I’m Here

Good grief I am sorry for the long absence. It seems that life gets crazier and crazier everytime I turn around and before I can stick my head out to see what is going on, the sun has not only set, but done so four or five times. So let me catch you up if you were curious.

  • I’m older. I turned 29 on Saturday. That sucks.
  • Damned near killed myself while driving through Washington. And by damned near, I mean I saw my life flash after my tire blew. These are a few of the images.

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  • 000kg3yqesb_21bmulletI have officially declared snow and ice to be the worst part of Mother Nature. Snow rhymes with blow and ice rhymes with shitty-fuckfuck.
  • This is big news. I am officially down to two cups of coffee a day. If you don’t think that is a big deal than you should have heard me a few weeks ago on two pots a day. “HIMYNAMEISWILL! ILIKEFOOD, DOYOULIKEFOOD? GOOD! LET’SGOGETSOMEFOODANDEATIT! BECAUSEIT’SFOOD!”
  • I saw the movie, The Wrestler a while ago and it’s an amazing  movie. Loved every minute of it. But it’s definitely not a date movie.
  • I’m on a bowling league. I am also the worst one on the league. That really sucks too because there are two ladies who bowl with both hands. But if I am going to be bad at something, being a bad bowler doesn’t really bother me.
  • Apparently I am “King Treadmill”. I’m too big of a wuss to run outside.

Well, that’s all. As you can see, I’m not dead or missing. For the next couple of hours I will be catching up on everyone else’s blogs and I hope I haven’t missed anything huge. If I did, please tell me. I’ll make you a card out of construction paper and glitter-glue.

Live…

Live…

More than your neighbors.

Unleash yourself and go places.

Go now.

Giggle, no, laugh.

No…stay out past dark,

And bark at the moon like the wild dog that you are.

UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS NOT A DRESS REHEARSAL.

THIS IS IT…YOUR LIFE.

Face your fears and live your dreams.

Take it all in.

Yes, every chance you get…

come close.

And by all means, whatever you do…

Get it on film.

– Jon Blais “The Blazeman”

Thank you Jon. You are my hero.

A Walk

It’s kind of funny how the most simple things in life can solve some of the most complicated issues. I know I haven’t been posting much and there is a good reason. A couple of weeks ago I was at the fire house and we were called to respond to a fire. The details were not clear until we pulled up to the house but when I walked in…I don’t know what to say.

A 6 year old girl was standing next to a wood burning stove that caught her pajamas on fire and she suffered 3rd and 2nd degree burns to over 90% of her body. I will skip the details but I will say that night I had to throw out my clothes and keep busy not to hear the sounds in my head from that call. She’s just a baby and that will haunt me for sometime to come.

I’ve seen a lot of bad things in my life and I can process it fine. One way is to escape to nature and the other day that is just what I did. And wow, did it work a miracle!

img_0342This is the trail right next to my place. It goes for miles without any human sounds or contact. This tranquility of being alone on a mountain while the snow is falling is just what one needs to clear the mind and remember who you are and why your here. I’m not too religious but it is hard to argue that God isn’t real when you are surrounded by beauty.

img_0341The sounds of the wind blowing through the trees and distant branches falling was so peaceful I felt as if I was the last person on earth. I walked about five miles up the mountain and sat down. Taking advantage of the situation I took out my iPod and listened to the only song that made sense of the moment and reflected on how lucky I am. Here it is, “The Wind” by Cat Stevens.

Damn it feels good to be a gangsta!

Thanks For Thanksgiving

Things might get a little crazy between now and Thanksgiving so just in case I don’t get a chance to post then, I will post this now. This is what I am thankful for.

  • The state of Idaho. Because not many are thankful for it. It’s a handsome state when looked at from a map at least.
  • The movie The ‘Burbs. “I let go of the goddamn brownies…”
  • Finally being able (at 30) to grow a full beard.
  • img_0196Being comfortable with myself even though I look like a melvin. (Picture shown above.)
  • The men and women in uniform that keep this country safe and free.
  • Micro Brews with cool labels.
  • Empire Strikes Back. My first memory of the movies and we went the Thanksgiving weekend of 1982.
  • The Creepshow. That was the trailer before The Empire Strikes Back and to this day, I still am “creeped” out by that movie. God bless it.
  • REI
  • My place in the mountains. Especially my work desk view.
  • back-yardOh hell, I’ll just say it. Cheese.
  • The New York Times. It’s a Sunday must.
  • Kids with odd first names like “Lake” or “Apple” or “Valley”. It makes me feel better about my initials “WEW”.  Woooooo!
  • Home Improvement 1991-1994
  • XM/Sirus radio. The drive from GA to ID would have sucked real bad without that.
  • My job
  • X-Entertainment. No other place can one go to see their childhood archived.
  • My rock star shoes. They are on their last legs. So to speak.
  • img_0283Triscuits. Both reduced fat and Olive oil and Rosemary.
  • Maybe the one guy who can regain international trust, racial healing, national pride and all that is great with America will be the President. (don’t Fuck Up!)
  • The F-14 Tomcat. Even though it is retired.
  • Everyone on my blog role. I love sharing memories with them and I love how they share them with me. I imagine that we are all camping and exchanging tales of bike accidents and office blunders as we chortle our way to slumber. I have a very special place in my heart for each and every one on the Veggiemacabre blogroll.
  • All my ex girlfriends. I know that sounds odd but it is true. Each person has left an indelible print on who I am today. Even though most want me dead, they made me better. And for that I am thankful.
  • Little kids high on Juicy-Juice and cookies. (2:07…..it’s worth the wait. “ooooo!”) The little guy is breaking a sweat!
  • La Sportiva running shoes
  • My gift of gab
  • My parents. As the late, great actor John Candy’s character, Dell in Planes Trains and Automobiles said, “Love. That’s not a big enough word.”
  • Being in better shape at 30 than I was at 21. Or even 18. That is important to me.
  • Being able to put down the bottle and walk away. Always had a tough time with that. Especially last year.
  • Fitness Macabre is still in the works and the sponsors are letting me run with in after the 1st of the year. I don’t know if I am thankful for that yet but I’ll throw it up here.
  • The freedom to move around. Last year I thought 92 degrees was a cooler day and today I think 42 degrees is a warmer day. I love experiencing that broad shift of environments.
  • The Food Network. Especially Good Eats and 30 Minute Meals.
  • My close friends. The ones who put up with my snoring, know that when we eat out I may order in a foreign accent, will pontificate at random and tell long stories and often lose the point half way through. Thanks for taking it all in stride.
  • That my friend found the love of his life and married her. I wish I could have been there but this year I needed some serious “head’ time. I will always regret that.
  • Great White Sharks are making a comeback from being endangered.
  • And above all else, good health

So that is my 2008 list of thanks. I wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Try to reflect and let the people who mean the most know how important they are to you. You never know when you may get another chance. Think of those less fortunate and if you can, share. Try to keep an open mind and forgive those who you don’t get along with. At least for Thanksgiving. Letting go and loving is so much easier than holding on and hating.

So, thanks.

Man Crush

I’m going to throw this out here, not because I feel that I have to but just to make sure there is no confusion. I am a straight male. I am not going to beat this to a pulp and risk painting VeggieMacabe into a “hey I’m not gay” blog because there is nothing in the world wrong with being gay. I just wanted this post to be in the appropriate perspective. Hey, I’m a 90’s guy! Anyway, tonight I am going to name a few of my man crushes. I think this is a funny term that was called to my attention thanks to Pam when she accused me of having a man crush based on my respect for a certain celebrity. So what? So I have a man crush? I am secure in my manly male maleness.

Alton Brown. This guy is to culinary science what Newton is to gravity. I could watch Good Eats for days on end and be better for it. How can this guy possibly know so much about food? He knows the chemical beak-down of a snow pea and some how makes it relevant! Unbelievable! There has never been a time when I turned off Alton from the tube and said, “well that was a waste of time”. Each show has a quirky way about it filled with humor and valuable information like in South America people eat toasted ants instead of popcorn and beets can look edible when talked up proper. Mr. Brown, I am in awe of you sir.

It’s Hal from Malcolm In The Middle! Actually it’s Bryan Cranston and this guy is the funniest dude in the world. In. The. World. World as in Earth. I have seen every episode of Malcolm In The Middle and the only ones I truly love center around Hal. No dude can rock tighty whities like Bry-Guy and no one can wear a body suit with the intention for speed walking. His duality between physical comedy and his dark portrayal of a professor turned meth maker in his latest AMC series leaves no question in his acting ability. One of the greats!

Bear Grylls. I know there was a question about the validity of his show, Man vs Wild, but his resume far out weighs whether he spends an entire night in a snow cave or not. So lets see, he was in the British SAS, the youngest guy to scale Mt. Everest and did so only a year after breaking his back from a bad airborne jump, volunteered to attend a French Foreign Legion bootcamp in AFRICA, and…well…you’ve seen the show. My point is, this guy is a badass in every sense of the word. I have much respect for him, especially for the British Special Air Service (SAS) since I used to work with them in Kosovo. In order to be in that elite team you have to be special. Bear is the man and I’ll go heels with anyone who says otherwise.

I consider Joel McHale somewhat of a hero. Who else keeps the retards of current pop culture in check? No longer can MTV and Tyra Banks get away with the crap they put out. Even the untouchable queen of daytime TV, Oprah gets hers. Oprahs Vagay-jay! And here I thought South Park were the only ones with all the balls. Joel’s snarkiness is a great conduit to rip on all the ridiculous crap we as views have to endure. Thank you Joel.

Still have mad respect for young Jame Hetfield. This picture embodies the changing face of metal and the brain behind “Kill ’em All”, “Puppets” and “Ride The Lightning”. He was an absolute genius and a model for all front-men from then on. I truly believe young James Hetfield was one of the greatest artists ever to bless rock.

Old Hetfield, no thanks. I am so tired of the whiny disposition that Metallica portrays. Between him and Urlich talking at length about how hard it is to do what you love all the time. How it sucks to be on the road and being a dad is the center of all life. Yeah, we get. So retire already before you put out a Kidz Bop album. God I wish I didn’t see Some Kind Of Monster! There is a reason why Bruce Dickinson and Lemey don’t do shit that that. Ugh!

Thomas Jane did a bang up job as The Punisher, didn’t he? He did many of his own stunts and trained with Navy SEALs just to get in the appropriate shape that reflects what Frank Castle would look like out of the comic book. That dedication is admirable. I have been killing myself in the gym for the past few years and the Thomas Jane look is what I’m going for but….apparently he doesn’t eat Dijorno pizza and beer. What are you going to do?

So that is my list of “man crushes”. See? You can be straight as an arrow and feel perfectly confident it is ok to say you have a man crush. It’s more like the “guy’s guy” or the “man’s man”. I’m going to stop here before I embarrass myself any further. If you need me I’ll be doing curls while watching Nascar and burping.

Ninja In North Idaho?

Why didn’t anybody tell me the master of martial arts lives not only in the same state, but in the same area as me?!?!? Here I drove 2,400 miles thinking that all North Idaho had to offer was bears, moose and possibly Bigfoot. Oh how wrong was I! In this great state of Idaho, a young man holds the power and knowledge of some pretty frickn’ sweet moves. If you generally skip the YouTube videos on here I urge you to reconsider. It will change your opinion on the ability of the human body……and mind.

I know you are laughing right now but hear me out. Dude is punching while weighted down with at least 5lbs. Can you imagine when those beasts are released? And did you check out the facial intensity? It is like his eyes can wield the power of Earth Wind and Fire. We are in the presence of greatness my friends.

I could live without the commentary but if I was filming this I would be in awe too. Perhaps it’s the height of the kicks or the almost round, round house kicks. I might be ignorant to the fighting style but I have to find a comparison. Or at least a look-a-like.

Maybe. The intensity is definitely there but the execution is different. I wouldn’t compare the two like apples and oranges. More like apples and salad tongs.

Well, the equation is coming together but it’s still a bit off. Perhaps if we combine the two together and include massive head trauma we would get…

Perfect! It’s shockingly perfect. The Great White Ninja of North Idaho and his dojo/backyard is only a few miles from my residence. I must seek out the master and learn his ways.

This guy has a great imagination. You can almost see his creative world and the imaginary predicament he is in. I bet in his mind he is surrounded by 5, no, 15 guys and he is warning of the intensive training he holds thanks to the three “Kung Fu and You” instructional videos.

“You guys don’t want to tangle with me unless you want a little bit OF THIS!!! AND SOME OF THAT!!!!”

Thank you Idaho Ninja. And thank you dickhead neighbors.

Kootanee Hates Me

I consider myself a friend to the animal kingdom. There has never been a monetary donation I have not made when asked, either for shelters or endangered species fundraisers. I have had pets and just because I don’t currently reside with one does not mean I don’t want one. In all fairness to them I can not bring myself to have one based on my busy schedule. That is why I was so excited when I got this place and found out there was a dog already living here. His name is Kootanee, after the county we live in.

Isn’t he cute? Well wait, Kootanee and I have a love hate relationship: I love him and he hates me. In my entire life I have never had a dog who didn’t like me. It is starting to give me a complex! I even bought a bag of Beggin’ Strips and made a trail from his side of the house to my front door but all for not. I did, however, feed a few raccoons.

The guy who rents this place and Kootanee’s owner thinks that a delivery guy must have hit or pepper sprayed him as a puppy leaving him skiddish towards any male figures. Not even my high pitch “HEY BIG GUY” voice broke the ice. I have even left “cookies” outside of my door in hopes he would use me for food, but he eats and scampers off.

I was a little bummed at the beginning. There were thoughts of us hanging out on the front porch. I would sing Warren Zevon’s ‘Werewolves Of London” and Kootanee would be back up with an “Aroooooo” before the werewolves part. I would carve a pumpkin for Halloween and he would eat the innards. You know, common best buddy stuff. But not anymore.

I left for the weekend to visit Seattle and a mystery person on my blogroll, which you will soon find out next post. I accidentally left my running shoes on the front steps but I wasn’t concerned. Hell, I don’t even lock the door. But when I came home, guess what I found?

The dog shit on my shoes!!! Are you serious? Have you ever heard of such a thing? After all the treats and fairy talk, that furry asshole took a dump on my running shoes! This was not an accidental poop. My shoes were on steps so he had to actually back his ass up, up the steps, to shit on them. I’m dumbfounded! There have been plenty of times dog shit was under my shoes but never on top.

I sure hope that this winter isn’t so harsh that cabin fever sets in. Because I call first dibs on eating the dog.

T minus 5 Days…

…until I get all the legal mumbo-jumbo out of the way and launch the new fitness site sponsored by Big Peach Running Company, Northface, Inov-8 Running and Function Drink. It will be pretty cool because I am just the administrator rather than the site designer. That’s because I am a retard on roller skates when it comes to CSS and HTML. So, with much money and a creative drive I will have little control over the look but a lot with the content.

But it will not be with out the help of friends. I lucked out to have support from those on my blogroll. If you haven’t been to the blog Macabre Fitness then check it out. It’s currently a shell for the actual site but the articles that people have contributed are amazing. I know this because the stat counts triple what I post. Here is one Pam sent me and it is exactly what I am looking for. It gives great insight to the world of the sports bra. Something I could never know anything about. The only thing I can say is boobs; I like them and they should be protected. Thanks you so much Pammy. I am even going to throw it on Veggie because it is that good.

So send me your funny stories, tips and tricks about physical fitness. I am working on free stuff to send you guys from the sponsors. No good deed goes unrewarded. Here is Pam on sports bras. Enjoy!

SPORTS BRAS!

Looking Out For #1 and #2: An Intimate Guide to Sports Bra Shopping

Those women who not only have washboard abs but also a washboard chest don’t have the same concerns as I do when it comes to athletic wear. Unless you have a rather ample bosom, you couldn’t possibly understand the pain and injuries that can occur if you’re not properly outfitted. Running, jumping, boxing or anything that requires you to move quickly in an up and down fashion is likely to be painful unless you smash your boobs. Working out is definitely not the time to enhance them. Goal number one when sports bra shopping: make your boobs as flat as possible as the correct bra will inhibit breast movement.

Therefore, the first thing to look for in a sports bra is support. So what constitutes support? That would be the back and you should choose either a full or racer back which allows your shoulder blades free movement. If made well, the thicker the back the sturdier the bra. You don’t want hooks or zippers as sweat makes metal slippery or sticky and both are cause for embarrassing moments – trust me.

Next you should look at straps, which must always be thick. Anything that resembles a spaghetti strap is going to offer about as much support as a wet noodle. Your boobs shouldn’t be hanging low when exercising but that’s exactly what will happen if you choose a thin-strappy tank top sports bra, with or without a shelf. Rule of thumb: if it’s more of a tank top that you’d wear to the beach over your swimsuit, then it’s not the right bra to work out in. Thick straps will always stay in place and you will never pop out of one – no adjustments necessary no matter how intense your workout.

BAD GOOD

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Style and liner. I dislike the uni-boob look that short sports bras will give you, which is why I always choose the tank top sports bras. But not just any tank, one that has a double liner. Nike usually wins in this category with a tight and durable outer layer and an underlying cross-shaped bra liner with thick elastic underneath. This double bra action gives an extra layer of support and ensures no flopping around.

Material. Get something that breathes or you could suffer from chaffing or zits in weird places. I’ve discovered that anything Under Armor makes is basically mana from heaven. I don’t feel wet or sticky and sweat never rolls down my back when I wear it. You want a material that absorbs as much sweat as possible without making you feel like an old shower towel. Also, never go with any bra that is made entirely of spandex as it absorbs about as much as duck feathers in a rain storm.

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Finally, purchase a bra that’s a little too small for you. Not so small that it inhibits breathing or creates cleavage in your throat, but small enough that it keeps everything in place and doesn’t allow for free movement. If you wear a 36D and purchase a Large sports bra, chances are there will be material gaps on the sides of your breasts – so get a Medium instead.

For those of you who might be basically breastless, this doesn’t mean it’s acceptable to go braless as ALL women should protect their goods.

Be tasteful, tactful, and true to yourself.

-Pam Shep: Hey There, It’s Pammy-Girl

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