Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"Daddy, What's that Red Badge for?"

Today, my son reminded me of a brief conversation he and I had a little over a week ago around his bed time. When I was tucking him in with the usual good night hug and kiss, he asked me what I was looking at, through my scope, in a picture on our wall. At the time, I told him I would talk to him about it later; well, later was today for him.
My wife hung up a picture of me that was taken in early 2005 in Tal Afar, Iraq in which I was looking through my rifle scope at suspected enemy positions as the rest of the squad moved through the area. We were not actively engaged with hostile forces at the time, so the picture is just neat and happened to have been taken at the right time by someone. The picture has a simple wooden frame with my bronze star pinned to it and then my broken KIA bracelet on top of it.
My son asked me to lift him up so he could see what I was doing in the picture. When I lifted him up, he saw the Bronze Star with its “V” device pinned to it and asked me “Daddy, what’s that red badge for?” I was shocked that he knew what a badge was, let alone semi-proper use of the word and then I was astonished that he knew that there was some significant reason that I had it.
I just told him that I got it for doing a good job, which was true, because there is no way I am going to get into the nitty gritty of what actually transpired that warm April day.  I realize that there will come a day that he will want to know more, but not today. It is a tough thing to describe to a five year old, let alone anyone. The stone-cold facts may not be the best way of telling him either.
In the end, he knows where I was on the globe (Thanks to the Leap Frog Explorer globe) and that I was there for a year and it was before he was born. This should be interesting one day.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Adapting to Primal Life

Over the course of the past month or so, I have been making a concerted effort to both eat more vegetables and also to refrain from eating grains. *Someone just walked by and mentioned I look much thinner as I am typing this* I can say that the Mark’s Daily Apple site and its teachings have helped me start a healthier life than I have had in quite some time.  Now, instead of oatmeal for breakfast, I eat eggs, meat and veggies, but rather heavy on veggies for most people.
One thing I have added that I’ve never eaten before is Kale. It is the Chuck Norris of leafy greens and I love it in a salad, quiche or omelet. Lunch is easy because all I do now is eat sandwich guts, ie: no bread or just omit croutons from salad. Dinner can be a challenge because of all the products that contain corn or other grain products.
Ditching the deadbeat drinks and added sugar was really no big deal to me, but there are times where I would love to stuff my face with greasy apple fritter goodness.
Really, the best part of this is the way I feel. I have lost 30 pounds in the last three and a half months and the bulk of it since going Primal. My wife has been cool with me wanting to stop eating grains (except beer and liquor; I’ll be deep in the cold Earth before I give up booze) and be healthier. I also am experience a lot less joint pain than ever before… that is the best outcome so far.
We shall see how this goes, but if this sounds like something you are interested in, check out the site.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ouch! My Finger!!

Last night while hanging out with friends, I thought it would be swell to jump out of the creek and grab onto the trestle spanning it. I pulled myself out of the water for a second or two in a pathetic attempt to do a few pullups. Realizing that this trestle is nasty and rusty and also that my weak attempts to be awesome were failing, I dropped off. I instantly realized two things: One, that I'm super lucky to only have a small laceration and two, that I need to take my first aid kit everywhere I go.
We still had a good time though, despite this little "hang-up" **har har** and luckily I don't need a tetanus shot. The American Pale Ale from the aforementioned post is absolutely fantastic and I'll look forward to making it again later down the road.
Oh yeah, also, my ring is now egg-shaped. Damn.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Small World

In my new class there are two people I've bumped into before. One is my old Command Sergeant Major from Germany who signed my discharge paperwork from the Army and the other is a girl I met at Malt and Vine in Redmond. She had bought the last six pack of Firestone Walker's Velvet Merlin and that was the one I was sent there to get. I made a comment to the effect of "aw man, you got it first" or something like that. Well, she waited outside and gave me one when I left.


Last night, we were doing a group activity when in walks the same girl in the same black skirt and knee-high boots. I pointed and asked "did you give me a beer at Malt and Vine?" She replied with "I don't know, were you on a motorcycle?" We laughed and everyone else looked dumbfounded.


There are a few more instances like this in my life and its like one big game of Six Degrees from Kevin Bacon. MMmmmm Bacon!



Thursday, September 8, 2011

Beer's Done!

I tried this beer (mentioned before) about two weeks ago and it was still a bit "yeasty" if I must describe it; still better than most big beer company's products. My step dad called and says it's amazing. I'll know for sure tomorrow. BTW, that's Mitch. Mitch is a badass. Go Mitch go.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Accepting Responsibility

Last night, on my way home from a friend's house, I was riding down a back road that I normally only take in the day. It being near 11pm, I thought the back country road was a better choice than the two lane, heavily-populated highway.
As I rounded one turn, I realized that I came in way too fast (in this case that was 30 mph) for the tight bend. I realized right then that "You fucked up, Jack. You made this choice, deal with it" and as the shoulder was nearer and nearer I leaned it as hard as I could. The foot peg was scraping on the road, showering sparks behind me and I was able to make the turn. I wasn't even scared that I may wash out, I was more concerned with going off the road.
Long story short, me taking this turn too fast is just another example of how we get to make decisions and reap the repercussions of them. I'm glad I didn't crash, but had I gone down, it would have been because of my poor judgement. Same with being overweight, out of shape or bored; take responsibility and change it. Either that or don't complain.