Errol K. Catanes

Refinement + Evolution = Revolution!

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Blog version 1.5

Hi! My name is Errol K. Catanes, and this will be my what, 5th change to this blog. I should have expected a lot of turbulence during my creation of this blog, but it does get annoying when I can’t focus on a topic.

Version 1.0 was just old entries from my previous attempts to turn WordPress into a LiveJournal-Esque diary. Version 1.1 was an upgrade with the use of Siteground and the ability to customize this site. Version 1.2 underwent several changes because I could not decide on a WordPress theme. I also had my 1st draft hot-washed by my ‘rising star’ friends, who recommended I focus on a topic, emulate successful blogs, and post regularly. Version 1.3 was inspired by my mind-blowing and soul-cleansing trip to Sedona, AZ, along with the reviews I wrote about them on Yelp, and so I wanted to make a review-type blog (and I pretentiously called myself a “venuehound”). Version 1.4 came out of a very detailed critique from the last but most logical person, I thought, who echoed the same sentiments my friends said but added this one sentence,

“It’s hard to sell ‘my thoughts on life’ or to have someone promote you as a cool guy’s take on various things. It’s far easier to promote ‘an eloquent writer’s creative short stories and essays about post-military life’ or even ‘GoT reviews and musings.’” It was the element of post-military life that I focused on and begot the previous iteration. So why change it again?

While it’s true that I am a (medically) retired veteran of the United States Air Force, I don’t want to be defined solely as one. Don’t get me wrong; I’m glad I did my service and eternally grateful for its tangible and intangible benefits and will continue to give me. I will always be proud to enlist in the United States Air Force. But, I’d like to think I’m much more than that.

So, where do I go from here? Well, I will no longer dedicate this blog solely to the praise and honor of the U.S. Armed Forces. Instead, like my very insightful friend said, I will focus on promoting this “eloquent writer’s creative short stories and essays about post-military life.” I will also continue the different days and different topic formats (Military Mondays, Think Tank Thursdays, Veteran Fridays, etc.) to keep pumping content and the writing juices flowing. Once my creative short story, post-military life essay, or long discussion on a topic of choice is complete, I will post it.

Let’s hope this time it’ll stick, eh?

P.S.  Because of #weightlossjourney on Instagram, I have been getting support from friends and strangers who encourage me to keep doing what I’m doing. As a result, I will post thoughts on my successes and challenges as a middle-aged dude who agreed to lose weight with another middle-aged dude.

Wish us luck.

UPDATE: Why am I going this far back? Why am I even bothering with this page? I dunno. Yoast SEO Premium told me to.

Almost all I’ve written in this post no longer applies to me, save my aspiration for being a writer, although it has significantly weakened in intensity. I hope that my rebrand to Refine Evolve will stick this time.

We’ll see.

Veterans Friday: Introductory post

So, this is where I get serious.

As a former member of the U.S. Armed Forces, I’m honored to have my country as best I could.  Anyone who enlisted, or commissioned, for a significant amount of time and has not incurred any disabilities is either very lucky, or unnecessarily hiding this fact.  For the rest of us, we rely on either the Department of Veteran Affairs, or programs like the Wounded Warrior Project.   We don’t have much control over the funding of, and aid from the VA, but we do have the ability to aid the WWP, and I would like to do my part to promote these programs and educate our greater community as to what they do and how they can help.  I’ll be the first one to admit that, even though I know of these programs, I’m really not that educated about them.  Once I carve out some time in my schedule to do my research, attend sponsored events and meet key figures of these organizations, I will post my reports here.  In the meantime, check out my think-piece on professional burn-out in the military.


Thank you for your attention and support.

Think Tank Thursdays: Introductory post

Think Tank Thursdays is where I put down my present and past thoughts as an

  1. Armchair psychologist
  2. Armchair philosopher
  3. Armchair quarterback . . . of knowledge that is (just kill me now)

Essentially, this is where I’ll attempt to sound like a intellectual snob and talk about intellectual things.  Most (if not all) of them will come from discussions and essays I’ve had to do while attending Brandman University.  Since I doubt any of my current works will be recorded on any periodicals, I’ll just place them here, where I either dissect, briefly comment, or just cut-and-paste.  Why, because I’m lazy . . . and I can edit them later anyway.

Miniature versions of these will be posted on my Tweets of the Day.

Wanderlust Wednesday: Introductory post

“Not all who wander are lost”

You know that awkward feeling when you enter a new place, and five seconds later you feel it isn’t for you, but you don’t want to be that jerk who sat on a table and left right after?  Yeah I know how that feels too.  Sometimes you don’t really know what to make of certain review websites because their 5 ratings have canned responses, but the 1 ratings don’t tell you much other than to never go there again because there’s a colony of roaches just set right there in the middle (or something to that effect).  I’m not gonna lie, I may do the same thing on occasion, but at least I’ll put a narrative to it.  Whether its true or not, well, you’re just gonna have to go there and find out.  Down below are sites which I post most of my reviews.  Don’t forget to like or comment.





Training Tuesday: Introductory post

Hello Peter, whats happening? Ummm, I’m gonna need you to go ahead come in tomorrow.  So if you could be here around 9 that would be great, mmmk… oh oh! and I almost forgot ahh, I’m also gonna need you to go ahead and come in on Sunday too, kay.  We ahh lost some people this week and ah, we sorta need to play catch up.

Bill Lumbergh, Office Space

Almost every U.S. military member (at least Air Force) knows this quote well, along with the face of our featured image stock character above.  Training Day is a chance to catch up on our annual, semi-annual, or whatever time period the powers that be deem we need to refresh our knowledge on X or Y subject matter.  Most of this training takes place in front of a computer called Computer-based-training or CBTs or listening to a “speaker” while he/she plods through a MS-Power Point presentation.  However, I will attempt to do something different and break down each CBT we as service-members took, delve into why we need to do this “training,” and explain how this is important to know, not only as an Armed Forces service member, but an upstanding citizen of your community.  Unlike Military Monday’s content, I don’t have reference material to link to you, but you can take my word or any other Army, Navy, Air Force or Marine out there, we know CBTs and death-by-powerpoint.

So, if you can’t stay awake for next week’s post, (militarisms alert!) you’re going to have to stand in the back.

Militarisms Monday: Introduction post

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: You best unfuck yourself or I will unscrew your head and shit down your NECK!

R. Lee Ermey (R.I.P.) Full Metal Jacket

This will be the first post of a weekly set of topics dedicated to expand upon the sub-cultural elements of the military.  Topics include, but are not limited to

Keep in mind, there are already websites that explain these which you can find here, here and here.  I’ll just (militarisms alert!) piggy-back on what they’ll be saying and use my experiences in the Air Force and put my own spin on it.


P.S. Why is it that no matter which branch of service you’re from, most of us have some sort of masochistic affinity towards Gunnery Sergeant Hartman?  Future post?

Well damn finally!!

After wasting time monkey fucking with this thing, I finally have this blog up and running.  I’m aware this is bare-bones but I’ll build this up to an honest-to-goodness website.  Thanks to for your ultra-cheap yet ultra-easy web hosting, and for eating up 3 hours of my life lol!


I’ll try to keep the LiveJournal-style emo shit to a minimum (check the posts before 2009), and try to post entries with these categories in mind:

  • Weekly review of thought of the day tweets
  • Revisit and commentary of past entries
  • Monthly review of daily and weekly thoughts
  • Elaborations on venue reviews
  • Topical analyses (a.k.a. who do I think I am, some wiseguy?)
  • And maybe some emo LiveJournal shit, who knows, maybe, we’ll see. . .

Relieved of duty 30 March 2018

Welps, it happened.  I was relieved of duty about a week ago, but I’m not officially out of the United States Air Force until May 1.  But as long as I don’t go doing something stupid like robbing a bank and taking the Tide-Pod challenge, I should be OK to relax.


So now “I’ve got tons of time now to write my blog,” he says, even though he knows . . . it’s complicated.

Tangent alert!:  One of the most interesting sentences to use when you aren’t fully committed or don’t want to truly commit to anything, is “It’s complicated.  “So are you guys dating, or serious, or what?”

“It’s complicated.”

“So are you gonna be a writer for real now, or are you gonna do something?!!”


It’s a conditional proclamation that doesn’t have to have the speaker commit to a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, all at the unbearable chagrin of the listener.  I know I’ve had to keep myself from punching my screen every time I saw “It’s complicated,” on one’s Facebook relationship status.

That being said, now that I’m “retired,” it makes sense that I’d have the time to write . . . but just because I’m retired, doesn’t mean I’m retired.

I just turned 40 recently.  Most of us in the U.S. don’t retire until about 55-60 years old, typically.  Also, being retired from the military doesn’t mean you’re done working.  Well, I mean you can, but, if only your responsible for yourself and don’t mind living with your parents again.  If not, we still need to work.  I got a wife and future kid to feed.

But I’m gonna find time to write.  I’m doing it right now dammit!  Even if it’s in a self-reflective journal form.  I would like not for this blog to only be self-reflective, but if I got nothing else on my mind, whatevs.  However, I got some shit in my head I need to put in print (digital print, that is).  As of right now, here’s my list of what I want to blog about:

Competitive vs. cooperative behavior (pros/cons of each)

The challenge of not using your friends as characters in your stories

Finding the balance between artistic autonomy and fan-service

Thoughts on…

My other goal is to get more savvy about wordpress and design this website so it looks less like LiveJournal and more like . . . the Balance?

Cool!  Until next time.



Different, or more of the same?

I can’t tell you if “different, or more of the same” is from the Game of Thrones TV show or one of the [A] Song of Ice and Fire books, but it is a line that Jon Snow tells to Daenerys Targaryen when asked whether or not to use her dragons on Kings Landing.  On one hand, she’d end the war quickly, but on the other, she’d risk burning innocent people.  Was she going to be a different ruler, and keep to her word and “break the wheel,” or was she going to be a replacement to Cersei Lannister, and by association, the Mad King?  Am I actually committing towards writing as a career, or is this another phase of mine?

Before I can properly answer this question, I’ll need to address some important issues.  One, I am no longer that fresh-faced 15-year old that thought he could write a story based on who of his friends were Samurai Showdown characters.  I am also no longer that overly self-conscious 23-year old who couldn’t get past his writer’s block, due to the fact that, he was overly self-conscious.  I am now a world-weary but idealistic 40-year old who served 16 years in the U.S. Air Force, and is ready to make a transition back to the civilian world.  Has military life made me a cynic?  If so, then I do still have what it takes to write?  Maybe it’s no longer so much about writing an epic fantasy novel like I wanted to years ago.  Perhaps I just want to get paid to put words on paper.  It’s that push-pull of my dreamer side and my pragmatist side that seems to distract me towards reaching my goals, writing or otherwise.  It is when I can control all that madness inside my head that I am able to focus all of it into letters, words, sentences, paragraphs, and eventually, essays or stories.

The last thing Queen Olenna Tyrell said to Dany was, “you’re a dragon, be a dragon.”  Let’s keep this comparison going by telling me, “you’re a writer, be a writer.”

Almost at the end

In roughly two months, I’ll be retired from the United States Air Force.  I actually learned about it earlier but I didn’t want to write about it until now.  In fact, I would like to make it my new career.

But then I wonder, what makes now different from before.  Will I actually stick to it this time?  I’d like to think I’ve grown up enough to distinguish between a passion and a phase.  To be honest, I’m still not so sure.  All I can hope for is a continued desire to write about anything and everything up to this point.  My only goal at the moment is write something, anything, whether it’s undeveloped plots, half-baked characters, quotes of the day that I like, stream of consciousness rambles, or just what happened that day.

In about 51 days (not that I’m counting), I’ll leave the insane but secure life that is the military and embark on something that is possibly even more insane, but less secure…civilian life.

Here’s to fucking up, and getting better at it every step of the way.


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