Tag Archives: problems

The Whirlwind of Life: Tangling with the Unknown

I planned on turning some notes into posts today, but that is not what happened. Instead, I let my fingertips just work magic on the keyboard.

It’s been a while since I sat down and actually put a post together from my notes. I’ve been writing consistently in my notebooks, working on a bunch of different ideas and content. I’ve toyed around with shorter posts concerning random thoughts, stories and workouts (which you can read on the website). I took a small hiatus to restore the creative juices; I was beginning to get bogged down in the routine of creating. Since it’s a one-man show right now, having to come up with constant ideas was becoming a burden. I don’t want it to be at this point. I have enough to-dos with my family and working for the man. I want to get to a point where I have more time to devote to this endeavor, but it will be few more years before that becomes a reality.

I’ve been in Japan for 3 months now, while the family has been back in Virginia. The wife and I received some awesome news the other day; we will be able to live together here in Japan! Since we are a blended family, there were certain civil matters that needed to be addressed. While we planned on flying over as a family, our court case kept getting continued for various reasons. We lost our initial hearing (once it actually happened) and the appeal didn’t happen until this past week. We won. All of our money and effort finally paid off. When I left for Japan a few months ago, we didn’t know when the family would be back together. Was it going to be me flying home to visit, or them flying our here to live? To say is was a stressful situation would be an understatement. With my job, being away from the family comes with the territory. It was the unknown outcome of the court case that caused the most stress and heartache. I don’t wish this situation on anyone.

While being away, I have enjoyed the random videos I get of my kids. I watched my son smack his dome piece in his teepee and get back up like it was no big deal. My daughter got involved in gymnastics and is becoming quite the young lady (even though she is 4). I’ll be flying back to pick them up in about a month, and I can’t wait. There is still plenty to do, but we now know what direction to go. We have been sitting in a holding pattern waiting for the green light to land. My wife has been doing a hell of a job holding it down since I have been gone. Being able to facetime and talk daily has been a huge help. Both Kash and Lincoln enjoy when my face pops up on the TV (Isn’t technology is awesome?). Sometimes when I call, Hot Rod would get a hold of the phone and run off to hide, not wanting to share. If I had a weaker stomach, the motion sickness from his phone handling would have been terrible. He also enjoyed hitting the red button to end the call (future marine?). When I would talk to Kash, we came up with way to keep mom on her toes. The sandwich maker was not amused at times and used my full name a few times. 6,000 miles doesn’t really make a difference when your wife uses your full name. It still has the same effect.

The unknown can be a bitch. It’s something that is out of your control and you have to learn how to work with it. Plans can be made and executed, but it’s never a guarantee you will get the outcome you desire. We wanted to come to Japan as a family last year. We couldn’t, and we had to figure out how live not knowing when we would be back under the same roof. Sure, there are always things you learn that could have been done better, but beating yourself up over them doesn’t help. Looking back at this whole situation, I could have done some different things and maybe avoided some of this. Who knows? Hindsight is 20/20. All you can do is keep going and look to the goal. Shake off the missteps, press on, and adapt. If you have a hard time adapting, life will chew you up, spit you out and feed you to her chicks. 2017 was a rollercoaster of emotion for our family and we came out on top. While I would like life to slow down a bit, it’s still ramping up. The man has me working hard, the oldest will be starting school, and we will be living in a new country. It’s going to be awesome.

Do work, be rad

Mustache

A few drinks in: Rally naps and massage chairs.

Merry Christmas! When it comes to holidays, booze is a must. Especially if you have annoying in-laws around. While my family celebrates in America, I am 14 hours in the future partying with friends. After I was picked up, we went t 7-eleven. The 7-elevens in Japan put the ones in America to shame. Food selection, booze, and service are all better than anything i have witnessed state side (except the ability to buy strike force energy at the counter). I snagged a fifth of whiskey for 1700 yen (roughly $17) and a whiskey mix in a can (9% alcohol). The whiskey can got me started and the bottle wasn’t bad on ice. After chowing down in some fried chicken, velveeta shells and cheese, and wontons, I was ready to crash. I was offered the use of a massage chair. It was the best idea anyone had ever had while having some adult beverages. 10 minuets in, and I was out. People were competing at Just Dance, while others were cracking jokes about the terrible dance moves. I could hear all of it. I also was enjoying having my eyes shut. My wife complains that I have old man tendencies. Having to nap mid-day is one of those. I took full advantage of the massage chair and took an old man/rally nap. It was the best decision of my day. I am a huge fan of these. Sometimes you need a quick 20 to get back in the game and hang. Sometimes though, you go down for the count. If there is enough commotion, a rally nap will get me through the day and night (depending on how early I begin to booze).

The massage chair was a great idea and loosened up my back and butt. It also help me relax to get the shut eye I needed. As soon as I came too (20 min later), I poured myself a whiskey-ginger and was back on the train. Time to whip some ass at Mario Kart.

Doing work and a few drinks in: Sumo deadlifts and Snapbacks.

I crushed my workout today, so I decided to have some celebratory drinks. I have been to my local establishment enough, I have a “usual” (Jamo and ginger). I did my ab/core circuit today. It was day two of three (posted below). I have noticed a trend lately, sumo deadlifts. They seem to be all the rage now-a-days. Now, I am not here to knock them, but I am curious why they have become more prominent in today’s workout world? Have people with little hip flexibility given up? My concern is for the men only. When I see you only doing sumo, I think you’re a pussy. I use the sumo stance, when I want to high pull afterwords. I have nothing against people who sumo, except if that is the only type of deadlift you do. Hell, people probably look at me when I walk in with my sweatband thinking “what’s up with that guy?” Do I care? No. But, if you only sumo, you should take a little ok in the mirror and re-evaluate your life.

Oh, and SnapBack hats in the gym are lame. Wear a sweatband.

Do work.

Warm-up

4 rounds

x10 squats

x10 sit-ups

Training

3 rounds

x10 (per leg) walking lunges

x10 slash-to-halo (or back extensions with weight)

x10 bus driver rotations (use landmine)

x10 single arm ab squat (use landmine)

x10 single arm lift and twist (use landmine)

x10 push-ups with row

x10 inverted row

x10 single arm static dumbbell curl

x15 push-ups

Stretch

Daily Quickie: I hate hair in my face.

Everyone has one or two things that they just can’t deal with. Mine is hair in the face. It comes in the form of my wife or daughter when hugs happen. If I am holding Kash or throwing her around “wrastling,” her hair is bound to smack me in the nose or mouth. Sometimes, that little princess deliberately hugs or loves on me just to get her hair in my face, knowing how I will react. My wife does it too! I swear she plots these things to mess with me. Pictures in the wind are the worst, hair blowing everywhere, getting all up in my business. There is nothing that ruins an intimate moment with my wife than hair in my face. I’ve been through training evolutions that tested me physically and mentally with the military that are easier to deal with than hair in the face.

Hair in the face, can’t handle it. It’s for the birds.

Daily Quickie: The reuniting of mustaches: Part 1

After watching Alabama come-from-behind win against Mississippi State (I was hoping they would lose), I headed out to explore Sasebo. I grabbed some local food and a coffee, which were delicious, before I met up with my buddy Rusty. We started out a a dive bar with 2 tables and no chairs. The smell of cigarettes covered the air. The table was covered in grime and the beers were cheap. We made our way to another bar where you had my first Chu-hai. It was delicious and lived up to the hype. I had a tour through sailor town and saki town. We kept finding closed bars and restaurants (lame ass Sunday if you ask me). I have a list of spots to hit up during my next free evening. After strike no out a few times, we ended up at Sasebo burger for a quick meal. To be continued….

The World is Ending: an adventure in things not going your way

We missed the train. The first part of our weekend in Chicago was ruined. The world began to crash down around us. The station didn’t have AC (it was hot, humid, and stuffy inside) and the next train wasn’t due for another 2 hours. Literally, forever, in this age of smartphones and twitter. The sandwich maker was beside herself and a sketchy looking dude was staring at us. It was a terrible start to some well needed “us” time.

During the last few days of July, Krissi left the kiddos with the grandparents, hopped on a plane, and arrived in the city known for being windy and getting shot. Before she arrived, the most time we had spent away from the kiddos was a day with an overnight stay. This trip gave us the opportunity to cut loose, be adventurous, get together with close friends and relax. I have a bunch of notes compiled from the weekend, but I am just going to stick to this one instance for now.

I’ve had to alter my approach to publishing my writing (touched on it with my last post). I used to translate my notes from my Bieber book straight to the computer. The last post I wrote was on my phone. It was a pain. So I decided to finalize my notes using a bigger notebook before I thumb away on my phone. School has been “school” so I took up a new hobby…GOLF (more on that at a later date). Enough about all that, let’s get back to the tragic events of missing our train.

After we spoke to the ticket attendant, we exited the station and walked down to the sidewalk. The wife was ranting about how everything was ruined and we should just call it. Just go back to the hotel. We had two hours to kill and no car to go anywhere (Uber would have been $175 to the city). We started walking. There happened to be a running/bike trail that ran parallel to the train track. At first we were going to walk a short distance and come back to the station. After checking the maps on our phones, we discovered that the next station was only a mile or so down the way. As we walked, we face timed the kiddos, dodged some bikers and I watered some plants (Krissi is a terrible lookout). As we approached the Lake Bluff station, we noticed a small farmers market and Krissi got excited. She is a sucker for a farmers market. We checked in at the station. There was not a ticket attendant. There were, however, instructions on how to download an app and purchase our tickets. We still had a hour and a half until the train arrived, so we made our way to the market. It was your typical hipster/basic white bitch vibe. There were vegetables, meats, cheeses, crafts and someone sharpening knives. There was a white gazebo, children playing in the grass, and a guy jamming on his guitar to a small audience. There were moms drinking wine out of tumblers, pushing their strollers. If we had been on our way back to the hotel, we probably would have grabbed some veggies to cook. After our walk perusing through the market, we began to check out the store fronts across the street. There were a couple restaurants, a bank and, wait for it, a brewery.

Lake Bluff Brewery is a sweet little spot. They had just finished renovating the tasting room and it was nice and comfortable. The only person inside was the bartender (they had just opened) and he was rocking to some classic country. We grabbed some seats at the bar and let the conversation fly. We talked beer, adventure and music. The bartender happened to be the manager. He also worked at another brewery, helped brew the beer, and runs his own concert photography/blog website. Our future adventure to Japan came up. He had just returned from a concert tour in Japan. He told us it was one of the raddest experiences of his life, and he couldn’t wait to go back. The only music in the whole joint was played on vinyl and the coasters were made from retired records. We traded artists to check out (he was already a fan of Townes Van Zandt), and talked trash about new age country. It is the worst. I had the Black Squirrel Bourbon Stout. It was delicious. I forgot what the wife had, but it’s not important. We finished our beers, paid our tab and said goodbye. We had 15 minutes before our train arrived and we weren’t going to miss it this time. We boarded and took our seats. This gave me the perfect opportunity to take a nap. I woke up at our destination ready to rock and roll.

Plans and expectations. We all have them and do our best (or not) to make them happen. Our plan was almost derailed (pun intended) because we missed the train. What happened afterwords was an unexpected find and a new connection with someone. We also discovered a rad little spot to grab a beer close to the hotel. We turned our misery into something spontaneous and fun. When it comes to spending time with your loved ones, plans are cool, but you may want to throw them out of the window to make some rad memories. If you expect things to go a certain way, and they don’t, you can either get frustrated and stew about it or adapt and overcome. So, maybe missing the train every once and a while, could turn out to be a cool little adventure.

Also, check out this website run by the bartender from the brewery. Enjoy!
http://www.patothornycroftphoto.com/

Do work, be rad

Mustache

70 dollars for an UBER: a story of first world problems and meeting new people.

I haven’t put finger to Word in a while now. We took a sweet family vacation to the upper peninsula of Michigan a few weeks ago and now I am going to school up here in Great Lakes. I usually jot down some notes in my Bieber book and transfer them onto the computer. There has been a lack of computer access, so here I am, thumbing away on my phone, hoping to avoid misspelled words and typos. I have plenty to transcribe from my book, but was avoiding using my phone for this. There is a lot I want to publish, but with the moving prep and traveling over the past couple months, it has been a low priority. I have been at Great Lakes for a couple weeks now, going to school for the man. The flight up here was nice. There was time for a pre-flight beer (hydration is key) and I was stoked about checking 3 bags with no extra cost. The flight was also delayed for about 45 minutes, so I was able to get a good jump on a book. It’s called Where Do You Get Your Ideas From? by Fred White. It was a bargain book I picked up at Barnes & Noble. It has gone over some basic ways to keep your mind engaged and creativity flowing. It’s interactive with exercises to get the juices flowing. With all the free time I have right now, figured it wouldn’t hurt. We will see how it pans out.

Since arriving, I’ve had the pleasure of reconnecting with some guys I served with at past commands and build some new relationships with those I have met. Last weekend, I made my way to go see a movie. I figured it would be simple. Walk to the front gate, catch an Uber, and enjoy my evening. While I did enjoy my evening, it turned out to be the most expensive movie I have ever seen. The man has a funny way of restricting operations of certain businesses and Uber is on of them. I went to schedule a ride and was given to options, UBER black or premium. The black was $70! I assumed it was because I was scheduling a ride vs looking for one on the spot, no big deal. I ventured out to the main gate, periodically checking for Uber availability. The price kept dropping, but only by a dollar here and there. Nothing significant. When I reached the main gate area, the price had come down to around $60, and no Uber X option. I saw some people get dropped off in Uber’s but no pick ups. After about 10 min of observing and refreshing my Uber app, I decided to call a cab (the movie wasn’t going to wait for me after all). I struck up a conversation with the driver as soon as he picked me up. He was a Navy vet who enjoyed motorcycles (he looked the part) and we swapped some sea stories. We talked about Uber and I found out how it had been banned from picking people up due to a few instances where the driver had been a crook. It’s always fun and interesting to hear what the completion (cab driver) has to say about their opposition. After a quick detour due to the flooding that occurred earlier that week, he dropped me off at the theatre. I always base my cab/Uber rides on how the conversation goes. I gave it an eight out of ten.

They had a bar at the theatre, which was a win. A couple whiskey/gingers later and I was off to see my movie. I stopped by the concession stand and picked up a chicken and waffle sandwich. It was a good pickup. Tender fried chicken in between two waffles with curly fries. I watched the new Spider-man movie. It was entertaining and I liked the new spin they put on the story and character without losing the audience. It was dark when I exited the theatre, maybe around 9. I was able to grab an Uber to ride back to base.

My driver was one of the more interesting people I have met in my Uber travels. We talked about his life and where he wants to go. I asked if he drove part time and what he did as a day job. “Boy, do I have a story to tell you,” he responded. Besides driving for Uber on the side, he sold insurance, is a published poet, has some songs on iTunes, and was in the process of casting a play he had written to premier next year. The songs on iTunes are part of an album he is putting together and his book on amazon is a collection of poems he has written. He was pumped to tell me about all his endeavors; his enthusiasm got me excited to check out his work. His book is called Listen 411 and his play is called a A Youth Served, check them out. I wished him well once he dropped me off and began the trek back to my hotel room.

It was good to get some “me” time outside of my hotel room. It cost me more to get a ride there and back than it did for the movie, but it was worth it. I appreciated the opportunity to meet these two gentlemen and and hope the best for them. It’s always good to get out of your comfort zone and strike up random conversations with those you don’t know. You may find a new perspective or meet the love of your life (or your next ex).

Do work, be rad

Mustache