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Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Fresh green vegetable, isolated over whiteNot sure where I found this, but it’s REALLY good… (don’t let Jill know, I want to hog it all to myself) 😉

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

    • 1/4 cup flour (whole wheat), or cornstarch
    • 2 tbsp. olive oil
    • 4 cups chicken broth, low sodium
    • 1 lb. frozen broccoli, thawed and chopped
    • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, skim not recommended for this recipe (please buy the block and shred yourself to avoid waxes)
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • Salt and pepper to tastetillamook-medium-cheddar-18385-238z

Yields: 4 Cups | Serving Size: 1 Cup | Calories: 336 | Previous Points: 7 | Points Plus: 8 | Total Fat: 14.8 gm | Saturated Fats: 5.1 gm | Trans Fats: 0 gm | Cholesterol: 18 mg | Sodium: 1320 mg | Carbohydrates: 16.3 gm | Dietary Fiber: 3.2 gm | Sugars: 3.1 gm | Protein: 29.6 gm

  • In a frying pan, heat your oil, but don’t let it get so hot it smokes. Using a whisk, whisk in the flour a little at a time so that the flour and oil mix well and start to bubble.
  • Slowly whisk in the chicken broth, and then remove from heat.
  • Pour the mixture into your slow cooker and add the thawed broccoli. We use the frozen broccoli because it seems to hold up better in a slow cooker than the fresh variety. But you can certainly use fresh broccoli as well. Add salt to taste, black pepper and garlic, stir to combine.
  • Cook on low for 4-6 hours, or until the broccoli is completely cooked. Stir in the cheese, 1 cup at a time, allowing it to melt completely before adding the next cup of cheese.


Alpha Light Weight Stove


Building a small stove for backpacking/fun


James and I built this some time ago, it “works” but not very well…


Video Reflections from the South Old Mac Trail

Video of our #T156 hike at Frozenhead State Park

Reflections from the trail…

Took the hammock out for its inaugural cold weather outing during the troop’s annual backpacking outing up to Tub Spring at Frozen Head State Park. My planning paid off with a light back and sufficient gear for a warm nest.

We had 5 of the 10 1st and 2nd year scouts with us in our crew, (with 3 adults) normally we follow the South Old Mac trail up, but this year we added the Judge Brach extension. (adding about 1/2 or so) It is rewarding to see the confidence grow on the younger scouts as they learn via adversity just how strong they can be.  it’s about 4miles up and with the 5000 feet in elevation change they can quickly reach the mind over the aches section of back packing.

My son and I headed back down the same day, and my about mile 5 my pack finally settled in. (or I was just numb) I really did not notice it anymore… Spending the extra effort to cut off needless pounds is well worth your time.

One great perk that the hammock affords on the trail, Lunch Time Seating! (and great views)

One humorous tidbit from the end of the day, while exiting the park, we encountered some other visitors stopped at the closed gate. They were on their phones apparently with 911… I feared we too were locked in.. I ventured out to check on the matter, and double check the gate… Hrm no lock… Looking around I could find no reason to see why they could not open the gate… I smiled, slid the gate open told them to have a safe trip home and carried on… I wonder how long they were stopped there…

To Risk

To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out is to risk involvement,
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas and
dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return,
To live is to risk dying,
To hope is to risk despair,
To try is to risk failure.
But risks must be taken because
the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing,
has nothing, is nothing.

– William Arthur Ward (1921-1994)

Coconut Chipotle Chorizo Stew


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped (canned)
  • 2 links  (1/2 lb) chorizo, removed from casings & chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 14oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 13oz can coconut milk
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
  • Cooked rice




Heat the oil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add the onions, garlic and carrots. Add the chipotle peppers with 1-2 tsp of the adobo sauce. Cook, stirring, for about 5-6 minutes or until the onions have softened.

Add the chorizo and cook for about 5 minutes, breaking up the sausage as it cooks.

Add the beans, tomatoes, coconut milk, bay leaves and cumin. Stir to combine and let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the cilantro and cook for 5 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper if desired.

Serve with rice.

The Destruction of Sennacherib, by Lord Byron

The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.

Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green,
That host with their banners at sunset were seen:
Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown,
That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.

For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed;
And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!

And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,
But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride;
And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,
And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.

And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail:
And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,
The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.

And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord.

Pork “stew”

another crockpot victory

1-2 lbs lean pork

Corn, diced tomatoes beans, 2tbs Montreal seasoning, 2tbs cumin, crushed pepper, crushed garlic, some rice…. WOW…



Reflections in Mud… (round 2)

With our team from the prior year mostly intact, we signed up for the mud run again. IMG_5952

(FYI, I am not a “runner” I hate running, (I love running)) …

I woke up Saturday morning feeling every day of my nearly 41 years… I had spent the days prior to the run trying to get a good rest and be well hydrated, I’m not sure how successful I was at either.  Woke up at 3:00 AM needing to use the restroom…)

On to the race,

The course this year was retained a number of the old challenges, but they did add a few noteworthy changes.

  1. Spiderweb — early in the race we had to weave through a rope web over 30 yards or so, (nice plus, since I hate running)
  2. Funky Monkey Bars — Uneven monkey bars… evilIMG_6106
  3. Added a wall and an elevated cargo netIMG_6111
  4. Sled pull – Four team members climb the hill, and drag member up in a sled.IMG_6109


After rounding the first two obstacles and about to “stomp the yard” we found a wayward mudder off to the side of the course. With some encouragement she got up and temporarily ran with us until we caught up with the rest of her team and she took off with them.  We kept a fair pace until we finished the walls and the swamp crawl. Even with all my pre-hydration strats, 1.5 liters of water and solid pacing, I was feeling the edge of dehydration, I had to pause, and suck down some water before pressing on. It’s not what I wanted to do, but I needed to do.  After picking it back up it was off to the swim and the meat of the course.

Mud, more mud and some mud and stuff..

All in all,we have a great time, laughed at stuff, and enjoyed our time together.

Personally while not happy with our time this year, I am very pleased with 2 things,

1. with the exception of the heat killing me, I could tell I was in far better shape this year.

2. to a man I am glad to know that the fellows I hang with are men of solid character and are ready to serve others with out a hint of complaint.

IMG_6112IMG_6039_edited IMG_6051_edited

An Open Apology to All of My Weight Loss Clients, by Iris Higgins


I worked at a popular weight loss company for 3 years. I loved my job there. I LOVED my clients. I loved making a connection and sharing my knowledge. And I learned a lot about nutrition, about dieting and weight loss and what works and what doesn’t. My job was to be a weight loss consultant, and I learned that job very well. I can design a 1200 calorie meal plan, tell you which activities are most likely to make the number on the scale go down, and how many carbs are in a cup of rice. I can talk the diet game like it’s my business…because it was. Volumize with vegetables. Don’t go too long in between meals. Start with a bowl of broth-based soup. Are you drinking enough water? Did you exercise enough? Did you exercise too much? Let’s look at your food journal…

This is not an anti-weight loss company post (although I could write that too). It’s a letter to each and every woman that I unknowingly wronged. My heart is beating a little bit faster as I write this, and so I know this needs to be said. The words have been playing in my head for months. Sometimes it just takes time for me to get up the courage to say the right thing.

So here goes:

Dear Former Weight Loss Clients (you know who you are): 

I’m sorry. 

I’m sorry because I put you on a 1200 calorie diet and told you that was healthy. I’m sorry because when you were running 5x a week, I encouraged you to switch from a 1200 calorie diet to a 1500 calorie diet, instead of telling you that you should be eating a hell of a lot more than that. I’m sorry because you were breastfeeding and there’s no way eating those 1700 calories a day could have been enough for both you and your baby. I’m sorry because you were gluten intolerant and so desperate to lose weight that you didn’t put that on your intake form. But you mentioned it to me later, and I had no idea the damage you were doing to your body. I’m sorry because I think I should have known. I think I should have been educated better before I began to tell all of you what was right or wrong for your body. 

I’m sorry because I made you feel like a failure and so you deliberately left a message after the center had closed, telling me you were quitting. I thought you were awesome and gorgeous, and I’m sorry because I never told you that. I’m sorry because you came in telling me you liked to eat organic and weren’t sure about all the chemicals in the food, and I made up some BS about how it was a “stepping stone.” I’m sorry because many of you had thyroid issues and the LAST thing you should have been doing was eating a gluten-filled, chemically-laden starvation diet. I’m sorry because by the time I stopped working there, I wouldn’t touch that food, yet I still sold it to you. 

I’m sorry because it’s only years later that I realize just how unhealthy a 1200 calorie diet was. I stayed on a 1200-1500 calorie diet for years, so I have the proof in myself. Thyroid issues, mood swings, depression, headaches…oh and gluten intolerance that seemed to “kick in” after about a month of eating the pre-packaged food. Was it a coincidence? Maybe. 

I’m sorry because you had body dysmorphic disorder, and it was so painful to hear the things you said about yourself. You looked like a model, and all of my other clients were intimidated by you, asked me why you were there because clearly you didn’t need to lose weight. And yet you would sit in my office and cry, appalled that a man might see you naked and be disturbed by the fat that didn’t actually exist. I’m sorry because you should have been seeing a therapist, not a weight loss consultant. 

I’m sorry because you were young and so beautiful and only there because your mother thought you needed to lose weight. And because there were too many of you like that. Girls who knew you were fine, but whose mothers pushed that belief out of you until you thought like she did. Until you thought there was something wrong with you. And the one time I confronted your mother, you simply got switched to a different consultant. I think I should have made more of a stink, but I didn’t. I’m sorry because you were in high school and an athlete, and I pray that you weren’t screwed up by that 1500 calorie diet. Seriously, world? Seriously? A teenage girl walks in with no visible body fat and lots of muscle tone, tells you she’s a runner and is happy with her weight…but her mother says she’s fat and has to lose weight and so we help her do just that. As an individual, as women, as a company, hell, as a nation, we don’t stand up for that girl? What is wrong with us? There ain’t nothing right about that. Nothing. 

I’m sorry because every time you ate something you “shouldn’t” or ate more than you “should,” I talked about “getting back on the bandwagon.” I cringe now every time someone uses that phrase. When did the way we eat become a bandwagon? When did everyone stop eating and become professional dieters? I’m sorry because I get it now. If you’re trying to starve your body by eating fewer calories than it needs, of course it’s going to fight back. I used to tell you that then, when you wanted to eat less than 1200 calories a day. The problem was, I thought 1200 was enough. I thought that was plenty to support a healthy body. Why did I believe that for so long? I’m sorry because I wasn’t trying to trick you or play games to get your money. I believed the lies we were fed as much as you did. 

And it wasn’t just the company feeding them to me. It was the doctors and registered dietitians on the medical advisory board. It was the media and magazines confirming what I was telling my clients. A palm-sized portion of lean chicken with half a sweet potato and a salad was PLENTY. No matter that you had “cravings” afterward. Cravings are a sign of underlying emotional issues. Yeah, sure they are. I’m a hypnotherapist with a past history of binge eating disorder. I KNOW cravings are a sign of underlying emotional issues. Except when they’re not. Except when they’re a sign that your body needs more food and you’re ignoring it. Then they’re a sign that your 1200 calorie diet is horse****. Then they’re a sign that you’ve been played. 

And that’s mostly why I’m sorry. Because I’ve been played for years, and so have you, and inadvertently, I fed into the lies you’ve been told your whole life. The lies that say that being healthy means nothing unless you are also thin. The lies that say that you are never enough, that your body is not a beautiful work of art, but rather a piece of clay to be molded by society’s norms until it becomes a certain type of sculpture. And even then, it is still a work in progress. 

I owe you an apology, my former client and now friend, who I helped to lose too much weight. Who I watched gain the weight back, plus some. Because that’s what happens when you put someone on a 1200 calorie diet. But I didn’t know. If you’re reading this, then I want you to know that you have always been beautiful. And that all these fad diets are crap meant to screw with your metabolism so that you have to keep buying into them. I think now that I was a really good weight loss consultant. Because I did exactly what the company wanted (but would never dare say). I helped you lose weight and then gain it back, so that you thought we were the solution and you were the failure. You became a repeat client and we kept you in the game. I guess I did my job really well.  

And now I wonder, did I do more harm than good? When I left, you all wrote me cards and sent me flowers. I still have those cards, the ones that tell me how much I helped you, how much I cared. But I’m friends with some of you on Facebook now, and I look at your photos and you look happy. And beautiful. And not because you lost weight since I saw you last. But because I see YOU now. You. Not a client sitting in my chair, asking for my assistance in becoming what society wants. But you, a smart and lovely woman, who really doesn’t need some random company telling her there’s something wrong with her. 
So I’m sorry because when you walked in to get your meal plan, I should have told you that you were beautiful. I should have asked you how you FELT. Were you happy? Did you feel physically fit? Were you able to play with your kids? There were so many of you who never needed to lose a pound, and some of you who could have gained some. And maybe sometimes I told you that. But not enough. Not emphatically. Because it was my job to let you believe that making the scale go down was your top priority. And I did my job well.  

I am sorry because many of you walked in healthy and walked out with disordered eating, disordered body image, and the feeling that you were a “failure.” None of you ever failed. Ever. I failed you. The weight loss company failed you. Our society is failing you. 

Just eat food. Eat real food, be active, and live your life. Forget all the diet and weight loss nonsense. It’s really just that. Nonsense. 

And I can’t stop it. But I can stop my part in it. I won’t play the weight loss game anymore. I won’t do it to my body, and I won’t help you do it to yours. That’s it. End game.  


This Week in the Civil War: Aug 12-18, 1863

This Week in the Civil War: Aug 12-18, 1863.

Commending a President, His Daughter and the Secret Service, By Chuck Norris

By Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris

Dallas, TX – -(Ammoland.com)- A few weeks ago, a former president and many of his Secret Service agents made a significant sacrifice on behalf of another young American that went largely unnoticed by most of the nation.

Did you catch it?

My friend and our 41st president, 89-year-old George H.W. Bush, in solidarity with his Secret Service detail, shaved his head for 2-year-old Patrick — the son of one of Bush’s former agents — who has leukemia and is undergoing chemotherapy for it.

The Bush Protective Division launched a website, at http://www.patrickspals.org, to help with Patrick’s medical bills. It also is spearheading the inaugural Patrick’s Pals Motorcycle Benefit Run on Aug. 10 in Kennebunkport, Maine, which is a 50-mile motorcycle ride through the countryside, with a lunch and silent auction to follow.

When Bush decided to lose his hair in support of young Patrick, many of us were reminded of Bush’s own precious and brave daughter Robin, who died from leukemia 60 years ago at age 3.

George W. Bush was born first in 1946. Pauline Robinson Bush — known as Robin — was born second in 1949. She was diagnosed with leukemia right after her brother Jeb was born in 1953.

Barbara Bush recollected those tough times during an interview with her granddaughter Jenna Bush Hager for the “Today” show. After Robin’s prognosis, the former first lady said, the Bushes were told there was nothing they could do. A doctor said: “You don’t do anything. She’s going to die. … My advice is to take her home, love her. In about two weeks, she’ll be gone.”

Of course, the Bushes weren’t going to give up that easily. Instead, they opted for Robin’s aggressive treatment, including painful blood marrow tests, blood transfusions and chemotherapy. It wasn’t easy on Robin or her parents, but they all faced their fears courageously for Robin’s sake.

The Los Angeles Times explained: “In his 1987 biography, ‘Looking Forward,’ Bush said prayer helped him and his wife through Robin’s treatment: ‘Barbara and I sustained each other; but in the end, it was our faith that truly sustained us, as gradually but surely, Robin slipped away.’”

Though the treatment extended her life by roughly six months, Robin went home to heaven Oct. 11, 1953, two months before her fourth birthday.

Barbara shared: “I was combing her hair and holding her hand. I saw that little body. I saw her spirit go.”

Robin initially was laid to rest in Greenwich, Conn., but her grave and its small headstone — reading simply, “Robin” — now are in a small family plot behind a serene and beautiful garden and pond area at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas.

After Robin’s passing, the Los Angeles Times reported, the Bushes began the Bright Star Foundation, raising funds and awareness about leukemia in Robin’s honor.

According to the American Cancer Society, leukemia is the most common cancer in children and teens, accounting for roughly 1 in 3 cancer cases.

George W. Bush Shaved Head

When Bush decided to lose his hair in support of young Patrick, many of us were reminded of Bush’s own precious and brave daughter Robin, who died from leukemia 60 years ago at age 3.

It is a type of blood cancer that begins in the bone marrow and is associated with an abnormal increase in immature white blood cells.

Thanks to the hard work of countless souls and scientists over the decades, “better technology, as well as cells and DNA preserved from patients treated in the 1960s, has improved outcomes for children. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital estimates the survival rate for the most common type of childhood leukemia has increased from 4 percent in 1962 to 94 percent today,” the Times reported.

Now there’s positive testimony for cancer research and advanced medical technology!

In honor of the Bushes’ valiant work through the years to fight and raise funds for leukemia and cancer research, the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston opened the Robin Bush Child and Adolescent Clinic in 2004.

You may not agree with every political action of Bush’s, but you can’t deny that he and Barbara Bush are first-class leaders, Americans, parents and grandparents. They belong to an elite class of integrity-filled national and global leaders who not only talk their talk but walk their walk. And for them to show solidarity with a 2-year-old leukemia patient at their ripe age is just one more example in a long lineage of a couple who are stellar models for us all.

My wife, Gena, and I are honored to call the former president and first lady our dear friends. They have helped out myriad causes and children over the decades, including our own children’s foundation, KickStart Kids.

And there’s no stopping them on the good will adventure train until they themselves pull up to heaven’s depot to be reunited with their dear little Robin.

Speaking of great trips, I’ve heard that Bush desires again to skydive for his 90th birthday! I jumped with him on his 80th birthday, but I don’t think he’s had too much success talking Mrs. Bush into letting him do another jump since then.

Maybe he might increase his chances with Barbara if we were to go in tandem?

Of course, an all-discerning Barbara won’t be swayed by a tough guy like me. And I doubt very highly anyway that the uber-qualified former president, who was also the head of the CIA and bailed out of a fiery plane in World War II, needs my help in skydiving, even at 90 years old.

Mr. and Mrs. Bush, thank you for being the brightest among a thousand points of light — a supernova example and legacy in the fight for God and country and the fight against diseases such as leukemia.

Our lives, country and world are better off because of you.

For more information about leukemia — its symptoms and treatments — go to http://www.cancer.org/cancer/leukemiainchildren.

Follow Chuck Norris through his official social media sites, on Twitter @chucknorris and Facebook’s “Official Chuck Norris Page.” He blogs at http://chucknorrisnews.blogspot.com.

Action hero and Second Amendment activist, Chuck Norris is one of the most enduringly popular actors in the world. He has starred in more than 20 major motion pictures. His television series “Walker, Texas Ranger,” which completed its run in April 2001 after eight full seasons, is the most successful Saturday night series on CBS since “Gunsmoke.”In 2006, he added the title of columnist to his illustrious list of credits with the launch of his popular Internet column. Now Chuck is a regular contributor to AmmoLand, click the following link to See more of Chuck Norris on AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.

via: http://www.ammoland.com/2013/08/commending-a-president-his-daughter-and-the-secret-service/

Hello August!

With ninja levels of sneak-a-tude august will be a whirlwind of activity

  • We are rocking through a solid study of the Pentateuch Wednesday Nights is a series lead by Norm Frese
  • Sunday Mornings are filled with a contextual look of 1st Corinthians (which will be followed by 2nd Corinthians)
  • I am just about to start a package of lessons re-examining the letters to the seven churches mentioned Revelation
  • on August 23rd we’ll have our 2nd annual congregational singing timed to match the start of TTU’s Fall Semester
  • on the heels of that our Meeting with Lynn Wessels is just around the bend in the beginning of Sept.

That alone is a fairly full schedule… but August has others plans…

  • Adult Canoe School
  • HBJ Canoe School
  • A Mud Run
  • A Grand day of Vollyball and BBQ
  • Some “scout-o-rama” thingy
  • and Best of all, Jill’s Birthday! 🙂400966_422504687806939_1381732255_n

Arnold’s dietary day…


“Arnold” Diet


  • 3 scrambled eggs
  • 1 cup cooked oatmeal
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup low-fat milk


  • Handful mixed nuts
  • 1 apple or banana


  • 2 slices whole-wheat bread
  • 1 cooked chicken breast, no skin (for sandwich)
  • 1 apple
  • 1 cup low-fat milk


  • 3 slices cheese
  • 1 banana
  • Water

Workout between snack and next meal

Post-Workout Drink

  • 25g milk protein
  • 25g egg protein
  • 8–12 oz low-fat milk blend together and drink after workout


  • 8 oz lean-cut grilled beef
  • 1 large baked potato
  • 1 large salad with mixed greens and vegetables
  • 1 tbsp salad dressing
  • 1 cup mixed cooked vegetables
  • Water


  • 1 cup low-fat milk

2,750 Calories
256g Protein
271g Carbs
90g Fat




obsession is what lazy people call dedication


James Bond’s Dry Erase Marker: The Hotel PenTest Pen

Locks keep “honest” people out…

“You may have seen the talk and demonstration by Cody Brocious that allows him to open an Onity hotel room door lock with an Arduino, which is totally James Bond. However, wouldn’t it be even better if someone was able to get it down to the size of a marker or pen? Working as a pentester for Trustwave SpiderLabs, I have access to many different pens, I have blue pens, red pens, green pens, and even the normal boring black pens. Most of these write just fine, and I sometimes wonder why I’m getting paid to test them, but I digress. While the initial idea was to get everything working inside a pen, it quickly became apparent that we wouldn’t be able to do it right away. So instead we opted to get it inside of a dry erase marker.”

More at: http://blog.spiderlabs.com/2012/10/pentesting-hotels-with-pens.html

Are Medicare and Social Security were good for the country, from John Wayne, 1971

“I know all about that. In the late Twenties, when I was a sophomore at USC, I was a socialist myself—but not when I left. The average college kid idealistically wishes everybody could have ice cream and cake for every meal. But as he gets older and gives more thought to his and his fellow man’s responsibilities, he finds that it can’t work out that way—that some people just won’t carry their load … I believe in welfare—a welfare work program. I don’t think a fella should be able to sit on his backside and receive welfare. I’d like to know why well-educated idiots keep apologizing for lazy and complaining people who think the world owes them a living. I’d like to know why they make excuses for cowards who spit in the faces of the police and then run behind the judicial sob sisters. I can’t understand these people who carry placards to save the life of some criminal, yet have no thought for the innocent victim.” ~ John Wayne, 1971

How to Wrestle with a Difficult Decision: Advice from Sergeant Alvin C. York by Brett & Kate McKay

“Corporal Alvin C. York silently led his squad of men through the thick underbrush and dense fog of the Argonne Forest early the morning of October 8, 1918. His regiment had been tasked with charging down Hill 223 and making their way across an open plain towards the Decauville Railroad. Their mission was to cut off this supply line in hopes of pressuring the Germans to surrender. But the plain had been surrounded by machine gun nests, and the Americans were besieged as they made their way across, the gunfire felling them in a way that reminded York of how the mowing machines back home sliced through thick grass. York’s regiment had become hopelessly isolated and pinned down. If they couldn’t silence the constant barrage of artillery and advance, other troops would soon easily be overcome by a German pincer attack.”

More here:



Operation Overlord, June 6th 1944

Eisenhower with U.S. paratroopers of the 502d Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division on June 5, 1944

Eisenhower with U.S. paratroopers of the 502d Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division on June 5, 1944

“You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.” —Eisenhower, Letter to Allied Forces


American assault troops in a landing craft huddle behind the protective front of the craft as it nears a beachhead, on the Northern Coast of France. Smoke in the background is Naval gunfire supporting the land. 6 June 1944.

Career advice I wish I could tell my twentysomething self but can’t so I’ll share with you instead… by Kristiana Burk

Kristiana Burk gives some solid advice on plotting your career…


Stop wandering aimlessly and stressing about which degree you should get. Just get an undergraduate degree that is well-rounded and be done! If you plan on being a lawyer, doctor, or engineer it will matter more what basics you have as entry qualifications for the next level. But in general, the most important thing is to get a solid Bachelors degree from a reputable institution that you can use as a foundation. Leave the worry for when you decide to get your Masters degree – it really does matter what you choose at that point!

My personal choice would be a business, communications or education degree because they are some of the most practical and flexible ones out there. They provide foundational knowledge you’ll be able to build upon as you re-invent yourself multiple times in years to come. And really, that’s what is important at this point in your life.

Yes, re-invention. Be prepared for it. Today’s market is not one where you can plan on sticking with the same job or company for the rest of your life and that’s that. It is constantly shifting and you must learn to “Adapt or Die.” Put the effort in to stay abreast of what the next thing is around the corner. Follow trends. Stay in contact with movers and shakers in your area of interest. Find a mentor. Network. Talk. Get out of the building. Listen to your customers. Become a mentor. Learn how to be as flexible as possible and at the same time find a niche you can become an expert in.

Figure out your belief system. Write it down. Share it with those you are closest to and don’t compromise. Ever. There isn’t a single adventure or opportunity in this world that is worth losing your soul or closest relationships over. You need a personal mission statement. You need to figure out what’s most important in your life and then find out how your career fits into that picture not the other way around.

Find your passion and then leverage it to make a difference in the world. I started out as a music education major. Became a teacher. Then a librarian. Then a knowledge management consultant which turned into content management then user experience which morphed into product management for international digital media and publishing companies. What does my 15+ years of experience have in common? A passion for education, literacy, and the organization of information for users. I wasn’t an actual teacher or librarian for very long in the span of things but I use those principles every single day. And it’s the best part of my day when I do.

And finally, Learn a foreign language and/or get a minor in International Studies. Technology has removed global barriers and the reality is that whether you choose to or not, you’re going to be working in a global economy. Why not have a competitive edge from the get go?


Gaining fat to build muscle

Gaining fat to build muscle

“This next fact is often one that’s forgotten or excluded when talking about the calorie needs of obesity – Every pound of Adipose Tissue (Body Fat) only burns about 2 Calories per day while at rest (not exercising). It would take roughly 100 EXTRA calories per day to support the maintenance of about 50 pounds of body fat.

(Incidentally this is the reason why overweight people say they don’t eat more than their lean friends – they are typically telling the truth – unless they are actively GAINING fat, it just doesn’t take that many calories to stay overweight).” ~ BRAD PILON


Miso Soup

Miso Soup

For future use at some point with the scouts.

Fitness, “Combatives”, and kids…

Being a man


Recently my oldest asked me if I had ever been in a real fight. As a father and with the eye of maturity I view opportunities like this with a far more critical eye. I relayed one instance that gave me the chance to cover two important factors.

As a high school senior I came upon a freshman boy tossing around a freshman girl in the lunch line of all places. Words weren’t going to solve this problem, I had to wrap the kid up, he took a few shots at me, and I chose to put him down and warn him of his folly. He scurried off, I thought that was the end of it. Later that day he apparently cajoled a junior to “call me out”. Classic high school stuff. The young man came up, puffed up with his challenge. I explained to him I was willing to meet, but let him know that regardless of the outcome he would be known for letting girls get roughed up. His choice. He never showed up…

My current opinion is that deescalation and avoidance are still prime, but the ability to chose when to shift to another option is a critical but difficult skill to teach.

So, what are your thoughts about teaching your kids to navigate situations that could or do involve the need for physical action?

Crockpot Teryaki Chicken Success

  • 4 Chicken Breasts
  • 2/3 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/8 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • Sesame seeds