I’m not going to enter the idiocy of the comments for this post.
All along this project has faced roadblocks, mostly from the local government that is inexplicably in the hotel and entertainment business. This is a boon, yes it’s true, for bayfront development. Let’s break down the current non-industrial residents of the bayfront:
Convention center: No taxes
2 parking ramps: No taxes
2 hotels: No taxes
Library: No taxes
Bus station: No taxes
Maritime learning center: No taxes
“Cruise ship” terminal: No taxes
Liberty park amphitheater: No taxes
4 boat docks, 3 seasonal restaurants and a gallery: taxes
The same people that are crying about their own taxes and the lack of jobs have assailed this project because they’ve got a JEALOUS vendetta against the Scott family.
How many people have the Scotts laid off over the years? The crew of Damon’s was offered employment in their other facilities. They’ve opened numerous hotels and restaurants just in the past few years. “Yeah but they’re not like GE jobs!” Guess what? There won’t be many GE jobs very soon.
There will still be Scott jobs, and contrary to popular belief, they’re not that bad. If you’d take a second to stop looking down your nose you’d realize your niece waitresses at Applebees to get through college, your cousin’s kid got their first job at Splash Lagoon, and your neighbor down the street is working at the Marriott where he can get full time hours and benefits after the huge multi national corporation he worked for for 20 years shut the plant down to make their shareholders even richer.
Since I can remember the hospitality economy of Erie has been laughed at, but at this point we need to embrace it as a bridge to whatever Erie may become in this post-manufacturing based market.
Oh, for what it’s worth, my first job was bussing tables at Damon’s.
I was fired.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “A Moment in Time.”
Yesterday my wife Danielle and I took the kids up to Erie golf course on Old Zuck for some sledding. None of them had ever been there so I thought it would be fun instead of going to Frontier park which is usually packed, especially on a day off school. Normally this isn’t anything significant, except one thing: I had never taken my kids sledding.
I’m not sure how it happened this way. It seems that sledding was a staple of life when I was a kid, we went all the time. Marian had gone only once to my knowledge, with her Mom and grandparents. In seven years. Seven years! At least I got Evelynn out at four, so I’m not a terrible parent for her (not that Marian would ever think that over sledding).
Last winter was too cold, so this winter I’ll make up for it, I promise!
My diet is trash
A dumpster fire of fat
Extinguish with food
Accept everything about yourself – I mean everything, You are you and that is the beginning and the end – no apologies, no regrets.
– Henry Kissinger
I’ve always had a conceptual problem with having “no regrets”. Perhaps it’s a personal problem, but I doubt that. “No” is the part that’s troublesome to me. No regrets? At all? Seems alien to me, no regrets, this absolvency of conscience. I don’t think I particularly feel more or less about the past than most others, I’m average in a great number of departments and I’m really ok with that (hell, there’s areas I’ve chosen that path intentionally).
Mr. Kissinger is widely respected. I disagree with 3/4 of his statement, which is primarily why I chose to lead my post with it. “Accept everything about yourself”, do this. Do this with fervor and vigor and live every day as you and only you. I spent many years trying to be something I wasn’t generally unbeknownst to those around me and I only found myself in a “happy place” when I dropped the guise and realized who I was, what I can do, and focused on these things and quit trying to change me. “You are you and that is the beginning and the end- no apologies, no regrets.”
I am me, start to finish, but this statement implies that what I am is unchangeable and forever and that just flatly isn’t true. I can change me, it’s not easy, but I can. I’ve done it several times. Over the course of these nearly thirty four years I’ve resided on this rock I’ve seen and done a few things, though not nearly as much as I think many of my cohorts have done, and I’d like to apologize to some people. Unfortunately, some of those people, I cannot. I regret that. I regret decisions I made and now I have to live with them until my beginning becomes my end. No matter how I change myself for the better, which I strive to do at every opportunity, I have to do it in light of those regrets so I do not repeat those mistakes.
Perhaps it’s a different moral compass, perhaps it’s a nonchalant mindset, whatever it is, some people seem to be able to live without regret. I can’t help but see it as irresponsible, but those without regret wouldn’t agree with me, I think they’d see my regret as a waste. Mistakes are made by everyone, and a lesson can be learned by each and every one. A few of those mistakes can make an indelible mark upon a life. Upon several lives. Upon many, many lives. Tao teaches us that we are at the whim of fate, but we may shift that fate. A paradox, really. I truly believe that I could have ended up at the place I am now, with the wonderful family I have, through a myriad of choices over the years. Unfortunately for me along this road I’ve traveled there are several things I regret, a real, true regret that I would give anything to go back and change because while it wouldn’t necessarily do anything to improve my current situation, it sure would make me feel a hell of a lot better about how I got here.
Being afraid of regret can set you up for failure in a tentative life where you never do anything, nothing is accomplished, and then you die. Being mindful of regret, however, is smart. To me, rolling through life ignorant of consequence isn’t feasable. If you’re lucky, you can make one of those apologies Mr. Kissinger disdains, avoid a great regret, and move on your path to whatever fate may hold, but if not, regret can be a powerful tool to remind you to not make that same mistake again before that lamentation becomes an indelible mark on your own life.
Snowflakes start falling
Like an afterthought in Spring
Wish they’d go away.
Ideally, we in the blogging community hope to have inspiration to write great things every single day. Unfortunately I’d guesstimate that 99.99% of us do not (we can’t all be Rachel). I average a post a month without having to try to do so. A great portion of we, the 99%, also are not educated in the ways of writing but that’s no excuse. I find myself often thinking about things I’d like to write only to forget them by the day’s end.
Am I making a post about not making a post? It seems so. We’re in the midst of the 11tyth snow-blanketed Saturday here in Erie and I don’t really have much else to do. No, Mom, I’m not going to clean the basement. Winter is generally my spare time, my slow season at work. I guess what I’m saying dear reader is that I’m going to pledge to write, at least, once a week. If the aforementioned Rachel can write an entire freaking novel in a month I can tell you how my toast was. If I ate toast. Wordpress is possibly my last connection to being more than just an internet user.
All my previous sites, excluding the original LiveJournal which is still up and running somehow, I coded from scratch. Frames, tables, backgrounds, design, layout. That was followed by sycophant.ca, then sycophant.us because I got sick of people asking me if I was Canadian. Both those went by the wayside, all hosted by my friend Scott. Had I the gumption to do so I’d import all of my blogger.com posts to this site because I’m sure there’s a way to do it, but that era is so bygone that I don’t want to clutter this site with the nonsense of a 20-something wanna-be techie. I don’t recall writing anything of worth (LIKE THIS POST IS AMAZING). So, stay tuned, I promise to help you waste two to three minutes of your day. Occasionally.
Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. -Mahatma Gandhi
Once upon a time I began a fitness regimen unlike any I had ever attempted. I’ve blogged about this before, and posted about it on Facebook a lot, so I’m not going to bore anyone with the details on that, you can go back and read about it yourself. When I started it I really didn’t have a problem changing my entire lifestyle, surprisingly, because I could see a finish line. I had a goal that was plainly in front of me: to win a contest. Since then I’ve faced a whole new set of challenges. There was an entire summer of parties and barbecues, fall holidays and family weekends, and lately, a crushing workload that has consumed more of my time every day than ever before.
April me would be ashamed of November me when it comes to my diet and fitness routine. A huge effect that getting in shape has had on me is the now incredible pace of my metabolism which allows for new levels of bingeing I had only previously dreamed of. When I was an every day glutton I couldn’t exceed that level without becoming sick(er). Now what I must control is now allowing that binge craving, or what the writer of “The Oatmeal” calls The Blerch, to take over my life and destroy my fitness goals. Yes, I still have goals. Yes, they’re even harder to achieve than my original goal.
Twoguns training seems to specialize in helping me fight this battle. Danny and Dawn are always working at new programs and exercises to keep things interesting. They’ve always been highly adaptive to my very odd schedule, even more so now that my wife is a Twoguns client and future success story. Granted, any program is only as successful as your level of want, but Twoguns makes it easy to want it, and without that I’d be sitting here packing pounds back on and not worrying about making it to the gym in the morning before work.
Am I watching this?
Is this really happening?
A bit over three months ago, I got a call from Mojo McKay from Rocket 101. He was calling in response to a contest entry I had made back in December of 2012. I’ve won plenty of radio contests, tickets, beer, etc., but this one was different. This contest was called Rock your Rolls Off 2013, in partnership with Nautilus Fitness & Racquet Club. I had submitted my story about why I wanted to lose weight, get healthy and make a real lifestyle change. A quick summary of that is a lot of bad health in our family history, plenty of bad habits, and a lot of laziness. At the time the light at the end of my tunnel was a train and I didn’t know how to get out of the way. I was selected as one of four contestants, and I was to be paired with a personal trainer at Nautilus for an eight week challenge to lose weight and get healthy.
January 16th, I was paired up with Dan Jackowicz, a.k.a. “Danny Twoguns”. We started working out the very next night. For the next eight weeks I spent three nights a week at Nautilus doing things I’ve never even considered before, and this isn’t the first time I’ve worked out. I learned terms like kettle bell swing, blast off push-up, TRX row, and was re-acquainted with an old nemesis from gym class, the burpie. I sweat and worked like I never had. I put in extra time, and I ate a totally different diet (and thought that I didn’t eat bad before; I was wrong). Perhaps most importantly, after 17 years, I finally quit smoking.
I came in second in the contest, but statistically I felt like I won. I decided to keep working until I really did win. I might not be as strict on the diet as I was, but I’m still there three days a week plus one. I’m seeing changes in myself that are remarkable. I think I’m stronger than I’ve ever been, I’m more flexible, more stamina, overall I might be healthier than I’ve ever been. Three months in to this new lifestyle now, I’ve lost 32 lbs and 5 inches off my waist. I haven’t been checked since the end of the contest, but that weight is almost all fat. I weigh less now than I did when I was 21 and I’m in better shape.
I couldn’t have done any of this without a whole crew of people. Most importantly, my wife Danie, who took on even more time with the kids so I could work out in the evenings. She recognized why I was doing this: for her and the kids. I was on a path to an early end. Second, Twoguns Training and everyone’s support at Nautlius. Danny Twoguns is now a friend of mine, not just a trainer at the gym. Everyone on the Twoguns team, Annette, Dawn, Maggie, Joe, everyone there has been so supportive and helpful. I’m even ok with being known as “Jammin’ Jesse” there.
This is by no means the end. This was more than a contest, more than a few prizes and a free meal. I’ve made a real lifestyle change and going to Nautilus is a part of that now. I couldn’t imagine going back to what I was before. In the words of my neighbor “Dude, you were getting HUGE.” My next goals are these: By the time I’m 33 in June I want to weigh what I did when I graduated high school, ~215-220. Then, at our 15 year reunion, I want to be at what I proclaimed my original goal to be when I started this, I said I wanted to lose 60 lbs, getting down to 208.
LET’S GET IT!