Friday, December 31, 2010

Reflections on 2010; Looking Forward



Things accomplished in 2010:

1. I'm a Daddy! Life as I once knew it is GONE. It's amazing.

2. I learned to love running.3. I caught my first redfish.
4. Went full Paleo for a bit.
5. Successfully fought off the sympathy weight, and am continuing to lose.

I had an amazing year. I know a few others out there who did too. I hope the prosperity continues, and there is only more adventures to get into.

Happy New Year

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Where’s The Butter?


Where’s The Butter?

I had a conversation with an individual on this very topic. He worked in a restaurant, but still gets confused between the difference in Butter and Margarine. WTF?
“Excuse me,” I asked him politely, “but do you have any butter butter? Real butter, I mean, not margarine?” His momentarily confused expression quickly passed, and then he promised to go ask his manager.

Five minutes later, the manager came out and asked me what I wanted. I reiterated that I simply wanted some butter. I wasn’t trying to be a pain, but surely the restaurant had real butter somewhere back in the kitchen.

Five minutes later, he returned. “We don’t have any butter,” he said.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Link Love--Awesome Post.

I just wanted to share a really great post that summarizes a lot of the things I have been trying to incorporate into my life as of late. I am trying to make the switch to improvement versus hitting the numbers. I want to be the best I can be, and I set my goals according to self improvement.

Great post from an awesome blog. I love Roller Derby girls anyway, but a crossfitting paleo derby girl? I'm down.


THE BEST VERSIONS OF US

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Justin Townes Earle: A G&G Film

Sprained Ankle Again

Well I suppose it was only a matter of time.

I sprained my ankle again during my warm-up. I hate working out when it's cold. I guess my ankle did too. This blows.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Warm Soup for a Cold Evening

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Irish Potato and Leek Soup with Thinly sliced Pork Chops in Strongbow Gravy.

I know potatoes are in the nether-regions of the paleo world, but it's chilly here in NE Florida, and there is something special about home made slow-cooked soup to warm your bones. The aroma of leeks cooking down in butter and mirepoix filled my house with happiness and anticipation. The addition of home cooked chicken stock added that little feeling of a hug you get from grandma, and the anticipation is worth the work. I took my time with this, and I can't be happier with the results. I was lucky enough to find 3 BIG leeks and organic potatoes. I didn't plan on making this soup until I had the ingredients in my cart. I can say, this was one of the best things I have ever cooked. It was the perfect day for a slow cooked, hearty bowl of comfort food, some drunken pork loin, and some cider for Team MamaDada.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Still Here, Just Swamped

In my official off-weeks from my full-time job, I have very little time set aside to write. I want to post something to prove I am still engaged in this whole blogging process, so here are some random things loosely strung together.

I generally dislike Christmas time. This year is not as bad as last year, but only because I have a baby. It's our first Christmas together. I could care less because I am 1000 miles away from my birthplace, and my folks, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins who I used to spend Christmas time with are all over the country or left in my birthplace in BFE, Ohio. I now have a "new" family-in-law, and that makes me happy. I am glad I have a place to be on Christmas, and people that I care about around me. Plus, I can experience the fun vicariously through little eyes now. My bah-humbug is slowly dying. We put up our christmas tree today, and I wore a santa hat drinking cider.

This leads into the slow creeping weight gain I tend to experience in only the 2 weeks I have at home between shifts. Remember when i talked about how Alcohol derails my intestinal fortitude for clean eating? Well this past weekend was our annual Holiday Party for my reserve squadron. I have to confess. I ate Whataburger. I didn't totally binge on crap, but eating fast-food in the wee hours of the morning isn't exactly going to do anything good for your health. To be fair, however, neither are Whisky and beer. I am working on cleaning up again, but it's not as easy at home, and definitely difficult to do with a constantly varying flight schedule with the reserves. I refuse to do a 24 hour fast while flying. It's an un-necessary risk. I find myself living off ham nuts, and jerky. The Navy is far from adopting a paleo approach to health. In fact, I would would guess it's on the no-no list of buzz words that says I should get a flight surgeon's consent before even eating healthy. Whatever. I swam my SAR Fitness test faster than I have EVER since they instituted the new testing system. I went and checked. I knocked a minute off my average without being in the pool for 2 months. I guess what I am doing is working.

So the while the rest of society calls us crazy for wanting meat, vegetables, fruit and nuts over processed industrial agri-products, the Paleo/Primal/PaNu/WAPF/Neanderthin/low Carb community is getting healthier, lighter, stronger, faster, and more and more smug. I have no problem ordering three eggs and a ham steak in front of my friends. I love taking three hours to slowly cook the stock out of left over bones. I need an IV Drip with Coconut milk and coffee. I hate eating before noon now, and I love to feel the giant boost of energy i get from a fasted workout that doesn't make me want to puke my breakfast out. I love having to buy new jeans only to find out they are too big. Brang it, Conventional wisdom. I have your broscience right here.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Fail-eo Thanksgiving, and Why I'm Not Guilty.


I have a confession to make. I ate an apple fritter today. I also had some Pecan Pie. AND THEY WERE AWESOME!!!! I didn't have too much of a chance to feel like crap, but I'm sure I would have if I wasn't too busy stuffing my coffee intake portal full of every known meat combo available along with rice dressing, green bean casserole, deviled eggs, garlic mashed potatoes and... coffee. I completely went against (nearly) everything my paleo conscience stands for today. I went into my Thanksgiving meal with reckless abandon, and I don't feel the slightest bit guilty.

Now some people need to have the strict confines of a program or a diet, and freak out completely when they "cheat" on it. You can recognize these folks by their ziploc containers full of carrots and baggies full of almonds. If you happen to offer them a particular item of food, they either flat out call you crazy or you can watch them scramble with a calculator to figure out how many shots of olive oil they need to do when they get back to their apartment on the rich side of town to offset the extra carbs. I am not this person.

I was prepared for this day. I planned ahead and had a decent workout fasted around noon. I went until my stomach felt like it was going to eat through my belly button and slap me in the face to tell me to eat an egg, so I had to eat some ham and tomatoes. I had planned on fasting all day, but running and exercising got the better of me. I needed a little fuel to last through my domination of the kitchen. I definitely went over my limit on food today, and I ate some things reserved for the 6th level of paleo purgatory, but I will be alright. I feel good.

Here is why I don't feel like I need to bath in holy bone broth: I have been feeling like ass all week. The holidays are tough when you are away from the most important things in your life, and I have been seriously down. I had the blues. Well, after losing 25 pounds this summer, and working out nearly everyday, I came to the realization, that one little apple fritter isn't going to kill me. I love apple fritters and coffee. I think, as a reward for doing so well on my little weigh-loss-body-recomposition-badassification, then dammit! I earned that little fucker! I ate that apple fritter, and it was gooooooooooood. We have a hook-up with a local bakery on the bayou, and usually when the girl brings by a box of donuts, I sneer and avoid them. I know that one leads to many, and sugar leads to more sugar cravings. they are pretty dang good. The personal sized pecan pies rival my wife's (but not even close baby). Well.... after eating said sugar bomb fat pill, I felt ok. I knew I was about to go pig the eff out anyway, so whatevs. We had Turkey(Me), Venison, Turducken from a local specialty meat store, green bean casserole, rice dressing(cajun dirty rice), deviled eggs, stuffing, garlic mashed potatoes(me), and I ran out of room for home made carrot cake. Paleo Fail. the turkey and venison, not so much, but a lot of the other stuff - FAIL. But you know what? I done got rid of my blues for the day. SO I feels alright.

I'm simmering what's left of the turkey to make a stock. My plan is to live on the broth most of tomorrow. I think i'll need a good cleaning.


I want to say I am thankful. I am extremely thankful for my little family, and the fact that I have a job that lets me take care of them. They are my world, and I hate the fact that Daddy has to travel to give them the best life possible, but I am truly thankful that My beautiful little daughter has her beautiful mother taking car of her in our pretty little corner near the ocean. I love you.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

End the TSA



Does the Molestation by glorified federal mall cops create more security? No. It does absolutely nothing for the security of this nation. It exacerbates the ridiculous over-reaction, and over-reach of federal power. I like my 4th Amendment rights, thanks.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


By I mean, honestly, does anyone actually think this shit is working beside Janet Napolitano, John Pistole and Michael Chertoff? Michael Chertoff, consequentially is making large profits from the manufacturers of the Body Scan Machines.
2005: Michael Chertoff, as head of Homeland Security, orders the first batch of porno scanners from a company called Rapiscan Systems. After his departure, Chertoff gave dozens of interviews using his government credentials to promote the device. What he didn’t tell people was that Rapiscan was one of the clients of his consulting company, The Chertoff group.



The answer, of course is NO. This shit doesn't work for security. It works for the people on top of the heap. The pat downs make it so atrocious to think about opting out, that more people are willing to walk through the machines. This creates more demand for a useless machine, and increases revenue for L-3 and "Rapescan" all while bypassing our Constitutional right to privacy.

If I was a terrorist hell-bent on killing as many infidels as possible, where would the most logical place be to detonate a large amount of high explosive? Well, I would happen to think walking into the middle of a long line of people waiting with no place to go other than a security checkpoint would obliterate as many god-fearing citizens as possible! The benefit of this, of course is all the security cameras already in place trained on American citizens would provide endless hours for AlJazeera to broadcast to the Muslim world! The need for an accomplice to film said attack would not be necessary!

If I was a stupid terrorist merely wanting to bring down a plane, I could smuggle in a stinger missile over the border with Mexico, Canada, or with a boat along the millions of miles of un-patrolled coastline; and merely sit alongside the departure end of any runway in a large metropolitan area, and knock the plane out of the sky and into a populated area. Now tell me how much security do you really need for DOMESTIC FLIGHTS!?

To call these policies mis-guided is giving these jokers too much credit. There must be some pocket padding going on by someone in the these mega-defense contracting companies. The simple answer would be to start dismantling the TSA and get rid of these over-reaching "Security" Dogmas. Instead of hiring anyone that doesn't have a criminal record part-time for $14/hr, let's cut this in half and hire people with criminalogy degrees for 80k/yr and place them in plain clothes to monitor people who are acting suspiciously starting in the Parking lots (Similar to Israeli protocols), and maybe we can stop more than 50% of the guns and knives that still make it through security. My belt buckle is not an explosive device. My shoes aren't full of explosive. That's been done, and failed. Are they really going to try this crap again?

The terrorist is lucky in his position because even if he fails in his initial task, he still induces fear on the populace. The TSA has to react when there is a perceived call that "Something has to be done," so to keep up the perception they are doing Something, they increase the perception of more uniformed TSA Agents, More restrictions, longer delays, and more disgruntled assholes who take out their frustrations from having to grab ball sacks all day for 28k/yr on the law-abiding terrified american citizens to show that they really do have more authority than is actually there. Outside of that security checkpoint, they are still just the creepy old cat lady or the guy that hangs out in a van by the little league field. There, they are IMPORTANT godammit!


This needs to stop. Bureaucratic nonsense has led to a bloated agency with more power than it needs, and a Director that doesn't listen to congress. I don't feel more secure. I feel molested. National Opt Out day is tomorrow. If you are flying, wear a kilt and opt out. Don't shower that day either. If you are woman, stay home. I wouldn't subject my wife, daughter, mother, grandmother, or any female I know (well ok, maybe a couple) to the pat-down procedures in place right now. I personally have no problem showing off my blurry junk to a stranger twice a month, but i'm not given the choice. I have a HUGE problem with my loved ones being subjected to this shit. I personally won't be flying with my wife and Daughter until this ends. It HAS TO END. The Executive branch of government has stepped over it's boundaries, and the congress has done little to nothing to stop it. There is a call to action that is happening in the House and Senate, and a few Congressmen have been actively trying to stop this, but there needs to be more action.
This is a letter from Congressman Rush Holt, from the 12th District of New Jersey asking for a conference with John Pistole about the same ideas I have brought up in this Post.
Now watch this video. This is why I will NOT be traveling by air with my family until this ends.
This text will be replaced by the player

Monday, November 22, 2010

Enough Is Enough! Ron Paul's freedom speech about the TSA and airport security - NaturalNews.tv

Enough Is Enough! Ron Paul's freedom speech about the TSA and airport security - NaturalNews.tv
This text will be replaced by the player

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Practical Paleo – Diet Tip of the Day – Sauces

Practical Paleo – Diet Tip of the Day – Sauces

I love Hot Sauces!!!!

Don;t forget to add your Iguana Brand Sauces

Making a List


I haven't been posting as much substance lately. I need to make very clear that it isn't for lack of information, but rather OVERWHELMING topics. I have so many things I want to write about that I can't put them all together in a clear and concise, educated thought-provoking post.
Here is a checklist of things that I can post about in the future:

1. End the TSA. It has crossed the line, and outgrown it's usefulness. No replacing the TSA Agents with private contractors. End it. The Private airport security guards still need to follow the rules and our breach of constitutional rights.

2. Where is the disconnect between children's health and shoving sugar laced marshmallow crack down their throats, or Enfamil pushing formula around every corner of the internet and parenting magazine?

3. The Food Safety Modernization Act(S.510), Small Farmers, Raw Milk, and the FDA Goons.

Edit: There is an Ammendment attached to differentiate between family farms and Direct to Consumer sales from the Mega-Farms


So these are supposed to come up in the future. If I say I'm going to do it, well, Now I have to write them. It's just a matter of focusing on one topic long enough without getting pissed off. Herein lies the problem. They all three PISS ME OFF. I get so spun up about all three of these topics that I've been in knots.

Here is a video. Enjoy.

Farmageddon Trailer from Kristin Canty on Vimeo.



Here is another one:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Can't Tell Me Nothing with Zach Galifianakis - High Quality Video



I love Zach Galifanakis, and I love Bonny Prince Billy. This is just random hilarity, and I assume what happens when two great minds get bored in the Kentucky countryside. Weeeeeee!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Where did the Science go?

Adam at Practical Paleolithic has a better formed rant than I could ever put together. His story is similar to a multitude of people that have spent years bouncing around from doctor to doctor, to neuropathology, to finally finding this whole buzz-word umbrella of "Paleo"; only to finally have their health getting better.
The mainstream medical establishment is fixated – to the point of insanity or idiocy, I can’t decide which – on individual systems in the body. As far as they’re concerned, nothing is related to anything else. If you’re depressed, it means your brain is broken – it couldn’t have anything to do with your diet. I mean, look how “far away” your stomach is from your head. How could they be related? Anxious? Your brain is broken – but in a different way from the depression. It couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that the speed of life and the volume of stress we endure every day is THOUSANDS of times faster than anything our equipment is evolved to handle. And, if you’re having digestive problems it couldn’t have anything to do with the coffee and donuts you have every morning. As far as the medical establishment is concerned, the body is just a dumb machine that can be manipulated with chemicals and man’s scientific genius. IS THIS NOT THE HEIGHT OF CONCEIT? A few hundred years of man and science are smarter than MILLIONS of years of evolution? This is man’s ego run amuck.

And, remember, I’m a trained scientist! I lived in that world FOR YEARS!


Read this article.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Booze, Friends, Music, and Fire

There is nothin more Primal than music, booze and fire.


Here's to the veterans who were lucky to have a fire. Here's to the veterans that fought and continue to fight. Freedom is in the hearts and minds of those sworn to protect it.
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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

End of my 2 week Challenge Results

Just a quick post to brag about myself report my results:

After 2 weeks of my original challenge of Strict Paleo (no grains, legumes, dairy, or added sugar*) and Intermittent Fasting anywhere from 14-18 hours a day and including on 24 hour test, I have hit my goal of losing 10 pounds in 2 weeks! I started at 212lbs., and after my weigh in this morning I weighed 201lbs! All the sympathy weight gain from earlier this year is GONE!!!! I'm back to the weight I was the day of my wedding.

I am down a belt size, and I can definitely tell my BF% is down. I'm leaner. I have been at a sticking point lately, and I really think the IF and working out in a fasted state was the little push I needed to get over the hump. I'm not sold on the no dairy thing yet, but it's working, so I'm not in a hurry to throw it back in. I know today's dairy is definitely NOT the healthy product it claims to be, and I think I will probably forgo the milk and yogurt. I will definitely be snooty on my cheese selection as well.

Now alcohol is going to be tough. It's already very painful not pouring some Bourbon over ice in the evenings. I should just accept the ten pounds and have a drink, but I'm afraid I will binge. I may have to get a bottle of good red wine for this evenings dinner. I think that should be acceptable. We'll see.

Anyway, 10 pounds in two weeks is pretty cool. My jeans are loose. It's a good feeling.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Paleo in the Real World



Tomorrow is the end of my two week experiment in Strict Paleo-hood and intermittent fasting-ness. I made it through lighter, healthier, clearer, and I learned a lot about myself. I learned that I was a really bad grazer. I would constantly eat when i was bored. I know this because i would usually grab a string cheese or an apple, or some celery or carrots with sunbutter. With the fasting part, I found out that I was only eating because i was bored, and I had a throw-back to my Zone days still lingering on. It was never required. I also found though fasting, that I operate more clearly in the mornings running only on coffee and water, than i do when i eat a breakfast. I was never a big breakfast person growing up, but had since started eating breakfast due to various cultural dogmas and social pressures. I can even remember thinking about how much hungrier at lunch I was when I ate a breakfast, compared to when I skipped. I would eat significantly more when i ate breakfast compared to not. The same goes for my lunches this last week. I didn't even realize I was fasting at 18 hours. It was only when i started thinking about the time, and putting food thoughts in my brain did I really start to feel hungry. It is a total Mind game. Plus, the cold fingers and toes was kinda neat. It's a good feeling knowing your hands are cold because you are losing your belly fat. It brings up memories of peroxide on scrapes as a kid, and complaining to your mom.
me: "Mom, it burns!!!!"
Mom: "That means it's working!"
You just suck it up, and know it's helping.

This evening was especially difficult. Generally, being this is the end of my 2 week shift with no real outside interaction or alcohol, I usually go down to the VooDoo BBQ stuck on the side of my hotel and have BBQ Shrimp (drowning in yummy butter sauce), veggies(buttered), Maker's Mark fine Bourbon Whisky, and an Abita Amber or two to cap off the shift. Also, Monday Night Football, and newfound drinkin buddies are usually factored into the equation. Tonight, I opted for a different approach. I left the camp later than normal to distract me from the long hours waiting to go to sleep and all the delicious BBQ, Beer, and Muzak Bliues, and checked into my room and stayed in there. I may have well as boarded the doors. I covered the room service menu up with other hotel paraphernalia, to overt my eyes from the tantalizing pictures of mac and cheese and Pork in all it's many glorious forms. I feel like a recovering alcoholic. Why am I going to all this trouble to avoid an otherwise perfectly acceptable caveman-esque meal of charred pig flesh? Because of BEER and alcohol in general. Beer is my deregulator. I could sneak in one, sure, but after 2 weeks of near isolation, one beer just isn't going to cut it. I would need at least three. Then I would be hungry. I would have to order BBQ -- which, BTW is probably loaded with sugar along with who knows what else -- further derailing my best attempts at keeping clean. I would most likely have a few drinks, and give up my stance on my personal challenge, and then i would keep drinking until I could convince myself I would feel fine in the morning. I, however speaking from experience, would not. So what do you crave with a hangover? CRAP. That's what. I would lose two whole days of clean eating for a measly beer. A cold, frosty, delicious, Abita Amber with drips of condensation melting the frost on it's sides. Complimenting the smoky aroma of the BBQ ever present in the air.

Yeah. This shit is tough.

So here is my newest Dilemma. I have decided I would like to try to extend my challenge another 6 days. I would say more, but I am having a party on Sunday, and I don't want that hanging over my head, so I can enjoy myself. These 6 days are going to be in an un-controlled real world environment. I will have wife and baby to contend with as well as myself. My wife is not doing this challenge, and will be consuming whatever she damn well pleases. We will also have the constant temptation of going to restaurants. This is a bad habit I hope to break, but It's hard to say. I will also be contending with dinner at my in-laws, I'm sure. So this is going to be very tough for me. In the context of Primal I do well, but the 20% has a way of creeping up on you. Tomorrow I will be tromping through Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport feeling like the Geico Caveman. You can substitute the caveman add for a picture of Jillian Michaels or one of the many Starbucks, Chick-fil-a's, or any and all of the food courts in every concourse. Cue Royksopp.


However, this is a long awaited homecoming for my beautiful little family. I can't wait to see my little girl and her momma! She grows so fast, that two weeks on shift feels like robbery of all the little golden moments. She can ask for me now, and gets excited when we video call on Skype. I can't imagine what life would be like without all the modern conveniences and connectivity. It's a blessing and a curse.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fowl Play: Pumped and Plumped Meat

Fowl Play: Pumped and Plumped Meat

I would keep chickens in my backyard, but it's illegal in Atlantic Beach. I could however have a pot-belly pig, or a pygmy goat. No heirloom chickens.

Buy REAL CHICKEN.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Mentawai



This is an absolutely breathtaking view into the lives of a remote tribe in Indonesia filmed by a young Rock and Roll videographer and a young photographer. I'll let the video speak for itself.

The Mentawai, Behind the Scenes Documentary from Joey L on Vimeo.



Here is the website for the Videograher, Cale Glendening:
http://www.caleglendening.com/

And here are the links to the specific Blog posts about the trip. It truly is an amazing adventure to be able to experience this amazing, dying culture.
http://caleglendening.com/blog/mentawai1/
http://caleglendening.com/blog/mentawai2//

And here is a link to Joey L., the photographer shown in the video neck deep in the stream taking pictures. I had a chance to peruse through his work, and it's absolutely breathtaking.
http://www.joeyl.com/
And the link to his story about the Mentawai adventure:
http://http://www.joeyl.com/blog/the-mentawai-12/

Both these guys have an amazing body of work already. I'm looking forward to seeing more of it.

*photos by Joey L.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Perception: A Manifesto


I have come to a couple realizations about living this "extreme diet fringe lifestyle." Even though myself and thousands of other people have adopted the ideas of eating Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, Clean Meats, and Seeds; removing wheat and other grains, legumes (beans), Dairy (optional), and processed foods from their diet; and including a healthy amount of functional fitness into their lives -- WE ARE STILL VIEWED AS OUTSIDERS AND CRAZIES. Now, most diet plans are some variation on a theme, and the majority of them call for copious amounts of fresh produce, so no fringe mentality there. However if you wave the Bullshit Flag on the fat-o-phobic Conventional Wisdom Dogma, and opt for lots of protein and ::GASP:: Fat(!!!), you are looked at like you are going to drop dead from a coronary event right in the living room. If you call out the fitness industry for wanting you to stay fat so they can keep shoving supplements, protein shakes and gimmicky exercise equipment in your solar plexus, then you are viewed as crazy. I am sorry if I like to lift heavy, and run on the ground in my bare feet. How did we as a species ever survive for millenia without polyurethane protecting our tender soles? This country, and the majority of the developed world is steeped in Conventional Wisdom perpetuated by the ad industry, fitness industry, pharmaceutical industry, and the talk box with babbling idiots like Oprah and Fox News CNN, and The View.

A little background before I continue on a rant: I have always been into sports and fitness. I played multiple sports as a kid, and focused on the Pole Vault in High school competing in 2 State Tournaments. I foolishly decided not to carry it over to college athletics while attending The Ohio State University, and filled that void with water-skiing and wake boarding. It's cold for a large part of the year in Ohio, so the partying took a larger role than the skiing. I didn't do a lot of working out, to say the least. I gained some weight do to the copious amounts of cheep beer and high carb load of the cafeteria which then carried over to late-night pizza, gyros, fries, etc. After running out of money, and losing focus on my school work, I went into the United States Navy as an Aviation Rescue Swimmer and Aircrewman. Luckily all my college weight was worked off, and I was leaner and meaner. In our community, the emphasis on fitness was top priority due to the nature of the work. We were making sure that we would have the endurance to be able to jump out of a helicopter and fight the ocean to pull someone back from the cold grip of death at a moments notice. So Others May Live. Hooyah! This is the beginning of the adventure.
Well, after being in and around the military for a while surrounded by fitness minded individuals, the logical progression of the day is to spend quite a bit of time in the gym, and reading the magazines and guzzling protein shakes so you can have the beach body to go pick up ladies (the Navy is usually based on the coast, fyi.), and maintain the fitness levels required to do the job. Regular PT was simply not enough to maintain the level required. This is when I started falling into the body builder trap of split days and focussed muscle groups. Combined with ridiculous supplements to give me SICK ABZZZZZZZ and HYOOOGE BICEPS LOLZZZ!!! I noticed my fitness levels dropping. My run times were slower, my scale numbers were climbing, and I just disliked going to the gym to hang out with all the D-bags in little tank-tops staring the mirror covered in back-ne putting their swurv on some little bimbo actively trying NOT to break a sweat because it would mess up her make-up. The days of long runs through the woods and on the beach up and over the dunes were over, and the days of zombie running, push-ups, sit-ups, and the occasional pull-ups were standard. The wing banned Log PT for the new students going through SAR week (one of the most challenging, awesome team building activities for students), and the Navy decided it would crack down on the fat bodies skating through the bi-annual Physical Fitness Assessment.
Skip ahead a few years. I got out of active duty and was a reservist. The physical requirements are still there, but even less activity due to returning to school, working, drill, and flight training along with being a "starving artist" playing music every chance I got for beer. I worked a few jobs, but the weight started accumulating from all the beer and "healthy" sandwiches. After working in a warehouse for a while I jumped over a pallet and rolled my ankle BAD. I should have gone to a doctor, but had no insurance, and had to work. I never rehabbed it properly, and it greatly attributed to the lack of exercise. The only activity outside of the military every few weeks up to this point had been surfing and skate boarding. This injury pretty much removed everything for a few months. I hit an all time weight high of 230# at 5'10". I decided it was time for a change.

ENTER CROSSFIT JAX
I discovered Crossfit through some like minded individuals at my squadron who had mentioned it a few times, but hadn't gotten around to trying it out yet. We found the Crossfit Jax website and found the directions to gym. I had heard stories about how hardcore Crossfit was, and how a buddy of a buddy had used it to get prepared for BUD/S and become a Navy Seal. Sounded like what I needed to whip my lard-ass into shape! It turned out one of the trainers was also an instructor at the Surface SAR Swimmer School. Bonus! It was definitely my cup of kool-aid. I found the gym in the ghetto, which coincidently was right up the skreet from the Half Moon Bay warehouse I was working at. Sweet! I gave them a call, and started the next day with "Cindy": a workout consisting of 5 pull-ups, 10 Push-ups. and 15 Squats for as many rounds as you can finish in 20 minutes. Something that sounds so simple brought so much pain. Something that changed my life PERMANENTLY.

Now this brings me to the point I was inevitable going to get to: The Fringe. Even with the explosion of programs like Crossfit that incorporate High Intensity and varied functional movements, people are scared. The Navy, still, is holding out on the idea that crossfit training is dangerous despite the early adoption of the program by the Special Forces communities, and the change in Marine Corps fitness tests to emulate real world functional situations. Crossfit has a whole series of workouts devoted to "Heroes" who were killed in the line of duty and were Crossfit practitioners. It also has a workout named "The Chief" after all the new chief selectees of 2008. Regular run-of-the-mill Joe and Joan Six-pack look something as "crazy" as Crossfit, and run for the hills. The same thing goes for the Paleo Diet. It is regarded as extreme because it kicks to the curb all the things that detrimental to Human Health like Gluten.

"You mean whole grains are bad!?" this must be extreme.

The Mercantilist policies of the USDA and FDA, combined with the non-stop babble of Television and Print media and skewed by idealist mantras from misguided vegetarian ideals have confused and indoctrinated the American public into believing every marketing buzzword and Bullshit study funded by the very companies that stand to profit by the Bullshit they spew. We have the fattest population on the planet. We are led to believe eating more corn, wheat, soy, and processed franken-foods will fix all our ails, only to find out we are sicker in the long run. Here comes the pharmaceutical industry to the rescue! They have a pill for every made-up condition or syndrome ever imagined. Restless leg syndrome!? Nevermind running off that excess energy -- Here's a pill. Irrritable Bowel Syndrome? Nevermind celiac disease. Here's a pill! Now go eat your whole grains. It's no wonder the public is scared of something so easy a caveman can do it. They are conditioned. WE are conditioned. WE are brainwashed. The thought police aren't a division of Big Brother, they are a division of Monsanto. The ministry of Truth is the USDA -- A subsidiary of CONagra, Archer Daniels Midland, YumFoods, Tyson, and Monsanto. It's no wonder I am looked at like a circus show.

I had a moment of clarity the other day. I started this blog to vent out all the vitriol that accumulates when sitting around idle waiting to save the day. My poor wife can only take so much of my ranting and raving before she loses it, so I am making a direct effort in putting it down here and on message boards, rather than pollute her airspace with noise. She hasn't had more than a sip of the kool-aid yet despite my efforts. I have been on the Mark's Daily Apple forum a lot lately due to not having any like-minded individuals to discuss this with. I have sought out others with similar experiences, as is Human Nature, I believe. In the days of the internet, community is only a click away. I don't have to feel so much like a freak. I responded in a thread about "Primal Haters":
I just this minute came to the realization I frequent this forum more often because I don't have very many people to talk about this lifestyle with. Most people are so brainwashed by fat-o-phobe dogma, or CW pushed by the Gub'ment Dietary Pyramid that the idea of eating like the guy in the Geico Commercials is offensive. I can only rant to my wife for so long before she gets aggravated, and while at work I am surrounded by the Cajun culture of FriedMargarineSaltBread Po'boys and Walmart Specials. This is where I can discuss Primal/ Paleo issues in a grown-up, civilized manner without all the quiet judging and alienation of my peers.

Hooray for the internerd!

I have to look at it from an outside perspective, though. I mean if you had never heard anything about the Primal Blueprint, Paleo, Crossfit, HIIT, or any other of the crazy stuff floating around, and all you have to go by is what you hear second hand through your co-workers and family about whatever the new thing Dr. Oz is spouting out on Oprah, or the 3 second sound bite of The biggest loser, then the crazy tattooed guy doing muscle-ups in the liveoak tree and eating chickens with his bare hands after skipping breakfast AND lunch might seem a little weird.

I guess it's not their fault for giving me the stink eye


When looking at things from an outside perspective, we are on the fringes of society. We are radicals. We are EXACTLY what the Establishment doesn't want. A large group of independent, healthy, freedom-minded individuals. This is a movement as important as any other before it or after. I see the Paleo Diet, The Primal Blueprint or Good Calories Bad Calories and The Omnivore's Dillema as our centuries The Jungle. People are waking up. There is more information available to the average person than ever before, and people are capable of making their own informed decisions about everything without a filter by a so-called Expert. The information age is upon us.

So Vote with your dollars. Buy REAL FOOD. Make Educated Decisions. Be an indivual. Go against the grain: Be Healthy and Independent. The more the people start makeing smart decisions, the more the Establishment will fight back. The raids on farmer's stores, and the tightening legislation disguised as "food safety" are evident of that. The snake is in the corner and striking. Buy from farmer's markets. Seek out heirloom breeds and varieties. Buy Buffalo. Buy Grassfed Beef, Pastured Pork, and Free Roaming Chickens and chicken eggs. Don't fall into the hype of Crap shows like The Biggest Loser, or whatever program Dr. Oz is blowing hot air on. Find out for yourself. Read the success stories of countless people who have saved their lives through nutrition choices. We are on the fringe now, but soon we'll be the mainstream, and some other group will be out there trying to change the world.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Adventures in Paleo 2



Yesterday marked the first week down in my Strict Paleo+Intermittent Fasting Experiment. In honor of the occasion, I fasted for 24 hours. I was 16 hours into the fast yesterday when I was writing, with the full intention to go a full 24 hours. I have gone this long without eating before, but never intentionally or for reasons under my own control. The longest I can remember ever going without eating was in SERE School, but that was to simulate survival in the winter after being shot down over hostile territory. THAT was the hungriest I have ever been. Yesterday was nothing. I had notions of going longer, but once I smelled the chicken roasting in the oven stuffed with mirepoix, that notion went away pretty quickly. Real hunger is contemplating chasing down a snowshoe hair in three feet of snow because it's the first edible thing you have seen in days. Real Hunger is picking carrot and celery pieces out of the snow, and boiling more snow with some pine needles -- just to pretend you can get some nutrients out of it, and have a hot meal. Skipping Breakfast and Lunch is not hungry.



I have noticed some things about this fasted state that are totally different than I was expecting. The mental clarity during a fast is amazing. It actually seems like my vision is clearer. It may have been the increased blood flow from the Ball-Buster of a workout, but I couldn't say. I have noticed at about 14 hours I feel cold, and definitely colder in the hands and feet. I have been drinking twice as much water as normal to keep the hunger pains away. I will cut up a lemon in the afternoon, and put it in my water bottle. It actually makes me drink more, believe it or not. You wouldn't think sugar free watered down lemonade would be all that good, but I like it. I have been troubled with some bad heartburn during fasts previously, but I think the small rations of Dark Chocolate and Lemon help. I also have to drink decent coffee or I burn up, so I have been drinking Mello Joy, which I can't get at home. Louisiana has some really good perks if applied correctly. I have noticed the workouts do NOT suffer. I haven't gone on a distance run fasted yet due to heartburn issues, but I plan on hitting that later this week. I am recovering faster than ever, and still getting things done. I have been getting very creative with a pair of 5gal. water jugs. On the negative side, I have had to deal with what some in the more holistic sections of the health industry would categorize as "Cleansing Movements," which I have been correlating to higher quantities of H2O in my system combined with 64oz of black coffee on an entirely empty stomach, but it has been unpredictable. Sometimes it's after eating, sometimes it's after drinking. I think it may be a pressure relief mechanism or something. I don't know.

The Biggest complaint I have had throughout the fasting thing is not in the fast itself, but in the days I am NOT fasting. On the days I eat the standard three squares, and have a green light to eat whatever I want within the constraints of Paleo, I feel like crap! I am foggy, and sleepy. I have the yawns all day. I don't get it. Is this reverse carb flu? I have maintained a fairly low-carb approach to everything the first week, and have definitely not upped my carb intake at all. I just don't get it? Why would the refeed days be foggier than the fasting days? I woke up today not feeling terribly awful, wasn't groggy, contemplated skipping breakfast, but decided it better to eat because I only had one real meal yesterday. (I ended my fast at 8 PM and went to bed at 11) I had my three squares today. I snuck in a little fruit. I made a killer braised country style ribs with baby carrots that was so filling I haven't been hungry since 5pm, but I have been in a funk all day. I couldn't "get right" all day. I planned a 5k Run, but could never get the motivation to go. My work environment was bothering me more than normal. I couldn't seem to get the energy to do anything. AND I have had a small annoying headache all day. The same thing happened after my last non-fast.
I just don't get it. Now don't get me wrong. I thought about the possibility of over training, and not having a good ammount of (x) Nutrient, but that is just not the case. I am not sore at all. I have been working out LESS than normal due to the fasting, and I am still getting plenty of vegetables. I am eating so many vegetables, in fact, that i have had to go the store to replenish my supply three times now. I have killed 3 Bags of carrots in 10 days. I should be developing an orange tan and shitting carotene bricks! It just doesn't logically add up.

So on to the results so far. I am visibly smaller. My Dickies, which are terribly honest to a waist size, and usually tight, fit perfectly right now. I can feel my belly fat melting away as I am regaining the leanness of my youth. The stubborn fat that refuses to die seems to have finally found it's kryptonite. I can put up with the occasional bouts of explosive espresso shots out of my nether regions to get results. At least it isn't as painful as a bodybuilder's supplement rejection. Protein shakes aren't in my version of Paleo.

**I just remembered. I ran out of my Green&Black's chocolate today, so I went back to my old stand-by Lindt's Lindor truffles 60% Dark. Unfortunately I didn't think about it, but the ganache on the inside of these beautiful, delectable, amazingly silky smooth explosions of chocolate on your tongue creations have dairy in them. Challenge FAIL. I could not make it two weeks. I am not changing the game plan from here on out, however. The results are speaking for themselves. It is a matter of principle when you are trying to challenge yourself and the rules are broken, you fail. Did the walls come crashing down on my head? Did the world stop on it's axis and change polarity? no. And I will keep going as if they do not have dairy in them. Because as was stated in an earlier post, There are more benefits than negatives in these amazing little things.

Why Can't Chuck Get His Business Off the Ground?



Just some examples of how Bureaucracies stifle entrepreneurship.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

There is no such thing as a vegan


There is no such thing as a vegan

Thank You John Durant!

Adventures in Strict Paleo

Peace out Dairy

Today marks a week into a new diet approach I am embarking on as an experiment. I have been on a small roller-coaster of weight loss in the last 9 months. The battle against sympathy weight has been a winning one, but I hit a sticking point. I wouldn't call it a plateau, but more like a landing on a staircase. While on shift, I am on call 24 hours a day for 14 days. This creates an environment of 0 Alcohol for 14 Days, 100% control of the food I ingest as I am responsible for my meals(groceries), and ample down time waiting for a cal to be able to workout. This has been very beneficial to my overall goals, and I have been very successful... while at work. I typically lose 5 pounds or more a shift, only to gain 5 back as soon as I get home. I know the alcohol has a huge effect on my weight, but I like my whisky. Beer has gotten to the point of making me feel like crap, so I typically eschew beer in favor of Maker's Mark. But I have determined the whisky is not the ONLY cause of weight gain while home. Time constraints are always tighter when i get home, and it always seems like there are 3 places to be at the same time. This leads to eating from a restaurant. I try to make the best decisions I can when we get take-out food, but there is no 100% compliance at a restaurant (in my particular case). I know you can pull the meat out of the bun, order extra veggies, etc. However the social pressures when I am home are usually too great for me to pass.

Until three weeks ago.

I made a specific point to eat right and fast more. My family hasn't accepted the breadless approach, and a few people are still stuck in low-fat no man's land. It's very difficult to be polite and be picky. I hate being the guy picking through his food. I have to be selective of what I pick through or what i put on my plate. The last time off was a family based 2 weeks. I was very active, and more selective. On average i gain 5 pounds back of what I lost on shift, but this time I managed to stay at the same weight. I am proud of this. This means I can continue losing, and get leaner, faster, and stronger all while maintaining a healthy balance of family and rest. SOOO....

I decided to go super strict on this hitch. This will give me a solid 14 day experiment on how my body reacts to a specific pattern. This means No Wheat, Corn, Rice, Oats, Legumes, or DAIRY. I have been relatively grain free for 6 moths at least (with the occasional cheats and rice), but this means NO cheating. I have also been slow to try out the no dairy approach due partly to my Midwestern upbringing, and partly to my love of good butter and cheese. I was never a big milk drinker, but butter and cheese have been staples. The lack of butter has proven challenging. I have also been incorporating 16-18 hour fasts (skipping breakfast) into most days. This is also an experiment in combining the methods for optimum results. I have fasted 5 of the 7 days. My goal is 10 lbs in 2 weeks. I started at 212.

To mark the occasion, I am extending my fast today. At the time I am writing this I am 16 hours in, and I want to see how far I can go. It's usually about this time that I notice cold hands and feet and greater clarity. The stomach grumblings also usually stop. Through some of the blogs around the net (specifically Leangains and Eat Stop Eat) that after an extended fast you may notice cold hands and fingers due to blood flow opening up in your fat cells to move fat out of the fat cells to mobilize fat to be converted to energy in the liver. I have been noticing cold hands and feet around hour 13 and beyond. So much so, that I timed my workout so that I could warm up. Coincidently working out fasted actually kills the hunger your brain says you have. AND before anyone says "oh you're starving yourself!" cough cough.. mom.. cough... I am STILL getting more food than I probably need a day, it's just in a smaller window of time. I'm actually eating BETTER than I would anywhere else due to the dense nutrients I am getting from all the veggies I eat. I have gone through 2 bags of carrots in the last week alone. Using the 5 colors approach, really makes for a healthy and tasty mix of vegetables in your meals.

I have to stipulate my exceptions to the Strictness. Some paleo folks, when talking about strict, i.e. the Whole 9 crew cut out honey and dark chocolate due to the sugar. I have been ok with small ammounts of Honey in my coconut fruit bowls, and I find that a GOOD dark chocolate in small pieces takes the edge off the bile taste that sometimes creeps into the back of your mouth. I enjoy the Green&Black's 70% Organic Dark Chocolate. I let a small piece melt on my tongue usually with black coffee somewhere in the near vicinity. The endorphin rush in itself is great. I see they have an espresso infused version I will DEFINITELY be trying in the near future.

So far the results have already been speaking for themselves. I wake up in the morning with less of the "trailer hangover" I get from living in the company trailers (mold and dust?), and the recovery time from my workouts is nil. I find I can workout hard on one day, and the soreness is barely there the next day. I can jump right back into another difficult workout the next day without problems. I may be moving a little slower than usual, but not sore. Sunday was my first real "re-feed" non-fasting day since starting, and I have to say, I woke up feeling like crappety crappola yesterday. It nagged me allllll day. I felt sluggish and puffy all day. I don't know if the Ham I baked for dinner had too much salt in it or what, but i just couldn't get right. I was chugging water, and eating clean, but I couldn't get right. Hopefully this doesn't happen next time.

So as far as my thoughts on this way of eating, I will definitely be incorporating more regular fasting. I feel good. The dairy thing, I am not so sure of. I know I will be limiting my intake after this 2 week thing is over( might try for a month as per Robb Wolf), but I'm not sure I can give up Organic Grass-fed Butter. There are a few things that have more benefit than detriment. Local Honey, for example, has been shown to help with seasonal allergies and is a perfectly Paleo sweetener in small doses. I am not going to be drinking it out of the bear, but to add it to coconut and cinnamon is pretty dang tasty. same with a dash on celery and sunbutter. Dark Chocolate is another. The benefits outweigh the detriment. There is minimal Dairy in a good dark chocolate bar as well as minimal sugar when you only eat a square inch at a time. Again, I am not advocating gorging on chocolate and honey, but used in minimal amounts makes things a hell of a lot more bearable and less restrictive feeling. The hardest part of a "diet" is the restriction and deprivation of things you like. If you can benefit from something you like that isn't bad for you in the long run, then use it. Sure it can be considered a cheat, but it's all up to the individual. I find it makes things better, so I will keep it up. Here's to a week down!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

1st Redfish... Finally.

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Thank you Terry. After 9(!) years in Florida, I finally got to catch one of these guys.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunday Lunch

Extra thick porkchops braised in citrus and rum; rotel Brussels sprouts.

Awesome.
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The Importance of Rest and Family

I have been known to multi-task and over-extend myself at times. These last few months of work, reserves, travel, work, reserves, repeat have been taxing on my home life for my family as well as my soul. I have responsibilities and obligations just like the next middle-class white American male, but my responsibilities involve me travelling more miles than the norm, and separating myself from what matters to me more than I should have to explain. I need some time with my family, and I only value my time with them more while I am gone.
I am fortunate enough to have 7 days to spend with my immediate family, and my out of town family in-law. I can't wait. I am already disappointed that it will end and I will have to go back to work. I never knew I would be such a family man, but i think my wife did. I think my Mom did. I didn't. I am surprised everyday at how awesome this whole DAD thing is, and how beautiful my daughter is. 5 years ago I never expected I would be married at 30 (or Ever), and that kids would be in the plans. I absolutely love the turns that have been in my particular creek of life these last few years, and I wouldn't have them any other way. I live for the adventure of teaching my beautiful little daughter how to be an outstanding grown woman one day. I work at a job I love to do so that my amazing wife can continue to raise our little girl in the best home possible, and I serve in the reserves to make ends meet while doing something I can be proud of.
I have to sit back and look at all the things I am doing objectively sometimes just to keep a perspective. I hate being gone, but I couldn't support my family otherwise. I like my job(s) for the most part, and the benefits outweigh the faults. I have to make sure to step back and take a break every once in a while and do nothing but spend time with my family. I hate that my daughter associates the computer with Dada. I spend every moment I can with her while I'm home because I never want her to not know her father. My life has definitely made the transition from me to US.

I have gotten off topic after "freestyling" for a few paragraphs. Maker's Mark has a way of loosening my literary fingers. The moral of my blog post is: Get rest while you can, and make sure you spend as much time as possible with your family. I don't feel as though I Rest enough or spend enough time with my family, but I do what I can, and I am working hard to be able to spend more.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Go Bucks!

My little girl loves the Buckeyes! If her first word is Dada, her second and third will maybe be Go Bucks!

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Wind Through the Rings

4rnds:
5 muscle-ups
50 m Barefoot Sprint
Watch out for fire ants!
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

I Dream of Music



Sometimes one has a dream that breaks through the morning fog, and is still memorable on the conscious side. These are best written down and shared, so as to keep a hold of them. The downside, however, is there is always someone who thinks they can decipher what nonsense your brain is aligning in to a story, and give you their best Freudian opinion of what all that junk means. I don't believe there is anything to dreams other than your brain trying to make sense of thought fragments caught between the conscious and subconscious thought pathways. But whatever, this makes a good story.

Somehow, my family figured out how to travel back in time. I'll leave this as the premise because I don't know how or why, but i do know it revolved around stormy weather and massive amounts of electricity. We (My wife, me, and DB) all ended up staying in a hotel (think shitty Ramada) that had a small BBQ party next door to it outside of someone's garage. Well at this party, there were the token middle aged white guys in Hawaiian shirts with Coors Light, but also... Junior Kimbrough and Asie Payton! They were drinking beer and playing guitar waiting on the ribs to be done.
Now normally I would be star-struck with the weight of these dead bluesmen, but I was their new Best Friend -- despite not wearing any pants!!! (this is where the dreamy-ness of all this comes into play)

Asie and Junior Played, taking turns passing around an old beat up acoustic. Eventually I wandered back to our car and put on some pants to go back to the plastic chair between the two bluesmen. They let me play them a couple songs, and I remember how beautiful the songs were. They were full composititons of songs I haven't written yet, and Asie and Junior were floored at how good it all was! Humbly I thanked them, and had to leave to find my wife and daughter -- the music still ringing in my ears. The song was so good, but I never make the transititon of the songs i hear when i'm asleep to the songs I play on my guitar. There is so much good music hidden in my brain, I just can't access it.

The rest of the dream involved me climbing the hard way through some sort of power plant that looked like it was in a Transformers cartoon or some kind of movie set. Cue the big sparks and lightning and storms. after I found my wife and child I woke up. I never figured out how we got back in time, but whatever. It's just a dream. I know this because I wasn't wearing pants the majority of the time. Pretty standard really.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Struggling to Type

Today's workout left my arms very much like jello. no story today, just the workout. My arms are tired.

4 Rounds as Fast as Possible:
400M Farmer's Walk with full 5Gal Waterjugs*
25 Pullups (Alternate Grip)
15 Knees to Elbows

*If you have to put down the jugs, you cannot advance forward until you pick them back up.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Back at Work/ Back on Track

I have been traveling more than normal the last few weeks. The adventures in Ohio, Bahamas and various airports have been less than kind on my eating habits and workout routines. Managing a few fasts and a few workouts has been difficult. Ohio was great, the Navy Trip to the Bahamas was more work-hard-play-hard than relaxation, and I am using the time at work to get back on track. I can control more factors while on the job. I feed myself only most of the time, and I don't eat at restaurants. This helps curb the up-sale forced feedings from most restaurants, and keeps me away from lunchables. I can focus on getting the nutrients I need, and experiment with recipes. I can also fast as long as I can since there is no one else needing to be fed. I have set a goal of running twice as much as normal this hitch to get my mileage up. I haven't decided whether I am going to run a race next year or not, but it doesn't really matter. I don't compete with anyone but myself anymore. I just want to lose solid weight -- even if that means losing some muscle mass. I want to be under 200 again. Leaner, Quicker, and Faster. We'll see what happens. I'm off to a good start after today's workout.

Workout: (as intended)
1 mile with 20# Vest
50 Sledgehammers (25 each side)
40 WaterJug Frontsquats (5 gal.)
30 Single Leg Deadlift (15 Each Leg)
20 Back Extensions

I was running this workout with a partner, and ended up doing the exercises in reverse, so it slowed me down. I burned up my back early on, and it ended up being more of a strength/ muscle endurance workout than a strictly High intensity workout. My partner was doing the workout as originally intended and finished a little after I did. I'm definitely feeling this one this evening. time for a nice rest before some extra running tomorrow.

EDIT: I added a Tabata Kettlebell Swing after resting for a few minutes. 35 Lbs Alternating arms until the last 2 intervals.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Adventure of the Month: AUTEC

According to some kook on the history channel, the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center, or AUTEC, is the Area 51 of the Atlantic. Apparently they store UFO's in the blue holes of Andros, but I have never seen them. In reality, AUTEC is a little facility on Andros Island, Bahamas the US and British Navies practice playing submarine. It's more Down Periscope, than Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind. The facility also happens to be very large part of the island economy. I love talking to the local Bahamians.
I am on my way to Opa Locka, where my helicopter will get fuel, and then fly across the water to Fresh Creek. For the next 4 days, my compatriots and I will be dropping torpedoes and shooting guns from Navy helicopters; while trying to find time to snorkel with the barracudas, and drink goombay smashes on the beach. This is to distract us from the fact we are confined to a mile square piece o rock, living in shitty barracks, and away from our families. I personally intend on working out every day as well.

Andros Island is a beautiful Island, but I have only really seen it from the air. It's pock marked with Blue Holes - fresh water filled holes that seem to have no bottom. They are essentially caves formed in the limestone or coral of the islands that open up to the ocean somewhere along the shelf. Andros is set on the edge of an area of deep water called the Tongue Of The Ocean. The shelf drops off to 1000 fathoms.

The weather is hot, the girls are not. Rum is cheap, beats the heat.

I may have internet, but I might not.

Whatever. The reserves are still a pretty cool second job.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Busy, But Catching the Moments That Matter


A good friend of mine reffered to my visits to Ohio as "a Whirlwind of [New Renaissance]" and I have to concur. My life is a whirlwind. I'm never in the same spot for longer than a few days, it seems; and I always have somewhere to be or someone to see when I'm there. Excluding work, where I am obligated to be within a stone's throw away from my helicopter. I cannot leave to go anywhere else, and my family doesn't come along. I cherish the small moments of time I have with my young daughter. I don't have enough of them, it seems. I could spend all day, every day with her, but that's not how life works. I am just glad to not have to worry about deployments any longer than a few weeks anymore. It's tough enough leaving for a 2 week shift and coming back to a bigger, stronger, smarter, and faster little thing crawling at my ankles. She is pulling up, has teeth, and can walk if i hold her hands. Pretty soon she'll be sprinting to meet me at the airport when i come home.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Surf and Yard Bird

My wife and I finally got a chance to visit with some old friends today. we planned ahead of time to have a cookout and get some much needed play time for the kids, and some much needed social time for the parents. The rain came in today, and it was steamy outside, but the food made up for any negative feelings from the storm. It was a surf and turf, and yard-bird kind of party with some apple chicken sausage thrown in and Val's AMAZING corn and black bean salsa.
[as an aside: I avoid corn products except in the case of it being served as actual CORN. I grew up in the mid west, and there will never be a time when i give up corn completely -- no matter how bad it fits in with the paleo/primal diet crowd. Where I grew up corn was a vegetable, and served as such. I also thoroughly enjoy bourbon which by definition must be mashed from no less than 51% corn. Sweet corn grown in our garden every summer was a major staple in my house as a kid. HFCS hadn't been widely distributed, and the only sugar we drank was in tea or in Kool-Aid. Corn is fine in appropriate amounts -- as a VEGETABlE.]
The point of this post is to pass along the Chicken and Shrimp recipes that I used for my contribution to the cook out. There was grilled chicken wings and drumsticks tossed in Tiger Sauce. AND!!! Fresh Mayport Shrimp in a Tequila Lime Marinade. I only wish I had a chance to take pictures of the final product. The cameras were trained intently on my daughter and friend's son who were enjoying their third date. If they could type it would be Facebook official.

Chicken:

you will need a grill and some chicken wings and drumsticks. Also about half a stick of butter and 2 small bottles of Tiger Sauce.
Charcoal is best for this, but you can fry or bake the wings as well. It really doesn't matter; I just like to have the crispy grill burned pieces co-mingle with the sweet and spicy of the sauce. The broiler would be completely sufficient.

Grill your chicken, and make sure to sear it well.
I had 8 full wings and 4 drumsticks. I used 1/2 a stick of melted butter and 1 3/4 bottles of Tiger sauce. Add some salt, and you are golden. Toss your cooked Wing/drumsticks in the sauce and get it. I marinated the chicken ahead of time, but it didn't make a difference. None. The flavor is in the eye of the tiger.

Now the Shrimp is a different story. It's too awesome to give a name.

You need 2 pounds of fresh peeled and de-veined shrimp.
3 slices of thick sliced bacon
2 jalapeño peppers, chopped fine (seeds and veins removed)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 green onions, sliced
Juice of 1 lime
the leftover 1/4 bottle of Tiger Sauce
Salt to taste
and TEQUILA!!!!

The most important things about this concoction are: 1. The shrimp has to be fresh, 2. The bacon should be a good thick cut, and 3. The Tequila must be good. Quervo doesn't cut it, kids. I used Hussong's Reposado, but anything of a decent heritage will work. And seriously, Life is too short to eat shitty bacon.

Combine the Shrimp and all the ingredients except the bacon in a non-reactive bowl and keep chilled. Slice the bacon into small pieces and brown in a pan. De-glaze the pan with the marinade from the shrimp and reduce. Add the shrimp and sauté for 5 minutes or until done. Make sure not to over cook. Over-cooked shellfish is a sin to humanity.

It really seemed more complicated than it was while I was cooking the shrimp. In actuality I was merely prepping the shrimp. I bought it fresh, so i had to pull off the heads, peel, and de-vein everything. I usually just throw the little guys in a pot and boil them. This was the first time I actually made a big to-do over skrimps.
The flavor was unbelievable, though. I will definitely be making this again. The tequila-lime-bacon trifecta was a powerhouse of flavor that made you stop what you are doing and rethink everything you know about food. Ask My wife.

So now I will be finishing the bottle of Hussong's watching the roast of David Hasselhoff.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Life as it stands on a few drinks of Rum

I tend to be more verbose after consuming some decent rum drinks. Sailor Jerry and Coke Zero have been giving me a silver tongue for the evening, but it really doesn't matter. 1. You need an audience, and 2. you have to have people that care what comes out of your mouth. Rum provides Neither.

I decidede to share the wealth of the down-home blues of Captain Luke and Cool John playing a cover of the Brook Benton version of "Rainy Night in Georgia." I absolutely love this song, and this version-- with the boys sitting in a pawnshop or guitar store or whatever-- makes it so much more authentic and real. Captain Luke's Double Bass rumbling through the bottom end of the range as Cool John rings out the harmonics like he's directing a herald of cherubim. Call it poetic, but don't deny that this version sounds great, and Cool John can play that guitar!



Here is another video of Captain Luke teaching the finer points of singing Bass:


You can find more videos of the last great Blues Men and the best of independent music on The Musicmaker Foundation website with links to more and more the videos of men and women like Captain Luke and Cool John bustin' it out to keep the lights on all throughout The South. Give them a listen. This is what the blues is about.

Now don't forget the Punkin' Puddin'

Friday, August 6, 2010

Fantastic Friday!!! (2fer1!)

While I sit and wait for my shift to be over, and day dreaming of home I tend to watch videos and read a lot of internet blogs.

Here is the story of Veronica Garza, who at 27 Defeated Lupus after the doctors told her she couldn't by switching to a Primal Diet, and joining a CrossFit gym. The video is extremely well done, and very motivational. It's such a great story! I can't wait to hear more about her. Way to go Veronica! And thank you Free The Animal for the link.

G7 Stories - Veronica Garza from G7 Athletics on Vimeo.



Here is the Music Video for HaHa Tonka's "Caney Mountain." The video is all stop- animation except for the beginning and end. But I see it as a metaphor for today's modern snake oil salesman trying to sell everything they can market in pill form. The cycle will continue until someone starts looking for causes instead of "cures" to the symptoms.

Ha Ha Tonka "Caney Mountain" - Widescreen HD from Barkley MDFX on Vimeo.



In honor of the Mustache growing contest I am having with myself, here is a video from La Blogotheque from the Low Anthem. Look for more of these guys.

The Low Anthem - Apothecary - A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.


They are also streaming a live set from the Newport Folk Festival on NPR.org

I will be trying to blog on a more daily basis in the future, but no promises.

Muscle-Ups (Diluted)

I was blogging in my head through my workout two days ago. 30 Muscle-ups took 48 minutes and 26 seconds to complete. You might think this was a distraction, and I should focus more on the task at hand, rather than put coherent thoughts and sentences together while I sweat, but honestly it helped keep my mind off of the clock (discouraging), and the tears on my hands. I had a post started musing on the beautiful challenges of the muscle-up and it's functional translations into real life, but due to distractions and my inability to put it all together in a coherent fashion, I deleted it. It was crap.

Short story: Muscle-ups are hard. I am getting better at them. 2 years ago I could not do 1. Wednesday I did 30 -- for time. I can do 4 in a row, but after I start getting tired I have to focus on the form, and the kip that is very similar to a pole vault. The first 15 took 20 minutes, and the last two took ten. My hands look worse today, then yesterday, and this was after re-taping twice in the middle of this. My time sucks, but I'm getting better, and a shitty time is still better than a DNF. Amen

I would like to thank the Live Oak outside of my trailer for your support -- of my RINGS!!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

But I Digress

I've been feeling more motivated lately. My typical 2 week Alternating schedule doesn't lend itself to actual exercise when I'm on my off time, but my most recent time off actually let me get a breath. There were some slightly larger than normal waves in Jacksonville, so I got out on my big green longboard and tried to do my best Jimmy Buffett impersonation. Nose-riding is a long way off for me. I was just happy to stand up, turn, and stay on until the wave gave up. Nothing fancy, but better than where I was the last time I surfed. Which, consequently from my work schedule, was LAST AUGUST. There hasn't been too ocean recreation on my itinerary lately.

I guess the salt water and deep tan activated something in me. I fixed a lawnmower, then broke it again to the point of no return; so I had to bring the back-up mower out of it's hole and resurrect the dead. This mower has been around for 5 years now, and it has been used and abused, but still runs. It sounds like it skips every 12th cycle or so, sounds like it's choke is stuck, and bogs down even in managed grass; but it sure gets the job done. Everytime. I sweated out the rest of the previous night's BAC, and felt like a man. There is nothing more masculine than the sweat, dirt, motor oil, and fresh cut grass. Dads Rule.

The other side effect of all this Salty Testosterone is the extra motivation given to exercising. I stay in good shape, but I have been trying to fight off the 10 pounds gained since getting married, new job, missing Crossfit Jax; AND the 15 pounds from the sympathy weight. I have managed to cut the sympathy weight, which was mainly water and pudge from all the sympathy EATING I was doing during my Beautiful Wife's pregnancy. I am sitting at a solid 212 lbs. right now, but I want to see my bodyfat percentage drop to as close to single digits as I can get and still drink beer. I might bust out the measuring tape tomorrow to guestimate my current situation. Digression aside, I snuck a good workout in on Sunday in the heat consisting of Jumprope and abs for a warm-up, with walking lunges and walking on my hands in the (newly shorn) yard for the bulk of the workout. No workout on the travel day, but now I'm back in the Bayou, and have plenty of time on my hands. Yesterday was a killer workout leaving me sore today, and today's will no doubt leave me hobbled tomorrow. I plan on attempting a 5k to loosen my joints in the morning. We shall see.

So....

Tuesday's workout:
"warm" up (It's HOT in S. Louisiana this time of year)
800m Run w/20# weight vest
20 Back extensions w/20# weight vest
10 Pull-ups w/20# weight vest

Work out
21-15-9 consecutively without rest
Ring Push-ups
Squat Jumps

Wham BAM. I was spent after this, and I wish I had a stop watch. I was going at a sub 4minute pace, but I have no proof. I Love the 21-15-9 Crossfit Rep method (my term). It sounds so simple easy, until you finish -- drenched in sweat, sucking for air. So demonically deceptive. It is simple in design: go all out, and don't stop until you are done. Blam. Sweat Angel.

Today's workout was a little more complicated, but I did excavate my stopwatch out of my gear for this one.

"warm" up (seriously. 95 in the shade)
active stretching
Push-ups with side Plank
Spiderman Push-ups

Work out:
Max Reps Double-Unders(D/U's) in 2 minutes
Ring Dips; reps = number of D/U's completed
rest 1 minute
Max Reps D/U's in 2 min.
Back Extensions; reps = number of D/U's completed
rest 1 minute
Max Reps D/U's in 2 min.
Pull Ups; reps = number of D/U's completed (minimum of 50)

I had a Jumprope issue, so I didn't get more than 41 D/U's on the last round. I did 50 to even it out.

This little guy was a ball buster! I didn't expect it to be this tough. The third round was brutal. I have to give it up to Crossfit Jax again for this idea. I was definitely stealing inspired by previous workouts there. Those guys are mad geniuses when it comes to pain. I can't and will not call my workouts Crossfit simply because I am not scoring myself, and I can't always push my limits while on the job for fear of going to the point of no return and compromising my ability to perform my job safely on a 20 minute response time. I just know that the methods are proven, and I have learned so much from the Crossfit community over the last 2 years. If I get the chance to attend a level 1 certification in the future, I will jump at the chance, but for right now, I am just making due with what is available. I am kicking my own ass in the process. But I digress...