Accountability

Accountability. It’s not really something I had considered until recently. I had always assumed that because I showed up, was consistent with my workouts and was perceived as a role model by others I was doing everything “right.” Beginning with my trip to St. Petersburg, Florida last fall, I started taking greater involvement in the apparatus my mentor, Elliott Hulse, has set up. I took advantage of the forum he and Mike Westerdal established with their Lean Hybrid Muscle-Reloaded product. At first I just started by posting my workouts. That generated some traffic from friends on the site and their… Read More »

Customer Service

Earlier today I was ramping up to write a vicious editorial on customer service. I was all set to lament its demise and to render to ashes by my verbal scathing a certain company from whom I felt the concept was sorely lacking. But not so, gentle reader. It took a little effort on my part but in the end I can say customer service is not entirely dead and there are some who do see the benefits of treating people decently and putting long term service over short term profit. Please understand, I, too, am a businessman. I’m all… Read More »

Busy vs Productive

One of the things that I’m working on this year is learning the difference between being busy and being productive. When I was in high school I had a job as an office intern. Being a teenager there really wasn’t much they could give me to do outside of what I felt was “busywork.” I hated it. I saw no point in doing work just for the sake of work and really wanted to get my hands into something that mattered. Now that I’m “all growed up” and working for myself, I find that I still have this same problem.… Read More »

Weekend

I am so glad to be back into my routine. The holidays are nice but travel can be disruptive, especially when there’s a mountain of work to be done. Traditionally I take the week between Christmas and New Year’s off. We usually stay home and I use the time to spend time with my family and work on projects that are equal parts fun and necessary. This year we traveled to Tennessee to spend time with my Dad’s family. Since he died last Spring I’ve made a concerted effort to visit more and maintain closer ties with what remains of… Read More »

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays everyone. Before we get too far into Christmas and New Year’s at our house I wanted to revisit a favorite holiday of mine, my birthday. It’s December 9, if you want to mark it on your calendar. Technically it’s a “Christmas birthday” but it’s far enough out I can raise enough of a fuss to make a clear distinction between the two. The Christmas tree does not go up until after my birthday. This year I turned 40. Leading up to the day I spent some time contemplating on just how best to celebrate. When I turned 30,… Read More »

Jailbreak!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMFYs3gfgis] “Tonight there’s gonna be a jailbreak…” Sunday was Bronwyn’s twelfth birthday. We spent the afternoon at her favorite spot, the horse barn. She gave her friends the grand tour. They spent time grooming and then had a contest over the most decorated horse. That meant braids and ribbons and all kinds of foolishness. I didn’t fully understand it, but I don’t have to and luckily the horses didn’t seem to mind. We got home for wheat free carrot cake cupcakes (Bronwyn has a wheat sensitivity. You probably do too but that’s for another post) and presents. Afterwards I suggested… Read More »

As promised…

Okay, so I’m slow in getting these up, but here are some photos from building cold frames two weeks ago. Here’s the back of my house in all it’s redneck glory.  The cold frames are snugged up against the south side of the house to best catch the southern tilt of the sun during the winter months. So far I’ve constructed three frames.  Two are planted with spinach, leeks and chard.  The third is waiting it’s bed of rich compost to make up for the clay and rock substrata you see before you. Here’s a detail of the swan door…… Read More »

Vacation

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vH3KAh-Emk&feature=related] Here’s hoping everyone had a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving (raises coffee mug in toast). I’m sitting here with Samantha on the balcony of our rented condo in Gulf Shores, Alabama on the first real vacation I’ve taken in four years. Granted I’ve had a few few pleasurable work trips but this is the first time off I’ve taken with my family in a long time. It’s only as I write this do I realize how shameful that is. Four years? That’s really too long. That’s also one of my grandfather’s faults. In the forty years that I’ve been around… Read More »

Agoge Defined

So what does Agoge mean? How the heck do you say it and why on earth did I pick such an unusual name for my business? Second things first. Agoge is pronounced ə-ˈgō-gē (ah-go-ghee). And first it was the name that Spartan Greeks gave to the school or camp young boys joined in their sixth or seventh year. Spartan society was, well, spartan. There was only one career track for a citizen and that was soldier. If you weren’t a citizen then you were a slave and responsible for meeting all the necessary requirements of civilization. Citizens voted, trained and… Read More »

Cold Frames II

Sunday morning I got up and made breakfast. Sunday breakfast is best because it is then that I have enough time to devote to making a proper breakfast. Monday through Saturday I get up early for work and breakfast is usually a protein shake and a handful of vitamins. Sunday I sleep relatively late, make coffee and set about to feeding my family properly. This past Sunday’s breakfast consisted of free range organic eggs, spicy pork sausage and sliced tomatoes. Once properly fueled I set about the day’s project, the much anticipated cold frames. Last weekend I made a start… Read More »

Cold Frames

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WqazleR3FE] Fall is officially here in Alabama. And while the temperatures are not cold yet (remember we are in Alabama and cold is relative) the leaves have turned and the days are noticeably shorter. We have lettuces, brussel sprouts, and some braising greens growing in one of our ten by ten beds but we’d really like to extend our growing season and keep fresh produce coming into the house year round. Enter the cold frame. If you’re not familiar, a cold frame is a mini green house. Usually it’s a smallish box with an glass top that can be adjusted… Read More »

Goat Power Part 3

The goats spent the week in the trailer in our garage. Rob wasn’t available until Friday and I wasn’t about to risk a repeat of Bonnie’s escape. Every day the goats got fresh fodder and corn. The fodder I cut from the overgrown areas of the backyard and the corn was left over from Bonnie’s brief stay. On Friday Rob came over and we trained the goats on the collars and the invisible fence. We then released them to the back yard and allowed them to forage. Sophie was much less responsive than the other two but seemed to have… Read More »