Photography as a Lifestyle

Photography as a LifestylePhotography is my life. I have always loved to capture life’s precious moments as I would grip my camera and focus on the details that would leave me in total awe. In case you didn’t know, I have many hobbies. Actually, I like to call them passions since I think about them daily. I remember the adventures I had one summer with a friend of mine—Frank. Frank and I have been buds since junior high. When we entered adulthood, we continued to converse through the miracles of social networking. Frank and I decided to spend some time together enjoying many summer activities.

I wanted to remember these times since Frank and I rarely hung out. I had the idea of taking pictures of our real life events. These were photos I wanted to remember when I’d come across them again in the future. I had the idea of having a picnic and inviting our friends to the event. Frank looked forward to it. As a photography enthusiast, I knew exactly how to take quality pictures. Even when in doubt, I always bring my camera. When a photographer wants to take lifestyle photos, he or she must be prepared at all times. There are several toys that I like, including camera, tripod, and SD card readers. I make sure I have my bag to carry what I need; it is very convenient.

A tip I can give when it comes to taking pictures of everyday life is to be creative. Don’t worry if the action or object you want to take a picture of looks odd to some people. Uniqueness is a great quality to have and it stands out from ordinary photos. No matter how trivial we thought the action or object was at first glance, I would take the snapshot. I took pictures at the picnic we had with our friends. We were eating subs, fresh watermelon, and other goodies and I was telling jokes to the point that Frank had a “laugh attack.” This allowed me to capture moments that built into a true, interesting story to tell friends. [Read more...]

Smooth Ride on Mini S

Smooth Ride on Mini SEverybody and their mothers know I am a car fanatic. It has been this way since I was a kid.  I like comparing wide body versus stock. The same goes with automobile manufacturers comparing Ford and Chevy; it does not matter to me. I keep up with the trends, especially what is coming out this year. Matter of fact, I had the great opportunity to meet up with an old friend of mine who had just purchased the 2014 Mini Cooper S. I don’t like or dislike Coopers, and I had not driven the 2014 automobile until a few weeks ago. I know “advancement in technology” makes our life better, but I was a tad skeptical with this new release. Luckily for me, that skepticism instantly diminished once I hopped in the driver’s seat.

The 2014 Mini Cooper S has a four-cylinder engine and six-speed auto transmission with a maximum speed of 145 miles per hour. The Cooper’s length is 151.1 inches, which is an increase of 4.3 inches. The moment I sat in the almost 2,800-pound vehicle, I felt an instant rush as I changed gears. I took it out for a spin as my friend satnext to me and the drive was smoother than peanut butter. The paddle shifters allowed the experience to be better than expected, especially for shifters that were crafted from plastic. [Read more...]

Big Blue’s Plans for the Next 5 Years

Big Blue’s Plans for the Next 5 YearsI’m what they call a “techie,” an individual who loves to learn and play with new gadgets. Desktops, laptops, iPhones, and other pieces of technology are always updating faster than the speed of light. As time passes, things evolve, and for the most part it is for the better. A new IBM project is surfacing and I am stoked to talk about what I’ve learned so far.

Over $3 billion dollars is being invested over the next five years. IBM’s goal is to make smaller, more packed processors and other tech parts. IBM wants to continue progress in the world of computing and help with development in the next half-decade. A smaller, yet more efficient processor is just what I need for my notebook.

Big Blue, the nickname referring to IBM, wants to create nanometer-sized transistors with more compartmentalized features. The second wish IBM wants to make come true is to find alternatives to the current silicon chip with more durable materials. Introduction of new technologies to manufacturing is IBM’s concern and the company has already planned teams in areas such as Switzerland and New York for new staff to start the work. The research conducted by these teams will be analyzing ways to advance today’s technology. [Read more...]

Rise from Ashes or How I Became Independent

Rise from Ashes or How I Became IndependentI came a long way. Never could I imagine rising from the ashes and stepping onto the platform of doing what I love—doing what I was born to do. I dreamed of being able to write and photograph life’s precious moments ever since I could remember. I have always liked the idea of doing something I could never get bored with while still being my own boss and helping other people. I started at the bottom as I tried to learn how to improve my writing as well as getting people to buy my writings. It wasn’t all roses as I have had to jump hurdles, so to speak.d

When I first started freelance work, I had no idea how to navigate. I asked myself questions such as: “How should I start?” and “Will I manage?” – I was, like walking back and forth, questioning my actions. The very first tip I would give to those who are just starting out is to start freelance work on the side. I was smart enough to start out slow and doing simple writing assignments before I went any deeper.

I had set up my freelancer profile at a responsible and credible website. On the page, I put my picture up as well as a description about my freelance copywriting and photography. I was ecstatic when I found my first client.

She liked a piece I had written on promising technology news. New innovations are always making their debut, and she wanted me to touch on a new phone app and include a few pictures. It was a challenge that at first I thought was very simple, but once I presented the finished product, she thought the work was “good.” What does that mean exactly? Her voice sounded more disappointed than pleased. When she went on my freelancer website, she gave me 2.5 out of 5 stars.

As a novice, I didn’t know how to take criticism. The next few clients after her gave me up to 3 out of 5 stars. People started to not want to recommend me to their co-workers and other businesses. My appetite for improving my ratings and building great relationships between my customers and myself grew as I continued to analyze what I was doing wrong. [Read more...]

How I Visited Boxing Class

How I Visited Boxing ClassI was talking enthusiastically about boxing to my friend who was very surprised. He didn’t know that I liked boxing so much and asked me about it. What he didn’t know was that I’d been attending boxing training at my neighborhood gym for some time. He was stunned at hearing it. As I’d not show any inclination toward the sport before it was certainly a big surprise for him.

I told him about my experience at the gym and how I’d bought high quality boxing gloves; see them here, and other stuff to. Boxing fitness training is needed to increase the performance in boxing. The training a boxer receives at the gym will determine how many rounds he can fight and the stamina that he needs to last till the final round.

The training also burns out the calories. Before starting on the training, you need to warm up for a minimum of ten minutes, so the muscles and also the tendons become flexible and avoid being injured while training. The training should be done thrice in a week to see good improvement in the fighting. Hydration is an important factor that should not be ignored.

There are some important factors to keep in mind while taking the training.

Dedication

The training should be done consistently and with complete dedication. You need to set aside a particular time for the training and do it without any distractions. Training with a friend is a good way to keep you motivated.

Rest is important

While training is more about exercising, you also need to get sufficient time to rest your muscles, so they recover well from the training. Sleep is the best way to do this. Ensure that you get eight hours of sleep at night. This will increase your focus and improve performance to a great extent.

Nutrition

Choosing the right type of foods also matter on how effective the training is. With a nutritious and well balanced diet, you can withstand heavy and tough training sessions easily. The calories you consume are also very vital for your stamina. Too much fat consumption can prevent you from getting the right fitness training.

Preparation

You need to wear the proper gear for the training right from the comfortable clothes to the appropriate footwear. This keeps you free of distractions due to the unfit clothes or equipment, and lets you focus on the training in a better way.

Exercises

Here are some of the exercises you should do

  • Jogging a minimum of 3 or 4 miles a day is important. You should end the jogging with sprint to increase fitness and improve performance, and gradually increase the distance to 6 or 8 miles.
  • Interval training consisting of jogging, skipping and sprinting can be done to increase stamina.
  • Skipping rope is another important exercise that helps in burning the calories and also increases the calf muscle strength. Improved balance and coordination is achieved. The Skipping can be done in different ways to increase the effectiveness.

With the training and other fitness tips overall I liked my boxing training, learn more about boxing here.

My Brand New Boots

My Brand New BootsThis post is just a quick update about a purchase that I made recently that I am excited enough to write about here. I am not really a fashion person, and I don’t do a lot of shopping, but I have always paid special attention to my shoes. I like having something that is unique and different to wear than other people. Recently, I bought a pair of military-style boots because I thought that they looked amazing. I got the information for them from a website called Combat Boots Pro, which offers really good information on combat, hiking and trekking boots.

There are many types of combat boots. There are boots made for different situations, including patrol desert situations and straight-up fashion among others. This means that there are styles for al types of climates and uses. The other important thing is that they are built to be tough and to last. This is important to me when I am making a purchase that I want to last.

The boots that I chose to buy are called the Atlama OD Jungle Combat Boots. They are really solid, all-around boots. This is good since I plan on wearing them fairly regularly. Some of the things that I particularly like about them are their good price as well as their rugged vulcanized outsoles and their nylon webbing for comfort and drainage vents for moisture control.

I also like how they look. They look tough and they do look a little military, but they don’t make me look like I’m running a boot camp when I wear them or anything like that. Even though their price was really reasonable, these boots are solidly made and I see them as investment. I look forward to wearing these boots for a long time to come.

Back into Bike Riding

Back into Bike RidingI am going to admit that I have a thing for motorcycles. My dad used to restore old bikes in our garage when I was a child. So, I grew up with them around. To me, they are the essence of cool. I love everything about them, from the sound of their engines to their slick style. I love all of the brands and styles, from the American-made classics to choppers to dirt bikes.

Recently, I fixed up my old bike that has been in the shed for a while. It looks great now, and I have been riding a lot and I have really gotten back into it and the lifestyle. I have really stated riding regularly and I have even been socializing with a couple of people that are really into dirt bike (which I am fairly new to). It’s been a lot of fun, and I am glad that I have had the opportunity to take up riding again.

My bike is nice, but my gear is pretty basic overall. Right now I have a good helmet and that’s about it. I’m thinking that for safety (and just because they look amazing) I should invest in a pair of motorcycle boots and maybe even a good jacket. The problem is that there are so many styles of boots and jackets, and buying them is so personal, that it is a lot to consider. For the boots, I found a great site that offers reviews at http://motorcyclebootshero.com/.

I am really excited to be riding again, but I realize that I am not 100% back in the game yet. Part of riding a bike really is about style and attitude. I can’t wait until I get my new stuff so that I can be riding in style.

Swimming Pools and Shamrocks

Swimming Pools and ShamrocksMy brother, Ian, and his family recently bought a new house. They have a beautiful plot of land now. Since they know that I like to garden, they have asked me to help them with it. I have spent part of my summer driving between their property and various local greenhouses and gardening shops to get it finished for them. He has provided a lot of the labor, and we have really enjoyed working together. To be honest, I was a little worried at first. I am more used to indoor plants and container gardening. I have to admit that this has been my biggest project to date, and it has been a lot of work. Having said that, I have really enjoyed it. Now that it is almost finished, and it has turned out really well, I thought that I would write a little update here.

Hardscaping First

Their house already had a small patio space to one side, but it was really too small to use for entertaining. In addition to that, my Ian and his wife decided that they wanted an above ground pool. This meant that there was going to have to be some additional hardscaping. We actually ended up putting in a brand new deck that wraps around their swimming pool. It looks beautiful now that it is finished. As I have been helping Ian out through the whole process, this part of my summer landscaping challenge was really a learning process, even for me. We have all had to do research. Regarding the pool, I found possibly the best place to start was this buying guide.

Plants and Plans

The rest has been more straightforward. In addition to the deck, we also put in a small retaining wall along the back of the property. It is curving and made of stones with moss tucked in for effect, so it is very pleasing to look at, and it has allowed for a border of tall grasses and some flowers for colour.  The growing season and soil are okay in his area, but he is not much of a gardener. Because of this, I tried to always stick to perennials that are hearty and easy to grow with a little bit of burgundy shamrock to honor our roots. His land already had some nice, mature trees and hedges. So, there was nothing to do there other than give some of them a good trim.

My brother says that he couldn’t be happier, and I’ve been told that they are already using the pool spending a good deal of time out in their new garden even though not all the plants are in yet. I hope to finish up this week and I’ve already bought Ian a green man as a present. I am really happy that I was able to help him with the whole thing. It was a great bonding experience for the both of us.

Smoking Meat, American Style

Smoking Meat, American StyleI have to say that I am not really aware of traditional American food, but a friend recently told me that what I think of barbeque is not the same things as what she knows. She said that most of what we eat, like hamburgers and hotdogs, is considered grilling. It’s a type of barbeque, but it is not what she grew up with at all. Apparently, there is another type of barbecue that is particularly prized in the South that is called smoking. This type requires a lot of time over low heat and with wood chips to create a smoky flavor. This is achieved through a smoker like the one here. I have to admit hat I didn’t even know that such a thing existed.

I asked her what the taste was like, and she told me that it was really regionally specific so it is a little hard to explain. Apparently barbeque traditions are so strong in some areas that there are subcultures built around them. Different areas have their own sauces, which have different thicknesses, sweetness levels and spices. Also, people from different areas even use different meats, for instance some places in the American South, like North Carolina, would use pork, and barbeque it “whole hog” with a thin vinegar-based sauce. In many of the “Southern” styles of barbeque they eat coleslaw as a side dish. This is a tangy tasting cabbage salad.

A Texan, however, would have one of four main styles, and they really love something called brisket. As an example of one of the styles, in the eastern part of the state they use beef or pork with hickory wood for flavor. They then chop it and serve it on a bun with a sweet and thick sauce. My friend is from Texas and she says that this is her favorite type, but even in Texas the barbeque is completely different from one place to the next. One thing though, is that Texans usually eat potato salad and pinto beans with their barbeque instead of coleslaw.

Since this is a completely new cooking method for me, I started looking around to try to find out what it is all about. My friend told me that the easiest was to start is with a good electric smoker because they are easy to clean and the temperature stays even. I read a bit about smoking and it is amazing. Smoking takes a long time! The meat has to rest in a dry rub of spices for a while and then smoke for many, many hours. Having said that, it seems like with an electric smoker it is okay to just let it work on its own. Can you imagine if you had to constantly watch your food cook and add fuel for 9 or 10 hours! Some people still do it that way, and the people who do treat it so seriously that they have major competitions.

My friend said it is delicious and that Southerners are very proud of their barbequing. Anyway, it was an interesting thing to learn about and I am going to have to try that style of food someday.

Designer Dog Day

Designer Dog DayA while ago, I got a job writing for a site about going behind the scenes at a professional dog show. I won’t repeat what I’ve already put into the article here, but I thought I’d give you all a “behind the scenes” of my day behind the scenes, if it were. 

I have to say that I love dogs, I even have dogs, but I had no idea what I was getting into with this show. I am used to easy-to-care-for mutts that make it to the vet once a year. I definitely am not used to all of the effort that goes into maintaining a purebred dog at the competition level.

The first thing I noticed was the names of the dogs.  I was given a roster sheet at the start of the day, and some of the things they were called really are incredible. After that, I noticed how intense it all was. The space it takes to hold a dog show is huge, and there were people and dogs everywhere.

There were very professional-looking setups for the dogs.  All of the owners, trainers and handlers took their jobs extremely seriously, and I actually think that the dogs did too by extension. I mean, they have to be able to feel the energy, after all. I honestly wanted to interview a few people, but everyone was so busy that they onlyhad time for a work or two. Mostly, I had to just pick up on the feel of the day and go with it for the article.

Past the actual owners and handlers, dog shows have many other people. There are, of course, the judges, but there are also vets, members of the public, breeders and professional dog groomers in attendance. Having said this, it is definitely the handlers that are the busiest. They not only walk the dogs in the ring, but they also serve as the dogs’ groomers before everything starts. This is a lot to take on, as they are responsible for almost all of the care and presentation of the animals.

I had no idea what dog grooming entailed before working on this article, but I found some good information on this site that shows it entails everything for teeth cleaning to fur styling to nail trimming and more. The handlers often have to know very specialized styles and cuts for different breeds of dogs, and there are even trends for dog grooming! The handlers and groomers all seem to be extremely good at their jobs to be working at that level.

After the dogs are “benched” for their grooming, the show begins in what is known as the “conformation ring.” The round of the dog show that we usually see on T.V. is really the last step in a series of different rounds of judging for each breed of dog. After they win their breed division, they are put together into a group of like breeds for a round and then those champions are reviewed for the overall winner.

It was a unique experience to say the least. I’m not sure if I’ll ever have the time or chance to go back to an event like that, but I have to admit that I did get caught up in watching the “best in show” round, even though my favorite didn’t win.

Fish Finding and Gift Giving

Fish Finding and Gift GivingI think that everyone knows someone who is impossible to shop for. Either they already have everything in the world, or the things that they want are so obscure and technical that they are impossible to get. For example, my brother, Ian, once told me that he wanted a subwoofer for his car, but he forgot to tell me which one he wanted.

My Uncle Mark’s 50th birthday is coming up in three weeks, and he is the epitome of this type of person to buy for. (Sorry Uncle Mark, but it’s true! And, you should probably not read this if you don’t want to spoil your surprise.) Every year everyone on my side of the family goes in on a gift together to ship to him because he lives about 300 miles away. This year it is my responsibility to try and fin him something that suits his personality, which is very different from mine.

Uncle Mark loves sports and the great outdoors. He is into everything from biking to hiking to disc golf to fishing. I want to buy him something that will help him on one of these hobbies. I’ve decided against buying him anything for biking, hiking and disc gold because I really have no idea what he needs. Besides, how many flying discs can ne man need? Added to that, he loves fishing the most, so that is the place I am looking.

I started off by looking at fishing rods, but then I realized that they are not exactly the best thing to giftwrap and ship. Tackle won’t work either because I have no idea what types of lures fish like or even what fish are in Uncle Mark’s region. After nixing those two possibilities, I was at a loss for a while and ended up having to do a lot of looking around.

I found a great guide at Fish Finder Central. I think I have found the perfect gift here. Uncle Mark has both a kayak and a small rowboat that he fishes from and these fishfinders use sonar and GPS to help track down the best places to go to get the best catch.

It’s amazing how small and lightweight these are. There are different types of fish finders, some are portable and some attach to the boat. I think a portable one will be the best choice for his, as he can switch it back and for the between his two boats. Even more, they are the perfect price for our family gift and it is easy to ship.

Now, all I have to do is confirm my idea with my family and make the order. Gift shopping is complete, and I actually think Uncle Mark will love this.

How to Become Successful Freelancer

How to Become Successful FreelancerA nine to five job with a hefty paycheck is what most of us dream of when we are young. I too had fantasized such a scenario, when I was young. Unfortunately I did not take into account the stress or boredom that you get when you work under someone and also do not like the work you do. Working on a schedule that I’m fully in control, became more appealing as the sheen of the nine to five job started wearing off.  Freelancing is the trend now.  A recent study has revealed that over 40% of workers in America would earn by freelancing only, by the year 2020.

Why freelancing is more lucrative?

The present state of economy does not give you much leeway in terms of keeping your job, even if it is something you do not like much. Full time work is not available that easily and if you’ve been unemployed, the chances of you getting full time job again is very less. More and more companies are cutting down jobs and it is harder than ever before to get a job and that too one that you love to do. The best solution for this is going the freelance way.

Here are some top tips that I’ve gleaned from my time as freelancer that I’m sure will help you out, if you are considering freelancing as your profession. I know the true ways, as I’m a Successful Freelancer. I recommend hooking readers to your copy. These are the things that have made me stick to freelancing and also do it wholeheartedly. When you are finished with the reasons below, you’ll forget what an office is and plunge into freelancing readily.

Socializing is vital

The most crucial factor in freelancing is talking to a maximum number of people in the time you have. I’ve always come across as an introvert or shy person to my acquaintances. But after taking up freelancing, I realized early on that it is the accidental interactions with complete strangers that turn out to be the most fruitful than any planned meetings.

For a freelancer networking is vital to gain visibility and exposure. Most of your clients will be those who travel with you on planes or trains, and distant friends of friends you know. To gain more leverage, you need to learn the skill of starting a conversations. Though initially it may be hard you’ll catch up on the tactic soon.

Let your interest motivate your work selection

No matter what subject of work you’re skilled at, you get hired because of your skills and not on what you know about the industry or company. If you start working for a company, because you have the necessary experience, but are not interested in it, you will find it hard to do the job and soon lose interest and worse you’ll not have a boss to egg you on. Even if you don’t have any prior experience, if you‘ve the interest then it will work out well. For instance, professional photographing is a legit source of income that you can try out, if you’re interested in photography.

Increased productivity

When working for someone else you will not feel totally engaged in the work you do. But this is not the case, when you freelance. The simple reason is you cannot afford it. Most of the time, I try to accomplish as much as I can by setting a timer. The more work you do as a freelancer, the more you are paid and vice versa. So your work will and does improve when you freelance.

Risk factors

While the positive side to freelancing is you are your own boss and can function freely, it comes with its own risk factors. For one thing, you need to produce constantly to keep yourself afloat. The result of this is you feel anxious about how you can support yourself, if you’re not getting enough work to do. A regular pay check does not have such issues.

And another effect of freelancing is the excitement you feel when you find that you can earn as much as you can. Even if you do not get that excited feeling, you can well fake it. A positive attitude will get you more opportunities than by being moody and depressed.

Get a good working environment

The best way to work as a freelancer is to find which environment suits you best. If you’re an introvert like me, you’ll feel too crowded by an office atmosphere. An open environment will suit you well. But for extroverts who need the energy radiating from an office atmosphere seeking out co-working areas is better. Frequenting the coffee spots in the city is also a good way to help your work environment. When you find the right environment, you can see your work flourishing.

Veer away from traditional mindset

While a balanced work and personal life may go well with the traditional jobs, a freelancing does not come with perks like planned weekends, holiday or free evenings. You need to adjust to your new and atypical job. You can well have a working vacation as doing freelancing does not need you to be confined to the work space. You can spend your time as you want as long as you manage to be productive and earn at the same time.

Exerting total control

In an office setup there are people who look after the managing part and ensure that you deliver on time. With freelancing you have to monitor each and every aspect of your work all by yourself. Being on top all the time requires a great deal of work, but it is worth the freedom it gives. By planning your schedule and keeping track of the due dates, work to deliver and keeping tabs on clients you can be on top successfully.

Ask a higher rate

Since you need to take care of aspects like Social Security and also Medicare, you should set higher rates for your work. Increase as much as you can, and if possible try pricing per item rather than working per hour. You can easily assess how much an hour’s work is worth and when you do not work an hour, you know how much you have to lose.  Time is money in freelancing and you should never forget this. Ensure that you don’t leave space for tax deduction, when you file your returns.

With freelancing one of the most important advantages is you can work from anywhere and at any time. I was able to overcome my laziness and create my own success story with freelancing. Why don’t you try this out too!

My Acquaintance with Longboarding

My Acquaintance with LongboardingI love taking pictures. I take pictures of everything. Buildings, cars, families, and of course, nature. One day, as I was doing my usual scouting of what photos I wanted to take next, a sudden idea popped in my head. I decided to go to the nearby skate park. I remember seeing some skateboarders doing some cool moves and I thought a couple of stills would look good. While I was snapping some pics, I heard someone call my name.

“John! Dude, it’s me!” It was my friend Matt! This isn’t the same Matt who helped me with my Crossfit; this is the one I went to high school with. He was a big skateboarding enthusiast who used to get in trouble for skating in the school’s parking lot and scraping the curbs. After high school, he started to do some competitions and got the chance to make it to the pros. Who knew all of that mischief paid off? “Matty! I almost didn’t recognize you with that scruffy beard you got there. How ya doin’, man? Long time, no see!” I said to him.

“No kidding! Hey, check out the gift my girl got me.” I examined closely–it wasn’t another one of his skateboards. No way, it looked way too long. “Um, is that a skateboard fit for a 7 foot tall man?” I joked. “Naw man,” he responded. “This is called a longboard. It’s like the skateboard’s cousin, only it’s longer and not as thick. Let me show you what this baby can do!”

Matt started to do sharp turns on the board around the skate park and skated back towards me. “Man, this thing is awesome!” Matt said. “Yeah, man! I want to learn more about longboarding.” “Sure thing, man” he responded. Matt told me to visit this website where it talks about the basics and gives loads of longboard reviews.

So, I went home and started to google up on my laptop about riding the longboard. I learned there are two riding stances: regular and goofy. The regular stance is when the left foot is forward on the board. Goofy is when the right foot is forward on the board. Once you find your stance preference, you stand on the long board on an even surface like a smooth parking lot. It’s to make sure how comfortable you are. While the front foot is on the board, you take the back foot and gently push off a few times until getting a good speed.

I decided to read the website and learn more for a couple of hours. I was so immersed in the subject, that I decided to watch some videos. My friend Matt told me what his video channel handle was, and I looked at some of the cool moves. He even pushed with his front foot, called “pushing Mongo,” even though most longboard riders simply use the back foot. This has inspired me to looking into longboarding. I hope to be as good as Matt… or at least, close enough.

Win Street Fights Easy With These Tips (I did!)

Win Street Fights Easy With These Tips (I did!)Sometimes, I hate going to the bar. I mean, yes I love to drink with my friends. After a long day’s work, who doesn’t need some suds? Unfortunately, something always happens when I step inside…I do not like to fight; I try to calm people down with my words. Dudes always try to step to me, but thanks to my father teaching me some Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu when I was 9, I knew how to defend myself.

My father studied the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for over 30 years. I didn’t need Schwarzenegger or Stallone to know how to fight or how to look tough like a lot of boys’ heroes… All I needed was my dad. I remember when I was bullied badly in 3rd grade. They made fun of my glasses and how chubby I was. One day, my dad was home from work early and saw me with the cuts and bruises from this kid name Joey and his twin brother Jimmy. I told my dad what happened and he knew exactly what to do. He went downstairs to the basement and grabbed a tough grappling dummy. After showing me some moves on the dummy, he had me practice on it. Every day, I practiced for at least two hours with my dad and the grappling dummy. Let’s just say, after using the different holds I was taught, Joey and Jimmy left me alone for the entire year.

Now, back to the bar. I was drinking with my four other friends: Mike, Matt, Gary, and Paul. We were all talking about work and some new PC games that were coming out at the time. I got up and started to head towards the bathroom. I mean, drinking a lot of light beer will do that. The bar’s bathroom was single-stalled, so I knew I had to act quick. A guy bumped into me as he was exiting the bathroom. “Careful,” I muttered to myself. “What?” asked the guy. “No, man. You were in my way!” He had a grimace on his face as if he was ready to deck me. “You better say sorry, brut, or I’m knocking you out!”

Here’s a quick tip. Before getting into something stupid, wake up. Be aware of your surroundings. I still had a bottle in hand and I was on the outside of the bathroom, which is good because there was the front door and an alternate exit on my right. I tried to then defuse the situation by apologizing. Still, this 6’2”, 200+ pound inebriated behemoth wouldn’t listen. I tried to walk away, so while still having my eye on him, I tried to back away.

This drunkard looked like he was ready to rumble, so I stood at a fighting stance, after I placed the bottle at a nearby table. The people sitting there were smart enough to move the glass beer bottles away from our reach. I put my hands up, with clenched fists, in front of my face. The guy tried to head butt me, but he tripped and I took him down against the wall. I started punching his eyes and nose and someone even tried to help out my kicking him in the gut. It was my friend Paul, that crazy dude.

We all ran out of that bar that Saturday morning and hopped in Matt’s SUV. We all headed to my place and I let them crash until 1:00 PM. Some other tips I would give to you? Don’t be afraid to knee the assailant in the groin, always keep your guard up, tried to defuse the situation without resorting to violence, and if the guy is down, get out of there! I think I will start drinking at home again.