Friday, December 31, 2010

Why I am Boycotting New Year's Resolutions

"New Year's Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual."
- Mark Twain

I already boycotted sending holiday cards this year, my grandmother will probably never forgive me. I did three and then they just sat there making me feel guilty. My good friend Stacey and I were talking last night over beer, among other things, that people don't send the "brag letters" out with cards anymore. We have gotten used to the instant gratification of Facebook. Everyone knows 5 minutes after you have kissed a boy, bought a new car, had a baby, broken up with your bf, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Shall we dance? Rent the movie.

2010 was a good year reflectively. Not too many f-ups, lots of new things tried (hello, blog) and people met. Regrets are few, mostly not having the guts to do something bigger. Or creating the time to do those big scary things. Maybe this year. Stacey, if you do go ahead with your plans, you have my full thumbs up.

Announcing that I will, finally, lose those pesky 10 lbs won't make it happen, but you better believe if it happens, you will be reading about it on Facebook.

A toast, to all of you reading this for the first time and those who stop in once in a while. Thanks and Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Really Deep Thought Thursday

Yes, it's Thursday. And I usually try to sum up something pithy or recycle some sage statement. However, today is different and I am passing along a blog post from Erika Napoletano that fits the day before the day before Christmas. Please pass along. If you want all of the back story, you can find it here on Erika's site -

"This post was intended to go on my own blog, but as I was writing it I realized that somehow, at some deeper level, I was dedicating it to Jason Schippers. I carefully asked Erika if she would like to read it. Afterwards, she said that she would post it, so here we are.

Why I Didn’t Write Last Night – And Why I Want a Christmas Present From You

Last night I had just finished a productive day of work, and I figured I’d go to a bar to write a guest post that’s been laying around for a while. You know, have a beer and see some life around me. Being a writer is nice and for an ex-monk living the hermit lifestyle is fine, but sometimes you just want some fresh air and some people in earshot.
I toted my laptop down the street, installed myself, ordered a beer. Started writing. Stopped.
There was a man right next to me who wanted to know why I was sitting in a plain old cafe with my shiny Mac.

“You’re a writer? Write about me!”

I eyed him carefully. A fifty-ish, slightly nervous but friendly guy, dressed rather less than casually. He looked like a simple but shrewd feller.
“Ok” I said. “Tell me a story, and I’ll write it down. Tell me something from your past that really touched you. Good or bad, but something that had an impact.”
He said we’d have to go to his friend’s bar and he’d tell me. I didn’t really want to because I was in the mood for a good writing session of my own, but he said: “Do me the favor.”
His friend’s bar was, in a word, grotty. Tiles on the wall, a stainless steel counter. A clientele consisting of older men in various states of alcoholic soporification, life fatigue, or by the looks of it: both.
The girl behind the counter was a pretty Colombian number with as keen an eye as you’ll ever see, and a black eye that was just short of being healed.
Broken people. Lost hope, strength, dreams. A lost leg. Resignation.
You know. People. It just happened to be a condensed mix of people who hadn’t made it in life. People who had nowhere near the chance all of us do to make something of it yet.

I Crashed

Here I was, a happy and fairly successful foreigner, in a small working man’s town in Southern Spain. In tune and in touch with the hip and the rich, carving out his little niche. Huzzah.
Surrounded by people who had totally lost their way.
The thing that hurt me most was seeing a girl who, by the looks of it, should have been a stellar student somewhere.  Stuck in a grimy cafe, drafting beers for clients who only wanted to chat her up crudely. And probably feel her up in the same manner. With almost enough make-up to cover her fading black eye. Young, and still unbroken enough to make it forward, but probably in for another few years of beating from her souteneur. That’s a fancy word for a not so fancy job: pimp.
It really sucked. While I am getting into the swing of this new career and being awed daily by the amazing people I meet, somewhere around the corner something bad happens. Someone falls and can’t get up, either in the bathroom or in life.
Every day.
Nothing new eh? Big deal. Life suck and shit happens, correct? Maybe I just happened to walk into a mental asylum and asked: ‘Is the entire world mad?’
Whatever, maybe. Your call.

So Why the Deuce Did I Stay There?

Because I realized that right then and there, I was able to give these people something that cost me nothing at all. In fact, I was getting free beer for it. But I could give them something that they probably haven’t received in more time than they’d care to remember.
In this case, talking to my new friend Julian, it was undivided attention. An hour or so of someone really listening to him. Paying attention to what he says, how he feels, who he is. Because, you know, he’s one of the lost ones. On the street, most people wouldn’t spend too much time talking to him.
With the girl, it was a good looking mysterious foreigner, who chatted with her a bit about Colombia and living in Spain. For a change, a man who did not want something from her. Just a chat, a few smiles and nothing more.
I walked out burning and itching to write this.

This Christmas, I Want You to Give

And I’d like you to start right the fuck now, please. With a cherry on top (and a battle axe in my hand).
Yeah I’m in the seasonal mood. You bet. Even though I’m the guy who vomits first when the Christmas madness starts in October in the shops.
I want you and everybody else, to give. I don’t care what it is. Anything goes. It’s about you giving something, something small and free. Just because you can.
You’ll find that with all the following examples, the person you give it to, he or she will not have been expecting it at all. They may not even be used to it anymore. And they may even not want it, in which case you shouldn’t push through. It’s not a gift if it’s forced upon someone.
Do it. Give. You’ll do a favor to them and to yourself with each of these little gifts, and every other you can think of.


  • A hug
  • A smile
  • A cup of coffee to the guy next in line
  • A book you cherish
  • Some time that you’d rather spend on something else
  • Biting your tongue for a change
  • Speaking your mind for a change
  • Not being so bloody stubborn for a change
  • Standing your ground for a change
  • Forgiveness
  • If you want to give some money to someone or some cause, give it
  • Lots of forgiveness
  • Love, of course (What, are you dumb? Of course love)
Anything will do. Give something to someone, as often as you can, just because you can.
And don’t stop after Christmas. Just do it, again and again. It’ll even become second nature. And it will show you something sooner or later, and I would love for you to send me an email when that happens.
Do it. Give. Thank you.

Merry Christmas.

Yeah, what did you expect? You think I’m going to wait a week to fully ride that Christmas wave like a good sleazy marketer should? I’m not a whore.
Well, maybe a little. Merry Christmas.
Oh, and please share, spread, retweet, Stumble, Facebook, Digg, Reddit and whatever the hell you want to do. Print it out and paste it on a message board. Make a Christmas card out of it. Mail it to your friends. Let’s get this message SEEN, people.
This is published under full free rights. You can do with this message whatever you want as long as you keep the core message intact. Copy, alter, edit, put your name under it, I don’t care. Whatever it takes to get this message out to as many people as possible.
Let’s tell the world that we have all, every one of us, something valuable to give. Let’s start giving. Now."

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hybrids - not always a good idea

So I decide on a whim to sign Matt and I up for one of the Sunday tournaments. It's a well thought out plan. Just put some new gear on my recurve and it's not tuned in and I don't have the energy or patience to mess with it, so out comes the compound instead, which I have not shot in 6 months. On the very last end, I start to shoot well. Kept pushing hard with my bow hand, even though it's not necessary with this bow. Hellooo. Oh, well. It was fun and it got the first one out of the way. Realized that I need to focus on just aiming more and just trust the process to work. Good lesson. Will work on getting things set up and ready to go before the leagues start after the new year.

Matt did really well and he hasn't shot in a few weeks, never mind a full round of 60 arrows. Spent the rest of the day relaxing with some friends we have not seen in a long time. Feeling like my batteries are recharged and I might get through the next week.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Nock, nock. Who's there?

I am in arrow hell. Ok, maybe I'm being a bit dramatic, but there is no easy, concise way to make a arrow selection without a lot of holding your breath and crossing your fingers. Then AFTER you get your shiny, new expensive dozen, you find out if they actually work with your set up. Part of the problem is that we don't have a shop in the area that carries a good selection of recurve shafts that can set up a few bare shafts that are in the ballpark to try before you buy.

There is a golden opportunity here folks. 3 Rivers Archery has this set up for hunting and traditional recurve bows. Unfortunately, their system does not cover target set up. My setup is not even on their chart. Then, you go to Easton and use their online chart and it gives you completely different data. THEN, the common wisdom online is that you go up one - whyyyyy!? Some engineering student that shoots needs to use this as a project and quantify the data for the rest of the world. A perfect thesis.

Finally got my new rest and aperture in. Need to spend some time setting up on Sat. WNY tournament on Sunday morning.  Will get a baseline score and have something to work from for the season.  Once I have that and my arrows in, should be in great shape.  Everything is starting....