Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Christmas and Stuff

 Christmas time is a great time of the year. You know what the best part is about Christmas? Well, there are two things: Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. The worst part about Christmas? When it is over. When Christmas is over, it reminds me of the last day of vacation at the beach. Depressing. But, I think that when you are a kid, the time up until Christmas, like the last ten days before, is so exciting, right? 

When else do you get that feeling as you get older? The only thing for me as an adult is the excitement that I get the night before a goose or duck hunt. I get all my stuff ready, making sure I have everything: The calls, the collars, the ammo, all the jackets and lined pants. My coldgear shirt. And my crazy ass dog, Rebel, is getting excited because he can smell it in the air that we are going hunting in the morning. He was licking my shotgun case the other day. Me telling you that he absolutely loves hunting is an understatement. The other day, he had a toenail come off.  If you have had that happen to you, you know that it's not the most pleasant thing in the world. And he was lying in his kennel, all hurt and feeling sorry for himself and as soon as I got my hunting gear out, he was ready to go. That's some dedication and pure intensity.  I feel sorry for people that have never seen a trained dog hunt and see the intensity that burns from their eyes when they are watching the geese come in and when they sprint for the downed bird. Rebel chased down a wounded goose at 80 yards the other day and he was running so fast that it looked like his legs were going faster than his body, or something like that. He was running like I had never seen him run. It is magic seeing a creature going full speed. Pure magic.

 I digress.

Christmas time is also great because you don't have to go to school. I never did like school very much, all those teachers, all miserable. The classrooms all hot because women are always so cold. I would be burning up in there, all the bacteria just growing. All those kids around me. Miserable Principal. 

But Christmas break was a respite from all of that stuff. I could play in the woods, shoot hoops in the backyard, the Cowboys and Raiders would be in the playoffs, it may snow a little, and if it did, we could sleigh ride down the driveway.  We had a steep, big driveway, and you better hang on tight when it turned to ice. 

And then Christmas would come and go, but you still had a few more days off from school. And then it would be New Year's Eve and then the next day, they would have the college football championship, Nebraska vs somebody. And that feeling of dread would start coming on in your brain: School, school, school, and Christmas is over!

Chritmas is still fun for me, but more for my kids, especially for my 9 year old. He is super excited about Christmas. He's counting down the days until school is over and it is Christmas again, just like his Old Man used to do.

Friday, December 10, 2021


 Some fiction that I have been writing lately

I went to the bar around 2 pm today. I had done my training early that morning. I did ten sets of squats, hit the heavy bag for 20 minutes, had written 1,000 words and I decided to hit the bar early. I was in one of those fuck it moods that I get into once in awhile. I get into those moods and there aint nothing that nobody can say or do to get me out of the mood. I cant even predict when its coming or when it will leave. 

Something usually sets me off, I guess. Like today, I was in the convenience store buying some Copenhagen, smiling, holding the door open for everyone, just being Mr.Cordial, and some asshole comes in to the store, all fat and with his belly sticking out under his shirt and he starts treating the clerk like shit and starts to complain about everything; the line is too long, the cashier is too slow, something stupid as hell. And I have to remind myself, I dont want another assault charge and I know that there is no “let's go into the parking lot and settle this” because people are such pussies these days that they call the cops or they sue you for even touching them, so I just begin to take really deep breaths. I count to myself, one, two, three..... deep breaths to calm me down, I mean really deep breaths. Deep down deep breaths, like I’m fucking hyperventilating because I really want to hurt this guy or at least knock his teeth out and send him home to his wrinkle-faced girlfriend who is on government assistance but she really can work, and thinking about all of this infuriates me even more.

But I make it out of the store without any issues and lots of deep breaths and I head out to the bar. I can relax there. I am not trying to get drunk, just to disappear for a while. Katie, the bartender is nice and leaves me be, but never lets my beer be empty for very long. Nobody messes with Katie. She's in her 50's and has been around and is tough as hell and has seen it all and packs a pistol on her hip. 

It is one of those old bars where there aren't a bunch of giggling girls taking selfies. There is Buck in the corner, the Vietnam Vet, playing Keno, and there are a couple of construction workers with their bright neon vests on, drinking Budweiser.

 It's so dark in there that it takes a while for the eyes to adjust and when you walk out, the daylight makes you squint hard

I put Waylon Jennings on the jukebox and the construction workers look at me and raise their long neck beers in acknowledgement of damn good music that they just don't make anymore.

I raise my beer in response and the bartender brings me another beer and says, "This one is on Buck." And Buck turns and raises his glass filled with Crown Royal at me and I raise mine. 

I needed this today.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

The Yuppie Couple and How it Should Be

I went to Easton, Maryland the other day for the Waterfowl Festival that is held every year. My son was competing in the World Junior Duck calling championships, which he was fortunate enough to win. It's a great festival, with booths featuring hunting clothing, duck and goose calls, guns and ammo. They have a dog diving contest, and they have beer to drink and  fresh seafood to eat. 


What’s great about it is how everyone is so friendly and genuinely nice. It reminds me of when I was a kid in the 70’s. 


I was waiting in line with a bunch of people to buy a pair of boots. It was in a tent, and the boots and the cases of ammo were sitting there. Everyone got what they wanted to buy and then they waited in line to pay. I noticed that there was zero security there, and anyone who wanted to could have grabbed a pair of boots or a case of ammo and walked right out. But nobody did. Everyone waited their turn in the long line. I mentioned the fact to a girl in line with me and she said, "I know, it's crazy." She was from right outside of DC and she was amazed how honest everyone was at the Festival. Also, there was a ticket booth there to pay for entry, but you could have walked right in if you were dishonest . There were no barriers stopping anyone from doing that, from walking right in. But I didn't see anyone doing that, either. 


It was funny when I was hanging out at the duck call booth where my son was working, and you could tell who was a hunter and who wasn't. I am stereotyping here, but the people who weren't hunters stood out like a sore thumb. I can just picture the married yuppie couple living in Chevy Chase Maryland that morning, sitting there, drinking their morning coffee complaining about guns and conservatives as they read the Washington Post, that rag. They are dressed in their matching white robes, legs crossed, pinkies extended. The women says, “Oh look, Honey, they are having a Waterfowl Festival on the Eastern Shore.” “Oh really? I don't know, the Eastern Shore is a bunch of rednecks!”  “Yes, dear, but they have those dogs diving as far as they can and they have music and stuff.” "Okay, Honey, I am all for adventure,  and for doing whatever you say, so let's go!”


And then they get there, and they see all the American flags and big 4x4 trucks and then they get into the festival and most folks are wearing camo and baseball caps, and people are walking around with beers and they are dipping and stuff. The man gets very nervous, because he has never been around folks like that, even the women are wearing camo and then there are guns for sale and ammunition and the woman starts to get nervous. But then everyone greets them and looks them in the eye and everyone is friendly, from the guy cleaning up to the people watching the duck calling contest to the lady at the ticket booth. They couldn’t believe it, because the yuppies had heard that people such as THESE PEOPLE are domestic terrorists, but even though the yuppies are dressed differently than everyone, nobody cared. And there were black people and hispanic people and white people there in camo also, and that blew their mind. The whole way home, they talked about how surprised they were about the people at the Festival. How maybe everything they had heard on the news is wrong, and they start to wonder, maybe the news is fake and wrong. And the husband feels in his pocket for the duck call that he bought from a booth. He also bought a DVD that teaches him how to blow it. He feels something stir inside of him, yes, his testicles reappear, they had been buried way down inside since he was in high school, and he starts thinking about getting outside more and maybe, (God forbid), trying this hunting stuff that everyone was talking about at the festival. In fact, he had a great conversation with a man who used to be a lobbyist on capitol hill, who hunts ducks on the weekend. He offered to take the yuppies hunting, and he didn't even know them, had just met them. People are really like that? He felt like a whole new world was opening up for him.


At one point , after eating a few Chesapeake oysters bathed in Old Bay Hot Sauce, I grabbed a locally brewed beer and stood out in the middle of the festival, and I watched what was going on, and I began laughing. It's about an hour from Easton to Washington DC, but I was thinking that it might as well be on the other side of the world. I started to think that maybe if all of the wackos who hate this country would come to a festival like this with an open mind and then get out there and go hunting or shooting, that the world would be a whole lot better. I felt recharged when I left there. I hope the yuppies did, too.


Friday, October 22, 2021

Dumb and Sucky

I'm constantly trying to tell my son's that sometimes in life, some people just suck or that some people are just really dumb. They ask me, "Dad, why does such and such act like that or say that?" "Well, son, sometimes it comes down to the fact that they are just really dumb."

I would tell my staff at Penn that all the time. We'd come out of a meeting with a clueless supervisor (since fired) who didn't want the football team to lift heavy or thought that yoga was the ultimate answer for the football team to get them more explosive, and they would be all, WTF? and I'd say, "Now  guys, you know she is a fucking idiot, right? So why are you surprised by what she said?" I remember one time, I took one of my assistant coaches into a meeting with the biggest sport team coaches and when we left, she asked, WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT? THEY JUST TALKED IN CIRCLES FOR AN HOUR! NOTHING WAS ACCOMPLISHED! And I'd say, "Welcome to my world, where coaches meet to justify their positions." Administrators are the worst. Let's have a meeting, let's have a meeting. I had zero meetings with my staff. I was with them 14 hours a day. I talked to them all day. We met with a supervisor one time to tell him to back off and let us do our jobs. We went around the room blasting him. He was a coward, and dumb, so he needed to be talked to. Never bothered us again. I think the line to him was, "When we need someone to whine to administration, we will call you, until then, stay away."  He just sucked and he was dumb.  

And plenty of  people suck. They stab you in the back or they hate your success or they talk about you behind your back. Cowards, sucky cowards. Now that I have kids who play high school sports or travel sports, I see that most coaches suck or maybe, they are just dumb. Recently, my one son had a coach who was, well, a dumbass. He kept telling my son that he didn't know the sport. My son told him that he has worked out with pro athletes in the sport, college athletes in the sport and attended hundreds of games. His pussy answer? "I dont give a fuck who you worked out with." And he said it twice. He probably doesn't realize that my son can beat his fat ass, but he would probably call the police as he lie there whimpering, beaten up by a teenage kid. That would be so great. Oh, you think you are a tough guy, a real tough guy? Start running, because you are gonna get your teeth caved in. Dumb, sucky, and a coward.

I was getting gas the other day and this lady pulled up to a gas pump that had a big orange cone in front of it.  The cone was huge. That pump was closed as indicated by that big ass orange cone. She started ranting and raving and telling the attendant that it was such bullshit and this and that. He said, "Yes ma'am, but there is a big cone in front of it to indicate that that pump is closed." She didn't care. She just sat in her Lexus fuming. She sucked. I pumped gas and dealing with the public really sucks. She obviously hadn't worked a blue collar job in her life. The attendant was cool, so I had to hand it to him. One day, someone will have enough of her big ass mouth and lose their shit with that lady and she will be sorry.

I have a theory that people would not suck so much if, every time they sucked, they got their ass beat. It’s like when everyone around has a gun. Nobody talks shit, everyone is very respectful. They would learn real fast to be polite or they will get a broken jaw. A few broken jaws and a broken nose will make you shut your trap , real fast. People who have grown up without fear of getting their ass kicked because of their mouth never even consider that there are folks out there whose first reaction or thought when getting insulted is to beat your damn ass. And one day they pull up to the wrong gas station on the wrong night and the attendant just broke up with his girlfriend and he is not in the mood to hear anything from some yuppie scum. And when the attendant freaks the hell out on them, they start back pedalling and talking about calling their boss and all that, but all they hear is, “Great, call my damn boss!” as fist hits flesh. I have been around enough bad dudes to know that unless you are ready to fight, keep your damn mouth shut. Some dumb, sucky people need to learn that lesson.

Friday, October 1, 2021

When You Are Not A Natural

I think that I started taking Algebra in the 7th grade. It was actually Pre-Algebra, as a matter of fact. Ms. Horton. She had a huge butt. I mean, it was big. I failed that class. I remember failing algebra in 9th grade also. Mrs. Blaik was the teacher's name, the old bat. I had no idea what the hell she was talking about. So once I got lost, I would bring in Muscle Mag International, set it on the floor, act like I was doing my work, but really I was reading about Mike Mentzer. I kept failing Algebra until I had to take it in the summer school of my senior year. I had a great teacher for that class, and suddenly it clicked for me one day. Mrs. Tillery was her name. She made quite an impression on me. She sat my ass down and made me work and she explained it differently than all the other teachers, she explained it so a math wiz like me could understand. 

I could never understand how some kids just "got it" in math class and I didn't have a clue. And it took me until my senior year to figure it out: I had to work harder than those other kids in order to do well. I wasn't a natural at math, my thing was literature. Math was like another language to me. Once I figured out that I needed to work at math to get it, and sometimes I needed to work harder than everyone else just to keep up, I was all set. You see, I had to accept the fact that Mary, who had all the answers, was better at me at math, and she didn't need to study or take a book home, but I sure did. It was a eureka moment for me. I worked hard at sports, for sure, but academics, I really didn't give a shit about. But I needed to graduate, and I needed to figure it out. It was hard work that finally got me through Algebra. I got a B in that class, and I remember how happy I was and how I chastised myself for being such a dumbass for all of those years. It was the same thing in college. I needed 4 science credits to graduate. I took Physical Geology, Historical Geology, all the geology's until I ran out of them. I was avoiding Biology, but I had to face it at some point. I did it in summer school, and I looked back to Mrs. Tillery's class and I said, oh yeah, you need to buckle the hell down on this one. And I did. I figured most of it out. And get this: I even skipped a Guns and Roses concert to study for my Biology test, and that was when they were cool and Axl wasn't so portly.

It's the same thing with diet. I remember killing myself on the treadmill one day and Kirk Karwoski walked in front of me in the window carrying a bag of Wendy's. He was all rocked up and muscular as hell. But every time that I ate like that, I got fat. That didn't work for me, I needed to eat very strictly in order to stay lean, and do lots of cardio, too. I needed to suffer to get lean.

 And my bench pressed sucked. I needed lots of sets, over and over and over again to get in the groove of bench pressing. Some guys can lie down on the bench and hit 405 whenever they want to. Not me. My bench needed to be planned and executed with precision in order to make gains. I did get my bench total up, but only after becoming a student of everything bench pressing.

It's like that sometimes. You have to look inside and be honest with yourself. You may need to try a lot damn harder to be good at something than someone else. I see no problem with it when you can actually realize it. It takes being brutally honest with yourself and telling yourself that you suck at something and breaking it all down to the beginning and work, work, work. It's a lot more rewarding when you get good at it too, because you know that you came further along than "naturals" and you did it by busting your ass.

Friday, September 3, 2021


I just walked outside with my black lab, Rebel and we both sniffed the air, and I said, "Somebody has a fire, " meaning that somebody had an outside fire going, most likely a wood fire in a backyard. You can have fires here, all you city folks, it's in the country. I dated a girl once who lived so far out in the country that there was no trash pickup, so you burned everything. Now, that's country. 

I love the smell of a fire, all men do. Or should. Yeah, women can like them too. But let me focus on the men for now. Something about fire, isn't there, guys? smelling a fire ignites you and lighting a fire .... invigorates you, makes you want to yell like you are  ODIN ON A MOUNTAIN TOP. I mean, every guy I know loves a fire, loves lighting the fire and keeping it going, and absolutely loves lighting a fire that leads to an explosive device, like one of those crazy fireworks that I can only buy in Pennsylvania because I live in communist New Jersey, but I light them off, because I am an American and America was built on outlaws and by the founding fathers, it is everyone's right to be an outlaw once in a while. So I had all illegal fireworks and set off some crazy stuff, and the whole time I was giggling, like a school kid. I was so happy lighting stuff and see it go up way into the air and explode.

I like lighters. I collect them. I don't smoke. I like just having them. I have Zippo's from the band, Down. I have Zippo's that keep you warm when hunting. I like them. One time I took my then 9-year-old son hunting in -12 degree weather and he almost froze to death, so that night, I went to Walmart and bought one of those tiny garbage cans and I found this dust that will light in any circumstance, and then I even brought kindling with me, and I built the greatest fire in a goose blind the world has ever seen. It was magnificent and roaring and I could barely pull my son away from it to scan the skies for geese.

I'm walking outside again in a few minutes. And maybe I will light a fire. Just a little one.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

The Storm

 I feel the power of it all, this storm.

I see the end of the field, the trees there. 

They wave in the wind, they wave so hard that they almost fall in this storm, this storm unlike any other. It is the storm of the century, they say, this storm that shakes the very earth where I sit.

I am under the canopy of an especially strong tree, and I sit, despondent and wondering. Wondering if it all will cease or if it would continue on past this fitful night. 

Still, I sit. I am not brave but maybe not brave enough.  

I am wide-eyed at first, then all of a sudden calm.

 It washes over me, this calmness, and I feel peace or something like it, talking to me, and strange as it is, I have no choice but to give in to it, to this power greater than I.

 To relinquish it all to whatever it is out there controlling the skies and controlling me. 

And the rain breaks through what I thought nothing could break through.

 It washes me clean, it washes me all clean.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021


 When I leave the supermarket, I drive the back way back to my house, because I want to see farms and woods and birds flying and groundhogs on the side of the road. Even the dead groundhogs in the road make me feel better than the supermarket does. All the fake food and the shiny displays and the sugar laden juice and then I think of massive corporations and their board meetings and how someone in a suit and tie said to add a little more poison to the food so the population becomes more addicted to their product and gets fatter and more dependent on them and then they say that it will maximal their profit more, also. 


I keep waiting on a revolution against these corporations  Maybe it starts with refusing to eat the shit that is poisoning us all. Maybe that is why there isn’t a revolt, because everyone is so drugged up by these corporations. Too sugar addicted and chemical addicted to even care.

Thursday, August 5, 2021

KIlling Me

 So, I'm out of town and joined a gym for a week. This trip has made me realize that my home gym, Atilis in Bellmar, New Jersey, is the only gym that I feel comfortable in. This gym I went to the last couple of days is okay for equipment, but it is cramped and the atmosphere blows. A good gym is more than equipment, for sure. A good gym has plenty of room to it, but not so much that it feels cavernous. This one is cramped and without rhyme or reason to equipment placement. A good gym needs to have a front desk person who acts like they give a shit. Every time that I walk into Atilis, Frank (the owner) or somebody at the desk says hello, and they mean it. When I walked into that out of town gym , the person at the front desk acted like I was doing her a favor by coming in there. No, I am the customer, and you are miserable. 

And people that work in a gym need to walk around constantly. Check on people, especially the beginners. If someone is doing an exercise wrong, they need to be told. That is, if the owner even trains. This group at this gym looked like they needed to spend a few years chained to a squat bar. Maybe the place is a front for the Mafia, because the owners or managers were right surly and clueless. 

"HELLO! WELCOME TO THE GYM! HOW ARE YOU DOING TODAY? LET ME KNOW IF YOU NEED ANYTHING AND THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR BUSINESS!" How about saying that when folks walk in the gym? Would it kill you to have some style and class and act like you want for people to use the place? Gyms come and go and yours will go away fast if the customer service isn't top notch. And it isn't hard at all. Act happy, move around, act like you care. Period.  Or don't open a gym. Be a grocery clerk ,  most of them are always miserable. You would fit right in.

 I have noticed this kind of stuff everywhere in this beach town where I am staying. Waiters and waitresses act like the customer is bothering them when they come into a place or order. I have had one good waiter while I was here. He was in his 40's of course, so he knew how to act. I walked out of one place when I had been there for 15 minutes and wasn't even glanced at by a waiter or waitress. You order shit and the food comes cold because they servers were back there looking at their phones instead of working. Working. Get your ass to work or don't do it at all. It is pretty simple.  What the hell is going on? 



All About Being a Lifer

What's a Lifer? Someone who isn't in to something for just a day, a month, a year...it's for life. Whether its training or your family or your job...it doesn't matter. You work at it, you build on it, you see the big picture . You don't miss workouts because it means something to you. You are like a Shakespearean actor- no matter what is going on in your life, you block it out when it's time to train. You walk into the weight room and all else disappears. Worry about it later.