Breakfast with Beefcake is MOVING!!

moving-truckHey y’all, I just wanted to let you know that I am moving my blog to a new site. I have been absolutely thrilled that you are willing to follow me and read my ramblings. I hope that you will move with me and enjoy the new site. I would love to have you subscribe to the mailing list or register a profile on the new site. Talk to y’all tomorrow. Enjoy your day!

Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,


In Doubtful Matters Boldness Is Everything


“In Doubtful Matters, Boldness is Everything”–Pubillius Syrus

   Good morning, I hope you are doing well. Today is a good day. It’s a HUGE day. “Why?” You might ask. Any day that I don’t spend trying to negotiating a one sided deal with St. Peter that could possibly cost him his job is a pretty good one.  Also, my high school football coach, Ken Netherland, is going to be inducted into the TSSAA Hall of Fame. Coach is no longer with us, but his wife Sharon, aka Mrs. Coach, is going to accept the induction. I have never met anyone quite like Coach. From the time I was about 12 years old I saw him as larger than life. I would watch the varsity football team come onto the field, and I swore that they were all 7′ tall and each weighed 300lbs. I was in total envy. I couldn’t believe how a man could command so much respect that these big monsters would do whatever, whenever this man asked. Coach Netherland was exactly who he was and believed exactly what he believed, seemingly every day of his life. If there was ever a role model for a person who stayed the course and refused to get caught up in the hoopla of politics or others’ opinions, it was Coach. I tell you what else I admired about Coach, he was NOT afraid to fail. He did what he thought to be best, and he stuck with these principles day in and day out, often in the face of overwhelming adversity. The man would not be pushed around. He did not need to raise his voice, and a big vocabulary would not be required. One look from Coach Netherland on any given subject, and you knew exactly where he stood….always.

Coach Netherland spent most of his days herding cats. Fat, dumbassed cats, with short attention spans, and big egos. The task ahead of him each and every day was formidable and there was no room for wavering. I think about how Coach Netherland feeds into my daily life and how much I want to emulate him. First and foremost, I think about his willingness to fail at the risk of success. The guy did what he did for 50 friggin years! (368-131-3) was his record. 131 times he walked out in front of thousands of people and failed, right there in front of God and everybody. I love it! Hell, he went into entire seasons with the knowledge that he would be lucky to win a game or two…. but he did it anyway. Did you hear me? BUT HE DID IT ANYWAY. It was part of the gig. It was part of life. When he wins, no problems, he is a God. When he loses, he is a bum, facing 100 parents who could all do a better job. “THROW THE DAMN BALL” was the rallying cry of the fans who didn’t know 58 Blast from a  Butterfinger Blast, as they were feeding popcorn in their pie holes and trying to figure out why the guard lined up so far back on defense. No sir, not gonna change that man’s mind. He knew the risks, and he knew the rewards. He believed what he thought was best, and he stayed that course, day in and day out, sometimes with entire years going by, and all the fingers pointed squarely at him. How did he handle these years? He handled them the same way he did the State Championship seasons. He handled them with grace and dignity. Humility was his greatest asset. I watched him being interviewed on TV after he had become the winningest coach in Tennessee high school history. The reporter asked, “what does that mean?”. Coach’s response was this, “it means I’m old, and I’ve coached a lot of games”. Humility is an attribute that you don’t see everyday, but I sure like it when I do see it.

One of my favorite stories of standing behind one’s beliefs, is also one of my favorite Coach Netherland stories. As its told, when Coach was being shopped at St. George’s there was a meeting with some of the staff, alumni, and boosters. It was clear that they wanted Coach Netherland’s leadership and experience, but they also wanted him to waiver from his smashmouth, 3 yards and a cloud of dust, bust it up the gut offense, and implement a more flashy passing style of offense. After listening to various high-uppers give their pitch regarding what they wanted to see on the football field, it was Coach’s turn. He confidently approached the whiteboard and drew a rectangle to resemble a foot field with two end zones. He then drew a horizontal line straight down the middle, and said, “the last time I checked, the shortest distance between end zone to end zone is straight down the middle, and that is how I plan to get there. When you throw the football there are only 3 possible outcomes…and 2 of them ain’t good. I don’t like those odds. We will run the ball.” It would only take a few seasons before Coach had won a State Championship with those guys.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I am fortunate to have seen a man who lived his life on his terms. Every time I think about WAITING to do something for fear of failure, or whatever ridiculous excuse I use to avoid trying, I think about Coach. Whenever I think, “I’m gonna sign up for that race NEXT year, when I’m more prepared” or “I’m gonna compete in the Open next year, when I’m in better shape”, I think about how Coach didn’t have that option. In fifty years, he didn’t have the option of saying, “my guys suck this year, so we are not gonna participate” or “we will just play the crappy teams that we choose, because we know we can handle them”. He was able to find success in the failures, the beauty in the seasons of losses. He was able to embrace all the hostility and doubt, and use that to make him all the stronger, and remained humble throughout. The success was just too important that he simply had to fail in order to achieve it. I would have never signed up for the CrossFit Open, the 50K, the 50miler if I hadn’t been taught to give things your best, and if you fail…fu*k em (sorry Mrs. Coach, but I also learned, that if you got something to say, say it). I was taught to go for it every day. This blog scares me to death, every single post of it, but having been through losing seasons and championship seasons with Coach, I have learned that sometimes you just have to go out there lower your head and move forward. Sometimes there will be an insurmountable wall made of adversity and ridicule, but if you just keep plugging away eventually its gonna blow wide open and good things will happen. You just have to stick with what you know, focus on the basics, and play smashmouth life. My hope today is that whatever decision you have been teetering on, GO FOR IT! Sign up, run the race, try out for the play, take the test, audition for the role, send the application, go for the jog, join the gym, meet with the group, sign up for the class, enter your credit card and press the “submit” button. FU*K IT. Lemme know how it goes.

Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,

Stinkin Thinkin


My idol Davis has been giving me some tips and i'm even starting to look like him. Thanks dude.
My idol Davis has been giving me some tips and I’m even starting to look like him. Thanks dude.


  Good morning. Gosh damn it’s early. I have come to enjoy shaking out the morning cobwebs via daily blog post that I set my alarm for 2am. Hopefully I can get one finished before I start getting ready for 5am CrossFit. We had the kids this past week so I have been unable to play with my morning friends at the gym. I’m excited to see them. There are generally varying levels of excitement, as you can imagine at any early morning gym session, but the people at the gym are so playful and fun. We all give each other a hard time, but everyone is thoughtful of each others’ feelings. Except for Mark Fortune, we don’t give a sh*t about his feelings. The way we see it, if a 50something year old man can color coordinate his workout clothes from head to toe and wear a SpongeBob Squarepants shirt, he is generally pretty comfortable with himself. The last time I left him, he was instructing a fellow member by pointing at his shirt, with the most serious of faces, and exclaiming, “SpongeBob says squat deeper….SpongeBob says deeper.” (For the record, I love Mark and the place would not be the same without him.)

  Last night Amanda and I attended the second class of our 12 week American Sign Language Course. It was fun, interesting, and scary. I would like to tell you that I am excited to learn sign language, but that would indicate that I am enjoying the process, and I am doing a terrible job at this. What I really want is to KNOW sign language, and I want to know it NOW. I sit in this class and I wait for the two hours to pass, not because I don’t enjoy sitting there, but because I am constantly afraid that my brain is going to reach maximum capacity. I fear that I am going to lock up and go into a Silas Marner trance, then have to be deprogrammed at some sort of mental hospital. There is only so much room in the ole noodle, and I’m afraid of filling it up with too much memory that I run out of RAM. I spend a great deal of time in my own head, and the conversations that go on up there are almost audible. The people who attend the meetings in my head can be from all different stages of my life and they can be brutal, impatient, and allow zero grace. The voices I am referring to are my conscience, and I have heard them accurately described as the “shi*ty committee”. It is a virtual boardroom of a*sholes tell me all of the reasons that I am not capable of performing most tasks. The president, CEO, and majority of the shareholders of Beefcake Inc. were all present at the committee during the duration of my class yesterday evening.  Being tired probably had a lot to do with my negative thinking. When I get fatigued, I start focusing on all of the things that I am doing poorly. I don’t cut myself any slack, and I start looking for the area where I am inadequate and start believing myself to be inferior. I forget that I am taking this class “for fun”, and it is supposed to be a “pleasure”. There is no career advancement or human life at stake. There is not a deaf person in my life at the moment who is in urgent need of my mastering the skill of American Sign Language, but you would think that I am needed to be the chief sign language negotiator for a hostage crisis in the Middle East somewhere.

Throughout the ALS class, we are asked to go in front of the classroom and act out various phrases. They have been very general terms, like “what is your name?”, “nice to meet you”, and “are you deaf”, but when I am placed in front of a group of my peers, the wheels can really lock up. I performed a sequence last night, and when I sat down I thought that I was going to cry. I was so frustrated that I gripped the table in front of me (while maintaining a cheesy smile, a red face, and my teeth clinched hard enough to split a penny) and thought about flipping it over. I actually played the tape through, and reviewed the pros and the cons of whether or not it would be a good idea to flip over a fu*king table. I’m almost 40 years old and for a brief moment, the biggest decision I had to work through is whether or not to flip over a classroom table because I did not perfectly execute a serious of hand gestures in a language for which I have exactly 2 hours of formal training! Where do I come up with these ridiculous expectations of myself? Why do I allow my classmates so much grace, but I just butcher myself? I could see myself on the pitcher’s mound when I was about 12 years old, and playing rec league ball. I experienced the feeling of getting pulled from the mound and being moved to first base. I would pull my hat down over my brow, and kick the dirt with frustration. I could see my dad at the chain link fence yelling words of encouragement, all while my attitude worsens. Eventually, fed up with my childish attitude, dad yells those words that are the fail proof litmus test for any pre-teen/teenaged boy….”Stop pouting.” These words open the floodgates, and I respond the same way 100% of the time. A kick of the dirt (cue the tears), and a high pitched retort, “I’M NOT POUTING”. An all out come-apart goes down in front of my peers and their moms, dads, and siblings alike.

I had to take a deep breath and regroup. Perspective is what I needed to breath in, and frustration needed to breath out. I have a real knack for trying new things for the sake of learning, and when I find out that I was not born mastering them, then I throw a f*cking fit. A couple of months ago I was having trouble with the timing of my “double-unders” while jump roping at the gym. I got so mad and bent outta shape that I grabbed a PVC pipe and smashed it on the floor. The pipe exploded like a fluorescent tube light and sh*t went everywhere. The effects were actually pretty cool, and looked like a stunt from Wrestlemania, but the whole childlike display was actually quite embarrassing. Just last week, while doing the same movement, I wadded up my rope and I threw it across the gym towards the TV monitor and computer laptop. Pretty ridiculous, huh? While sitting here in my comfortable chair after a good nights rest that sounds ridiculous, but at the time, while I was 100% engaged, it was very real. Disengaging from things is a practice that I must practice everyday. When I am disengaged I get a much clearer picture of the reality of things. Only then can I understand that no one is born knowing sign language, and that is why there are classes for it. Only then can I see that double-unders is a skill that takes time and practice to master, and will not be perfected over night. Only then can I see that no one really gives a sh*t if I can jump rope or not. I enjoy reflecting on my feelings and actions at the end of the day and early morning hours. I enjoying getting to see my ridiculousness for what it is. I would venture to say that 99% of the things that I get bent out of shape about could be avoided with a deep breath and another man’s viewpoint. Nothing is ever as serious of a problem through another man’s microscope. When a married father of two children, whose occupation is weed control, fertilization, and parking lot sweeping is getting bent outta shape over sign language, and a jump rope….there probably needs to be a period of reflection and a change in perception. Hang in there today, and better yet, have some fun. Don’t take it all too seriously.

Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,


You Have Bewitched Me Body & Soul, and I Love You

My favorite them kissing

    When I was 8 years old I wanted a gerbil. I am not sure exactly why I had my sights set on a gerbil. We had a hamster in my class, and everyone knows that gerbils are more prone to bite, but the fact remained, I wanted a gerbil. I ran it past my mom and dad, and when I say I “ran it past”, I mean I ran it over them, by them, around them, under them, on top of them. I would not drop it with this gerbil. Finally they caved. They told me that I could have a gerbil if I bought it and the cage with my own money. As an 8 year old, it was quite difficult to find I decent paying wage with good benefits that would fit into my school and nap schedule, so I hit the streets. I set up a lemonade stand.  $.25 a cup was the price, and business was pretty good overall, but there was a particular construction worker who stopped by on a couple of different occasions and bought a sleeve of cups and the entire pitcher of lemonade for $5 each time. With the obvious help from God and the universe, I had my gerbil and accomplished the goal.

    When I was a few years older, the target became Mike Tyson. I simply had to knock out Tyson in the Nintendo game “Mike Tyson’s Punchout”. There was no internet, and the cheat codes were unknown, so you had to do it the old fashioned way, but it was gonna get done. No doubt it. I played, and played, and played, and played, unwavering in my quest. The Glass Joe’s, Don Flamenco’s, Flashing Jewel guy, Von Kaiser, King Hippo, Bald Bull (both of em), Sandman, Popinski, all those guys one by one, each fight presented the opportunity for advancement or setback. I embraced each opportunity, and eventually I was able to make it through that most difficult round of Tyson uppercuts, where I could methodically dismantle him with my catlike speed and reflexes. All of  this while being fueled by my mother’s love and about 1,300 bagel bites which were always present in the room where I chased my Tyson dream. With a little luck, some help from God, and the perfection of the universe, the goal had been met.

    Going into my senior season of high school football, we had spent the previous two seasons getting the sh*t kicked out of us on almost a weekly basis.  As a sophomore, we produced a below average 5-5 season. My junior year we were even worse, with 4 wins and 6 losses. Hell, we were lucky to own that record. That was not going to be the case our senior year. I was certain of it. We had a group of young men who had been playing together since about 12 years old, and we made up our collective minds that the season belonged to us. There was no room for doubt. It had to be done. At one of our practices leading up to the start start of the season, Coach Netherland warned us, “there are reporters on the practice field. They are gonna wanna ask some of y’all some questions about the season. Stay humble, and don’t say anything stupid. Let them know that you have worked hard, and hope to win a few games this season. Understand?” Understood. I heard exactly what he said and I understood it perfectly. The only problem was that I was a seventeen year old kid who, with the help of God and the universe, had already made up his mind about the kind of season we were going to have. The reporter asked me how I thought we were going to perform that year after the abysmal 5-5 and 4-6 seasons. I responded, “we will be in Nashville.” The reporter  asked if I was referring to playing in the State Championship in Nashville. My response, “absolutely. That’s what I said.” To make matters worse, that sonofab*tch printed it. Coach Netherland was PISSED. I can hear him know, “gosh dammit Buddha, you turkeyass…..”. I loved that man, and he loved me in spite of all the dumbass things I said and did while playing for him. Actually, I think he loved me BECAUSE of all those dumbass things. Anyways, we made it to State where we would ultimately be defeated to end a 14-1 season. But the fact remained, the goal was set, and it would be accomplished with no room for doubt or second guesses.

    This leads me to the heart of this particular post. In about June of 2014, I stumbled into a 6am CrossFit class, and was watching the 5am class finishing up. As I watched one particular girl muscle through her workout with the strength of Sampson, but the grace of a figure skater, I knew that I had to have her. Just like all the aforementioned goals, it was clear that God and the Universe were willing to back me on this, and it was time to get to work. I would begin waking at 4am, only to drag my fatass to the 5am CF class just to get a peak at her. Her name was Amanda, and I was smitten. Never in my life had I seen a girl quite as attractive as she is. I did what any self respecting man does….i stalked her thoroughly on Facebook, and had a friend act as my spy, and gather intelligence. Bill Shea was my guy, and he was able to provide me with recon as to how to get started. True to form, my initial introductions were less than ideal. She originally heard my name while I was dropping F-Bombs and threatening to physically assault Laura Pinckley in a private FB thread. Amanda said that she thought I was a “potty mouth”…and she would be right. To make matters worse, during one of our intial workouts, I referred to our mutual friend Bill as “sweetheart” and Amanda thought I was talking to her. Anyone who is familiar with  Amanda knows that while she is in a competitive environment with a room full of weights, she ain’t nobody’s “sweetheart”. That was bad, but I would redeem myself the next class. Just after explaining that I was referring to Bill as “sweetheart”, I would refer to her as ANGELA on the way out the door. “Have a good day Angela” (goshdangitshcikferkduhcrappit). I can’t believe I just did that. Anyways, I was able to bounce back and eventually get the date. Since, the first evening that we spent together, we have been virtually inseparable, and my life will never be the same. We have since been married, and she is my life’s greatest goal. I am the luckiest guy on the planet, and few would argue this fact.

    A friend of mine once had me to read a book called “The Five Love Languages”. It was an interesting read with a lot of truth. It is clear that my language is “words” and is why I am writing this blog. Today is Amanda’s birthday.  Being that I know NOTHING of providing gifts, I want to provide my gift in terms of words and let her and you know exactly how I feel. When I first began seeing Amanda, I was unsure of what would come out of it, but I can tell you that it has been quite much more than I expected. I have never met anyone so attentive to the feelings of others. Amanda is quite introverted and does not speak as freely to just anyone, but her lack of words is quite powerful. She does not speak negatively about anyone. She gets her feelings hurt at just the thought of someone being left out, or feeling lonely. There have been so many things that I have learned just by watching Amanda that I would not even know where to begin. I will never forget the night that she approached me and asked if it would be possible to keep the kids over here on a more frequent and regular basis. She has loved Grayson and Andie Kate as her own, while maintaining a relationship with my ex-wife and their biological mother. She is a mature and educated woman, and does not waste any time looking for drama where there is none. I have watched her and Mindy expertly maneuver through co-parenting as if they were teaching a seminar on it. They keep an open communication and have a mutual respect for one another that is unprecedented.  If she sees a problem, she addresses it and moves on. She has an unmatched level of maturity, and a zeal for life that is unparalleled. If there is an opportunity to “experience” something, she will go to any lengths just to soak it in. She is a ball of energy and laughs more easily than ANYONE I have ever met. Sometimes I lay in bed and just listen to her laugh at her phone while watching videos of dogs on FB. She prefers animated Disney movies to anything else, because she is a child at heart. She gets giddy with excitement when it is time for Andie to decorate Valentine’s boxes for school, and she doesn’t miss an opportunity to enjoy getting dressed up. She makes it a point to participate and be present at all the childrens activities and NEVER misses out on an opportunity to act like a child (yes, she pouted when she did not get to sled in the snow). It makes no difference to Amanda if the activity is the Opera or a wrestling match, she is willing to give it a try, and is 100% at finding the pleasure. She has entered into the lives of the children and provided a calmness and stability that cannot be faked or bought. I have watched the playfulness and overall security of the kids rise dramatically ever since Amanda has come around. The anxiety and over cautiousness  in the children’s lives that was the result of my past behavior  is slowly beginning to fade as Amanda continues to symbolize security and demonstrate stability. It is such a gift to have someone who encourages you to chase, aggressively, whatever it is that makes you happy. I cannot wait for each morning to arrive after a good night’s rest. Just to look at her and know that I get another 24 hours of not knowing what the day will bring, but having full confidence that it will be fun and exciting is enough. I respect and admire her so much, that I welcome the problems in life as much as the gifts. There is a saying that “smooth seas don’t make good sailors”, and I welcome the opportunities that I get to earn Amanda’s respect by navigating the difficulties in life, while enjoying the calmness alike. Amanda, you have truly won my heart as well as the hearts of everyone you come into contact. You are a gift to me, the children and their mother, my mom, my dad, and my brother. You have entered our lives in such a non-evasive and undemanding way, that just your presence alone is enough to make us all appreciate you. You have not once asked me to change my ways to meet yours. You have not asked me to be more like this, or act more like that. You have accepted me for me, and even celebrated those things that make me who I am (which not everyone can understand). I am writing this simply because I want you to know how much you are admired and adored, simply by the way that you carry yourself. You impact the people who come into your life by your smile and demeanor. I thank you for encouraging spontaneity and applauding individuality. I look up to your non-judgmental ways and your knowledge that everyone is fighting a battle that we know nothing about. You allow others to live their life, and encourage them to try, fail, and try again. You love a good comeback and you champion the underdog. I wish you to enjoy just one day  on your birthday as you have made me to enjoy every one of mine. I look forward to a year full of doing dumb sh*t that makes little sense, but keeps us both smiling and happy. You have bewitched me body and soul, and i love you.

Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,


Eazy E, Were You Ever Caught Slippin?…Hell Naw

This has NOTHING to do with this blog....but it is a badass picture.
This has NOTHING to do with this blog….but it is a badass picture.

“Imma Straight Up G From The Hood… A Nice Hood With a Neighborhood Association and Low Crime Rates and Sh*t”


This weekend I watched Straight Outta Compton. Boy was it good . Start to finish, I had my eyes glued to the TV, while being washed away with memories from my early pre-teen and teenage years. I asked Amanda if she wanted me to wait for her, so we could watch it together, but she had no interest. Being that she grew up in Chattanooga, it was clear that to me that she had not spent that particular period of her youth wishing that she was an underprivileged African American rapper growing up on the streets of Compton California the way that I had. Isn’t that what every pudgy, buzzed headed, privileged white kid with married, loving parents who went to church every Sunday before enjoying Sunday a chicken dinner with extended family wanted in their life? Was I missing something? What is wrong with my Boo Boo? She didn’t want to be gangsta at some point in her life? I loved some NWA. Probably cause my parents hated them so much. My mom, just this week, recollected when my friend Chris Morgan and I were caught listening to Straight Outta Compton on our church’s youth confirmation trip. This was also right about the time of the Beastie Boys, “License To Ill” released, (I was King Adrock in case you were wondering). I was not allowed to listen to the tape, so I cleverly carried around a bright neon, dubbed copy with a disguised label. I literally carried it with me everywhere I went, like it was a handgun.

Prior to wanting to be Eazy E, I wanted to be The Lone Ranger. I would make Ted be Tonto, and I would run around with Kool Aid stained lips, and the fervor of a chrystal meth addict who just woke up from a 12 hour nap and getting primed for a 4 day weekend, acting as if I was chasing the bad guys. Eventually, as imagination and attention would run short, I would also run out of bad guys and decide that Tonto should be apprehended. I would bonk Ted in the head with my toy gun in an effort to deem him unconscious, so as to properly tie him up and turn him in for ransom. This period usually concluded with timeout and a spanking. During this time period, I also possessed a deep seeded desire to be Space Ghost, Knight Rider, The Greatest American Hero, and most definitely THUNDERFOOT, Tony Carbognani. Thunderfoot played for the Memphis Americans and he was my greatest American hero. I once asked my mom and dad to buy me glitter puff paint to adorn my white tee shirt with a beautiful piece of art comprised of a soccer ball, some grass, a foot kicking said ball, and “Thunderfoot” written across the front. For a day, I was him. Well actually, it was about a half day before the glitterpaint started cracking off and I had written “T urd fot” across my chest, with a huge mustard stain, and dirt from where I fell down trying to kick a soccerball.

I wanted to be a break-dancer. I even had a cardboard box in the backyard for which to practice the elusive “helicopter”. I would crank up my jambox and let it rip; dressed from head to tow in parachute pants, with Michael Jackson glitter socks and a glitter glove. My ensemble was purchased from Goldsmith’s and my glitter glove/sock collection was made from wool and cheap ass Christmas tinsel. Then came Brian Bosworth, and I was all Boz, equipped with flat top, and paint in the hair to boot. Next up? That’s easy. SKATE OR DIE. My skater phase consisted of everything a poser needs, including the expensive skateboard, bad bangs with head tilted to the side (for attitude purposes…and to convey my notgiveafu*kness), Chuck Taylors, army jacket with skulls and sh*t drawn on it, and the mindset that “skaters live forever”. I was Tony Hawk, and I couldn’t be stopped. Only problem was, I couldn’t skate and would quickly be stopped. My dad HATED my skateboard, probably because I was incessantly interrupting his meetings with broken bones and skinned up body parts. He once asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I exclaimed, “Tony Hawk”. To quote my father from the head of the dinner table, he exclaimed “Who the hell is Tony Hawk? The skateboarder? The guy is a bum. He will never make $10,000 in a year”. We laugh to this day every time we pass one his endorsements. I blame my dad entirely for my lack of Hawk-itude today.

I don’t know that I am really going anywhere with this, other than enjoying the memories of my youth, except for I do see a lifelong pattern. You see, all of my life I have wanted to be something other than who I was. When you are young it is one thing to pretend, but I carried these feelings into my adulthood. I wanted to be this guy or this guy, to be thought of like this, or look like that. Somewhere along the way there was a shift from imagination to envy. I actually wished that I was other people. With the envy, of course, comes jealousy. Through jealousy, it made it difficult for me to be happy for anyone else’s accomplishment. This can make for a difficult life. When you are constantly jealous of other people’s accomplishments, the only time you are happy is when you are the one being praised. This makes things all the more difficult when you seldom do anything praiseworthy.  Who wants to be around that guy? I will tell you…no one. As my life has evolved, there have been some pretty drastic changes in my daily activities, and with these changes have come different relationships as well as different habits. These relationships have helped me see what being mentally healthy and generally positive can do to someone’s life. I have become comfortable in my own skin, and have discovered the difference in envy and admiration. I have a varying level of admiration for just about every person whom I come into contact with on a daily basis. What has helped my envy morph into admiration the most is that I become increasingly comfortable sharing what it is that I admire about a person with that actual person. Actually, I view it as an obligation. I don’t want to miss an opportunity to let someone know of the impact that they have on my life. I have seen how the actions of one can affect the lives of so many, and I want to do my best to encourage these actions, as so many people have encouraged me.  There is no person whom I would rather be today than me. I have fu*ktons of work to do in order to become a better me, but today I am comfortable. I am aware of the things that I am, and the things that I am not. I am also aware of the reasons why I am not some of the things I admire about others (aside from the fact that we are all just naturally different in different areas…thank God). I do not spend time beating myself up because I am not a 4 hour marathon runner. The reason I am not is because I am not willing to put in the time and sacrifice to accomplish this, bottom line. I will not make it to the CrossFit Games. Sure, there is a degree of God given talent which I am lacking, but even still, the level of sacrifice and commitment required is much more willing than I am willing to invest. I am not a 190lb ripped up piece of machinery. The reason for this is because those guys work hard everyday, and pay close attention to everything that goes into their body (I pay attention to what goes AROUND my body, which should be couch cushions, and what goes IN my body, which should be made from cake) My point is that I use to get so  frustrated when I did not perform at certain levels in various areas of my life, and instead of frustration, I have exchanged that for admiration for the people who put in the time and effort to accomplish these things. So my challenge is this, if someone possesses a quality that you find admirable, share it with that person. See how it makes you feel. Chances are that you will learn something positive about yourself. Worst case scenario, you improve someone’s life at least a little bit for this particular day. If they let it go to their head, as many will, let em have it. Give them the grace that so many people gave me, and know that life has a way of straightening out the di*kheads. Take it from a bona fide di*khead.

Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,


Wherever You Go…There You Are

“In Three Words I Can Sum Up Everything I Know About Life. It Goes On.”–Robert Frost

Yesterday morning, I stopped into  Darby’s Automotive to drop off the Love Boat. The Boat has been getting some upgrades as of late, to keep her fashionable and moving forward. We have to get her in line to make the road trip to the Sylamore 25k/50k, where I have every intention of winning the 40k/240lb division. Love Boat got a new window, a new door unlocker button thing,  some bushings, and we are gonna outfit her with the option of blowing hot air or cold air (the option before was hot…or really hot). I always enjoy stopping by there because I like shooting the breeze with Darby, and I like the people who work with him. We give each other sh*t, but share a mutual respect. I have a great deal of admiration for him. Darby is one of those guys who truly answers the call to action within the community, and with the people in his life. I bet there isn’t a girl scout in Olive Branch he hadn’t bought cookies from, or a local event that he hasn’t sponsored at one time or another. Darby however is in a unique position because, for the most part, nobody is happy to see him, at least not under the circumstances. If you are going to get your car fixed, you are generally not real excited about it. It’s kind of like working in the hospital, most clients would rather be doing something else. So Darby was telling me that I needed this and that, and it was gonna cost this and blah-blah-blah. As usual, I said “go for it”. I explained to him that I was having one of those weeks that it costs me a thousand dollars just to get outta bed in the morning. I got the Love Boat in need of attention, our heater at home is broke, the sweeper needs brakes, the strainer froze and cracked, my pump stopped working for my pesticide (which didn’t matter cause the filter housing had cracked…which was of no consequence because the fitting for the gun had broke plumb in two ). All of this and we stood there and laughed. We laughed cause it happens. Sh*t breaks. There are numerous different ways of handling days like these, and I have tried just about all of them. I can cry about, bitch about it, be angry, resentful, fearful of the future, kick, scream, holler, be depressed, ask “why me”, take it out on everyone else…..or I can accept, maybe even with a little humor, and move on.

My employee, and one of my best friends, is named Pedro. We have worked together for over 13 years. Throughout these years, we have made just about every wrong move a person can make and still be in business. We have done everything from putting gas in diesels, diesel in hydraulic reservoirs, ran equipment out of oil, knocked down walls, cut damn near everything that runs underground, broke everything from auger bits to metal hammers, and actually submerged a  skid steer that was less than a month old. Pedro and I have remained friends and partners throughout marriage, divorce, births of children, periods of wealth and big fat busts, fits of anger and accusations, rehabs and depression with rises and falls throughout. We have played the blame game and have fought till we were red in the face. We have toasted success and cried in our palms. Throughout all of the ups and downs that we have been through, not only as friends but business associates alike, there has been one thing constant. Life has continued to go on. It never stopped, not even for a day it didn’t. It’s been going on for years, centuries, hell its been going on since eternity…and that’s longer than Dan Koloski has been alive. Some days I’m the hammer and some days the nail, but I’m gonna be one or the other, or somewhere in between, whether I like it or not.

My mom recently retired from a career as a civilian employee for the Navy. She was the Chief Clinical Director of the Fleet and Family Services division. She is a highly intelligent and professional woman named Elaine, who has no problem maintaining eye contact while explaining exactly how the cow ate the cabbage. At her recent retirement, her fellow co-workers had constructed a plaque with a list of their favorite “Elaine-ism’s”. My favorite of the many quotes is this, “The fact that you disagree with the facts….does not change the facts.” I try to remember this when I feel that my day is not going as smoothly as it should. My decision to enjoy it, lies squarely on my shoulders. Being aware of this, does not mean that I will make the right decision, it just makes me aware. All things being equal, all my frustration this week has been with moving parts, and those are just gonna break. I’ve been told that if you have a problem that money can solve, it ain’t a real problem. I don’t know who said that, but I’m gonna take their word for it.

On another note, I’m excited that I SHOULD have time today to make it to the gym to play with my 4pm friends, and shake my crazies away. I have missed the past couple of days because of kids and basketball practice, but those are pretty damn good reasons to miss anything. Poor Amanda is DYING to get to the gym, and I mean literally dying, as in like the middle of the night she coughs so hard that she sounds like she is going to die…and then her alarm goes off at 4am. But who am I to tell her what she should or should not do? Neither one of us do what we are told, and hate being told to do it, so I try to keep my mouth shut, kinda. I hope she gets better soon. Exercise probably has more impact on my propensity to take my life and myself too seriously. So, I am fortunate to have a place to go where I actually enjoy it, with people who I very much enjoy. Try to remember, as a Buddhist calendar once told me, “It is what it is, and it ain’t gonna get no is-er”

Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,


God, Help My Kids Fail


January 27, 2016

4 days in a row! 4 days of using this blog as a virtual puke bucket for my thoughts. It feels as if I am traveling throughout each day on a luxury cruise with some pretty rough seas. I enjoy the cruise, but its stressful being in unfamiliar territory, and I get motion sick easily. When I get off the boat, I barf off of the side of the pier and then I can regroup and have some stillness. That is what my writing has given me.  Huh? (I realize it doesn’t make much sense, but I hate to delete all that typing).

Ok. It’s 4am and I am bright eyed and bushy tailed from a good night’s rest. I am watching my 6 year old daughter sleep, and there just ain’t much else that I’d rather be doing. I have been blessed with two really good kids. I realize that most parents believe their kids to be good, but these two are especially good natured . In the stillness of the morning hours, I ponder exactly what it is that I want my children to experience in their lives, and the answer is simple. I want my kids to be safe, happy, and successful in every area of their lives. I want them to have all the good, and none of the bad. I want them to win every game and ace every test. I do not want for an ounce of pain to ever be experienced, and be a total stranger to suffering. Every relationship shall flourish, and they would be liked by all who come into their lives. They will go to college, have stable jobs with 401k’s and bonuses, enjoy faithful spouses who adore them, and they shall have healthy children who give them the same peace and happiness that my kids will have given to me.  Does that sound about right? Wrong. Bullsh*t.

That is not at all what I want for them. It doesn’t work that way. At least it hasn’t for me. All that stuff I was talking about before would not have provided me with an ounce of satisfaction. Growing up as a white kid in Germantown, with two parents and an entire family that loved and cared for me, it would be tough to sell you on the idea that my life was overly challenging. My parents loved me very much and wanted good things for me, but they didn’t hover over me with a blanket over my shoulders to shield me from danger, and earmuffs so as to not hear the harshness of the world. If they would have, I would probably hate them for it. I am a control freak of sorts, and I am doing my best to enjoy watching the world work, instead of trying to work the world. It is so arrogant to believe that I can make my children be this way, or that way. I can demonstrate these things, but I cannot “make” them “be” anything, any more than an apple can make an orange be an apple. I simply cannot change another one’s nature.

So, if I had my five minutes with Da Big Man in the golden recliner, I would ask for these things for my children. Make them good hearted and caring, but provide that fire when they have been pushed too hard. Give them safety, but not too much. Allow them a broken bone, so they  can get their cast signed. Have them picked last, so they can strive to be first. Have them work their ass off for something, and fall short of their goal. Teach them that life isn’t fair, but it’s life…which is more than fair. Have them love till it hurts, and still not be noticed. Give them a season of losses, so to enjoy the big win.  Give them the acne, so they will know insecurity. Bend the fender, it happens, move on. Fail that big test that they studied so hard for, take it again, and strive to do better. Have their best friend betray them, so they can better know a friend, and have an enemy befriend them, so they learn to forgive. Allow them some mischief and  laughs through misconduct, but teach them the difference between horseplay and harm. Open their eyes to the ways of their family, but let them decide what they will leave and will take. Let them choose what to do with their future, and have them take my two cents worth, but value it as such. Give them the fortune they desire with no work on their part, then take it away so they can see what its worth. Have them not value “things” cause I said,  but let them choose things for themselves, for I have not the answers. Have them know what its like when the world’s out to get them, to be beaten, battered, tail-tucked and afraid, then have them bounce back stronger, confident, and brave. Surround them with half-wits, some low lives, and slackers, then give them up-lifters,  motivators, and well wishers. Let them make that decision for them, not for me. Push them so hard they will blame you and the world, them give them the calmness to see the real cause. Give them the failures,  ridicule, and the scorn, and give them compassion when it’s the other man’s turn.  Allow them to see that I don’t have the answers, but I have all the love that I hope they will need. I want them to know that I don’t want perfection, but that I want them to fail on their way to succeed.

Most of all, I want for myself to understand that it is not my job to make them into anything, but to be there for them as they become something different. I don’t want to control, but to appreciate and admire all the things that they are, and decide to be. I want to remember that just because I like something a certain way, that it does not make it right. I want to be always accepting of their beliefs, viewpoints, and their system of doing things. I hope that you have a good day, and experience as many ups, downs, and in-betweens as life has to offer you.

Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,




It Could Be A Helluva Lot Worse

January 26, 2016

“We become happier, much happier, when we realize life is an opportunity rather than an obligation.”
Mary Augustine

It is a good morning. I am sure of it. Any morning that I get out of a sheeted bed, in a heated home, under my own strength is a good one. A have a friend who is 72 years old, and he has lived through some real sh*t. One day I was giving him a long, drawn out story about how life was treating me unfairly and bla-blah-blur-bla-pity me-pity me. My friend just gave me a grin and exclaimed, “Wilson, if you think you are having a bad day now, try missing one of them.”(Yep, thats Billy D. if anyone was keeping up) I chuckled out loud, because this old dude is full of wisdom and perspective that can make anyone belly laugh. So, I feel that any day that I wake up 6′ above ground and have some work to do, then I have been dealt a pretty good hand.

I chose to sleep in and skip CrossFit this morning because I got to bed late, which by late I mean bout 9:45pm. At the end of the evening I could feel myself getting pouty, tired, and anxious. I use finess to give me energy, and sometimes I will keep pushing and pushing myself before I realize that I am not energized….I’m miserable. I did this last year while training for Sylamore 50k. I got so caught up in the result, that I forgot to enjoy the journey. I need to find balance. The reason I was out so “late” is that Amanda and I have enrolled in a 12 week ASL course to learn sign language. I can’t remember exaclty what made us decide to enroll, but we did. I have never met anyone who is so full of life as Amanda. There is absolutely nothing that she won’t do if there is the opportunity to pack a little more “life” into the equation. There is nothing that I won’t SAY i’m gonna do, but she will actually follow through, and I will follow her anywhere. She is whole hearted believer in trying, failing, trying again. If she sets her mind to something, she will knock at it’s door until someone answers or the hinges break off the frame. Anyway, I don’t have a concise reason as to my desire to learn sign language, but I like to think that it would be an opportunity to listen and connect with another individual who suffers from alcoholism or drug addiction. God only knows that my life would not be what it is today if people had not spent countless hours “listening” to what I had to say. I had SO MUCH SH*t in my head and heart, that I can’t imagine not having an outlet for which to get it all out. In typical fashion, here I am conjuring up visions of grandeur in regards to helping someone, and I don’t even know the alphabet. I had learned the alphabet well enough to MAYBE make it through one time, while stopping MAYBE once, or twice. Amanda was about the same….or so I thought. On the way to the class, she starts spelling out words to the music with her hand, and I about had a heart attack. She looked like an international mediator who was in charge of negotating a treaty between the Vice Lords and Gangster Disciplines all through signs. I was ill prepared and instantly afraid of the upcoming class. I was petrified. Keep in mind, Amanda has her doctorate…it took me twelve years to get my undergrad. My idea of accelerated classes involved amphetimines in the parking lot. This was well out of my comfort zone. It did not help when the teacher of the class informed us, with her hands, that there would be no speaking of any sort during class times…all signs. I whispered to Amanda that someone needed to quickly teach me how to sign, “oh fu*k”, cause that is what was going through my head for the next 120 minutes. All seriousness, it was really great and I welcome the challenge. I’m a little slower than many in the class, but I tend to start slow…and gradually taper off. Just kidding. I’ll be fine. All good things.

Sooooo, about my day today, THIS is what I do:


Clearly I’m a pretty big deal. Part of my worldly duties is that I sweep parking lots. Well, I actually blow parking lots while my buddy drives the vaccuum truck. It’s kinda like being doctor, except it requires no education, very little knowledge, and any idiot can do it. This being said, I fu*king love it. I love the openess of the huge warehouse parking lots. I love the excercise, as I will travel 12-15 miles a day with a 10lb blower on my back. And, I love the time to myself and my thoughts. I will tell you another reason that I enjoy it, as I have shared before. One my grandfathers was studying to be an attorney before he was attacked by friendly fire in WWII. After having a metal plate placed in his head, and most of his vision lost, he was unable to practice law. He spent the rest of his career with a respectful job on the sales floor at Goldmith’s. I never once heard him bitch or complain about what could have been. He didn’t live like he had been fu*ked over, he lived like he was lucky to be alive, and he did his work with pride and integrity. My other grandfather was a pipe welder. He was the son of an alcoholic and lived his youth travelling from place to place as his dad found work on the railroad. He learned a trade and learned it well. He provided for his family, and he did it with dignity. So, with that being said, those are two distinguished men who would welcome me, or any guy like me, at their dinner table. They are people that did not place importance on WHAT you did, as much as THAT you did, something. You do a job, and you do it the best that you can, and anyone with an opinion can suck it (pretty sure neither of my grandparents said “suck it”…not a direct quote). If I can die having just had the opportunity to provide for my family, to any degree at all, then I consider myself lucky.

Y’all have a good day, don’t take it all too seriously, and by all means if someone tells you it cannot be done…full throttle, onward and upward.

Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,


The Least I Can Do Is Smile, for Godsake.

January 25, 2016

“I’m going to walk to the bridge. If one person smiles at me on the way, I will not jump.”-Unknown

Dr.Jerome Motto recalls a former patient, whom in the 1970’s, had jumped to his death from the Golden Gate Bridge. He left behind a suicide letter which read, “I’m going to walk to the bridge. If one person smiles at me on the way, I will not jump.” While the mental problems of this particular patient are unknown, I think that the statement is pretty impactful. I take great pleasure in the knowledge that just a smile can be so powerful. The reason for this is that often times a sincere smile is all that I have to offer. You see, I am not an overly talented person. It is a miracle that I make it out of my house with pants on in the morning (my FedEx guy knows, but this is a long embarrassing story). I am generally forgetful, and I don’t stay focused on any one thing for very long. I do not possess any one “skill” or “trade” that would set me aside from the competition. I am not athletic, and I am not overly knowledgeable in any sought after field. However….I can smile like a mutherfu*ker, and sometimes a smile and a warm hello can be as valuable as anything else.

Upon awakening at 4am this morning, I fought the usual urge to stay in the bed. With Amanda being sick, it was quite lonely getting ready to go to the gym. I always enjoy bothering her in the mornings, as she adjusts to the light and I am buzzing around with excitement. The best part of my day is early in the morning. I can be incredibly obnoxious, but it beats staying in bed until noon, while feeling sorry for myself. I have lived that life as well. I don’t like doing things alone, but I knew that there would be people at the gym to fu*k with. As I was driving to CrossFit, I started thinking about the times when I have felt like the suicide victim. I know that lonely, helpless, dogged out feeling all too well. The fact that I know this feeling is what makes my everyday so special. I do not see problems in the same light as I had previously. I have what a friend of mine referred to as “Cadillac Problems”, “Problems of Plenty”, “the kind of problems that people with real problems would have no problem having”….and today, I am FULLY aware of this. I was driving in my piece of sh*t 1998 Chevy Suburban, and thinking about how fortunate I am to have a vehicle. Not only do I have a vehicle, but to have nice roads for which to drive that vehicle. I started thinking about some bills that we have to pay for the house, and I remembered how fortunate I am to own a home. We recently had a hot water heater blow out. When the nice lady at Home Depot conveyed that she understands how frustrating that can be, we both agreed that if we didn’t have running water and a roof over our heads, we would not have to worry about hot water heaters. When you don’t have a set of tires, you don’t have problems with flats, and when you have no walls, the air conditioner is seldom broke, and when you have no food, it is never overcooked. My problems today are merely situations, which I perceive to be problems. A problem ceases to be, the moment I decide to remove the label. Often times, I will over dramatize things, but usually I can reel it back in within a reasonable amount of time, and with the help of a friend’s ear.

So today my goal is this, try to keep as many people from jumping off bridges as possible. I will maintain a positive attitude and smile at as many people as possible, while trying to not look like some sort of demented idiot. I’m going to enjoy the energy that I was given upon awakening, the energy I was given from CrossFit,the energy I receive from this blog, and the energy that is given to me simply by making an effort to be appreciative and grateful. I am going to skip the part where I concern myself with being fat, outta shape, balding, stupid, dumb, unwealthy, and unsuitable, cause that has not historically provided me with much energy at all, and it certainly doesn’t help me from keeping others from jumping off bridges. Y’all enjoy your day, cause its gonna be a good one.

Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,


I Need to Write, Errrrday


January 24, 2016


Good morning. How you doing? Good to see you. I’m glad you’re here. Yesterday morning, Amanda and I were sitting in the walk-in clinic in hopes of finding some relief for her recent affliction of cough and sinus problems. I took a moment to be grateful for not only my health, but the overall health of my family. While it sucks that Amanda is sick, we recognize that we have educated doctors with sterile facilities, and good insurance to get her well. I am so thankful for my health and the energy that I have today. While I am not a raging ball of boundless energy, I do wake up in the morning with a positive attitude and an intense curiosity of what the universe has in store for me, each and every day. Most of my life I have taken some sort of speed, or relied on some kind of synthetic to provide me with energy. Having been drug free for about four and a half years, my brain and body are FINALLY catching up and providing the energy that I need to enjoy everything that life has to offer, naturally. I have found that any of the energy that I borrow synthetically, must be paid back with interest….and that sh*t sucks. As I sat in the clinic’s waiting room, I started thinking about all the things that provide me with wholesome, healthy energy. I decided that I want to do a better job of focusing on my natural and abundant energy reserves.

My diet is one of the more obvious areas that I find energy (or lethargy). When I eat like crap, I feel like crap. I know this, but it doesn’t stop me from buying a ticket on the Sh*tfood Express. My regular sleep hours, I believe, help me tremendously. I’m generally in bed by 8:30pm, and I wake up between 4am-6am, depending on whether I go to the gym or not. Crossfit provides me with the juices I need to overcome, and actually enjoy many of the obstacles that I face on a daily basis. When I reflect on my past history, I find that most of my energy is simply based around my attitude. My optism (or pessimism) generally sets the tone for the rest of my day. So I make it a point to put a copious amount of focus into how I start my day. Waking up with the awareness that I have good friends and family who care about me, along with the faith that the day ahead is going to be unique, exciting, and provide opportunity to make other peoples lives better is where I find the sweet spot of the energy fruit. The knowledge that I had so many years of feeling so anxious, afraid, and unhappy, compared with the life I have know, which is generally relaxed, positive, and mostly fun, all was built on a foundation of an attitude adjustment. This is enough to keep me curious and excited throughout most days. Throughout all of this, I began thinking about my writing and the energy it provides. When I produce a blog post, I feel refreshed and excited, and at the same time fearful and insecure. I’m perpetually afraid of people laughing at my thoughts, and being riduculed for my stupidity, which is exaclty why I have decided to do more of it.

My intent is to begin posting a blog entry on most days, or 3-4 days per week. I want to tap into the energy source that it creates, while at the same time facing my insecuritites and fear of ridicule. One of my favorite quotes reads as follows:

“It has been my philosophy of life that difficulties vanish when faced boldly.”–Isaac Asimov

So, my experiment is to see if I can reap the rewards of writing, from the standpoint of energy and adrenaline, while at the same time conquering the feelings of inadequacy and stupidity that plague me every time I sit down to do something that provides me with equal parts happiness, fulfillment, and fear. If I continue to do this over the coming months, then I will consider my quest to be successful, otherwise I am a big fat tub of bologna (just kidding, I won’t get carried away.)

My biggest problem is believing that I need to find something deep and profound for which to write. My ego tells me that people actually invest a significant amount of time scanning line-by-line for grammatical errors and misquotes, which will arm them for when they attack me personally, publicly, and intellectually…and that is FU*KED UP (ask Amanda, she will tell noodle comes up with some weird beliefs). I want to simply write what is going on in my head, and in my day. I will use this as a period of reflection and meditation. Hopefully, it will provide me with a zen-like experience, as my friend Doug is currently practicing meditation to become a spiritual giant, and I will be damned if he experiences enlightenment before i do. In the meantime, I hope each of you enjoys your day as much as I plan to enjoy mine.

Peace, Love, and all things Beef related.