What time is it in Wyoming?

Posted in GMA on June 11, 2011 by JohnJohn

I have no idea what time it is in Wyoming, but since I just googled that exact phrase, I thought it makes a better title than goals. I am not really a goal oriented person in the classic sense. Did you know there even was a classical sense? If so tell me about it cause I totally just made that up. But the point was I see an objective, i.e. a goal, and do what needs to be done to accomplish that. Unlike others who set goals like I want to lose weight, or run a sub 8 mile, or dead lift 400 plus pounds.

So the folks I work out with have goals. They asked me the other day between me hurting myself on the glute ham machine and throwing up what my goals were. I didn’t really have any. I once off the cuff said my goal was to punch hard enough that I could kill a man by taking off his head with one punch. That was a bad goal, because well you could never really test it without going to jail.

So I thought I would come up with a goal. I don’t really care about losing weight, although it is a nice benefit to working out, so I don’t have a goal weight. I don’t really fight anymore so I don’t have a full on goal to fight. Somehow in the middle of this discussion, the green man got brought up. All of a sudden we were trying to pick up the green man by the crotch and neck and pick him up and slam him down.

None of us could lift this monstrosity of only 160 pounds, so I decided that this would be my goal, to slam the green man. To accomplish this, I’ll continue with our performance workouts of the Russian Squat Cycle.

I actually have another secret goal. Which since I am putting it on the internet, well its not really that secret. It is to run the Great Aloha Run. If you know me, well this one shouldn’t be that big of a surprise. So those are the workout goals for the time being. We will see how they change or grow.

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Uncle Terry

Posted in Uncategorized on February 1, 2010 by JohnJohn

Last year was kind of a rough year. I failed the bar a couple more times, got laid off from my job, none of the jobs I applied for panned out, relationships didn’t go anywhere, and I lost a couple uncles to cancer. I was hopeful that this year would be better, in fact let me rephrase that, I know that this year will be a better year. However I have already hit a little bump in the road. Tonight, after a long day at work, I came home and my mom told me my Uncle Terry had passed away.

Uncle Terry had been battling with cancer for a very very long time. But before I go on, I feel like I need to share his story…his testimony. Uncle Terry was my wild uncle, not wild like the crazy uncle who everyone was afraid of, he was the wild uncle who liked to party that everyone was just drawn to. He had a lot of charisma.

His wildness, was eventually a stumbling block for him. He liked to drink, and because he liked to drink, he liked to do drugs to counteract the booze so he could drink even more. It was a strange cycle, not one that I fully understand, but as he explained it to me, it was his demon. He could walk away from drugs but he couldn’t walk away from the booze. Eventually the booze cost him his wife and his daughter.

As he would freely admit, the booze caused him to make a lot of mistakes. He knows that he wasn’t there for his daughter, my cousin Amanda, when she was growing up. I know that this is one of his greatest regrets, however he loved his daughter but, at the time, he loved his drink even more.

Things had gotten so bad that he really wasn’t a part of my cousin’s life. Every once in a while he would pop back in to her life, but every time he would pop back out and it was heartbreaking for her. The hard part was he only popped back into her life when he got in trouble, when he needed to be bailed out of jail.

The last time he needed to be bailed out, he came to live with us on the family farm in Waiahole. This time though he came with a little extra baggage, he came with a new baby daughter. He doted on this little girl and it looked like he had changed. He humbled himself to live in an office on our farm. He woke up early and worked hard on the farm until the sun went down. You could tell he was frustrated but he seemed so determined to make it work.

He was even acting like a mentor to me. He taught me a lot, things that I still do to this day. One of the things I always remembered was how at the end of the day he would clean up. He told me, before you go home at the end of the day, always make sure you clean up your desk. To this day I try and always end my day by cleaning up my desk.

The wild life he lived was too strong of a call for him. One day he was gone. He was no longer in our lives anymore. Quick jump in time and I am in law school, and while learning about how to research cases I randomly decided to look up Terry’s name, as I know he had a criminal past. I was shocked to find out he had gotten arrested again, appealed his case to the intermediate court of appeal, and was a citable case.

I felt like I needed to get in contact with him. I found him in a prison in Oklahoma and sent a letter. It was good to be talking with him, about how he had helped me grow and to hear about the good things going on his life. I know that sounds weird, good things in prison, but it is true. In Oklahoma he had gotten the help he needed to deal with the alcohol. More than that he found God. At first, I was a little skeptical. Being in law school, you hear a lot about how people find God in prison, but as soon as they are out, they fall right back into their old life. But something seemed different.

The first thing I noticed was that he no longer was proud of his old life or the bad things he did. When we used to sit around the farm and talk about life, he was proud of his gambling, his drinking, how he got away with things, the women he had been with, but this time it was different. He realized those things were wrong and he was apologetic for them. I was floored, I couldn’t believe that this was the same guy.

I asked him how or why things had changed. He told me, as he was in OCCC, he had caught one of Pastor Ralph’s messages on tv. In that message Ralph had talked about and had a video testimony of my Aunty Laura, who is a missionary in Cambodia. It touched his heart, he felt God speaking to him. When he got to Oklahoma he was blessed even more. At the prison in Oklahoma, they had organized the prisoners into groups or “pods”. He started in the drug and alcohol pod, but as he conquered those demons, he was able to move into the pod of Christians. This is where he started to grow in Christ. He grew and grew and grew, and not even some bad news could knock him down, because now he had Jesus in his heart. The bad news was he had cancer.

This is where he really saw Jesus and truly found out that Jesus is love. He was cared for by his fellow pod mates, they showed him the true love of Jesus, evidenced in the heart of a servant. They fed him, helped him when he was weak, and showed him the heart of a servant. They did all of this not for any personal glory but because it was what Jesus would have done.

The next bit of news was bittersweet. Because of his cancer, they were going to let him out of prison, but first he would have to come back to OCCC. He was worried about coming back, in Oklahoma he got the care he needed and he was fed spiritually. I was happy he was coming home though. His return was shortly after mine from law school.

It was good to see him continue to grow. He came to church with me and was doing really well. He couldn’t always make it but he tried. Sometimes the cancer was just too much for him, but he persevered. The truly amazing thing was how he was able to resist the temptations of his old life. It would have been so easy for him to fall back into that old life and live it up, but instead he stayed focused on God and continued to grow, even though it was tough.

If anyone would have had a reason to fall back into his old life it was him. My cousin, for the most part rejected him. Instead of taking that as a bad thing, he admitted he was wrong and knew it would take time to fix things and make things right. He knew he had to prove that this time really was different and he was willing to wait for her to come around, as long as it takes. He was told he only had a few months to live and the cancer kept growing. His other daughter had a new dad. Things seemed like they were worse than before, but it wasn’t going to get him down. Instead he kept reading his Bible and trying to make amends for all that he had done wrong.

Over the next year and a half or so we kind of lost touch. We would talk every few months or so, but not quite as much. He understood! Then this past Christmas I gave him a call and I found out he had moved to California to be with his sisters. Things weren’t going well and he needed more care. I was bummed but he was positive and chipper even though it was obvious he was in a lot of pain.

This past Saturday, he lost his battle with cancer, but now he is in a better place. While I am sad I lost another uncle, I am stoked because I know he is in a better place now, he is Home with God!

Testing

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 29, 2010 by JohnJohn

my cousin’s wife was blogging and he could only post one photo so I wanted to see if I could post multiple ones

King’s Knight to Bishop’s Pawn

Posted in philosophizing on August 8, 2009 by JohnJohn

As most folks in Hawaii know, there has been this war going on between the Governor and the Labor Unions over what is the best way to proceed with how to address the budget shortfall. The Governor proposed a three day furlough but the unions balked and opposed it. Basically it was just a pissing match to see who had the biggest cajones. The unions are upset because they feel the Governor is taking their power, the Governor is upset because she feels the unions are too strong and they are stepping into her authority.

Well the Governor in her infinite wisdom decided that since the courts told her she did not have the authority to unilaterally furlough state workers, she does have the unilateral authority to fire a bunch of state workers. With this I agree with the Governor. She has the responsibility to make sure that the State Budget is in balance and the largest portion of the balance sheet for the State is salaries.

On a side note I think that the union should have took the furloughs. It would have given state workers the opportunity to find other work to make up for the loss in wages from the furloughs. Instead they decided that it would be better to have our salaries reduced by 5%. The sad part is the furloughs had an end in sight, albeit two years, but still an end. With salary cuts, well that usually ends up being permanent.

So here we are now and the Governor is laying people off. I think that is ok, the unfortunate part I got caught in that sting and have been layed off.

Here is my letter:
jg

I know this sounds bad, but it truly isn’t. I am pretty stoked actually. The truth of it is I am pretty happy, because it is awesome how all things work out the way God plans them. I have taken the bar like a million times, ok it was only six, but still a lot of times. I have come so close so many times, but I think that this last time is the one. How convenient that my layoff date coincides so closely to when I get bar results.

The other thing doors open when others get closed. I am applying for jobs in Washington DC and in Texas and this could be really good. I am super stoked about everything. So who knows when this will all work out but I am confident that God has a plan for me and I am excited to be in His grace and glory.

Hooked on Phonics Worked For Me

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on March 21, 2009 by JohnJohn

If you have read this blog before than you are pretty certain to know I don’t like to read. The crazy thing about the profession I wish to work in is it involves a lot of reading, but that is not what this is about. Amazingly I read a book, like from beginning to end. It was an awesome book written by an amazing author David Gemmell, and his book is LEGEND.

I was amazed at how much I could relate to the characters. I felt like in some way Gemmell was basing some of the characters on me, which he obviously wasn’t but I guess that is how I go so into the book.

The main character Rek, does not like war and the idolization of war, yet when he is called upon to fight he is willing to go and pay the ultimate sacrifice. I also don’t like war, in fact I think war is pretty darn dumb and there is always another option, however when our leaders lead us on to that path of war, we need to do what has to be done.

Rek also battled his fears constantly. He worried about how his fears made him hesitate yet he was brave. He took his fears harnessed them and hedged forward. I have a lot of fears, fear of the water, fear of heights, all different kind of fears. My fear of the water was enhanced when I became an open water diver. I almost drowned, but instead of giving up I pressed forward and finished and now I am a scuba instructor. I have a terrible fear of heights but I hurled myself out of a plane at over 10000 feet.

Finally Rek is a berserker. For those who have seen me fight and trained with me, they know I have a little berserker in me. When we train I have to really concentrate to dial down the intensity. I have this bad habit of just seeing red and losing control. When we are supposed to be shadowboxing, I really need to reign in the berserker and shadowbox and not throw full punches or let kicks fly with wreckless abandon. This berserker mentality has led to some training injuries particularly to my hands and brain (as I enjoy getting hit in the head and getting knocked out).

There are other amazing characters in this book that I can also relate to and Gemmell does an amazing job of drawing a picture for the reader so that they are fully immersed in the story. It is a great read and I highly recommend it to all out there to read.

The ocean she calls out to me

Posted in Randomness of Life on February 27, 2009 by JohnJohn

I love the ocean, it’s a place that soothes my soul and calms my nerves. It is probably one of the big reasons I feel like I can’t leave Hawaii. One of my favorite activities in the ocean is scuba diving, I am so into it, I became an instructor.

I love being an instructor but it is a catch 22. Since I became an instructor I haven’t really been able to fun dive or just dive for fun. I am always teaching or working, but tonight well I got to just dive. Granted I was leading a bunch of certified divers, but it was different. I was able to just enjoy being able to breathe that oh so wonderful compressed air.

It ended up being an amazing dive. We saw a scorpion fish, eels, and all kinds of fish, fish I had never seen before. And the company was good, haha but then it tends to be when you are underwater and you can hang out with people for like an hour without actually having to talk with them.

To think this is only the beginning. Tomorrow I get to do two more dives off of Kewalo and Sunday I get to dive the corsair, I am so excited I can’t wait.

Bacon Explosion

Posted in philosophizing on February 10, 2009 by JohnJohn

I love bacon! It ranks up there with butter and sugar. Apparently I am not the only one, there are websites about bacon and you can buy bacon floss, and bacon mints, and just about bacon anything you can imagine. The most amazing thing appeared like magic in a recent New York Times blog – called Bacon Explosion.

My coworker came over to my cubicle and just said bacon explosion! I was like what, and he was like just google it. Talk about a work time distraction, after quickly googling it I was hooked, I couldn’t work the rest of the day. I had bacon on the brain. Of course he told me this the week before the greatest sports weekend in Hawaii (BJ Penn would be fighting, and unfortunately getting his A word handed to him by, GSP and three people with Hawaii ties would be playing in the Super Bowl, Travis Laboy, Aaron Francisco, and Chris Kemoeatu) I had to make this.

So I did a practice run the night of the fight and I made one for the day of the Super Bowl. IT was amazing. The prep work wasn’t all that bad and it looked good even in just the prep stage, something beautiful about a bacon weave!

Beginning of the bacon Weave

Beginning of the bacon Weave

the weave completed

the weave completed

Ready to Roll

Ready to Roll

Ready to put in the ghetto smoker

Ready to put in the ghetto smoker

The hard part was smoking it to perfection. I don’t have a smoker so I had to improvise. Basically I soaked a bunch of hickory wood for a few hours and then put it in a foil pan. I put the foil pan on top of the propane burner and turned the flame up to high. It started to smolder and started to smoke! This was nice, it gave the bacon explosion a nice flavor.

you can see my improvision with the woodchips on the right

you can see my improvision with the woodchips on the right

The lesson learned from my first attempt was make sure that the Bacon Explosion isn’t directly over the smoldering wood chips, cause when the Bacon Explosion starts to drip all the yummy delicious bacon grease on the wood, it will flame up. And here it is the final product and juicy, flavorful, delicious wonderkin ….. BACON EXPLOSION!

notice the wonderful crispy bacon swirl

notice the wonderful crispy bacon swirl

Ready to be eaten

Ready to be eaten

If you are brave enough to take on this wonderkin of flavor the recipe can be found here.