Brian's Notes

Thoughts on Stuff and Junk

Navy SEAL BUD/S Prep Workout

I’m not sure where I found this, or how long I’ve had it but here is a breakdown of a recommended workout a hopeful Navy SEAL should go through in the weeks leading up to BUD/S training. Since I can’t remember where I found it I can’t vouch for it’s authenticity, but it seems plenty brutal. :)

Are you fit enough?

First 9 Weeks:

Week 1

  • Running: 2 miles, 8:30 pace, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Pushups: 4 sets of 15 pushups, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Situps: 4 sets of 20 situps, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Pullups: 3 sets of 3 pullups, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Swimming: Swim continuously for 15 min. 4-5 days/week

Week 2

  • Running: 2 miles, 8:30 pace, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Pushups: 5 sets of 20 pushups, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Situps: 5 sets of 20 situps, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Pullups: 3 sets of 3 pullups, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Swimming: Swim continuously for 15 min. 4-5 days/week

Week 3

  • Running: No running
  • Pushups: 5 sets of 25 pushups, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Situps: 5 sets of 25 situps, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Pullups: 3 sets of 4 pullups, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Swimming: Swim continuously for 20 min. 4-5 days/week

Week 4

  • Running: 3 miles, 8:30 pace, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Pushups: 5 sets of 25 pushups, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Situps: 5 sets of 25 situps, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Pullups: 3 sets of 4 pullups, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Swimming: Swim continuously for 20 min. 4-5 days/week

Weeks 5-6

  • Running: 2 / 3 / 4 / 2 miles, Mo/Tu/We/Fr
  • Pushups: 6 sets of 25 pushups, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Situps: 6 sets of 25 situps, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Pullups: 2 sets of 8 pullups, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Swimming: Swim continuously for 25 min. 4-5 days/week

Weeks 7-8

  • Running: 4 / 4 / 5 / 3 miles, Mo/Tu/We/Fr
  • Pushups: 6 sets of 30 pushups, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Situps: 6 sets of 30 situps, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Pullups: 2 sets of 10 pullups, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Swimming: Swim continuously for 30 min. 4-5 days/week

Week 9

  • Running: 4 / 4 / 5 / 3 miles, Mo/Tu/We/Fr
  • Pushups: 6 sets of 30 pushups, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Situps: 6 sets of 30 situps, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Pullups: 3 sets of 10 pullups, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Swimming: Swim continuously for 35 min. 4-5 days/week

Second 9 weeks:

Week 1 & 2

  • Running: 3 / 5 / 4 / 5 / 2 miles, Mo/Tu/We/Fr/Sa
  • Pushups: 6 sets of 30 pushups, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Situps: 6 sets of 35 situps, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Pullups: 3 sets of 10 pullups, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Dips: 3 sets of 20 dips, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Swimming: Swim continuously for 35 min. 4-5 days/week

Weeks 3-4

  • Running: 4 / 5 / 6 / 4 / 3 miles, Mo/Tu/We/Fr/Sa
  • Pushups: 10 sets of 20 pushups, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Situps: 10 sets of 25 situps, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Pullups: 4 sets of 10 pullups, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Dips: 10 sets of 15 dips, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Swimming: Swim continuously for 45 min. 4-5 days/week

Week 5

  • Running: 5 / 5 / 6 / 4 / 4 miles, Mo/Tu/We/Fr/Sa
  • Pushups: 15 sets of 20 pushups, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Situps: 15 sets of 25 situps, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Pullups: 4 sets of 12 pullups, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Dips: 15 sets of 15 dips, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Swimming: Swim continuously for 60 min. 4-5 days/week

Week 6 & Beyond

  • Running: 5 / 6 / 6 / 6 / 4 miles, Mo/Tu/We/Fr/Sa
  • Pushups: 20 sets of 20 pushups, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Situps: 20 sets of 25 situps, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Pullups: 5 sets of 12 pullups, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Dips: 20 sets of 15 dips, Mon/Wed/Fri
  • Swimming: Swim continuously for 75 min. 4-5 days/week

Budo Lifestyle

Budo: the martial way, the warrior’s way.

  • Budo is not being afraid of action.
  • Budo is looking into the face of fear.
  • Budo is protecting yourself and others.
  • Budo is honor.
  • Budo evolves.
  • Budo… is a lifestyle.

My path didn’t lead me into the military or law enforcement. I didn’t become some high-speed Navy SEAL or an elite SWAT operator. That’s not to say I couldn’t, just that at the time those choices would’ve been made, I was focused on other things and other careers.

However, my path did lead me into martial arts. Even though as a kid I spent equal time playing commando as I did “learning” karate off a VHS tape, it was the latter I chose to focus on and study. Now nearly 20 years since my first official martial arts class I’m still happy with my selection.

Although, there are days (I’m now twice the age) where I wish I would’ve selected the military or law enforcement as my path. Sometimes I think that my life would feel more rewarding or fulfilling if I had… but, that choice has long since passed and there’s no going back. So, I focus on what I’ve accomplished thus far and move forward on my budo path.

I’ve studied and practiced kung fu, chi kung, tai chi, aikido, and kenjutsu. That encompasses broad swords, straight swords, 6 ft. & 4 ft. staffs, spears, Japanese swords and knives. Also, hand strikes (various types), kicks, knees, elbow strikes, head butting, grabs, locks, chokes, sweeps and throws. And now I’m moving into guns, starting with pistols.

I’d say that’s a decent start on my budo path, what have you done to live the Budo Lifestyle?

Range Time With Glock and Ruger

In the never ending (it seems) search for my first handgun I spent some range time with a couple more full-frame semi-autos yesterday. Since I’m a pistol n00b I want to try something from each of the major brands to get a feel for what they offer and sort of find my own style and taste. Plus, it’s just fun to do! :)

So far these are the guns I’ve tested:

  1. S&W M&P9 (9mm)
  2. Springfield XDM (9mm)
  3. Sig Sauer P226 (S&W .40)
  4. Glock 17 (9mm)
  5. Ruger SR9 (9mm)

In yesterday’s range time I shot the Glock and the Ruger, two of the most well known brands. We shot a box and a half worth of rounds between the two of them at roughly 7 yards range. That’s not a ton of shooting, but hey, paying for range time for two people, two rentals, and two boxes of 9mm isn’t cheap.

Ruger SR9

  • Length: 7.55"
  • Height: 5.52"
  • Width: 1.27"
  • Barrel Length: 4.14"
  • Capacity: 17+1
  • Weight: 26.5 oz.
  • Trigger: 6.7 lbs.

Glock 17

  • Length: 8.03"
  • Height: 5.43"
  • Width: 1.18"
  • Barrel Length: 4.49"
  • Capacity: 17+1
  • Weight: 22.22 oz.
  • Trigger: 5.5 lbs.

Personally, I liked the Glock more so than the Ruger. I was able to pick it right up and shoot decent groups at 7 yards. It also felt more “solid” than the Ruger. While handling the Ruger in slide-lock it felt “sloppy” and “clanky”, whereas the Glock had a “solid” and “quiet” feeling. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the Ruger, but just preferred the Glock feeling, in my hand and while shooting. It also felt like it had less recoil than the Ruger. That being said, my wife preferred the Ruger much more than the Glock. She has small hands and I think the grip on the Glock was a bit too wide for her to effectively manage.

As of this date my front runners are the Glock and the S&W M&P9. Frankly, I’ve liked them all. But for the overall feel and value, those two seem like the leaders.

What’s your opinion? Any other brands I should focus on? Two others that come to my mind is Walther and CZ.

Airport Zombie

Friday, January 20th, 2012 at 9AM started the worst traveling experience I’ve ever had.

Have you ever had to sleep in an airport? I’d never had the pleasure until just recently…

You see, my employer is based in Memphis Tennessee, and with me living in the Great White North of Michigan I travel down south at least a couple times a year. I’ve been traveling down there for the last, almost, 3 years without too many problems. Maybe a delay here or there, but nothing significant.

Until the aforementioned January 20th of 2012 when I was heading back home.

Earlier that day my boss asked me if I had seen the weather in Chicago, where I’d be making my connection flight to Grand Rapids from O'Hare International. He mentioned that they’d be having a few inches of snow and wondered if I wanted to try to get an earlier flight out to beat the storm. Me, being a Michigander, laughed at the “few inches of snow” and figured Chicago would be more than capable of handling it and my flight would not be a problem.

I left for the airport at 9AM to drop off my rental, get my tickets, get through security, and find my gate. All happened without incident and by 10:40AM the pilot had the bird in the air and I was happily heading home, byway of Chicago, and these “few inches of snow”.

At around 12:30PM the pilot notifies us of our arrival and that weather in Chicago was a bit rough but we’d be landing shortly. Since my connection flight to Grand Rapids wasn’t boarding until 2:00PM it was going to be a lazy, comfortable stroll to my gate, stopping for some lunch along the way. The flight from Chicago to Grand Rapids takes about 45 minutes so within a few hours I was going to be home, where I could rest up from traveling, catch up with my wife since I’d been gone for a week, and prep for my Land Navigation and Orienteering course that was happening on the 21st.

We landed, I grabbed a bite, and found my new gate and located a seat. While I sat there watching the news I also watched as passengers were being boarded on planes only to be de-boarded 30 minutes later. The weather was getting worse and they were delaying more and more flights due to visibility. This was a bit disconcerting. I did not like the pattern I was seeing.

After a, surprise, gate change, 2:00 was getting close. I kept watching the monitors at the new gate for any signs of delay. And, delay it did, first to 2:30 then to 3:00, then 3:20, and 3:50, and 4:00, and then 4:30… things were getting worrisome. During that time a man sat down across from me that looked very familiar. And after a little bit I had remembered where I met him, he was my instructor in a pistol class I took about a year ago. After introducing myself and confirming that it was indeed him, I found out he was on his way back from the Las Vegas SHOT Show event and on stand-by from another flight that had been cancelled. Pleasant. Well, 5:00PM came and went with no boarding and soon after the monitor at the gate said my flight was cancelled. Oh joy.

I got up and headed to the customer service counter where they gave me a wait list ticket for a 9:00PM flight. Yes! Another 4 hours I get to say at the airport! Since I had a lot of time on my hands I kind of wandered over to my new gate so I could scope out the area and find a place to kick back.

It was then that I started to wonder “What happens if I’m not given a seat on this flight? How will I get home?” Time to take action and be prepared. So, I headed up to the service counter at the gate to figure this out. See, Grand Rapids is only 3.5 hours of driving time away from Chicago, I could just rent a car one-way and drive myself home, so I wanted to know what my chances of making the flight were. Apparently not good. There were 50+ people on stand-by waiting for a flight on a plane that only seated roughly 50 people! The nice lady at the counter told me of a 1PM flight to Lansing THE NEXT DAY where I could put a hold on a seat, just in case. Lansing gets me closer to home, but it’s still a 1.5 hour drive home (making it a 3 hour trip for my wife). I told her I was going to find out about renting a car first, but that I may be back to do just that.

Cell reception wasn’t very good at that gate so I walked out into the concourse to get a better signal and call some car rental places. Since this was after 5PM on a Friday, not many were open, and those that were, were either sold out or were not doing one-way rentals for that weekend. Great. It’s either win the lottery and make the 9PM flight or sleep at the airport and catch the 1PM tomorrow. Sigh.

Missing the 9PM flight also meant I would miss the training event I had been looking forward to (and had already paid for) on the 21st. Double sigh.

I quickly got back to the gate, asked about the 1PM ticket and they hooked me up. At least I had a way home. Now, it was just wait to see if I was one of the lucky ones that got a seat on the 9PM flight.

A couple hours pass. And then another gate change. I can’t stand gate changes since it always feels like there is a chance for miscommunication and a missed flight as a result. So, I head to the new gate where I inquire about the flight change (since they had no confirmation of my flight number up anywhere). The guy at the gate looks at my wait list ticket and says “That’s not a boarding pass, you need a boarding pass.” Me, “I know, can you get me one?” Him, “Sure, one second”… Seriously?? Yes! Things are looking up! He goes over to the desk punches a few keys, walks back over and hands me a genuine boarding pass for the 9PM flight! BAM! Elated I walk over to grab a seat and text my wife of what I had in my hot-little-hands… we were overjoyed.

While sitting in my moment of sunshine I started to look in awe at my awesome little ticket home. That’s when I saw it, the ticket had someone else’s name on it. Oh no. Now, I’ve never been on stand-by before so I didn’t know if that’s just how they do it, maybe they give you a ticket from an earlier cancelation. You know, kind of shuffling the open seats. Back up to the service desk I go. This time I got someone else and I laid it all out to them, showed them everything I had. Yup, wrong ticket. Seems the person who originally gave me the wait list ticket, 3 hours ago, had screwed up and issued it for a confirmed passenger and not me. UGH!

Another gate change. This is starting to become frustrating, to say the least, and I’m starting to get a bit raw. Off I go to that gate.

Nothing like sitting around at a gate with a hundred people waiting to get on a flight that only seats 50. It’s tense, you can feel it. 9PM rolls by and no boarding call, they haven’t even started calling names off the stand-by list. 9:30PM, nothing. When is this going to end? At this point I just want them to get on with it so I can hear, once and for all, that I’ll be curling up on a bench (if I’m lucky) to wait out the night. 10PM comes and they finally start calling names. They pick, 10, maybe 12, lucky souls that get to leave this wretched place. Boarding starts at around 10:30PM and the gate people are telling the unchosen ones to wait it out because they always have a few empty seats that haven’t been accounted for. Which they did, and about 5 more people win the lottery, unfortunately none were me.

I sit there, in utter disappointment, as I watch them close the gate and all chance of me getting home that night. I felt like Chewy in “The Empire Strikes Back” when the doors close leaving Han and Luke out in the cold of Hoth.

What do I do? Being one who doesn’t give up so easily I headed back to the customer service counter to see if they could find an earlier flight to Grand Rapids. Oh man, that was a long line, filled with very irritated, tired and weary people. I fit in perfectly. After waiting what felt like forever I finally get to the front of the line. I wasn’t there for more that 5 minutes and a guy taps my shoulder and asks me to follow him to another service counter. Nice. Getting somewhere. He brings me to another nice lady where I spill out my wonderful travel day’s events, she seemed genuinely sad for me. Aww. A few clicks on her keys and sure enough, a direct flight to Grand Rapids at 10:30AM the next morning! After a few more clicks I had, in my hands, a real boarding pass to the flight that was going to take me home. I even confirmed it with her, two times. While she was clicking away on her computer I had asked her about if the airport offered cots to the stranded passengers, her response was “That’s a good question” and never said any more. I thought that was an odd response but was too tired and excited about my ticket to push it any further.

"Dinner was served"

Happy that I had found an earlier flight I resigned myself to my fate and went looking for someplace to get some dinner and have a beer. It was now past 11PM and, everything was closed! Are you kidding me?! One Starbucks, out of the many at the airport, was open. I think it stayed open mostly to serve the overnight airport staff. For $15 I had a sandwich, a banana, and a coffee. Dinner was served.

With my belly full, sans a tasty brew, and figuring sleep wasn’t really going to be an option, I went off exploring the airport. Being very tired from traveling all day I noticed I had developed a stumbling, lumbering gate. It reminded me of how a zombie walks. Looking at the other stranded people I noticed they were all doing the same thing, lumbering around aimlessly. I coined us all the “Airport Zombies”.

![]](/images/uploads/IMG_0332-150x150.jpg “While exploring…”)

While exploring I found a “charging chair” where you could plug in your phone and/or laptop to top off the battery. Since this had been a problem all day I decided to stop to charge my phone, and rest my legs. I sat there for a while, waiting for my phone to charge and watching the zombies stumble by. It was getting close to midnight and they started playing some recording over the intercom about only ticketed passengers were allowed in the concourse after midnight and anyone found without a ticket would be escorted out. I’m thinking “Seriously, you’re going to send security out to shake down everyone here that’s trying to sleep?” I would have been just a tad upset if some security guard came by and woke me up out of my, lucky, slumber, only to “check my papers”. That would have resulted in some yelling and “evil eye” glares. Thankfully, that never happened.

After my charging needs were taken care of I went in search of a comfy chair or bench to try to rest my weary zombie bones. I found myself in concourse B, which had some decent chairs, and started noticing everyone else trying to lay down and rest. The people varied from little kids to little old ladies and I thought to myself, can’t they find somewhere for these kids and little old ladies to sleep? What about those cots I asked about? Oh well, maybe this is just how it goes.

I picked a far off grouping of chairs that had a couple put together without an arm rest between them, this was so I could try to lay down. But, two chairs weren’t enough to fully stretch out so I had to kind of straddle an arm rest with my knees. It was not very comfortable but I forced myself to stay there and just rest and listen to the news channel they had playing on the TVs. It was maybe an hour before the discomfort forced me back up. Sitting there, uncomfortable, tired, and a bit cold (had they turned the heat down in this place?) I decided to get back up and walk over to the F concourse.

The F concourse seemed to have more resting zombies and therefore was tougher to find some decent seating. Well, seating with missing arm rests, apparently the other zombies were drawn to them as well. I picked a random chair to rest a bit and while I was zoning out I noticed a woman getting up from her spot and leaving. Looking over there I noticed she had left 4 chairs in a row without arm rests! So, I grabbed my stuff and headed over there, it was so nice to stretch my legs out completely. It still wasn’t what I’d call comfortable, but it was better than sitting in a chair or straddling an arm rest.

For whatever reason I woke up, yes WOKE UP, and checked my watch. It was now 4:30AM and I determined that I had been sleeping for almost 2 hours! Figuring that was going to be good enough I got up and checked the flight arrival/departure monitors for my 10:30AM flight. It was there, with a gate assignment, so that gave me some relief. Needing some coffee I found myself back at the only Starbucks that was open and got me an eye-opener. With coffee in hand I found a chair to sit in and started checking email and surfing the Interwebs.

I had emailed the director of the group that was holding the land navigation course, that I was now going to miss, and he was very nice and accommodating. They ended up shifting my registration to a later event in March, so at least that was taken care of. Later I found out that they had a “memorial service”, for me, their missing comrade, that’s too funny.

As the hours pass by I spent it reading, emailing, texting, and checking my various social networks. It definitely helped knowing that my flight was coming up. When 10AM closes in I make for my gate to wait for my flight home.

While sitting at the gate, people watching, some lady walks up and sits next to me. She’s obviously unhappy and from her grumblings I found out she was a fellow airport zombie. We trade stories of our travel experiences, etc etc. and somehow the topic of cots came up. I mentioned that I had asked about them and didn’t get anywhere and then she hits me with it… apparently they HAD COTS! They just neglected to tell anyone! She told me about how some gate attendant came up to her while she was resting and asked why she hadn’t just grabbed a cot. She mentioned that no one had told her, he mentioned that, yes indeed, they had cots down by baggage claim. Are you kidding me?? I could’ve had a decent, not great, but decent night’s sleep on a cot rather than find some chairs to “sleep” on.

After a bit she was getting annoying with all the complaining, even cursing loudly with kids nearby. So, I asked if she’d watch my bag while I checked to see if my gate had changed. Luckily it had, so I went back for my bag, wished her a good flight and scooted out of there.

If you’ve made it this far without gouging your eyes out from boredom, I commend and thank you. Therefore, I won’t bore you with the rest of the story since everything went smoothly and by 1PM my wife had picked me up and I was riding home where I spent the rest of the day napping.

Moral of the story? Don’t fly in the winter, and if you need to, be prepared for a night at the airport.

Oh, and look out for Airport Zombies! They’re a rough bunch and not to be taken lightly!

The Canadian Canoe Trip of 2000

“You better dry off or you’re gonna go into shock!” yelled my (now former) brother-in-law.

4 months earlier…

Planning began for our (my sister, brother-in-law, and myself) second trip to Canada. We had decided that we were going to do a canoe trip this time since the first backpacking trip was an utter failure. I’ll save that one for another post, but suffice it to say, we got our butts kicked by underestimating the wilds of the Canadian wilderness. This time we were looking for something a tad easier on our bodies, and minds.

Canoeing sounded nice, just float along the river and rather than lugging everything on our shoulders we could load the canoes with our gear and comfortably let the miles flow by. A little research on gear loading methods for weight distribution and we were on our way to making a nice 4-5 day trip of it. My brother-in-law seemed to have a good sense of trail planning, and the drive to do it, so he set out to plan our route thru the Algonquin Provincial Park river ways.

Around the time we started planning I met my future wife and over the weeks things started to go really well. She’s the type of gal who likes camping and doesn’t mind getting dirty, so I invited her to join us on the upcoming trip. She was game. Cool.

Planning continued and we were all getting excited for our super fun trip!

Now to launch day…

It was a miserable, windy, rainy, cold day in Canada. We were loaded up in our rain gear and were determined to get moving, it was going to be clearing up later that day anyway. But at that time, it wasn’t very pretty out. The packs were securely strapped to the bottom of our canoes, and covered with tarps. Then we loaded ourselves into the boats and shoved off. The water was… rough.

I’m reminded of the great quote from George on Seinfeld: “The sea was angry that day my friends, like an old man trying to return soup”.

We floated and directed ourselves into the middle of the slow moving, mouth of the river orientating ourselves for the start of our journey. We were, I’d say, about 100 yards from shore.

Once we rendezvoused with my sister and brother-in-law and were pointing in the right direction it was time to get paddling. In the water the oars went and with a “1-2-3” we rowed.

I, apparently, put a bit more power into my thrust and the canoe immediately… capsized. Yes, we and all our gear, were now upside down under the canoe in the cold Canadian water. I surfaced, angry beyond belief, to find my girlfriend laughing while treading water. She was not a swimmer and treading is about all she could do. So I swam over to her, had her grab me and I the boat, which was luckily within reach, and began trying to swim both into shore.

Halfway in, handling both her and the boat was getting a bit too much for me to manage. So I ditched the boat and brought her into shore. Once I knew she was safe on ground I jumped back into the freezing water to retrieve the canoe and whatever remained of our gear. As I was pulling the boat in I was trying to reconcile what had just happened and couldn’t shake the thought that all of our stuff was now sinking to the bottom of the lake.

With the canoe now within 10 feet of the shore and me standing in knee deep water I grabbed one side and flipped it over. To my amazement everything was still there! All strapped in just as we left it! Wow. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Maybe everything would be fine after all.

By the time I got the canoe on shore my sister and brother-in-law had made it in and were frantically trying to get us dry and warm. They were very concerned about us going into shock from the cold. It wasn’t that bad.

After I dried off a bit I figured I’d survey the damages and opened my pack. Sitting right on the top was my $800 SLR camera roughly wrapped in a plastic grocery bag. Surely that thing was ruined. I pulled it out of the bag and found it completely dry! Not a bit of moisture at all. Digging thru the rest of the pack I wasn’t as lucky, everything else was soaked. Even all my valuables that were “safely” stored in a “water proof” bag, UGH!

We returned the canoes, regrouped, and rented a cabin for a day while our stuff dried out. With dry gear, and a few more days of vacation left, we ventured out looking for somewhere to camp. Found a site, pitched the tent and spend the next couple days exploring the nearby hiking trails.

But, after a couple days we couldn’t break the chill and our gear was still a bit damp, so the decision was made to take off and head back home, stopping at Toronto on the way. My sister and brother-in-law continued camping for a few days after we left.

So, that was the second time the wilds of Canada bit me and I haven’t been back to challenge it since. Some day, some day I’ll get it back! And, the moral of the story? Pack your valuables in loose plastic grocery bags, it works better (not really!).

Unification 2011

Since this is my new blog, where I intend to post my ramblings, I figured it’d be good to pull together all of my relevant posts from my various project blogs. These initial posts are from my Fire Ant Blog but I’ll be looking thru what I have up on MILGEEK to see if any are worthy of transferring (doubt it).

I may even dig around thru some of my past blog archives to see if I can get them in here… we’ll see.

2012 Resolutions

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m not one for New Year’s Resolutions. But, I do like the motivation it inspires. So, here are mine for this year and a follow up on last year’s to see how I did.

First, how did I do last year:

  1. Make a list of 2011 accomplishments
  2. Blog, as in actually write stuff. I’ve had ‘blogs’ for years (decades?) but just didn’t write in them.
  3. Use Twitter more
  4. Use Facebook less
  5. Brew nearly all the beer I drink, with the exception of the occasional exceptional brew
  6. Go to local breweries more
  7. Get back into tea and get back into supplementing some of my coffee with it (kinda fell off the bandwagon in 2010)
  8. Get back into running/jogging (kinda fell off that bandwagon about 7 years ago… never got back on)
  9. Go for more rides on my bikes, both road and mountain
  10. Take one of my many project ideas and actually shove some time into it
  11. Go on a backpacking trip

Not great, but then not terrible either…

  • 2 - I just don’t have a ton to say, I’m going to try to remedy that this year.
  • 5 - I didn’t have a method of making larger batches, and didn’t get one until later in the year, hopefully I’ll turn this one around.
  • 7 - It just doesn’t (or didn’t) fit into my normal work flow, I’m just so used to coffee.
  • 9 - Time, all we need is time.
  • 11 - See #9, plus it’d help having someone else to backpack with.

Now for this year’s (in no particular order):

  1. Blog, as in actually write stuff. I’ve had ‘blogs’ for years (decades?) but just didn’t write in them. [last year’s flop]
  2. Brew nearly all the beer I drink, with the exception of the occasional exceptional brew. [last year’s flop]
  3. Go for more rides on my bikes, both road and mountain. [last year’s flop]
  4. Go on a backpacking trip. [last year’s flop]
  5. Lose a few pounds and get back into shape
  6. Finish two of my web projects
  7. Read more (fiction and non-fiction)
  8. Less coffee
  9. Join a local SAR group (Search and Rescue)
  10. Buy a pistol and get my CCW

What are yours? Did you stick to last year’s? And then there’s this.

What Is Budo?

What follows is my essay answering the question “What is Budo?” that was part of my Shodan test in Aikido (1st degree black belt). The question felt a bit vague to me, but what am I going to do? Press my Sensei and the testing committee on what they’re really looking for? I think not. Anyway I hope you like it.

What is Budo?

Brian Timmer August 18, 2010

“Budo” roughly translates to “martial way”. Where “Bu” means war or martial, and “do” means way or path. Typically “do” is used to indicate a “way of life” or method of living ones life. This is just the classical definition of the word and everyone has their own little spin on it.

So, what does it mean to me? Well, first off what does it mean to be martial in your day to day life? I believe every day we run into conflicts and issues, no matter how small, that must be faced and dealt with. If you turn away from them you may never get to where youʼre heading as they may push over you and break your spirit. Sometimes issues can be evaded and “tabled” for the moment, but then other issues may need to be handled directly and decisively. The key is not backing down from them, even “tabled” items will need to be faced eventually.

This “Budo” mindset can be utilized on the mat as well as off it. In some respects it can be seen and felt more purely on the mat, at least to a beginner. For me this is how I feel Budo in my life. Thatʼs not to say I donʼt feel it off the mat, just that itʼs more prevalent and obvious there. During training Iʼm constantly forced to confront the aches and pains of getting older, existing injuries from past life experiences, normal difficulties of training in Aikido, and the stress and strain of being a “senior student”. Each thing on itʼs own may seem simple to overcome, but coupled together they can wield a great opposing force on you and your will. I will not claim that I donʼt suffer from burnout or exhaustion from my schedule (on and off the mat) but that I have to find a way through those things to keep moving forward.

I know that Iʼm my own worst enemy, so these struggles are almost purely within myself. Stress is as much a part of my life as breathing these days. I need to attempt to reduce that stress or at least cope with it. Budo to me is getting up every morning and facing the dayʼs problems, with family, with work, with Aikido, and ultimately, with myself.

Not everything with Budo has to be a struggle though. You can look at it as a life of pushing past your boundaries, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I suppose that could be seen as a “struggle” but I like to think of it as constant pushing to better yourself. To always expect more from yourself, and maybe “more” is a bad word there, maybe itʼs to expect the “best” from yourself. Itʼs a tough life to live, constantly expecting better of oneself. Never satisfied with where you are at any given moment. But, nowhere does someone say a “martial way of life” was going to be easy. Do the words “martial” or “war” conjure up images of “easy” in your mind? Itʼs battle, and in this day and age most people only have one thing they can practically “battle” in their lives and thatʼs themselves.

P-38 Can Opener

This little tool was first developed by the US military in 1942 with the purpose of opening K-rations and was later included with C-rations. It’s also known as a “John Wayne” by the US Marine Corps because of it’s toughness and dependability. It’s roughly 1.5 inches long and sports a little folding “tooth” that is what’s used to pierce and cut the can lid. There is also a little hole on the “tooth” end where you may be able to tie some kind of paracord lanyard to it, or at the very least attach it to a key ring.

I was first introduced to this gem of a tool by my Vietnam Vet father years ago, and since it’s been a staple when backpacking and sometimes even around the house. Also, since it’s so small it can fit pretty much anywhere so it’s perfect for an emergency kit or Bug-Out-Bag.

So, if you don’t have one yet go and get one (or three, they’re cheap) but beware of junk imitations! Mine is genuine military issue and is brute tough, I’ve seen some cheap ones just bend on first use.

For more information checkout the Wikipedia page for the P-38 (where I got some of the history and imagery for this post).

Ruger 10/22 Tactical Build Out

This past weekend I put some rounds through my Ruger 10/22 for the first time in something like 4 years. Plinkin’ cans at 50 yards without issue, still got it :)

I really like my 10/22 but I’m looking to “tac-it-up” from it’s standard stock build up by adding a collapsible butt stock, mag quick-release, rail forearm, mounted light, muzzle brake, single point sling, and maybe even a red-dot sight.

The Ruger 10/22 is a great gun due to reliability and shear volume of replacement parts, plus it makes for a nice platform to practice shooting with since all the fundamentals are the same and the ammo is so much cheaper. Add a holstered handgun and put up a little run and you’ve got great training and fun all day!

There are a couple kits out there that’ll get the base setup that then I can attach all the goodies too.

One is the ProMag Archangel, which looks to be the leading contender for me since I like the side attachment possibilities on the forearm without kit modification.

Another is the TAPCO Standard Stock kit, this one is pretty nice, and if you watch the Nutnfancy review below you’ll see he digs it. But it doesn’t have a floating barrel and is lacking those side rail mounts I’m looking for. It’s true that Nutnfancy mods his to get the light attached, but I’d rather not have to do that.

Anyway, if I end up getting one of these and do a build up I’ll make sure to post a review here.

Happy plinking!