… Boom … word shot – reviews – opinions – musings –




“In every walk with nature, one receives more than he seeks” ~ John Muir

Tuesday Tip for New Scout Leaders




Do the work…

growthRecently, one of the shepherds here locally remarked that the preaching I had been doing over the last couple of years was in his estimation the best i‘ve done over our time working together. It’s my hope that he and all those who hear or follow after my efforts are able to say that every year. Now it may be that I have made some serious leaps recently or I was just not that able to start with… But we need to be a growing people in all aspects of our life.
2 articles I read today reinforced what I have been using to drive my own growth as a christian, father and preacher.

  1. 8 Things Remarkably Effective People Do Every Day by Peter Economy

Make today the day you change course for the better.



Letter to the Officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts, 1798, James Adams

While our country remains untainted with the principles and manners which are now producing desolation in so many parts of the world; while she continues sincere, and incapable of insidious and impious policy, we shall have the strongest reason to rejoice in the local destination assigned us by Providence. But should the people of America once become capable of that deep simulation towards one another, and towards foreign nations, which assumes the language of justice and moderation, while it is practising iniquity and extravagance, and displays in the most captivating manner the charming pictures of candour, frankness, and sincerity, while it is rioting in rapine and insolence, this country will be the most miserable habitation in the world. Because we have no government, armed with power, capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. Oaths in this country are as yet universally considered as sacred obligations. That which you have taken, and so solemnly repeated on that venerable ground, is an ample pledge of your sincerity and devotion to your country and its government.

Where should I get proper training in the employment of a firearm?

Brannon Lebouef of NOLATAC helps answer that question,







Life’s Not Fair



Houston… I think we have a…

Poor Planning

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)

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.

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.  



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?

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?



By Darryl Bolke

When we look at the current and past debates on the issue of so-called “assault weapons” I have seen a propensity for the public, press, and even my fellow shooters to apply a standard to them that seems to be lacking elsewhere in society. Whenever I debate non-gun owners, liberals, and others who are passing judgment on this class of weapons based strictly on what they are fed by the popular media and the generally uninformed politicians, I use my favorite “gun-control” argument analogy to get my point across. My item of choice to compare guns to is cars. Every-time I hear the call for a ban on guns because some criminal used one to commit a crime, I usually ask if they thought it would be okay for the government to come take their car away because their neighbor was a drunk driver………this usually ends the debate. So lets apply this same analogy to the subject of assault rifles.

My favorite reason to get rid of evil assault rifles is that “nobody needs a gun that shoots more than 5 rounds”. Really, well the fact is that nobody really needs a car that will go more than 65 MPH., but most of us have cars like these. I look at semi-automatic firearms like most cars (pay attention to the specific terminology I am using at this point). Semi-Automatic firearms are like most modern cars. They are simply a more technically advanced design. Just like the cars of today are very much unlike the cars of 50 or more years ago (as well as telephones, appliances, and just about everything else we use on a daily basis, so why should firearm technology stop when nothing else has?). Well, what about those really evil “military styled assault weapons”. Oh, the black ones with lots of plastic. I look at the military based guns as being like high performance cars. I like high performance cars, high performance boats, and high performance firearms. I enjoy owning all of them, and using all of them. As a matter of fact, a lot of Americans love big, high horsepower high performance vehicles. There is very little need for a Corvette or motorcycle that will go well over 150mph, but we do love them. Of course the reality is that a vast majority of these vehicles are used reasonably, or simply collected-just like most military styled semi-automatic firearms (only the police should have high performance cars and assault weapons…seems to apply here as a favorite gun control argument). If the government said that effective January 1, 2010, no one can purchase an “assault vehicle” that has a V8 or larger engine, or is equipped with a turbo or super-charger, is capable of a 0-60 time of less than 8 seconds or is a motorcycle of any kind-even the hybrid driving granola who is driving 45mph in the fast lane to save the world may run down to the dealer to buy a Corvette while he still can. Of course once he gets it before the ban he will have to register it as an assault vehicle so the government can come grab it after the next ban on all assault vehicles.

Lets now look at the real media darling, the true assault rifle. The true assault rifle is fully automatic. Yep, an honest to goodness “machine gun”. These are the most tightly controlled weapons in the country. The amount of paperwork required to own one in the limited states where they are even allowed is staggering. Then there is the cost. They are prohibitively expensive, usually costing tens of thousands of dollars just to get started. The true assault rifles and fully automatic weapons regulated in accordance with the Nation Firearms Act are just like truly exotic sports cars and specialty vehicles, and probably rarer. How many Lamborghini’s, or Ferrari F40’s do really see in your daily travels. Yep, they are that rare. Like most of the true exotic “Super Cars”, legal machine guns are usually locked up, rarely used, and tend to be toys of the very rich and are rarely involved in nefarious activity. What about all these terrible machine guns the press talks about? In this case, those guns are already banned and come with very stiff federal penalties if a person gets caught with one…THEY ARE ALREADY BANNED! The criminals who use illegal guns in crimes (illegal conversions to machine guns and exotic weapons) are likened to the idiots who cannot drive with any level of competency and are street racing their highly (usually illegally) modified cars in heavily congested areas with no regard for anyone else. They (like the criminals who use illegally owned guns) tend to kill some poor uninvolved family or other person other than himself or herself. The reality is that we could leave the guns alone and just ban vehicles and it would be far “safer” world.

I certainly understand that folks who have little or no education about these things to be scared by them. What I do not understand is my fellow shooters who should know better. Let me address these folks at this point. The second amendment is there to provide a means of the citizenry to protect it and to protect all the other amendments. There is not a word in it about sporting use. In the time of the writing of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights the possession of “sporting weapons” was a given. You couldn’t eat without them-period. They lacked grocery stores back then. The musket of those days was the M4 carbine of today. I am a city guy. I live in an urban area and I don’t hunt. I have nothing against those who legally do and total respect their way of life. On the other hand I was a police officer in Southern California for almost twenty years. I have tracked many armed bad guys over the years, and I used modern “Non-Sporting” tools to do that. I can also say with a good measure of confidence that at times of government breakdown (major Hurricane, Earthquake, black out, riot, or other calamity) the tool of choice for a law abiding citizen to protect themselves and their family would be a modern semi automatic firearm. Keep in mind that while rural gun owners do not understand the “need” for modern semi-automatic firearms, those of us in urban metropolises really have no need for a hard-hitting rifle made for dropping a large four-legged animal. From a purely technical standpoint, one of the safest weapons to deploy in the urban environment for non-involved parties that have very little over penetration issues is the 5.56 mm carbine (i.e. AR15) using modern hollow or soft point bullets. They actually have less penetration through hard barriers than most modern large caliber handguns.

Now to address society’s do-gooders. Those hypocrites who are so quick to disregard the rights and possessions of others in order to make themselves feel better. My favorite argument is “if we can only save one child it will be worth banning all the evil handguns, assault weapons, non-sporting firearms (take your pick of the implement of the day). Really. If you want to save some kids from violence and predatory crime the first thing to go would be computers, violent video games, graphic television and movies, and the Internet. I flat guarantee that more children have been victimized by those electronic items than all the evil assault weapons put together. We of course could not do that because it would infringe on the rights of a 10 year old to be sitting at his killing simulator (violent video game) all day, or the rights of a pedophile to have a tool available to him to lure kids to become victims of both sexual and violent crimes (the internet). The same hypocrites who want to erase the second amendment “for the children” are not willing to do the same with anything else. Personally, I would be fine with banning the Internet and computers for the sake of my child. I have a house full of evil guns and books, and my kid is not allowed near the internet or allowed to have video games. That is how I run my home-I’ll stay out of the way you run your house if you stay out of mine.

I would never get into a debate like this without a real solution to the “assault weapon” problem. It is very easy. You pass a Federal law that the use of a high capacity semi or fully automatic firearm in a violent crime, or while conducting gang or drug activity, will result in a minimum mandatory sentence ENHANCEMENT of 20 years to whatever other crime you committed with no probation or parole opportunity with this enhancement. Crooks will steer clear of them. While most criminals aren’t the smartest gems of society, they do understand that getting an extra 20 years just because they had a Glock with them while doing a drug deal is stupid. Punish the action of people and not the inanimate object used by them. That would, of course, go against today’s trend of actually holding people individually responsible for their actions. It is much easier for many folks to blame all of society for the actions of an individual with no regards for the society they live within. I am tired of seeing law-abiding people being made into felons for simply owning an object. I have shot for many years in firearms competition with semi automatic high performance firearms. I have enjoyed just shooting for pure fun with these types of guns. I have carried these same weapons to protect the public as a police office. I have used these tools to protect people who are threatened with potential violence in the private sector, and most important, I choose to protect my home and family with the best tools I can legally own. To me, there is not a single thing evil or inherently bad about that.

reflections from the trail

Had a great time out in the woods and hills of Frozen Head State Park with Troop 156 this past weekend. It is a highlight to the troops program, and is often the first taste of pack backing for some of the younger scouts. Jesse went with one crew and ascended The “North Old Mac Trail”, and then joined me when we headed down the “South Old Mac Trail” Saturday afternoon (as is our habit to do so in order to assemble with the saints on the first day of the week).

Jesse and I both chose to carry our full loads up and down the mountain, Which allowed him the chance to get a feel for having some weight on him in a hike and for me to get a test run in on my gear. 7+ miles for him, and 6+ for me.

I was swiftly reminded that I need two pairs of socks and a protective layer of Moleskin on my heals… (and would do well to drop excess gear from my pack). Jesse learned he can indeed tote a heavy load and do just fine.

Brief outline of what I have right now:

Bag Dump

  1. Big Agnes Lynx Pass 2
  2. Big Agnes Silver Creek Xl
  3. Big Agnes Inflatable Pad
  4. North Face Terra 65L
  5. Rain Cover for Pack
  6. Food
  7. Clothing (changes by season)
  8. Odds and ends,
  9. Precut cordage, 550
  10. Repacked first aid kit
  11. Cook kit
  12. Water
  13. Light, spare batteries
  14. Fire steel
  15. Saw and leatherman
  16. Jet boil PCS
  17. ENO LED strand
  18. Head Lamp
  19. Lead line

So now what…

Become a possibilitarian. No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see possibilities — always see them, for they’re always there. ~ Norman Vincent Peale

After meeting, exceeding, and reviving some finite goals I set out on January 1st, I am now at an odd place. I still have some overall goals planned out, some long range ideas hanging around, but I now need to really refine my fitness plans and dig in. While hitting it at the gym this morning I came up with at least this short list to work from.

  • peal off an additional 10-15 lbs of body fat
  • continue to expand my capacity so that for the next adventure race I will have improved my pace per mile.
  • find new challenges

btw today’s gym visit marked a return to mild upper body work given that my shoulder feels fairly strong and pain free (still a tinge of numbness in my fingers)

gym: 3×15 @ 80 lbs cable triceps press downs, 3×15 @50 lbs standing cable curls

cardio: light jog, 2×250 meters on the C2 rower, and 2 miles on the bike…


Just a light stroll in the park…

Jan 1 of this year I was carrying over 40lbs of excess fat compared to now. I still have a long way to go to reach my fitness goals. One of the rewards I laid out for myself was competing in this race. I am happy to be able to do so with some good friends, It should be a blast…

The greatest challenge for me thus far has NOT been working out, or getting my cardio in, For me, it’s been make sure what I eat is what I need, not just want I want. It still is a big issue, but I have it locked down for now. As soon as I get my should back I can push to reach my next goal…



PS “Mockers and Scoffers are more than welcome… ;)”

throttling back

I never really considered that it might be “tough” to slow down some… Given that I am not really “high-speed” or fast. with my shoulder/neck nerve dealio I have been forced to do so, and it is killing my vibe! I WANT to bust it, but hold back…

one plus side note from my Dr.’s visit…

BP: 120/60 and resting HR was a nice 58 not too shabby for almost 40…

A Panda A Day…

0. gym: 3×12 @40lbs high cable flys, 3×20 @ 50lbs seated flys (pec dec) 3×12@70 standing cable press downs, 3×12 @70lbs standing cable straight bar curls, 2×20 hyperextensions, 2×20 ab coasters, 2×20 incline sit ups.

1. walk 1/2 mile

Dr’s check up today,

BP 112/60, resting HR 72, thoughts on knee pain, not Patellar Tendonitis, more likely is it is Osteoarthritis (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov). Suggestions are to take a anti-inflamatory on active days, and will get an xray done to rule out other possbilites.  In addition, keep up with the weight loss plan trying for about 1lb a week and go ahead and increase the running distances up to about 2 miles a week, broken in small segments as I progress.

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