Rules

I’ve spent most of my life following rules. Rules led me to a life where I worked in a cubicle all day only to come home to a reformed slut wife who would pawn the kids off on me and run off to the “chiropractor”. 

Fuck the rules. They exist to keep us in line, to make us good sheep. They prey on our most basic needs to belong to a group. 

More recently, rules led me to run a blog that had an email subscribe list, sharing buttons, and blog posts between 800 and 2,000 words. 

I was trying to grow a Twitter following where “they” tell you to tweet more often and get into people’s mentions. 

I was following rules again, just a different set. 

Fuck all of that. I can tweet as much or as little as I’d like. I can post 5,000 word blog posts or 100 word blog posts. I don’t care. 

For most of my life I was led to believe that I had to do things a certain way. That behavior doesn’t die quickly. 

I’ve internalized a lot of redpill wisdom, but the 32 years of conditioning prior to that doesn’t go without a fight. 

I’d be lying if I told you I had it all figured out. Anyone that tells you that is lying. 

What I do know is that correcting course is necessary part of this journey. One minute we are filled with strength, hope, and optimism. The next we as clueless as they day we were born. 

I am still going to follow a set of rules, but I am the one creating them. I have seen what works and what doesn’t. 

I can tell you for certain that living life in someone else’s frame, whether that’s a woman’s, your kids’, or your parents’, is the fastest way to misery. 

But don’t simply replace their frame with that of some red pill blogger or online guru. Make it your own frame. Write down your own commandments if you need to. Tape them to the bathroom mirror. 

Most of all, don’t feel any shame for needing a daily reminder to live life for yourself. I know I sure do. This blog is my reminder. These words are as much for me as they are for you. 

How To Purchase Your First Gun: My Experience Buying A Firearm

I purchased my first gun today.

I have been around guns for much of my life. As a kid I would scare rabbits from brush piles so my uncle could shoot them, afterward we’d shoot clay pigeons until we ran out of ammo or clay. As a teenager and beyond I would spend summers on a buddy’s property shooting tin cans with AK-47s.

Up until now I was always shooting someone else’s gun, until today. I purchased my first gun, a Smith & Wesson M&P9. I walked into a gun store with a vague idea of what I was looking for and walked out 45 minutes later with my first gun and a bag of ammo. Fairly simple.

I had been considering buying my first gun for some time. I can’t really say why I never owned guns up until this point. My parents never owned a gun, and it wasn’t something that I ever felt compelled to do. I was never against them, just never had reason enough to buy one, I suppose.

As I think about the future of our nation and I look at my children I realize one cannot be too careful. I recognize that in the end it is force that wins out over all other methods of conflict resolution. I didn’t want to bring a knife to a gun fight if one broke out.

With President Obama’s recent speech regarding gun control I knew gun shopping would likely involve crowded stores, and this prediction turned out to be true.

What will you use your first gun for?

This really was the most important question going into purchasing my first firearm. My initial thought was to get one gun that could do it all. I wanted something that I could ultimately use for concealed carry, but also something that was made for home protection as well as range practice.

Most veteran gun owners laughed at this notion, sharing stories of how many guns they eventually accumulated after they thought they’d only need one. They preached the importance of focusing on a single use for my first weapon, what was the most important reason for buying my first gun?

While I ultimately want to get my concealed carry permit and keep a gun on me at all times, that is not the primary goal right now. At this moment I am focused on home protection. I want something that can protect my kids and I against threats at our home.

I also decided I wanted a handgun for my first gun. It was important to me that I was able to quickly access the gun, but also keep it discreetly hidden in my home.

Research

Once I had made the decision to purchase my first handgun, to be used primarily for home protection, it was time to figure out which one. Not knowing where to begin I set off on the fruitless effort of a google search. What I found was an article with a great case for darn near every handgun out there. I was changing my mind with each post I read. There was simply too much information to make an educated decision for my first handgun purchase.

What I did glean from the online search was a confirmation of what my friends and family had told me, to focus on a single use at first. I decided the next logical step was to talk to those most knowledgeable about guns, the guys at the gun range.

Going to the range and store

I walked into the gun store/range expecting to purchase one after perhaps trying a few out under the direction of a helpful expert. This was partially the case. Jeff, my guide during my first gun purchase, was excellent. He answered every question I had and knew the in and out of every gun in the store.

I wasn’t able to shoot any of the guns today. The range was packed, with over an hour wait for a lane. I decided it wasn’t the best use of my time to wait.

I was determined to walk out with my first handgun, so I was leaning on Jeff to guide me in the right direction. After looking at some .38 Specials (probably a good bet for concealed carry) he took me right over to the 9mm handguns.

Making the decision to buy my first handgun

Jeff took me straight to the Smith & Wesson 9mm M&P (short for Military and Police). He explained the reasons he felt it was a great handgun for a first-time buyer. Easy to disassemble and clean. Cheap ammo. Good stopping power with low recoil. Coming from a seasoned expert, that was enough for me, I was sold.

I decided to spend $500 on the Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm as my first handgun.

How do you buy your first gun

I didn’t know a lot about Michigan gun laws going into this purchase. I did not know if I was even going to be allowed to walk out of the store with a gun that day as I had heard of waiting periods.

As a first-time gun buyer I had a lot of questions about laws and procedures. Jeff was fantastic and answered all of them. Here in Michigan the laws seem to be pretty fair, allowing for law-abiding citizens to purchase and carry guns pretty freely.

I was going to be able to walk out with my first gun today so long as I passed a FBI background check. Jeff had me fill out some paperwork and then he went off to enter it into the computer. While I was waiting I started getting visions of which gun I would buy next.

Which Gun To Buy Next?

Which Gun To Buy Next?

Walk in empty handed, walk out with a gun

Proceed. That was the response from the FBI background check. I was approved to purchase, and leave with, my first handgun.

It was that simple. Jeff helped me pick out some range and home defense ammo and explained that I get a free range membership with the purchase of my first gun.

I paid, shook hands with Jeff, and walked out with my first gun in hand. All told I was in the crowded store for less than 45 minutes.

Like a kid with a new toy, I have been disassembling and reassembling the handgun constantly all evening. I am getting quite good at it.

More importantly I feel better able to protect my family now than I did this morning.

Next step

Next up is to spend some time at the range getting comfortable with my first handgun. Next month I will sign up for and attend a concealed carry course which will lead to my CPL permit, at which point I will likely buy another, smaller handgun for carrying purposes.

Divorce: Conflicting Messages Destabilize Families

I don’t know a guy out there that wouldn’t be happy to go work a solid eight hours, come home and use the money he’s earned to put a nice meal on the table and put his kids in a few activities.

A stash of guns and the ability to use them and he feels like he’s got things pretty well handled.

These are simple things, and most men have simple desires.

I watch my neighbor, Kyle. He leaves for his plumbing job every morning at 6am. At 5pm he is around the dinner table with his family, eating a meal his stay-at-home wife has prepared. His four beautiful children are happy to see him, content in their simple, yet stable life.

He is a volunteer firefighter and takes his sons hunting every year.

I see them in church every Sunday, a picture perfect American family. A life most guys can only dream of.

I want to be optimistic when I see Kyle and his family. I want this to be normal, I want this to be the way it should be.

Yet, I have seen hundreds of families just like Kyle’s go up in flames. Several others just in my neighborhood in fact. What is happening?  What has destabilized this ideal family environment?

There are many cultural messages that encourage a woman to bail on her family and seek “happiness”. These certainly contribute to the decline of families, but it is something more than that.

The real consequences for a woman leaving a family have been stripped by the advent of no-fault divorce and a lack of shame. A woman’s economic situation (security) and social status mean a great deal to her.

In the past, a divorce would strip a woman of both of these. Divorce brought poverty and shame.

No longer. A woman can walk away from a marriage, or rather kick a man out of his own family’s life, with no justification needed. She can file for divorce, make him leave, and then collect most of his paycheck. There are no economic consequences for such a decision.

Combine that with the prevailing cultural message that divorce is completely justified, throw in the single-mother martyrdom bestowed upon such women and it’s no wonder so many choose this path.

Women become free of the constraints on their sexuality, yet still reap the benefits of their provider husbands. He becomes a paycheck and nothing more. Not only that, but he provides free child care every other weekend so she can run the town making up for lost time.

Women like Kyle’s wife feel conflicted. They want to do what is right for their families. In the past the cultural message would have supported this. There would have been no internal struggle in such a housewife. She would be living her purpose.

A woman is now led to believe that staying home and raising children and caring for a hard-working husband is oppressive. She no longer feels content in that role.

Now a dangerous message is pervasive. It destabilizes a woman’s mind. It makes her question her decisions. The pull of social acceptance is strong and she feels torn and with the real consequences of divorce stripped away there is nothing stopping her from acting.

The opposite message is told to men. We are told to be content with what we have. We are led to feel guilty if we put our own pleasure above that of our family. We are told we are selfish and immature if we want to be strong, lift weights, and spend time at the gun range.

If we get divorced we are put in holding pens, one-bedroom apartments big enough for us to sleep and return to work the next day to provide for the family we don’t see.

Men are shamed when they break their marriage vows, while women are encouraged because YOLO.

Men like Kyle who wake at 5am every day to provide for their family are chided for not doing enough housework, for not being involved enough in their kids’ lives. Meanwhile women are encouraged to travel the world and find themselves, leaving their families behind.

The expectations continue to grow for men, while they dwindle for women.

I have a great deal of hope for Kyle as his family seems grounded in faith and tradition. However, I am afraid he is the minority, and if the tide doesn’t turn, more and more children will suffer at the whims of their “modern” mothers.

Starting Strength: Starting Over

I love to experiment. Since taking up lifting a little over a year ago I am learning, the hard way, where my limits are.

I failed at two attempts to follow Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength protocol. I talked about my experience at length on P.D. Mangan’s Rogue Health and Fitness Podcast. I have embedded that episode at the bottom of this post. Have a listen.

As a busy father with a career and a side hustle and a laundry list of goals I want to accomplish, I find it easy to take on too much. Going all-in on Starting Strength was more than my body and mind could handle. I learned and adjusted.

I am fit and energetic, I enjoy feeling good. Don’t we all?

Yet I still want to get strong. I am a small guy and I could afford to add a few pounds of muscle mass, not only to look better, but for the many health benefits it brings. I also want to keep my testosterone levels as high as possible as I approach that age where they begin to taper.

Finally, I love the rush I get from squatting or dead lifting heavy, heavy weights. Pulling a bar off the floor that looks impossible has a way of bringing some much needed masculinity into an otherwise safe existence.

I am going to give Starting Strength one more try. Why would I do that, you ask?

It’s simple, I enjoy the program and aside from pushing myself too hard, it was working for me.  I was seeing results early on, and most importantly I felt great doing it. I love compound lifting.

However, this time I am going to modify the program to avoid pushing too hard. I am going to cut my frequency down to two days per week instead of the prescribed three. Additionally, once the weights start getting heavy, I am going to increase the load in smaller increments, even 1-2 pounds if necessary.

The folks at Starting Strength reached out to me on Twitter and answered many of my questions and suggested these modifications. I am thankful for that. This is the reason I am going to give their program one more try.

As I build my base of strength back up I am going to look into another program that many of my readers suggested, Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 program. (Thank you for the suggestions!)

With my ultimate goal to simply get under the heaviest weight my biology will allow (strictly for ego purposes, obviously) I will likely switch to that program at some point.

I’ll update my progress throughout, stay tuned and happy lifting.

 

 

Divorced Men And Darth Vader

Darth Vader FatherYou know that scene at the end of Star Wars: Episode IV when Darth Vader is flung away from the Death Star, sent hurtling through space in his TIE Fighter while he can only look on helplessly as the home he had worked so tirelessly to build is detonated into a million pieces?

Yeah, that’s what divorced men feel like.

Well, at least that’s how I felt. I can’t speak for every man, but I have encountered many who have relayed similar stories.

Drifting away helplessly from my life’s work, watching it shatter. Helplessly looking on as people cheer the destruction of my home. You’re the “bad guy” drifting alone in space. It’s dark, cold and you’re all alone.

Really, I can’t think of a much better analogy.

You see, our culture is not pulling for us. The “good guys” cheer for our demise. They don’t want us to create that powerful home for our families. They want to undermine and destroy it. They fear the “force” (heh) of a powerful man and his organized community.

The force is strong in us to want to build and create. It is in our nature to build bigger and stronger things, more powerful things.

So we set out to build a family again. I haven’t done this yet, but the pull is strong. We think if we make a few tweaks the result will be different.

We try again because we know no other way. It is within is.

A little bit bigger, a little bit smarter. The second attempt at a family will work better than the first, we are certain. So we set out on the difficult path of building another home.

The problem is the game hasn’t changed. Those rebels are still there. Those pesky rebels who still fear your dominance. They can’t let you have that power. Fighting from the moral high ground they recruit others to fight against us.

They even recruit our own children for this fight.

We have a bit more knowledge of the ways of the force, we know what drives those rebels. We know how they work. We think with this knowledge we can set out again and get a different result.

This won’t be easy. Many of my fellow men have watched a second home get blown to pieces, much the way Darth ultimately does. But we’ll be damned if we don’t try.

The Structure Of Family and Society Requires Discipline

No school, no work, Christmas presents spewing from under the tree. Bed times slowly slip back, sleeping in goes from a few minutes to a few hours. Limits on screen time have been thrown out the window. Sounds like a great time, right?

Well, what should be a special opportunity to enjoy time with family eventually turns to chaos and fighting.

The kids get restless. The months of structure and routine that have been in place since school started in September have given way to pandemonium.

With some limits removed the kids suddenly begin to test other limits. They drag the bag of potato chips to the living room to eat while they play video games. They ‘skip’ brushing their teeth. They start leaving laundry on the floor in the hallway.

What started so innocently turns chaotic in a hurry. The interesting thing, however, is that all of these relaxed rules don’t lead to happy, thankful children. Rather it leads to an attitude of entitlement and destruction.

Extrapolate this tiny lesson to millions of liberal Americans and you can see why our society careens toward destruction. Once you begin to give small concessions on the rules that made our society great the decline has started.

You see, being ‘free’ to do whatever you want, whenever you want comes with consequences. Those consequences seem really positive and harmless at the onset. You can do more ‘things’ than you’ve ever been able to do before. Yet, over time, with no base to stand on the whole charade crumbles.

Once the first pillars of structure are removed the others take on the extra weight, they get tested.

The old saying “give them an inch and they’ll take a mile” applies as much to children as it does to the juvenile mentality of the morally bankrupt left.

 

 

How Fish Oil Improved My Family’s Well-Being

FIsh OIl DHA ADHD For much of my adult life I had struggled with depression, anxiety, and anger issues. In my mid-20s with young children I had little patience. The anger was so bad that I would often shout at my son for crying – he was six months old. I was a roller coaster of emotions and my mood would swing wildly from day to day, even hour to hour.

After an annual physical led to the discovery of high triglycerides (500) in my blood I was prescribed Lovaza, a prescription fish oil. I had been doing little to care for my health at this point and I was thirty pounds overweight. I had accepted that weight gain and poor health were a normal part of adult life, I was never told otherwise.

Something happened after I started  taking the fish oil supplements. It was subtle and took me many months to notice things were changing. One day I realized I had not been angry in quite some time. I was no longer shouting at my children, my mood had stabilized, and my focus had returned. My anxiety eased.

While the Lovaza was meant to treat my triglycerides, which it did very well (now under 100), it had addressed a nutritional deficiency I didn’t know I had. Lovaza is a powerful dose of Omega-3 fatty acids. Each capsule is nearly a gram of Omega-3 fatty acids, split evenly between DHA and EPA. I take 4 capsules a day for nearly 4g of Omega-3 fatty acids daily.

While the studies are mixed on the effect of Omega-3 fatty acids on mental health and well-being, there are some that show a favorable effect, which means it likely works for some, but not all people. I am a big fan of n=1 experiments to see what works for me. The addition of Omega-3s to my diet reduced my anxiety symptoms significantly and improved my mood.

I have rarely shown a flash of over-the-top anger in the seven years since starting on fish oil supplements. I attribute this to the effect of DHA on the function of the brain. DHA is essential for brain functioning, and our modern diet is nearly void of DHA in any form. DHA has been shown to be anti-inflammatory as well, and many speculate that inflammation is a major cause of anxiety of and depression. Regardless of which mechanism is at work is is likely that DHA has a positive impact on mental health for those that are lacking it in their diet.

The reduction in anger has been instrumental in my ability to be a strong, effective father to my children. While the nature v. nurture debate rages on, there is near unanimous agreement that parents exhibiting unpredictable and scary behaviors toward their children is detrimental to their well-being. Shouting at your children for no reason causes them harm.

I have a son with ADHD. Real ADHD, clinically diagnosed by one of the best clinics in North America. Despite the near universal acceptance by physicians that a child like him should be medicated with Ritalin, we have decided against using stimulant medication. Taking the easy solution off the table I had to look for other options to help him slow down and focus.

While I can’t say the addition of a DHA supplement has dramatically turned around his condition, it has noticeably changed his mood and lowered his frustration. Before DHA he was prone to outbursts during transitions. Telling him to turn off the TV or do his homework would lead to a burst of anger. Since supplementing with 1g of DHA on a daily basis those episodes are rare.

My daughter is probably the smartest girl in her school. Whip smart and socially aware. She would transform almost instantly into a different person. Her tantrums and outbursts were cute at two but really troublesome at eight. Dr. Sears, a popular and respected pediatrician and author, explains what he calls Nutrition Deficit Disorder, or NDD. Often the cause of poor behavior and outbursts, he says, is a lack of proper fats in the diet:

Since the brain is 60% fat, it stands to reason that growing brains need high-quality fats. Smart fats make the brain grow and perform better. Smart fats, are the omega-3 fatty acids that are found in especially high amounts in seafood.

Her turnaround since starting on a DHA supplement has been the most dramatic. Prone to wild mood swings and uncontrollable tantrums she is now calm and collected. Her tantrums have ceased completely. The turnaround is nothing short of miraculous. Rather than looking into therapy for her I now see the most mature little girl I know.

The addition of Omega-3 fatty acids, specifically DHA, to my family’s diet has changed our lives in a tremendously positive way.

While I take a prescription fish oil for myself, I give my children this brand (if you click the link and buy I get a few pennies at no cost to you):

This is likely plenty of DHA for children, adults might need a higher dose to see the same results.