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Update (Tuesday):

  • I woke up at 4:30am, said the Lord's Prayer as well as a few personal prayers.

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  • Did 10 burpees to get myself woke up a little more.
  • Read an Uncommen devotional.
  • Sat in quiet solitude and contemplation.

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  • Took a cold shower.
  • Grabbed my wife's medicine, packed Arabella's and Gracelynn's lunch, and helped the kids get ready for school
  • Arrived at work a little after 7:00 and parked on the other end of campus; did 10 more burpees when I got to my office then made some coffee in my press.
  • Walked across campus to East Hall and sat in quiet, soaking up rays of morning sun.
  • Taught a superb one-on-one lesson with a student about the elements of plot and why knowing them and recognize them gives you a deeper understanding of story both as a reader and as a writer; I even used Scooby Doo to demonstrate.

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  • "Found" (more like re-discovered) the website for Narrative Magazine, which contains a large collection of really impression works by both professional and amateur writers; I needed some "mentor texts," writing samples that serve as excellent models for quality writing. This website was perfect for this purpose.
  • Had to leave early because Bianca (13) called from school and said she was running a fever and the school was sending her home.
  • Worked with my mentor today; in less than an hour, I carried a 70 lb. bucket of sand, two 5 gallon buckets of water, and over 750 bricks using brick tongs: that's 8 bricks/40 lbs. each tong, one in each hand, 47 trips from the brick pile to the house (about 30 yards).

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  • Found a great deal on Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee from Kroger. If you don't know, Ethiopia is considered the birthplace of coffee. According to a legend, a goat herder noticed his goats were acting erratically, and he realized they were eating a strange-looking bean of some sort; this turned out to be coffee fruit, and the rest is history.
  • Did 40 more burpees while at home (4 sets of 10).
  • And now I'm ready for bed; good night all.

 

  • Like 5

Who am I? -- My NF Character

Current Challenge: WolfDreamer Wakes the White Wolf

Past Challenges: 

Spoiler

Winter is ComingWolfen Strengthens His Heart, Body, Mind, and Spirit, Wolfen Becomes One of the PeopleWolfen Strengthens His ChakrasWolfen Welcomes Summer and Gets Primal, Soulcon and Spartan, Wolfen Develops Mental ToughnessWolfen Joins the Wander SocietySoulcon, Spartan, School, and Stranger ThingsWolfen Becomes a Warrior EliteWolfen Goes Here and There and Back AgainWolfen Becomes a Soulcon Warrior EliteWolfen Returns to His RootsWolfen Wanders in Soul, Spirit, and BodyWolfen Owns the DayWolfen Searches for His Wild Heart, Wolfen Runs for His LifeWolfen Hits the TrailsWolfen Becomes an Explorer and Joins the ResistanceWolfen Goes Back to the SourceWolfen Begins the Hero's JourneyWolfDreamer Returns to the People,  WolfDreamer Pushes BackWolfDreamer PrioritizesBurpees, Books, and BrainworkBurpees, Books, Brainwork, and BodyworkWolfDreamer Masters the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Continues to Master the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Returns to SpartaWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Continues His Middle Earth AdventureWolfDreamer and the FallWolfDreamer Forges His Own PathWolfDreamer Has HopeWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Reads Harder, Breathes Harder, and Journals MoreWolfDreamer Embraces His Wild PoetThe Mad Poet Becomes SupernaturalWolfDreamer, The Mad Poet, Becomes SuperhumanWolfDreamer ElevatesWolfDreamer Becomes IronBorn

I'd rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet.” -- Jack London

“I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love.” -- Leo Tolstoy

"I feel love rising in my chest again
Rising like a burning sun into the day..." -- Gungor, "Hurricane"

"...wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17b

 

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Quote

Taught a superb one-on-one lesson with a student about the elements of plot and why knowing them and recognize them gives you a deeper understanding of story both as a reader and as a writer; I even used Scooby Doo to demonstrate.

 

I totally should have used examples from Scooby Doo when I taught creative writing. This is brilliant!

  • Like 2

"When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." -Henry Ford

"The older I get, the more I understand that the only way to say valuable things is to lose your fear of being correct." -Malcolm Gladwell

"If you know the way broadly, you will see it in all things." -Miyamoto Musashi

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21 hours ago, Wolfen said:

 

Big fan of both Jocko and Joe, but man their podcasts are so long. I have to listen to them in swallows. And yes, I am familiar with David Goggins. In fact, this book is on my list:

 

51GCy-u+JpL._SY346_.jpg

 

You can be tougher. Jocko says it all the time: Just be tougher. Stop making excuses and just be tougher. Start with small choices that will get you there. Get up earlier, take cold showers, go outside barefoot, skip a meal here and there, park far away from the entrance and walk, do some burpees, break into a sprint until you can't take it anymore then run a bit further. Whatever it takes to push yourself out of your comfort zone. But most importantly: stop complaining and suck it up.

 

That's probably a bit harsh, and maybe you don't complain that much, but I know a lot of strong people who aren't very tough. And I know some "weak" people who are really tough. My goal is to be both strong and tough. I don't care if I'm ripped and have a "hot bod." I want to be strong and I want to be tough.

 

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to see you here again.

I listen to their podcasts when i walk the dogs so i can usually get an hours worth in at a time.

 

Ive read the free sample of this book in google books on my phone. I dont have the cash to buy any books at the mo but when i do this is one ill be buying sooner rather than later.

Yes agreed Jocko is great i always get a lot from him.Hes made me want to have a go at BJJ so badly. Im taking a class asap after im working again.

 

 i really try not to complain and when i do i try to catch myself doing it. Habitual complaining is a real challenge to get out thats for sure. Its something im still working on and improving at. But it can be extremely insidious and easy to fall back into if your not careful and in negative company.

 

I love Dave Goggins terminology of wanting to build "mental calluses" in his mind through suffering. Being strong and tough is a great goal to strive for i will be keeping my eye on your progress thats for sure.

Challenge 1 2

Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a god - Beilby Porteus
MY NF CHARACTER

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4 hours ago, theflyingaccountant said:

 

I totally should have used examples from Scooby Doo when I taught creative writing. This is brilliant!

 

The trick is that the plot elements in a Scooby Doo episode are not as obvious as in other stories. A similar demonstration could be done with Sherlock Holmes mysteries (or, of course, episodes of Sherlock and House, as well as other television programs). We should talk more about this.

Who am I? -- My NF Character

Current Challenge: WolfDreamer Wakes the White Wolf

Past Challenges: 

Spoiler

Winter is ComingWolfen Strengthens His Heart, Body, Mind, and Spirit, Wolfen Becomes One of the PeopleWolfen Strengthens His ChakrasWolfen Welcomes Summer and Gets Primal, Soulcon and Spartan, Wolfen Develops Mental ToughnessWolfen Joins the Wander SocietySoulcon, Spartan, School, and Stranger ThingsWolfen Becomes a Warrior EliteWolfen Goes Here and There and Back AgainWolfen Becomes a Soulcon Warrior EliteWolfen Returns to His RootsWolfen Wanders in Soul, Spirit, and BodyWolfen Owns the DayWolfen Searches for His Wild Heart, Wolfen Runs for His LifeWolfen Hits the TrailsWolfen Becomes an Explorer and Joins the ResistanceWolfen Goes Back to the SourceWolfen Begins the Hero's JourneyWolfDreamer Returns to the People,  WolfDreamer Pushes BackWolfDreamer PrioritizesBurpees, Books, and BrainworkBurpees, Books, Brainwork, and BodyworkWolfDreamer Masters the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Continues to Master the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Returns to SpartaWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Continues His Middle Earth AdventureWolfDreamer and the FallWolfDreamer Forges His Own PathWolfDreamer Has HopeWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Reads Harder, Breathes Harder, and Journals MoreWolfDreamer Embraces His Wild PoetThe Mad Poet Becomes SupernaturalWolfDreamer, The Mad Poet, Becomes SuperhumanWolfDreamer ElevatesWolfDreamer Becomes IronBorn

I'd rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet.” -- Jack London

“I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love.” -- Leo Tolstoy

"I feel love rising in my chest again
Rising like a burning sun into the day..." -- Gungor, "Hurricane"

"...wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17b

 

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Indeed we should. It's funny how I found some of the best ideas for my teaching after I left the classroom.

"When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." -Henry Ford

"The older I get, the more I understand that the only way to say valuable things is to lose your fear of being correct." -Malcolm Gladwell

"If you know the way broadly, you will see it in all things." -Miyamoto Musashi

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Sound like you had a great day and lots of burpees!

 

I love coffee! I wonder if I can get that brand.. Coffee in UK is not great at all and I usually bring it from Portugal... 

 

But.. I was told that us Portuguese hate coffee from anywhere else in the world so I might be biased... 

  • Like 1

Nadoriel

 

NODDY'S GRINDING LOG

NODDY'S ENTERS THE HISTORIC RUINS (challenge)

 

Race: Half Demon | Class: Adventurer | Character sheet

- - -

DeviantArt

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10 minutes ago, Nadoriel said:

I wonder if I can get that brand.

 

Yirgacheffe isn't a brand so much as it's a flavor, or rather a specific roast of coffee from a specific region. It doesn't taste like "regular" coffee. It has a subtle fruity flavor and a floral aroma. I drank my first cup a few years ago at one of my favorite coffee shops, a very hipster place in Charleston (the capital city of WV) called Moxxee. Moxxee's sign and emblem is actually two goats, inspired by the folk tale I posted above about the goat herder discovering coffee:

348s.jpg     o.jpg  348s.jpg

 

You should definitely try to get some. It will not taste like any coffee you have ever had before. Since we're on the topic of coffee, the strongest coffee I have ever had came from Haiti. One of my close friends is a missionary in Haiti, and when he came back to the states one year he handed me a baggy filled with some kind of black powder.

 

"What...is that?" I asked.

 

"Coffee," he said. "But you can't just brew it in a pot." So later that day I took it to work and showed it to a coworker from Bosnia who knows coffee really well. She suggested trying to make my own pour-over using just a coffee filter, a mug, and some hot water. I followed her instructions, spilling some water in the process, until I finally had a full cup of coffee so black it looked like a hole in the universe floating in a mug. But...oh...my...goodness it was delicious. Strong and just a tad bitter, but not in a bad way, more like in a Don't drink this in the afternoon kind of way.

 

Now I totally wish I had some more.

 

  • Like 5

Who am I? -- My NF Character

Current Challenge: WolfDreamer Wakes the White Wolf

Past Challenges: 

Spoiler

Winter is ComingWolfen Strengthens His Heart, Body, Mind, and Spirit, Wolfen Becomes One of the PeopleWolfen Strengthens His ChakrasWolfen Welcomes Summer and Gets Primal, Soulcon and Spartan, Wolfen Develops Mental ToughnessWolfen Joins the Wander SocietySoulcon, Spartan, School, and Stranger ThingsWolfen Becomes a Warrior EliteWolfen Goes Here and There and Back AgainWolfen Becomes a Soulcon Warrior EliteWolfen Returns to His RootsWolfen Wanders in Soul, Spirit, and BodyWolfen Owns the DayWolfen Searches for His Wild Heart, Wolfen Runs for His LifeWolfen Hits the TrailsWolfen Becomes an Explorer and Joins the ResistanceWolfen Goes Back to the SourceWolfen Begins the Hero's JourneyWolfDreamer Returns to the People,  WolfDreamer Pushes BackWolfDreamer PrioritizesBurpees, Books, and BrainworkBurpees, Books, Brainwork, and BodyworkWolfDreamer Masters the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Continues to Master the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Returns to SpartaWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Continues His Middle Earth AdventureWolfDreamer and the FallWolfDreamer Forges His Own PathWolfDreamer Has HopeWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Reads Harder, Breathes Harder, and Journals MoreWolfDreamer Embraces His Wild PoetThe Mad Poet Becomes SupernaturalWolfDreamer, The Mad Poet, Becomes SuperhumanWolfDreamer ElevatesWolfDreamer Becomes IronBorn

I'd rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet.” -- Jack London

“I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love.” -- Leo Tolstoy

"I feel love rising in my chest again
Rising like a burning sun into the day..." -- Gungor, "Hurricane"

"...wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17b

 

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Ahaha awesome! I'm gonna search for it here ^^ that coffee shop looks really nice! 

 

I also never had any coffee from Haiti.. I seriously gotta travel more xD

 

Actually... We could start a business to sell coffee from all the different countries / regions! I'm sure some people would like that *. *

  • Like 1

Nadoriel

 

NODDY'S GRINDING LOG

NODDY'S ENTERS THE HISTORIC RUINS (challenge)

 

Race: Half Demon | Class: Adventurer | Character sheet

- - -

DeviantArt

Link to comment

 

  • Like 3

Who am I? -- My NF Character

Current Challenge: WolfDreamer Wakes the White Wolf

Past Challenges: 

Spoiler

Winter is ComingWolfen Strengthens His Heart, Body, Mind, and Spirit, Wolfen Becomes One of the PeopleWolfen Strengthens His ChakrasWolfen Welcomes Summer and Gets Primal, Soulcon and Spartan, Wolfen Develops Mental ToughnessWolfen Joins the Wander SocietySoulcon, Spartan, School, and Stranger ThingsWolfen Becomes a Warrior EliteWolfen Goes Here and There and Back AgainWolfen Becomes a Soulcon Warrior EliteWolfen Returns to His RootsWolfen Wanders in Soul, Spirit, and BodyWolfen Owns the DayWolfen Searches for His Wild Heart, Wolfen Runs for His LifeWolfen Hits the TrailsWolfen Becomes an Explorer and Joins the ResistanceWolfen Goes Back to the SourceWolfen Begins the Hero's JourneyWolfDreamer Returns to the People,  WolfDreamer Pushes BackWolfDreamer PrioritizesBurpees, Books, and BrainworkBurpees, Books, Brainwork, and BodyworkWolfDreamer Masters the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Continues to Master the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Returns to SpartaWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Continues His Middle Earth AdventureWolfDreamer and the FallWolfDreamer Forges His Own PathWolfDreamer Has HopeWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Reads Harder, Breathes Harder, and Journals MoreWolfDreamer Embraces His Wild PoetThe Mad Poet Becomes SupernaturalWolfDreamer, The Mad Poet, Becomes SuperhumanWolfDreamer ElevatesWolfDreamer Becomes IronBorn

I'd rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet.” -- Jack London

“I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love.” -- Leo Tolstoy

"I feel love rising in my chest again
Rising like a burning sun into the day..." -- Gungor, "Hurricane"

"...wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17b

 

Link to comment

I'm thinking about returning to the WODs posted on Spartan's website and getting serious about using them daily. If you're not familiar, Spartan posts a Workout of the Day to their site, complete with links to videos on how to properly do the exercise. Most of these are bodyweight exercises that already mesh well with my workout routine. The workouts fall into four categories: Strength, Athleticism, Endurance, and Mind (which is really rest days).

 

Today's workout was Mind. With the Mind workouts, Spartan recommends things like reading, studying, and meditation; basically, anything non-physical that keeps the mind strong. They also recommend a few links that are often blog posts from the Spartan Life blog. I read two of these today, and I thought I would share some of the best takeaways.

 

One: 5 Qualities Champions Have in Common

Takeaways:

  • A real champion mindset is one that gives meaning to every race and workout—regardless of the outcome. That meaning could be about overcoming personal limitations, inspiring others, or getting healthy for the people you care about.
  • When champions fail to finish a race as quickly as they’d hoped, they don’t blame the person who tripped them up at mile three or the person who held up the line at obstacle seven. They say, “What could I have done differently?” And then they work on it.
  • But champions understand that life is a marathon, not a sprint... Anything that comes too easily is simply not worth having.
  • Nothing in the gym matters until you find an answer to that question: "What do I want to get out of this?"
  • Champions care less about looking good and more about being effective. Perfect the process, and everything else falls into place.

Two: 9 Ways to Live Like a Spartan

Takeaways:

  • Tough times define you and create your story. And the more difficult your challenges, the more interesting your story.
  • Your attitude, not your aptitude, decides your altitude.
  • Two things separate average and extraordinary people: sweat and tears.
  • Start your day fast and don’t look back.
  • Like 4

Who am I? -- My NF Character

Current Challenge: WolfDreamer Wakes the White Wolf

Past Challenges: 

Spoiler

Winter is ComingWolfen Strengthens His Heart, Body, Mind, and Spirit, Wolfen Becomes One of the PeopleWolfen Strengthens His ChakrasWolfen Welcomes Summer and Gets Primal, Soulcon and Spartan, Wolfen Develops Mental ToughnessWolfen Joins the Wander SocietySoulcon, Spartan, School, and Stranger ThingsWolfen Becomes a Warrior EliteWolfen Goes Here and There and Back AgainWolfen Becomes a Soulcon Warrior EliteWolfen Returns to His RootsWolfen Wanders in Soul, Spirit, and BodyWolfen Owns the DayWolfen Searches for His Wild Heart, Wolfen Runs for His LifeWolfen Hits the TrailsWolfen Becomes an Explorer and Joins the ResistanceWolfen Goes Back to the SourceWolfen Begins the Hero's JourneyWolfDreamer Returns to the People,  WolfDreamer Pushes BackWolfDreamer PrioritizesBurpees, Books, and BrainworkBurpees, Books, Brainwork, and BodyworkWolfDreamer Masters the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Continues to Master the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Returns to SpartaWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Continues His Middle Earth AdventureWolfDreamer and the FallWolfDreamer Forges His Own PathWolfDreamer Has HopeWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Reads Harder, Breathes Harder, and Journals MoreWolfDreamer Embraces His Wild PoetThe Mad Poet Becomes SupernaturalWolfDreamer, The Mad Poet, Becomes SuperhumanWolfDreamer ElevatesWolfDreamer Becomes IronBorn

I'd rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet.” -- Jack London

“I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love.” -- Leo Tolstoy

"I feel love rising in my chest again
Rising like a burning sun into the day..." -- Gungor, "Hurricane"

"...wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17b

 

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Random post:

 

You know that moment when you hear a music group for the first time and you think, "Wow, these guys are really good!" And you think they're new, only to find out they've been around for a few years. Yeah, that happened to me today, with this group right here:

 

 

So I hear this song on Spotify and think, "Why haven't I heard of these guys?" Absolutely awesome. They're a duo, with a drummer and guitar/lead singer. So, now I'm hooked. I've listened to at least five songs, and they're all excellent.

  • Like 1

Who am I? -- My NF Character

Current Challenge: WolfDreamer Wakes the White Wolf

Past Challenges: 

Spoiler

Winter is ComingWolfen Strengthens His Heart, Body, Mind, and Spirit, Wolfen Becomes One of the PeopleWolfen Strengthens His ChakrasWolfen Welcomes Summer and Gets Primal, Soulcon and Spartan, Wolfen Develops Mental ToughnessWolfen Joins the Wander SocietySoulcon, Spartan, School, and Stranger ThingsWolfen Becomes a Warrior EliteWolfen Goes Here and There and Back AgainWolfen Becomes a Soulcon Warrior EliteWolfen Returns to His RootsWolfen Wanders in Soul, Spirit, and BodyWolfen Owns the DayWolfen Searches for His Wild Heart, Wolfen Runs for His LifeWolfen Hits the TrailsWolfen Becomes an Explorer and Joins the ResistanceWolfen Goes Back to the SourceWolfen Begins the Hero's JourneyWolfDreamer Returns to the People,  WolfDreamer Pushes BackWolfDreamer PrioritizesBurpees, Books, and BrainworkBurpees, Books, Brainwork, and BodyworkWolfDreamer Masters the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Continues to Master the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Returns to SpartaWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Continues His Middle Earth AdventureWolfDreamer and the FallWolfDreamer Forges His Own PathWolfDreamer Has HopeWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Reads Harder, Breathes Harder, and Journals MoreWolfDreamer Embraces His Wild PoetThe Mad Poet Becomes SupernaturalWolfDreamer, The Mad Poet, Becomes SuperhumanWolfDreamer ElevatesWolfDreamer Becomes IronBorn

I'd rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet.” -- Jack London

“I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love.” -- Leo Tolstoy

"I feel love rising in my chest again
Rising like a burning sun into the day..." -- Gungor, "Hurricane"

"...wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17b

 

Link to comment

What an awesome weekend. Saturday morning, I worked for my mentor in the light morning drizzle spreading lime on a section of dying grass along the top of his property, moving some more 70 pound buckets of sand and some lumber, and scraping weeds and grass out of sidewalk cracks. Then I was lazy most of the day, although we did get some housework done. In the evening, I took the littlest ones outside to play in the mud and rain. They had a blast, running and jumping into puddles and even playing in thick, squishy patches of mud and clay. You have to remember that Arabella has SPD (sensory processing disorder) and Gracelynn has cerebellar hypoplasia. So it is always incredible to see Arabella challenging her senses in a variety of ways and not getting overwhelmed and to see Gracelynn doing strenuous and vigorous activities like running and crawling and not getting exhausted.

 

Sunday, we all woke up early to leave for Columbus. When I say "we" I mean myself, my wife, my four daughters, and two friends. So what that means is it was me and 6 girls. I spent most of the trip there with my eyes out the window, my emotions bouncing from annoyed to enamoured as my wife and the girls sang along to pop songs on the radio. We arrived before the zoo opened, and it was a cool, foggy morning.

 

Our first destination (after renting a stroller and getting some coffee) was the Congo expedition. This is one of the areas that becomes quickly condensed if it gets crowded, and if that happens it is nearly impossible to see anything. And of course I want to see because it also houses two of my favorite primates: gorillas and bonobos. I am often amazed at people who have no idea what a bonobo is, and I also have to swallow the urge to speak up when people call them monkeys (grown people, I mean; I can forgive children not knowing better). And when someone calls a bonobo a chimpanzee, well...it's like calling an Aussie a kiwi or vice versa.

 

This is a bonobo:

bonobo_portrait.jpg

 

This is a chimpanzee:

1200px-Schimpanse_Zoo_Leipzig.jpg

 

There are also some considerable differences in behaviors; chimps are aggressive and territorial, but bonobos are like the hippies of the primate world, which means they're mostly mellow and have a lot of sex. (Fun fact: some zoos won't house bonobos because they are so sexually active). Luckily, we didn't have to explain anything to our daughters yesterday, but there were several playful bonobos, two of them climbing and swinging on a slackline. A baby, who was probably just a few months old, was jumping up and down and (I'm not making this up) waving at us. A couple next to us had a guide dog, and this brought all of the bonobos to the glass. We saw that one of the mothers had a small baby clinging to her stomach; it peered out at us with adorable and soulful eyes. Just do a search for "baby bonobo." You won't be sorry.

 

Another cool thing happened when we visited the gorillas. The gorilla exhibit has both an outdoor and indoor viewing area. My favorites are the two silverbacks, Macombo II and Oliver. Macombo II is the oldest and the largest. Oliver is actually deaf. Both are strikingly handsome and powerful gorillas. While in the indoor area, Oliver became quite agitated and was running back and forth along the glass enclosure; he wasn't quite chest-thumping, but it was clear he was irritated, probably due to the dense crowd (it was pretty busy). Parents pulled their little ones back away from the glass in anticipation of...what exactly? Pounding the glass? A potential Harambe moment (impossible in this, case, btw)? I stepped closer to the glass and made eye contact with him until he paced again along the length of the enclosure. I didn't realize gorillas could move so fast, especially given his massive frame. There is a little bump of fake stone wall that protrudes from the bottom of the glass, so I sat there until I was almost sitting right against the glass. He stopped pacing and stood right next to me, again making eye contact. I didn't move; neither did he, but his eyes darted from me to the crowd then back to me, back to the crowd, back to me. Then he sat right next to me on the other side of the glass, still switching his gaze from me to the crowd again and again. Finally, he stood back up and walked to the back of the enclosure. I took that as a sign that he was no longer interested and went to join my family.

 

03a916d5325be47a0839cb17dc9f1dd0.jpg3468291442_9f40744e82_b.jpg

 

That's Oliver on the left and Macombo II on the right.

 

Our next destination was Dinosaur Island, a relaxing but immersive boat ride that features animatronic dinosaurs, including some species that few people know. Then we walked to the Heart of Africa section to eat lunch. I've never been to Africa; the closest I have come is the African section of Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World, which I hear is one of the most authentic representations, "the closest you will ever get to actually being in Africa." The Heart of Africa is probably a close second. The Mapori restaurant is incredible. It is located right next to the "savanna" where you can watch zebra, giraffes, ostriches, gazelles, wildebeests, and warthogs graze as you enjoy your meal. And their food selection is the best at the zoo. When we exited the restaurant, we noticed that there was a crowd gathering near the barricades to the savanna. We wandered over and saw that the the king and queen of the lion pride, Tomo and Asali, were at the watering hole. Tomo would drop his head for a drink, and then raise his head high to scan the crowd. Asali just kept drinking.

 

4379277835_989a63361c_b.jpg

Tomo

 

The rest of the day moved pretty quickly. We visited the polar bears, the manatees, the kangaroos, we fed lorikeets and stingrays. If you have never had the chance to touch or feed stingrays...wow. It's very simple: you hold what resembles an anchovy between your fingers, and the stingray swims up and sucks it out of your hand. That's the best way to describe it. No biting, just some flaps that wrap around your hand and a gentle sucking feeling as they inhale the fish. But beware; when you run out of food the stingrays still come to you and attempt to suck at your hand and forearm. At one point, I had five stingrays swimming around, sucking at my hand and arm; and they get a bit annoyed and splash if there isn't food. So, of course I got soaked. The cownose stingrays are the most social and the most active. There was also a southern stingray and a bowmouth guitarfish (also called a shark ray). Gracelynn and Arabella were hesitant to touch any of them, but eventually they both had their hands in the water, touching the stingrays' backs as they swam by. "Ewww, they're slimy," Arabella said. "Daddy, I wanna swim," Gracelynn said. Me too, Gracelynn, me too.

 

stingray-bay-1.jpg

 

After that, we diverted to the side of the park where the amusement rides are located; this is a fun little break from viewing animals to hop on some fun-but-mild amusement rides. This pretty much ended our zoo visit. Once we got here, the kids didn't want to go back into the zoo to see anymore animals. I didn't complain because we have season passes; we can see more next time. Instead, I enjoyed a few rides with my kids and awaited our upcoming dinner at Cheesecake Factory.

 

That's right, I said it: Cheesecake Factory. If you're not familiar, it is as awesome as it sounds. Expensive, but awesome. To save money, my oldest two daughters each ordered chicken fettuccine alfredo and shared it with their friend. Gracelynn ordered a child-sized fettuccine alfredo, and it had bowtie pasta rather than fettuccine noodles. "Daddy, these look like bows," she said. Arabella had corn dogs and fries. My wife ordered a NY strip with mashed potatoes (which was clearly one potato that they boiled, mashed, and seasoned). I had fish tacos, which are excellent: grilled fish, avocado, tomato, chipotle sauce, marinated onions and cilantro with a side of rice and black beans. And of course we ordered cheesecake; Gracelynn and I shared a lemon-raspberry cheesecake.

 

fish-tacos.jpgCCF_LemonRaspberryCreamCheesecake.jpg

 

But, like any other family trip, it had to end. The drive home is always a bummer. On the way, my wife and I had a serious discussion about moving up to Ohio, closer to the zoo. At first, she seemed all about it, admitting that if our kids move out of state and after her parents pass away, she would see no reason to stay in West Virginia. As the conversation continued, though, she said it would have to be worth it financially. As they sky got darker the car got quieter as every kid fell asleep, except Gracelynn who was playing Subway Surfers on my wife's iPad.

 

I look forward to our next trip, whether it be the zoo or somewhere else. I know people groan and complain about family vacations, but ours are always a blessing. Perfect? No. But a blessing? Yes.

  • Like 5

Who am I? -- My NF Character

Current Challenge: WolfDreamer Wakes the White Wolf

Past Challenges: 

Spoiler

Winter is ComingWolfen Strengthens His Heart, Body, Mind, and Spirit, Wolfen Becomes One of the PeopleWolfen Strengthens His ChakrasWolfen Welcomes Summer and Gets Primal, Soulcon and Spartan, Wolfen Develops Mental ToughnessWolfen Joins the Wander SocietySoulcon, Spartan, School, and Stranger ThingsWolfen Becomes a Warrior EliteWolfen Goes Here and There and Back AgainWolfen Becomes a Soulcon Warrior EliteWolfen Returns to His RootsWolfen Wanders in Soul, Spirit, and BodyWolfen Owns the DayWolfen Searches for His Wild Heart, Wolfen Runs for His LifeWolfen Hits the TrailsWolfen Becomes an Explorer and Joins the ResistanceWolfen Goes Back to the SourceWolfen Begins the Hero's JourneyWolfDreamer Returns to the People,  WolfDreamer Pushes BackWolfDreamer PrioritizesBurpees, Books, and BrainworkBurpees, Books, Brainwork, and BodyworkWolfDreamer Masters the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Continues to Master the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Returns to SpartaWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Continues His Middle Earth AdventureWolfDreamer and the FallWolfDreamer Forges His Own PathWolfDreamer Has HopeWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Reads Harder, Breathes Harder, and Journals MoreWolfDreamer Embraces His Wild PoetThe Mad Poet Becomes SupernaturalWolfDreamer, The Mad Poet, Becomes SuperhumanWolfDreamer ElevatesWolfDreamer Becomes IronBorn

I'd rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet.” -- Jack London

“I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love.” -- Leo Tolstoy

"I feel love rising in my chest again
Rising like a burning sun into the day..." -- Gungor, "Hurricane"

"...wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17b

 

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THIS!

 

 

  • Like 1

Who am I? -- My NF Character

Current Challenge: WolfDreamer Wakes the White Wolf

Past Challenges: 

Spoiler

Winter is ComingWolfen Strengthens His Heart, Body, Mind, and Spirit, Wolfen Becomes One of the PeopleWolfen Strengthens His ChakrasWolfen Welcomes Summer and Gets Primal, Soulcon and Spartan, Wolfen Develops Mental ToughnessWolfen Joins the Wander SocietySoulcon, Spartan, School, and Stranger ThingsWolfen Becomes a Warrior EliteWolfen Goes Here and There and Back AgainWolfen Becomes a Soulcon Warrior EliteWolfen Returns to His RootsWolfen Wanders in Soul, Spirit, and BodyWolfen Owns the DayWolfen Searches for His Wild Heart, Wolfen Runs for His LifeWolfen Hits the TrailsWolfen Becomes an Explorer and Joins the ResistanceWolfen Goes Back to the SourceWolfen Begins the Hero's JourneyWolfDreamer Returns to the People,  WolfDreamer Pushes BackWolfDreamer PrioritizesBurpees, Books, and BrainworkBurpees, Books, Brainwork, and BodyworkWolfDreamer Masters the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Continues to Master the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Returns to SpartaWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Continues His Middle Earth AdventureWolfDreamer and the FallWolfDreamer Forges His Own PathWolfDreamer Has HopeWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Reads Harder, Breathes Harder, and Journals MoreWolfDreamer Embraces His Wild PoetThe Mad Poet Becomes SupernaturalWolfDreamer, The Mad Poet, Becomes SuperhumanWolfDreamer ElevatesWolfDreamer Becomes IronBorn

I'd rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet.” -- Jack London

“I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love.” -- Leo Tolstoy

"I feel love rising in my chest again
Rising like a burning sun into the day..." -- Gungor, "Hurricane"

"...wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17b

 

Link to comment

Random thought: I think I have my idea for my next challenge (which is more rapidly approaching than expected).

 

Update: Wednesday 9/6/17

Yesterday morning, I woke up well before my alarm (like an hour) and as usual I knelt and said the Lord's Prayer, as well as some personal prayers for my wife and daughters. My wife officially started her internship Monday, which is both awesome and stressful since we are relying on my income solely until she is finished. She's also quite busy and anxious about it while also being proud and excited that she is almost finished. I'm mostly proud.

 

Then I tweeted:

 

And posted my workout plan for the morning:

 

 

Last week, I finally took my tent down after weeks of it being up in the yard; underneath is a nice rectangle of yellowed grass. When I got up to workout yesterday, I chose this spot as my "gym" for the morning, and I have nicknamed it The Grinder after the term given to the workout area for Navy Seals during BUD/S. My Grinder isn't nearly as awesome or as extreme, but if it motivates me to get out there and move then it will suffice:

 

 

 

I did three sets of the workout, including a 5 minute run and 75 jumping jacks and a warm-up. I probably could have done a fourth set, but I was concerned about time rather than capability.

 

Once I arrived at work, I made a cup of bulletproof coffee and walked across campus to East Hall where I relaxed, waited for sunrise, and started reading a book I have already read (and loved ):

 

 

 

My day of teaching went as smoothly as usual, with the exception of the chance to zipline. Apparently, the Army ROTC rented out a mobile zipline and put it out on campus for students and anyone else who wanted to try. Of course I wanted to try. It wasn't the height or even the idea of ziplining that made me nervous; it was the rickety walk up the steps to the stop of the 30' tower that sits on a trailer that made me nervous.

Maryland_DC_Virginia_Deleware_Zip-Line-5

 

In the late afternoon, I worked with my mentor. I moved 192 bricks, 50 cinder blocks, and two metal barrels and fed and gave fresh water to his chickens. After this, I picked up Chinese food for everyone, and then took my daughter out to practice parallel parking. Out of five attempts, she only messed up once.

 

I was lazy for the rest of the evening, other than making some progress on my assignment due in one of my graduate classes yesterday. I was stressed about it until I started writing, and I entered into a flow state in which nothing else mattered except working on the paper. It's done, other than adding APA formatted citations.

 

More to come.

  • Like 4

Who am I? -- My NF Character

Current Challenge: WolfDreamer Wakes the White Wolf

Past Challenges: 

Spoiler

Winter is ComingWolfen Strengthens His Heart, Body, Mind, and Spirit, Wolfen Becomes One of the PeopleWolfen Strengthens His ChakrasWolfen Welcomes Summer and Gets Primal, Soulcon and Spartan, Wolfen Develops Mental ToughnessWolfen Joins the Wander SocietySoulcon, Spartan, School, and Stranger ThingsWolfen Becomes a Warrior EliteWolfen Goes Here and There and Back AgainWolfen Becomes a Soulcon Warrior EliteWolfen Returns to His RootsWolfen Wanders in Soul, Spirit, and BodyWolfen Owns the DayWolfen Searches for His Wild Heart, Wolfen Runs for His LifeWolfen Hits the TrailsWolfen Becomes an Explorer and Joins the ResistanceWolfen Goes Back to the SourceWolfen Begins the Hero's JourneyWolfDreamer Returns to the People,  WolfDreamer Pushes BackWolfDreamer PrioritizesBurpees, Books, and BrainworkBurpees, Books, Brainwork, and BodyworkWolfDreamer Masters the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Continues to Master the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Returns to SpartaWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Continues His Middle Earth AdventureWolfDreamer and the FallWolfDreamer Forges His Own PathWolfDreamer Has HopeWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Reads Harder, Breathes Harder, and Journals MoreWolfDreamer Embraces His Wild PoetThe Mad Poet Becomes SupernaturalWolfDreamer, The Mad Poet, Becomes SuperhumanWolfDreamer ElevatesWolfDreamer Becomes IronBorn

I'd rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet.” -- Jack London

“I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love.” -- Leo Tolstoy

"I feel love rising in my chest again
Rising like a burning sun into the day..." -- Gungor, "Hurricane"

"...wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17b

 

Link to comment

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