider vinegar, it turns on your fat metabolism, explains Johnston, meaning it will help your body use fat as a form of energy rather than storing it.

In fact, according to one study, when obese rats were fed high-fat diets, they lost a significant amount of body fat once acetic acid was added to their food. In another study published in Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, people lost an average of four pounds in 12 weeks after consuming one to two tablespoons of diluted apple cider vinegar daily.

The acetic acid in vinegar can be beneficial in other ways, too, since it works to control your appetite, says Johnston. However, there’s really only a noticeable effect when its paired with a diet full of starchy foods.

For instance, when you eat a bagel and that starch gets into your stomach, the acid travels from there into your small intestine, she explains. Once you start to digest it, the string of glucose from the bagel is broken and released, which slows down the digestion of starch. This has the potential to help you lose weight because slow digestion keeps you feeling fuller longer, helping you eat less calories overall throughout the day.

The major caveat: It usually takes three to five months to see just a few pounds come off, if any, she says. That’s because you can lose quite a few inches off your waistline and not see any changes on the scale, since fat doesn’t weigh much compared to lean mass, says Johnston.

But the question remains: should you incorporate apple cider vinegar into your diet? It’s worth a shot, provided you’re not looking for instant results, says Johnston.

If you eat a lot of whole foods with a high starch content, like potatoes or rice, you can try making apple cider vinegar a daily precursor to your meals. In this case, Johnston recommends one to two tablespoons mixed with eight ounces of water before every meal. Since acetic acid is a poison, anymore than that could be problematic, she warns, since it can damage your esophagus and erode your tooth enamel.

To fully reap its benefits, you should look for an apple cider vinegar that appears somewhat dark and cloudy (like this one from Bragg or this one from White House), according to Luisito Cercaci, the vice president of Quality and Research development at Pompeian, a Baltimore-based apple cider vinegar company. Vinegar with this appearance contains a number of good-for-you enzymes, fibers, minerals, and antioxidants, he says.

But if your meals are rich in foods that don’t contain much starch, like fruit and meat, apple cider vinegar really won’t do anything for your waistline. (Looking for a concrete meal plan that will help you burn fat? Check out the Metashred Diet from Men’s Health, it’s packed with healthy recipes that will help you reach your fitness goals.)

For some people, the taste alone can also be hard to swallow. So if you have more than five or so pounds to lose, you’re likely better off making more significant changes to your diet and exercise routine. Most diets should lead to weight loss within a couple of months, obesity specialist Spencer Nadolsky, D.O, told Men’s Health recently. If your diet is actually working, you should be able to lose 2 percent of your weight in the first month or 3 percent by the second month.

Relying on apple cider vinegar alone won’t lead to those results, so if you’re ready to take a more direct approach to fat loss, check out these 61 ways to lose weight instead.

Women are attracted to muscular men: The year in ‘no duh’ science In 2017, science taught us that exercise is good, people like to eat junk food and that everyone dies

Sunshine Boy Todd

Todd is an ambitious 28-year-old single Leo who enjoys hockey, weightlifting, dancing and long walks. And listen up girls: This part-time model and artist says his goal in life is to get married.

 

Despite popular belief, an earthworm does not turn into two earthworms if you cut it in half. Just the front part lives; the cut-off back part of the worm dies.

The reason we know this is because some scientist spent weeks cutting up earthworms to find out. But imagine if cut-up worms actually did regenerate into two worms like everybody thinks. In that case, the scientist’s odyssey of worm-cutting would have seemed downright insane.

Below is our annual tribute to that more ignominious side of science: Researchers who set off in search of bold new frontiers, but who instead uncovered findings best summed up as “no duh.”

People who smoke a lot of pot in high school become losers

Imagine the mammoth changes to society that would result if it turned out that constantly hitting the bong was actually good for teens. Unfortunately, a University of Connecticut study determined the opposite: Teens who spend a lot of time stoned during high school turn into adults who are less educated, less employed and less likely to hold a marriage together. “This study found that chronic marijuana use in adolescence was negatively associated with achieving important developmental milestones in young adulthood,” said study author Elizabeth Harari in a statement.

 

Women who exercise are less likely to die

Between 2011 and 2015, 18,000 American women were mailed step-counters and asked to wear them for a week. Then, researchers sat back and waited for some of them to die. When the death toll had reached 207, scientists combed through the step data and concluded that exercise had an inverse relationship to death. The finding “is not novel,” admitted a subsequent study, although scientists were surprised at how much exercise played a factor in keeping people alive. A particularly active woman in the study group could reduce her chances of death by up to 70 per cent.

People like to eat junk food

This was an Australian study looking into the theory that people would eat better if healthy food was more affordable. After all, it’s usually cheaper to fill up on double cheeseburgers than on kale salads. However, after crunching the numbers researchers found that the inverse is true. “Results suggest that healthy diets can be more affordable than current (unhealthy) diets in Australia, but other factors may be as important as price in determining food choices,” they wrote. These “other factors” included what the researchers referred to as “taste.”

Teenagers are dumb

Harvard University’s Catherine Insel put teenagers inside an MRI and had them answer a series of low and high stakes trivia questions. If the teen got a high-stakes question right, they won $1. If they got a low-stake question right, they won 20 cents. What Insel found was that teenagers applied basically the same amount of brainpower to all questions, regardless of the money at stake. When adults were subjected to the tests, by contrast, they tried harder at the $1 questions. The study’s conclusion was that teenagers are physically incapable of knowing when something is important, and when it isn’t. Or as Insel put it, they fail to exhibit “optimal goal-directed behavior.”

Women are attracted to rich men with big muscles

Published in the journal Feminist Media Studies, this paper studied TubeCrush.net, a website where users upload clandestine photos of attractive men they’ve spotted on the London Underground. To the consternation of Coventry University researchers, most of the photos are of men who are muscular and showed obvious signs of wealth. “It’s a problem as … our desires are still mostly about money and strength,” said lead researcher Adrienne Evans in a statement. London’s women should be more attracted to “awkward” men with good fatherhood characteristics, concluded the paper. Researchers also expressed concern that far too many TubeCrush users appeared to be attracted to white men.


Using emojis in work emails makes you look like an idiot

This Israeli-led study employed a variety of tests to figure out whether it’s a good idea to use emojis in professional correspondence. In one test, volunteers from 29 countries were sent an email and asked to gauge the “warmth” and competence of the sender. Researchers discovered that if that email contained an emoji, volunteers usually reported that the message wasn’t particularly warm — and that the sender was probably inept. “Our findings provide first-time evidence that, contrary to actual smiles, smileys do not increase perceptions of warmth and actually decrease perceptions of competence,” concluded the study.

People die less if they get emergency surgery faster

An emergency surgery is performed when a patient is facing a serious and potentially life-threatening medical problem that can only be fixed with an operation. A good example of an emergency surgery would be patching up a gunshot wound. A paper in the Canadian Medical Association Journal looked at two years of data from a single hospital and determined that when emergency surgeries are delayed, people die. This was already well known to the medical community, of course, but this paper was able to put a number on it: “We estimate that more than 410 deaths may be attributable to surgical delay each year,” it read.

Paying others to do your chores makes you happier

The creators of this report, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, were attempting to address what they called “a new form of poverty.” As the citizens of developed countries get richer and richer, they’re finding they have less and less free time; what researchers referred to as “time scarcity.” After surveying thousands of people in Canada, the United States, Denmark and the Netherlands, their study struck upon a novel solution: Pay others to do the cooking and cleaning. “This research reveals a previously unexamined route from wealth to well-being: spending money to buy free time,” it wrote.

Napping makes it harder to get to sleep at night

There were already plenty of studies showing that when toddlers took afternoon naps, they had trouble sleeping later that night. But nobody had yet strapped electronic sensors to toddlers to know for sure. That’s what a team of Japanese researchers did to a sample group of 50 Tokyo toddlers. After a week, the data indeed showed that “long nap sleep induces short nighttime sleep duration and late sleep onset time.”

Active parents have active children

This one comes from Statistics Canada. To find out if there’s any link between fit parents and fit children, researchers dove into an existing database of Canadian health data, including information from hundreds of Canadian who have agreed to wear electronic devices that track their physical activity. After lots of math they concluded that yes, if parents are more apt to go on hikes or drive to soccer practice, their kids get more exercise. “Parental role modeling and support for physical activity were independently associated with children’s level of physical activity,” the report concluded.

Sunshine Boy Todd

Everyone gets old and dies

“Aging is mathematically inevitable — like, seriously inevitable,” Joanna Masel, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona, said in a statement for this study. As humans grow older, some of their cells get sluggish and tired, which causes the typical signs of aging such as wrinkles and cataracts. Meanwhile, other cells get more energetic, which causes cancer. Either kind of cell will eventually kill you, and trying to remove one only emboldens the other kind. “Things break. It doesn’t matter how much you try and stop them from breaking, you can’t,” said Masel. Researchers were aware of how obvious this sounded, but they motivated in part by a growing belief that aging can be conquered. Silicon Valley, in particular, is pouring billions into anti-aging research on the belief that nobody really needs to die if they have enough money. But it turns out that the reaper awaits even Mark Zuckerberg.

Donald Trump becomes the first president in 40 years not to visit Canada in his first year

At midnight Sunday, Donald Trump will become the first U.S. president since Jimmy Carter not to visit Canada in his first calendar year in office, though former diplomats said they would not make too much of Trump’s absence.

 

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WASHINGTON—Ronald Reagan made his first presidential trip to Canada four months into his term.

George H.W. Bush visited Canada just three weeks into his term.

For Bill Clinton, it was two-and-a-half months. For George W. Bush, it was three months. And for Barack Obama, it was one month.

Donald Trump? To be determined.

With 2017 about to end, Trump is set to become the first U.S. president in 40 years, since Jimmy Carter, not to visit Canada in his first calendar year in office.

For four of the six presidents who preceded Trump — Obama, Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Reagan — Canada was the very first foreign destination. For Trump, it will be, at earliest, the 15th, and probably lower.

Trump is likely to attend the G7 summit in Quebec in June. There are no current plans for him to come earlier, though Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has visited Trump twice at the White House, has issued invitations.

“The PM and president have developed a constructive, positive working relationship and have spoken or met on numerous occasions,” Trudeau spokesperson Cameron Ahmad said in November, noting that the two leaders have had “17 individual interactions” since Trump was elected. “Our offices, diplomats, ministers, and officials communicate regularly on many key files and shared priorities. The prime minister has extended an invitation to the president to visit Canada and continues to look forward to future opportunities to engage.”

 

Former Canadian and U.S. diplomats said they would not make too much of Trump’s absence.

By most accounts, including Trump’s own, the 46-year-old multilateralist Liberal prime minister and the 71-year-old nationalist Republican president have developed a friendly working relationship. Even as he disparages the North American Free Trade Agreement that Trudeau supports, Trump regularly tells audiences he likes Trudeau.

On Thursday, in an interview with the New York Times, Trump referred to “my friend Justin” while inaccurately describing the state of bilateral trade.

“What’s important is the meetings and discussions and the dialogue, not where they’re taking place. And they certainly have been taking place; they just haven’t been taking place in Canada,” said David Wilkins, the U.S. ambassador to Canada during George W. Bush’s second term.

Wilkins noted that Obama followed his prompt visit with years of delay on the Keystone XL oil pipeline that was a top priority for the Canadian government, then eventually rejected the pipeline. Trump, conversely, rapidly approved the project.

“What’s more important, a visit or the approval of a vital pipeline?” Wilkins said

In part, Trump’s decision not to visit may reflect a coincidence of scheduling: no international summits have been held in Canada this year. It also likely reflects what appears to be Trump’s desire to avoid going places where he might face protests. And Trump has often appeared more comfortable dealing with non-democratic leaders than with traditional western allies.

His first visit was to autocratic Saudi Arabia, which flattered him with an opulent reception. His second was to Israel, the rare democracy where he is popular.

On his first European trip, he attended a G7 summit in Italy and a NATO summit in Belgium. On his second, he attended summits in Poland and Germany. His five-country Asian trip took him to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Trump has accepted a lone invitation for a one-stop visit of the kind Trudeau would be offering, visiting France in July to attend a grand military parade with President Emmanuel Macron.

Analysts see the relationship between Trudeau and Trump as especially important to Canada given the precarious status of NAFTA, which is under Trump-initiated renegotiation. But Trudeau, said former Canadian diplomat Colin Robertson, is not in a political position to provide the kind of lavish treatment and protest-free surroundings Trump has made clear he prefers.

“If Trump came to Canada, the adverse reaction could damage the relationship given Trump’s king-size ego,” said Robertson, a fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. “He’d probably hold Trudeau accountable, and after the extravagant Saudi red carpet treatment we could never compete — nor would we want to, given the blowback Trudeau would get.”

Trump has not yet visited Mexico, where he is deeply loathed. And he has not visited the United Kingdom, the most frequent destination for U.S. presidents since the Carter era. After a series of delays that appeared to be related to Trump’s local unpopularity and his incendiary remarks, he is now expected to visit Britain in early 2018.

Carter, who served a single term, was the last president never to visit Canada. Obama visited three times during his eight years in office. Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush (who all served two terms) and George H.W. Bush (who served one) each visited Canada four or five times.

Here are 6 signs your personality is so strong it’s intimidating others

You know the saying, “don’t judge a book by the cover”, but when it comes to sizing people up, first impressions are can be hard to overcome.

For people with strong personality types, like those who have been branded “alphas”, it can be difficult for people to get close to them. Not because they are hard to get close to, but because of the way they come off when you first meet them.

Often thought to be overbearing and aggressive, alpha personalities have a lot more going on beneath the surface that we realize.

What’s more, many alphas don’t realize their personalities are actually making others feel uncomfortable or intimidated.

Here are 6 signs that your alpha personality is intimidating others.

1) You Always Say What’s on Your Mind

While people say they want to hear the truth, it can be hard to hear when someone is actually giving it to you. Alphas are known for their “straight to the point” personality, and sometimes their bark is worse than their bite.

2) You Are Wise Beyond Your Years

While alpha personality types are often very outgoing and extroverted, they also do a great deal of introspective reflecting and know themselves well.

This can make others uncomfortable when they realize you know your stuff, and can figure things out faster, better, and in a more efficient way than other personality types.

3) You See Solutions Where Others See Only Problems

While everyone else is running around like chickens with their heads cut off worrying about the world’s end, you are over there getting things done.

You can see a problem from a 30,000 foot level and know the path to success within minutes.

4) Your Tolerance for Ignorance is Non-existent

Because you say what you think and mean what you say, you expect people to do the same. This means that people who are ignorant don’t stand a chance with you. Even if they are being ignorant without purpose.

You’ll call them on their crap and expect them to change their ways if they want to enjoy the pleasure of your company.

 

5) You Love New Things

Alpha personality types have a strong desire to try new things. Their confidence enables them to try and fail repeatedly without being knocked down.

This also means that they are more likely to be single, adventure alone, travel the world by the selves, and enjoy taking risks. This can be a lot for people to process and can result in people keeping their distance from alphas.

6) You Cut to the Chase

Alphas exert a lot of energy on moving their lives forward, which means that they don’t have time for small talk. They know what is important to them and they don’t waste time doing things that aren’t on that list. So if you find yourself face to face with an alpha personality, don’t take offense to their standoffish ways. That’s just who they are.

Why I vowed to NEVER go back to Starbucks again

Whenever I go to a Starbucks I only order 2 things if I’m by myself, a grande drip coffee (no specialty drinks), and a Venti water. Why water? I have to drink water with my coffee or else it dehydrates me.

If you ever go to Starbucks you know there’s always line ups. Especially if you’re ordering a drink that has to be made at the coffee bar.

So, this is what the cashiers do when I order the Venti Water. They take the plastic clear cup and they put it beside the other cups at the barista bar for those who are waiting for their specialty drink, making me wait just for cup of water.

Now I always ask the cashier if they can get the water for me instead of them putting the cup line with the latte’s, the americano’s, the frappicino’s, the whatever…making me wait in line JUST FOR BLOODY WATER (without the blood).!!!

9 out of 10 times no matter what location I go to in Toronto, the cashier gives me attitude and a looks at me as ” how dare he ask me to do that”. And I am saying to myself, what has become of people to be such lazy shit heads and what’s up with the poor customer service at Starbucks?

My visit to Starbucks today will be my LAST visit.. I have vowed to never shop at a Starbucks again! Not because of the water, but because of the poor customer service.

On October 16th 2014, at around 2:45pm I went into the The Shops on Don Mills location in Toronto. A black employee behind the counter (ethnicity really doesn’t matter, I would of said the gay guy, or the woman or the Paki, I don’t even know why I have to mention any ethnicity really) took my order and I asked him if HE can get the water. His reply “No sorry, I have to give it to the Barista at the bar”, I asked “Why it’s only water?, he says “She has to prep the water” Prep the water???? As in go downtown stairs to the well and pump the water?  I replied “Tell me you’re pretending to me stupid or are you really?”

Why does this anger me? BECAUSE IT’S STUPID!  It’s outright STUPID! Stupid irritates me. I have little threshold for stupid and horrible customer service. Why make a customer’s life more difficult all for some glass of water, where am I? in Africa?

It doesn’t make sense to me. It baffles me how stupid people can be.  You see if it was me behind the counter and I was the cashier I would not hesitate because I would say to my intelligent self, IT’S ONLY WATER and he’s not jumping queue. No big deal. And I was hired to provide good customer service.

NOT at Starbucks!

I called the Customer Service line, they took my complaint and the agent told me the district managers are in Seattle for some Starbucks convention.

Hopefully ‘How to train your employee’s to provide good customer service’ was on agenda.

 

Apple’s new privacy is worrying authorities

When Tim Cook made this statement about the new iOs8 and it’s new encrypted software, it got authorities all worried about the criminals and safeguarding them.

Our commitment to customer privacy doesn’t stop because of a government information request.

Government information requests are a consequence of doing business in the digital age. We believe in being as transparent as the law allows about what information is requested from us. In addition, Apple has never worked with any government agency from any country to create a “back door” in any of our products or services. We have also never allowed any government access to our servers. And we never will.

What we’re most commonly asked for and how we respond.

The most common requests we receive for information come from law enforcement in the form of either a Device Request or an Account Request. Our legal team carefully reviews each request, ensuring it is accompanied by valid legal process. All content requests require a search warrant. If we are legally compelled to divulge any information and it is not counterproductive to the facts of the case, we provide notice to the customer when allowed and deliver the narrowest set of information possible in response. National security-related requests are not considered Device Requests or Account Requests and are reported in a separate category altogether.

On devices running iOS 8, your personal data such as photos, messages (including attachments), email, contacts, call history, iTunes content, notes, and reminders is placed under the protection of your passcode. Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access this data. So it’s not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8.

More info http://www.apple.com/privacy

The Gay Mediterranean Cruise Experience

WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS MATERIAL THAT MAY OFFEND SOME PEOPLE WITH SMALL MINDS AND CONTAINS A BIT OF VULGAR LANGUAGE.

 

The excursions, the food, the sunsets and amazing scenery. Everything else…refund please.

Oh the craziness. The insanity. The regrets.

But, really what the fuck was I thinking?

If I’ve ever listened to my instincts, the inner none psychological voices in my head  I would of saved myself from a lot of things in life, money,trouble..etc. But that’s what risks are all about, to go out there and live life to the fullest and get dirty while at it.

For some fucked up reason, well, let me rephrase, in hopes of meeting new people, I booked a trip last minute to go on a gay Mediterranean cruise.

You see, I’m was a  “Cruise Virgin” as I was told by a frequent cruiser, that’s what I was… a cruise virgin..yay I am no longer a virgin! So like most virgins I didn’t know what to expect, how to plan and what I shouldn’t and should do. I was not prepared. That’s why experiences teach us and makes us wiser, well, they’re supposed to. This was a whole new experience and I’m not one to shy away from taking risks. I did a lot of that when I was 20’s, back then I traveled everywhere and met people off the internet all over the USA, that’s when the internet was young and so was I, young and naive. I also partied a lot in my 20’s, so much so that I’ve partied for a lifetime, so I know what it’s all about, I don’t need to relive things especially when it’s all behind me.

So why did I go on a gay cruise when I am not even into the gay scene nor care for it? I don’t care for bars, clubs, bath houses, the drinking, the partying, nor care for the gay scene PERIOD! But I wanted to go somewhere where I had an opportunity to meet other gay people. What I was doing in the present wasn’t working, so typical me I go all out and to the extreme and went ALL OUT GAY, TOO GAY. It was soo fuckin gay, 10 days is too long to be around gays 24/7..gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, they’re gay everyone was a gay gay..except for the cruise staff, I am sure some here and there.

3 days is plenty.

 

 

It was a bit daunting doing this all alone but it’s definitely not the first, not the first to travel alone, actually except one occasion I traveled with a female friend to Mexico 9 years ago, fuck time flies. Oh..she was a user. I paid her way. I was a patsy. Everyone can be a patsy and some just leach on, they leach onto people and suck them dry for everything they got. They have short lives.

Prior to all this cruise crap, many times I’d google on gay vacations and the same ad for a gay cruise always popped up but I was turned off by the marketing not that it had perfect Adonis type men but because it’s not my scene, everyone has preferences, nice to look at it, I guess. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I preferred to see pictures of sloppy obese men, it just wasn’t my scene.

I am quite surprised I actually put thought into it when all that time I wasn’t interested. But after reading some forums people said it’s not what the ads depict and that Atlantis cruises has a mix of everything and I was also told that there’s a 50/50 ratio of singles and couples, that figure was waaaay off, I would say 95/5 couples to singles ratio and I’m being generous with those figures.

Time was ticking, loneliness took over and I sold my soul to the devil, I booked it!! I booked the damn flight and booked the damn hotel room in Barcelona. And took my lonely (there was a time where I would even dare say lonely) ass to Europe. And lonely has many meanings. People in relationship can be lonely, if they’re in the wrong relationship.

Why I had to go on a lavish cruise and not meet people locally? Well, that’s a whole other stupid story.

You see, I’m actually quite reserved and keep to myself and that’s the habit I was trying to break…and it didn’t work, I was walking around with a pickle up my ass ( a pickle is better than a butt plug) and I had valid reasons. A few would agree or perhaps many others would agree that the cruise was a cruise with attitude, money and the bodies in speedo’s, it was obvious people worked out hard months before the cruise.

I’m convinced that even if I was not traveling alone and was with someone else it would of been the same experience. Again, it was a gay club on a cruise ship and it turned me right off.

Atlantis Events is a gay travel company that hosts travel vacations to the gay and lesbian community. They basically charter resorts (mostly in Mexico) and cruises for the gays and mark up the prices because it’s exclusively for gays.. And for this particular cruise I went on, it was on Celebrity Cruises. Atlantis has a few different cruises a year in different parts of the world using different cruise lines; Holland, Princess Cruises, Celebrity etc.

The cruise began in Barcelona and ports at Malta, Naples, Florence, Sicily, Rome, Monte Carlo, Ibiza Spain and back to Barcelona. I decided to leave a few days early before the cruise and visit Barcelona for 3 days because I wanted to get over the jet lag before the cruise and also do some sightseeing. The last time I’ve been to Barcelona was when I was 14 years old with my grandparents.

Like most travel, it’s based on double occupancy so if you book alone you have to pay double to have the cabin to yourself, which some did. Atlantis has a so-called “match” program for singles and will find someone based ONLY on smoking preferences, which didn’t matter because you can’t smoke on your balcony (if you booked a balcony stateroom like I did), no smoking in cabins and are only allowed only smoke in one small section on the lower deck which I later learned from smokers.

Anyway, I read comments by people on Facebook that sometimes people don’t show up and if lucky I could end up having the room to yourself, I was hoping that would be… oh boy did someone have plans for me. More on that later…

Everything was last minute, talk about living on the edge, I even left for the airport last minute, I had to drop off my dogs at my parents (30 mins north of me), pick up my mother, drive to the airport, quickly drop me off, and my mother took my car back to her place. I arrived at the airport late, they had to code my luggage in the system to for the baggage handlers as the loading was closed.

The direct flight to Barcelona on Air Canada Rouge was 8 hours, I was in the premium economy section ($500 more), Air Canada doesn’t have Business nor 1st Class on their Rouge flights which didn’t matter as I don’t fly in those sections anyway, well, depends. Premium Economy gives you slightly more seat space and leg room and better food, there’s also ‘Preferred’ Seating ($90 extra) which I sat in on the return flight had more leg room than the Economy seats. I upgraded to the Premium section just for the outgoing flight..and after flying in that section I can say it’s a total rip off, well for $500 or more it is. That extra price gives you a better roll (bread) and not the rock like bread roll in economy class, a better chicken than the so-called chicken given in economy class, better dessert, a real dessert and so-called salad (one cherry tomotoe and 4 leaves of lettuce instead of the so called one in economy) and a mini bottle of salad dressing in case you needed it for your baby size salad..oh and alcohol is included. I assumed that because you’re flying overseas alcohol would be included in any section. Not with Air Canada. It’s not that I needed nor wanted to drink alcohol, it’s just an observation.

The flight departed Toronto at around 9:00pm and arrived in Barcelona at around 10:40am local time, my internal clock was still at 4am time when I arrived. Went through immigration (what immigration?) in a second, no questions asked, just stamped my passport. It was the same when I went to Israel 5 years ago, except for when you leave Israel (that’s a whole different story). When I visited Israel 5 years ago, as you drive into the entrance of the airport you’re greeted at the airport entrance with men carrying rifles who peak into your car, I asked why they do that, the cab driver said to make sure I wasn’t an Arab, while inside the airport I was approached by a woman who questioned as if I were on trial. Who? what? where? why? when? parents name, aunt’s name, when did I lose my virginity etc etc. And at the end “Come back Soon”. More like FUCK YOU. Like seriously? All that wasn’t needed? I hate when people make your life more difficult when it’s not needed. The evil just comes out of me and I can be an ass. DO I LOOK LIKE A FUCKIN GAY TERRORIST? Let me answer that for you as you seem confused…NO!

Anyway, moving right along….

As soon as I landed in Barcelona, I took a taxi from the airport to my hotel and the very nice driver, a woman, didn’t speak English, so I brought up the email on my smart phone with the hotel email confirmation to show her the address. She said “Oh si” and kept talking Spanish, it sounded gibberish…well in a Spanish way. She was a nice lady.

I got to the hotel and because of the local time I didn’t want to sleep (it was 10:40am) and couldn’t of slept anyway even if I tried, besides to to get over jet lag it’s best to adjust to the local time zone even though back home it was 4:40am. I walked into the hotel room and started the electricity by sliding my hotel room key in the switch and WTF? The room was the size of a closet and I am not talking about Mariah Carey’s closet and the bed could of been concrete (very much like a prison). I was too jet lagged to even look for another hotel and drag my suitcases. New surroundings,hard bed, shoe box room and in a new country, too tired to sleep, my body was tired but my internal/external clock was going haywire and if I were a robot the wires in the fuse outlet would cause firecrackers, like the firecracker I am.

While I was in Spain, I noticed a difference in quality of life, people are more laid back and less angry than North American’s. It’s a different kind of life and attitude living in Europe, I would move to Europe in a heartbeat, LOVED IT!. And you have to be careful of pocket pickers. They’re very savvy, on one occasion spme guy tried sliding my cell phone under the sign he was holding above the table but I quickly grabbed it while I was having dinner outside, they have patios and cafe’s everywhere, loved the European way of living. Loooove Europe!

On the last day in Barcelona a couple people of Facebook and I went to have a drink on the roof top patio of a gay hotel,  as you walked into the hotel there was a bathhouse feel with nostalgia. The elevator to the roof top patio was dark and very small as if it was purposely made that way for people to get up close and personal. On the roof top there were all sorts of men in speedos baking in the sun. While standing at the bar waiting for drinks, a guy in his speedo came up to the bar with his low hanging donkey dong  It was so cool to see people feel so liberated and didn’t mind that their dongs were dangling like ornaments on a Christmas tree. Very different than the type of life I’m used to in Canada, except for the gay parades. It was a gay parade every day in Spain with the gays. And then as we sat on the comfy patio chairs to the right was a guy in his…that’s right..in his speedo doing some work on his laptop computer.  It was good break from my usual.

Then later that day I was introduced to a friend of the American couple I was hanging out with, the sugar daddy friend said his Singapore sugar baby was hooking up at a bath house. To each their own, I am not one to buy someone’s affection. We then went to the friend’s hotel room, well it’s an upscale condo according to Spain’s standards and the vacant units were converted to hotel rooms, this particular unit had 2 rooms, a kitchenette, washer/dryer combo, small balcony for $249 EUR ($350 CAD $322 USD) a night, If you got money to waste, party on. We sat and chatted for a bit and I started to feel really sleepy and excused myself. I was hungry and what does one eat in Spain where they have countless places of delicious Spanish food? Burger King! a chicken sandwich…of all the places to buy I walked into the Burger King and bought something quick. I don’t even eat fast food at home, and there I was eating a bun less chicken sandwich, I stay away from white bread.

Later in the trip I learned Italians love white bread, but somehow they remain to be in good shape in Italy, good for them bitches.

The day of the cruise I took the cab to the port and boarded the ship. The luggage needed to be checked just like boarding a plane, it is put through a X ray machines and they also check for alcohol as they permit 2 bottles of wine for the duration of your cruise. However, while at ports you can duty free alcohol but the cruise holds it for you til the last day of the cruise. You just have to spend lots on the cruise if you drink.

As soon as I boarded I went to my cabin, and minutes later my roommate walked in. It still baffles me that even after paying so much I had to have a roommate (It was a bad experience).

Later on, everyone on the ship had to go to their designated spot to learn what to do if an emergency happens and where the rescue boats are and then watch a short video.

I went back to my cabin and my room mate and I decided to go to the ‘Single’s’ Meet Party for a drink. We headed over to the Sky Deck Bar, it had an amazing view, we were given name tags with our names and out home city (the cruise had people from all over the world). We then went separate ways. To make long story short, another American bought him a drink and they lived happily ever after on the cruise. On the last day of the cruise the room mate said to me that him and that guy would just be friends…does it look like I care? (You’ll understand the bittnerness later.)

During the duration of the cruise they had many so called ‘Single’s’ drink and dinners meet parties. I only attended one Singles dinner party in one of the very elegant dinning rooms called the Silhouette Dining Room but it was a very ineffective way to meet people. We’re seated at a table with 10 people or so, after every course a bell is rang for us to move to another table to meet new people. But because the table was big with many people the only people you get to meet is either the person to your left or right or you can yell across the table (WHAT??? MY NAME IS…MY NAME IS…WHAT??? OH OK!). My suggestion would be to do the drinks meet first where it’s one to one at a table, time it for 3 minutes and change tables to meet someone else. While doing that, have paper and pen where you check off yes or no if you like the person you’re meeting and at the end check the results. Kinda like Tindr. You then give your paper to the hosts and they check to see if match is mutual, if not too bad for you there’s plenty of fish in the sea, pun intended.

On the ship, alcohol drinks are extra and are about $9 to $15 for a drink plus gratuity.

For those who have not been on a cruise, you are given a ‘Seapass’ card when you check in (same as hotel room swipe cards), they take your picture (for security and internal purposes) and add your credit card if you want to be billed using your credit card for purchases, this card is also used as a key to enter your cabin, use it to buy stuff on your account and for entry/exit when you are at ports. It’s like the card you get at hotels.

Most cruises offer an alcohol beverage package, this cruise did not, it only had a classic beverage package which includes bottled water and coffees at the cafe (which is worth to buy if you drink a lot of water and enjoy good coffee like I do). There’s also the Premium Beverage Package which includes better bottled water; Evian, shakes, coffee’s, Vitamin Water etc. Price ranges from $160 to $190 for the 10 days. Close to the end of the cruise I was upgraded to the Premium Beverage package.

During your cruise you can book Excursions. Since I didn’t have the time to research prior to departure as it was last minute or had the list of excursions to choose from prior to, I really didn’t know which excursion to take because at some ports there were many to choose from and if it was worth doing at some ports and not so much in other places. I have to admit, the Malta excursion was a waste of money. I didn’t do an excursion in Sicily, Ibiza, Monte Carlo, or Naples. I did an excursion in Rome, Malta and Florence. I did get off the ship in Sicily and walked around close by, was given attitude by a woman in a store for not having change for my bottled water, I only had a 20, I’m a tourist and off a ship,alight, give me a break!). The Shore Excursion staff was there just to make your purchase, they didn’t know anything about the excursions, could of been done on our own without a human. Which was frustrating. I choose the wrong one in Rome, the one I selected was a bus tour and while doing the excursion I realized I should of choose the walking one. Rome was just amazing, so much to see and can only be appreciated by walking, not sitting on the bus, the only time we were off the bus was when we did a brief 1 hour stop at the Vatican. I will definitely return one day and really appreciate Rome, and I head you need a few days to see it all, even a week. I was fascinated.

The excursion in Florence was okay. But because my cabin was dark, the roommate and fling where still asleep from being out some deck all night, because it was dark I couldn’t see my clothes, so I accidentally picked a dirty black shirt and wore it in scorching hot weather. I was also hung over from the night before. People were buying me drinks and for some psychologically insane reason I ordered a double shot drink before the Deborah Cox show on the cruise. She did a good show. It was the only show worth watching on the cruise. Everything else was mediocre. I can do without drag shows? Why does gay have to be all about drag and over effeminate? The comedy shows seemed like it was done by gay angry men, it was horrible, I  walked out after the first act. And I looooove comedy! I know comedy and that wasn’t comedy, what do you expect on a cruise, I guess. Cheap crap for your expensive cruise.

Back to Italy, the police officers in Florence are different..they blend in with society and seem more civilized and much better looking. Oh trust me,I have a picture of one too.

A few times I was invited to dinner at the Blu Dining Room, it costs extra if you’re not in the higher end $16k room package. And those who are in those cabins can invite one guest. After dining there, I am pleased to say for those who didn’t want to pay the extra, they were not missing much, actually the service wasn’t great and the food was the same in the other restaurants. But it’s a place where people felt better to dine in. Whatever rocks your boat and whatever makes you feel special. It didn’t make me feel special. (Bitter much?)

Now I dread..onto the room mate thing…My room mate was a 42 year old who like myself never went on a gay cruise before but has done regular cruises with his parents (???? A 40 year old cruising with parents). Like myself, he booked last minute, if he had not I would of had the room to myself because I didn’t have a roommate when I called to book. The reason why I put emphasis on that is because my time on the ship was partly ruined by sharing with this dumbtwat. I’ve been prescribed a very low dosage of Lorazapam for anxiety, which aids to sleep and I rarely use it when I am not traveling. There were about 20 pills in the bottle prior to leaving on this vacation. Because of this room mate and him coming into the cabin at various hours late late night, it raised my anxiety levels, how can anyone sleep knowing someone will be coming in and out or unexpected all night. The most dosage I’ve ever taken before this cruise was 1 pill (0.5 mg) but again very seldom for sleep purposes only. On this cruise, on many occasions I had to take 3 pills and that’s when he invited his boy toy over. TO CUDDLE AND SLEEP RIGHT BESIDE ME on his twin size bed, 3 inches away.

On top of that he snored like a bull dozer.

Now, here I am thinking okay perhaps I’ve got a pickle up my ass, why am I so raveled up about this? Well, I am not in my 20’s anymore, I am not a party animal anymore (I’ve over done that in my 20s to last me a lifetime), and if I don’t get at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep it ruins my fuckin day. And for $4000 you EXPECT BETTER, you have higher expectations. And $4000 was just for only the cabin, excluding excursions, beverage package, alcoholic drinks on board, hotel in Spain and airfare. Total price : $6200 for one person!! I must sound really stupid after you read I just spent that much. No really. It was an impulse purchase.

In addition the lack of beauty sleep I needed but didn’t get due to pests, I am one of those people who needs a fan blowing at night (not a blow job, a FAN!) (and there has been times when I just wanted to shove a fan up his ass), the sound and air blowing is very comforting and something I got accustomed since I was young and can not do without and I brought one of those mini table fans with me, however I broke it in my Barcelona hotel room when I plugged in the European 2 pong plug (you could just use a 2 pong thing converter to plug into the outlet, depending on the voltage), I should of used a full converter.

Call me crazy, but I didn’t want to be sleeping beside two people sharing a twin size bed, 3 inches away when the room and beds were small as is. But on this cruise my sleep was always interrupted by this twit. When he brought over his boy toy the first time to cuddle and both of whom slept right beside me in the middle of the night, I said myself ARE YOU TWO SHIT HEADS FOR REAL???  And I didn’t expect it to happened again. Low and behold, on another night at around 4:30am the two clowns came in, I was awaken by slurps. I was facing the other way. Suddenly I heard loud slurping sounds. And I said to myself, ” WTF! What a bunch of douche bags!” The boy toy was giving the dumb twat a blow job and lucky for me and unlucky for him there was no happy ending. Maybe they were doing this because they wanted me to join in (sarcasm)..the thought of that just made me gag.  But for them it was being selfish, inconsiderate and having not an ounce shame nor class. You’d think someone in his 40s would known better. And if you’re doing this shit in your 40s???  Really?? The word LOSER is written all over you and absolutely no moral compass. I wouldn’t of done that in my 20s.

The cruise itself, as in Celebrity Cruises, was excellent. The staff (other than Guest Relations and Excursions, useless) were very attentive and worked hard. And the highlight of the cruise was the food, besides the excursions. I’m a picky eater and for me to say this says a lot, the food on this cruise had everything for everyone. It was delicious and something I will miss. Sadly, those are the only things I will miss about the cruise.

The cruise had a mix of people from all walks of life. Mostly people with perfect Adonis bodies sunbathing around the pool in their speedo’s with their donkey dongs popping through (nothing was left out to imagination it was right there in your face…well, not literally). The gay boys on the ship were about money, clothes and body.

And then there those who walked around as if money was no object. Me, on the other hand, I was happy to learn they put aside 1 hour for social hour for those like myself who didn’t mind paying cheaper for drinks, well, the typical price, $4 to $6/drink during social hour and not the cruise typical of $10 to $15 plus gratuity. That’s right, you’re forced to pay for tip as it’s included and the receipt said feel free to pay more if deserved.

Majority of the people on the ship were in their 30’s and older. There were plenty of the sugar daddies and their “boys”.  Which I found intriguing and sad, the sugar daddies never look happy and looked lonely even though they had a boy toy accessory at their side, being in a so called relationship with someone 20yrs or so younger than you, that’s for them to hang out and pretend to be in a relationship while the boy toy tramps around bathhouses or while on the cruise with other men? Sure, it happens in the straight world..cougars (ahem..Madonna), but it says a lot about someone, their self esteem, self respect and dignity. Sure, it would be nice to have my bills paid if I were that boy toy, if you want to pay off this cruise from my credit card, I’ll suck your dick, email me, I would thank you in so many ways. And a tummy tuck would be nice too. Hell, fuck the cruise…just pay for my tummy tuck and I’ll give blow jobs before and after. But just to let you know I don’t eat ass.

But I did meet someone who seemed decent until he dumped my ass after I told him and I could be friends…

I met a 52 year old (looked younger) from San Francisco and we got along really well (which says a lot because my luck in Toronto has not been good, mainly because I’m using the net) we even did an excursion together, we always had something to talk about, one night we talked for hours, but I just wanted be friends, as soon as I said that he disappeared. I never saw him again. I called his room one day, he already met another man. I didn’t care and I sincerely say this…Oh well, his loss..next. If you know your worth, you can easily walk away and move on to the next person who deserves you.

On a different note, back to the room mate thing, I’m one not to put up with shit. BUT in my case with this guy, I didn’t speak up because of the situation, I dealt with it for whatever reason but I should of said something. I know the cruise was not going to change my room, well the so-called Guest Relations offered this;  an instate room (no window, no balcony) for more money (why would I want a lesser room, even pay more on top of the outrageous amount I already paid for) or share with someone else in a lesser room and move my services (so-called Concierge). But I didn’t do that because I didn’t want to give that dumb twat the power and his own room nor the satisfaction.

But this is what I should of really done…for all that money I spent on this cruise  I could of planned a major multi city tour of Europe. I would of seen a lot more places. I could of done without the cruise and crap, done without the dumb twat and boy toy cuddling and slurping beside me. And I am not one just to sit in the sun and lounge all day, didn’t care for the entertainment and the gay crap.

Anyway, back to the cruise..I started to pack 2 days before the end of the cruise. I was ready to get off that damn gay ship. I had enough with gay. Depending on when your situation, people departed at various times, starting at 6:30am. Which is why I wanted to go to sleep early. YOU GUESSED IT another sleepless night. The dumb twat room mate didn’t pack most of his stuff. He packed later in the night because he felt left out if he didn’t go for drinks the night before, so he finished packing while I was sleeping, slamming everything as if…and surprise…as if I wasn’t there sleeping.

And because of that, my flight back home was difficult and a pain.

The cruise arrived at 6am, I took the shuttle bus ($40 extra) to get to the Barcelona airport, and this time I was early…3 hours early. And it was damn hot in the Barcelona airport. I was sweating so much that I had to change clothes in the baby parent diaper change room, whatever you call them. I checked in and the Air Canada agent asked me if I was willing to stay an extra night in Barcelona, if so, Air Canada will pay for my hotel and give me spending money, I don’t know if I heard him correctly but I think he said $600 which sounds a lot. I respectively declined. I was ready to go home and I was tired from lack of sleep that night, I was tired. Then suddenly my luggage was over by 2 lbs so he had to charge me $100 for it, but he was nice enough to put a Priority sticker on my luggage, which is used for 1st class/Business/(Premium Economy in this case) passengers, it means your luggage is put on the baggage belt first when you arrive at your destination, which saves time, especially on a full flight of 280 people.

Shit..if I knew Air Canada would of been that greedy charging me an extra $100 for 2lbs of extra baggage I would of taken that bath robe from the closet in my cabin

I had very rough time on the airplane. I was really cranky that when I got to my seat on the plane and needed to put my carry on in the storage above my seat which  was supposed to be for the seat below, someone’s carry-on was already there . So I asked people and no one claimed it, I got fed up and said if the person doesn’t move their luggage I’ll move it for them, that’s when the Flight Attendant stepped in and moved it. Why wasn’t I that aggressive with the dumb twat room mate?

My suggestion to anyone who travels, get proper sleep before going on the plane otherwise it will be one bad long flight and if you had shared your room with a dumb twat loser just dump his sorry ass overboard…OPPS!

On the plane, I was looking at my watch every hour on the hour…”shit 6 more hours”…”fuck man 5 more hours..seriously??” “any slower 4 more hours!!!”…”how about making those engine go faster”.

I have to add this because I give credit when due, there was a couple with their toddler in the middle section beside me, and they were the most considerate parents I’ve seen, especially traveling on the plane. The father held the toddler during the entire 9 hours of flight from Barcelona to Toronto, he made sure the baby and wife were comfortable, took care of the child so that the child wouldn’t cry. He seemed a good husband and father. I mention this because I’ve been a plane sitting beside parents who didn’t give a rats ass if their kids made noise, let them cry, scream and all that monkey stuff if they could. And even off the plane, day to day people just don’t teach their kids manners or respect. Parents don’t realize it makes them look like a lousy parent.

I looked at my watch again,”OMG 3 more hours, what the hell!!”…and that’s when the guy beside me started a conversation ( I was sitting in aisle seat, plane was 2-3-2 seats). And we chatted up a storm..told him about my experience, he told me Atlantis is known for those type of cruises and told me about another gay cruise RSVP. And the 3 hours was done.

Will I go on a cruise again? Maybe. But I’m one of those people who likes experience new things. So it’s very unlikely.

YOU LIVE AND HOPEFULLY LEARN

I’m over it!

THE END

Is Homophobia a Religious or a Psychological Issue?

“My faith won’t allow me to ACCEPT what took place over the weekend! Sorry, NOT sorry! #AdamAndEve #NotAdamAndAdam.” -Maurice Price

Maurice Price was not the only pro football player to express an anti-gay attitude following the drafting of Michael Sam, the first openly gay person to be drafted into the NFL.

Price defended his comments by referencing his religious beliefs. He is a Christian and since Christianity considers homosexuality to be a sin, then condemning homosexuality is fair. He is not alone in this regard as a common defense of homophobia is that it has more to do with defending one’s religious values than attacking a minority group.

Historically, prejudice of any kind could be freely expressed with few repercussions (emotional, legal, or otherwise) so long as there was a reasonable justification. Religion has often served as the justification, and has therefore facilitated an array of prejudice, from racism to sexism to homophobia.

Over time, the use of religious beliefs to justify prejudice has tended to decline, but still persists — especially when it comes to homosexuality.

Whether one can defend homophobia on religious grounds is a topic unto itself. But let’s imagine for the sake of argument that one could defend a prejudiced opinion on the basis of religion. Were such a position defensible, it would be necessary to ensure that the homophobia was motivated solely by religious values, as opposed to psychological factors.

The difficulty facing those who wish to defend their sexual prejudice is that psychological research has shown that homophobia tends to be much more complicated than the picture painted by Maurice Price and others who argue they are simply expressing their religious values.

Why So Mad?….

Before even discussing the psychological research, we can draw inferences about a person’s psychology based solely on their emotional responses to homosexuality. We can fairly assume that non-religious factors are motivating prejudice when there is a stark discrepancy between someone’s moral outrage and the relative seriousness of the sin.

There are hundreds of laws and principles discussed in the bible and they are not all equal. We know that some are more important because of clear demarcations (ex: The Ten Commandments) or because some rules receive more attention than others.

For example, eating shellfish is less serious a sin than adultery given that the latter appears as one of the 10 commandments and receives attention throughout the bible via important figures. Conversely, despite being forbidden in the Old Testament, shellfish are not discussed in the ten commandments, and rarely does one read of Jesus discussing their place in the moral landscape.

We would expect people’s psychological reactions to moral violations to be commensurate with the seriousness of the violation itself.

For example, if someone is more offended by someone eating shellfish than adultery, it tells us more about the person (ex: perhaps they’re vegan!) because this type of reaction is not consistent with the underlying values of the religion.

Indeed, such a reaction implies something specific about the psychology of that individual.

So, when a person expresses disgust and outrage toward a homosexual and only a mild rebuke of an adulterer, it tells us that something else is likely driving their reaction. Homosexuality is not one of the 10 commandments, does not receive much attention throughout the bible, and Jesus never addresses the issue.

A Psychological Profile of Homophobia

First, as with other forms of prejudice, those who hold anti-gay beliefs are more likely to be older, less educated, live in a rural area, and to have less contact with homosexuals. If religious values were the sole determinant of homophobia, then we would expect all religious individuals to hold the same view, regardless of these factors.

Second, those who hold authoritarian beliefs are also more likely to be homophobic. People who are highly authoritarian hold a strict belief in the need for social order and conformity to rules. They also tend to be especially intolerant of people who violate their concept of social order, and having this personality trait — which is related to, but distinct from religiosity — increases the likelihood of sexual prejudice.

Third, there is an interesting gender difference when it comes to homophobia. Heterosexual men are much more hostile and prejudiced toward gay and bisexual men than are women.

There is good reason to believe that this bias occurs because heterosexual men are often highly motivated to protect their masculine identity. In fact, experimental studies have shown that when you intentionally threaten men’s sense of their own masculinity it causes them to act aggressively toward gay men.

This psychological tendency may help explain the homophobic reactions of men who play football. The very idea that a gay man could out-play and even out-hit you must be very threatening for men who idealize masculinity.

Given that homophobic men tend to overcompensate in response to masculinity threats, I leave it to the reader to supply their own analysis of what motivates Vladamir Putin’s predilection for shirtless photos.

Homophobia may also serve useful psychological functions as well. For example, when someone’s self-esteem or identity is fragile, then attacking someone else could help to repair the damage by making oneself feel superior.

As you can see, homophobia and its expression can be complicated, and often involves more than just a simple one-to-one expression of religious conviction.

Expressing Values

It is important to point out that not all religious believers exhibit sexual prejudice. I have met many people with strong religious convictions who fully support gay rights. They consider such belief in equality to be an expression of their religious beliefs, as there are certainly biblical passages that refer to loving one’s neighbour.

Which raises a key question — why is it more important to defend a law dealing with sexual orientation than it is to defend laws of love and nonjudgment toward others?

The answer to such a question is likely to say more about one’s psychological profile than their religious affiliation.

WIND Mobile ~ The never ending hassle

Wind Mobile has been in Canada since 2009 and according to Google is the 4th largest wireless company in Canada, most likely 4th after Rogers, Bell and Telus.

Lately, I’ve noticed the very enticing plans Wind Mobile has $40 for All Inclusive service (data and voice etc). Except for Mobilicity, no other provider offers unlimited data at a cheap price of $40/month which also includes calls to Canada and USA wide.

The companies mentioned above charge $80 for Canada Wide and only 500MB of data. The prices increased when CRTC ruled that 3 yr contracts are too long, the carriers had to change contracts from 3 years to 2 in turn increasing the prices to their plans.

So I thought I should give WIND a try.

!!BIG MISTAKE!!

But god kept pushing me back..and I swear I heard  “Noo, my child…stay away..if not I will make it difficult for you and you will see the troubles as an indication to stay clear from them.” No I am not religious.

I could be stubborn at times and I ignored the signs.

It might be cheap, but the customer service is…for the lack of better explicit words…CRAP!

I’ve had service and experience with numerous wireless companies in my time; Rogers, Bell, Koodo, Mobilicity, Fido, Virgin Mobile and now Wind Mobile. From all of the mentioned companies Wind Mobile is the worst company I’ve dealt with. And that’s not even including using their services yet, this is just from getting the phone and exchanging it then cancelling it to go on on their no tab plan.

Last week I went to buy the HTC ONE M8 phone for $199 on their $60 tab plan. No problems there.

The next day I changed my mind and wanted to exchange the phone for an older cheaper phone, the Nexus5 for $99 on their $50 plan. This took one hour of my time and this is not including waiting in line. The rep who was assisting me couldn’t do it because he wasn’t trained to so I had to wait for the one rep who knew how to. So when it came to my turn the so-called trained rep had to call in to their support desk to do the transaction, when they call the support centre they have t verify it’s the owner of the account and need to speak to me to confirm I’m the customer making the transaction. The in store rep already confirmed I’m the person by checking my ID. So obviously WIND does not trust their employee’s or give them any authority to make changes to a customers account.

After 1/2 hour, I was refunded the $199 for the HTC ONE M8 and then charged my credit card for the $99 for the Nexus 5, but their process is, they bill my wireless account and I pay for it right away. Every other company just refunds me, credits me back on my credit card.

So, today I changed my mind again because I managed to get my own phone to use on their network, so I dreaded going back but WOW their plans are damn good, why not? So, I went back to the their store. There was one employee, and SURPRISE she didn’t know how to do a return so she asked if I wanted to wait for her employee to come back from break, I said fine. So the employee returns, and YES another surprise he had to call support to do the return and put me on a different plan, he called his support 3 times. He then called his manager to ask how to process the transaction. So while he briefly spoke to him and had the support centre on hold, the support centre hung up on him and he called them back, each time he called they had to verify my name and DOB. So, since I already knew the process, he passed me the phone I already knew what to say and I passed the phone back.

And that process went on for 90 mins. I got fed up and told him to cancel my service altogether. Since I was quite irritable I vented.

He said they couldn’t refund me because it was a bill payment charge for the phone. I later learned from another store that a case had to be opened for refund. A case to be opened for a refund??? Lord have mercy.

I give people and companies chances, many times more than I should. So, I drove to another Wind Mobile store. And told them what I wanted, easy process, had to pay $25 for a new SIM card, the other companies charge $10. The other companies simply transfer the number to to the new SIM card but NOT Windy Mobile.

So, tonight I get home I looked for the SIM card they gave me and low and behold the package was opened and the SIM card was missing. I did not pay attention when I walked out of the store that the package was opened and the SIM was missing. No wonder she handed the new paperwork and she placed the SIM card between the papers. Just WOW.

So tomorrow, I have to drive back to the store (cars become handy in situations like this, imagine if I didn’t have one and I’m going to different Wind Mobile stores to get service a customer deserves) and I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t believe me. REALLY? Because it would be stupid to lie about some SIM card.

What I should add is this; I haven’t cancelled my service with my previous provider yet because I wanted to test out this Wind Mobile….. crap. It’s on it’s own network using AWS technology and they’re not as big as the other guys, so less towers = possibly not good reception.

I also called the call centre and asked how do I get that $99 refund, she had to put me on hold and had to ask her supervisor, I was told to email my receipt that I returned the phone. ARE YOU FUCKIN SERIOUS???

Call me crazy but all this should of been a seamless and smooth experience and something that shouldn’t take 2 hours to do. Nor should it of been a stressful situation.

Call me CRAZY that I’m still giving them a chance.

I will freak if they give me issues on this missing SIM card. Don’t worry I’m not violent.