Refinement + Evolution = Revolution!

Author: Errol (Page 2 of 4)

In order of importance: Father, Husband, Aspiring writer, Graduate student, U.S. Air Force veteran.

Wanderlust Wednesday: Sedona vacay (part 2)

“Wow Even the rocks in Sedona meditate!”
― Ilchi LeeThe Call of Sedona: Journey of the Heart

It’s about time I continued this.

In part 1, I briefly talked about how skeptical I was when being told that a trip to Sedona is a magical, mystical experience, and how I never would have gone there if it weren’t for my Japanese wife.  What almost ruined it for me was the decision to drive the grueling 12 hours from Vacaville, CA to Sedona, AZ, as show below

Maybe next time, we’ll fly.

Now I don’t have many pictures of the drive down because:

  1. Erumi took most of the pictures of the drive and I still haven’t taken copies from her iPhone (combination of lagging and barriers of communication; she has yet to understand the concept of sharedrives, and I have yet to fully explain it to her in my meager Japanese)
  2. Once you get past San Jose, there isn’t really much to see until you hit Sedona.
  3. Driving 12 hours when you haven’t driven 12 hours in a loooong time does not really put you in a touristy mood, not me at least.

However, I do have a screen shot of the insane route we took as we were driving the last 33 minutes to our destination

That drive was both exhilarating an scary as fuuuuu…

So, before we made our way to Sedona, we had to reserve lodgings for the 3 day, 2 night stay.  As old fogies, we looked at potential hotels or motels in the area.  But then again as old fogies, we thought, how about we try this Air BnB thing these young people are talking about.

(Note:  we aren’t that old per se, but our sensibilities and grasp of new technology, definitely)

So we went big with our first ever Air BnB reservation.  And I’ll tell you what, we set the bar for our next one pretty high.

I’ll tell you more about it in Part 3 of our Sedona vacay, once I figure out how to get those photos from my wife’s phone.

Man we’re technologically old!!

Weekend Wrap-up: #OMG

(Shout out to Angela Boney-Pfister for calling out the confusing format.  I don’t know if I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, I welcome any and all critiques on this site.  I won’t get mad, I promise . . . unless you’re a spam-bot or a troll.)

Hello friends!  These are my highlights of the week.  From bombshells to epiphanies, here is what occurred from May 28 to June 3.

Monday

So, how about we start with the bombshell…

 

#omg #omg #omg!!! #itsforrealnow!! #sevenweeks #whatnow?

A post shared by Errol Catanes (@errolcatanes) on

Happy Memorial Day 2018!!

Tuesday

The last time I went to Habib’s Famous Kabobs in Vacaville was Sept 2016, about two days after I just PCS’d (Permanent Change of Station…I really need to get working on explaining those Military Acronyms, don’t I?) from Kadena Air Base, Okinawa to here.  The food was excellent now as it was then. (and I still have them on my “to review list,” fuuuuuuuuu…)

Wednesday

#westworldwithdrawals

Thursday

#whysoserious #srsly

Dear past Errol,

Stop being a drama queen.  You’re better than that now.  #yourshitistogether #chillout

Friday

What?!! I get dramatic again?!!  So, here’s a follow-up to that post.

First, I can’t put my finger on it, but I’m pretty sure the whole “first, second and third whatever” came from somewhere.  But you still are an asshole.

Second, I don’t think there is a “secret technique,” you just do what you do and hope you don’t screw shit up too much.

Third, fuck being the next Stephen King , Bob Woodward, or  Perez Hilton.  See above.

You just freaked out because you were supposed to get paid today and you didn’t.  Come to think of it, you wrote this at 12:39 in the fucking morning!!  Unless you’re Jonathan Wandag, no one is usually in their right mind at that time.  Take it from the future you.  When you woke up the next day, your bank account got a little bigger.  KKTHNXBYE!

Oh yeah, and this happened…

#10bookcovers10days #whoreADSnowadays #whoREADSnowadays

Was it just me or did #whoreadsnowadays read like whore ads nowadays at first, second and third glance . . . THAT’S IT!! I REMEMBER NOW IT WAS F. SCOTT FITZGERALD IN “THIS SIDE OF PARADISE!!” (If you’re confused, see the second line below Friday)

Saturday

Anyway, so I started the book each day for 10 days Facebook posts and I started with:

Other than that, I’m pretty sure this was an uneventful but relaxing day.  I guess I could say I ate leftovers from Panera Bread and Wah Shine Chinese Restaurant, but that’s pushing it.

Sunday

And, I took a second crack at the UC Davis-Stebbins Cold Canyon Nature Reserve hiking trails, but I changed so many variables that I got winded fast at the 1 km mark.

 #igetityousucked #geez

Like I said, I did a morning hike instead of the usual afternoon, it was my second time on the trail so didn’t quite know it yet, the summer heat bogged me down as opposed to the spring breeze picking me up, and uh, yeah, it sucked.  Normally, I get my second wind on the hike back, but I dragged ass until about the 5 km mark, which was pretty much the home stretch.  The trails here are definitely more challenging than in Pena Adobe and Rockville Hills.  This will be good practice for when I eventually hike Yosemite and Lake Tahoe.

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 #Shutupayoface!!

Wrap-up to the Wrap-up

  • I’m having a baby. Holy shit!!
  • I’m gonna have to set up some foundations for me to be a freelance writer. It’s funny because prior to this epiphany, I finally got a job offer after months of unanswered resume responses and rejection calls after interviews.  I’ve got the resources, now I just need to use them.
  • I’M HAVING A BABY!! HOLY SHIT!!!
  • Time to get used to this new trail, and new time of day to hike (and possibly work out). Overall, it’s better for me anyway to start in the morning, when it’s not blazing hot outside.
  • Welps, it looks like it’s time to restructure my priorities come next year (and by restructuring, I mean kiss my videogame time goodbye. QQ)

 

P.S. West World Season 2 Episode 7 Whaaaaaaaaaa…

Writing so I don’t forget to write

image from jackkerouac.com/

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”
–Jack KerouacThe Dharma Bums

Yes Jack, I couldn’t have put it better.

So this is either a filler for myself to keep this blog thing going and/or a spark to light a fire inside of me to keep writing about something . . . ANYTHING!!  It’s hard not to make excuses on why I haven’t written anything, but it’s just as hard to take care of everything else in my life before I do start putting words on paper (or in this case, computer?  digital?).  So then the argument comes up again which says, “If you were really serious about this writing thing, this would be your first, second and third priority.”  First of all, the asshole who came up with that sentence should go f*ck himself.

(I wanna say it’s not me, and I have this nagging feeling that it’s not, but Google said otherwise, so I’m more than likely the asshole who should go f*ck myself)

Second, if there is a secret technique that allows me to take care of my pregnant wife, attend and finish my schoolwork, hustle for a part-time job because retirement pension alone isn’t cutting it…

(although I could make the argument that along with my Post 9-11 GI bill housing allowance, I should be ok, but I’m not gonna.  I’d rather not have to worry about whether my family has enough money to spend per month)

… continue a strict (and I use that term loosely) exercise regimen because:

  1.  I made a quasi-bet/shared endeavor with ArnoldWeber” Basingat to lose a significant amount of weight by the end of this year,
  2. The “jokes” and “pokes” of my wife about my portliness is starting to get to me,
  3. I’d really like to get as close to early 2000s me back in the day…

 

Exhibit A

…and after all that gather up the energy and creative juices to spit out some insightful or entertaining bit of printed composition, I’d like to know it.

And third, perhaps I’m really not prioritizing my writing to be my one and only focus.  Maybe I should devote less of my attention to my family, my education, my way to make ends meet and my choice to look and be healthier, and more to honing my “chosen craft.”  So what if I run the risk of alienating my wife (and soon to be child), failing school (and losing out on that veteran benefit I mentioned earlier), worrying about having enough funds to take care of your alienated wife & child, and getting fat, out-of-shape and going the way of your ancestors via heart attack? It’s the sacrifices one must make for the art.  If that’s what it takes to become a successful writer, then maybe I should rethink my motivations.

But I’d like to think there’s a way to take care of all my responsibilities as a devoted husband, (future) loving father, dedicated student, responsible breadwinner and health-conscious individual AND successful writer.  I’ll just have to tweak my understanding of what “successful” means.  Do I want to be Stephen King the writer successful?  Do I want to be Bob Woodward the journalist successful?  Do I even want to be Perez Hilton the blogger successful?  Or should I just keep on doing what I’m doing and juggling all 5 of these roles, counting the fact that I haven’t dropped the ball (too much) as successful?

Well as a rational human-being I’ll settle for that.  But I’d be lying if there wasn’t that dreamer in me who wants to reach those heights.

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You know what?  Shut up, smart me!

Weekend Wrap-up: Priorities and Job-hunt Woes

image from delightfully-chic.blogspot.com

Prologue

Well ok!  Here’s to another week done and I’m actually blogging this time.  Lots of twist and turns and character dev . . .nah just normal weekend wrap-up nonsense.  Here are highlights of the week from May 21st to the 27th.

Monday

Last week, I got phone interviews from the State Compensation Insurance Fund, Sacramento for the Corporate Communications internship and Capital Public Radio for the Marketing Internship.  Today, I put on a suit and went to the State Compensation Insurance Fund, Vacaville office and interview for the Student Assistant for Underwriting position.  I know, exciting stuff right?

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Also, because I had to get my priorities straight for the week, I turned to the wisdom of Mitch Hedberg who told me:

Other of his notable quotes:

“One time, a guy handed me a picture saying, ‘here’s a picture of me when I was younger.’ Every picture is of you when you were younger!”

He was the coming timing king with his stoner delivery and one-liner-esque jokes.  Rest in Peace man.

For a short sample of his set, click here.  #MitchHedburg #RIP #gettingmyprioritiescrooked

 

 

 

Lastly, it was a gym day and first song was:

@ the Travis Fitness Center, Travis Air Force Base, CA

Tuesday

First, a blast from the past courtesy of Arnold “He’s got an IMDb webpage?” Basingat.

Second, I’ve come to the realization that listening NPR not only makes you a hipster, but an aging hipster.

Then I went full retard , unlike Kirk Lazarus and hope that this commitment of being a writer sticks this time.

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After that, I was introduced by The PennyHoarder to #omconnecthour.  According to them, I can earn $300 a year to $400 a month, just by shutting all your lights and non-essential appliances at peak usage hours in your city.  I see no downsides to this, other than having to find something to do in Vacaville on a work day.

Finally, a shout-out to my Vietnamese peoples @ Saigon Pho, Vacaville.

You can see my TripAdvisor review here and Yelp review below

Read Errol C.‘s review of Saigon Pho on Yelp

Wednesday

For some reason, I broke from my normal apathy towards politics and posted this:

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It’s not that Nelson Muntz is political, it was my response when I saw this

Also, my quote of the day:

“Well we didn’t get the whole chocolate bar, but we got a Hershey’s kiss.”

Picture courtesy of www.allmovie.com

Why this quote?  Well, when I responded to an ad about a “WordPress Wednesday” event in Santa Rosa, CA I figured, why not?  Maybe I can learn something there.  An hour and 15 minute drive later, and there were only about 7 people in there.  4 were moderators, 3 (including myself) were attendees.  Only one of us knew what the speaker was rattling on about. . . me.  After the “seminar” was over, I started to chat with the lead guy. and he seemed pretty cool.  If he and his company, West County Media didn’t live so far away from me, I would’ve taken him up on his consultation.

Suffice to say, I didn’t get an education in web design (chocolate bar) but I did get a connection (Hershey’s kiss).

Finally, a shoutout to L&L Hawaiian BBQ, Vacaville, who’s chicken katsu and spam musubi’s are pretty good.

I gotta stop slackin and getting in my review on these guys.

Look how many awards they won!

Thursday

I saw this . . .


. . . and tweeted this


Because I’m pretty sure when the singularity happens, there’s gonna be less shaking of hands and more kicking of our asses.

Next, shout-out to Hot Stone Korean Kitchen, Fairfield, CA.

I probably should write a review for these guys too. But c’mon, you’re 51 of 204 places to eat in Fairfield, and that saying something right? (yeah ok, you guys are on my to review list)

And also, clicked “Interested,” then “Going” to Tiny Desk Sacramento sponsored by Capital Public Radio.  I’ll admit it’s less “I’m a hipster because I go to NPR Tiny Desk Concerts,” and more “Hey I want that Marketing Internship position and this is how I’m gonna woo them.”

Note: about a day later I get rejected.  Bummer.  Still planning on going to the concert though.

And then, yeyyy Hikeday!!

1st song was . . .

@Pena Adobe Lagoon Valley Regional Park, Vacaville, CA

Friday

Again, I don’t normally care about such things, but then I tweeted this:

“Whenever I think about our political climate, I see this:

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and hear Entry of the Gladiators by Julius Fucik (really? Gladiators are the farthest thing I think about when hearing this tune, Julius!  #differenttimes)

Or this

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and this song.

So hey, how about something more upbeat, like a hikeday?!!

Too bad it was a hike day fail.  I got kicked out by Lake Solano County Park rangers.  They were in the right though.  I did arrive pretty close to sunset.

Saturday

First, shout-out to Temple Coffee Roasters, Sacramento, CA

I’d like to say I’ve been slacking on posting my reviews again but dayam, they’re #1 in Yelp and TripAdvisor (ok whatever #4, still impressive) for Sacramento coffee shops.

Disappointed from yesterday, I decided to take another crack at hiking in the Winters, CA area.  I hyped myself up with . . .

And ended up in

Not too bad a day.

Sunday


For more context on this tweet see the May 23rd and 25th tweet above.  #omg #politics #raisingmybloodpressure #

Next, shoutout to Habib’s Famous Kabobs, Vacaville

Watch for my reviews of this awesome Afghan restaurant soon. . . if I don’t slack like normal.  However, due to their delicious but calorie packed #definitelynotketo meals . . .

GYM TIME!  1st song

@ the Travis Fitness Center, Travis Air Force Base, CA

Epilogue

So takeways from the week:

  1. I’ve got some reviews to post for L&L Hawaiian Barbecue, Hot Stone Korean Kitchen, Temple Coffee Roasters (as if they needed it lol) & Habib’s Famous Kabobs.
  2. I need to get my shit together on this #weightlossjourney.  i can’t just hike or gym just because I ate delicious but #ketonotketo food.
  3. I’m torn between continuing my hustle for a CAP Radio internship or just going into business myself, possibly through this blog.
  4. Or I could just focus on school and not worry about it until I get my degree.

Welps, I hope next week is just as exciting.  Tune in next time for . . .

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#srsly?

 

Time to go full retard!!

“Everybody knows you never go full retard.”

Well you know what, hilariously racist portrayal of a dude playing a dude disguised as another dude, I will go full retard, and by full retard, I mean embrace my calling as an aspiring, struggling writer.  There’s just one problem.

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It sure is Lisa.  It sure is.

Anyway, I suppose because I put the fact that I’m an aspiring blogger/writer on my Linkedin profile, that means this is really it guys.  I’m really gonna commit to it this time.  But I’ve been down this road before, several times.  I say I’m gonna write, then I write a story about flashy swordsmen and old perverts (a reference only Wandag knows.  Man I really need to get to know more famous people), then about halfway though the narrative, I just give up, and don’t go back to it until like 7-8 years later when I continue the imbecilic cycle.  But, you know, that was the young me.  The old me is wiser, less flighty and more industrious.  I’ve been in a job for so long that’s instilled in me an unwavering loyalty to my tribe, a reliable work ethic, motivated productivity, and comprehensive communication skills that I should be cranking out books like Stephen King on steroids.

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Are you saying “yup” I should, or “yup” you’re an idiot?  I’m gonna go with the latter.

But sadly, I still feel the same insecurities, self-doubt and laziness holding me back.  The only difference this time is, yes, I have gotten wiser.  I have developed a work ethic I never would have gotten outside the Air Force.  Hell, I wouldn’t have gotten this far on making a blog had I not gotten the financial security and hard knock life lessons the military has given me.

By the way, did you know that according to CareerCast, the #1 most stressful job of 2017 (and more than likely 2018 til infinity) is enlisted military personnel?  But that’s a topic for another time.

Going back to this commitment I’m going to make on writing, f*ck it.  I’m a writer.  That’s what I’ve been doing this whole time and every time I do it I feel fantastic, whether I finish a piece or not.  It’s time that I embrace the fact that I want my calling to be someone who puts words on paper and makes readers go “ooh,” “aah,” “oh,”

(Note to self: update your pop-culture references)

But yeah,

  • Step 1:  Say you’re a damn writer!
  • Step 2:  Don’t fall into this trap.
  • Step 3:  Find an audience/genre/niche

…and that’s my next step.  Who do I want to write to, and for?  About 32 days ago (which is 4/20 by the way, har har)  I wrote an outline of all my interests and experiences and they’re all over the place.

Suffice it to say, I have a lot of experiences I’d like to share with people.  It’s just a matter of me writing it in a way that people will find interesting, and finding enough people who find it interesting.

So here’s to going Full Retard, and making this a worthwhile calling.  Like Robert Downey Jr. said:

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…Or something like that.

Yeah this post every day thing might be harder than I expected

Oh, #firstworldproblems.

Maybe I’m being too hopeful?  Maybe I’m being too impatient?  Maybe it’s both?  Or maybe I’m just a big baby.  Whatever the case, my want to post something relevant everyday is continually being trumped by my need to, you know, do life stuff.  Or I might just be too lazy to carve time to do this.  There have been many times where instead of putting my creative efforts to this blog, or even doing homework for class (cuz I’m back in school yeah!), I binge-watch Youtube videos on Wisecrack, Screen Prism or TED Ed.  I suppose I could make the argument that I’m not lazy, I’m just not inspired, and I’m trying to look to these successful video essayist for inspiration.  I could also make the argument that I’m not focused, I’m all over the place, and I need to stick to a schedule and routine.

So until I can get my shit together, I’ll hold off on trying to dedicate this blog to praise and honor the U.S. military.  However, I still would like to get more experience on putting my thoughts into words, and I believe this is one of the best places to do it.  Once I get to a decent level of writing/blogging with an equally decent amount of readers, then I can properly dedicate a blog specifically on active duty, reserve, and veterans.  In the meantime, I’ll post what I can post.  If the material I want to post happens to fit the theme of the day I plan to post it, cool.  If not, I’ll just puke all my thoughts in to this thing until I get good, perfect my craft, and actually make a good living (or hell even a lucrative hobby) out of this thing.

This isn’t the first time I’ve bitched about this, haven’t I?  I’m sure this won’t be the last.  But as long as I bitch and write at the same time, I think I’ll be fine…

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Or not.

#weightlossjourney Wednesdays Introductory post

“I always cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food.”

– W.C. Fields

So, what started as a competition with Arnold as to who would lose weight the most, turned into a cooperative effort to get fit, and is growing into both a steady pace towards becoming a fitter me, as well as a revelation that Instagram, out of all my social media accounts, got me the most amount of followers in the quickest time.  As a result, it has given me the motivation to keep going.

Sadly, I’m not the spry feller I used to be.  Way back when I remember jogging 17-mile-road from Monterey to Carmel every week.  Even way backer than that, I fancied myself a breakdancer, but where friends Jonathan, Eric and Arnold did ground work with windmills, head-spins and flairs, I took to the air with back-handsprings and somersaults.

(Note:  TBH, their moves weren’t that on point, and I definitely was no Mary Lou Retton)

 

 

 

 

 

As for the present times, let’s just say I’ve let myself go pretty far…

*sigh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So the goal then is not so much bring back my “glory” days.  My motivation for fitness has changed from “for the ladies,” to “for my general health and well-being as a person.”  I’m not trying to be the lean machine that I was before (wait, was I ever?).  I just want to lose a good amount of pounds to weigh as much as someone of my height (6 feet 5 inches by the way if you’re wondering) and body type

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So it’s been a little over a month now and progress has been slow but steady.  But as I get more followers on Instagram, I get more motivated to get to my #weightlossdestination.

Tune in next time for my next post of my ongoing quest to fitness, where I try my best not to be this guy…

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Time Travel Tuesday: Sedona vacay (Part 1)

“People’s hearts color the heart of the earth and the earth colors the hearts of people.”
― Ilchi Lee, The Call of Sedona: Journey of the Heart

Took me long enough to start this . . .

Today’s Time Travel Tuesday features one of the most extraordinary, if not the most extraordinary trips I’ve taken my whole life.  Although I’m a ways away from claiming to be a globetrotter (the traveling kind, not the basketball kind), I can say I’ve been to a few places in Europe, Asia, and of course, North America (more on them at later dates).  But so far, no place has stayed with me physically, mentally, and spiritually more than Sedona.

Now I’ll admit, I was skeptical at first…

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I heard the stories about how Sedona was this mystical, magical place, but I just wrote them off as new-age, hippie shit to trap tourists and other new-age hippies.  And I probably would have never went there, if it weren’t for my wife.

The religious beliefs of Okinawans, or Japanese in general, have elements tied to animism.  In short, it’s the belief that everything has a soul or spirit, and I mean every person, place or thing in this world everything.  They are beliefs similar to Modern Paganism which, up until today I thought was the same as New-Age.

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I still don’t have a full grasp of it.  So, before I go more and more off-topic, I’ll bring this back to my Japanese wife and how she always wanted to go to Sedona, almost after she came here to the U.S. with me.

So eventually, we found time (because once you retire from the military, you find out you’ve got tons of time now) and decided to take a 3 day-2 night trip to this so-called magical place.  And I thought, I’ll save money on plane tickets by driving us the whole 12 hours down there.

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On the next Time Travel Tuesday, I’ll continue the journey to Sedona with my mind-numbing but worth-it-in-the-end drive all the way from Vacaville, CA to Sedona, AZ.

Wait, I’m driving the whole way?!!

Super Random Saturday: Introductory post

Anything goes on a Saturday Night . . . sorta.  These post will be on just about anything cheeky like “pop culture analysis” or “silly things my friends do or say” or nostalgic like “A Tribute to…”  So they’re basically Free Radical Posts on a Saturday Night, except they’re special (no not really).

In the meantime, enjoy this clip:

I think the chaos is starting to settle

And if it doesn’t, eh, one post at a time right?

I had intended to start this week on putting down regular post.  I even started with a military misconception in Military Mondays (say that 3 times fast).  Tuesday started to get away from me and Wednesday I just couldn’t keep up.  And here I am Friday having nothing to talk about our veterans, which is sad, but which I hope to remedy.

However, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I might not post a clever little take on military life on Mondays,

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a training montage on Tuesdays,

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 some woo-woo post about wandering outdoors on Wednesdays,

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a douchey philosophical discourse on Thursday,

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or even Veteran Fridays, arguably the only posts of mine that matter the most.  Life happens I suppose, and it doesn’t care about my silly little blog.  But, I will do the best I can to post regularly, and focus a majority of them on my intended topic of the day.

But, if I am not able to, I will more than likely write one of these Livejournal-esque (is that even a thing still?) posts either that day or tomorrow, depending on what the powers-that-be and whatever it is they throw at me.

(AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)

I really want to make this work.  I don’t want my whole “ambassador of military, vets and civilians” be bullshit!  But I know it’s gonna take time, and probably result in more entries like this.

So bear with me folks, both actual and hypothetical, I got my eyes on the prize.

 

UPDATE (6/21/2018):  About the chaos settling?  I was mistaken.  Still in panic mode trying to figure this shit out.  Plus, I’m trying to get this blog in compliance of the fact that I’ve been attaching gifs and pics without crediting them, which is apparently a big no-no.  So, yeah, at best this is still a work in progress and at worst, this is a shit-storm barreling through a madfuckering volcano as the earth shatters in to a million pieces to reveal the fact that I’ve got a looooooooooooooooooong way to go until this bitch is kosher for blog reading eyes.

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