Monday, December 15, 2014

Damn Nature You Scary (Christmas edition)

Time for another installment of “Damn Nature you Scary,” Christmas edition;
The praying mantis, a miniature alien looking, green monster that decapitates her mates immediately after mating. Literally the female bites the head right off. The male, who is behind for the dirty, finishes the job and she quickly grabs him, whips him around face-to-face and starts chomping. Now that in itself is worthy of the title “Damn Nature You Scary” and a bit selfish on the female part but that isn’t the reason for this post. Because of the holidays many people, with cheer in their eyes, have trotted down to the corner or out to the fields with their happy little families to pick out a Christmas tree. They look around for hours to pick out the right one, load on to the car with some string take it home and decorate it. Now imagine you are admiring this holiday beauty one morning with a cup of piping hot coffee in your hand when you notice it, a small white Styrofoam looking ball. You lean in to take a closer look and just as you are reaching in to move a limb out of the way for a better look, it burst open and 1500 tiny, almost translucent, creatures come pouring out and start flying around the house. As you are screaming, back stepping, and dropping that hot coffee all over you, you are fighting the little beasts for your life. After you realize you aren’t going to be devoured by the creatures and calm down you finally get a look at one of these little aliens and see that it’s actually a tiny praying mantis. The white foamy ball was actually a mantis pod, or egg, from the female. Apparently this year was an exceptionally good year for the mantis mating season, so much so that there is warning out now that if you have a real Christmas tree you should check it out and carefully remove the pod, especially if your tree comes from Michigan.

So if you are still shopping for that perfect Xmas gift, and the person you are searching for is a Beatles fan or even a classic rock fan or just a fan of music then the gift to get is the album “The Art of McCartney.” A collection of Paul McCartney songs redone by a list of artist such as Billy Joel, Alice Cooper, Def Leppard, and even Willie Nelson pays tribute. Most of the songs are well done but just like every album there is a few that could have been done by another artist.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Anniversary Gift

My wife bought me this handsome decanter for my scotch and had it engraved with my initials, she also bought me some whiskey stones (in the glass) to chill it but not water it down.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Appalachian Trail Hike

Hiked 22 miles on the Appalachian Trail On the West Virginia/Virginia line. We hiked up to 3,800 feet then across a ridge line and back down. The first day we had to cross a river to get to the trail on a swing and pulley rig, then up hill for a few miles, across the ridge, camped in a shelter, then seven miles down to the valley below to complete the 22 miles.

No sharks

 So I never caught any sharks when we went to South Carolina a a couple of months ago but I did catch some fish.  
Me on the left carrying all my gear;
And on the right fishing from the pier with my first fish, a silver mooney.

Not sure what these two are called but caught them down by the jeti (big rock wall). The big one down there is called an oyster toad fish because they use there big mouth and teeth to crack oysters.

Monday, August 18, 2014


The Reel
Last year I talked about fly fishing and let you in on my struggles to get that perfect cast. I ended the season with only one little trout but it was a huge accomplishment, to me, to be able to cast perfectly and bring in that fish all on a fly rod. This year, for a fishing adventure, I will be targeting something a little larger, sharks. As your imagination runs out of control, especially since last week was shark week on the Discovery Channel that shows great whites in the 20 foot range, let me “reel” you back in. did you see what I did there? I’ll be looking to catch a 4-6 foot black tip, fine tooth, or other species in that range. The rod and reel I’ll be using for this adventure is a complete 180 from the fly rod of last year. A thick ten foot rod housing a reel that weighs around three pounds spooled with line strong enough to, well, land a shark. The reel alone weighs more than the fly rod, reel, and line all together. To make things just a little more interesting I’ll be surf fishing, meaning I’ll be casting from the shore and pulling the behemoths onto land to, this is where the fun starts, remove the hook. Yea, I said it. Remove the hook from a shark’s mouth. The hooks are made to rotate to the corner of the mouth causing less damage to the shark and make it easier to remove with long pliers of course. You didn’t think I was going to stick my hand in the mouth did you? Now I won’t be just focusing on catching Jaws, but other fish as well such as croaker, whiting, sea trout, mullet, red drum (also known as red fish), and other less toothy fish. Some of them we will be using as bait, others will be tossed back, and some will be cooked for dinner, no sharks on the menu for us but all other is fair game. If you have ever had fresh seafood, I mean right out of the water onto the grill, you’ll know why I’m excited about that. So by the end of our week long stent in South Carolina I hope to have caught and released a shark without losing a limb, caught my own dinner, get sunburned, and actually get a chance to relax in the sun before winter comes leaving me stuck inside for another four months.  
The Target (black tip)

Found this picture on the internet and the caption read, "Flat tire in Antartica." I laughed for a solid five minutes.
My dream motorcycle with kayak, mountain bike, and dog of course. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Ol' Boat & Bottle

Here are a couple of pics from our first trip to Mexico last November. I'm a big fan, right now, of the un-sharp mask tool and brightness/contrast adjuster when editing my photos.

Fishing with Dad

Went out on the boat with dad to do some fishing, I caught eleven fish and this is the fish he wants to take a picture of;
In case you are wondering it is a large mouth bass and the minnow I caught him on was a little smaller than him. I guess he lives by the rule, go big or go home.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Let’s talk bourbon. More specifically, maker’s mark Kentucky straight bourbon whisky. As you know from my last post I received a bottle for my birthday. Now (and I’m reading out loud as I write in a Kentucky accent) I’m no whisky drinker on a regular basis but I have been interested in getting more into it recently, hence the reason for the bottle as a gift, not because I’m a raging alcoholic. Back to the bourbon, I have read only a few things on how to drink it because, well, it’s a drink, how hard could it be. Much to my knowledge there is a lot that goes into a good whisky from the distilling process to aging to drinking. The distilling process makes no matter (Kentucky accent) to me because I ain’t makin’ it, I’m drankin’ it. What I have read is the true way to drink it is more of a relaxed  sip rather than a shot at the bar like I have in the past. What I learned is the proper way  to drink it is neat, which means straight out of the bottle room temp into a glass, no ice. Or you can be a little bit of a wuss and drink it with a side of ice water or a tiny splash in your drink. If you ad ice, on the rocks, that is apparently a huge no-no for true bourbon fans and that goes for all whisky no matter where its from Kentucky, Tennessee, Canada, Ireland or Scotland which is called scotch (we’ll get to that bottle later). Well I took the low road and added an ice cube because, well, I’m no whisky drinker, at least not yet. I opened the bottle and took a huge whiff and was surprised. I expected a burn just as I sniffed but instead was met by a sweet, smoky, oak aroma as they described in the ads. The smell was majestic, marvelous, manly. I wish my house smelled of it. I smiled as I poured what some would call a two finger amount added an ice cube and stared at it for what seemed an eternity. The color was a crystal clear amber. Have you ever seen the first Jurassic Park, when the old man looks at his cane with the piece of amber and the mosquito stuck in it? Yea, it was like that except in a liquid form. Speaking of Jurassic Park, there is a fourth one coming out soon. Speaking more of Jurassic park, that old man looked kind of like Colonel Sanders who was from Kentucky and I bet the Colonel drank bourbon. Actually the actor who played the old man is from Scotland so I bet he drinks scotch. Ok back the glass in hand, I was ready for my first sip. I took another sniff but this time from the glass, same aroma a little less strong, I was getting excited. I took a tiny sip and it hit my lips with a slight burn but smooth going down then a lingering burn. “Not bad,” I thought. I went for my second after a few minutes, again, a small sip with the same result but a little less burn this time. Then my third a little later but this time a bigger sip no burn and only a slight tingle to the lips. That was the way to go. Not a gulp but a normal, man size sip. Smooth, oaky, slightly sweet, the right amount of all. The last few went the same way, almost perfect. It was a good start to my whisky… challenge? Yea I said it. It’s been a while since I did one of them there challenges and I am over due. Broaden my cocktail horizons challenges. As I continue with the Makers Mark I’ll fill you in and then it will come scotch time something I’m really looking forward to. For now I’ll finish this glass and until next time… raise your glasses to whisky.

BBQ and Baseball

BBQ, baseball, blueberry pie, beer, and bourbon what could sound more American? For my birthday, the big 32, my amazing wife made, from scratch, a blueberry cheesecake. It was delicious and as I was stuffing my face she made mention that it was low in fat. A short pause, a shrug of the shoulders, and I continue to shove it down my throat like I have never eaten before. After I cleared my plate, seconds later, I was able to mutter the words, “I don’t care, it’s delicious.” Then I went and got a second helping. Along with the cheesecake, she also got me some new running gear and a sling-and-pulley system to hang my kayak in the garage. Later in the week her parents stopped by and with them came my presents of Makers Mark Bourbon and a single malt scotch from Glenmorangie distillery in Scotland. What a birthday it was.

the ruins of a full rack 
This past Saturday Columbus was hosting their annual rib and jazz fest that brings in backyard vendors from all over the country. When we arrived it was a row of massive trailers and signs as tall as a three story building showcasing their past awards. Over 300 internaitional wins, worlds best, 2013 champion and so they went on into the clouds. We chose to grab some of “Famous Dave’s” because they sounded good and the line was a bit shorter than some of the others. Seems a place with a shorter line wouldn’t be as good but they were DAMN good. A full rack of ribs, 2 pork sandwiches, a pound of beans and slaw, with a slice of cornbread is what we ordered between four of us. Washed it down with a cold beer and we were set. Earlier that week I got two free passes for a hospitality tent at the rib fest which included free parking, always a plus and the garage was only a block away. The tent, actually a building that is used for events and weddings, was guarded by event staff that gave us two drink tickets upon entering, free beer another plus. We dusted off those two Budweiser’s by the river chatting about whatever and letting the food settle.

Full of beer and BBQ we headed to Huntington Park to watch a Clippers’ game. Columbus Clippers is a minor league baseball team the next step up is the Cleveland Indians. After paying only seven bucks a pop for tickets we attempted to sit behind home plate before being shooed off by the usher. They were empty seats after all, I mean come on, but we moved anyway.  Moving on we were stopped by a co-worker working a concession stand who handed us a couple of Miller Lites on the house, another free beer for the night. We found some seats out on the right field line with a good view of home plate. After the game we called it a night so we headed home to sleep off the beer and BBQ.  

Friday, July 18, 2014

Greatest Compliment.... Ever!

I was told today that I look like Walker Texas Ranger, which basically means I look like Chuck Norris. I consider myself lucky.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Found this on the internet today and I thought three things;
1. This is a girl describing a fart?
2. A girl made a funny comment after a fart?
3. Why was the second girl on the phone while using the bathroom?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Shark Tracker

One of the coolest websites i have ever found;

You can actually track sharks that have been tagged for scientific purposes by the researches aboard the M/V OCEARCH a massive research vessel spanning 126 feet and weighing in at 581 tons. the ship houses a hydraulic lift capable of pulling out 75,000 pounds worth of shark meat. the researches tag the sharks with a harmless tracking unit that releases after five years. the girls (because they are the biggest) to watch are;

  • Katherine is big great white tooling around the west coast of Florida in the Gulf of Mexico. she is a mere 14'2" long and tips the scales at 2,300 pounds.
  • genie, another white shark, longer than Katherine by only six inches weighs a few pounds less has been cruising around the D.C. area. 
  • across Florida and sneaking around Georgia's southern coasts is yet another white Lydia. Lydia measures 14'6" and weighs around 2,000 pounds. 
  • Miss Michalove is a tiger with a length of 11'2" but only weighs 650 pounds. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Keep Calm and Carry On

I have noticed an increase in popularity in the phrase, “Keep calm and…” usually finished off with something like “…Chive on” (a website name) or “…drink coffee” but I wasn’t sure, until yesterday, the origin of it. The original phrase “Keep Calm and Carry On” topped with the Tudor Crown (also known as the King’s Crown or Imperial Crown) was a motivational poster produced by the Brits in 1939 as they were gearing up for the second World War. And just today, I met a lady with a calendar book with the exact phrase on the cover which begged me to strike up a conversation about the phrase. The kicker, she was British. Needless to say she was impressed with the little knowledge I had of her countries war-time the slogan and crown. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Rattlesnake 'Merica

As the Fourth of July approaches and the men’s national soccer team moves on to the next round in the World Cup I have been feeling a little more patriotic. Recently talking with friends after a few references to the Revolutionary War, George Washington, and freedom I felt even more patriotic when I got the chance to explain what a Gadsden flag was to. If you don’t know, I’m sure you have seen them flying or on a bumper sticker, it is a yellow flag designed by General Gadsden of the war showing a coiled rattlesnake with the motto “don’t tread on me.” makes sense for a revolutionary flag, don’t step on a snake or you’ll get bit, don’t step on America, I get it. Then I decided to do a little more research about our slithery friend on the flag and came across a letter Ben Franklin wrote to the Pennsylvania Journal in 1775. In the letter he writes:

“…I recollected that her [rattle snake] eye excelled in brightness, that of any other animal and that she has no eye-lids. She may therefore be esteemed an emblem of vigilance. She never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged, ever surrenders: She is therefore an emblem of magnanimity and true courage. As if anxious to prevent all pretensions of quarreling with her, the weapons with which nature has furnished her, she conceals in the roof of her mouth, so that, to those who are unacquainted with her, she appears to be a most defenseless animal; and even when those weapons are shown and extended for her defense, they appear weak and contemptible; but their wounds however small, are decisive and fatal. Conscious of this, she never wounds 'till she has generously given notice, even to her enemy, and cautioned him against the danger of treading on her.”

So a little bit of information for you as we approach the 4th. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Monday, June 23, 2014

I Hate Brakes

I was working on my brakes on the car this weekend and as I was loosening the lug nuts the wrenched slipped causing me to torque my back. After a few minutes on the garage floor I manned up and finished the brakes then spent the rest of the weekend walking around like an old man that left his walker at home. I didn’t realize until today that last time I worked on my brakes I ended up busting my chin on a fender and getting six stitches.  Note to self, stop working on brakes.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Race Day-Cap City Half Marathon

After five months of training I ran my first half-marathon on Saturday. The training up to Saturday went something like this;
  • Sunday: off
  • Monday: 3-4 miles (depending on where I am in training)
  • Tuesday: 5-6 (as above)
  • Wednesday: 3-4 again
  • Thursday: off
  • Friday: 3-4 and just two the day before the race
  • Saturday: my big run days, every week increasing a mile starting at 6 miles then next Saturday I did 7, then 8, and so on up to 12.

Me and Amber
Saturday came with an early 6am rise, a hot shower, plain bagel with peanut butter and a Gatorade for breakfast, no coffee, and out the door we went. The weather was less than perfect, windy, cold (47ºF at the beginning of the race), and a chance of rain, which it did, twice, but only for a few minutes each time. The runners were split into groups called “corrals” which was dependant on your projected pace, I was in corral B. My cousin, Jason, who talked me into this madness, was in corral A. Corral A set off first then a minute later it was our turn. I was at the front of the group at the start and set a fast pace the first mile but leveled off between 2 and 3 to my normal pace. I felt good, aside from the weather. There were tons of people lining the streets almost the entire way. They were cheering the runners on with signs, clapping, and yelling, there were even DJ’s and musicians placed around the course. The signs were encouraging, inspiring and funny, my favorite being, “RUN FASTER, I JUST FARTED.” Every mile or so was a “refueling station” with water or Gatorade, which is not easy to drink when you are running but I didn’t want to stop and walk in fear of not being able to get going again. Around six miles I got to test out my “Energy Chews,” which is basically a chewy cube full of carbs to help refuel your muscles and to my surprise they worked. Amber asked, what do you think of while running?” Just random stuff but mostly I was thinking of getting to the finish or how funny some people look while running which made wonder how I looked while running. We started in downtown Columbus and made our way towards Ohio State University campus, back through downtown into a small area called German Village were people were actually having parties while watching us run. There’s nothing like seeing people eating, drinking, and waving at me while I have been running for ten miles. Then back up into downtown were I rounded the corner for the final 500 yards by this time I was on the down slope and getting pretty tired even after six energy chews but then I saw Amber(wife), who waited for me the entire race in the rain and cold, couldn’t ask for any more support.  Lisa, a friend of ours, was there as well to watch me and another friend, Allison, run. Amber and Lisa were literally the loudest in the hundreds of people there. Their yelling and screaming revived me immediately and pushed me to the finish strong, after a side track to give them high fives of course. I crossed the line after an hour and fifty two minutes of pounding pavement putting my pace around eight and a half minutes per mile. I did it. I ran the whole 13.1 miles non-stop through rain, sweat, and cold. All that training, all the running, all the blisters finally paid off. I felt good. I met up with Amber around the corner and got my free beer. Yea that’s what you get for running 13.1 miles, a single beer. We met up with Jason, his family, and Allison and hers for a big lunch and a big beer then I headed home and took a nice long nap.

Me and Jason
People keep asking now if I’ll continue to run marathons or at least just continue to run at home. I think I will keep it in my exercise regimen but as for marathons, not sure I’ll do that again, at least not anytime soon… or maybe I will, I hear there is a full marathon in August.  

I didn’t win the race or even come close but I finished, I accomplished my goal of finishing under two hours and I owe it to, not just my training, but the support from friends and family. Thank you.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Cast Iron

For some reason, just recently, I have been on a kick about getting some cast iron cookware, I’m not real sure why, maybe because of the look of  the food from a cast iron looks so damn tasty. Then luck has it, my parents had some they were getting rid of. A 12 and a 6 inch “The Lodge” brand cast iron skillets both covered in a layer of rust from not being used. “No problem,” dad says as he handed me a steel wool pad. After a few times of scrubbing and rinsing with cold water I removed the rust and was down to bare cast iron again. Now it was time to season the skillets. To season, I followed a few instructions I read on-line, heating them in the oven to 500º for 20 minutes or so then wiping down with veggie oil and laying them upside down in the oven again for another 20-30 minutes. I put aluminum foil down on the oven rack to keep any excess oil from dripping onto the element. The oil helps keep the pot from rusting again and keeps food from sticking when cooking. After the second time in the oven I just turned off the oven and let them cool down while the oven cooled. I repeated these steps the next day.  Now it was a bit of work to clean a rusty cast iron skillet then season it but when it’s free it’s worth it. I don’t have any pictures of before but here is the 12 inch after a couple of seasonings. I cooked a couple of chicken thighs in the small skillet last night and it tasted good. No rust or metal taste at all.

There is a long list of benefits from cooking with cast iron from cooking to actual health benefits. A couple benefits that stick in my mind are a well seasoned pan allows you use less oil to cook and is a healthy alternative to using non-stick pans which may contain harmful chemicals. Another awesome benefit is you can use any heat source oven, stove, or even a camp fire. It truly is a versatile piece.

“One man with courage makes a majority.”                 -Andrew Jackson

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

No more list

After reading last weeks posts and putting my self to sleep, I've decide to spare you the agony and not attempt a post everyday again. So that’s that.

Found out this morning on my cold, slow commute to work that today, January 21st, in 1982 Ozzy was hospitalized after biting the head off a real bat that a fan threw on stage. Ozzy was later quoted saying, “I thought it was a plastic prop.” I’m sure he had enough drugs in his system that it probably killed anything that bat was carrying.

So the weather has been brutally cold this past month dropping down into the negatives on some days. The weather report said the temperature dropped forty degrees in less than forty hours. On top of that we went from a few inches of snow to torrential downpours and warmer weather that melted all the snow and created flooding then the temp dropped back down to low teens, freezing rain and snow making central Ohio a huge ice skating rink. Driving to work is a real hoot. They are calling all the temperature drops a polar vortex, not exactly ideal weather to be outside. All this brings me to this coming weekend, which I had planned on getting out and doing a little winter fly fishing plus bringing the camera to see if I could get some creek and snow bank photos but if the temp is below twenty, probably won’t make it. Nope, I’ll just sit inside and drink coffee.

Amber and I went and saw the movie Wolf of Wall Street on Friday. It was a good movie and Leonardo Dicaprio is one hell of an actor. The movie was filled with drugs, money, sex, and F-bombs, like I said a good movie. Saturday we met friends at the Columbus Winter Beer Fest and had our fill of good brews and bad. One was infuse with bourbon that I’m pretty sure made my voice deeper, chest hairier, and probably gave me a manly scar on my face. Fruity beers which I hate, IPAs, amber ale’s, lagers, we had them all, well not all of them but we tried our best. And what’s beer without pizza? So we headed out to a quaint little place named Fabians in what is called the Short North. They serve Chicago style deep dish pizzas and aside from not being in Chi-Town itself the pizza was the real deal. We got a small BBQ chicken and it was amazing at about four inches deep. Our friends got a supreme, a Stromboli, and some garlic bread and no one was disappointed.

Last thing for the day, I was driving home from the store on Sunday and saw a license plate that read “OOH YEA” I’m pretty sure it was the Kool-Aid guy.

Ok this is the last thing, this Saturday I will be celebrating a friend’s birthday out and about but if you are searching for something to do around Columbus, Barleys Smokehouse is celebrating a fellow Scotsman and poet Robert Burns by offering a Robert Burns dinner with a four course Scottish meal including haggis, Scottish ales and single malt Scotch. They will also provide some bag pipes and poetry for entertainment. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Week one; Topic five

So here it is, Friday the last business day of the week and the last day for my topic on being a better/healthier person. Now we have discussed health in different aspects diet, exercise, social and work life, and even touched on mechanical (car) health but what about health during a zombie apocalypse? Well it’s easy; step one buy a gun and become amazingly accurate because you’ll want to conserve ammo. If you don’t buy one before the outbreak steal one. Step two, stock pile food. No one is for sure when the outbreak will happen so best to start now. Step three while you are waiting for the zombies to arrive go ahead and get into great shape that way you‘ll be able to run from them without tiring. Hopefully they’ll be the slow kind and not the insanely fast running and jumping kind because if that happens no one will survive. Step four, after the outbreak, if movies have taught us anything, stay away from hospitals and/or military bases/camps, that’s usually where it starts or where they concentrate to. Step five, learn how to drive a semi or some other very large heavy duty vehicle. Speaking of which, why don’t they ever get into a semi, dump truck, or trash truck in the movies and just run over everything, make sense. Step six, learn basic survival skills… self explanatory. Seven, include only the closest family and friends. When ducking and hiding from a horde of zombies you don’t want to be sneaking around in a big crowd and if you do find yourself in a large crowd stay close to the fat or sick ones, at least you can outrun them. Eight, place blunt objects such as bats, clubs, sledgehammers or any other tool with some weight to it strategically around your safe house. This way you always have a weapon close by. Number nine, learn basic first aid and pay close attention on learning how to control bleeding. If someone in your group is hurt, even if it wasn’t from a zombie, quarantine them until they are perfectly healthy. Better safe than dead. And number ten the final step to being prepared for the end, never go into an unknown building that has no lights and in the dark. Even if you have a flashlight or flamethrower, do not go in there.

But seriously there is actually, people out there that are certain and are preparing for a real life zombie breakout and I used to think they were crazy. That is until I heard of Krokodil. Krokodil has been deemed “flesh-eating zombie drug,” and that’s exactly what it is. After injection of this drug vessels start to shut down cutting off blood supply to the area of injection and the area starts to die. So while these people are getting high body parts are falling off. Flesh just falls away from the bone like dead leaves from a tree. Think about it a group of these drugged up “zombies” walking towards you on the street, flesh hanging, mind altered from the drug, what do you do? See the steps from above and hope that the drug hasn’t given them super fast running speed. If you have a strong stomach Google krokodil and look at the pictures. I refrained from posting them to keep upsetting any weak stomach readers. If you do look at the pictures, what I’ve noticed is some of the people on the drug seem to be in no pain at all with an arm bone showing, which is probably why this is known as the zombie drug.

So lessons learned this week; stay healthy, stay positive, don’t do drugs, and be prepared for the zombie apocalypse.  

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Week one; topic four

Today’s topic at being that better/healthier person is the job/social life. When it comes to talking to people I can keep up a conversation, most times, even with a stranger. The best way to talk to people whether it be a friend, family, or the general public is know what’s going on in the world or at least read the headlines. It’s better to know a little rather than nothing at all that way you at least have the line, “Yeah, I remember reading something about that.”  I’ve found that if they bring it up then they know more about then I do so I just let them talk. Social media can help keep you informed and in contact with people but don’t be glued to it. I try not to look at my phone when hanging out with friends or family, especially when having a conversation with them and never at the table unless obviously you are showing them something. It’s rude and makes you look bored with them. I fail at this sometimes then think of it later and feel bad about it. When meeting new people or even people you already know always give a firm handshake. I hate when I go to shake hands with someone and they offer limp hand, especially men or worse when we miss each others hand then it just becomes awkward. Always make eye contact. When talking with people I try to switch between there eyes and mouth so they know I’m focusing on them. Plus I don’t always hear to good and am slightly ADD so it helps me pay attention. Never hesitate to tell someone, quietly now, that they have something on their face, in their teeth or have a wardrobe malfunction. It might be embarrassing at the moment to them or even you but they will thank you for the fact that they won’t walk around the rest of the day like that. As for your job, always work hard, whether you like your job or not, and take pride in it. If you’re a cook at a fast food place be the best damn cook, if you’re a CEO of a fortune 500 be the best damn CEO. Hard work has always paid off. It looks good, it feels good, and when that asshole next to you gets fired because he is lazy then it is you who gets the last laugh. I once read a quote, not sure who said it, but it went something like don’t do two things half-assed do one thing whole-assed. Don’t be too proud for a job; be proud you have a job. Last but not least learn how to have fun and relax, that will keep you healthy and happy.  

week one; topic three

I didn’t get this posted yesterday so here it is today;

Today’s topic is car maintenance. Cars are a factor in almost every ones day to day life. The US alone averages just over 800 cars per 1000 people, we rank third in cars per capita with San Marino and Monaco taking the number one and two spots. That means we rely on those four wheeled creatures to carry us from point A to point B. Because of that we need them to run, and run well. Just like your health you need to keep your ride just as healthy and the best way is proper maintenance. Now I’m not going to go on about how you need to know how to replace a timing belt or a ball joint or even change your own oil although it is a good thing to know but there are a few things that, I feel, every man, scratch that, everyone should know about your car. Here is my list of must knows;
1.      First and foremost, know what every button, lever, switch, and light means. These days every car comes with a manual, but if you don’t have one you can figure it out online. You laugh but when I worked as a valet I had a guy who sat there, in his car and complained that we broke it because it wouldn’t move. When I came around to the driver side there was a bright red light above his steering wheel that said “BRAKE”. So I told the fellow that his emergency brake was on and when he releases it he can go on. He followed up with, “How do I release it?” Yep, some people. Back to the point know everything about the inside. Also, the little lights on the dash mean something, learn them.
2.      Next kind of goes along with number one, know where the fuse box is. The fuse box is usually inside the cab of the car. Know where it is and it wouldn’t hurt to know how to change a fuse. It’s not always what is wrong with the car but usually when something electrical happens to my car that’s the first thing I look at. It’s a cheap easy fix less than $5 for fuses at the auto parts store. The best part is the labeling for the fuses is usually pretty good.
3.      Moving outside your car, know how to check your tire pressure, how to add/remove air, and how to change a tire. The tire always has written on it what the proper pressure (PSI) should be and most air pumps at gas stations have tire gauges that check the tire pressure when you hook up to the valve stem.
4.      You should know how to open your hood.
5.      And how to jump a battery and keep a set of jumper cables in your car.
6.      Know how to check the fluid in your car that includes oil, antifreeze, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and transmission fluid. And know how to refill them if needed.
7.      Last is huge especially during the winter time, how to replace a windshield wiper.

Knowing these little things about you car can save you from being stranded and you won’t need to rely on someone else. Plus, if you ever find someone stranded you might be able to help them and that would make you a hero. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

week one; topic two

Today’s topic; health, including diet and exercise. One of the most important factors for being a better/healthier person is your overall health. The best thing for that is, of course, eating right, exercising, and topping it off with a yearly exam with your doctor. Now I don’t like going to the doctor so I tend to avoid that but I suggest you go. But if you are as stubborn as me then try to take these steps to help keep you from having to make that trip. Let’s start with diet. Now I’m not going to tell you to completely stop eating one thing or the other instead try substituting some of the bad for the good. Trade that candy bar in for a banana some days and eat your chocolate another day. All I’m saying is to try to cut out few things and replace it with good. It isn’t that hard. That way you aren’t eating less just eating better. After you have mastered that then take away a few portions. Instead of two scoops of mashed taters take one, instead of two burgers eat one. Keep this up and next thing you know you will be eating healthier without even thinking about it. I’m no health nut but I can tell when I’m eating healthier by the way I feel. Most recently, as you may have read before I have been running, a lot. I have found that running sheds the weight like a snake sheds skin. Weird fact we, humans, actually shed our skin more often than a snake when we lose dead skin cells. I have burned more calories running than I ever have. I’m not saying you have to train for a marathon or run everyday but a mile, half mile, six miles whatever you can do is best. Hell any cardio style workout is the best way to shed that winter weight that’s been there since 2004. Not only does it help trim some LB’s it’s also pertinent for a healthy heart and that will help keep you away from the exam table. Working out is a stress reliever as well, clearing your head and releasing anger mostly because you’re too exhausted to think about it. I workout at night after work which kind of helps decrease the stress of the day, but not everyone can workout at night. My wife doesn’t like to workout at night she prefers a morning routine. You can even do a few workouts at work if you don’t have time. A friend of mine works out during his lunch break before he eats which helps curb his appetite and keeps him from stuffing himself during lunch. Take the stairs instead of the elevator helps a little. And as everyone has said five minutes is better than none, ten better than five and so on. Another aspect to staying healthy is keeping your mind sharp. The best way to do that is reading and brain games like puzzles. There are literally thousands of websites offering puzzles and games that help with “training” your brain. Also if you are musically talented, unlike me, then learning to play a new instrument or new songs helps with the brain health as well.

Pretty much everything you have heard before a thousand times but it is key to becoming that better/healthier person. See you tomorrow.  

Monday, January 13, 2014

Week one; Topic one

In an effort to write more posts this year I have come up with a slight solution, I have decided to try a list each week for the rest of January, three weeks with a post everyday minus the weekend. For instance, since we are two and a half weeks into January and everyone is either on the road to their resolution, just starting it, or still determining what to do, why not look at a common one, being a better/healthier person. Each day this week I will post a subject and my thoughts on the matter, suggestions, and share a few things I’ve learned in my many attempts to be a healthier/better human being.

Today’s topic; hygiene and dress, yes that’s two but they kind of go hand in hand so I merged them. Let’s start with hygiene. Now I’m not the prettiest or the best groomed man on the planet but I can assure I am clean. I shower regularly and I would say I don’t smell, of course after I work out that all changes. One of the best ways to lead a healthy life style is to be clean. Trim your nails, clean behind your ears, wash your hands, and brush your teeth are just a few things we have heard growing up and that should be well implanted in your brain by now. The worst thing about working in the medical field is the smell of some patients. Now I realize that not everyone can help it whether it’s because they are unable to care for themselves or because they live with a thousand cats. A bar of soap and a shower is the least you could do. No sense in me telling you to be clean shaven or keeping your hair nice and neat since I’m not one to stay trimmed up myself but at the very least, keep it clean. Also your teeth, they don’t have to be bleach white but they shouldn’t be brown or any variant there of, the closest to white that you can get them the better. I hate the dentist more than anyone but a yearly dentist appointment will help, a biannual visit is better. A clean mouth also helps with fresh breath. Nails are the same trimmed and clean. I have worked on greasy cars before and I know how much the grease stains the digits and stays under the nails but if you work hard enough you can get it clean. In conclusion keep it clean.

Along with hygiene, as I said before, is your attire. I’m not going to give you fashion advice because I am in no way qualified to give anyone fashion tips. If it was up to me I’d wear T-shirt and jeans everyday and still find a way to not match. That being said, what I mean by dress is wear what you have and wear it well. Everyday I go to work I dress in what I would consider business casual. I ultimately feel better when I can wear brand new clothes but unfortunately I can’t afford a brand new outfit everyday so I wear what I have. I keep my clothes clean and try to keep them ironed. Again, feeling good is key to a healthy life style and I feel good in clean clothes. Well fit clothes are a good thing as well. If your everyday attire is jeans and a T-shirt, then a well-fit pair of jeans and shirt is a plus. And you don’t have to spend much to achieve it. Kohl’s, JC Penny, even Target has some great deals on clothes that will fit proper. A friend once told me that he always dressed as if he was going to meet someone that day. He didn’t wear a suit and tie everyday but he also didn’t wear clothes with holes. Now there are exceptions of course, like if you’re going to mow the lawn or work on the car. The point being, wear it well.

So that’s it for today like I said tomorrow I’ll have another post form my list of the week.