Jen's Story (Gastroparesis)

Some of you may know, and some may not...Jen was diagnosed with Idiopathic Gastroparesis one year ago today (23JAN2014). It is a chronic condition where the muscles and nerves in the lining of her stomach are paralyzed. Her stomach can not break down solid foods. She chose this video to share her past year with you through her art and music.


The Walking Dead Returns - Feb 9th!!!


Funny Kids!

As things get amped up for the 2013 CrossFit Games, I have been watching videos and reading articles daily as well as following all of my favorite "Pro" CrossFitters on Twitter.  Recently Dan Bailey, an awesome athlete, fellow believer, and just an overall outstanding guy showed his funny side with a "promo" video for Broflex, stating he was ready for a run at the top spot in the CrossFit world - "Fittest Man in the World".  In his video he states...he is ready:

Now, this may only be humorous to CrossFitters as it mocks one of the past time fads of fitness the "Bowflex", but it certainly made my two daughters crack up when they saw it.  They especially enjoyed the "Quads!" section.  I tweeted Dan and shared that my kids have really enjoyed mimicking his video and he asked for a video of them doing it...here it is:

So, as we enter Pool Season, Beach Season, and the CrossFit Games Finals, I hope you enjoy these two little bits of humor!  Get out there and get after it!


DIY Dip/Pullup Weighted Belt

I have seen some other ideas on the interwebs for making your own dip/pullup weighted belt...here is my take on it:

Start with 3 feet of flexible PVC (I used 1 1/4" ID), 5-6 feet of chain, and a load-bearing carabiner style spring clip (the one I purchased was good up to 200 lbs. of weight).

All of these items can be purchased at Lowes, Home Depot or any other DIY type of store.

Then assemble like you see below.  It's easy and anyone who passed Kindergarten should be able to "build" their own! :)


My First CrossFit Open in Review

Alas, my first Crossfit Open is over...  I had a really good time competing and cheering on my friends as well.  My region, arguably the toughest in the Games, the Central East had roughly 5,000 competitors for the men.  I finished in 1,384th place.  This was a learning year for me and learn is what I did.  Here is what I learned from competing this year:

1.  I don't know what to do on Wednesday nights now.  For the last 5 weeks my daughter Gracie and I would race home from her guitar lessons to catch the Open Workout announcement and demo by two "Pro" CrossFit athletes.

2.  Exploit my weaknesses...don't run from them.  One glaring weakness was my double unders...as in, I couldn't do them!  I would always substitute single unders (x3) whenever DUs showed up in a workout.  My logic was that I could maintain the intensity in my workout instead of fighting through 1 or 2 double unders at a time.  Sound in theory, but in The Games there are no substitutions allowed.

3.  Have some sort of plan...anything...before going into a workout.  I found during the last workout (13.5), which was only a 4 minute AMRAP, that even on a sprint you need a plan.  I did the first set of 100 lb. thrusters and chest to bar pullups straight and then was blown for the second round.  Had I broken up at least the chest to bar pullups I would've made it further into the rep count.

4.  There is much value in having a group of people working out with you and/or cheering you on.  The hype and camaraderie goes a long way to improving your results.

Moving forward I will apply what I have learned, continue to stay focused on eating healthy and push to increase my intensity and strength gains on a weekly basis to prepare myself for next year.  In the meantime, it will be a blast to watch those who will continue on to Regionals and then finally The CrossFit Games as they push themselves to their limits in amazing feats of strength, speed and agility!


Nunc Pro Tunc: The Coming Day of Burn Barrels and Blessings (4473 parties)

From SurvivalBlog.com

This is a standing invitation to my fellow Americans: If congress ever enacts a law mandating the registration and/or a production ban of detachable magazine semiautomatic rifles then you are hereby invited to the town square of your local community. There, burn barrels will be set up and we will publicly burn Form 4473s, FFL Bound Books, state and local registration records, and the sales receipts for every firearm in the United States. On that same day, FFL holders and public officials holding electronic firearms records will simultaneously erase those records, permanently and irretrievably. (Using special file erasure software such as Blancco, X-Ways, and Stellar Wipe, or though the physical destruction of disk drives.)
Spontaneous Gatherings, Spontaneous Combustion
This burn barrel day--likely to be held the day after the President signs any new draconian legislation--will include speeches, public prayers, and the blessing of those who have gathered by ministers, rabbis, and priests.
The core of the activities on that day will be stalwart public defiance of any new unconstitutional law(s), the open and notorious destruction of records that might be used to enslave us, and vocal public affirmations of solidarity of free men and women, in the face of tyranny. This will be a defining moment for America--a line drawn in the sand. We will forthrightly declare that we will not obey any unconstitutional law and that we will treat it dismissively, as if it had never been enacted -- nunc pro tunc. We will pledge ourselves to the defense of liberty, both individually and collectively. We will vow that if ever called to jury duty, we will nullify any unconstitutional laws, vacating the charges against the accused, in accordance with our long-standing right as jurors. (See: www.FIJA.org.)
The Law is On Our Side

We will publicly re-affirm some long standing precepts of American jurisprudence, to wit:
"The General rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and name of law is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose; since unconstitutionality dates from the time of it's enactment and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it. An unconstitutional law, in legal contemplation, is as inoperative as if it had never been passed. Such a statute leaves the question that it purports to settle just as it would be had the statute not been enacted.
Since an unconstitutional law is void, the general principles follow that it imposes no duties, confers no rights, creates no office, bestows no power or authority on anyone, affords no protection, and justifies no acts performed under it...
A void act cannot be legally consistent with a valid one. An unconstitutional law cannot operate to supersede any existing valid law. Indeed, insofar as a statute runs counter to the fundamental law of the lend, it is superseded thereby.
No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it." - 16 Am Jur 2d, Sec 177 late 2d, Sec 256
Never Again!
Recognizing the many sad lessons of civilian disarmament and subsequent genocides in the 20th Century, we will make bold and forthright statement: Never Again! We will not submit to the unlawful decrees of tyrants. We will not meekly go their jails and internment camps. We will fight for our liberty, to our dying breath.
Come Armed, Come Masked
I recommend that all adults who publicly assemble at these burn barrel events do so armed, as is our right. And those who come armed should also wear masks, to protect themselves from malicious prosecution. I plan to wear a Guy Fawkes mask, but you can wear a bandana, face muffler, or the face mask of your choice. Joining you, also wearing masks, will be many mayors, sheriffs and their deputies, chiefs of police and their officers, town council members, clergy, and people of all walks of life. We vastly outnumber the tyrants. The tyrants deserve nothing but our scorn and derision. Their fate is already sealed.
Plausible Denial
After this fateful day has come and gone, FFL holders and public officials will be able to recount: "I had no choice. My records were taken by men with guns who were wearing masks!" (So they'll have no excuse if they don't cooperate with this nationwide display of civil disobedience.)
God Bless The Republic. Down with Tyrants. We Will Prevail!
- James Wesley, Rawles - January 28, 2013
Note: Permission to reprint or re-post this piece in full by any method (printed or electronically) is granted by the author (James Wesley, Rawles), as a long as it is not altered in any way and it is reproduced in full.

Link to original article...


Elf On The Shelf Fun

My wife and I are partaking in the Elf on the Shelf phenomena that is going on this year.  What is that you ask?  Straight from the ultimate resource (wikipedia):

The Elf on the Shelf

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The book was self-published in 2005 by CCA and B Publishing in Marietta, GA. The Elf on the Shelf comes in a keepsake box that features the hardbound book and a small pixie scout elf. Written in rhyme with accompanying watercolor illustrations, it is a Christmas tale of how Santa knows who is naughty and nice. The described tradition of The Elf on the Shelf usually begins around Thanksgiving and lasts until Christmas Eve, when the elves return to the North Pole until the next holiday season. The book spent time as the number one best-seller at Barnes and Noble's website.[1]

The original story

The original story was actually created in the early 1960’s, by Flora Johnson, though Christmas shelf elves were made in occupied Japan since at least the late 1950s. Many of these elves are referred to today as "knee-huggers" and are clearly marked with a 'Made in Japan' sticker.[2] Johnson most likely was familiar with these dolls. The original story involved a little elf called Christopher Pop-In-Kins who visited her children during the holiday season. Year after year, the elf returned. Then, in November 1983, Flora received a call from her very excited grandson: the elf had just “popped in” to his home! At that moment, Flora knew she had to share her own elf tradition with the rest of the world. In 1984, Flora Johnson, 59, began writing a story about a little elf who visits children during the holidays.
Over the next fifteen years, Flora made over 10,000 Christopher Pop-In-Kins elves at her kitchen table. “Book One: Christopher Pop-In-Kins Pops In” was hand-published by Flora’s husband Al and included with every doll. Flora traveled around the country, appearing on television and radio, and giving interviews to reporters. Christopher Pop-In-Kins grew in popularity and was available in specialty stores across the United States.
In 2004, years before The Elf on the Shelf, Christopher Pop-In-Kins earned the Choice Award at the Chicago Trade Show and received favorable notice at Toy Fair in New York City. Now in his 27th year, Christopher Pop-In-Kins is one of the oldest, most loved elves on the market. In recognition of his longevity, Christopher Pop-In-Kins was named Dr. Toy’s Best Classic Toy Award for 2011.


Once everyone goes to bed, the elf flies back to the North Pole to report back to Santa about what activities, good and bad, took place throughout the day. Before the family wakes up each night, the scout elf flies back from the North Pole and hides. By hiding in a new spot each morning around the house, the scout elf and the family play an on-going game of hide and seek. The Elf on the Shelf explains that elves get their magic by being named. In the back of each book, families have an opportunity to write their elf's name and the date that they adopted it. Once the elf is named, the scout elf receives its special Christmas magic which allows it to fly to and from the North Pole. However, the magic might go if touched, so the rule 9,000,000,000 for The Elf on the Shelf states: "There's only one rule that you have to follow so I will come back and be here tomorrow: Please do not touch me. My magic might go, and Santa won't hear all I've seen or I know." Although families aren't supposed to touch their scout elf, they can talk to it and tell it all their Christmas wishes so it can report back to Santa accurately. On Christmas Day your elf will leave for the rest of the year until Thanksgiving comes.

Our girls named our elf, Errol, which means "to wander".  Here are the "hiding" places we have come up with so far:

 This is one that Jen did for me (because my favorite movie is the Godfather).  The girls didn't see this one! :)

And last night, Errol the Elf, showed that he is now into CrossFit!

I hope you enjoyed!  I'll post again with a final show of all of the ones we did this year around Christmas day or so.


Photo Card

Charming Holly Wreath Christmas
Creating Christmas cards has never been this easy.
View the entire collection of cards.

CrossFit Games 2013!

I will be competing in the CrossFit Games Open for 2013.  Today the schedule was released and they have started dropping some teasers...


I've been training very hard since last year's games and my decision to get serious...I am really looking forward to this...not because I feel I'll be uber competitive, but because it'll be great to put my training to the test while competing with other CrossFitters from the area!