“Man Time” Mondays

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Of all people to completely overlook a prime innuendo, “Me Time” Mondays was ripe for the picking. So back to “Man Time” it is. Obviously this has nothing to do with being exclusive to men, it just happens to be phonetically pleasing. If anyone is offended, please remember the URL you typed to get here.

AG Needs You!

Look, there’s only so many things I can write about that I used to enjoy doing before this website. I’m guessing our readership has some amazingly interesting hobbies that fellow members would enjoy hearing about. If you have an interesting hobby let me know, we want to share your story.

Tony Takes ‘Er Easy

Its 8pm Sunday night and I’m feeling pretty good as I sit down to begin writing Man Time. As usual I intended to have it done much sooner, but in contrast to other weeks the reason I got a late start was a new one. I took a weekend off AG for the 1st time since it started. Well, mostly.

I approach most weekends with the mindset of dedicating X or Y amount of time (its science!) to work on things for the site scheduled around some down time along with family plans and activities. Some weekends it goes smoother than others, but almost every weekend I wish I had gotten more done, and to be frank it was wearing on me. I decided to finally listen to all the sound advice I’d received from the community and friends alike and went into this weekend dedicating time to spend with friends and family, and when I had a few spare minutes pop up, I might have snuck in a little work for the site.

Shut Up Tony, Its Man Time! What’d You Do?

I played a hellava lot of pool with a hellava lot of people. That’s what. As some of you know, I stumbled into a conversation with a coworker who was wanting to get rid of his pool table that had been in the basement for seven years since he moved to that house, disassembled. He and his wife were wanting to clear the basement out for another use. He just wanted it gone; I obliged him.

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Like every new acquisition, the pool table started out as a hot commodity and with my best friend Chris having just prior received Pop’s (his dad, and close enough to my own) old table it wasn’t long before we had a weekly pool night alternating between Man Cave’s with a small handful of friends who came as schedules allowed. Time goes on and life introduces inconveniences that the shiny of something new can no longer distract you from. Pool nights became less frequent and the phrase “lets play pool” was uttered fewer and fewer times when friends came over to hangout until evenings spent around the pool table were reduced to just a couple nights a month, if that.

Without even planning it, that all changed when Cousin Josh (my wife’s cousin actually, who I’ve grown closer to than anyone in my own family) sent me a text early Saturday that his best friend Stephen was in town from Joplin for the day and that they were going to come hang out for a bit. And just like that beers were opened, cue tips were shaped and chalked, and tight racks were broken with the sweet kiss of phenolic resin balls.

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The three of us played for several hours, as pool is the perfect “hangout and catch up with friends” activity. Enough action to keep the pace of the evening from stalling, enough downtime to carry on mostly uninterrupted conversation, and a game that allows the player to range from “I’m just here so I don’t get fined” to “I didn’t deflate them, to me those balls are perfect” levels of competitive spirit. We caught up with the goings-on in each other’s lives since we’d last hung out together, mercilessly mocked each other at every opportunity, and in general…just had a good time. Having a long drive home ahead of him Stephen split out in the early evening; with the boys club broken up, the Man Cave was quickly descended on by Mrs. Tony and ours and Cousin Josh’s kids. More pool was played, by adults and kids alike, as the sun set and the night became dark. One by one the children disappeared into their beds but the games of 8-Ball continued into the night until we had finally had our fill and all called it a night.

Sunday rolled around and I had a little late morning time, so I finally flipped open my laptop to do a quick check in on email, Ag, Twitter, etc. All things that take significantly more time these days than they used to. Just as I began to get swept up in the frenzy of Twitter consuming the Antonio Brown trade, I received a text from my number one homie Chris. He and Pops were at Side Pockets and wanted me to come out. I ran it by Mrs. Tony and told them I’d be heading out shortly. Hell, why stop now, right? In a throw back to our former weekly Pool Nights, we shot 8-Ball for a while, then broke out the fistfuls of quarters for Elimination 9-Ball. Receive one quarter from the other players any time you sink the 5-Ball, and two any time to sink the 9-Ball. You play until you bleed the opposition dry. Because pool is more exciting when you play for money, according to Pops, even if its $2.50 in quarters we all started with.

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But that is all an aside, to be completely honest with you. I played my usual style of pool: going back and forth between lengthy streaks of absolute pool shark-esque dominance and just flat out embarrassing incompetence behind the the cue ball. There’s no mixing one or the other, and they don’t fade between each other subtly. I’ll mow my opponents down effortlessly game after game after game, and then without warning I will suddenly miss “gimme” shots, find new and innovative ways to scratch and otherwise haplessly stumble through a seemingly infinite number of matchups. Its just my thing, and no amount of effort or adjusted technique seems sufficient to alter the outcome until my game magically reverses unannounced again.

And this is what was rolling around in my mind Sunday as I sat down to draft up a quick Mid-Day thread to bridge the gap between the Huddle and the AAF games and hoped to expand on for Man Time. The game of pool suddenly became an analogy for life, as demonstrated by the sudden swing in my approach to the weekend. When you’re struggling you will try anything to make things better. Sometimes you try even harder to plan and execute your shots but nothing you do seems to make an improvement. Then there are other times when you decide you’re trying to do too much, so you just start taking shots without even lining them up. And that seldom helps get you back on track either.

On the other hand, when things are going well you will seldom find yourself contemplating trying harder or less. In fact, you most likely aren’t thinking anything at all. Because in that moment you are on top of your game and things just fall the way they should. Effortlessly. As though you planned for them to go that way, when often that might not be the case. I suppose you could make a concerted effort to try even harder to line up your shots with care, or to even give less thought to the shot your about to make. I doubt that would have a positive outcome when you’re on your game. In fact, I suspect your performance would suffer. This most likely surprises no one.

The question then becomes, why do we expect all those extraneous changes in approach to have a positive affect when things aren’t going well? The answer is ‘human nature’. We are conditioned to try something different as soon as we experience a result we didn’t expect or plan for. We are terribly obsessed with control; its certainly a fault of my own. But could that need to correct be only compounding the issue by taking us even further off our game, or rather further off our strengths.

Perhaps the best play is to stick to your game, the one you know you can win with, realizing its only a matter of time before you’re back on top again.

Honey Do’s

Between harsh winds and harsher children at play, we’ve had a few (read: a lot) of slats on the red picket fence around the back yard damaged or fall off. I imagine the fence sports the same 25 years of age as the house, and its certainly coming near to an end of its usable lifespan. But I can eek a couple more years of service out of it with a little elbow grease and time. When discussing the need to repair it Mrs. Tony asked if I had the right kind of nails to fix it or if I’d need to run to the store to get them. As the thought briefly flashed through my mind it suddenly dawned on me that I’ve had a nail gun and small compressor to run it for most likely 10 years when I had once borrowed it from my late father who at the time had already retired and no longer had a use for it. Win.

So I set to mending the felled slats, my 5 year old son Reid in tow. Reid is absolutely infatuated with pretty much the same things I am. Tools, firearms, knives, BBQ, etc. The list goes on. I’m simultaneously proud and terrified. I told him to get his new claw hammer (yes, a real full scale hammer) that he got for his birthday and come give me a hand. So as I went around the fence nailing up lose and fallen slats, Reid followed along hammering the old nails back in that had popped out.

I might not have known my father very well, but there were a few things he was adamant I learned. The first was that you can fix anything yourself. Often you don’t even have to know how. You’ll learn more just by starting a project you’ve never done before in 10 minutes than 10 hours watching a video could teach you. The second was learn how to work with your back so that you won’t want to. He may not have taught me very many lessons in life, but he taught me how to try.

So as my son followed along helping with the fence, I began teaching him my own lessons based on the things that I have learned. As he started to lose interest, I called him over and told him the only thing more important than starting something is finishing it. He hammered nails until it was time to pick up the tools. I couldn’t think of a better way to end the weekend than to be able to tell that story late Sunday night.

$7 Mancave Art

If you decide to turn one of your own jerseys into mancave display glory, please tweet me a pic @AnthonyTa2u.

What hobby did you spend time on this weekend?

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gonzangkc11
gonzangkc11

Tony

I’ve been posting this for a bit. About writing a few articles about other afc west teams.

After this week’s biz trips, I’ll hit you up.
3/13 – dallas tx
3/14 – Oakland ca
3/15 – San Diego/LA
of course, live in Denver

MidKan Chiefs Lifer
MidKan Chiefs Lifer

I love good dad stories. There is nothing better in my life than my kids. They all have their moments where they don’t want to do what I’m doing but for the most part they all seem to like doing what I do. I have a great relationship with my parents. I think I was probably pretty difficult to raise at some points they never batted an eye. Pretty much did everything with my dad he was my best friend. I went hunting and fishing with him help work on vehicles houses and built my house with him. I will always look up to the kind of people my parents have been for my entire life. They didn’t make a lot of money but did okay. They really were good at not wasting money and saving money also they never missed work. In almost 35 years working for one place my dad missed a total of 6 days of work. My mom missed more but not much. Also they were pretty selfless people lending a hand when needed. All in all I feel very lucky I have a great wife great kids an overall great life. To go along with that I didn’t have a crazy story for a childhood I had two very loving parents he spent a lot of time with me and and have for my entire life. The worst thing that has ever happened to me is losing my dad just over a month ago to… Read more »

MasterChief
MasterChief

My problem is I need to find a new hobby, but they are either way too expensive, require too much time, take too long, or are boring to me. I’m in a real rut as far as hobbies go.

I did some Mr. Beer brewing a couple years ago and have everything I need to brew another batch, but it’s only fun for 3 days: Brew day, bottling day, and drinking day.

I’d love to get into drones/rc flying, but they make everyone else so nervous and they fall into the expensive category.

I went hiking yesterday in the hills behind my house, but you can only do so much of that.

Looks like I’m stuck with math homework and video games at the moment. Sigh.

I wish I had the motivation that some of you guys have to go out and do stuff. I know it’s in there somewhere; I just haven’t found it in a long time.

Warpath
Warpath

After reading the 25 comments, I find it really cool that real and cool people live here.

CHIEFSandSABRES

100% awesome you have your son out there doing this stuff with you. While it might not seem like much, many boys are lacking that sort of bond with their fathers. I have been lucky. My dad did not know his dad. I think he left my grandma when my dad was around aged 4. Even so my dad never abandoned us. He said that was the driving factor in him sticking around no matter what. We grew up pretty poor, but my parents have been happily married for 35 years this May. Now I have my 2 boys, Derrick is age 3 and Zachary is 10 months and I’ve never felt more pressure in my life. Derrick is 100% non-stop energy. If they could harness his energy like wustl was talking about in his Science Saturday thread, we might be able to move at the speed of light. That being said I know its my duty to teach him every single day. The culture is shifting hard in America and it is going after the boys. I saw it so many times in the Marine Corps when I was teaching artillery these kids were showing up from NYC, Baltimore, Miami etc and did not even know how to use a shovel. You ask them to jump in the 7-ton and pull it around from the howitzer and you get a blank stare because they have never even touched a steering wheel before. Is on us men to teach these… Read more »

Nasrani
Nasrani

That’s good. Props to your dad for deciding to stick it out no matter what, and props to you for the same decision.

All too often it’s easy to quit when the going gets tough, but slogging through the bad times now will be rewarding later.

CHIEFSandSABRES

I agree. I noticed the need for men to step up, like I said when I was in the Marines. I volunteered here with a BSA troop for awhile, but stuff started to get a little well, we have all seen the news about them. So I switched over and volunteer with a TrailLife USA troop now. Even though most of these kids have stable fathers in the home, some do not so its great to get up there and teach them about knives, fire starting, hiking, and water survival. My sons are still to young to participate, but I just felt the need to be helping out. It is very rewarding and I would encourage every man to try and help other boys out.

Nasrani
Nasrani

That’s a pretty cool lesson from your dad, even if you learned it unconventionally, and one that I need to internalize (since I’m embarrassingly incompetent at most things involving repairs).

It was spring break here (though only once did the temperature exceed freezing), so Mrs. Nasrani and I spent the week watching the extended editions of “The Lord of the Rings.” I had forgotten how good those movies are (and yes, I know many on this board don’t like those movies, but I don’t like Marvel films… come at me), and how much my wife likes the story behind them. I was also able to dig out the book (I have all three in one) and hope to get her to read it soon.

Between homework assignments I also dusted off the Xbox One and loaded up Star Wars Battlefront II (the 2017 version) and played it an almost unhealthy amount of time. But it was good. I needed the diversion, since all homework and no play makes Nasrani something something.

Picked up a new game (well, ordered it off Amazon) yesterday too: Ace Combat 7 (I love aerial combat simulators). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVmn7UFa97s&list=PLLrug9JZTq60aXKII6oDrf1NLndUKWM_X

Back to the grind today! Sounds like you had a good weekend, which is always a great thing.

dave9600
dave9600

I think I have a case of the Mondays…

dave9600
dave9600

I put up a couple hundred feet of privacy fence when I bought my house and the idea of dragging around a compressor and hose was not very appealing so I invested in a refurb Paslode propane framing nailer. I’ve used it a handful of times but it mostly just sits in its case collecting dust. Thanks for reminding me that I probably need to clean it up and sell it. That’s a couple hundred dollars I can waste on something else.

ChiefUdall
ChiefUdall

Always have my boy around when doing “man” things. I love it and he seems to enjoy working with his dad. Times you will always cherish.
My weekend started out with a disappointing effort shed hunting, only a basket rack 10 was found. Rest of the weekend was falling trees and cutting up logs for next winter.