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


Tuesday Tip for New Scout Leaders




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

Brannon Lebouef of NOLATAC helps answer that question,






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.  


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



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

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 Chicken Jambalya Goodness

came out looking and tasting great!

came out looking and tasting great!

  • 4 peppers – any color you want, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large can of organic diced tomatoes (leave the juice)
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 bay leafs
  • 1 lb large shrimp, raw and de-veined.
  • 4-5 Chicken Breasts chicken, diced
  • 1 pkg spicy Andouille sausage
  • 1/2-1 head of cauliflower
  • 2 c. okra (optional)
  • 3 tbsp Cajun Seasoning* (Emrill’s Version will be used as listed below)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
    2 tablespoons salt
    2 tablespoons garlic powder
    1 tablespoon black pepper
    1 tablespoon onion powder
    1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
    1 tablespoon dried oregano
    1 tablespoon dried thyme
    (Yields about 2/3 c.)
  • 1/4 c. Frank’s Red Hot (or hot sauce of your choice, omitting mine to use as a side)

rice will be added at the end to dry up some of the moisture

crockpot victory

2-3lbs chicken
1 can sauerkraut
1 can water cress
copious celery
copious carrots
small amount of vinegar & soy
season chicken with Lemon Pepper
serve with spicy mustard.

punching phat phil in the face…

aproximatly 1 year apart and 50 ish pounds...

approximately 1 year apart and 50ish pounds…

After  a year’s hard work, discipline and focus the photos tell the story, the only thing better would have been to plan a shot where I could have punched my phat self in the face…

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

You Can’t Outrun a Fork

With a hectic schedule made in part by our gospel meeting this week here, it makes all kinds of smart sense to have another week of extra ab/core work.  This weeks goal, 1250 reps


gym: 3×15@60lbs standing curls, 3×15@80lbs standing cable triceps press, 250 declined situps

cardio: 1 Mile sprint on the bike, 3:15


gym: 3×15 @ 25lbs standing plate raises, 3×15 @ 50lbs reverse flys, 250 declined situps

cardio: 3.5 miles on the bike in 12 mins.

Reflections in Mud…

Saturday, September 1 was mud run day…

I’m not exactly sure how I went from, hrmm… I think I’ll run a race or something when I drop some weight to there are 9 other crazies running, but run we did.

17 obstacles in all, the race was billed as a 5K and then they slapped on another 1/2 mile or so at the end…

When I plotted a pace and tried to estimate how I (we) should run it all, I came up with about 14mins per mile on the run portions. (slow, but steady and I knew I would be running out of steam on each station) Not knowing how long the obstacles would take, I guess all in all we would finish around 45-60 mins. We hit the 5k mark just a bit over 60 and still had 3 more obstacles and some fun to go.

My legs feel just fine, (knee too for that matter)… but my upper body has paid the price for my shoulder injury. It took a ton of effort to finish some sections, and my arms are sore today. Some of those who ran REALLY exceeded their own expectations and showed true strength passing fears and limits with determination.

For me I don’t believe I could have gone faster than we did and still finished well. I did note that I have to continue improve my running, and slice off some more baggage, but I’ll lay that out another time.

We are already scoping out plans for next year and maybe some stuff before then!

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… ;)”

Fitness “pro-tip” eat smart, work hard…


run: 1.5 miles (15:00)

bike: 3.38 miles (13:00)

swim: 200 meters (7:26)

Still hovering around 205, but all in all my shoulder is feeling much better and most mornings I can feel my fingers so there’s that!


if you have a chance check out www.scottsandusky.com and help out a great family!

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…

1000 Stones

My Goals for this week:

1. Let my shoulder heal

2. Be militant with my Diet

3. 1000+ ab reps

today’s work:

gym: 2×100 Ab Coasters, 4×50 incline sit ups, 3×60 @ 65lbs seated leg curls, 3×20 @ 65lbs seated leg extensions.

track: 1/2 mile mixed sprints

bike: 8mins, 2+ miles

207 lbs

My shoulder is about 50%, but I have some numbness/tingling in my right thumb, 2 forefingers (feels like Carpal Tunnel, need to change my office routine / position so that nerve can rest.

work before the other work

gym: 3×50@40lbs ab coaster, 3×50 incline situps

track: 1.5 miles jog, walk, run repeat

bike: 3 miles in 12 minutes

sauna: 10 mins

Shoulder is still jacked, but might feel a bit better, rest shall continue, by weeks end I will have totaled 1000 situps minimum, maybe more. My weight bounces right now around 204-208, BF is about 18%

1 Month – ouch my shoulder!!!

From time to time (in the last 20+ years) I have awoken with a sore nerve in my upper back, normally it’s not an issue settles on its own and that’s that. Not this time, it has messed with my mechanics and now my upper shoulder is KILLING.

For the next 1-2 weeks I will abstain from any upper torso centric motions and let myself heal up. So pity my poor abs, they will get my full angry focus and share my pain…

With the mud run 1 month away, this will likely be a benefit overall I need to make sure I am in good shape for success there.


gym: 3 sets of (20 ab rollers, 20 hyper – extensions 20 ab solos 20 decline crunches, 10 standing kettle curls per arm @ 16kg)

run: 1.33 miles in 18:24 1/2  1/2 walk


gym: 3×20 @ 50 chest flys, 3×20 @ 80 lat press, 3×20 ab rollers

run 1 mile, 14 mins easy pace..

– 36lbs

Since January 1 I have dropped 36lbs of useless body weight.

205lbs as of this AM, dropping another 10-15 lbs will put me at or around 10-12% Body Fat.


today’s work:

gym: 9, 15, 21, 15, 9 kettlebell snatch & calf raises (1 set each exercise up and down pyramid) 35lb kettlebell and 195lb calf raise, 3×20@120lbs bent lat pull downs, 3×20@25 standing plate raise

bike: 1 mile @ 3 mins

row 1k @ 5 mins

swim 100m @ 2:55 (PR)

One question, If anyone has been using Kill Cliff (or something similar) and has some comments I would really like to know what you think. I presently only use a Ultra Mega Gold Multi vitamin daily and drink 1/2 a monster rehab prior to my workout. (aside from getting the protein / carbs I need from my diet). I am thinking about kicking the rehab to the curb and running Kill Cliff until my mudrun on Sept 1. and see how it goes. Any thoughts?


Apparently Running uphill makes you slow…

I ran my first outdoor leg Monday, uphill, and well it went as I anticipated, I was slow. That said, I did not feel burnt at the end and I stayed with my pace and plan as much as I was able.


Finished the day off with 250 meters in the pool.

Planning on a visit to the High School’s Cross Country track this week for a longer run and less elevation than my neighborhood affords. I want to split time to about 10minutes a mile. We shall see…


Team Rademacher… it’s almost like the darkside but with better food…

made it back from a great week at www. midwestsummercamp.com, considering how good the food was, I was pleasantly surprised to have came back with zero extra pounds. Next year I will plan to get some AM workouts in, but given how busy I thought we would be (and we were) I didn’t want to over commit.


gym: 3×20@70lbs triceps press, 3×20@70lbs Vbar Curls, 3×20@35lbs standing plate raise, 3×20@35lbs forearm curls

track: 3miles mixed: run, sprint, knee highs & jog, change up every 1/6 mile

swim: 100 meters to cool down.

I have not run this distance in years, all in all the knee feels good right now, we’ll see how it goes in the AM. My thighs felt a bit stiff around 2.5 miles but eased back toward the end. By no means am I near Fried “the rocket” Rademacher’s speed… but then again I think I could carry him and still run the 5k…

Punching Monday in the Face!

Monday Monday….






Jesse jumped in this morning and went back later for some more swim time today 🙂 I’d like to see him turn decent 3 miles times by years end.


old man:

Gym: Lat work, 3×15@100lbs, Chest Flys, 3×15@100lbs, Bench, 60lbs AMRAP, then 25lb plate risersx3, Seated dumbbell curls, 3×15@35lbs

bike: 3miles@11:30, Swim 2x100m@3minutes

young man:

track: 1 1/3 mile mixed run, (run 1 lap walk 1 lap) mile time 18mins)

bike: 1/2 mile

swim: 100m