Grammy Awards, Demons and Dive Bars

So people are saying that the way rock and metal bands were slighted at the 2017 Grammys is a signal that rock and metal are dead? Unless you've lived in a cave or are simply not a metal fan, you already know. So I feel no need to re-iterate the happenings, but for what its worth here are my thoughts on the subject.

 

Awesome. It's all the way it is supposed to be. Metal lives in the hearts and minds of those on the fringe. It's not a mainstream thing and it's true audience doesn't live mainstream lives. How out of touch the Grammy committee are can quickly be proven by the fact they still think of David Bowie being current rock. 
The true metal audience does not want their beloved music to become even remotely mainstream.
 
They so vehemently fight the notion of mainstream that when even one of their own garners mainstream respect, they abandon that band. Ask any long term hardcore metal fan what they think of Metallica and you will see my point.
Metal is not meant for those who hide in comfortable chairs in million dollar high rise condos. Metal is meant for those of us who still wear leather, jackets. 
 
Metal is for those of us who have to ride motorbikes, lift heavy weights, crush someone's dreams in the ring and drink a bottle JD with friends afterwards. Preferably all in one day and then rise to do it again tomorrow. All just to calm the demons and darkness that live inside of us.
 
Metal is for those of us who are bored by the humdrum and generic-ness of the Las Vegas strip and go looking for old vegas where spontaneous and dangerous things can still happen. 
 
Metal is for those of us who would skip the commercialism of today's Hollywood Blvd and go hit every dive bar in Van Nuys. Look, heavy metal is for people who didn`t have to find those dive bars on Yelp.
 
If you're not one of us, you wouldn't understand. And that's not just ok, it's actually the whole point. 
 
Am I "triggered" by the way metal got treated at the Grammys? Not one bit. I've been smiling about it for days. 
 
Because I know the annoying hipsters only latch on to what the mainstream says is cool, and if the mainstream music industry chumps are saying Metal is dead causes even one poser to stop pretending that they belong in the metal community, then I am happy. Very happy. 
 
And metal will still live on just fine wihtout you, out here in the fringe.☠️☠️☠️
 

Ronda Rousey Could Still Kick Your Ass

 

No self respecting OMP wants to admit the girl pictured above could kick your ass, but if you're an out of shape middle age couch potato lets get this clear right now. Ronda Rousey could still kick your ass.

That's right. Just because Amanda Nunes proved she's tougher, doesn't negate the fact that Rousey could annihilate and embarrass your flabby butt. 

If you're offended thats ok. But read on and let me explain. First, if you've never stepped in the ring in your entire life then you simply have no right to trash talk.

You can however use her example to hone your instincts. There are some important lessons to be learned when watching such a promising career unravel so quickly.

Lesson #1 - stick with what got you paid in the first place.

This rule could also be titled, "if it ain't broke don't fix it." In her early matches in the UFC, Ronda Rousey was hip tossing people and submitting them in arm bars at the speed of light.

Anyone who can end matches in 14seconds deserves some respect. Sure, she lost her last match in 48 seconds but Rousey wasn't exactly fighting the average woman. Amanda Nunes deserves respect too.

In 2007 Rousey won a bronze medal in Olympic Judo. If there is anyone out there who thinks this is no big deal since it was "only" bronze, think again.

If you've never done Judo then I have no way to explain to you just how tough you would have to be to even rise to the level of representing your country at the Olympics in a sport like Judo. And then to place 3rd in the world at that moment, truly an awesome accomplishment.

Here is my point; after all this she decides to employ a totally different strategy and stand up and trade punches and kicks with an incredibly accomplished kick boxer in Holly Holm.

Wait, what? ...Why?!?!? ....Miss Rousey please, stick with what got you paid in the first place.

It has always been my belief that the blame for this fatal decision lies squarely on the shoulders of none other than UFC president, Dana White.

I believe he got in her ear about being a one trick pony and told her she needed to do something different so fans don't get bored of her. Of course we all know the reason he would do this is because he was worried that if fans got bored, the money she was raking in for the company would stop.

She was his gravy train at that moment and he sacrificed her career in an attempt to keep it coming in. Tsk tsk Dana. Tsk tsk.

Lesson #2 - Be careful who you surround yourself with.

Ronda Rousey's boxing coach, Edmond Tarverdyan has to get some blame here. He has coached her long enough that she should not have been standing and working the way she was in this last match against Amanda Nunes.

As a friend of mine who is a kickboxing coach in Winnipeg Manitoba so simply put it on his feed, "Her footing, her shoulders, her chin...everything was out of place!"

He's right. I've watched this match over and over, and over. I'd been trying to figure out what was going on and the only conclusion I could come to was she had a horrible striking coach.

He had two responsibilities. The first one was to make her a competent striker. This may take two people, he has to be able to coach and she has to be coachable.

I know first hand, coming from a Judo background my striking kinda sucks. Hey, I'm working on it. And I feel it's safe to say Rousey suffers the same problem.

His second responsibility to her was even more important. It would take honesty, and the willingness to ignore his own agenda. His second responsibility was to simply admit to her, "Hey miss Ronda Rousey, you are not there yet."

That's right, he should have looked her in the eye and told her straight up to stick with what got her paid in the first place!

But he didn't. He had to have known. I'd have to seriously wonder how he could work so long in the field and not know. But His motivation to encourage her was simple.

If Rousey fluked on a striking victory then he would get fame and fortune.

We need to be careful who we listen to, and always question their motives. Once again, someone who gambled with Rousey's career in order to make themselves some bankroll, and it most likely cost her that career. Hopefully it will cost his too, but only time will tell that for sure. Tsk Tsk Edmond. tsk tsk. 

Now back to my first point. If you're a flabby arm chair warrior you have no right to laugh and cut her down at this point in her career. She could still kick your butt.

If there were no fans, no media, no Dana White, and no money on the line and you had to face Ronda Rousey in a back alley. Her natural insticts would kick in, and she would hip toss your butt into the concrete and break your arm in oh, about 14 seconds. Maybe less. 

By the way if you're interested in changing your fate by getting in shape or getting involved in fighting sports, I highly recommend it for everyone. It doesn't have to be as competitive as you think it is.

And despite the tone of this article, it really isn't as angry as it seems. I've been in clubs and dojo's all over the world and one thing they all have in common is a sense of brotherhood, and respect for each other, no matter what level a person may be.

And testing yourself on the mats or in the ring is one sure way to not only grow and change physically, but as a person as well. You become less critcal of the world and learn not to critisize others for losing a match.

Because you will know just how much effort, determination, and sheer guts it took just to get to that match.

 Karate....Its not just for kids folks! 

Lest We Forget

The 11th of November approaches. To our American brethren, who celebrate Memorial Day; we celebrate a similar historical remembrance of those who’ve fallen in battle in the name of our respective countries.

 

In Canada, we celebrate Remembrance Day. A time held on the 11th day, of the 11th month, at the 11th hour, exactly the time and date which the armistice was signed concluding World War 1. A war which had been entitled “The Great One”, or ironically “The War To End All Wars”. 

 
 Sadly, this last moniker was not meant to be. Today, we still struggle in arms against our brothers and sisters to achieve political means through violence, death; through utter and wholesale destruction. 
 
As we speak and read at this very moment, shots are being fired in anger across lines. Men and women fire across lines at nearly unseen targets in the hopes that their bullet will find its mark; not a mark of a person. The mark of a uniform or helmet. We literally shoot at flags and uniforms, not human beings. 
 
Were those combatants to stand across from one another, shake hands, and exchange a simple dialogue, they’d likely find that they have absolutely no reason to be attempting to end each other’s lives. They do this in the name of “Honour”. “Sacrifice”.
 
Truly, they do this in the name of governments. In the name of fat politicians, nestled behind their mahogany desks decreeing that it must be so, whilst in the comfort of their office.
 

As generations pass, we tend to center our thoughts and remembrances on our more recent conflicts. World War II. Korea (barely; it’s small wonder that this conflict was entitled “The Forgotten War”). Vietnam. Afghanistan. Surely, this cataloguing of our thoughts of modern time is not a sign of disrespect.
 
Generations simply pass, bloodlines end, names are forgotten, events are forgotten; nearly, entire wars are forgotten. We know nearly nothing of our great great grandfathers and their forebears. They pass through our thoughts and lineage like the crisp leaves that travel the wind in a somber autumn breeze. To be sure, they are there, but they decay with time, to be forgotten.
 
They’re forgotten because as our own busy lives pass, entangled with our own conflicts and tribulations, such things lose meaning to us.
 

Canadians fought in the American Revolutionary War, The War of 1812, The Boer War, The French and Indian Wars. Canadians even went across the border, lied about their citizenship, and joined their American brethren to fight the Vietnam War. 
 
We fought, nearly unmentioned in Korea ( a big shout out to the TV series M.A.S.H. who regularly mentioned us). We illegally left our nation to wear foreign uniforms in the Spanish Civil War, so that others might remain free. So too did we with the French Foreign Legion. 
 
As we speak, Canadians are fighting abroad, not in Canadian uniforms, but alongside Syrian rebels, in rebel uniforms, so that Syria might regain a stable nation, under threat by ISIL. 
 

We have kept peace, in blue berets in countless nations on this earth, usually unmentioned. All too often, we are painted in earlier history, (if we’re mentioned at all) as the British “Colonials”. Never forget that those men were Canadians in British uniform. They fought not for Britain. They fought for OUR soil. 
 
At times, they fought in bedraggled militia garb, home-made by wives, thrown together in haste, with shoddy weapons to defend our great nation. Many were without ammunition, relying in hopes of the bayonet. Some even showed up with farm implements such as pitchforks, and axes. A testament and defiance to show that Canada was not to be tangled with. 
 
While always lesser in number, with inferior equipment, we never faltered in spirit. Our accomplishments on the battlefields of North America, Asia, East Asia, Russia, Africa, in the swelling north seas, in the Balkans, in the Middle East, the Pacific, and on the horrendous grounds of France during the first world war very often go unmentioned in the history books of other nations.
 
But we, as Canadians, should never forget. Passchendale. Vimy Ridge. PPCLI 2 at Hill 677 in the battle of Kapyong (where the President of the United States himself awarded medals to them for their meritorious service) The liberation of Holland under indescribable conditions. 
 
The inventors of the “Trench Raid” (erroneously, people often think of Germans when we hear the term “Stormtrooper”; it was in fact the Germans who bestowed that moniker on Canadian troops during WW1. Whenever the Germans learned that they were facing Canadians across the line, they stepped upped their game in trepidation and fear knowing that they were facing the most elite force, alongside the Australians, on the battlefield).
 
 
The inventors of the “Creeping Barrage”. The inventors of “Indirect Machine Gun Fire”. The troops that took Vimy Ridge after no other Allied force could. 
 
Canadians are often “Wallflowers” in the annals of history when it comes to military remembrance, but make no mistake: for a nation with a population of so few, we’ve spilled so much blood per capita that we’ve done far more than our part. And we’ve done so quietly.
 
Sometimes it is the glorious and bloody battles which we entrench in the annals of our history. Great battles. Horrendous losses. Feats of shear valour. At times we tend to forget some of the achievements which don’t come with medals. 
 
Today I choose to illustrate a feat of strength, fortitude and sheer patriotism and will which seems to get lost in the well-worn, yellowed pages of days past.
 
In a war long past, and far from Canadian memory for the most part an incredible feat took place in the winter of 1812-1813.
 

During the winter months, the American Continental Army had built up a mass of troops in Sacket’s Harbor; massing to invade Canada, not too far from Kingston. 
 
A small Canadian contingent across the river could not have hoped to have staved off this invasion as we were badly outnumbered, by nearly 20 to 1. A battle which most certainly would have turned the tide of the war and quite possibly made it so that we would today be flying the Stars and Stripes over the great nation we call “Kanata”, or Canada.
 

Canadian Generals were in a terrible situation; tactically unsound, approaching disaster. Reinforcements were no where to be found, due to the geographical size of Canada. So what do they do? Look upon the New Brunswick Regiment. 1100 km from their conundrum. 
 
And what do the 104th New Brunswick Regiment do? In the dead of winter, thinly clad in woolen coats, cheap leather boots, wearing snow shoes, huge rucksacks and a pile of bad ass “Can-Do” attitude, the crazy sons of bitches proceed to march (snowshoe rather), in -31 degree Celcius weather 550 km in 24 days. 
 
They took a bit of a rest in Quebec and then marched on to Kingston, Ontario. That’s 1125km (700 miles), knee deep in snow, with very little food and a pile of pissed off attitude.
 

Not bad for a bunch of ragged ass Canadians, many in their 30's and 40's years of age (OMP, baby) in crappy leather boots, snow shoes, barely any food, in -31 celcius weather (that’s -25 Fahrenheit for you yanks) with a bit of a grudge to bear. 
 

Such feats of sheer will and strength often go unmentioned, but I feel this one shouldn’t. Had the fortitude, courage and strength of these men not been as stalwart as had been, we’d more than likely be celebrating the 4th of July in this country.
 
Instead, on the 1st of July, and on the 11th of November, stand with pride in knowing that Canada is, has always been, and always will be made of the sternest stuff.
 

Lest we forget.

The Gym; purgatory and salvation

"If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny." - Yoda.

 

...Its true. Just ask those of us who did not choose the path. Those of us who were born along that path, discarded there, and left to rot. Just ask, me. I was born there.

 

Most people do not know. They cannot relate. They grew up in warm safe homes with safe and happy families. They did not grow up surrounded by home invasions, violent crime, rampant drug abuse, assault, rape, murder and death. I did. And I escaped.

 

But it is fleeting. The memories of my youth are forever etched in my brain. Tomorrow, harmless words and phrases said by others in otherwise meaningless conversations will cause flashes of images that cannot be unseen. Thoughts that cannot be unthought. Actions that cannot be undone....

 

But I will not take a bite out of anyone. Instead, I will return to the gym once again to literally, exercise those demons. You see, in the gym was where I spent my time in those dark days of my youth. Taking my frustrations out, using up my aggression. Now into my forties, I am still there. In the gym. Not much else makes sense to me in this world. But the weight room calms me, more than my living room, my bedroom, or any drink or drug I've been willing to try. When I am done in the weight room I am spent. All the anger and rage that was created in my earliest of memories are gone.

 

Tonight I am calm. I can look people in the eye and feel the same comfort around other human beings as they do. The same confidence. Inside I am not unlike the dog who grew up in a violent environment and has been beaten so many times that it is the only thing he knows. It shakes his confidence. It shapes his personality. It makes him bite.

 

once your soul is in pain, the only way to control the pain is to inflict it yourself. In the gym I control the pain. and I bring it, every time.

 

The Gym. My porgatory and my salvation are one and the same.

HELL YA I'M GONNA EAT THAT!

It doesn't matter where I go to catch them or talk about eating them, I
always have someone ask me with some wretched look on their face, "Are you
going to eat that?". Hell yes!

These little fish are an abundant food source in some lakes in and around
the northern hemisphere. They can be found in the Great Lakes and even in
some deeper, larger land locked lakes. Once the waters reach a certain
temperature, it triggers the reproductive instinct in them. The Smelt run
in the spring time as some other fish do, making their way from the open
waters to streams and tributaries to spawn. They can congregate in the
thousands just in one little school. Their average size ranging from 7-10
inches in length. They are forage for salmon, trout, walleye, northern pike
and many other species of fish, oh, and me.

'Smelting' as it has been referred to, has been a spring past time for
outdoorsmen for generations. I grew up tagging along with my father and a
few other OMP'S in the neighborhood, heading out at dusk to get the 'good
spots' and wait for the smelt to show. For us, it was usi g dip nets in
rivers along the north shore of Lake Superior. Joining other people lining
the banks taking turns trying to scoop out some tasty goodness. Now, with a
change in location, laws and gear, I have the ability to use a seine,
dragging the shorelines. With timing, luck, hard work and a little know
how, this method can be extremely successful.

Regardless of where you might be, if the opportunity presents itself and
you have the ability to do so, try getting out and having some fun
wrangling these little guys. They are incredibly tasty, healthy and can
provide memories to last a lifetime!

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"with a little luck, most males grow old. But not all become a man"

- Craig Kivi OMP President

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