9 – 11 Remembrance

September 13, 2020

Good morning friends.  It’s been an interesting week.  I have been doing my own self-reflection since Labor Day.  Past, recent and current events continue to flood my mind and tear at my soul.  Trying to make sense of the craziness can boggle the mind.  The violence and hate in our streets today is simply beyond comprehension.  Senseless and tragic events of the past, coupled with ongoing riots, equally concern and sadden me.  Our countries own inner turmoil will destroy our nation if we allow it.  Terrorism has many faces.  All are equally as evil.         

This past Friday we honored the 19th Anniversary of the September 11th attacks.  Thousands of innocent lives perished because radicals believed they could impose their will and ideals on the world.  This was a heinous and brutal act of terrorism.  In the past, fanatics have similarly attempted to control their lands, as well as the world.  Sadly, it may not be the last time we face an evil adversary.  Our nation stands for freedom and equality.  We continue to fight for the rights of all people.  Don’t believe the agenda of extremists or those attempting to destroy our nation.  Some politicians and leftist groups want to defund law enforcement and tear down our government.  Too many people have fought hard to keep our nation free.  Many have sacrificed their lives to ensure our freedom.  Others are risking their lives daily to maintain our society and preserve our way of life.    

If you lived through the terrorist attack that occurred on September 11, 2001, I’m sure you remember where you were when you heard the news.  I know exactly where I was and what I was doing at the exact moment.  It was an incredibly sad and painful day for us and the world.  I’d been a cop with the LAPD for 21 years.  I thought I had witnessed many horrific incidents during my career.  Nothing would ever come close to what I was about to see on that tragic Tuesday morning. 

I was a sergeant assigned to the Tactics Training Unit.  It was a busy morning, as I was preparing to address a new recruit class.  I would be providing instruction and training on our departments Use of Deadly Force Policy.  Our session began at 0600 hours (0900 EST).  I was just concluding my opening introduction when one of our officers hastily entered the classroom and approached me.  He said, “You need to turn on the television.  You won’t believe what’s happening!”

I turned on the television and it took me a moment to comprehend what was occurring.  The north tower of the World Trade Center was on fire.  I only had several seconds to rationalize what I was seeing.  It was at that moment, 0903 (EST), United Airlines flight #175, with 9 crew, 51 passengers and five terrorists, was deliberately flown into the south tower.  We would later learn the details of both flights.  The first terrorist act occurred at 0846 (EST).  American Airlines flight #11, with 11 crew, 76 passengers and five terrorists, had been intentionally flown into the north tower.

We huddled together and watched the news reports in silent horror.  I advised the class to stay in the room.  I placed another instructor in the class to provide strength and comfort.  I immediately went to our office to speak with our staff and officers.  Every television set was tuned into the hideous scene playing out in real time.  The LAPD Communications section issued a Tactical Alert broadcast, advising all personnel of the attacks.  We were placed on stand-by for whatever may occur in the City of Los Angeles.   

Thirty-four minutes later, at 0937 (EST), American Airlines flight #77, with 6 crew, 53 passengers and five terrorists, slammed into the side of the Pentagon, in Washington D.C. 125 individuals were killed at the facility. 

At 1003 (EST), United Airlines flight #93, with 7 crew, 33 passengers and four terrorists crashed into a field in Pennsylvania.  Passengers on board learned of the terror attacks in New York and D.C.  They knew what their fate would be if they just sat and watched.  These brave individuals immediately formulated a plan, fought the terrorists, causing the plane to crash, rather than hitting it’s intended target in Washington D.C.  Their courage and unselfish actions saved additional innocent lives on the ground that day.    

2,606 people died at the World Trade Center, including 343 firefighters and 71 law enforcement officers.  125 died at the Pentagon, including 55 military personnel.  265 individuals were killed on the four airplanes, including the 19 terrorists.  It’s estimated that 25,000 total injuries occurred in all the attacks, including those that resulted in later health issues.  Many first responders; including fire, police and rescue personnel have since passed away from cancer and respiratory illnesses caused by the catastrophe.  Many others continue to suffer from long term health issues and trauma.    

The people who died that day aren’t just numbers or statistics.  They are sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, mothers and fathers; all part of the human race.  They are like many Americans, who were beginning that bright and beautiful Tuesday.  It’s heartbreaking they didn’t know it would be their last day.  They were living in freedom, working, traveling and unaware that evil wanted to do them harm.  Firefighters, police officers and first responders didn’t hesitate to forge their way into blazing structures to assist and rescue victims.  This was their personal calling in life.  It wasn’t just their profession, but a loyalty to others few will ever know or understand.  It was their commitment and sworn oath to protect and serve us all.  Race, ethnicity and gender played no role that day, or the days that followed.  We were then and are now, Americans.

In remembrance, please offer your prayers and positive thoughts so the thousands of lives lost that day will never be forgotten.  The families and friends of all the individuals who perished that tragic day will forever mourn their loss.  Never forget the valor and courage of the first responders, firefighters, law enforcement and military personnel.  We owe these courageous men and women our respect and gratitude.  They place themselves in harm’s way daily to ensure our safety and freedom.  They do not deserve the unfair and despicable treatment from radical individuals, groups or politicians that’s occurring today.  We need to stand strong and united to defend them.  Ensure your children are taught about this sad day, so the memories of those events will forever be embraced with love.  Our heroes will always stand to protect us from evil; as we need to stand to protect them.   

Now friends, we face another type of adversary.  It is an internal attack on our rights, freedoms and way of life.  Individuals, groups, media outlets and even some politicians are spreading discourse, division and fear.  It’s disgusting and shameful that political “leaders” endorse violence and hate because of their dislike of one man.  They want him out of office so bad they will stop at nothing to accomplish their goal.  In the process they are destroying our nation and dividing our people.  Their agenda is for you to believe there is racial tension and inequality.  This is what these individuals do best.  They blame others for the problems or issues our country struggles to resolve.  They offer no viable solution, only hate and discontent.  This has been happening for decades.  When these people are in power, nothing improves and our population suffers.  These individuals remain in political office, continuing to build personal wealth and increase their control.       

The hypocrisy that some politicians display is simply astounding.  They continue to impose rules and restrictions for the population, yet they are immune from their own policies.  When they are caught and called out for these atrocities they immediately point a finger to blame others.  They always deflect any or all responsibility for their actions.  It’s never their fault, especially when their own schemes go sideways.  These so call “leaders” have no skills or grace to be leading or making our decisions.  They have no problem displaying their own privileged status.  I doubt they care about helping us or doing the right thing for our nation.  Their agenda is to control the population in any way possible.  At this moment, they seem to be succeeding to some degree.  I expect them to love and respect America, as much, if not more than I.  They should be pillars of good character; leading our nation by example.    

It’s truly agonizing and frustrating the far left control the majority of social media platforms and news outlets.  Anytime you tune in to the news or view social media, the stories and perspectives are slanted and distorted.  You only get one version of a story or what occurred; theirs.  You have to search for factual accounts and truth.  If you only rely on their embellished tales and disinformation, you are subjecting yourself to the propaganda they want you to believe.  Their agenda is clear and they impose it on us 24/7.  They want you to believe what they’re telling you.  Be fearful.  Stay divided.  Don’t go outside or socialize with others, including your family.  The police are bad.  Racism and inequality are rampant in our society. 

The far leftists are pushing their agenda and selling us lies.  They will continue this assault on America and the American people until they gain control.  They are seeking all the power to enable them to further limit our rights and take away our freedom.  Millions of men and women gave their lives to protect us against enemies who attempted to rule society.  Thousands of men and women, in our military and law enforcement, continue the fight today to preserve our freedom.  Our way of life, and society as we know it, may be in jeopardy.  The urgency is real.  Let’s stand together to reclaim our democracy, “One nation, under God, with Liberty and Justice for All.”      

This has nothing to do with what side of the “political fence” you stand.  We are all Americans.  We all should be working together for freedom, equality and a better life.  I hope you value what we have in this country as much as I do.  Radical individuals, groups, media outlets and some politicians are pushing a more sinister agenda.  They are working hard to destroy our democracy, economy and freedom.  We cannot allow anarchy and violence to rule our land.  I stand for law, order, equality and freedom.  What do you stand for? 

Never Forget September 11,2001.  Always remember how you (we all) felt during the attack and how we united as one people the 12th.  Love and cherish your family, and each other as Americans.

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!

Labor Day – I’m an American

September 6, 2020

Good morning my friends.  I hope you are all enjoying a happy and relaxing Labor Day weekend.  Be sure to make time to enjoy and be grateful for life.  Even with the chaos and craziness, self-care is one of the most important things you can do for you.  When you’re happy, the world is easier to navigate.  It builds self-confidence and mental fortitude.  Discover the bliss in life.  Your family, friends and those closest to you, will benefit from your joy.  Choose happiness.  It’s completely up to you, and not dependent on anyone or anything.

Do you know how the Labor Day Holiday originated?  In the mid to late 1800’s the Industrial Revolution was at its peak.  Many people (including children) were working 12+ hour days in factories, mills and shops.  Peter McGuire, a labor union leader in New York City, originally proposed the idea in 1882.  He believed American workers should have a holiday to honor them.  The New York City Labor Union agreed with his idea.  The holiday quickly spread to other states.  The push for an eight-hour work day began in 1886.  Labor Day became a national holiday in 1894.  Activism against child labor began in the early 1900’s.  The United States was growing economically and developing as a world power.  Our population was increasing by leaps and bounds.  Immigrants from all around the globe flocked to this country to become Americans.  

Labor Day is traditionally observed on the first Monday of September.  The holiday was designated on that date to provide an additional break between Independence Day and Thanksgiving.  The date typically meant the end of summer, but I’m not sure that still applies today (especially with the chaos over the last six months).  Many families enjoy time off and summer vacations together.  Kids return to school after the summer break.  This year, it’s difficult to explain what’s been happening.  Schools and careers have been turned upside down from the virus.  Over the last decade, schools have started classes earlier to accommodate district and parental needs.  I can only imagine the challenges and difficulties parents, and children, have been dealing with this year.  The best solution is to always keep pushing forward.  Success is achieved through discipline, hard work and perseverance.  The educational system, as well as kids and parents, need to step up and make it work.  I believe a big dose of thanks and gratitude is always helpful too, no matter what.  Consider what our parents and grandparents faced when they came to America. 

My father’s parents immigrated to the United States from Italy in the early 1900s.  His family settled in the Ohio Valley.  My grandfather worker in the coal mines.  The surrounding area was littered with them.  Coal fueled industries, transportation and homes.  My Dad was the youngest of seven siblings; five brothers and one sister.  He grew up in an ethnically and racially diverse community.  He enjoyed sharing stories of his childhood.  His friendships were many and life-long.  Visiting family in Ohio seemed to bring his stories instantly to life.  His vibrant accounts included many memories of family, friends, school and naughty antics.  The tragic deaths of two brothers brought trauma and pain.  He talked about the community support his family received from a spectrum of people.  They were an ethnic and cultural mix of Americans.  These were simpler times.  People worked hard long hours for everything they had.  Respect, honesty and gratitude were the fabric of society.    

My mother’s family also immigrated from Italy to the America.  She was born in Italy and was the youngest of ten siblings.  Her family came to the USA to escape Mussolini.  He was a Fascist dictator, who with the help of supporters, overthrew the democratic government in 1922.  My mom recalled having to salute ‘Il Duce’ (his nickname) every morning at elementary school.  He ruled in tyranny.  My mother’s family fled their home, to escape his authoritarian government. They were allowed to leave with one suit case each of personnel items.  Their home, property and all belongings went to Mussolini and the state (socialism at work).  He would later align himself with Hitler, and Nazi Germany, during World War II.  These were sad times for Italy.   

My mom came through Ellis Island, with her family, in the mid 1930s.  More than 12 million immigrants entered the USA, via the island in New York Harbor, between 1892 and 1954.   Mom often spoke of the trauma she endured being separated from her family after disembarking from the ship.  She didn’t speak English and had no idea what was occurring.  Her family ultimately settled in the Ohio Valley.  They were happy to be free!  My parents, aunts and uncles told many stories of life growing up.   My sister and I often asked our parents why they didn’t teach us Italian.  Their immediate response was, “We’re Americans.  We speak English.”  It’s interesting how assimilating into your new home and country has lost its significance for many immigrants.  Have the reasons to come here changed?  Is the desire to come here for different reasons now? Maybe it’s not to be an American, but to take advantage of the free services and handouts.  For others it might be to spread hate, create division and perpetrate violence.  

The area my parents grew up in was not wealthy or affluent.  The communities were filled with hard working families.  They were supportive of each other, happy, grateful and proud to be Americans.  It was always fun for me to visit their home towns.  People were friendly, courteous and caring.  It was easy to recognize the genuine spirit of good will they all shared.  Somewhere over the last several decades, some Americans have lost that spirt.  Individuals and groups tarnish the wonderful characteristics of our nation to achieve their own agenda.  Freedom and happiness isn’t part of their plan.  Some politicians support this anti-American rhetoric.  It’s all intertwined to enhance their individual power and control over a nation and its population.           

I think it’s interesting how some people, living here, find it necessary to hold onto or maintain an ethnic identity?  Enjoying your culture and family roots is wonderful and expected.   The vast majority of these people (many are born here), yet refuse to assimilate to our country.  They refuse to become Americans.  Why are they here?  I am grateful and enjoy my cultural heritage, but it’s not who I am.  My parents and their families are proud to live here and be Americans.  There are people, from many races, that expect free handouts for just living here.  They have no desire or motivation to work or improve their lives.  Our government has been very generous to provide for the needs of some individuals with our tax dollars.  I am happy to help those who cannot help themselves.  Unfortunately, there are many who are lazy or unwilling to work, especially when they can get it for free.  If you want to make a difference in this world, put in the work.   There are individuals that expect the government to provide them with free medical care, a free education, free housing and food.  That is a socialist illusion and not a reality (anywhere).   

Now we have people lobbying to empty the prisons and defund the police.  Those attempts must be stopped.  There is an evil segment in our population.  They have no desire to work, obey laws or be part of a decent society.  Their criminal acts destroy lives, create chaos and bring death to communities.  They take what they want without feelings, conscience or remorse.  They do not accept the responsibility for their own actions.  They blame others for their acts of harm and violence.  Restricting or removing police officers, while releasing criminals from jails to freely roam our streets is a recipe for disaster.  The thought of it is ridiculous and unsettling.  It is already occurring in cities across our nation.  Violent crime is rising; while mayors, governors and state representatives do nothing.         

The violent, criminal protestors and anarchists do not care about our freedom or rights.  Their only purpose is to push an evil agenda.   Violence, looting and destruction isn’t about racial or social equality.  Their action is to spread hate and division.  These individuals, and those that support them, are demonstrating their ability to destroy our way of life and our nation.  Groups like Antifa and BLM are aligned with the leftist propaganda, to destroy our society and freedoms.  These radical groups are fueled by politicians seeking to gain power and control.  These people are not “workers, artisans, laborers, professionals or breadwinners.”  They have no interest in our lives or wellbeing.   There have always been a few bad in every group, profession, career, race and nationality.  It appears the scales have tipped in the other direction when it comes to bad politicians.  They have failed to represent our nation, and only pursue their own interests or agenda.  America needs strong leadership, not career politicians.

For many professionals (law enforcement, first responders, military personnel and many other essential workers) holidays are just another work day.  During my career in law enforcement when I had a day off, that was my holiday.  Individuals with families always seem to be rearranging or rescheduling in order to attend celebrations or special events.  There are times altering schedules just isn’t possible, so you adjust and do the best you can.  I’ve missed holidays, events and parties, but I always accepted the responsibilities of my profession.  That was my calling, as it is for so many men and women who share the same ideals and love of our country. 

Military, police, fire and medical personnel are always working.  They do not close for holidays.  Our military personnel are deployed around the globe, often for months at a time.  We truly own a debt of gratitude and thanks to all the men and women who serve to protect our freedom.  If you think your schedule is tough, consider what all these individuals deal with on a daily basis.  They are the real heroes.  They are standing watch, no matter what the situation, weather or time of day.  

The world can be fraught with anxiety and uncertainty.  Chaos has consumed some nations.  Civil unrest and violence continues to negatively impact our own country.  America needs to take a step back and reflect on what’s occurring here at home.  Please take the time to calm your mind and body by seeking solace and comfort from your own inner peace.  Stay strong knowing we can help empower our own destiny.  Knowledge is power.  We must all seek the truth.  We won’t find the answers from news outlets or social media.  They are sharing only what the leftist agenda wants you to hear.  Be your own person.  Don’t be swayed by outrage, threats or victimization.  Together we can keep America great, while maintaining equality and freedom for all.  Be safe and stay healthy.

Congratulations and Happy Labor Day to all you people that keep our nation growing and moving forward.  You make America the great country that we know and love.  We are lucky and blessed to live in this amazing and free land.  There are so many people around the world who wish they could enjoy some of the rights and freedoms we take for granted.  I am grateful every day for being an American.  

In remembrance, this coming Friday is the 19th Anniversary of the September 11th attack.  I ask that you please take a moment to remember the thousands of lives lost.  Pray for the families and friends of all the individuals who perished that tragic day.  Never forget the valor and courage of the first responders, firefighters, law enforcement and military personnel.  We must never allow their memories to be tarnished.   Our heroes continue to stand to protect us; as we need to stand to protect them.   

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!

United or Divided

August 30, 2020

Good morning friends.  I wish you a happy and healthy final Sunday of August 2020.  This month has flown by, maybe faster than the first seven!  Even with the pandemic madness and violence in our streets, time keeps on ticking away.  Now is our time America, to stand up, do the right thing and let our voices be heard.  It’s time we unite as a nation, country and people. Let’s ensure our children have an amazing, free and prosperous society to live and grow.  Their future, as well as our own, is at stake. 

The outrage, hate and violence in our streets magnify our fear and anxiety.  Toss in the virus, pandemic and social distancing rules; to further complicate things.  Add the political campaign antics for the November presidential election for more anxiety.  Bring those to a slow boil and we have some serious issues tugging at us constantly. 

Are you coping and caring for yourself; mentally, physically and spiritually?  If you’re a little like me, it’s all getting a bit exhausting.  You may feel frustrated, helpless, frightened or overcome.  The news, media and social blitz are nonstop.  The amounts of information to absorb daily is numbing.  Take the time to nurture you mind, body and soul.  Don’t allow yourself to become paralyzed by the continual disinformation and fear.  Be mindful not to surrender yourself.  You’re not required to have everything figured out this very second.  Use trusted news sources that provide honest information; free from bias. 

The Democratic National Convention (DNC) was held at the Los Angeles Convention Center in 2000.  I was in charge of a squad (15 officers) during the weeklong event.  Our mission was inner perimeter security at the front of the Staples Center.  We were part of the protection strategy between the crowds, outside the fence, and the convention center entrance.  There were thousands of people demonstrating in protest.  Many angry voices were heard and unrest occurred daily.  People were unhappy with the democratic leadership.  The party had made many promises over the years.  Political leaders often say what we want to hear to get elected.  Unfortunately, there has been little follow through on those promises, other than their own agenda issues.  That still seems to be the case today.  There is lots of talk and finger pointing, but not much action.  We need leaders who will actually do what they say and will make America a better place for us all.

The 2020 Democratic National Convention and Republican National Convention both wrapped up this month.  I’m looking forward to the debates between the candidates.  I want to see how they measure up side by side.  It should prove to be an informative event.  I hope the media is fair in their coverage.  It’s interesting how the main stream news and social media outlets portrayed the events at both conventions.  Reports stated the media was “banned” from the RNC.  They characterized the events and speakers as inaccurate, not factual or they just didn’t report it.  Conversely, everything the media painted about the DNC was beautiful and wonderful. 

I don’t’ recall anyone at the DNC talking about the violence and madness spreading across our nation.  It’s sad when these political ‘leaders’ fail to recognize the true issues.  They continue to divide our nation and people by spreading their hateful rhetoric.  They want us to be fearful. I doubt they have all the answers to “save” our country.  The reality is, they haven’t had answers for decades.  Based on their current (and future) leadership, I don’t believe they have a useful solution for what’s best in America or for our population.

It baffles me how our elected political leadership can be disrespectful and filled with disdain for members of our current administration.  These individuals display a general disregard for America and many of us.  The lack of character exhibited by many of these individuals make me realize they truly have no respect for our nation or the people who love this country.  It’s frustrating how politicians use vial disinformation to buy support or votes for their party.  They truly are one sided, with the vision of their own agenda.  What happened to supporting our nation and each other in times of need?   What happened to working together to make America great?  That hasn’t been the case over the last three and half years.

So what is it with elected political leaders today; especially the leftist leaning?  All elected “leaders” are placed in office with our confidence and trust.  They are working for us.  Their job is to keep our country, and our, best interests at the forefront.  Contrary to our welfare, (and that of our nation), it appears these politicians primary focus is to concentrate on their own best interests.  They pursue their own agenda for maintaining power, control and wealth.  It’s easy to recognize the more they keep US divided, the easier it becomes for them to maintain a firm grip.  If we continue to allow this deceitful behavior, the America we know and love will be in dire straights.  

Many of these career politicians have been in office for 30 or 40 years (or longer).  It’s baffling how they keep getting re-elected to represent our nation.  Over their long careers, what have they accomplished to make America better?  There are many politicians around our nation, that during their time (years) in office, have done nothing to solve or improve the social or economic issues of our country.  They point their finger at others and lay the blame for failed policy on everyone but themselves.  They spread hate, fear and now endorse increased discontent and social disorder.  These individuals propagate the racial divide, violence and anarchist agenda. 

These elected “representatives” collect hefty salaries and benefits.  They are backed by wealthy constituents, lobbyists and big business.  They use tax payer money as if it were their own.  They vote for their own monetary raises and benefit packages.  They are living wealthy, happy and in control.  Why would they ever want to leave office?  Social and news media outlets, controlled by wealthy supporters, willing to spread their extreme agenda.  Our nation has issues that need to be addressed and resolved.  These aren’t the politicians who will solve them. 

America was doing pretty damn awesome in the beginning of 2020.  In March, cities and states began closing and locking people in their homes because of a virus.  If you do your homework again, look at who is controlling all those places that have severe issues.  Consider what all these closures continue to do, destroying our economy that was booming.  This year began with less unemployment, more money, happier people and lots less stress.  As human beings we will always have issues.  It’s in our genetics and deeply rooted in the worlds social make up.  It would be so wonderful if everyone could just get over themselves, be respectful and kind to all people.  Maybe someday we can actually make that happen.

For now, we need to seek out the truth and work toward improvement.  A good dose of respect and integrity is needed for some people out there.  We have always been a nation with various political views.  That is something that was born into our country and freedom.  We aren’t subject to one way of thought. 

Now it seems as though some politicians are attempting to influence us in only one direction.  Why can’t these individuals work in unity for all of us?  We all want to live in unity, equality and freedom. 

Like minded politicians across the country used the coronavirus pandemic to further their political agenda.  It was the perfect opportunity to seize control, while creating more fear.  Yes, there is no denying that the virus is real and it is killing some people.  There are so many other diseases and illness that do the same thing at a greater rate.

It makes no sense to me how some state and local politicians are controlling our lives.  I understand the concept to slow the spread of the virus.  I know much truth not being shared, or completely removed from our view.  We’re allowed to shop in massive stores, yet not allowed to attend church services.  Our kids can go to the beach, playgrounds, everywhere we go, yet not allowed to attend school.  People can sit at tables side by side outdoors, but not inside.  You say we all must wear masks, yet we know that many of these do nothing to stop airborne particles associated with disease.   Many of these restrictions make no sense, yet only serve to destroy our economy and our lives.  The economic devastation is catastrophic.  The effects on mental, physical and spiritual health is just as real and destructive.  Peoples future and health are being ruined.  The impact will be felt and realized in the years to come.

The left seized the opportunity on May 25, 2020 to further drive a wedge between Americans.  Closely examine the data and statistics on law enforcement encounters.  You will see there is nothing to support these claims.  The perception of inequality is pushed to the boundaries by our own political leaders.  They urged people to protest, to defy laws and to rein destruction in order to be heard.  The spark brought an unprecedented push to divide our nation, create racial unrest and violence against law enforcement.  There were no considerations for the virus spread associated with violent demonstrations, looting and attacks on peaceful citizens or the police.  These leaders led the push to defund law enforcement.  These same individuals added more security for their own personal protection. 

I was born in California with an Italian heritage.  As a human, my physical traits place me in the “white” category.  I don’t refer to myself as “white” or “Italian American.”  It’s simple, I’m an American.  I am grateful to live in a nation with vast freedoms.  We live in a land where we can peacefully protest.  If you do not agree or care for just about anything, you can protest.  In many countries, any type of protest could result with you being sent to prison or worse.  Look at what’s occurring in Hong Kong right now.  China is exerting massive control over the population.  Protests have continued, but leaders of the movement continue to disappear.  I find it very interesting how some extremist politicians, in our own country, have taken “peaceful” protests to a new violent level.  These demonstrations are anything but peaceful.  The news media does it’s best to portray these events as peaceful in nature, but hijacked by a few anarchists.  These conclusions are far from the truth. 

News and social media platforms control the content of what we see or don’t see.  Individuals, companies or corporations, that operate these businesses, maintain a tight grip on what and how stories are reported.  Stories are filtered to instill a fear, unrest and anxiety.  When we view this type of “controlled” material daily, it has the ability to become mind controlling propaganda.  Incidents that may be truly “news worthy” are not included in reports and sometimes removed from social media.  It’s up to us to seek out all news and the truth.  Do these people have our best interests at heart?  Is their agenda beneficial for us or our nation?  Are they working to influence public opinion to sway us to their political beliefs?   

Reporters and media outlets are in such a rush to be the first to report a story.  They often don’t have all the facts or know the complete set of circumstances of the incident.  Individuals who claim to have witnessed events are used to solidify the media account.  Many of these versions are incomplete, misleading or just false.  The stories distort the truth, causing serious violent consequences.  The factual basis of what really occurred is not known until much later or often just disregarded.  When the facts are established and the truth revealed, I rarely see those determinations reported by these unscrupulous media sources.  They would rather maintain their illusion of this ludicrous agenda to further divide us.     

What does it take for us to realize the media content we are being fed daily is one sided?  It’s pushing us toward one outcome.  I stand, united with each of you, for a free America.  It’s time to protect our country from tyranny, control and oppression.  Friends, please do your own homework.  Socialism (or communism, marxism, fascism) isn’t the answer for the United States of America.  Don’t believe all the lies and hateful speech from radical leftists.  Their rhetoric only serves to further divide our nation.  It will eventually tear apart our country.  If you doubt my words, please go live in a socialist run country and let me know your thoughts.  Do honest research of these countries.  You will easily recognize why these lands are oppressive and sad for the population.  We must unite, so fate does not overtake our country. 

I’m not writing this to support one political side or one person.  I am here to support our nation.  I am defending our rights, privileges, way of government and our freedom.  My fight is to save our country from anarchist, whether they are extreme left or right.  I support all law enforcement, first responders and our military.  Let’s stand together, united. 

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!

A Cops Life

August 23, 2020

Good morning and happy Sunday my friends.  I hope you’re doing well.  Please be sure to get outside.  Enjoy plenty of outdoor time in nature.  Appreciate any opportunity to bask in sunshine, near water, among trees, at the desert, on the grass, at a park or just close to home.  Be grateful and thankful for all we have and the freedoms we enjoy.  Nothing in life is guaranteed.  My advice; work hard to achieve your goals and live your dreams.  Live an honest life, where you respect others and show gratitude for all you have.  Be happy with yourself.  No one is responsible for your success or happiness, other than you.  Live with integrity in all you say and do. When you treat others the way you want to be treated, the entire world changes.  Don’t miss this opportunity.  It’s your chance to shine!  

I’m sure we all have a variety of reasons why we chose a particular career.  Maybe you didn’t select the type of work, but it or someone selected it for you.  For others it may have been the money, benefits or a passion you loved.  If you’re one of the lucky people that love your career, I salute you.  I wonder how many people actually love their job.  I can say with all honesty, there were difficult days during my career, but I truly love what I did and accomplished.  It was rarely pretty, often difficult, sometimes fun and it did have glimmers of joy.  It gave me the ability to help others and make a difference in the world.  If I helped one person, saved one life or stood my ground for good over evil; it was worth every minute.   

Many people have asked me over the years, “What’s it like being a cop?” “Why would anyone want to do that?”  The answer to this question is simple.  Men and women, including myself, who devote their lives to law enforcement do so because they want the world to be a better and safer place.  They aren’t doing it for recognition, money or hero status.  None of these ideas enter your thought process when you dive into this career.  It’s obviously not a job for everyone.  It takes a strong personality and a tough willingness to endure sacrifice, negativity, trauma and stress.  Each time you leave home for your shift, your family prays you’ll return safely.  The rewards aren’t measured in accolades or physical gains, but in moments of relief by extending a helping hand, offering reassurance or saving a life.  The tears I shed; after witnessing the suffering, torture and grief of others; were in private.  The trauma and horror of so many incidents are forever etched in my mind.   You tuck them away so you can continue on with your duties.  Often times you are unable to fully process the violence perpetrated by some individuals.  There is no logical explanation to their lack of civility or the atrocities they inflict on others.  I suppressed my emotions (as an officer), enabling me to stabilize, control, investigate or resolve any situation, no matter how simple or grisly.  I shut myself off; heart, mind and spirit; in order to endure the pain created by gruesome incidents.     

I learned almost immediately protecting myself, not only meant wearing protective armor, but many times closing my heart to the atrocities I witnessed.  Recognition from external sources was few and far between.  It was nice when someone thanked you or said, “we appreciate your service.”  Those “thanks” were never why I signed up to become a cop.  My true sources of praise came from my family and close friends.  These are the people who knew me and why this was my calling in life.  They are the people that stood by my side and were my support system.  The words of encouragement and acclamation that carried significantly more weight and impacted me the most, came from my peers.  These are the brave men and women I worked with every day.  They are the people that put their lives on the line, always had my back and they always knew I was there to protect them as well.  These officers are by your side when you’re doing all you can to save an injured child, assist an abused person or fight off someone attempting to kill you.  The comradery and bonds forged from these incidents connect us with lifelong unions.  Individuals enter this career knowing elements of danger always exist.  Each work detail or encounter has the ability to create uncertainty.  The perils never deter you to step into harm’s way to protect others.  Hesitation could mean the difference between life and death. Even unexpected off duty encounters can create life threatening situations.  You are always on guard or scanning your surroundings.  The words, “Off Duty” don’t always fully explain your work status.  

I have seen the middle finger, been “mother fucked” and called an assortment of profane names over the years.  My life has been threatened multiple times and people have tried to injure and kill me.  I quickly realized it wasn’t me (personally) the words, threats and attacks were directed.  Their vial actions were all directed at the badge on my chest, the uniform I wore and the authority, law and order these items represented.  I was there as the representative of law; to fight evil, preserve good and protect the innocent.  Criminals don’t respect the law, those who uphold it or individual rights.  They are evil human beings that only seek to benefit from the suffering of others.  They encompass a wide spectrum of individuals, races and nationalities.  Criminals are: street hoodlums, drug dealers, human traffickers, gang members, organized crime cartels, career criminals, corrupt politicians and many more. 

Law enforcement officers preserve law, maintain order and protect our freedom.  These men and women work to protect communities and all people living in them.  They stand between good and evil for us.  Many days, all they seem to encounter is evil.  It baffles me how any decent person can even discuss defunding or abolishing law enforcement or removing officers from our communities and cities.  The idea is ludicrous.  Politicians, subversive groups and radicals who propose this only seek more control, oppression and power.  They have no desire to protect or preserve human rights or our freedom.  Don’t believe their lies.  These greedy individuals prey on the fears they continually instill in us daily.  They thrive on pointing fingers of blame on others, creating division and hate.    

I can understand why some officers allow their emotions to grab hold of them and create a lapse in judgement.  I have felt crushed, defeated, overwhelmed, torn down and more.  I turned to alcohol for a while, but realized that only masked the pain.  Like any ‘crutch” it never cured or solved anything.  I cried, got angry, but always managed to turn myself around (the proverbial “get my head on straight”) before my next shift.  I know a bad day, heated exchange or witnessing extreme suffering may cause that momentarily slip of restraint.  A person’s mental fortitude can be worn down and exhausted, pushing them to the edge of their limits.  That one encounter creates a perfect storm and in an instant you have over stepped your authority.  Some encounters are minor, while others have resulted with serious consequences.  I do not justify actions committed in these moments.  If you say or do something in the “heat of the moment,” these are incidents you immediately regret; especially when you have a conscience or any sense of morality.

I do know we are all just human beings.  We all experience the same emotions and have similar reactions, especially in crisis situations.  Our frailties and insecurities can make us susceptible and cloud our judgement.  The circumstances and factors that drive us to a critical level; we ourselves may or may not know.  It’s possible you will never know or fully understand how you’d react until you are in that situation.  Continual training is great to build muscle memory, reflexes and your mind.  There is still nothing like actual physical encounters to know what you will do.  Critical life or death situations allow little time (seconds or milliseconds) for decision making and action.  It’s never simple.  In any set of circumstances or events, I ask that you examine all the facts to each encounter.  Speaking from experience, use of force investigations are thorough and complete before rendering any conclusions.  Don’t be quick to judge without knowing the complete story.

The human mind is an amazing creation, but there is so much to learn and know about how the mind works.  Experts continue to gain a better understanding our physical and mental body.  Like all people on this planet, there are a few bad cops mixed into our world.  Law enforcement officials work daily to identify these individuals and remove them from police departments.  The few bad that are discovered, like in every profession, tarnish all the good.  Just remember, there are nearly one million great law enforcement personnel spread across the United States.  They are in our communities 24 hours a day, seven days, working hard to keep US safe.  Police work places officers lives in jeopardy daily. Their integrity and hard work to serve to protect ALL people.        

During my career I worked with some of the best humans on this planet.  Incredible men and women; from all races, cultures and nationalities; who share common ideals, values and goals for their community and the globe.  I have shared stories, interactions and thoughts on the subject of police work with officers from across our nation and around our world.  The reasoning, answers and passions are all closely related, similar or the same.  We all want peace and order in a civil society.  Officers want to ensure civil liberties, freedom and equality are protected under the law.  In the United States, our “inalienable rights” are guaranteed in our constitution.  Among these rights are “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”  Law Enforcement stands united to protect and defend are rights.   Without laws and those who enforce them our freedom would be doomed to destruction. 

Being a Police Officer or working in Law Enforcement isn’t something we do.  It’s who we are.  It’s a calling, which becomes a career, we devote our lives to.  I never fully understood what it meant until I was working in the streets of Los Angeles.  Keeping communities safe, takes on many connotations.  Maintaining a criminal free society is only a portion of our duties.  We handle a vast array of calls for service and contact millions of people across the country yearly. 

Officers respond to a vast array of calls for service daily; ranging from simple to life threatening.  Thefts, assaults, robberies, murders are only a few of the many criminal activities that are occurring daily.  The first time I responded to a teen who committed suicide was horrific, tragic and sad.  How do you tell parents their child took their own life?  It’s impossible to fathom the emotions and sorrow.  Later in my career, I’m holding a little girl in my arms, I watch as paramedics declare her mother dead after a car accident.  All I could think about was my own daughter.  These are just two of so many life altering events I witnessed.  Life is precious, fragile and limited.  Too often we take for granted what we have and life itself.    

A career in law enforcement is not an easy life.  It has the capacity to fill your heart with satisfaction every time you put on the uniform and pin the badge to your chest.  There are many events that numb your senses with pain from the suffering experienced by others.  There were times I felt powerless, only offering my condolences for the sorrow they felt.  Each time you respond to an incident, or have a situation unfold in front of you, you only desire is to make life better.  I spent nearly 34 years (over half my life) in law enforcement.  My intention was to do something that made a difference.  I wanted to take criminals and evil people off the streets; allowing good people the freedom to live without fear.  I was grateful to people that were not able to help themselves.  During my career I worked a variety of assignments.  Each was more energizing and satisfying.  The best part were all the amazing people.  I will forever remember their devotion, loyalty and integrity.  There are so many great officers doing incredible work.  I could write a book with all the things I’ve seen and done.   I’ve dealt with my personal trauma and am thrilled to be writing that book.  I continue following my path to complete my journey.  There is so much more I want to share.

Our nation was built on the principles of independence, equality and freedom.  It requires discipline and hard work to maintain these values.  Don’t whine about what you don’t have.  We are very lucky to be members of this great country.  Don’t be a “victim” because you think this nation owns you something.  Our land was forged by individuals seeking rights and laws protecting all people.  Don’t dislike the police because you were issued a traffic violation, were arrested, saw something on social media or the news they say is unjust.  Examine all the fact before rendering any judgement. Remember, cops are human just like the rest of us on this planet.  They are continually improving tactics and weeding out undesirables.  As our country has grown and changed over the years, so have we.  America, police and the people we protect are stronger and better.  We must maintain our rights and freedoms.  In order to accomplish that, we must protect law enforcement, so they can protect US.  They are the defenders that keep us all safe. 

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get o

Why don’t they teach you this stuff in school?

August 16, 2020

Good morning and happy Sunday my friends.  I hope you’re doing well, staying healthy and always seeking the truth.  Life continues, as each new day brings more opportunities and possibilities to succeed.  My daughter and I were recently discussing issues concerning her job, income, spending, budgets and having a plan.  Finally, she calls and says, “Why don’t they teach you this stuff in school?”  My reply, “That’s a great question.  Maybe you should lobby the board of education to teach things relevant to assist kids in adulthood.”  I go on to tell her, “Besides all the basic courses, they should teach real life skills that are important for success.  There are some things you just have to learn on your own too.”  Her immediate response, “What else do I need to know?”   

I’m certain our schools and educational system don’t adequately prepare kids for what they need to know before entering the realm of adulthood.  I realize we, as parents, should be enlightening our children with much of this important information.  My daughter graduated from a prominent university and has been working hard ever since.  She’s intelligent, dedicated to moving forward and doing well.  I’m always happy to impart my fatherly wisdom and insight on any subject.  Like with most things in life, having a plan or setting goals helps tremendously to guide us along our path.  The material and lessons taught in schools has definitely changed since I was young.  The core subject material remains basically the same.  The advent of modern technology, coupled with social aspects regarding education, created alterations in learning institutions.  The evolutionary process transformed our schools into what is being taught today.  I’m not certain all these changes are for the better.  The current curriculum is lacking in several areas.  Wouldn’t it be better to provide our children the necessary tools to assist them before they enter college or the job market?  That doesn’t seem unreasonable or difficult.  Maybe our educational system is diluted with the “politically correct” mentality.  Our institutions of learning have been overrun by radical thinking policy makers, teachers and professors.  These individuals have the attention of our children daily.  In some cases, they may spend more time with them than we do.  The extremist propaganda some instructors are preaching in classrooms is helping fuel what’s occurring in our cities across the nation.  If you don’t believe me, take a look at who comprises the majority of these groups.  They’re young, white and a cultural diverse mix.          

So what are schools teaching our kids?  Do they support the same morals, values and beliefs we hold dear?  Do our schools and colleges reinforce or tear down the principles of our country and freedom?  In educational institutions across our land instructors are dictating their own brand of history.  When I see images of so many “outraged” young adults in the streets, it’s clear they haven’t learned the same values.  The history and freedoms of this nation have been slanted.  Their world view and vison is corrupt with radical points of view.  I believe our educational system is in need of repair and improvement.  It’s difficult to sustain positive values, including loyalty and honesty, when so many politicians and public figures promote constant distain and hate for our country, it’s leadership and people.  Our kids, not only need positive character traits, but need to be prepared for the practical things necessary to sustain themselves as adults.  Finances, savings, investments, bills, housing, taxes, food, budgets are a few and the list keeps going.  There are so many things to know to be a vibrant adult.  It’s time we get them on the path that respects and values a free, decent and moral world. 

It’s nice knowing my daughter is interested in her current financial situation and future.  She’s growing up.  I’m happy she is coming to many realizations on her own.  The fact that she is asking for my insight on money and world issues is wonderful.  Knowing that she is staying informed about global events, politics, social issues and our educational system, (as are many other young adults like her), is comforting.  All those years of my Dad advice is paying off.  Being an active part of your child’s life is an investment in their future and success. Unfortunately, parenting isn’t something they teach in school either.  Maybe it should be.  Dad’s, speaking from my experience, we make a huge impact on our children.  We set the tone for them becoming strong adults; mentally, physically and spiritually.  A child’s mother has an equally amazing impact on development, growth and well-being.  Parenthood is a lifelong commitment and responsibility.  When our children flourish, so does society and our country.   

Understanding and maintaining your personal finances is a novel concept!  When I was a kid, our high school actually offered classes that could assist for our future.  Home economics and shop classes were among these classes.  They were considered elective courses, typically available along with all the fundamental core skills necessary to graduate.  Home economic courses began as classes for girls but evolved into the 70s.  These classes covered several topics, including cooking, clothing, home management and finances.  A variety of shop classes included wood (carpentry), metal, print and auto shop were available.  These were amazing hands on courses providing students with trade skill knowledge. 

The last 50+ years have seen extensive changes in social and educational issues.  When school budgets were reduced, elective courses and extracurricular programs began to be eliminated.  Art, music and drama classes suffered budget cuts, as did sports and athletic programs.  Events that provided revenue for school districts were sometimes spared.  Learning activities that involved passion or skills, outside the norm, have been slowly deleted.  Schools focus on developing kids for college or just getting them through the system.  College is wonderful for kids that want to attend, but not a priority for all.  Some kids develop other skills that don’t necessarily require a college degree.  Why force them to go and incur all that debt for no reason.  These kids should be able to expand their potential by seeking out jobs and careers that excite and motivate them.  We need always individuals with specialized and trade skills.  They have a vital role in building and maintaining our nation and economy.            

I only attended college because my parents insisted.  I didn’t have a choice.  I sometimes wonder if the military or a trade school would have been a better fit for me.  Like many kids, past and present, I had no clue what I wanted to do after high school or college.  I had a few ideas, but it’s interesting how the universe works and guides us during those times.  Maybe having a diverse selection of elective type courses would provide insight for students and their future.  Course curriculum should stimulate growth and/or increase an individual’s potential.  We don’t want to limit a student’s decision making powers for career paths.  We must foster growth and build character in our kids.  I have no doubt teachers have their hands full teaching many subjects or maintaining order.  Today, nearly all kids have a cell phone, which provides answers to all subjects.  Let’s help our kids develop properly.

Kids are sent to school to receive an education and prepare them for adulthood.  Parents go to careers, which some are typically not excited about.  Why do you think that is?  I have heard these phrases from so many people.  “I hate my job.”  “It pays well but it sucks.”  “I took it because my parents pushed me that way.”  “I wish I could do something I like.”  “It’s not my dream job.”  “I’d love to do this but there’s no money in it.”  How many times have you heard or said any of these?  When are we going to start working at what we like?  Why be miserable?  Having more doesn’t equate to achieving more happiness.  Unfortunately, there are so many in this situation.  As adults we need to set the example for our kids.   

Over the years we’ve allowed our allegiance and loyalty to this great nation to deteriorate.  This division and hate is created by a few.  They enjoy the benefits this nation has to offer, but who do not support what it stands for.  They bask in the freedom, increasing power and wealth, while spreading dissent.  These dissents, who do not respect our nation, continue to push their agenda

Their agenda is focused on dismantling our way of life.  Their actions continue to further undermine our society, values and freedom.  Some of their direct actions, against our way of life, impact our children’s classrooms.       

As a kid, our school day began with students and teachers standing in front of our nations flag.  We’d recite the Pledge of Allegiance and sing the National Anthem.  Those days are long gone.  Individuals file law suits claiming these activities are a violation of their civil rights.  Courts have ruled it’s a violation of First Amendment Rights for children to recite the pledge.  Our country was created to provide freedom for all people.  “One nation, under God, with Liberty and Justice for all.”  Abraham Lincoln furthered those goals and beliefs during his presidency and after the Civil War.  Now our land and freedoms are under attack by extremists.  The movement to tear America down slowly began years ago.  These individuals are intent to divide our people and destroy our nation.  Their actions continue the racial and class division; spreading hate and fear.  The attack on God came by removing all aspects, visual or verbal, from schools and classrooms.  Protests during our national anthem at all types of events and gatherings furthers our division and mistrust.  That hatred has now turned its ugly focus on law enforcement personnel, symbols of our history and our free government.  We cannot allow this insane ideology to succeed.

It’s mid-morning on a Monday.  I just got home from a short three mile run.  I feel pretty good, but my body feels the aches of a senior citizen.  I’ve got laundry started and I’m setting the tone for the day. My phone rings and I see it’s my daughter.  I am instantly excited!  She’s grown into a vibrant and energized adult.  She adds complexity to our conversations.  She lives on the opposite coast, so anytime we get a chance to chat is a joy.  She probably thinks it’s just because I’m her Dad.  The real reason is because I love her so much and care about her every minute of every day.  That is one of the special bonds of parenthood.  It’s also one of those difficult things to explain to others.  There are some things you just can’t explain unless the other person has done or experienced it too.  Life is filled with twists and turns.  Just when you think you have it all dialed in, it kicks you in the rear. 

I pick up the phone and hear her voice.  This is an amazing and awesome feeling.  For me, there is nothing like hearing your kid on the opposite end of the phone.  I can tell by the sound of her voice how she is feeling.  On this particular morning she sounds good.  I can her a tone of hesitation and immediately ask her if she’s okay.  “I’m fine.”  She continues, “I have some questions about my finances.  Can I ask a question?”  I immediately become excited with anticipation.  There are two important reasons for this feeling.  First, I am thrilled she trusts me enough to know I will always tell her the truth, because I’m her Dad and want what’s best for her.  The second is it makes me feel good to know she seeks my insight or knowledge, based on my experience and love.  Our conversation leads us back to her saying, “Why don’t they teach you this stuff in school?” 

It’s time for change.  America needs to get back on track to personal and economic success.  We can only achieve that in a safe and free society.  Our educational system is in desperate need of an overhaul.  The repair begins with a reorganization of the leadership structure.  Next comes improvement of course curriculum.  Then we must ensure instructors are providing valuable and accredited class material.  Maybe they don’t have to teach kids about finances, managing money or investing; but maybe should.  Schools need to teach our true history and culture.  We need to challenge them instead of handing them everything.  Many students graduate with little direction and no motivation.  Their perspective has been skewed from years of just showing up.  The “outraged” young adults are the fuel to the discontent.  They are being pushed by the far left.

Our country is littered with young adults who continue to believe they deserve everything, instead of putting forth effort and hard work to achieve a desired goal.  When they encounter difficulty they have no idea how to respond, other than outrage.  Why seek employment or work hard to achieve something when they can just demand it.  We need to change this thought process.  Values, morals and character traits; like respect, honesty, discipline and integrity are missing.  We see it all around our culture and the world.  Dishonesty in sports, school admissions, criminal activity and politics are real and blatant (just to name a few).  We need to clean up our society.  It’s time to re-institute respect, gratitude and kindness back into our daily vocabulary.    

We are a country with a past, but what nation isn’t.  We have come far since the birth of our nation.  We have grown and improved, maybe not as fast as some may wish, but we are all part of the human race.  We all have flaws and perfection is a myth. Let’s be honest and open with the portrayal of how our country was founded.  It has risen to become a free land of amazing opportunity.  It, and the majority of Americans living here, are not evil or responsible for the past.  Don’t be swayed by the “outrage” culture or those pushing the “victim” mentality.  You do not have to be ashamed of who you are, your race or nationality.  We are living now, not in the past.  We (Americans) ALL have to work together to ensure our future; and that of our children’s; is safe, secure and prosperous.  Let’s stand together united in harmony.      

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!

Being a Dad

August 9, 2020

Good morning friends.  I wish you all a happy and healthy Sunday.  Even with the pandemic craziness, violence and madness in our streets, time keeps ticking away.  Now would be a perfect opportunity to stand up and let your voices be heard.  It’s time we unite as a nation, country and people.  We need to work together to ensure our children have an amazing, free and prosperous society to grow and live.  Let’s do our best to ensure we’re all around to enjoy their future, as well as our own.  This is for all the fathers, future dads and anyone that will be a parent one day.  It’s also a great read for Moms and everyone else out there.  Thank you for taking the time. 

What is it like to be a Dad?  I believe I’m qualified to share my opinion on this subject.  My fatherly expertise spans the last 29 years.  I can add a few months to that number to cover pregnancy too.  Life and my career field provides more experience, information and knowledge on the subject.  I began talking to my daughter early, while waiting for her arrival.  I even sang and would tell her stories.  It might sound silly, but when she was born, she already knew my voice.  That may also explain why she’d later tell me not to sing while we were driving in our car together.  I have to agree with her, I’m definitely not a candidate for male vocalist of the year (in any category).  Every time we talk now, I gain a little more insight about being a father.  It’s been a learning process and privilege.  I absolutely love being a Dad. 

Being a Dad really begins with you just being present.  It’s a commitment and worth every second.  You have to be there in order to be part of your child’s life.  Too many Dads are not there and this is where they fail as adults.  Parents are the most important part of their children’s lives.  From birth, we are their source of learning, inspiration and order.  This process never ends, but it has to begin for it to have meaning and purpose.  I’ve witnessed some parents take a less than active role in the raising of their children.  It begins with them regularly leaving their kids to be watched by someone else.  I’m not talking about parents who both have to work.  I understand that dilemma quite well.  I am referring to some parents interested in their own pleasures.  They’d rather be out pursuing their own desires, instead of actually being a parent.  Once their child is old enough, these parents have no issue leaving them home or giving them money to go off and entertain themselves.  The child is left to grow up without supervision or direction.  Sadly, there are kids whose father is not there (for whatever reason).  These kids are raised in a world not having the opportunity to learn from a dad.  It’s heartbreaking these kids grow up and sometimes go astray due to lack of proper parental guidance.  Kids need love, support and to be shown the difference between right and wrong.  Mothers and fathers have significant roles in the development of their children.  We need to be there for them, always.     

We have some teens, who are given everything and others who have nothing.  Many of these lack the foundation, support and values provided by parents.  During my many years in law enforcement, I entered homes where active parenting didn’t exist.  I can’t even begin to describe the homes I was summoned where abuse occurred on a regular basis.  The trauma is agonizing.  It is difficult to imagine how a child can succeed when there are many negative factors they must hurdle.  I’ve seen homes without parents, no father, alcohol or drug abuse, mental or physical abuse or parents that just don’t care.  Luckily some kids have supportive family members, while others have none.  It frustrated and hurt me more to see kids end up as wards of the state.  What chance do they have?  Yes, all kids thrive on love, structure and guidance.  They need someone to provide direction, teach them values and character traits like respect and honesty.  A Dad can be an amazing role model and this is where (and when) they are needed the most.  Without parental figures for guidance, kids tend to flounder and are often left to their own devices. 

There are a number of protests (riots) occurring in our country and around the world today.  Many of these take radical turns, involving violence and hatred.  If you look closely; the outrage, violence and disrespectful behavior in our streets can be attributed to a variety of individuals.  Many of these perpetrators are young adults and teens.  Why?  Is it possible some of our young adults did not receive the same skills or traits I did as a kid?  Maybe they were never allowed to fail, were handed everything, always were told they were “winners” or believed all they had to do was show up to receive a “trophy.”  My law enforcement career did provide me with training, experience, knowledge and skills to recognize certain behaviors.  It doesn’t take an expert to see the values and beliefs of these young individuals is lacking.  They portray themselves as victims of inequality and unfairness, instead of assuming responsibility for their own actions and failures.   I don’t know what happened while they were being raised, but their values and sense of right and wrong are misguided.  

Being a Dad can be tough.  I love my daughter and want her to love me.  I am her friend, but recognize I can’t be a push over either.  As her father I learned to balance being firm, a disciplinarian, understanding her needs and having fun.  You have to be ready, willing and able to fulfill all the significant aspects of the “job.”  I don’t mean it’s work, in the job sense, although there are times it is a full time endeavor.  It really is a labor of love.  It is an opportunity of a lifetime.  Dads get to share in the development and growth of a life they helped create.  Your child is literally a piece of you.  Don’t be afraid to step up to the challenge.  Talk, listen, share, teach, do, experience together and watch your child blossom.  Empower them to dream and find their passions in life.  Be an active participant in their lives.  Seize the opportunity to meet their friends and the parents of those friends.  Be involved in their activities, interests and adventures.  Make time to listen to what they say every day!  This is your child’s journey.  You’re their guide to discovering their own path to living a happy and healthy life.  

I was fortunate to have an amazing and outstanding Dad!  He instilled and taught me so many great qualities and characteristics about life and how to live.  It is because of him I grew and matured into a man.  I carry traits like honesty, loyalty, integrity and respect with me every day.  These traits have served me well, during my career in law enforcement and as a Dad.  All of what my father gave me, unknowingly prepared me how to be a better Dad.  I only hope that I can measure up to the high standards he set.  The important traits I received from him provided the foundation for my fatherhood role.  Much of parenting still requires “on the job training.”  They don’t teach you in school how to change diapers or prepare you for handling sick kids.  Those are all perks of being a Dad that you pick up, evolve and refine along your parenting journey.  I have enjoyed every step of the way. 

Actually, there is something I have to mention that I’d alter if possible.  When my daughter was seven, her mom and I divorced.  Not being home with her every day was incredibly difficult.  We had a typical custody and visitation agreement, which never seemed like enough time.  The good part, is although we couldn’t resolve our issues, we made our daughter a priority.  We never put her in the middle of our situation.  We worked together to parent as a team.  We ensured she knew our love for her was stronger than ever.  Her mom worked long hours, as did I.  We arranged our schedules to ensure one of us could always be with her, if at all possible.  That worked out in my favor, as I saw her sometimes daily.  Our efforts to focus on our daughter gave me the opportunity to be an almost full time Dad.  I enjoyed every moment of our time together! 

As much I tried to leave work there, it sometimes followed me home.  The stress or trauma experienced from the events of my shift had the power to affect my mood or demeanor.  I never realized the impact my career had on her, especially from how we interacted together on those negatively charged occasions.  A young child sees and feels everything, especially from their parents.  If my day was particularly dark, it showed through and affected her.  I wish I’d known and understood that back then.  I’m happy we resolved those issues later.  

Be there to encourage and assist them along their own path.  Allow them to experience failure early in life.  Pick them up and let them try again.  My daughter began playing sports at a young age.  It began with gymnastics, then transitioned to volleyball, basketball and eventually softball.  She enjoyed softball and played for several years before entering high school.  The very first day of high school, she came home and told me she had joined a team.  I naturally believed it was softball.  Needless to say, I was surprised when she told me it was the cross country team.  She told me, “As much as I love softball Dad, I felt it was time to do something on my own, but still on a team.”  I had to respect her for making such an amazing decision on her own.

During her years playing softball she learned the value of team sports and building positive relationships with teammates and coaches.  She experienced defeat and losses, but learned that wasn’t the end of the world.  It also made winning that much more thrilling and worthwhile.  Now she transitioned into a new world, where she controlled her own destiny of loss or wins.  Either way, I knew she’d be fine.  Whether your child is concerned with grades, sports, personal endeavors or something else; give them the room to succeed or fail.  Always be there with your fatherly advice, support and love.  Let them live their dream and reach for the stars.  Help them build that ladder of success, physically and mentally.      


My message to you; we, as parents, have the power to raise happy and healthy kids.  If you were raised in an unhealthy, unhappy, parentless or traumatized environment; please do not repeat this cycle of the past.  Be mindful and caring to ensure your children have the necessary tools, skills and love to grow into amazing adults.  If you need help, I know it’s out there.  Just reach out.  I’ve done it and am so much better for asking.  Don’t ever sell yourself short, telling yourself I can’t be there or do this.  The truth is you can be there and you can be a great parent.  Assume your own responsibility, stay focused and positive.  Never retreat or back away from your duty as a Dad.  We have so much to offer our kids.  You may not know it until you sit down and open yourself up to the experience.  It is truly amazing and rewarding.        

Share your knowledge and experience with your child at every opportunity.  Be honest and tell them the truth; even if it hurts.  It’s better if they learn from you instead of someone else.  Build them strong and tough, mentally and physically.  They must be able to stand up for themselves, not in an aggressive manner, but neither thin skinned or weak.  We want our children to be able to support themselves in all situations, whether we’re available to assist or not.  Endow them with spiritual strength and enlightenment.  Teach them and allow them to follow their own path.

Don’t be afraid to let your kids fail.  Challenge them now, so they can challenge themselves later throughout life.  This isn’t an easy accomplishment, as we never want to see our children hurt or sad.  We always want them to be winners and in first place.  The reality is they will not always be first.  Too many times we engineer or control outcomes to give the perception of great achievement, when that is not the case.  Our society has adopted the premise that all kids win all the time.  That’s not true and detrimental to their development.  We especially see it in youth sports, where all the teams and kids receive trophies.  This is a sweet concept, but we are doing our kids a disservice.  We want them to succeed in life.  By making them always seem like “winners” this is just setting them up for future disappointment.  Take a look at what some of our college kids (along with the teachings of some radical professors) are doing these days.     

It is our responsibility as parents to teach and instill values and strong character traits in order to succeed.  Provide them the mental and physical skills necessary to grow into outstanding adults.

Many children are involved in sports, playing a musical instrument or something before beginning school.  We are the people they will watch, learn from and emulate.  Be the best possible parent you can be.  Give them honesty, loyalty, courage and integrity.  Show them it takes hard work, dedication and discipline to achieve great things.  When they do well and succeed, they will appreciate it more than having something handed to them.

I could talk so much more on this topic.  I’m happy my daughter is grown and matured.  We’ve shared those crucial conversations needed to repair our feelings and build our relationship.  We share a special bond of mutual respect and honesty for each other.  I love that!

I hope you understand the fatherly points I am discussing.  Each of us are unique individuals.  We have so much to offer.  Share your wisdom and knowledge with your kids.  Let yourself be a great Dad!  Maybe you know a child who doesn’t have support and guidance they need.  Offer your assistance!  You never know what one step toward kindness can bring.  We all deserve the love of a Dad.  Now, more than ever, our kids need their Dad to provide encouragement and love.    

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!

An Easy Life

August 2, 2020

Good morning friends.  I wish you all a happy and healthy first Sunday of August 2020!  We are living in unprecedented times.  Our nation was thriving at the beginning of this year, socially and economically.  We have much to be grateful and thankful for, yet there always seems to be a segment of the population that is never satisfied.  America is a land of abundance.  We enjoy a comfortable and easy life.  Modern day technologies and conveniences make every day living simple and sometimes effortless.  Cellular telephones and internet services bring the world to us at the touch of a button.  Nearly everything we desire can be delivered to our door step.  This is evident now more than ever.  This lifestyle is assisting to create new generations of “entitled” young adults.  Look at what’s occurring in cities nationwide and who’s perpetrating it.  They’re radical views and actions are extreme and dangerous. 

This evolution seems to span all income levels and ethnicities.  Lack of respect, accountability and the sense of being owed something; seem to be the mentality of younger generations.  They believe more should be handed to them and they are exempt from any consequences of their outrage or destructive actions.  Are we becoming a weaker or lazy society because of this easy lifestyle?  The madness and “outraged” way of thinking is infecting our country far worse than the coronavirus.  Despicable politicians, slanted news outlets, social media and radical educators propagate these extremist views and behaviors.  Luckily, this does not encompass all our young or old.  The “silent majority” is still out there.

Our nation has enjoyed prosperity for many years.  We have freedoms, rights and independence that many people, or lands, only dream of attaining.  This country was built on values, principles, hard work and laws that govern and protect us.  These laws ensure we can live our lives, in pursuit of the American dream, while being protected from law breakers.  Like many nations, our country continues to struggle with quality of life issues; such as poverty, equality, hunger, homelessness and other issues.  As America strives to continue solving problems, growing and becoming better, why then is discontent spreading through our society?  This evil is within our own people.  It is imbedded in some government officials.  It’s shared among those in power for decades and new representatives with socialist ideals.  This threat is from power hungry individuals who are no longer satisfied with what they have.  They have been spreading division, malicious discontent and hate during the last three and a half years.  These people are using groups and factions of the population to push their own agenda in order to gain more control and power.  This isn’t a racial or virus issue, although there are those who want you to believe that false narrative.  It’s a political agenda of the rich and powerful, who only seek to maintain their brand of power and control.

Since our country was born, men and women have given so much to preserve our freedom and keep the American dream alive.  Our military, law enforcement and first responders are always on the front lines to defend and maintain our freedom.  Many have made the “ultimate sacrifice” to protect and keep US free.  My Dad was part of the “Greatest Generation.”  He was born and raised as an American, amidst different races, cultures and nationalities.  He served in the United States Army during World War II and Korea, landed at D-Day, traversed Europe and did his duty to help defeat the Nazi regime.  Dad taught me to respect and value all people, because that’s how he lived and what he believed.  I wonder what he, and so many others like him, would say about the abomination that is occurring across our land.  He, and the men and women who served, would be horrified and sad at what we’ve allowed this great nation to become.  Even older generations, who are being bombarded daily by slanted media, are becoming more complacent. 

During my career in law enforcement I developed and honed my observation and investigative skills.  My experience, wisdom and insight grew with age and knowledge.  Over the last several months I have been more attentive to what’s happening across our nation and the world.  There are many views and narratives being spread daily.  I don’t put much faith in many news sources, so I pick and choose where I gather my information.  Social media and news outlets perpetrate their own brand of miss information and hate to push their own agenda.  The wealthy moguls or corporate conglomerates that own or control many outlets have their allegiances.  It is truly difficult to find unbiased news sources.  If news outlets just reported the “news”, we might get some truthful information.  Unfortunately, many news agencies spin their reporting to what they want you to believe.  They provide their own version of “truth.”   If you pay close attention, you will see they (each news source) all use the same verbiage.  They all tell the same story, with the same lies and misinformation.  I search for the truth by reading more, engaging trusted friends and sources to establish what is really occurring.  My observations tell me much can be attributed to numerous stimuli that have occurred over the last few years.  The “perfect storm” (so to speak) of civil unrest was unleashed when George Floyd died.  He was a convicted felon, in the commission of another crime, now being hailed a martyr by some politicians and groups.  His death, while sad and tragic, is now just a catalyst to further a political agenda.     

Hatred and racial disparities are being used to further divide our nation and people.  Now words like “outrage” and “microaggressions” infiltrate our everyday lives.  Today, if you are “outraged” and yelling the loudest, whether it’s accurate, correct or truth, you are hailed by the left.  If anyone has a different opinion or unintentionally makes a negative comment, they are deemed racist or hateful.  That’s a “microaggression.”  We have some politicians performing these antics daily.  Their divisive actions validate it for others.  This behavior is both ludicrous and detrimental to our society.  Do we have it so easy in this day in age, that all we have left to do is complain?  It seems for some people living here, this is truly the case.  We have become a nation teaming with upset disrespectful spoiled brats.  If something doesn’t suit them, go their way or fit their agenda, they immediately complain.  They scream of social injustice, inequality and not given their fair share.   It begins with elected “leaders”, spreads to social media and then erupts into protests and ultimately violence.  If you don’t believe me, look at what’s occurring on social media, coming from news outlets and taking place in the streets across our country.

So what are these individuals (or any American) “entitled” too?  What is our fair share?  My advice, “ask any of the many hard working honest Americans.”  Ask people who go to work, pay taxes and live respectful lives.  These are the people who toil daily to ensure their families have food, shelter and the comforts of home.  These individuals are the back bone of our society.  They come from all walks of life; race, ethnicity, gender and color.   Their hard work and dedication make our nation pretty awesome!  We, as Americans, are entitled to the freedoms and equality our constitution affords us all.  If you want to achieve great things, it takes discipline, hard work and loyalty.  This nation has come a long way since its inception.  Freedom isn’t free or lazy.  It takes work to fulfill dreams, passions and goals.  I’m curious who will be paying the bills when so many want everything for free, yet complain at every opportunity.  Maybe life has become too simple and easy.  

Why do we, Americans, seem to have a worldwide reputation for complaining?  I have been fortunate to have traveled to some beautiful countries on this planet.  I have visited countries rich in history and tradition.  These nations have amazing people, cultures and social customs that are truly magnificent.  Some people live in less than stellar conditions and have far less than we do here.  In countries I have visited, the people are happy, friendly, kind and gracious.  They are grateful for all they have, which in some places is very little.  Americans shop in massive stores filled to capacity, yet often complain when a specific brand or product is not available.  The stores and markets abroad are small and simple establishments.  Countries like Italy, France, England and even Australia have smaller grocery stores with limited selections.  In America we have an abundance of everything, including multiple brands of the same product.  It really is crazy how much we have available at our finger tips, yet still not satisfied.  Our country probably wastes more food daily than people in other lands can ever imagine. 

I’ve witnessed Americans complaining here and abroad.  These individuals are typically loud and obnoxious.  It’s embarrassing.  Have we bred people that are unhappy or disrespectful?  How can you visit another nation and complain about their food, transportation, hotels, service or whatever doesn’t fit a particular need?  It’s rude, disrespectful and it’s just not right.  Why would someone do that?  When I visit a foreign land, it’s like being at a friend’s home.  It may not be like my house, but I respect what is theirs.  This is their land, their culture and tradition.  I don’t complain.  I enjoy and embrace everything they have to offer.  I am grateful to be sharing their hospitality and welcome in their country. 

Life in the United States is pretty damn good!  That’s why so many people would love to immigrate here.  Many nations on this planet are ruled by oppressive governments or individuals.

Countries like China, North Korea, Russia, Cuba, plus nations in Africa and South America are ruled by totalitarian governments.  Communist, Marxist, socialist, fascist governments do not allow freedom or independence.  These tyrannical countries control everything.  Look at what’s happening in Hong Kong.  They monitor your daily activities, regulate what you’re allowed to do, go or say.  Punishment is swift if you don’t conform.  This is a totalitarian system.  We do not want to go down that path.  Some Americans are attempting to sway our nation to that end.  I do not want that life or control for myself, or our nation.

I doubt many of the extremists, agitators and those attempting to push our country to the left (and socialism), have any true knowledge of what that would be like.  They need to visit other countries and see how fortunate we are as a nation.  We (Americans) enjoy freedom and civil liberties that people only dream of in other lands.  Yes, our nation has a dark side to its history (as does the world).  We have progressed in all areas (social and economic) since the 1800’s and even 1900’s.  The current unrest brings us to a turning point for our society.  Do we continue to grow with law and order or do we bow down to a few who are pulling this nation into chaos?     

There are many sad things in our world today.  Poverty, hunger, pollution and oppressive governments come to mind immediately.  Human trafficking, drugs, criminal enterprise, violence and ruthless sadistic people top my list.  Good and decent people work to solve these issues and fight for individual rights.  Other individuals only seek more power and control.  They aren’t satisfied with what they have and endeavor to divide our nation.  The good people of our nation need to make their voices heard.  Do not allow extremists to shout over our rights and civil liberties. 

What happened to the concept that hard work pays off?  Where is the loyalty for our country?  Don’t blindly follow the loud outraged mob.  I doubt these people are satisfied with the freedoms and liberties we enjoy, because they aren’t happy with themselves.  They create negativity, discontent and hate.  If they lived in other nations, where freedom is not allowed, they wouldn’t last long.  Why else do they stay here, when they don’t love America.  Our country has so much to offer.  The malcontents soak up as much freedom and handouts they can grab, then just complain more.

Don’t be fooled by unscrupulous politicians, one sided groups, biased media or anyone telling you what to believe.  I urge you to do own research.  Find the real truth.  We do have honest leaders and individuals in our world that want what’s best for our country.  Freedom, prosperity, law and order only work when we stand unified and strong against the “outrage” and its participants.  They are few and we are many.  Let your voices be heard.  Our parents and grandparents built this country with their sweat and blood.  Our nation has progressed so far, for better lives for all Americans.  Take the time to be thankful for living in USA.  Gratitude has amazing power.  We are truly fortunate.  Do not allow our freedom, rights and way of life be taken from us.  Our children and the world deserve better.  

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!

My New Challenge

July 26, 2020

Good morning friends.  Here we are on this final Sunday of July 2020.   It sure has been an interesting year so far.  I can only imagine what’s in store for the ending.  Time (and this year) seem to be flying by in spite of the virus, pandemic, political antics and civil unrest.  I strive to enjoy each day to its fullest.  As I get older, I find it increasingly important to stay mentally tough and physically strong.  I enjoy reading great books, that educate and intrigue me.  I continue to enjoy as much of nature as possible, whether it’s running, hiking or walking.  Sometimes just sitting and letting your mind relax can provide an amazing reset.  The beach and mountain trails always provide strength, inspiration and solitude.  Exercise and activity help keep me motivated and sane.  Get outside, breathe and soak up the energy of the earth.  Who knows what’s in store for the remainder of this year.    

Do you believe challenges in life are good for you?  How do you react when a new challenge enters your path?  Suddenly without warning you have something land right in front of you.  It must be dealt with and resolved.  Do you accept it and move forward, or do you falter and want to flee?  We all face challenges during our life.  They come in many forms and varieties of intensity.  There are several occurring right this very minute.  The world, and especially our country, is filled with more uncertainty due to many of these events.  These can create stress, anxiety, fear and new challenges.

I’ve dealt with a myriad of new challenges during my life and career in law enforcement.   Some of these were daily ordeals, while others involved significant issues, including life or death decisions.  I was never afraid to accept a new challenge.  You should not be afraid of them either.  Accepting each new scenario can stimulate your mind and body.  Each challenge you accept and work through has the capacity to boost your mental toughness and physical strength.  Your hard work increases your mental resolve by building character traits to succeed in life.  It reduces the stress and fear associated with each situation that steps in front you.  Making decisions and taking action is key to either being paralyzed or proficient.  I vote to be energized by the strength to act.

Since I retired six years ago, my challenges have been fewer and far between.  There has not been anything as dramatic or drastic as I faced during my career.   Now, when I need a boost, I challenge myself physically.  Step in my girlfriend with an idea and a new challenge.  This past Monday we began a new mental and physical challenge.  We began the “75 Hard Challenge.” 

Andy Frisella, business owner, author, entrepreneur and speaker, first suggested this on his podcast over a year ago.  He developed it, not as a fitness program, but as a transformative mental toughness challenge.  He believes this is a program that can change your life, starting from the inside.  Google it for all the hot details.

For me, it will be 75 days of more fun, with increased intensity.  The basic premise: eat clean and healthy, no alcohol, two 45 minute workouts per day, (with one session outside), drink one gallon of water per day, read ten pages of nonfiction per day and take a progress photo.  I will let my girlfriend take control of a daily progress photos.  This is all great stuff!

So today, we are seven days into the challenge.  This means there are only 68 days remaining.  Our final day is Friday, October 2nd.  This will obviously carry me through summer.  I didn’t necessarily need a boost, but it’ll help me keep my mind and body focused in positive ways.  This is especially true with all the nonsense and craziness happening all across our country and the world.  Seizing this opportunity may be just what the doctor ordered.    

I have been eating fairly healthy for years.  Deleting alcohol is not a concern and am happy to do so.  I drank pretty heavy in college and into the first half of my career.  I finally wised up when my daughter was born and significantly changed that pattern in my life.  Alcohol was used as a crutch to compensate for my insecurities, stress and pain.  All it really did was cloud my mind and provide temporary relief (at best).  Today I drink less and less, only enjoying occasional wine with dinner.  Mexican food deserves a margarita, which isn’t often.  

I’m not particularly concerned about two 45 minute workouts per day.  We are doing our best to coordinate at least one, if not both together.  It definitely helps to have someone (a workout buddy) to share the workout, the fun and the pain.  I doubt there has been too much pain as of yet.  Maybe just a little soreness here and there.  It’s all good.  I’m just grateful and thankful that my body allows me to run and lift weights.  I might not be as fast or as strong as I once was, but I am smart enough to realize I’m not 20 something either.   I work out intelligently.  I know my limitations and strengths.        

I enjoy reading and began a new book, as part of this program.  The title of the book is “Fortitude”, by Dan Crenshaw.  He is a former Navy SEAL and now a State Representative from Texas.  I am currently about 70 or 80 pages into my reading.  I am impressed by his knowledge, insight, courage and fortitude.  I highly recommend this book to everyone, here and around the world.  Dan definitely delivers, with his current views that are polarizing people and our nation.  He discusses his personal and amazing journey; from youth, to SEAL, to state legislator.  Dan is intelligent, personable and a real American hero.

At the moment, the most difficult part of the challenge seems to be drinking all this water.  I always considered myself to be well hydrated.  Right now I am walking that theory back a bit.  When you concentrate on achieving a specific goal, it becomes clear on what you may have been doing (or not doing) in the past.  Ensuring I get that gallon of water ingested daily is my current chore!  The other consideration is maintaining a close proximity to a place of immediate disposal, as that happens more frequently as well. 

When the first 75 days are completed, there is a second phase to the challenge.  The additional 75 days includes several new elements to incorporate into your daily rituals.  A five-minute cold shower.  This would be definitely welcome during hot summer days.  Timing is everything.  Talk to someone in person.  This seems easy enough, depending on masks and social distancing. Obviously, talking would happen daily at home too.  Perform a daily random act of kindness.  This could be handled by simply saying hello to neighbors, or people you pass on the street or at stores.  Helping others, by opening a door or assisting however may be needed works too.  Often all it takes is just showing courtesy and respect to others.  It really is that simple.  It sometimes seems those two character traits are lost in our fast paced, “all about us” life.  There are some people across our land that could use a dose of good manners.  For now, I am focused on the first 75 days.  I’ll re-evaluate when I get to October and see if an additional 75 days of fun is required.             

The “75 Hard” challenge (now at 68) is achievable with self-discipline, endurance and fortitude.  I’m happy we have each other to provide motivation, support and encouragement.  It will be a challenging endeavor, but worth all the effort.  The gains will be welcomed.  My goal is to remove a couple inches from around my mid-section (I doubt I’ll ever be a 32 waist again), build more strength and endurance, clean up my eating habits and attain more mental clarity.  My plan is to emerge vibrant and energized.  I’ll keep you posted. 

Obviously I’m not suggesting you should attempt something like this.  If you do decide to give it a shot, just be sure your body is fit and ready.  My girlfriend and I had several athletic running events and a big trip scheduled during the last six months this year.  Our events and trip have been cancelled due to the pandemic.  Needless to say we aren’t happy about any of this.  We both needed something to fill the void.  She found “75 Hard” and here we are in the beginning stages.  It’s always empowering to challenge your mind and body with new things.

Young or old, it’s never too early or late to set goals for yourself.  Having plans, challenges or goals help you stay focused, alert and strong (mentally and physically).  Achieving success becomes less of a struggle and more of a workable opportunity.  We all want to be better people, personally and professionally.  We all want to be physically and mentally tough.  You don’t necessarily need “75 Hard” to reach success.  It’s all up to you to discover what works best in your world.  There are plenty of ways to test and challenge yourself.  Don’t be afraid to try.  Hard work and determination are great traits to begin your journey.  You will discover how to build confidence, self-esteem and strength (mentally and physically).  The stronger and tougher you become, the more success and future challenges you will enjoy without worry.  Whatever you do, keep a positive mental attitude.  Don’t allow your mind to control what your body can accomplish.  If you need some help along the way, you know I’m here for you.   

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!

Frustration

July 19, 2020

Good morning friends.  I hope you are doing well.  I’m praying today is a better day, for you, me and our world.  The events of the last several months created stress, anxiety, fear and uncertainty.  Each day seems to be a struggle of managing our thoughts, expressions and ourselves.  It’s not my intention to offend anyone, but I certainly do not want to hold back expressing my thoughts and views.  The lack of self-expression can cause anxiety of its own.  More stress isn’t good or wanted.  I’ll do my best to be gentle with you today.

The last few months have been frustrating to say the least.  Frustration is typically being upset or annoyed due to the inability to change something.  I’m sure we have all felt a bit of this in varying degrees.  It’s getting to the point where I’ve had enough.  I am tired of it all.  The craziness continues, which drives me more to get involved and alter this madness.  Clueless politicians across the country continue to plague us with their moronic and nonsensical decisions.  Governors, mayors and state representatives are at the top of this list.  They are playing with our lives and financial welfare.  They are controlling our freedom and rights without a worry as to the outcome.  It’s time for changes.

Frustration can be an emotional response to disappointment, anger, irritation, fear, control and more.  Stress and anxiety increase when you are deprived, held back, confined, pushed around and lied too.  Your resilience and energy diminish both mentally and physically.  Humans are social creatures.  We enjoy contact and interaction with others.  Our lives have been disrupted, with businesses, cities and states closed.  Our freedom to roam and enjoy life has been removed.  Our lives seem to be on hold.  Outings, events, gatherings and vacations are cancelled, which means nothing to look forward to.  All of this can bring mental and physical anxiety and fatigue.

Some of these events may be the cause of your frustration; the virus, pandemic, protests, news outlets, social media, extremist groups, law enforcement bashing, violence, looting, property destruction and idiots (of all races).  Each of these have taken a toll on me for sure.  It’s been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs.  The list seems to continue and the madness doesn’t stop.  People, groups, businesses, companies, organizations and many political leaders have lost their minds.  Brainwashing and propaganda is apparently taking effect on some people!  It makes me wonder, “What the heck is going on in our country?”  The manipulative divisive division of our population is real.  This is just crazy and scary stuff!  

Obviously there are many other factors that can create frustration.  So, how do we navigate these raging waters of fear, uncertainty and anxiety, without creating more stress?  My best suggestion, be the best possible version of yourself.  Don’t bend to the mob mentality or idiotic ideas.  My opinions and views of life and the world remain mostly unchanged.  Maybe now, due to the current situation, they are a bit more pronounced.  I may not have verbally expressed myself quite as much in the past.  Now, it’s extremely difficult not to make my thoughts known.  I have spent my life and career supporting freedom, equality and justice for all people.  That’s what America is built on.  Our nation has been a work in progress for many years.  Equality is fair and equal treatment for all people.  The push is on to get you to believe that isn’t true.  Don’t believe extremists.  Look at the facts.  They don’t lie. 

So how do we go about relieving all this frustration and stress?  To begin our transformation, we need to bring our mind, body and soul back into balance.  Let’s get started by stabilizing ourselves back on positive ground.  Our bodies are built to operate like finely tuned machines.  When all parts are functioning in harmony, we feel blissful mentally, physically and spiritually.  You have to begin by taking better care of you.  Wake up grateful and happy every morning.  You may ask, “How do I accomplish that when I feel paralyzed and helpless?”  It’s definitely an intentional choice.  This is when you need to invoke some mental toughness.  I make that promise to myself every day as soon as I wake up.  “Today is going to be a great day!”  I thank God for life and another day on earth.  Even when I’m aware the day may bring challenges and uncertainty, I begin each morning the same.  Every day brings new opportunities and is filled with possibilities to achieve happiness.  If I am not ready or watching, I may miss them and they will be lost.  I don’t like “what if’s” or regrets.  I feel better knowing I made the most of each day.

Each morning begins as I roll out of bed and complete a series of stretches and exercises.  This  includes the Five Tibetan Rites.  I was introduced to the rites during my yoga instructor training and certification in Bali.  We began each day with them.  My yoga master, Deep Kumar, shared these ancient teachings with our class.  He is wise and extremely knowledgeable; born and raised in India, with a life filled with yoga.  His expertise, ability and instruction are beyond compare.  I believe and follow his teachings, advice and inspiration.  If you do nothing else, begin each morning with the Five Tibetan Rites.  They will alter and change your life for the better.

Let me take a moment to explain the Five Tibetan Rites.  Simply stated, they are a series of five exercises.  Yoga practitioners (ancient and current) claim they build and restore healthful benefits.  The rites increase flexibility, strength and energy, reduce stress and create clarity, while calming the mind.  They will improve your overall health and wellness; when they are performed daily.  To reap these benefits, it is best to begin each day with these simple solutions to better health.  They are easily found with an internet search.  Please remember, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”   Be patient and the results will show.  Feel free to reach out if you need assistance or more info. 

Next I transition to meditation, taking several minutes to rest and relax.  This calms my mind and body.  Now I’m ready to jump into my day.   For me, that means it’s time for exercise.  I enjoy and feel better working out in the morning.  It really energizes me and sets the tone for my day.  If you aren’t a morning person, determine what works best for you and your schedule.  I typically workout five or six days a week, which may include running, lifting weights or biking.  

I enjoy going to the gym, spin class and yoga.  It’s been frustrating not being able to go to any of these facilities these past months.  They provide an avenue for healthy exercise and for socialization too.  During the closures, it’s primarily been running and weight lifting.  Luckily I had a few weights in the garage to help keep me motivated.  I believe it may be time for me to branch out and try some new stuff.  Change and modification is always good.

Breakfast follows my morning workout.  Food and diet (what we fuel our bodies with) is a very important part of this total equation.  I begin with a nutritious protein shake.  These are my typical ingredients: one cup of unsweetened coconut milk, one cup water, a scoop of healthy protein powder, a whole or half banana, one half cup fresh or frozen fruit and a generous handful of raw baby spinach.  To add a bit of excitement, once or twice a week, I’ll toss in a tablespoon of peanut or almond butter.  Depending on my recovery on any particular day, I’ll have a small breakfast shortly after the shake.  Lunch is a medium size.  A small afternoon snack is nice, maybe a piece of fruit or some nuts.  Dinner is a conservative size, with protein and vegetables.  Sweet potato, yam, quinoa, lentils or brown rice can be a nice side dish.  There are so many variations to healthy meals.  The sky is the limit!      

I use wonderful affirmations to energize and empower me through the day.  Reciting simple phrases of praise boost me mentally.  I sought counseling, after I retired, to relieve trauma induced nightmares.  My therapist guided me through EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy.  The positive affirmations were part of that process.  When my mind wanders to sad or traumatic memories, those words brighten my mind.  This is all part of the plan to reduce stress and frustration.  Don’t forget to pamper and give yourself love.  My pampering might mean a walk on the beach with my girlfriend or just snuggling on the couch for TV time.  Obviously “pampering” will mean different things to all people.  Just be sure it brings relaxation and bliss to your mind and body!      

Setting goals is very important to creating and maintaining a harmonious life balance.  Select achievable short and long term desires.  They can be as simple as eating healthy, exercising or just getting outside in nature.  Your plan may be related to business opportunities, personal development or vacation and travel ideas.  You are never too young or old to dream new dreams, create passions or achieve life long ambitions.  It really is all about setting a time line, from start to finish.  Mental stimulation is always important.  If adjustments are needed along the way, that’s fine.  Just don’t give up and throw in the towel.  This is all about strengthening yourself mentally.  Planning, learning, solving or reading are all good for your mind.  Believe in yourself.  Discipline is the key.  Motivation is the follow through.  It’s always great to have something to look forward too.  Something that involves the outdoors is always fun.

Nature is an integral part to relieving the stress and anxiety brought on by frustration.  I enjoy incorporating my outside time with exercise or fun whenever possible.  My suggestion is to just make time every day for some fresh air and sunshine.  If you can do more than that, it’s even better.  The beach and walking in the sand or water, hikes in the trees or adventures in the mountains; always relieves stress and anxiety.  Do what creates the most joy for you.  If nothing else, just get outside for twenty minutes a day.  Take a walk and enjoy life.  It’s that simple.

Sleep and achieving the proper rest needed to rejuvenate and revitalize your mind and body is a crucial puzzle piece to good health.  Some people say they can get by on just a few hours of sleep.  This may be true for a limited time period, but our bodies require rest to rebuild and refresh itself.   Down time is very important; allowing our mind and body to basically shut off and heal.  Please do not deprive your body the opportunity to rest and recover.  It will work better the next day if you do. 

Last but not least, don’t forget to maintain your spiritual soul.  I have my beliefs, prayers and rituals.  I’m sure you have your own as well.  Whatever that means for you, take the time to nurture and satisfy those needs.  They are just as important as all the other pieces of a healthy mind and body puzzle.   I know this is a frustrating time for people who regularly attend religious services.  The arbitrary rules and restrictions being dictated by many leaders don’t make sense. Why it’s okay to shop at large stores, eat at restaurants, or protest in massive groups; yet not okay to gather to worship?  This seems ludicrous.  The same can be said for closing hiking trails, parks, camp grounds or the beach.  When did being outside in the fresh air and sunshine become a bad thing?    

I realize I’ve shared a ton of information.  Don’t feel like you need to do everything immediately.  I don’t expect you to do anything like me.  Our bodies are similar in structure, but we’re all different.  Begin slowly and build as you go.  Incorporate all of these ingredients for a happy and healthy life; mentally, physically and spiritually.  Our bodies are really capable of accomplishing so much.  The difficult part of the equation can sometimes be convincing our minds.  Seeing you live a healthier lifestyle would make me happy. When you factor in food, exercise, rest, nature; it all adds up to a better mental and physical you. 

Don’t allow frustration to paralyze you.  Use it to your advantage.  Let it motivate and drive you to achieve your successes and live your dreams.  Do fun stuff with your friends and family.  Do simple things like picnics, hikes or movie night.  There are so many options.  Go on a date night and enjoy life.  Live life and enjoy.  

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!

Control

July 12, 2020

Good morning and happy Sunday.  Here we are again, California in lockdown.  I can’t say I agree with our governor on this current situation.  Several other states are dealing with similar situations.  Is this an attempt to further push our nation into economic distress, social chaos and sway the politics of the November elections?  I know there are opinions on both sides.  Some people are concerned about their health, but I hope you’re also concerned about the health of America.  Our political leaders (state and local) are doing an amazing job of spreading fear and uncertainty.  There are a number of state representatives (senate and congressional) nationwide, that are furthering the attack on our country.  These are evil and manipulative individuals.  They are only concerned with one thing: “Control.”

Manipulation and domination of others allows them to gain more power and wealth.  Fear, uncertainty, division and discontent are tools to gain your compliance.  Once you align yourself to their goal, you become more easily led.  They are doing a great job of exerting their “control” of us across the nation.  It began with the pandemic.  Then it transitioned into the protests about racism and inequality.  It’s easy to see some people are fearful.  For example, I run three days a week and pass a variety of individuals.  I typically say “hello” or “good morning” to nearly everyone. Of those, about 75-80% do not respond.  The same percentage will either stand off to the side, at least ten feet away or cross the road, so as not to pass to close to me.  This wasn’t the case before the pandemic began.  Now the media chaos shifts back and forth from the virus and racism. 

Take a moment to examine the cycle of abuse associated with domestic violence.  It begins with control, mentally and physically.  The cycle typically continues into more abusive and violent behavior.  The misinformation and lack of leadership by these state and local officials only serves to create more anxiety and stress.  These individuals thrive on maintaining control of the population.  Having that power is an amazing thing.  They don’t care how their decisions affect people’s lives.  They continue a constant barrage of lies and deceit, about the virus, racism and social injustice.  The anguish is taking a tremendous toll on our population, mentally and physically.

Many years ago my Dad told me, “Don’t believe everything you hear and only half of what you see.  He said, “There are two sides to every story and the truth is somewhere in the middle.”  What he told and taught me is valuable and useful information.  It proved very beneficial during my career in law enforcement.  The search for truth today can be a daunting task, but it’s out there when you look for it.  Unfortunately, too many people instantly believe everything they see or hear.  Their information is from a single source, or outlets that only share the same points of view.  Be honest with yourself and find the truth.  

This planet is inhabited by humans (people).  There are different shades and sizes, but we are all made the same.  As humans we have different views and beliefs.  Face it, none of us think exactly alike.  From birth we each begin our own evolution, education and development.  You discover people with various views and thought processes along your journey.  I highly doubt we will find anyone just like ourselves.  The beauty is we live in a vastly diverse world.  I hope we realize we are equally important and accept each other as humans.  We know, from past and present history, there are good and bad people living on this earth.  This is true of every person and in every nation across the world.  No individual or nation is perfect.  We all have endured good and bad times throughout history.  Some countries continue to struggle with dictatorships, communism, socialism or totalitarian governments.  The sad part associated with human nature is thinking one person or race is superior to another.  The tyranny created by these individuals, or nations, keep people in poverty and social upheaval.  These nations demand you follow the dictates of the government, or suffer severe consequences.  The common denominator of these lands are leaders controlling power, wealth and domination.  North Korea and China are prime examples.

We, the people of the United States of America, are blessed to live in a free society.  The circumstances of the past few months have brought us under the control of a few.  We are experiencing the effects of their domination at this very minute.  We are being told what we can do, where we can go, who we can see and how we will move about if we do venture outside.  Is this really about controlling a virus?  Is there something more sinister involved in these decisions?      

It never ceases to amaze me how we attempt to control everything around us.  Is it possible to stop the spread of a disease or virus or just delay it?  Should we try to slow it down or just allow it to run its natural course?  Is this part of some larger plot or agenda to manipulate the population?  I know the virus has caused sickness and death worldwide.  What I don’t care for is the fear and anxiety some politicians and media outlets have spread.  They skew the numbers to further control our lives.  We still do not have truthful answers to questions regarding this virus.  The CDC and WHO constantly change their views and assessment.  Just when we believed it’s safe to go back to work and have fun, there is a sudden “spike” in the numbers.  Clueless governors and mayors lock down cities and states.  The CDC admitted the increase in total cases was incorrect.  People are confined to home while protestors and looters roam freely.  No, you can’t go to church or have fun.  It’s forbidden. 

Could the sudden increase be because there is more testing taking place?  Maybe all the unruly crowds spread the virus?  Could all this be just to further a hidden agenda.  How many people are actually sick, not sick or in need of hospitalization?  My research says the truth is far from what we are being told.  We can’t stay at home forever.

The population of America is roughly 329,000,000.  The current number of coronavirus cases is approximately 3,324,000 and deaths are 137,089.  How many people are actually sick or hospitalized right now?  Does the reporting and fear it’s creating spark any suspicion?  The statistics show nearly half the deaths were in long term care and nursing home facilities.  Deaths are never good.  Unfortunately, thousands die every year from the flu and other diseases.  I tend to examine things logically.  The chaos created by this virus makes no sense.  I’ll leave it up to you to do the math or your own research. 

The things we can control, like pollution, we tend to just disregard.  Have you seen the before and now after pictures of some of the most polluted cities around the planet?  The air went from disgustingly polluted to clean.  In the wake of a nearly worldwide quarantine and stay at home order, our air has changed.  The lack of vehicles and industry discharging chemicals into the atmosphere has brought a resurgence of clean air.  Just think what would be possible if we actually focused on making changes for the future of our planet.  

Now we can add face masks and gloves to our pollution problem.  People so concerned or fearful from the thought of an unseen disease are now discarding these items everywhere, except where they should be placed.  In many instances, people aren’t even aware of how to properly use these items (typically used in sterile environments).  The idea of people wearing a mask and gloves, alone in their own car, out in nature or while exercising, is both sad and ludicrous.  This relates back to fear and control.

Our control seems to bring unwanted consequences.  We’re offered skewed explanations to make these decisions logical or needed.  Look at what we’ve done with our control of the Colorado River.  The dams we’ve constructed siphon off water at our demand.   You would think that we’ve done this due to the high demand for drinking water.  In reality, the majority of water (80%) taken from the Colorado is for irrigation.  The 1450 mile long river touches seven states before flowing through Mexico into the Gulf of California.  Unfortunately, all of the dams and water shed haven’t left little, if any, water to reach the gulf.

Many young people (teens and young adults) of today have enjoyed a stress free life.  They grew up playing video games, suckled by their parents, without a care in the world.  They haven’t had any real struggles in life.  They went to school, where dissident teachers and college professors filled their minds with anti-American propaganda.  Many aren’t willing to work and believe the government owes them everything.  You’ve seen some of them across the nation in protests.  They are screaming obscenities at the police, harassing and attacking innocent people, throwing rocks, bottles or anything they can get their hands on.  They are destroying property, looting businesses, setting fires, knocking down historic statues and defacing memorials.  These punks spread fear, hate and discontent.  They have no values, respect or integrity.  They are against everything the freedom of America stands for and believes.  These individuals stay in this country because it’s easy to live here.  They thrive from the taxes paid by hard working Americans.  Now these kids are being used to spread a different agenda.      

The problem in this country isn’t race or racism.  The problem is systemic corrupt and unscrupulous politicians.  These people have their own politician agenda.  It does not involve equality, fairness or freedom.  Our nation, and its people, have fallen prey to these divisive and evil people.  Politicians and wealthy elitists have used their influence to push their own goals for many years.  They use main stream news sources, social media and our educational system to further this process.  Local news networks talk about the same stories using the same verbiage.  Then you have independent news outlets at each side of the spectrum, similar to politics, except a bit more extreme.  It is difficult to find anyone who does not twist the news to fit their own views.  Obviously there are some that fabricate their own stories.  They spread lies, hate and deceitful rhetoric to divide our country.        

These people fund extremist groups to spread their propaganda; creating fear, hate and discontent.  Our younger generation have been misled and misguided for years by lies.  Now they believe they are fighting for equality, when it already exists.  Individuals and groups have been working for years to brainwash America.  They want to keep us divided, unsettled and fearful.  This is how they maintain control.  They want you to believe their lies.  The powerful stay in power and get richer each day.  They will do everything possible to seize and maintain sphere of influence.  The only way to end this madness is to get these individuals out of elected offices.  Get them out of our government.  Do not allow them to spread their hateful propaganda. 

They want communities to continue killing each other.  When have these elected officials ever done anything to solve the problems or issues we have faced in America?  The answer is, “Never!”   Gang violence, drugs, murders, rapes, robberies, pedophilia, sex and human trafficking continue to run rampant across the nation.  If law enforcement is defunded, the outcome will be disastrous.  The President is only as good as the support they receive from the Senate and Congress.  Some legislation has been attempted in recent years, but subversive political party influence has rendered these attempts futile.   Do your homework and research what our political leaders vote for and against.  What personal or political agenda are they supporting?  Who is providing them funding?

The true character of individuals is revealed while watching each news or media event.  This has occurred so many times during the last several months.  Governors, mayors, city council people, congress and senate members; from across the country appeared in briefings and news conferences.  I am curious what lies and fabrications some of these people told voters to win elections.  It’s scary knowing some of these fools actually are political leaders in this country.  Violent crime is rapidly increasing in cities across the nation.  Police officers and innocent people are being attacked and killed.  Slimy political leaders make excuses and blame others.  Radical groups and some news and media outlets only act if it favors their agenda.  Nothing changes.

Do not be fooled or misled by their fabrications, lies and deceit.  Maintaining these individuals as elected officials will only lead this country to its own destruction.  Do your own honest and open research.   Take off the blinders that have been placed there from years of internal propaganda.  Allow yourself to see the big picture of what’s occurring throughout our land.  Are there racists living in our country?  Yes, there are some and they come in every color, nationality and profession.  It would be wonderful to rid our nation (and world) of these despicable individuals.             

Cities are already paying the price for removing or defunding law enforcement.  Violent crime has steadily increased over the last few weeks.  During the July 4th weekend there were shootings across the country.  Here are a few stats: Chicago: 87 shootings, 17 killed (including two children); New York City: 41 shootings, 10 killed; Atlanta: 30 shootings and five killed; and Los Angeles: from June 28th to July 4th – 38 shootings, 11 killed, plus one killed by stabbing.  Crimes and violence will only increase if action isn’t taken to curtail the trend.  The answer isn’t defunding our law enforcement.  The solution is to improve and empower them.  Refine the selection and hiring process.  Enhance all levels of academy training.  Upgrade tactical training and ensure recurring education and assessments are completed for all personnel.

Let’s make our voices heard!  Stand up to our so called political leaders who do nothing to protect us or our nation.  If we wait, many more cities will fall prey to these rising violent trends.  You don’t have to agree with my views.  All I ask is that you do your own research before you follow a person, group or cause and before you cast your vote in elections.  Evaluate what any individual or group has done to better our nation.  What are the beliefs, goals or agenda they are seeking?  Don’t believe everything you hear or see.  Make your vote count for a better America.   We are not a racist country or responsible for the past.  Do not allow a few evil people to destroy this great land.  We are All one under God and our country.   

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!

More health and less heavy next week!