Welcome to Number 10!

Hey everyone! What’s good. Out there? Hope all you readers are doing as well as I am.

So here we are, post number 10! First off thanks for taking the time out to read and check out my side of the world. Also I hope you are learning and being entertained from all what i have been sharing.

I started this blog for many reasons. First as a way to keep my mind focused and keep an account of my life. Second, a lot of people have praised my writing skills . So why let my skill go to waste? Finally this is a great way to secure and promote my name on the World Wide Web.

As this being my 10th post. I figured I would share some of my top ten blogs and sites that I go to. Some are fun, interesting and even profound. Some of them have inspired me to blog in the first place. So here they are. Enjoy!

Once again thanks for reading and stay tuned for another ten posts!

1. http://societyofamateurgentlemen.wordpress.com/linkage-archive/

This is a cool place for men to get a lot of insight and tips for living in today’s modern world, some of the posts and blogs are raw, plus brutally honest. You have been warned.

2. http://www.psychologytoday.com/

Great site for figuring out all that stuff that goes on inside your head. Lots of stuff to learn in there!

3. http://io9.com/

This is where I get all my comic news and Sci-Fi stuff. A must for comic book nerds like myself.

4. http://www.blogilates.com/

Her energy alone will make you want to workout. But lots of fun exercises for women and guys too. Women always ask me fitness questions, so I usually steer them here.

5. http://www.thehousealwayswinsblog.com/

This is a cool site that I enjoy reading. Her writing style is awesome and always gives me inspiration to write more.

6. http://thestrengthshop.blogspot.com/

Another site that motivates me to write, especially about fitness. If you are a true athlete then this is the place to get that boost we all need sometimes.

7. http://www.abc-of-yoga.com/yogapractice/postures.asp

Great place to brush up on your Yoga skills. The Animations are cool and show you how to hold each pose.

8. http://earthsky.org/tonight

If you like to star gaze and track the moon, this is the place to go. It will let you know what stars and phases of the moon are around daily.

9. http://www.crossfit.com/cf-info/excercise.html

All the exercises you will ever need and some great lectures on nutrition.

10. https://www.facebook.com/

Yes Facebook! It gets a bad rep sometimes, but its only entertainment! Nothing more, nothing less.
There it is, some of my favorite places to go while I am on the World Wide Web. So join me in a toast for 10 posts and to 10 more into infinity!

Stay well!

Dean

Tools For Being Healthy & Fit

Hello everyone! What’s good out there? I hope everything is fantastic in your world.

Today is my favorite topic. Want to take a guess? That’s right Fitness! Especially the “tools” or items you can use for success in maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle. Like a craftsman who uses his tools well; you can “craft” yourself the same way with the tools I am going to share.

NUTRITION:
In order to stay healthy and fit nutrition is the base from which it starts here are some tools to help you stay on track.

  • Food Pyramid Chart

Great way to see and make sure your eating the essential Foods to keep you healthy and fit.

  • Measuring Cup

Yes! A measuring cup great for tracking and controlling your serving sizes when you cook and prepare meals.

  • Blender

Can you say Smoothies? Blend,purée and liquify fruits, vegetables and grains. Mine is 5 years old and still going strong!

APPAREL:

I would suggest investing in some workout clothes. Something that will keep you cool and dry while your sweating when working out.

Also from a personal standpoint when you change and put on some fitness gear you are more likely to be motivated to workout,even on down days.

EQUIPMENT:

This is my favorite right here! So many things to choose and train with but I am gonna give you the basics and then you can go from there.

  • Mat

Even if your Gym provides mats bring your own. That way it’s clean and no one can interrupt your workout if they are short on them.

  • Jump Rope

Easy way to do some cardiovascular exercises if the treadmills are full. I am a advocate for it because it’s so much fun.

  • Interval Timer

Another fun tool to do some circuit training and mix up your fitness routine. There are many brands to choose from like the Gymboss and Everlast.

  • Gloves or Carpenters Chalk

Personally I don’t use gloves but they do help your grip especially  the work gloves with the rubber coating on them.  Carpenters Chalk is solid and less messy and gives you the same grip as regular chalk. Its better if you want to be a naturalist like myself.

These are a few of the tools that will keep you healthy and fit for your lifestyle. You don’t have to go broke and buy them all at once! Over the course of three years I acquired things here and there that makes me want to go and play with them. At the gym I am like a little kid in the playground having a blast. Also having your own equipment means not having to wait or rush that last set because someone else is waiting for what you are working with.

So stay fit, stay healthy and be good!

Dean

Dean’s Day Off

Once again it’s that time of year for Dean’s Day Off. What is Dean’s Day Off you might ask? Well it’s the first Friday in October that I celebrate my separation from the Army. It’s a day where I can do whatever I want to do (which is like any other day). But it’s still a major milestone in my life that I feel needs recognition.

The Army was one of the best things that happened to me. I regard it as one of the cornerstones in my life besides my family. As a person coming from a single parent household and not having much it was a good place to start a new life.

Me in 1999 at Fort Jackson, SC (South Carolina)

I went in the Army and stayed for seven years. I started my career there at Fort Drum as a generator mechanic. From there I went to Germany and eventually Iraq in 2003.

Camp Dogwood, Iraq 2003 (the Suck)

Going to war was a life changing experience for me. Not only did it take me out of the comfort zone of Garrison life; but showed that no one should go to war with the U.S. This country has the resources to do some major damage to any country. I seen this first hand, and it’s not pretty at all.

British Soldiers called us American Soldiers Mutant Ninja Turtles, I wonder why?

While I was in Germany I reenlisted to go back to Fort Drum. While in Iraq though I knew I had to move on to something better for myself. So I returned from Iraq and off to Fort Drum again. In 2005 I was off to Iraq for a year this time. By now the bases were built up and secure.

Iraq 2005, chilling this time around.

Thankfully I returned home and left the Army On the first Friday in October.
Becoming a civilian again isn’t as easy it sounds. Since basic training I was brainwashed resocialized by the Army. Not saying its a bad thing but it makes adjusting to normal life a bit difficult. But my family was there for me and helped me along the way. I was once asked what have I learned since I’ve been out. What have I learned? A lot!

First have a plan and stick to it. I seen friends and acquaintances doing the SAME thing when I returned home; no progress at all. I almost got sucked into it as well, luckily my ambition for self-improvement kept me away from drugs and hanging out.

That brings me to my second thing I learned. Drugs may good for you and a great way to unwind and socialize but it’s a black hole that gets deeper with every blunt, line, drink, etc. I was a weed smoker and all I learned is that it got one of my friends killed by association of it.

Third is seek out and you will find. If you come where I came from you know there is no golden goose. No free rides or handouts. I did the leg work and put in time go out and get what I wanted.

Another thing I want to add is don’t DEPEND on anyone when you can do it for yourself. Someone once said friendship is like good credit; the less you use it the better it is. Truest words ever said! I am not saying not to ask for help, but take the initiative and be independent. People have a tendency to take advantage of your compassion and kindness. To quote my homeboy Mo Blak, “Gotta get your own!”.

Finally is to follow your instincts if something seems wrong or not right then don’t force it. My first few months home I got a ton of job offers. My mother even recommended hat I go back to school. All I knew is that I wanted a job using the skills I got from the Army, local and with healthcare and other benefits. Nine months later I got this job I am working now. I fix Subway Trains for NYC. I could have rushed headlong into the first job offer I got. Even though going back to school would have been great but that would have just delayed me looking for a job now in this austere job market.

I am happy to say that I have come a long way from where I started. The path wasn’t easy at times but I stayed the course. I never got distracted and never let my time get wasted.

So to all my Veterans out there don’t rush the transition into civilian life. As a veteran you have an advantage to use the benefits that’s out there for us. Look around! ask questions there is resources for us to use. Email me if you have any questions! Just don’t end up on the couch high or drunk waiting for the golden goose.

Stay focused!
Dean