Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Top Movies and A Short Story About Some Religion In An Alley







I was walking to Heinens today to grab a salad on my way out of town, headed to football.  To shave a full 10-15 seconds off my walk (sarcasm) I cut through a parking garage and a back alley.
I get there, make my salad and head back.  As I'm walking through, an older man is sitting on a step, nothing but an old bag of clothes next to him.  He starts to talk, obviously I know whats coming...
Just $1.
I knew what I had on me, I gave him everything I had.
He looked at me like I was nuts.
"Thank you... may God bless you... thank you, thank you..."
I just said "you got it man, take care," and continued to my car.
But his thank you, went through me in slow motion... I heard it, we paused, we basically spoke over each other w the "thanks," and "you got it man," because I really had to get going.
Not because I was late or in a hurry.  It's uncomfortable.  It's uncomfortable for me to walk by people who beg for $1's as I have 1, 5, 10 or whatever.  I can find a way to eat.  I can find more money.  I can find a way to make things happen.
His sincerity was what made me move along quickly.  I've never been thanked so hard, so sincere.  I've never anyone say "God bless you," like that where it got my attention.  People say things but we all say all kinds of things.
This man gave me the only thing he could.  His thanks and a blessing.
I'd pay every day for that.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Couple happy tips for things I've seen

Since its titled "observing bystander," here's a few observations on stress reduction and overall happiness that have worked for me a few others I know.

1)  Exercise - Clearly, these blogs arent actually fitness based, but this is #1 on my list.  I've always broken through mental blocks or emotional sludge when I'm consistent in exercise.  Whether running or yoga or kettle bells, anything to get the heart rate up and breath a bit labored, this will do the trick.  Weights can work as well, but I prefer a style that cranks up the entire body.
When you workout, the more intense the better (and "intense," is relative), your brain releases endorphins, which is a natural pain killer and creates a natural high.  Obviously, this feels good and you want more.
How to get it?
Exercise more.  Once in a routine and addicted to those natural body highs, you'll feel better, become more productive and think more clearly.  What was once "too much to handle," will be handled.
30 minutes per day can do the trick IF you're using your time wisely.

2)  Service - Do something for someone else.  Bitter-sweet for me, but this one has landed me in some tough spots financially.  I have a hard time not giving away what I do, or doing it at a great discount.  A huge part of me feels "It's my service," and it bothers me I haven't found a way to do it for free yet (remember why I closed the yoga room?)
But their are other things we can be doing, coaching is big for me.  I do feel it serves the purpose.  I explained it yesterday to someone as "an extension of the class room."  Those who know me well, have an idea what that can mean and the things that come up.

3)  Be nice.

  • Smile at people.
  • Hold doors.
  • Park in the back: Don't drive around for 10 minutes trying to maneuver for a close parking spot.
  • Be a good tipper.
  • Be a great giver.
  • Listen to people. 
  • Surprise someone.
  • Let someone into traffic when they have their blinker on.
  • Ask them how their day is going. 
  • Be polite. 
  • If you're having a shitty day, don't pass it to someone else.

4)  Save time for yourself - HUGE.  If you dont have time for yourself and the things you actually enjoy to do (exercise, hobbies, quiet time, a movie, etc), you will definitely feel the stress of it and it will effect you greatly.

5)  Have an experience.

  • vacation more
  • float tank often
  • do something you've never done
  • Explore conversations
  • Explore your own consciousness... theres more at play than what you see.  
  • meditate
  • dive into a different culture
  • sign up for a class
  • work on yourself
  • do what you can to alter your perspective.. .I've found many answers here.  

Thats all I can think of for now.  

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Night Driving (1)

I have a playlist I enjoy when driving home at night after work or a practice.
So I hit shuffle and these were the first 5.

One of the top 5 nastiest guitarists ever.  This thing is mesmerizing. 

First song I could ever (sort of) play. 

As I've gotten older, Dylan has really grown on me.
A musical genius.
I try to listen to him a few times per week to help keep balance.

I could listen to this voice every day.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Just a day...

I spend a good amount of time downtown now, about 20 hours per week, 40+ starting next week.  It's an atmosphere I always wanted.  I enjoy the movement, I like the activity of the city, and the overall vibe.
Once every week or so, wherever I have coffee or lunch, I'll buy a $5 or maybe $10 gift card.
I'll keep it in my pocket for the next day because that's when I usually see someone sleeping on a bench or curb with no shoes.
Make eye contact and they'll ask for help.  If you have "help," give it.

I've always been torn to share stories like this but I've done it my entire life.  I used to come downtown and get cash just for this reason and keep bills in every pocket.  I don't have much money so it was usually $2-$3 or so but over the course of an evening, it could be $10-$20.

I've always given away anything extra I've had.  Time, money, energy... If I have it, I'll give it away.
I hope you do the same.

(Btw, gift cards over $$ because they cant buy cigarettes or beer with a gift card to a smoothy shop. Someone said "Arent you being a dick by not buying them what they want?"  My answer was "tough shit.  I'll help make you better, not worse.")


My daughter calls me, leaves a VM, sounds pretty urgent.
Now, urgent to my 12 year old could easily mean she needs a ride to sleep over in 6 weeks, so I'm not panicked or worked up.  Yet.
I call and she has a story for me.
"Dad, I need to talk to you about something.  I have a friend, she's gay.  Today at school, someone left a note and it said really bad things."
Like what?  Can you say it?
"It said a lot of bad words like B and stuff, and said God hates you.  What should we do?  My friend is really shy and scared and doesn't want to tell the teacher.  She's afraid she'll get in trouble or she'll get more notes."

Pause the story.  I think I've always been pretty sensitive to bullying and such, plus having two girls and training those Eastside girls all those years, I can see the math in this really fast.  A young girl afraid to do the right thing, in fear of retaliation... this can lead to major, major issues down the line.

I ask "What do you want to do?  What do you think you should do?"
She says "I think we should stick up for her, tell the teacher and principal."
I agree and then tell her to call me if needed, "I will visit the school to talk to the principal."
(Bet your ass, I'll be calling this afternoon).

(This is the part where I start pounding away with my stumpy pointer fingers and lets go straight for the fastball)
"God hates you."
I don't know what makes this more sad.
A) The fact that there's a little piece of shit kid out there writing things like that.
B) This little hillbilly has no future because their parents are backwards ass rednecks and unless receives proper "reprogramming," soon, will probably spread their horrible genes at some point and create more backwards ass rednecks (because "rednecks," and their thoughts are a disease)
C) My daughter, at 12, has to deal with worthless losers like this.

Do some religions exist that preach this?
If you belong to one and reading this, fuck you and delete my number.  If you think there is a debate here... that would be so fun for me.  I take back the "delete my number," part, please call to debate.
Ever see that dumbass deer sticking his skinny face in the river, thinking its all good and then the croc appears and takes it all away?  That's exactly how this debate would go (hint: you're the deer).

Irony is, a couple years ago, I didn't really have much faith in the future or humans.  Is that a weird way of wording it?
Try this, step back and watch a few humans like you're not one.  Watch the news.  Watch people interact in large crowds.  Do they look advanced or civilized?  You watched the debate, this is our best and brightest?  Oh no?  Then where are they hiding?

But I've seen some light recently.  A nice batch of young guys coming along that may be able to keep this thing moving fwd... we'll see.


QB for the 49ers protests the National Anthem to shine brighter light on a major issue.
Some of you and some media respond with "Look at this guy!  the system that created him, he's now blasting!  If not for the system, he'd still be...." and on and on.
Or it was "Look at this millionaire protesting vets and disrespecting the country!"
Things like that.  I've read countless posts/tweets and heard news bashing him for it.

Obviously, this is very short sighted, and white vision.
Obviously, this a race issue and when a guy like Kaepernick stands up... wait a sec... black athletes dont stand up anymore.
And why not?
Lets ask MJ.  "Mj, why dont black athletes protest social/racial injustices anymore?"
MJ would say "Want to see my Nike check?"
Muhammad Ali is dead and that was one more monstrous nail in the coffin I've been ranting against for a couple years.
Guys with balls are dying and it's becoming a soft, bullshit society.

Keapernick isn't protesting against the National Anthem, he's protesting against police brutality and the number of shootings by police officers against black people.  The kneeling on that song is a tool to spark conversation.  That's it.
I see the kneeling and I see it as the light needed to get it going and more people should be having that conversation, not the "F Kaepernick," conversation.

Think.  Be fair and logical.   Have empathy and imagination. Im not not black, I'm white, so I cant relate, right?  But I can certainly imagine what it would be like to be in a particular spot and treated a particular way because of how I look and its bullshit.
Would you want your daughters, wife, brother, parents treated harshly because of anything along the lines of prejudice or racism?
Then why would you allow it to someone else?

We're just advanced animals 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Work ethic is dead and accountability is on the endangered species list.

(Potty mouth here)

You probably know I coach high school football.
We dont need to talk much about the actual coaching or football, just that I coach a position on the field and work with about 12 guys for that spot, plus oversee the defense which is 1/3 of the team (offense, defense, special teams).
Bypassing all the football chatter, we'll skip right to other stuff, the good stuff, motivating and getting the most of the guys.  By far, the fun part of it for me.
Fun because I'm surrounded by great coaches and really great young men, who all want a solid dose of greatness.  Not a sip, not the appetizer, they're hungry for greatness.  I get there, we get together and you can just feel it and its a drug.
But there have been moments, had one last week, where things were sticky.  Gears werent firing, focus was spotty, energy was low.
I pulled them in as a unit and said "eye contact, right now, look at me.  Erase everything that just happened.  It starts now.  Pick one thing to go out there and be great at.  Just one, go get it."
And they flipped a switch and elevated their play.
Simple.  Momentum had them in a direction, with a mental adjustment, it changed.

It's something I say to end nearly all meetings, "get 1% better today."  That's the goal.  After 30 days of 1% improvement... do the math.

But I'm pissed tonight.
I posted something a little aggressive on the business page but I really don't care.
How many adults do you know who actually give a shit to be 1% better, ever?
What is the f'n problem where people think "I go to work," and just cash in the rest of the day, like "I did my job," was all they actually needed to do?   It's such a gross, weird, bizarre mindset to me.
I have people who text me "Wheres boot?" or inquire about training... and they vanish...
They ask for free shit or discounts or "text me a workout," and they never actually appear.

For me, its like walking behind a cigarette smoker, i cant afford to breathe that air.

I am hard on myself, for everything.  I may fail, I may suck at something, I might be wrong about things, but I will never, ever be lazy.  Ever.  I will never ever stop working to improve.  Something, anything.
I know people who are sick and wont change their habits.
I know people who blab about their goals but dont do a damn thing to achieve them.
I offered jobs to two people... good jobs, good money... they have no resume and currently working for shit and I offered them an opportunity to build the resume, get the experience, work their way up... "Its not in my degree," and "It's not enough money," were the rejections I heard.  I said fine.  You basically wash f'n cars with your degree, good luck.
There is a very shitty, lazy ass generation coming along and very lazy culture brewing.
We'd rather f around for hours on our phones and bitch about the money we don't have, the job that didn't just magically fly to us, the results we didn't achieve by sitting on the f'n couch. 

I know people who are nearly broke, but won't get a second job.
I know people w disease, and they won't heal themselves. 
I know people who complain and bitch about their own circumstances, their own lives, but won't do one single thing to actually progress or improve themselves. 
How can this be??

I used to have so much empathy and sympathy, I now think too much.  Sometimes the kiddie gloves have to come off, the sweet words have to fade and you have to be honest, brutally honest w yourself and your habits.

Work ethic is dead and accountability is on the endangered species list.


If you read this and thought "F you asshole!" notice, that's how you read it.
If you thought angry towards me, you read it with guilt.   You read it to yourself, I didnt write it to you.
So maybe you need to do some thinking.


Think I'm full of shit?  I fired two paying clients this week because I was sick of their dumb-ass excuses.  I lost money because I couldn't take hearing their excuses anymore.

Which is crazier:
You wasting your money?
Or me telling you to keep it and go home?


You know how most blogs I'll write "Hey, im talking to myself here too!"
Not this one.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Broken Monkeys

I've had a bit of alone time recently, and don't read between the lines on it, but it's needed.  I realized how much value their is in silence.  Obviously, a handful of jokes can be made when a wife and pup leave the husband alone for a couple days, and clearly my opening sentence could get me into some trouble... but she also knows I'm a tad strange and that this is probably (hopefully) headed somewhere.
Being alone, for me, is extremely meditative.  I rarely turn on the television, and if I do, I search for things I dont usually watch, like the news (more on that in a moment).  I was alone and busted out a very chunky to do list, and filled it with things that A) needed done and B) a few things I didnt actually know I could do.  So I adjusted my perspective on it and said to myself, yes I talk to myself when alone, I told myself to look at the lawn mower like its a puzzle.  I have a riding mower and it crapped out on me about 4 weeks ago.  So my yard looked pretty much like a pasture with no animals.
I found a part I felt could be needed, a PTO cable that attaches from the rear right fender and wraps around the back of the seat and down into the actual blade deck.  Look how smart I am explaining that to you!  Except I never knew those words or what a PTO cable was 48 hours ago.  I knew where it insert and where it finished... thats it.  So piece by piece, I started taking the mower apart, carefully keeping all nuts and bolts and other crooked little pieces of medal together hoping I'd remember where they go when the time came to reassemble.
First I removed the blade deck... didnt even know it could come off.  I thought "this is it, all done."
Nope.  I then had to remove the seat and battery compartment so I could reach the "shifter-thingy," where the other end of the cable attached.  Good thing I've been working some yoga in, because I was basically playing a game of twister, mounting the rear end of my mower with hands and wrists contorted into holes my meaty hands were much too large for.
Fast fwd to the end... mission accomplished, about two hours.  Now that I know, its maybe a 30 minute job.
All throughout though, I'd run into a speed bump and for a moment, I'd freak out.  I'd want to quit, I'd swear, I'd "curse my ass for being dumb."  But then I'd think - It's already broken, whats the worst thing that could happen? and get back to it.
I found a little Zen there.


So I'm on my mower, listening to a freaking stellar podcast (for gods sake hit the link, go sit on a back porch a hush for a bit.   If you're reading this in a newsletter, you probably dont see all my hyper links inserted throughout, but copy/paste this http://observingbystander.blogspot.com/ and there it is).
So Joe and Russell and really ranting, one of my top 3 podcasts ever, and Joe always turns his aims towards these primal, animistic urges that he feels we suppress, and I 100% agree.  Actually a lot of podcasts lately have been along these same lines, not sure if I'm finding them or theyre finding me.  But someone was talking about animals, either Russell, Joe or Aubrey, and they asked "ever see a bear give a shit what he looks like?"  and Joe said "we're just broken monkeys."  I laughed and played it back.  Paraphrasing but he said we all want simplicity and happiness and to have community and be useful, but we cluttered it up, just a bunch of broken monkeys.
Isnt that the truth?
Then for some crazy reason, I turn on the TV for breakfast and decide to watch some news.  I never, NEVER watch the news.  I am very receptive to anything that enters my ears, to a fault.  If I'm near negative people, my energy goes down the dumps.  If I hear any gossip or people just talking trash on people, really messes w my psyche.  So I avoid the news.  But I'm thinking I'm on a roll here, very zen couple days for me, lets give it a go.  And there's an interview with Mark Rubio (I think thats his name) and he's talking about Trump and Hillary and the UK and global economy and fingers on war buttons and border patrol and on and on and on.
And I'm sitting here feeling like I just landed from outer space.  What in the shit is this guy babbling about?  Oh, this is real life?!?  This is the crap that's taken over the world?
Broken monkeys.
I'm watching this guy, and he didnt bother me, what bothered me was the game we've all enrolled in at birth.
This is a very silly situation with some wild ass rules and psychotic people running it.  I mean really, sit back for a moment and try to watch some news with fresh eyes.  Watch the news like a child (haha i just compared myself to a kid) or like an alien.  Doesn't the entire thing look nuts?  There's a battle and struggle for control and power and money... but if there was no need for control or power and money... what would we be fighting about??
So why not pull the root of the weed out at the root and go back to where we were?


I took my oldest out for breakfast the other day and we're talking about a bit of everything.  For fun, I bring some work/training talk and a little thought Im having but trying to push it away, maybe a bit of fear.  She says "why not do it?"  I say Abby, it isnt that easy.  She says "why sure it is!  We learn this (business) in school, first you do ____ and then ____ and you need ____ and thats it."  I smiled at first and asked more questions, letting her teach me about business and plans, but then it hit me.
She just saw it through the eyes of a kid.
Which meant she saw it as success and without fear.
A view I've had troubles finding lately.
And she re-sparked something inside me.
Poor broken monkey.


I'm at the grocery store and I hear a man say "hey its the workout guy!"  I'm wearing a tank top, the face and beard may change but the tattoos arent "I'd recognize you anywhere!"  Hey buddy, whats up? Good to see you.
I used to train his daughters a few years ago.  He asks me why I left and shut down and stopped training there and the whole thing and I always give the standard answer "just time to move along and do something different," never telling the truth.  He says "ah man, you've been missed (and I'm thinking - time to go) "everyone knows you had those kids on a mission.  The coaches are ok and all, but you're 'umph' was needed."

Literally two days later, I'm walking through the mall and see a few former clients, now HS athletes.  We go through "hey, whats up?  How ya doin?" and all that and I'm trying to scoot along because Im a socially awkward weirdo and a girl says "give us a speech," and I laugh.  "No, seriously, we miss those speeches you'd end workouts with."  And now, I'm thinking A) she's kinda bringing up something tough for me and B) guuurl, you dont want to me tear up a pep talk right here! (wink)
I say "i'll stop one day," and laugh and bust out.

So these two stories, and its happened before, definitely hit me.  You know how you have that song or maybe a number and you keep seeing it or hearing it and you eventually start to think maybe somethings going on?  Like "man, i keep seeing 1037, i better play that lotto number!"  thats kinda what I'm feeling.  x conversations have come up drawing me in a direction and I may have to investigate whats over there. (no, not 8100).

alright two more thoughts

I have this stone with a weird on it "create."
It's just a weird that's always in my head and the stone is just a physical form, a little reminder, a little something to keep it present.  
I ask myself "what am I creating?"  
What kind of atmosphere?
What kind of life?
What kind of memory?
What type of thoughts?
And I took it a step deeper and thought about our energy and what we create with that.  How would our energy create an atmosphere or a relationship or even just a brief encounter?
SO just ask yourself, I think it'll help set the mind right for the day or night, "what am I creating?" and challenge it a little.  Poke it and pull at it.  Are you creating a healthy state of mind?  A loving heart?  Or are you creating stress and pain?  Either way, just witness yourself.  Like what you see?  Continue.  Dont?  Work to change.


I heard Aubrey say "Everything is medicine," and talk about an exercise where they would have to say "this is washing dishes medicine," and "this is clean shirt medicine," or "this is exercise medicine."  And the point to it was to feel and witness how you felt when you looked at everything as medicine.  The science or theory behind it (one of those) is that everything actually is medicine.
Everything you say or do or watch or hear, its all medicine and it has an effect on your brain chemicals.  
Disagree?  Think of your favorite song... how does it change your behavior?
Think of a very sad song... did it have the same effect?
Think of someone you absolutely love spending time with... how does it change your behavior or perspective.
Now think of someone that you feel causes you pain or stress.... Now how do you feel?
A nice drive on a Sunday with nothing to do, listening to great music, windows down, youd feel great, right?
That was "Sunday with nothing to do, listening to great music, windows down," medicine.  
Hopefully just a couple tricks to help you out.

One more, yesterday was "Build a badass table!" medicine!!
And I can build you one as well!  
Hand-made Farmhouse table, delivered for $500!
(seriously though, I freaking love making these)

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Yellow Moon (Yoga chatter and a whiff of...)

Nooooo, no, no, I cant write about some boring fitness crap.  If you have a question, text me.


Life can get a little... weird, might be the word, when this nut case is in your ear 80% of your alone time.

Somehow you dive quickly into odd ball conversations you may not normally and you say things "normal," people dont quite say and you find a way to say it a super weird way, but when it wraps up you go, "Oh wow, I like it like that."


I was talking to someone in the gym, a very non-yoga gym, in the traditional sense and I recommended they give some yoga a good 3 month commitment and see whats up.  They said "maybe, i think about it here n there."
Working to open them up a tad, I said "Yoga for me can be like that closet of things you kinda forgot you had, but never wanted to throw away and you walk and go "ho-ly shit!  Where did you all go?  I've been looking for you!" and they say "Hey ass, we were always right here, you're the one that left," and you find a wave to tap back into that youthful innocence and truth."


You read about Paula in the last blog?
Stopped in to get my salad and asked her whats new.  She's doing well.  Very calm lady.  Said she's still working for 30 minutes of yoga every day, she tries to start the day with it and often hits a bit after work.  I asked her how she feels about it.  She said "I live alone, but I dont feel alone anymore."  Paula, lets not try to make the big guy cry when the suns up.  k?  


Have you checked out the site or videos?  I like whats happening there, check it out and give me some feedback.


So its getting hot out.
And footbball is brewing.,
And I've been really attacking weights.
And listening to a buttload (or is it boat load?) of Pearl Jam.
So the minds in hyper drive.
And I like it.
Thinking about goals again... honestly, life has been such a tornado of chaos, they've drifted far from thoughts.  I actually found myself avoiding things I like because they were reminders of my goals, which I was trying to ignore (what a circle - Pearl Jam playing right now, havent listened to them in a really long time and now its like a new band again and these songs are pounding away.  I could listen to yellow moon and write about anything all night).  
So with some thoughts floating around, conversations have found me and its kinda been like a scene in the movie where the character hears something come from a random stock boy or guy at a gas station and the character looks around like "are you talking to me?"  and the other guy doesn't even speak English, but you swore he said something right to you? (hows that for run-on sentence?) 
Like Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams... "If you build it..."


"If you teach it..."

(story time)

One guy said: Hey, you know that thing you say dream about? The thing you doodle and write and draw? Want to do it?
Other guy said: Nooooo no no
Guy says: why?
Other guy: no
Guy: Why?
Other guy: Just not a good idea anymore
Guy: Then why do you still dream about it?
Other guy: I don't know
Guy: Why not try again?
Other guy: Not the same, too much risk now.
Guy: You're afraid of failure?
Other guy: Guess so... Failure now isn't the same as failure back then.
Guy: But what if you KNEW you wouldn't fail? What if you had the support and everything else you think you need? What if you KNEW it would "win?" Would you go for it?


When I write and use (example) in the middle, do you read that as me mumbling or talking a little under my breath?

Here, listen to this pretty song one night, one I cant get enough of right now.