A Whole New Me

This is my health, fitness, and home blog. I'm a libertarian, mostly paleo, crossfitter, permaculturist, weightlifter, coach, and cook.

Another one bites the dust

The Soldier’s Creed has always been lip service; a stupid, meaningless poem meant to indoctrinate.  Now, I have to watch as one of our comrades is suffering from unseen wounds sustained in war, and we have left him in prison. There is no one more disposable than a Soldier not killed in combat. 

One of my Soldiers was arrested last month.  It’s his 4th arrest since the news that military intervention in Syria was still on the table.  After putting his life on hold to go to Iraq in 2003-2004, and Afghanistan in 2009-2010. Both times, he left his family and put his life on the line to go into battle, invading Baghdad, and serving as an EOD Team Leader in Afghanistan.

No amount of caring now will repair the damage that PTSD and multiple TBI’s have done to his career and his family.  He is on month 2 of being held on no bond.  Aside from a few jokes here and there, no one is talking about the missing Soldier in our unit.

If he had died he would meet every year at his grave.  We’d get a beer and talk about the good times we had, and sometimes how much we missed him, but now we say nothing, and he’s on his own…in jail.  We make no real attempt to fix them, or help them…we just leave our fallen comrade.

Not too shabby! WTMorris just earned 1662 points on Fitocracy. http://ftcy.me/GxNYp8

Army’s New Uniform Policy

So, I began my 12th year in the military on March 18th.  The next day, the Army unveiled a new policy on the appearance, among other things this new policy banned both arm and leg sleeve tattoos, as well as any tattoo larger than the palm of the hand with fingers outstretched, or more than 4 smaller tattoos below the knee or elbow.  Additionally, tattoos will stop Soldiers from moving from enlisted to officer ranks. 

After centuries of tattooing warriors, Raymond Chandler and his ilk have undone a tradition simply because they have confused two meanings of the word ‘professional’.  The new policy was instituted under the guise of creating a ‘professional’ army.  The Army has become professional both by the nature of the careers in it and the 12 years we have spent at war.  SMA Chandler has confused a professional (ie a career), with professional (white collar workers).  The Army draws recruits from all walks of life, but has almost completely alienated the force.

I have heard more NCOs and long time Soldiers will be driven out through the Army’s new fascist policy.  Many have dropped retirement packets, others have said this is the last term they will serve in this Army.  This policy is destructive and costly: 1) it destroys morale (already extremely low), 2) it pushes out institutional knowledge, 3) as we move into an increasingly complex global environment we will buy back this knowledge at 10-20 times Army salaries in the form of contractors, and 4) this policy will cost millions of hours to implement (all Soldiers must have photos of their tattoos taken and memos submitted into a permanent personnel file.

Having tattoos doesn’t make anyone less of a warrior, or a patriot.  The policy is a wrongheaded and shortsighted policy that will end up costing the American taxpayers millions in personnel costs, training and implementation, and in the long run, when there is another war (take your pick: Syria, Crimea, Africa, Moldova, etc)  taxpayers will pay upwards of 300K per contractor to regain the experience we are losing due to this misguided policy. 


So, to respond to the first and to the best of my recollection only question I have been asked on Tumblr (which I have no idea how to answer).  Yoga has helped a ton with my back and hip and I wish I had done it in Afghanistan.  Although a lot of my lifts have dropped since I got home, my olympic lifts have really improved.

Not too shabby! WTMorris just earned 3764 points on Fitocracy. http://ftcy.me/pZjS2k

Gained a little weight

So, since I got back from Afghanistan, I’ve gained about 30lbs, of mostly fat.  It was a combination of eating and drinking whatever I missed out on while I was gone, and a hip injury that happened in theater.  I’m back in the gym, back on the lifting platform, back in the pool, back to paleo, and in the yoga studio for the first time.  Looks like a long, rough road for a while.

Not too shabby! WTMorris just earned 1933 points on Fitocracy. http://ftcy.me/BfrThz
Not too shabby! WTMorris just earned 2031 points on Fitocracy. http://ftcy.me/qh7TMs






American Indian Rapper SupaMan was just named as an MTV Artist of the Week

The news: Christian Parrish Takes the Gun. Remember his name.

The Apsáalooke American Indian hails from the Crow Nation Reservation near Billings, Mont., and on March 21, the MTV Iggy blog named him Artist of the Week from among hundreds of competitors.

What makes him special? Well, he raps under the name “SupaMan,” he sings, he makes crazy drum loops, he’s a champion powwow fancy dancer and sometimes, if you’re lucky, he does all four at the same time.

Read more | Follow policymic

Still my favorite thing to listen to. 



DAMN! That is bad!

(Source: micdotcom)

More new beginnings

So, after about 7 months of being away from home (6 in Afghanistan minus R & R in Paris), I find myself in an interesting place. 

Any of you who read my posts probably knew that I was a law student, a librarian, a Crossfit coach, and a would-be-food-blogger(not so much here in Afghanistan). So it might sound strange that I have decided not to come back to law school, and instead to do something I actually care about.  I made my way through my first year of law school with pretty good grades, a good class rank, and no desire to finish.  I found a lot of my peers to be unimaginative, unmotivated, rich, spoiled and unwilling to do the work that was required of them. I spent about 80 hours a week reading cases, going to class, working on papers, and running group projects.  It was extremely hard on my marriage, my waistline, my social life, and health.  I no longer see any reason to continue.

Afghanistan has provided a lot of time for reading and studying on my own.  This has meant that I finally got to read what I wanted.  Most of it centered on food, cooking, and food production.  I toyed with different careers when I get back: I looked at restaurants and food trucks; I looked at culinary school; I looked at working at the butcher down the street; I looked into aquaponics; Finally, I looked at farming. The common theme in my leisure reading and career search is food.

Until my parents, my family was farmers.  On my mother’s side, both her parents came from orchardists who raised pears, apples, cherries, and plums for years dating back to their arrival in the United States.  On my father’s side, my father’s father had grown up one of thirteen children of a sharecropper.  The family had been farming in England, France, and Whales, and had continued the practice when they arrived in the Virginia Colony in the 1650’s. 

My parent’s let the farm and attended college pushed into other areas in the pursuit of money and careers and a better life.  They did well, and I was raised comfortably in the country, visited occasionally by my grandfather who would drop off crates of fruit throughout the fall.  My mother would can the pears, make apple sauce or pies. On our trips out to the old farm in eastern Oregon my great-grandmother would tell us about the 200 acre ranch and orchard that shipped fruit across the United States as she made breakfast every morning.  Some of my fondest memories revolve around that old farm kitchen. 

I guess it seems natural as I sit here in Kabul, that I would want that old comfortable feeling again.  I long to be home at night, to see and raise a family.  I want for my family something better than I had. Although I was comfortable financially, I was never rooted in a place, and always thought that the next purchase I made would bring the contentment I looked for. It seems obvious now to say that I never made the purchase that brought happiness.

After a lot of thought, a long talk with my wife, a lot of financial leg work, and a good deal of scrimping and saving, my wife and I have decided to purchase a small farm.  We’re looking at a couple of east coast properties, a big transition, as we try to find a property with sustainable water and affordable land.  We have it narrowed down to a couple properties in VA, WV, and KY.  We’re hammering out the details now.

The big plan is to offer locally raised sustainable, pasture raised eggs, chickens, beef, turkey, and pigs.  In the longer term, we also plan to offer heritage apple tree starts, cider and apples (but that’s 5-8 years off).  We’ll start offering our products in the spring of 2015, and we sincerely hope that you will join us around our table for fresh produce, honey, and meat. More details and pictures to come…