2.26.2013

The State of Things...or Something Like That

I want to start off with an apology. I have been woefully negligent in my goal of 'doing more writing in 2013' (because that's not a vague goal or anything). Hopefully this update will mark the point where I get back on track with that goal.

And do more writing.

Or something like that.

I trust that the 3 of you that normally peruse the cerebral 'uke that spills forth on this blog have found something else to occupy you in the while until I got my head back out of my arse.

So...where were we?

Life is pretty good, actually. I'm coming up on my 1 year anniversary at work. And now, as it did in the first week here, it feels like this job is the perfect fit for me. I don't quite know how to describe it other than to say it feels like home.

I'm sure stuff has happened between the time I posted last on here and now, but I don't really feel like playing catch up mode and going in to every detail.

Suffice to say, things are pretty decent in Toddlandia.

I'm still hovering at that pesky plateau of 260 lbs. (which, if you're keeping track, is about 70lbs from where I started back in November of 2011). Now...I know that because I'm working out more, that there's a lot of fat to muscle conversion happening. And I'm ok with that.

Actually....I'm not. It pisses me off. I want to see the number on the scale go lower, if I'm being honest. But, I do recognize that clothes are starting to fit better. And that I'm in better shape at age 41 than I was at 31 (and probably better overall shape than I was at 21).

Something cool did happen at Hap Ki Do last night. Master Han told me, "When you started you could only kick here..." and he lowered his hand to about his ankle. "Now you can kick here..." and he held his hand above his waist. It was a nice moment. It let me know that (a) they really are taking my growth in to account. And (b), it was cool told be told that they were proud of my growth. And it was a nice indicator that I was making progress. Which is pretty vital. I don't always know how far I've come until they say something like that.

I'm sore today, though. Last night there was just...me and the master in class. It was pretty much a private lesson. And I spent most of the hour kicking. Front snap kick...jumping front snap kick...round house...stepping round house....step-to punching.

And then we sparred. Or as I like to call it "10 minutes of getting reminded that I still have a LONNNNNNG way to go."

Controlled exercises are one thing, but having to put everything together in a continuous sparring session is quite another. Not to mention that when doing the exercises, Master Han wasn't hitting back. In the sparring he was.

And holy crapsicles is he fast!

Still...the cool thing about it was, he gave me the inspiration of knowing that one day I'll be able to keep up with him (at least that's the goal).

Did I mention I was sore? Yeah. A 90 minute kickboxing class on Sunday. Then 60minutes of kickboxing on Monday followed immediately by the Hap Ki Do class makes for a very sore Toddly.

But that's ok.

I know that I'm on the right path. I know that by sticking with this, I'll continue to get in better shape and advance my discipline.

And that, my friends, is pretty f**kin' awesome, in my book.

Rock on.
-A.T.

 

 

 

2.17.2013

I Am A Humbled Dot Connector

It is humbling to me when I hear from someone that my little affirmations inspire them. That they can read something that I wrote with a smile and it makes them smile and brightens their day, even if for a moment.

Because, that's what it's really about, isn't it? The moments.

I think a lot of people wait for their 'big defining moment'...and they miss the point.  Our lives are a 'connect the dots' picture. Do you remember those? A page full of dots that didn't look like anything but a page full of dots. And in some cases the dots were sequenced. Once you followed each of those dots, when you connected the last one to the first one, you saw the whole picture.

I used to stop along the way, from dot to dot and try to guess what the bigger picture was. It was always such a rush when I thought I knew what it was and it turned out to be that very thing! But you know what was cooler? When I thought it was one thing, but after connecting all the dots, it turned out to be an image completely out of the blue from what I was expecting. And one that was WAY more awesome than what I had originally thought. 

THOSE were the magic moments.

But it was always the same. You HAD to follow the dots and connect them to get the full picture. 

That full picture is your life. Or at the very least a chapter in your life. Those dots are moments. People...events...brief snapshots of awesomeness in time.

All necessary to fully realize that bigger picture.

And here's the kicker...it only works if you connect the dots

We are all connected.

THAT is what keeps me going.




Have an amazing day, my friends.
-A.T.

2.10.2013

Fleas Allow Me to Introduce Myself...

Spent this past weekend in Olive Hill, KY at Carter Caves with the 'rents. It's our annual tradition of going down to the cottages there and eating, drinking, and being merry for 2 1/2 days.  This year I'm fighting a cold, so I didn't whoop it up as much as I normally might have, but it was still a righteous time.

Coming back home today we stopped at the 23 Southbound Flea Market (just south of Piketon for those familiar with 23's journey through southern Ohio).  

And as I'm walking through there, I just couldn't believe the amount of pure crap that they have. But crap aside, there are some gems.

Some of you might know that this blog got its start from me taking and posting pix of crazy shit that I saw at thrift stores. Up until I got threatened for getting kicked out for life, that was how I amused myself on this blog.

Today hearkened back to those days. I took several shots with my phone today at the flea market. Which..funny story.... A while back I was taking pix with my D50 at the very same flea market. And that did NOT go over well. Especially at the Gun 'collectors' table. So...I felt a little like I was living on the edge by being all sly and doing it with my phone today. 

OK. Starting off....the weekend really is pretty much all about getting away and eating...and drinking...and being merry. Dad made his killer vegetable beef soup. Which I consumed with some White Whiskey from Jim Beam. Good stuff!!



 The moonshine can be purchased at the state liquor stores...and is pretty much just for a gag gift for a friend. I've had some before...and damned if you really couldn't go blind drinking that shit.


 The fire was roaring all weekend. Even though the temps during the day were in the 40's and 50's, it got chilly at night.


 Stopping at the gift shop at Carter Caves, this piece really spoke to me. I picked it up and it felt right. It wasn't until after I had paid for it that the cashier gave me the card explaining the meanings. This is the Hopi Healing Hand. Symbolizing life, healing, and creativity. Yeah, I'd say that fits. Rumor has it that it's going to be my next tattoo after the Ash tree.



 And now we're on to the goodies from the Flea Market. I seriously almost got this. I mean...what could possibly go wrong?

 1983 called and it wants it's candy back! I love Zotz!! The sad thing is...the way things go at the flea markets, this could actually be from 1983.

 Saw several vendors with Atari 2600 games. Makes me regret selling mine to help fund a Playstation2 that isn't even getting played right now.

 Good luck unloading the Pac-Man game. At $1.99 it's still no bargain and to this day remains the 2nd worst Atari game in the history of Atari games (E.T. is the first).

 Table o' Beers. Or as I like to call it 'Redneck Heaven.'

 No shortage of framed Elvis art. Did you expect that there would be??


 In case of emergency, time warp back to 1977 and fire up the 8-track!


Due to my awesome stealth ninja photography skills, you can't see that this actually says "Necklace's 1.00 EAch"

 The difference between a relic like this and the Atari cartridges is that people can still play the Atari games and get some enjoyment out of them. What's fun about an OS that doesn't support USB? Not much.

 Nothing screams 'cross-cultural pollination' like a katana with confederate flag accents. Konnichi-yeeha!

 I think the 'unauthorized' part of this book comes from the fact that Burt is shown without his porno-stache. Pretty sure that's illegal in 34 states.


I think I had a few more shots, but really..I think that gives you the idea of what you're dealing with at these kinds of places. What's funny to me is that they MUST be making some kind of money to stay there.

Not sure I could do it. But damn it's fun to walk through and look at all the crap I don't need.

And with that, I head to bed. 

Peace Out, yo.

-AT

2.05.2013

Screw You Treadmill

20 minutes.
That's all I lasted tonight.

After that, it was 'Screw You, Treadmill....ya rat bastich.'

Yeah....I tend to talk to all my exercise equipment as a cross between Jimmy Durante and Michael Keaton's character from Johnny Dangerously....sue me. It's much better than my Richard Dawson phase...you're going to have to trust me on that one.

I have always avoided treadmills. And with good reason. I hate to run.
Let me back up. Back when I was a kid...I loved to run. Sometimes. Mostly, because I've been chubby all my life, I hated to run. Even when I WAS in good shape (for a 10 month period between 1989 and 1990), I hated to run.

And treadmills to me were always the spawn of Satan...a.k.a. an exercise device on which you jog or run.

BZZZZT! No thanks. Count me out. Seriously..I f**king hate to run. I don't run unless I'm being chased.

So, tell me again why I accepted this PayITForward of a beast treadmill from a friend?  Because...I was gonna be the bad ass. I jog before Kick Boxing. I read "Born To Run." I was pretty much gung-ho to run.

Only, I hate to run. So..it sat here for 4 weeks...unused. And then something magical happened at Brew-Stirs (which is usually the case)....I met a guy who'd lost 90 lbs in less than a year. He said that one of his main workout components was walking 60 minutes a day. 4 MPH pace....at a 15 degree incline.  On a treadmill. I know!?!?! I was like, "Get the F**k out!" Finally I had hope again.

I got on it for the first time tonight. I set the interval for 'weight loss' and let the treadmill handle the inclines. And I put the speed to 4.0 (Assuming 4 mph)....THAT was way too freakin' fast. So I dialed it back to 3.5 MPH and that was a nice brisk pace.

And I was all set to hit that 60 minutes with a vengeance.

Damned if I didn't hit 20 minutes and stop...(don't worry,  slowed down first).

My shirt was drenched and my legs were Jello.

I'm still not convinced the treadmill was based on a medieval device of torture....but there's an up side---it's gonna kick the shit out of the fat. I can tell you that right now.


Peace Out
-AT

2.01.2013

How To Drive Awesome

Now, I don't normally like to give away my secrets. Some of you may or may not know that I was a medical courier for a year and a half in my college aged years.

I actually loved that job. But that's a story for another time. Thing is...there are certain....secrets...you pick up when driving is your job. And driving home tonight in Ohio's wonderful weather schizophrenia, I was thinking that I should share tips on how to drive like a complete bad-ass. Or Awesome Driving 101, if you will.


  • TALK OR TEXT ON YOUR CELL PHONE
    • Distraction is the key to driving awesomely. The more distracted you are, the better your driving experience will be. Afterall, it's a long commute, why shouldn't you take advantage of that time to catch up on your emails on the way in to the office? The worse the weather is, the more you should concentrate on avoiding spelling mistakes.
  • CHANGE LANES WILLY-NILLY
    • There is a subtle art to the lane change. Instead of staying in the lane you know you need to be in as you're driving, you should change lanes as often as possible in order to inch ahead...even if it's only a car length or 2. Why should you care about traffic flow?
  • FORGET ABOUT YOUR TURN SIGNAL
    • Turn signals are only on cars because the government makes car makes put them on there. It's a law or something. But I'm pretty sure it's not a law that you have to use them. As long as you make a couple hesitation feints before changing lanes, you should be fine. The other cars should be paying attention anyway. They'll see you. If you want, you can click your blinker once after you are mostly in your new lane. That way, you'll be ok if Johnny Law is cracking down.
  • RIDE THE ASS END OF THE CAR IN FRONT OF YOU
    • You have someplace important to be. If someone's in your way, the best way to avoid confrontation is to get as close to the other guy's bumper as you can. Eventually they will move away. You can also flash your headlights when you think you're close enough that they'll fill the other person's rearview mirror when you do. If they're foolish enough to brake-check you, pull a Dale#3 on those somebishes and pass them on the inside lane!
  • PASS ON THE RIGHT
    • Everyone knows that the far left lane is the passing lane. It's not the fast lane. It's the Pass Lane (so, you can see how people make that mistake). But here's the thing...if someone's camping in that lane, you have no lane to pass them...so just pass them on the right. Maybe they'll get the hint and clear your lane. Oh...for the record, passing on the right isn't only limited to the far left lane. Pass on the right whenever possible. 
  • ALWAYS BLAME THE OTHER GUY
    • Being such a kick ass driver isn't easy. People will want to blame shit on you, call you names. That's fine...you know it's not true (jealously is an ugly color on most). You're driving rocks. It's up to the rest of the noob's to deal with how awesome your driving is.
  • SPEED UP AS SOON AS SOMEONE WANTS TO PASS YOU
    • You have the right to slow down in your lane if you want (especially if you're checking the email or the tweets). BUT--if some toolshaft tries to pass you, immediately speed up and match or exceed there speed. The phrases "The f**k??" and/or "Oh hell no! Not this time stick family mini van" are acceptable and you are encouraged to use them when in this scenario.
  • FORGET ABOUT YOUR TURN SIGNAL (Advanced Lesson)
    • Better than not using your turn signal is making sure that as you merge on to the highway, you leave it on...for miles and miles. The other drivers will take notice and give you space, not knowing which lane you really want to drive in (the answer:ALL of them).
  • ASSURED CLEARED DISTANCE IS FOR LOSERS
    • See that guy to your left trying to keep a car length and a half between him and the car in front of him? F**k that guy. He's a loser...a whiner worried about 'assured cleared braking distance.' Look at all that road he's wasting. You really owe it to yourself (And the good of the other drivers) to force your way in to that space and user up that road, yo!  You can combine this with either Turn Signal lesson.
  • WEAVE AND BOB
    • Whenever possible, you should weave from side to side. This gives you a better sense on how wide the lanes are. Don't worry if you go over the lines, the other lanes are as big as yours, there's always room for part of your car in there. It all works out.
  • PRECIPITATION KILLS
    • Ohio has many weather changes. If it's raining in the winter, you should assume every wet spot on the road is black ice and drive accordingly. The more moisture (rain, snow, cloudy days, tribbles) in the air, the more you should combine the above lessons.
Hopefully with those tips, you can be a more awesome driver this wintery season!!

-AT

In The Bag

There are a few common threads throughout this blog if you read it long enough. One of these threads has to do with my obsession...er...ques...