stay at the table

October 6th, 2015

Right now, our society – more specifically, our country needs to stop focusing on what side of the aisle they stand upon and realize there is a growing problem of historical proportions. Whether you are a card-carrying member of the NRA or a person that believes that handguns should not be owned by any private citizens – we all agree that all of these people dying is bad, right?

If I lost you in that first paragraph, I’m not going to tell you to go away, fuck off, etc. Why? I want you at the table, talking. If you are passionate about this topic, you need to keep your place at the table.

Recently, I’ve been reading How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie, and I found this the other day…


Listen, I don’t own a gun and probably never will. I do respect your decision to own one and think with proper regulation, that is lawful for citizens to own a weapon for personal protection or hunting. I’m not smart enough to dictate whether automatic weapons or how many weapons is legitimate. The ugliness I’m seeing on social media on BOTH sides is disheartening to say the least.  Calling each other stupid and drawing these lines in the sand doesn’t force discussion, it builds these walls taller and widens the width of the aisle.

Again, the Carnegie book provided a helpful excerpt…


Emerson’s quote is cut off a bit…

Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him

I’m not better/smarter than anyone else. Keep talking folks.

Movie Reviews…

Black Mass – thick, slow moving plot that unfurls itself at the audience, very good.

Funny/Interesting Links…

From Bone to Satellite

October 2nd, 2015

9450127Yesterday’s events brought a myriad of thoughts and emotions. I’m sure my friends that watch Fox News are crossing their arms, giving a fatherly grumble as they see another bleeding-heart liberal that is going to cite some data from MotherJones, ThinkProgress, or whatever Obama-loving source I can find to tell them why they can’t have their guns any more. Nope.

A quick caveat, I’m not a democrat.

I have voted for Obama proudly twice because I fully support his removal of denying insurance to persons with pre-existing conditions. This affects my family directly (my wife is an epileptic). I do however, vote across party-lines locally. My best friend since I was 5 year old is literally a card-carrying member of the Republican party. He provides me with honest information about local candidates during elections. I refuse to label myself with one party or another, because I feel like voting strictly along party lines is the absolute stupidest thing one can do (besides not voting, of course). I like the idea of having as many options on the table as possible when it comes to decisions. My Dad was wrong about brown vinyl furniture, but he had this idea 100% correct.

You have your opinions and choices that are probably made with your own parameters of what is important to you, and that’s totally fine.

Gun ownership is something that I support. That said, there is a difference between protecting your home, hunting, and mowing people down.

Here’s the basal thing I have with guns in terms of bringing them to a fight/disagreement… it is an outright admittance that, “I may or may not be strong enough to settle this with my fists, but this gun will absolutely increase my chances that I will win.”

I’m not calling you a pussy if you have a gun.

Not at all.

First off, you have a gun… and it doesn’t matter how many burpees and pull-ups I can do – you’re pretty much going to win in a fight. It’s similar to a post I wrote a while ago about runners/cyclists getting irate with people driving. It doesn’t matter who is right or wrong, the car will win.

Actually, watch this scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey… this is a perfect metaphor…

The gun is an extension of your fist. As is a grenade, mortar, artillery shell, cannon, sword, knife, dagger, stick, or nuclear warhead.

Now, how you use the fist is where the problems can begin. Who gets to have these fists is where the arguing starts. I absolutely do not have the answer. I’m not a smart enough person to be able to tell anyone the way it should be. I do know that we are all fatigued of reading these terrible stories. I want less dead people, let’s start with that ambitious thing on my list of demands.

Funny/Interesting Links…

Breaking the bar, or how I learned to love pull-ups

October 1st, 2015

I have fixed my pull-up issues, thanks to this video. Like the guy in that clip, I was having some serious pain above my left elbow and some between my shoulder blades. Prior to correcting my posture, I would need to take a day off between pull-up workouts. At first, I assumed it would pass with rest and as my shoulders/arms got stronger – the pain would go away.

Well, it turns out, I sucked at pull-ups. I was arching my back, sticking my chin out, and my elbows were going out. All of these things were destroying my neck, shoulders, and elbow.

Three changes fixed it completely for me:

  1. Break the bar
  2. Elbows In
  3. Neutral spine

I can now churn out pull-ups without pain on consecutive days and my output has increased drastically too (I went from churning out 55/workout to 70/workout – split up into 10 sets). This is all building towards my goal of cranking out 25 consecutive pull-ups.

Look at the difference in my technique… before:


And after:


Funny/Interesting Links…

being seen

September 29th, 2015

This morning, I had my first run with my new headlamp. It was awesome. I could see the shoulder of the road in front of me perfectly. My hands were free (I normally hold my phone up with the LED light blazing). Also, a nice benefit was if I saw a car approaching on the other side of a hill, I would quickly nod my head and let the motorist know that I was coming, and they would lower their high beams.


The headlamp didn’t bounce, I barely noticed it, in fact. I was unsure about wearing the lamp above or below the brim of my running hat (above, btw), but it felt very comfortable. The beam of light was kinda cool looking too, lighting up the swirling mist/fog in front of me as I ran.

So now, I’ve got the reflective vest from the kind stranger, and BeSeen LED armband, and this headlamp too. I’m definitely 100% more visible than I was previously. This will become even more important as winter approaches and it will be darker and darker in the early morning.

The best part about all of this? I was able to concentrate on my run a little more and ran a better pace (8:44/mile). A portion of that improved pace is due to the ankle healing too. I’ve decided to repeat the previous week of my Hal Higdon 5K plan. I’m going to stay on this week until my pace returns to where my pace was prior to my injury (8:15-8:20/mile).

Once I’m there, I’ll hunt for a 5K race to try and kill my under 24 minute 5K goal.

Funny/Interesting Links…

an awesome blur

September 28th, 2015

This weekend was an awesome blur. We hung with the Pope at the Meckotopia Bar…


We woke up Saturday morning and watched this guy get 4 goals…


By the way, he’s always open…


And then I got to spend the evening with this beautiful lady at her high school reunion…


And I saw this crazy caterpillar at our friends’ place the next morning…


We got home, scooped up the kids, took Van Jr to his high school ice hockey game (they won, 8-2), and saw a big beautiful moon.

Funny/Interesting Links…

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