We are what we tell ourselves

I have a bachelor’s degree from an online school, from which I graduated while deployed to Afghanistan, people say it’s not good enough. I grew up in a trailer on the wrong end of town, people say I’ll never be enough; i finish with an MBA in 3 months, with honors, again from an online school while deployed away from my family here in the United States.

Some days I don’t believe I’ll find a better job than head silverware roller at Applebees,  but one day, I will be a division head for John Deere. Don’t let your past, your upbringing, your lack of money, predisposition to eating your kids Halloween candy, stop you from finding your place. Hell with finding it, MAKE IT!!! You are what you want to be and where you want to be because that is what you choose to accept, and that is ok, because at some point we all do it. If there is a masters level for the CrossFit games, I want to compete in two years, because I know I can, I don’t have to win but I want to make the cut to get there. No one but you owes you anything, so you owe it to yourself to love yourself, so others know its ok to love you.

If you’ve read me here you know I’m against bullying, Bubba and monkeyhead being on different ends of the scale, same as I was in school. How many of you think of bullying and only think of kids? What about how we bully ourselves? What about how you beat your self down every time you walk past a mirror? Or refuse to buy new jeans?  skip desert after a night out (no dessert isn’t necessary every night, but on occasion) how many times do you make excuses to the reason why you pay your gym bill, but don’t go and then punish yourself to the point of injury the next time you do go??


BE consistent with yourselves , BE patient with yourself and BELIEVE in yourself!!!

Reebok CrossFit Toronto Launch - WOD Demo

Reebok CrossFit Toronto Launch – WOD Demo (Photo credit: TonyFelgueiras)

the best defense is a good offense

finding a teacher you can trust, and learning from them. Thank you Clayton McMasters for your tutelage, leadership, mentoring guidance, and Fried Chicken.



Russell Brand strikes again.

So I Watched another Russell Brand video a couple of minutes ago, but let me first put out my disclaimer. I am a 23 year Navy combat veteran(land combat not ship), conservative, married, oh and I give two craps about your personal choices which have no affect or effect on my family or myself. That said, I try to teach my kids to love all equally, until individually they prove not worthy.

So Russell meets the westboro baptist church

When I first left active duty I worked a day in my state capital, Topeka, Kansas, at the VA hospital, in surgery. Yes THE Topeka Kansas, home of the wbc (not spelling it out, don’t want it popping more than necessary in a search); Anyways its 0630, I’m driving to work, and I see a kid, about 10, holding up a giant sign which read “God hates F&*)” !!? I almost ran over two Sonic carhops, and their drive through menu, turning red around to make sure I actually saw what I thought I saw. That is when I saw the other sign about soldiers. I drove to work, mad, and asked the staff, what was up with those signs, why were they protesting, and they said “oh, that’s just fred (Phelps) and his crazy family, they do it all the time” I was floored that such a serious defamation of the American Soldier had turned into pretty much the longest running joke in Kansas, well next Kansas State University thinking they have a basketball team.

Legend even told me once that when she was attending a Tori Amos concert at The University of Kansas, that Fred and his crazy family were protesting the concert, it’s Tori Amos, c’mon! Lilith fair sisters unite!!  For those not from Kansas, Fred Phelps is pretty much considered a joke, hasn’t been seen outside his “compound” in years, the protesters are 3,4, and 5th generation family members that don’t even know why they are protesting. I can say though, if I lose another brother in battle and they are at the funeral, I’m not to sure I could let crazys be crazy. In my opinion their leaders are automatons who take a literal translation of the words of the bible to a whole new level. I also don’t believe they are much more than over zealous homophobs which probably didn’t make the pee-wee football team, but again what do I care. Russel Brand does a pretty good job of letting them explain their views, and trying to let them see the other side of a loving god, but again loving or not, he sent locust, and frogs…

The dirty glass

SO tonight while I was making cheesecakes for work tomorrow, and grilling salmon i let my phone pick the music, and The Dropkick Murphys came on. This made me think back to about 4 years ago when Legend was driving me back home after my return from a wonderful work vacation…This song came on and Monkeyhead, who was 6 at the time, started singing along, perfectly. what a proud daddy moment! Listen not for nothing, but if you knew us and how we grow our future leader of the revolution/prisoner with no name, her singing just fits our family. We live hard (we being me), laugh hard, play hard, hate hard, and we love harder.

My wife Being Irish and me being redneck the cultural family beliefs are very similar, all good things that rednecks love, country music, whiskey and bar fights are all because Irish gave them to us, according to Legend. Really, per her family description, the Irish are like windex for the world’s problems. Its pretty cool when your 9-year-old tells you it’s not fair that you get to see the dropkicks, as we call them, and she has to go to bed. We aren’t anyones but our own measure of normal, but it works for us..hard.

The Early Years (Dropkick Murphys album)

The Early Years (Dropkick Murphys album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I’m afraid to get old

This weekend was somber weekend, Veterans day, and a financial management class that is making me feel like a kindergartener in a bouncy house full of high-schoolers, and I’m stationed away from Legend and MonkeyHead. So I went to see a couple of movies, Last Vegas, was pretty awesome. Do you think about your friends from grade school? Do you wish you’d kept in better touch? Go see this movie and that guilt may have you running to the lobby to exhaust the battery on your cell phone.

I won’t give away the movie, but I can say De Niro has aged a ton since Heat, and by the previews apparently him and Stallone are both afraid of not being able to act anymore. But what struck me is this; I have an awesome wife, a great marriage,and a stable relationship with MonkeyHead. The problem is we’ve done it all through the phone, Skype, and email.

For 10 years I’ve traveled the world doing what I loved for the country I love,at what I now believe is  a detriment to my marriage. No, we aren’t getting divorced, or at least I haven’t received that memo yet, but as I watched the movie and realized that in the blink of an eye, I’m going to be 60. What if Legend leaves before I’m ready to? In all reality though, if the past 11-12 years is any indication, that will never happen, But if she does, how crushed will I be? I can foresee my life slowing to a grind of what ifs, and should-haves. I dig her, the things we do together, the places we’ve been, the conversations I’ve paid attention to. I can’t imagine that ever not being an option, but what if? What of my children? I can be a bit maniacal at time, has that pushed them too far? Do they remember it, or have they already picked out the ankle chain and cave for my 65th birthday? I don’t know but I’m scared to get old, and be alone after what seemed like forever to find the person that actually puts up with me and can put me in my place.

I just want that chance to fill a thousand Shutterfly books with pictures of weekend get aways, pets and luau photos, and show them so much my grand-kids can tell me whats going on in the pictures better than i can remember, and maybe one day Legend and I will be the next generational commercial.

So I try to listen more, not spend too much money, am set on what I won’t do when talking to my girls. I might even chip down the honey-do list, but really I think to set and just listen to nothing with Legend at my side might be enough to give me the strength to push my fears away.

for Legend:

It doesn’t have to be cold.

Since I am stationed 8 hours from home, I went to the movies last night, and saw Bad Grandpa, not the typical Johnny Knoxville shtick, but then you realize the kid is doing improve, its pretty good. That said, NOT FOR CHILDREN!!! Bubba is 18 she can do what she wants, but MonkeyHead is 10 and there is no way I or Legend would let her see this movie. As I left i was truly disappointing in my heart that parents chose this film as a bonding moment with there 6,7,8 and 10-year-old daughters..way to stay classy ‘Murica.

Every now and then we see that uplifting display of humanity that gives us hope, my post yesterday, gave me hope, the redneck justification system crushed my belief a little, then supposedly the Russian people brought it back again with the video below.

So here is your charge and on this Veterans day weekend, and it should be easy. Go thank someone for breathing, go help someone across the street, take a bowl of chili to the old man who lives on the corner, get out of your bubbles and teach your children, neighbors, and most importantly self, that good does exist in our world.

Veterans Day | Field of poppies

Veterans Day | Field of poppies (Photo credit: *Arielle*)

Duck Dynasty on Success

Thank you to the Robertson family for having and displaying family values, talking at multiple engagements around the country on the importance of parenting, loving one another and deriving your success from your’s and you family’s efforts and nothing more.

Hard work, focus, planning, mentorship, followership, drive, belief, support, motivation, trust and faith. Can we take ten minutes a day to demonstrate this to our children, family and co-workers, can we live a laugh that serves as a “how to” guide for those we influence most? or are we destined to Al Bundy our life over our single lifetime accomplishment? See it and speak it into existence, what you take in is what you’ll give out.


empowerment in the age of complacency

English: Royce Gracie

English: Royce Gracie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Welcome back, if you have never read me before, let me fill you in a little bit. i am a 23 year veteran of the military, with multiple deployments where bad people prove their displeasure in Americans by shooting at them. I am married to Legend, my rock and we have MonkeyHead and Bubba, plus 4 dogs. Those girls are the light of my life and both are totally different people. Bubba is loud, outspoken, and has her daddy’s calm temper and quiet voice and personality. (<-sarcasm) MonkeyHead is introspective and a million times smarter than I am, she doesn’t believe in the victimization of woman, or the need to use sexual images to sell music. She has read all the Harry Potter books, except the last one, and the best way to punish her is to not let her read at night. She is also only ten, having standards, morals, and being an individual at the peak developmental phase for mean girls is not an easy road. Daddy’s answer is to choke them out, Legend does not agree, what we agree in is empowering our children to stand up for themselves and others, speak their mind and that the most important choices we make are the ones we make when no one is watching.

The Gracie family has been around for years since before UFC, Pride, or even Ken Shamrock. Confidence is key in life, if you don’t know how to instill that trait in your children, that is ok, find someone to help you. You ask Legend, I don’t know everything and am fast learning i can’t do it all my way, to many cracks in my foundation at an early age, and the mortar only covered them up, not filled them in. Don’t rest on the complacency a 60 inch tv can bring you, engage with your children, love them empower them, and find help somewhere besides Dr. Spock, he was wrong and our children today are paying that price.

when the adults fail to teach, the children will teach themselves

Why do we still have mall shootings, homeless families, bankrupt cities, uneven foreign trade policy, and trillions of dollars of debt?

Because a group of individuals forgot that they are not more powerful than those they represent, in fact they forget who they represent and make decisions from their 500 foot view instead of going home and investigating what the 10000 foot view would do to their constitutes.  When we stop teaching our children accountability, by refusing to hold our elected leaders accountable, there is no wonder that 52% of Americans expect some form of government subsidy to provide for their needs, while teaching their children they are owed the same subsidy; when they should (in my humble opinion) teach their children, they were born in the most opportunity driven country in the world, look at the Detroit Bus Company, and tell me this isn’t the country of dreams? where a 225 year old average kid, can see a need, fill it, and make a difference. We are owed nothing but air, everything you have or become is up to you, some outliers do exist but change your stars William, change your stars.

Bullying, a parental opportunity for involvement

if you’ve read my post, you know Monkeyhead and Bubba are my world.  Also hopefully you checked out the links to www.thebullyproject.com We as parents have GOT to empower our children to believe in themselves and their strengths. Engage, Empower, and involve yourselves in their lives.

Photo: Not really that funny, but Its pretty true