A Letter from America

Hi Bloggers.

So I’m committed to not getting into posts about religion or politics. It’s just not worth it with the vast array of viewpoints and opinions. As a disclaimer, I respect other’s opinions and right to express themselves in any way they want. I don’t have to agree with them and vice versa. Wonderful. Ok, so with that out the way, I want to write about America, and more importantly Americans.

I am Canadian. Born in a Australia, still Australian, but am now Canadian, and have a passport that says so. Canadians – generally polite, moderate, friendly, welcoming, and a bunch of other things that are normally considered good. Most people in the world would agree to that – unless you have some other bias regarding religion, freedom of belief and association or whatever. I will add that Canada is a very diverse community. Really, there are ALL types in our great country.

Americans, ok. I’m going to say it, put it out there… bear with me please. Unfortunately, our American friends are  subject to prejudice from others. I know this, because being a non-American, and having been in different parts of the world, Americans get a lot of shit.

SAM_1911I am even going to say, somewhat ashamed, that I may have even personally contributed to the whole American opinion thing in conversations in the past. Ok, before you smash your computer screen or unfollow me – let me finish my rant. Why would the other citizens of the world think and talk like this? Essentially, its ignorance and a lack of experience in, well, America and Americans.

Think about this for a minute – America is projected onto the world’s media supply – good and bad, in copious amounts. Music, movies, politics, religious zealots, financial markets, big business, and a LOT of other influences. So here in lies the problem. If that is what is being projected, what are the citizens of the world supposed to think?

Let me tell you, the impression is that America is full of red-neck, gun shooting, gang affiliated, political extremists, black lives matterists, cops who shoot people, white supremacists, bat shit crazy stuff and Hollywood stars that can’t stay married or top themselves. Ok, if you are American and swearing at your monitor screen, please stick with me I am not the enemy! 

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Ok, this is where it’s a little unfair. I want to set the record straight. I’ve been in America literally dozens of times. I’ve never been shot. Never been car jacked. Never been mugged. Never seen a radical (or even a republican) politician up close. Never been to a political rally. Never seen anyone do any crazy weird shit that ends up on some of the tv shows that promote this stuff.

What I have seen is a lot of beautiful countryside and landmarks. The people are generally exceedingly friendly and gracious and hospitable. I can say without reservation that Americans are some of the most warm hearted friendly people on earth. What I’m saying is I think this country suffers from an image problem.

It’s not to say that some of the reputation that this country has is unwarranted, no. The reality is that there are some messed up things about America. There is a lot of poverty. A lot of the cities are run down and crime is a serious factor. There are many places that I would choose not to go. There are places that I have felt unsafe due to the people on the street. Having said that, I can guarantee you there are a lot of places I would choose not to hang around in Canada and Australia too. In America, all those elements I mentioned above, they do exist. But that’s not the full picture.

When you are in America, you will appreciate why Americans seem to lack knowledge about the wider world. This is a general statement, so please don’t shoot me down. American media is all about America. Typical ‘world’ news in America is normally about stories where America is directly represented or a major subject of the story. World news elsewhere has nothing to do with America. So if all your media exposure and education growing up was about America, you can’t be expected to know a lot about the world at large.

However, there are exceptions. I have met a lot of Americans that have travelled the world. I have met Americans with left-wing liberal politics. Some who are gay, and some who hate their current administration. Then the other side of the equation is represented too. The right wing conservative set. Depending on where you are, these types are much more widely represented.

Let me finish this rant by saying this. There is no one singular America, or American. It’s a very large country with lots of diverse lifestyles and opinions. It’s a great place to visit and if you come here you will be made feel welcome providing you respect the law and other’s rights and opinions.

As Simon and Garfunkel sang… “I’ve come to look for America….” What a beautiful concept!

 

Collecting firewood – North East BC

So I used to live in north east British Columbia. We had a wood stove. Lots of times, often on weekends, we would collect firewood from the bush. I had a chainsaw, and we’d jump in the work truck with the kids and dog and head out in search of a decent log to cut up. Often I would split it right there too. Its hard work but enjoyable at the same time.

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LV33 was my truck. I drove this thing up and down the mountain to go to work.

 

On this day it was very cold. So quiet too. Well away from any hustle and bustle. You can hear yourself think. Apart from the chainsaw noise, that is. I like the bush in BC. Its wild and remote, and has a lot of wildlife. Its a place where you can still find adventure and solitude. There are many walking trails and its one of those really un-trodden places in the world. All the tourists are hitting Jasper and Banff, and right here in the northern rockies foothills we have a thriving natural playground to explore.

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We lived up here for more than five years. It was a nice time in our lives.

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Beaver dams.

 

Camping at Bear Hole Lake, BC

So here’s a some pictures of where I went camping a few years ago. Just me and my daughter, then about 7 years old, and our dog. I had a rifle right by the tent, because, well, its bear country. It was a nice trip all round. Fond memories. The area is quite remote. We were the only people there. Just us, and a little tent, and the wilderness.

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Lately I’ve been thinking about doing the getting away from it all thing – hike in camping, that sort of thing. On this trip we drove in. Its a logging road, and can be treacherous because the conditions can change. I recall it being pretty cut up from recent rains and trucks driving on it. Its one of those situations where you hope it doesn’t rain because you might not be getting out…. Hope you enjoy.

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Rifle resting on tree stump near tent….

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Morning Wood 2 – My Mojo is Back

*** Adult content. Explicit material. ***

Hi Readers. Lately I’ve been kinda missing my mojo. A very full work schedule, along with some ‘issues’ at work, and relationship struggles, and, well, life has kind of had me putting all that on the back burner.

Last night, after a very long day of work, that was preceded by many very long days at work in a row, I realised something. I was horny! 

So I did what any sort-of self respecting family guy would do – snuck downstairs with the laptop to explore some adult material. I browsed around for a bit – I have a favourite topic but I don’t want to give too much away here! So I took a few selfish moments and found some simple release watching some gal do a threesome with a couple of guys. No big deal right? I only got interrupted once and that was the wife so after some snappy words or whatever I was left to finish the job.

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So this morning, I woke early, I’ve decided to have a late start today. My erection was full and sensitive. I took some time to make some lazy strokes. Its not about intensity or end goal, its just nice to feel the wonderful fullness and enjoy those relaxing moments with a full hard cock in my hand.

So the best thing to do with all that sexual energy? Go work out! Its chest and shoulders day today. I’m off to the gym.

Note to Self – Positive Reflections

So in dealing with the current situation we are all in (life), there are challenges, there are ups and downs, and there are people who help us and people who hinder us in our journey.

I believe, its all about attitude. There are no perfect situations. There will always be aches and pains, or a problem with money, or a relationship that is not what you had hoped for. What matters, is how we deal with the situations that are presented to us.

So I write a lot. Often times those writings are hand written call outs for the things I need to be more aware of, where I need to pay more attention, or what I need to let go of. Often these writings are accompanied by a flow chart, or a silly graph or some illustration that makes sense to me in a humorous or semi serious way. I’m guilty of chuckling to myself at my own wittiness. 

Sometimes those writings are shared with the people that are close to me. Sometimes those writings cause some upset or discomfort, because I may have been harsh, or made people closest to me aware of where I felt they had a shortcoming. I can be very direct and analytical and that can perhaps come out as a directive or shit-list of stuff that might be a bit too strong for the situation – which is often a reflection of my intense feelings about a subject.

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So recently I wrote some notes to myself. They are both affirmations of my intentions, and also blunt callouts of my failures or habits. I want to change, and I am determined to remain aware of those important intentions in my interactions with others. I read my notes each day. Perhaps some would see this as a little obsessive, but the reality is that my future is at stake, and I want to do better. So far, I’m happy to say that these notes to self feel like they are having a positive effect.

Tattoo Stories 2 – Oni Mask, chest piece.

So anyone who has been reading my stuff would realise that I’m into tattoos. I’ve often said that if I had the time and the money, I’d be getting tattooed. So this story is about my oni mask that I had tattooed on my chest.

I have travelled quite a bit, and in times gone by it was not unusual for me to plan a trip, and to make sure that getting tattooed in some place was on the agenda. This time I was in Chicago. The windy city. I found a shop called Deluxe Tattoo. Often I would do a bit of research and have a look at artist profiles and book ahead to confirm my spot. It just happens, by coincidence that this is the shop that Hannah Atchison works out of – she was featured as one of the artists in LA Ink. She mentioned in the show that she was from Chi town. I used to watch this show when I was in Australia. I knew all the people on the show who were tattooing, but at the time I never imagined that I could end up in Chicago getting tattooed.

So she did not tattoo me, and that’s not why I was there, but it was a bit surreal to be getting tattoed and look over, and there she was, in the flesh only 15 ft from where I was getting inked. But this story isn’t about her.

I rode the El train from down town to the leafy northern suburb to where the shop is located. I think I had to change trains in there somewhere. The lines are all colour coded like the ‘red line’, and the ‘blue line’. i’m sure at some point I had to go from an underground subway to an elevated train line, so that was an interesting experience – just finding my way out of one and onto another.

But this story has a kind of a precursor. I had been tattooed some time before this and got two birds on my chest. If you look closely you can see the bird embedded in the tattoo. I have a sort of matching left one and a right one. These are some of my favourite tattoos, because one represents a kind of goodness (angelic?) and one is badness (devilish?), because I can be both! Ok, enough symbolic bullshit I know you really don’t care. Oni mask tattoo (2)

So the birds were done in Tucson AZ. It was eassssssy tattooing. I think maybe each one took an hour or something. Being kind of high up on the chest, they were not too painful, and the tattooist used a sort of noiseless tattoo gun. So in a way, that set me up for some over-confidence when it came to pain thresholds etc. Now, when it comes to tattooing, I’ve sat for a LOT of hours. Perhaps not like some of the ink-freaks out there but I’ve done many hours. It sucks. It hurts. I got a piece on my lower torso/hip (my first), and that was extreme pain.

So – now we come to the oni mask on my chest. I got it stenciled out, etc, all good. Lie down on the tattooist table, and ready, here we go. JESUS FUCKING CHRIST THIS IS PAINFULL. No, I mean like really, like we are talking the uppermost pain bracket there is. Within seconds of the first line going down, I almost quit. Yes, me who has done many  many hours, almost quit. I ALMOST picked up my handbag and heels, and sashayed out of there, like a big girl. But I didn’t. And while I’m at it, chicks are tough ok, they get tattooed too. No disrespect.

I gritted my teeth, made funny faces, tried not to freak out, and braced every damn time that needle was on the skin. I couldn’t believe it. Not sure if it was the time since being tattooed, the location (anywhere on the torso is worse), or that it was on the left side (there is a difference in sensation apparently). Either way it took a lot to stick with it.

After about an hour or more, I got a break. I remember going to the bathroom and needing to hold on to the rail, I was feeling rather seasick. The floor was no longer horizontal and flat, it seemed to roll like the deck of a large boat on a heavy swell.

Anyway, I got through it, and I’m glad I did. that’s the thing about tattooing, once its done, it doesn’t wash off. More to come, readers….

Postcard from Gibsons, BC

Hi Bloggers,

I had the opportunity to travel to Gibsons, BC. Now if you’ve never heard of Gibsons, you might have seen it. If you ever saw the CBC long running drama called Beachcombers then you would have seen Gibsons, because it was the setting for all the adventures of a little BC coastal town where everyone drives a boat and the big industry is timber.

If you’re not familiar, but are vaguely interested, or want to have a look because you remember this show on TV, here’s a link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beachcombers

So I went to Molly’s Reach, the diner in the TV show. I can remember, as a kid, growing up in Australia, this show would come on in the afternoon. Now it felt a WHOLE WORLD away from my place as a kid, so you could imagine the sense of surrealism as I munched on fish and chips at the original Molly’s Reach. It hasn’t changed much at all.

You can also see the Phersephone – the boat that was featured in the show. It’s on the main street as a kind of memorial or whatever.

Its a cute little town, artsy, and really picturesque. I hope you enjoy the photos…

 

The Importance of Hot Yoga, and other things…

Hi Bloggers,

Tonight I did hot yoga. It was a really hot session. Of yoga. I’ve done hot yoga maybe 20 to 30 times. I remember the first times that I did it, I was nervous about how the heat would affect me. I don’t handle the heat to well and many times in the past I have had heat exhaustion – particularly living and working in Australia underground in the mine or after working in the hot sun all day.

Thankfully, I found hot yoga to be fairly agreeable with my physiology. I sweat a lot. Tonight the temperature was up to 40 C for the most of the session. Sometimes, I find myself in a kind of mental haze, just going through the movements and allowing the heat to affect my body and mind. You have to give in to it. There might be moments when you feel a little feint, or week or woozy, but so far I’ve never had any ill effects during or after the session.

It provides for a kind of a physical and mental purge. There is meditation and breathing at the start, and also at the end. These are opportunities for reflection and setting an intention for your practice. I normally set my intention to allow love into my heart, and to give love outwards to the world. That goes along with letting go of any frustrations, anxieties, guilt, anger, resentment, etc. It’s impossible to hang on to these kinds of feelings when you are holding a downward dog, or moving through a flow of plank to cobra, to downward dog. 65a396c9be19942f50249dd8acda5d2c[1]

Another couple of significant developments for me – I had a good discussion with my boss. I was able to open up about what is going on in my life, to provide some context (not justification or whatever) for the types of activities that I have been engaged with at work. This allowed me to explain myself in a non adversarial way. It was a good discussion, and he asked if there was anything he could do for me. I felt much relieved, like I’d been carrying a burden that was relieved. 

I also had a counselling session. This too was very beneficial. Just to talk to someone, to share my thoughts and feelings and to get feedback. I felt much more… human. 

Workout Routines

Today’s workout was all about the arms – biceps and triceps. I did a bit of ab crunch machine in there too. I thought I might like to share a little bit about what I do in the gym. I work out fairly often, I like to go most days but in reality it averages out to about 4 times a week.

Work, family commitments, energy levels, stress, illness, etc. all get in the way of work out time. But the key is consistency. As you get into the habit of exercising regularly, you will feel the want to go. I have been working out for many years. On and off for a few earlier on in life but these days I’ve been consistent for about 9 years.

For the guys who are built like twigs and aren’t getting ahead in the gym, I recommend that you do your homework on what helps to build muscle mass. Check out Stronglifts 5×5. You can find it on FB. We are all different, and I see some guys that just pop with muscles after their first work out after a 5 year layoff. Unfortunately, we aren’t all put together like that. At the other end of the scale is the puffy guy who puts on pounds easy but the wrong kind and doesn’t seem to be able to shake it.

So I’m an ectomorph. Maybe I’m a mesomorph, or at least I’m looking more like one these days. If you are thinking wtf is an ectomorph, its a skinny body type. High metabolism, does not put weight on easy. Don’t hate me for it, but I’ve always been able to eat anything I want, and never ever got fat. But there’s a kind of downside to this. I have to really eat a lot and work hard in the gym to maintain my 205 lbs. One trip away for work where I can’t access the same amount of calories due to eating at (normal) regular meal times and late dinners means that I shed about 5-8 lbs. By normal I mean that I eat all the time, so being constrained to regular lunch and dinner times keeps me hungry, and losing weight. Heaviest I ever got was about 213 lbs and that was recently, but I cant keep it on, and besides, I start looking a little pudgy around the chin at this stage.

So my basic principal – speaking for myself is this: eat a lot, of healthy foods. I pig out a bit on junk but its not the bulk of my diet. Keep it simple. I don’t do protein shakes much these days – they are very expensive, and I can tell you that I have kept the weight on without them. I drink full cream milk, like 3.25% fat. I like to slam two milkshake sized milk drinks a day – I put Quik in there for flavour.

Workouts should be varied. You don’t generally work out the same body part two days in a row. You need to let everything repair, recover, and grow. I have about 6 different work outs that I rotate. I also change them about every 3 months to something a bit different. It keeps it interesting. I used to do the same workout every day, and didn’t listen to my gym buddies, and wasn’t consuming enough food and kept thinking “this isn’t working, I don’t look any different whether I work out or not”. I was so dumb about things back then.

So, here’s the routine. Take it or leave it. Enjoy! Oh, and one last point, if you work out like a girl you will have girly muscles (which are awesome on girls), so you need to gradually increase your weight and challenge yourself to go heavier, but don’t go crazy, I have done some injuries finding the right amount of weight for each of my exercises. You should feel totally ‘spent’ after each workout if you are really going for it.

Workout A  biceps and legs.  Heavy bicep workout.

Dumbbell bicep curls.

Ezy bar curls.

Zane (cross over) curls

Squats

Calf extensions

Workout B chest and shoulders.

Dumbbell bench press.

Shoulder lat raises.

Chest flyes.

Arnold press

Crunch machine

Workout C biceps and triceps. Light bicep workout hi reps.

Preacher curls on bench

Concentration curls

Incline bench curls

Arm extenders for tricep on bench.

Cable triceps

Workout D mix up.

Overhead press

Power cleans

Hi step ups

Lunges

Chainsaws

Workout E mixup.

Hyper extensions

Incline dumbbell chest press

Leg curls

Leg extensions

Dips

Workout F  

Combo lat raises with overhead press dumbbell

Wide grip chin up

Cable cross over chest pulls

Bent over rows

Push ups with feet on bench

Power clean to squat jerks over head