Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Carthon the Bartender.

Part 3:

“I don’t think I ever told you my name is Carthon and I have owner of this here bar since my grandpa gave it to me, near close to thirty years ago. I grew up playing darts by the pool table, learned poker in the booth near the bathrooms, and had my first beer right here at sixteen. I married my high school sweetheart Lynne and we have two sons and two daughters, Kivan, Tria, Strivian, and Elis. Youngest one is nearing adulthood already.
I grew up here and don’t see reason f’r going anywhere else. Though I heard many tales of adventure, I never wanted to seek it out myself. My idea of a filled life was never on par with those adventuring types. I felt that my bar was a home for those who didn’t have one. I even set up a cot in the back behind my bar for someone who was deemed trustworthy enough to me.
Like this one guy, I don’t know his real name, but he donned a big cowboy hat like those westerns. He seemed like a surly fellow when I first served him, he ordered cheap whisky the few times he came in. But, that first night a quarrel broke out between two fella’s and quick as a cat he threw them out without doing any serious damage to my bar or patrons. They were regulars y’see, can’t be damaging what makes my money. They apologized later… But anyway, this fellow, he was surly, but honest. I let him sleep on the cot.
I set up a second cot in there for a while, but there wasn’t enough room. I do remember once my boys wanted to spend the night there. I said no, but they snuck in anyway. Seeing them there the next morn’ put a smile to my face. Kivan and Strivian were inseparable, still are I’m sure. They did everything together. Their only difference is that Kivan liked his old man and wanted to take over the bar when I was ready to retire. Strivian, on the other hand, loved listening to the stories and wanted adventure himself.
There was one particular story he enjoyed actually. The ‘Drave the Cowboy – Demon hunter’ story I used to tell them when they were kids. I told the boys it was just a story I made up, but Strivian didn’t believe me I think. To tell the truth to ya, I found the damn story. About fifteen or so years back I walk up to my bar to open, and on the steps there was a hat, coat, a ring of guns, and an empty whisky bottle with the story.
Since this was an adventure’s tavern, I thought it’d be nice to have an adventure in my bar. I made a real nice frame and hung them up on my wall; I rolled the parchment out full and let people read. His legend sprang to life in my bar for those twelve years I had it. People claimed to have seen Drave himself, something about a legendary third or fourth revolver because he was just too quick for just two. Did my bar good through those years. I even had one person ask me if I was Drave. Crazy kids.
 One young man in particular was quite fond of my relics and story. He nearly begged me for him to give them up but I refused of course. A month he came back and offered me quite a bit of coin, but the story of Drave the Cowboy Demon Hunter was one that brought in customers, y’see, so I had to refuse him again. It was a week later they were stolen with a note, ‘The legend lives on’ In Strivian’s handwritin’.  The frame is still up there with the knife stabbed with the note. People ask me about it from time to time, but it has been so long I don’t recall what the items look like all that much.
As I’m sure you’ve come to guess, Strivian and a couple of his friends are of suspicion. Kivan, too I guess, as he disappeared around the same time, but I think that was more of an obligation to watch his brother. I don’t think they did it to hurt their old man, no, but just wanted to play cowboy hunter for real. It’s been near three years I’ve seen my boys. Tria has been asking for the ownership of the bar since Kivan has been gone so long. Says I should retire myself.
Ya know Marcus, come to think of it; it was right around the time I found you.” He scratched his brown dog behind the ear, “Thank you for listening old timer. I think Tria should get the bar too.”
                Carthon threw the ball out the bar door, his old dog sprung up like a pup and chased after it.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Pasta, Pasta, Pasta, Taco Bell, and a Beard.

This, whole, getting to 235lbs thing is difficult. So much so, that my goal has been upped to 245lbs instead of the initial 235lbs. The last week I worked out heavily my weight didn't adjust much. I am gonna happily think that I have plateaued for the moment, and my body found its mid-ground currently of fat/muscle ratio. Least that is what I tell myself. I need to remind myself that it isn't about the weight loss as much as it is fat loss. But if I am truly honest, it is because of my new damn beard.

Two weeks in

After a month

I can't stand my beard! It catches food when I don't want it to, it makes it feel like there is something constantly on my face, and overall just itchy. But it is a constant reminder that more gym is needed. It is the very promise I made myself before starting this challenge. I need to keep this until the work is done. With the 245, I only have five pounds to go. It is possible.

With my last challenge, I had this fear I was bothering people with my weekly updates of the calendar, so I lengthened the update process on Facebook to the time my calendar filled up, just a little over a month by about a week. Here it is:

Now it isn't bad, I am kinda proud of it. Every single time you see text in a box it is me working out. The only exception from that is the CLOSED on Monday, Labor day, Amanda and I went at our usual time and they had closed early. I marked it to remind myself that I truly tried.
Now, you can't tell really from this picture, but I worked out with Amanda, Jake, and Kristi, all who are big helpers in helping me get in shape. I organized them via color on the board, so I could keep track of what I was doing with who. I kinda quit on Jake with the running towards the end, just cause I wanted to focus on strength training and endurance such as hiking. I am gonna ask about joining him again in about a week or so, least for one run, just to hang out and see how things are going.

The last week is blank. I didn't work out at all. Sad, I know. On Sunday I woke up with strep throat, one of my tonsils was a good size, I'd say to a golf ball size, but that is exaggerating a little bit. I spent the better half of that week recovering. Then the last part of that week I took a mini vacation with my friend Kristi and we went to Tucson to see STOMP. We stayed the night so we weren't in a rush, despite living in Phoenix for many years she had never been to Tucson, so we drove around some and visited some places, it was fun and relaxing. I cheated on my diet quite a bit, with sweets and other foods I shouldn't be eating. Eating out mostly. I refrained from pasta though, which is a HUGE craving for me right now... Oregano's Pizza Bistro is something I purposely avoid driving near. It's like 1200 a meal with nothing but pasta and meat in a bread bowl... Not good for you, but Oh so delicious.

As I erase this month and a bit and start the second half of this challenge, I have adopted a new work out partner Monica. She made a post on Facebook saying she needed one, and after finding out she subscribes to LA Fitness, I couldn't wait to sign the dotted line as her workout partner. Hopefully I'll teach her some stuff and she'll teach me some stuff. Her boyfriend works out often and knows his shizz, so I'm hoping what he's taught her and what I can teach her mesh well.

As of right now, this is how my workouts should fall if I were to do them all in one week without fail.
Sun- Morning: Run w/ Jake
         Evening: Workout w/ Amanda
Mon- Evening: Workout w/ Amanda
Tue-  Morning: Hike w/ Kristi
         Evening: Workout w/ Monica
Wed- Evening: Workout w/ Amanda
Thu- Morning: Hike w/ Kristi
        Evening: Workout w/ Monica
Fri- Evening: Workout w/ Amanda
Sat- Morning: Run w/ Jake, Hike w/ Kristi
        Evening: Workout w/ Amanda

As my buddy Jason likes to say, BOOM! That is my schedule. Seven days a week. Now, I know I have a few concerned individuals out there who think this is a bad idea. And I appreciate the concern. But please know that my body, and your body, can handle the physical stress I have above. They are only a half hour to an hour at a time. That leaves 12 - 23 hours of recovery time. Furthermore, I do not workout every single muscle in my body every single workout. I switch between legs, back, chest, and arms. It won't be a perfect routine of things, but it will sort itself out. I take the appropriate protein shakes and vitamins to help speed the recovery along. I will also start taking certain supplements too, as soon as I find the time to find the right ones to help in my progress. And, despite all my best efforts, through my fault or not, the weeks have never gone through perfect. Life happens.

That's the biggest thing I learned about health and working out, and I guess it could be applied to life in general. Don't schedule the time, make the time. I think with school and work and doctor appointments and children's plays, we are too used to scheduling. You must adopt a different thinking to working out... I really want to get into it more, but I think that is gonna be my post next time. The "What I have learned, and you should learn too" about working out/getting in shape/healthy lifestyle more and more people seem to want to do. It isn't an easy habit to adopt. I still really struggle with it at times. And I say that tonight, at my desk, munching on a Taco Bell double-decker taco. Ugh, grease tastes so awfully good. Yup, throwing this half away now.

So... That's about it for now. I wish I had more to say, but alas, I do not. Tomorrow I am going to post part three from the Drave - Demon hunter series. It is part three of four. I hope you've enjoyed them. Please tell me if you have or haven't. I take constructive criticism and compliments well. About twenty to twenty-five people read my posts when I post them, and a few more the day after. I only hear from about one or two at a time. :)  When you are silent I assume you enjoy my writing and couldn't care less if it changes, which I hope is true. But keep in mind I like hearing people enjoy my blog. Warms my heart, fills my ego, and everything similar. It is always nice to brighten someones day.

~Just a thought

“Don’t wait for a light to appear at the end of the tunnel, stride down there and light the bloody thing yourself.”Sara Henderson

Saturday, September 8, 2012


I've decided to take some time away from talking about health and fitness and my personal life for a bit to go back to the original idea for starting this blog. People (and in this case a pet) who has changed my life for the better.

As I'm sure all, or most, of you know I have two dogs, Joey and Linux.
Though Joey is a pet, he hasn't effected me the way a first pet has like Linux (mostly because, well, he ISN'T my first pet.)

If you've read my entire blog, you know that I got pretty close to forced into getting Linux by my ex Ace. It's not that I didn't want him, it's just that I couldn't afford to take care of him with my time or money. I was already taking care of Ace and her dog Minni in a two bedroom apartment. And I was the only one with a job.

Linux's mom is a beautiful white Huskey named Izzy. She gave birth to five puppies. Two white, two black, and then Linux, who is a white pup with black splotches all over him.

I got him the moment I could, 8 weeks in, and he forever changed my life.

Now, people with pets, or just maybe dogs in general (no offense to cat lovers) will understand this next sentence, people without pets, please just nod along with all the agreers of peopel WITH their first pet. I love this dog like my child, and I would give anything up to make sure he is OK and taken care of. He isn't my soulmate, but he is definitely my counterpart. He makes sure I'm happy when I'm sad, and brings me to the ground when I've been on a high streak for too long.

He has destroyed, mangled, and dismantled more of my stuff than I probably have myself in my lifetime. Potty training alone cost a lot of money from powder carpet cleaners to professionals shampooing them.

I've been turned away from having homes because of his breed. Both Great Dane and Husky are on the "No-fly" list when it comes to apartments. They either have too much energy and/or are too big. He's probably kept me from making many bad calls though.

But I love him. And I love him more than he could ever understand. And he loves me. Unconditionally.

There was a time during the time I was living in the two bedroom apartment, Ace and I had fought. I was feeling incredibly upset, I don't even remember what it was. Linux had done something to get himself in trouble, probably trash from the trash can and I lost it, I yelled at him harshly and he cowered away into another room. Not one of my finest moments.

I go and sit on the computer. I do nothing on the computer for a good ten minutes. I calmed down and felt bad about for both the fight with Ace and yelling at Linux. I just sat there upset and ashamed. It was at that time Linux, who was sitting on the bed behind me, put his paw on my shoulder. I turn around and he looks at me... Unafraid, not mad, not upset, just there to make sure I have company. I wrapped him in a hug and laid on the bed. He laid his head on my stomach as I pet him.

There was another time much later, in a house I was renting, I got a new Xbox game and was playing it day in and day out. It was fun and friends came over and had a good time with it. I come home from work one day to find the controller chewed to bits. The bumper and trigger buttons missing. It really sucked, but that was just one of two, so I used the other one for some time. Sure enough, that one got destroyed by my wonderful pet too. I realized later that it was him trying to tell me he wanted attention, clearly I was spending too much time on my Xbox. I gotta tell you folks, I don't even remember the name of the game now.

On a similar note, I have been through many headsets for the computer. I've always packed them up, put them away, and Linux has always managed to destroy them when I get too involved with a game. One specifically, Left 4 Dead 2. MAN that game is a blast. But my buddies Aaron and John could testify, more than once I couldn't play without a headset, because Linux had gotten to it.

The thing about Linux, and most dogs I'm sure, is that he's are full of love, and that's it. I love him, he love him, plain and simple. Dogs absorb your personality, they become your companion and best friend. He is the only thing on this planet that could wake me up multiple times and I could never get mad at. (I'm literally holding back laughter right now remembering the many times he's woken me up.)

He's not the most obedient dog.
Nor the nicest.
Nor the quietest.
But he's the perfect dog.
For me.

~Just a thought.

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love.  For me they are the role model for being alive.  ~Gilda Radner

I think we are drawn to dogs because they are the uninhibited creatures we might be if we weren't certain we knew better.  They fight for honor at the first challenge, make love with no moral restraint, and they do not for all their marvelous instincts appear to know about death.  Being such wonderfully uncomplicated beings, they need us to do their worrying.  ~George Bird Evans, Troubles with Bird Dogs

One reason a dog can be such a comfort when you're feeling blue is that he doesn't try to find out why.  ~Author Unknown