Category Archives: thoughts

the luckiest man on the planet

The cruel chirping of Monday’s alarm ripped through the house. It didn’t wake a soul. That duty was left to the children. They shook Dad from a blissful dream. It was a fantasy. A fantasy about mad passionate love making with a woman far out of his reach. His wife. She slept at arms length but between the dogs, the kids, the jobs, the commitments she was every bit as unattainable as something hanging on a teen’s wall. Of course the man was a primate at heart and this angel was like water in his hands which only served to swell his desire.

 

Beyond the dream he was faced with reality. His job. His profession.

 

Why do we spend 60 hours a week at our job and less than 20 with our family? Why don’t I make more money? Why can’t I help my mother, my father? What is my wife thinking? Who is whispering in her ear about the life she deserves?

 

As he folds the silk tie into a Windsor knot these questions dance through his mind. Not for long though. A curly haired brunette on new legs arrives at his bedroom door in all her nude glory. It’s his two year old daughter. He hurries her back to her room and against her tiny will and gets her dressed for the day.

 

Both of his girls will spend much of their day with other people. Another blow to the man’s reality. They cannot afford to have mom stay at home. That’s the world today. He ships them off everyday as though they are more a burden than a blessing. some days they are with Nana and others they attend a local daycare. He hated pushing them out the door each morning and this morning neither girl wanted to go.

 

As he hustled his youngest down the steps his phone began to sing. It was a factory ringtone that he hadn’t had the time or desire to change. pulling it off the night stand he saw two missed calls. One from his boss and one from his brother. Two men who worried him more than those little girls ever could.

 

Frank just couldn’t pull it together. That was the man’s brother. It was loan here, heartbreak there and the guy was always on the bad end of his own decisions. Two DUIs had made him nearly impossible to hire at a decent wage and the abandonment of his student loan obligations hurt his credit. It was another layer of stress and worry in life’s lasagna of responsibility.

 

He worked his way down the steps admiring the pictures along the stairwell. Big moments framed up as motivation. Life requires intense motivation if you plan on doing it well. The babies, the dogs, his grandmother, they all smiled at him on his way into the twisted and one sided exchange of time for money.

 

Frank smiled because he didn’t want to scream. Then he thought to himself

 

‘How did we get tricked into this? Pulled off the family farm and stuck into a cubicle miles from those most important to us. From primal beasts to neutered, voiceless little ants attempting to shoulder burdens 10x our size. Burdens that have nothing to do with our own personal lives. In fact, like robots, we are programmed to disregard our personal lives at work.’

 

At the foot of the steps there was small oak cabinet that held photo albums and crafts made by the girls. It was one of many baubles Frank had purchased with his hard earned money. On top of the oak cabinet was a collection of dolphins. They varied in size and composition ceramic, steel, wooden, silver, and mother of pearl. She loved dolphins.

 

Rounding the corner to the kitchen he was leveled by the sight. The air was stolen from his lungs by the same kleptomaniacle beauty that stole his heart, his mind and his soul.

 

The morning sunlight was gold strewn across the kitchen. Cut into thin filaments that fell along the counter tops, the rich Birchwood kitchen table and reflected off the stainless steel oven. The angel who stood among the light worried the sun. For her hair, even tousled by sleep, was more brilliant than its heavenly work.

 

His power source, his inspiration stood before him with slanted sleepy lids that failed to contain her luminous cobalt blue eyes. His wife. His portion in life. Her warm cheeks set higher as she smiled but the radiance of her eyes would not be denied. She wore a grey tee shirt that fell just far enough to cover her pink underwear.The hair was kept out of her face by a blue bandana that was rolled and tied around her blonde hair.

 

In that moment he fell into her lips and watched the world change around him. He felt her wind under his wings. He realized that the burden was simply a snapshot, a slice of existence in comparison to the life he had built with a goddess. She gave him two blushing cherubs and decided to become one of this earth, with him, the luckiest man on the planet.

Johann Eleazar Schenau Gestörte Familienidylle

The police don’t need sensitivity training they need jiu jitsu

 

Across the country there are small gyms filled with incredibly intelligent and dedicated tacticians. Men and women that look just like the rest of us as they rush here and there. What you should understand is that if they were to reach out and grab you they could pop a bone or cut the blood off to your brain in seconds.

They practice Brazilian jiu jitsu. It’s a grappling discipline that relies heavily on leverage and a rapidly growing martial art. Of course it’s inclusion in MMA has a lot to do with its popularity but there is much more to it than that. There is a comradery on the mat. There has to be because you spend an hour trying to choke each other.

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Jiu jitsu cuts through all the layers we develop in our misguided attempts to fit into society. It’s much like jumping into the latter rounds of a boxing match when true character is exposed. The layers fall away and within minutes it’s very clear that the man with his arms or legs around your neck could kill if he wanted to. The agro atmosphere disappears and you’re left with respect.

I have rolled with blue belts, smaller than me who have completely incapacitated me within seconds. It’s so impressive to meet a person who is simply an expert at manipulating the human body. Within seconds of cutting the flow of blood off to the brain you are asleep. Then you wake up for the hum of unconsciousness and realize two things you should have tapped sooner and you are at the complete mercy of your partner.

You understand now when I say the police don’t need body cameras or sensitivity training. They need to become high level Brazilian jiu jitsu tacticians.

Let’s be honest the less than lethal weapons are not as effective as we would like. The lethal weapons have been a little too effective as of late. Worse still are these scuffles with multiple officers flailing and swinging their arms. It all looks very ineffective.This is where being able to quickly and safely manipulate a man’s body into a position you require is so crucial.

I am proposing jiu jitsu immediately become part of ongoing training for police officers. They should roll three times a week at least. This day and age our cops should be able to deal with an individual who is resisting arrest without winding up on the nightly news.  If we really wanted to go out on a limb they could roll at a local Jiu jitsu school. It’s not a new idea

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You see when you roll or spar you get choked and tapped by big strong guys and little frail girls. You will get tapped by black people, white people, and every shade in between. It’s an incredibly humbling experience that police, who are under unimaginable pressures, would benefit from. If not simply from the efficiency of handling criminals then from the mental and physical decompression that goes along with jiu jitsu.

We need answers to this problem. It’s not a brick through a shoe store and it’s not a body camera or a speech by the crooked Al Sharpton. My proposal is very clear and there are many who would back it. The police need to include weekly jiu jitsu in their training for handling these twisted minds that think it beneficial to resist arrest.

 

The Weasle on the Woodpecker’s Back

I awake this morning and for some unknown reason I decided to turn on the local news and I see 5 lost souls staring back at me. They are all sitting in a row like some sort of freakish firing squad staring at me. Begging me to leave their news station on so they may get paid. For a brief second I pity them as they metamorphosis in my eyes again from lost souls to puppets. They are puppets and only their top halves are shown above the desk. Their faces are covered by synthetic makeups to cover who they really are. God knows no one can make it in local news with a solid opinion.

Finally I get to the crux of what it is the 5 news anchors are talking about. In London, the land of Jihadi John, someone took a picutre of a weasle rididing a woodpecker. A land where the most popular boy name is Muhammad, fact, they are out taking pictures of weasles and birds.

No better the American public is eating the stuff up like tres leches cake. We are busy arguing over the color of a dress on social media and which running back should go to which football team, Madonna fell, and the only villians in our land are those mean men with badges. The only coarse words the public has are for the few men that protect us all.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has been diverting emails in the same way the IRS, no doubt, was through a personal email account in her home. This protects her from producing those emails when

The president wants all your money to pay for the health care of the criminal that is suing the police for doing their job. He wants your guns. He is taking your bullets. He was too busy to listen to one of the greatest leaders on the planet speak.

Wheres that leave you? You toil. Day in and day out you work your ass off to make it in America, pardon me, to make America. You are like a woodpecker in that regard digging food out of a dead oak to feed your family. You too have a weasel digging its claws into your back. I will let you decide who that is.

You Want Prepared Kids? Play Minecraft!

If you do the ugly parent thing and refuse to read this because you think it is about a video game and there is no way it can translate preparedness, well, than I am very sorry.

I certainly don’t fall into the category of a hardcore gamer. Do I play video games? I am 28 and grew up with NES. Of course I play. I like to stay in the combat sports vein and I enjoy a good Rebel/American/Resistance style game.

Since I have been doing the show and engaging with listeners there has been one struggle that has shown to be insurmountable for some. It’s not the skills it’s passing them on. Its engaging the family in a way that really pushes them to get excited about things like bushcraft, hunting, gardening, storing food and a general enjoyment of that self reliant lifestyle. This is why we decided on including the outdoors into our Reroot USA movement www.rerootusa.com.

Still, those bonds with technology for some kids are so strong that it is nearly impossible to break them. They could care less about what Dad wants to do or what Mom wants to do. Now this isn’t the case for every kid but I am using this article to address those folks that just cannot build an alliance at home. Here’s the thing if Dad and the kids like it than Mom is gonna get curious. The problem is when they can pilot a spaceship and blow up entire worlds on their phone its nearly impossible to pull them from the clouds and teach them to appreciate a hazelnut growing on a bush outside. At a time when it seems more important to move towards preparedness than ever what do you do?

In comes the pixilated, underrated survival game known as Minecraft. Yes it is very much a survival game. In fact after having put several hours into the game I would go as far as to say it is THE self-reliance and survival game.

There are a few modes to play in but to get the most out of this game with your kids you have to play Survival Mode. This mode ties it all together. You play through day and night and when the sun goes down the danger level goes up. I guess I should mention that to get the most out of this game you would want to play two-player mode with your child.

So what is so great about a stupid, ugly looking video game in the age of crystal clear graphics? I will elaborate in the bold titles below.

Hunting to survive

If you are playing the game in Survival Mode you will burn calories building your shelter. You will burn calories mining, gardening and pretty much everything else you do. Eating meat will fill you up much faster than anything else. You even have to cook the meat to get the most out of it.

Throughout your game there will be several types of animals and you can eat most of them. You have the option of stabbing them, using a bow and arrow to shoot them or bludgeoning them to death. Not my recommendation.

Your kids will begin to understand they have to hunt and that hunting is not what PETA makes it out to be. In the game they will look forward to providing meat for Dad or Mom and eating their hard work at the end of the day. 

As I mentioned earlier there would be a daytime period where light is plentiful and you will tend your garden, build on your home, cut down trees or mine. It’s a wonderful time to get things done.

However, when the moon rises and night is upon you several enemies come out. Zombies, skeletons and spiders are the most recognizable but other more confusing enemies are out in the dark as well. The important thing is that without a shelter you will be killed.

This creates a great opportunity for your kids to understand the importance of a shelter, especially at night. It also drives home managing time and when the sun reaches a certain spot in the sky its time to start making your way back to safety.

Also if you die you lose all of your items.

The importance of growing your own food 

One of the coolest features in Minecraft is that you have to grow food to survive. Not only do you have to grow food but also you have to find seeds, prep an area with plenty of light, prep the soil and also consider irrigation. Without all of these your garden will be very ineffective.

I know this is baby talk to you but can you think of a better vehicle to deliver this information to your child? You can explain to them why you have to do all I mentioned above.

You will even have to craft your own hoe from sticks and rocks that you mine. Using this tool is imperative or you will not be able to plant seeds.

Understanding raw materials 

There is not another game or activity period on this planet that allows you to use so many raw materials and develop an understanding of how they translate into everyday objects. Whether you are mining stone for tools, coal for torches, sandstone and cobblestone for structures, cutting wood to build fences, or getting into gold and diamonds to make weapons, kinda silly I know, Minecraft really introduces kids to what, where and how so many everyday objects come to be. 

The very basics of managing an inventory

All through the game you will collect items. Whether you mine rock, cut wood, find seeds, hunt for meat or even just dig up dirt. You have a finite inventory to work from. Everything tool you craft will also be in your inventory. You can make axes, swords, pick axes, shovels and even fishing poles among other things. All of these tools are necessary in Survival Mode.

When you run out of inventory you cannot keep anything else. You have to decide what to keep and what must go.

I could go on……

But for your sake I won’t cuz I want you to get out and play the game! If you have made it this far in the article I am very happy for you. It means you are thinking outside the box and going with the natural order a bit.

Of course getting outside with your kids and physically building fences, digging gardens and building shelters is incomparable to playing a video game. My son is young he is all about helping Daddy for about 5 minutes than I lose his attention. Kids learn best when they are engaged. You running a tiller and planting seeds all day is hardly engaging to a young kid. What Minecraft offers, and this is the most important thing to understand, is a level playing field. A place where your child will open their mind and devote their full attention. Here you can dump even more important knowledge and details into something you both are enjoying.

Here’s the ultimate secret. If your kids don’t like camping or digging, gardening, hunting, bushcraft yadda yadda. You have to be smarter than the 5 year old. That’s what parenting is about. Instead of “hey junior hows about we go out back and look for some fallen black walnuts,” you grab one of your kids swords and say, “I think I hear a creeper. Lets go outside and play Minecraft!”

Steve with Diamond Armor” by Lizardi SaucedoOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons.