I Am Now A Certified Badass…Okay That Might Be A Slight Exaggeration

Our primary message here at the Big Dick Chronicles is “Go be awesome!” What sometimes gets left out of the equation is the companion message, “Go be humble!” You can brag about a lot of things, but being humble typically isn’t one of them.

Humbling stories generally aren’t the ones you want to tell in public, which is exactly why I’m going to tell you my most recent one.

(The next few paragraphs should be read with a deep undercurrent of sarcasm, otherwise you will come to the conclusion that I might be retarded.)

I have been a fan of martial arts since the days of my youth when Chuck Norris’ beard single-handedly conquered Cambodia. Since we were too poor for real lessons, my early training consisted of two hours of USA Networks Kung Fu Theater every Saturday afternoon. And then when I was 11, Jean Claude Van Damme released the ultimate at home training manual, Bloodsport.

This is considered a training manual in most developed countries.

You can find it in the “How To” section of your local library.

My point is that, even with no formal training, I consider myself fairly well versed in the ways of hand to hand combat. I wouldn’t call myself a badass, but that’s more a function of my self-deprecating nature.

(Okay, sarcasm off. That’s about all the bullshit I can handle.)

As I’ve mentioned before, my kids have been involved in Tae Kwon Do for almost six years now. This year, my twelve year old son got moved up to the adult class. Since I now have to be there for the adult class anyway, I decided to join them.

Stepping into this class has turned out to be quite the humbling experience. I’ve been there to help coach my two oldest children all the way to black belt level, but I am starting this class as a level one white belt. I am practicing the same forms and techniques that I helped teach my daughter when she was five.

Perhaps the hardest part is that I am prohibited from practicing any techniques or moves outside of my belt rank. When I spar with the other grown ups, I am limited to three types of kicks and no hands to the head. They joke that sparring me is like trying to play a Nintendo after years of playing an Xbox 360.

Perhaps hardest of all, my eight year old daughter got to break boards this week. I’m not even permitted to try.

How long has it been since you were brand new at something? More importantly, how long has it been since you were brand new at something and had to be tested on it?

Friday was my first test to move up in rank. There is one other white belt in our class, a thirteen year old named Caleb. He was my partner for all of the demonstrations we had to do.

He's like a fluffy little polar bear!

He’s like a fluffy little polar bear!

This is where you have to decide if an experience is going to humbling or humiliating.
I won’t lie; there was a moment when this process seemed a bit humiliating. I’m a grown ass man putting myself in front of a panel of judges, being evaluated on the same criteria as a 13 year old.

But isn’t that part of the test? No matter what your station in life, no matter how important you think you are, if you walk into a Tae Kwon Do class, you start as a white belt.
Being able to set aside your ego and let yourself be open to instruction is a vital part of the process.

I had a great time at the test. My main goal for the night was to keep encouraging my little white belt buddy. He was nervous as hell. Looking at it from his perspective, I’m pretty impressed by him. He was being judged on the same criteria as this obviously awesome Chuck Norris clone.

If I could grow a beard, I'd probably take over the world.

If I could grow a beard, I’d probably take over the world.

Once we have established ourselves as adults, nothing takes us out of our comfort zones quite so fast as being “new” again. I don’t particularly like feeling incompetent, but I also don’t  like thinking that I was too weak to put myself in that position.

So if you feel like you could use a good dose of humility, I encourage you to go learn something brand new. It is even more effective if there are a bunch of little kids involved who know more than you do.

Overcoming The “Poor But Arrogant” Mindset pt 2

I want to start by telling you every word of this is true. You may read some of this and think, “there’s no way” but in reality, the stories I’m going to share are quite common where I grew up.

I also want to be clear that while I’m not here to bash poor people, I am more than happy to talk shit about my own messed up family. That is one of the few benefits I gained from growing up with them. I’m allowed to laugh.

Where I’m from

My father and mother were born and raised in the countryside of southeast Missouri. My grandparents were factory workers and farmhands. Their education was limited and they would qualify as “dirt poor”.

My mother was one of five kids and my father is one of six. When my mother was 17, she became pregnant with my older brother. My father dropped out of high school his junior year and they were married. I was born when he was 19. By age 22, they were divorced and my father was raising two young boys on his own. My mother left to join the Air Force.

Here is one way to determine if you grew up poor. If you are 36 years old and most of the homes you lived in as a child have been torn down, you were probably poor.

This is where I lived during my senior year of high school.

Home sweet home.

Home sweet home.

The top half of that building has two apartments. My father, my brother and I shared one with my uncle. We moved there after my dad decided to blow up his second marriage by intentionally getting caught having an affair with a black woman.

Did I mention southeast Missouri is still a pretty racist place to live?

I would show you the trailer we moved into six months later, but I can’t because it’s been torn down. A funny story; one day the cops arrested my brother after finding a bunch of stolen items hidden underneath it. He didn’t do it though, my cousin did. In a strange bit of irony, he stole the tools from the father of the girl my brother knocked up about six months later.

I love small town life.

Okay, this post has been pretty depressing so far, but I promise I’m getting there.

You are responsible for your own life,” is one of the central themes of The Big Dick Chronicles. I want to give you a glimpse into what I grew up with specifically to point out that none of that shit matters.

With everything I experienced, had I chosen to adopt a “poor but arrogant” mindset, it still would be entirely my fault. I know this because I had choices to make at every step along the way. Nothing was predestined. But I did learn one crucial truth that I can only truly appreciate now.

When you are poor, you have no room for error.

My older brother dropped out of college because he didn’t keep coolant in his truck and blew up the motor. He was attempting to commute 60 miles to school and lost his transportation. Poor maintenance, lack of funds, goodbye higher education.
No margin for error.

Okay, let’s move on to the heart warming part of the story. This is mostly a tribute to my father (he’s still alive and doing fine by the way), who had the foresight to teach me some surprisingly simple lessons. But be forewarned, simple doesn’t mean easy.

These are the lessons he has taught me.

1. You must value learning.
My 23 year old father taught me to tell time when I was four years old.

Every time he sat down to relax, he had a book in his hand. Every evening in our home found the three of us sitting around the living room, watching tv and reading books.

He was not a demanding man, but he made it clear that he expected our best in school. Once we proved we were capable of something, that became our new normal. Good grades were expected because he knew we could. My brother graduated 3rd in his class and I graduated 1st in mine.

If you come from an educated family, this may sound common place. But realize that my father was the only one on either side of my family that actively encouraged learning for his children. I have several cousins, and one sister, who didn’t finish high school. In our modern age, this is unconscionable to me, but it’s true.

2. Keep your nose clean
I come from a long line of criminals, going back generations on my father’s side.

We’ve had moonshiners, druggies, and thieves.  I still have 2nd cousins who run chop shops in St. Louis. My dad’s sister was the first person to offer me drugs. Most of my family has been arrested for something at some point in their life.

My father was arrested once; because they mistook him for his brother. I remember being 7-8 years old and hiding under the covers in my grandparents living room when the sheriff came looking for my uncle.  He was hiding in the bedroom. He had escaped from prison in Michigan where he was serving time for stealing cars.

When my grandfather died, the death bed discussion among my aunts and uncles was about how to break into my cousin’s house to steal grandpa’s pain pills.

Folks, I wish I was making this stuff up.

In a family that was always looking for the easy answer, my father refused to participate. He avoided the drugs that were rampant in our family, and stayed out of jail.

Again, most people would consider that last sentence a no-brainer, but it was the culture of our family. It was, and still is, expected that you’re going to end up in jail at some point.

You wouldn’t think it would be that difficult to stay out of jail, but you’d be surprised. I had a cop read me my rights when I was 16 because I had wrecked my truck and my uncle (the escapee) towed it away from the scene and hid it at my grandparent’s house. In case you didn’t know, that’s called fleeing the scene of an accident with property damage.

The scene of the crime. Technically, I own that power pole.

The scene of the crime. Technically, I own that power pole.

I went to the station and squared it away. The fact that I came in on my own is the only reason I didn’t go to jail.

No margin for error.

3. Work your ass off
My father worked. It was never fancy, but he always found his way into a supervisor or management position everywhere he went. Most of his life was spent in factories, but wherever he went, he did his best.

He had no tolerance for the men who complained about actually being expected to perform at their job. “You want me to bust my ass for minimum wage? Hell no. I’m doing just enough to not get fired.” He expected them to bust their ass because it was right. Because it was what he did every day.

I graduated high school at the top of my class. I had a 4.0 gpa and was headed for college in the fall but I took an unconventional path for my summer job. I was a chicken catcher.

Just like this, except for the mask. Masks were for pussies.

Just like this, except for the mask. Masks were for pussies.

This was one of those jobs you didn’t even apply for. If you were willing to work, you just showed up. If you stayed, you got paid. It was by far the nastiest, most grueling work I could imagine.

No one expected me to make it. “College boy, what are you doing out here? This ain’t for college boys. You won’t last a week.

But I did make it. And I was damn good at it, too.

I learned a lot from those guys. First, I learned that I didn’t want to do this for the rest of my life. Second, they valued one thing; can you work?

I had never been admired for my work ethic before. They didn’t give a shit about my education or my ambitions. They wanted to know if I could keep up and come back tomorrow.

I took that job for one reason. I knew that when I went to college I would have to work every minute I wasn’t in class. If I could handle that job, anything I had to do during college would be a cakewalk. I was right. It’s still the worst thing I’ve ever done.

4. The right marriage choice is crucial
This time my father taught me what not to do. He is currently on his fourth wife. My father suffers from a severe fear of being alone. It has led him to make poor choices in choosing a wife and he found himself starting over numerous times.

Don’t get pregnant in high school.

If you do, the odds of ending up a single parent are astronomical. My dad did it. My older brother did it and he called me the other day to tell me his 18 year old daughter did it. Being a single parent is hard enough. Doing it while poor is damn near impossible.

Everybody in my family has been divorced except me and my grandparents. Seriously. For two generations, everyone in my family (older than me. I’m exempting the younger relatives that are just getting started) that has ever been married, is divorced. Divorce has heavily affected my family financially and emotionally, and it led to complete instability in the lives of the kids in my family. This is a topic that deserves its own post, so I’ll move on for now.

So I took my time. A long time. And I’ll be damned if my first attempt at a relationship didn’t almost ruined it all. Like I said, no margin.

My wonderful wife is only the second relationship I’ve ever had. After almost getting sucked in by a co-dependent young lady with a ton of issues, I realized I needed to get it right on the next try.

It wasn’t fun and loneliness hurts like a bitch. But it felt like my options were waiting for a legitimately good fit, or calling my dad to tell him there is another grand kid on the way and we’ll set a wedding date soon.

My wife was worth the wait.

5. No one is going to take care of you.
This is the lesson I am most thankful to my father for teaching me.

As a single parent, working for just above minimum wage, my father made the decision not to accept any public assistance. We survived on what he earned and it wasn’t pretty. We weren’t homeless, but we lived in low end rental houses and trailers. My father drove a mid-seventies Chevy Nova with a missing door handle. You opened the door with a screw driver.

What was his reasoning? “I made my mistakes. They are mine to take care of.”

When I turned 18, my father gave me one of the most important speeches of my life. “Son, I love you but you’re on your own.

See, my father had married for a third time and taken on three new step-children by this time. They needed the support more than I did.

So I took that to heart. I drove my ’64 Ford truck to college and scraped by. I ate peanut butter and jelly in my dorm room on weekends. Not sandwiches, just peanut butter and jelly. I didn’t have money for the bread. I cooked cheap frozen burritos on the hot plate of my coffee pot because I didn’t have the money to rent a microwave for my room. The coffee pot is also hot enough to cook Ramen Noodles if you let them soak long enough.

Even though I didn’t feel it at the time, I was a man. And he expected me to be capable of doing what men do; providing for themselves, finding their own way, building their own lives.

Why did this matter so much to me? My dad’s generation in my family is falling apart. They are in their late 40’s and 50’s and whatever health the drugs haven’t taken is being consumed by diabetes and heart disease. In large numbers, they barely work; their entire existence is reliant on government assistance. And most of my generation is following in their footsteps.

I don’t see my family much anymore. Distance helps; we’re about five hours away. But we made the decision that they were more a liability to our family than an asset. I don’t want, or need, my children being influenced by them. And sadly, they refuse to be influenced by me. I’m at peace with that.

When we go back home, we visit my father and my grandparents and that’s it. We’ve had to separate ourselves from the rest of the family and that’s okay. We’re just going different directions, I guess.

Am I unbelievably blessed? Absolutely. I don’t doubt that for a second and I thank God that he was watching over me as I went through that stage of my life. But the choices I had to make were not monumental. The difficulty was not getting distracted by all the dysfunction going on around me.

So there you have it. The origin story of the Big Dick Chronicles. It’s been an interesting ride.

Overcoming The “Poor But Arrogant” Mindset pt1

The Bell Curve is a bitch.

Erect Penis Size Chart

Erect Penis Size Chart

Unless this one is true. In which case, I take back everything I just said. If the Big Dick Chronicles ever folds, I think my next blog will be called The Standard Deviants.

But that’s not why I’m here.

In America, where there are no strict barriers against upward mobility, most poor people are going to stay poor. You can offer them access to all the information they need to improve their lives and most of them won’t use it. What is worse, most won’t even try.

Some will escape their poverty and move on to better things, but not many. I wish it weren’t true, but it is.What is really frustrating is trying to understand why they will stay poor.

Some are going to endure legitimate hardships that they can’t overcome; they will be injured, or develop a life long illness, or be born with diminished capacities.

For example; I have a cousin whose mother drank like a fish when she was pregnant. He qualifies as functionally retarded, but he’s also just…retarded. He went to jail for stealing a newspaper vending machine. There is no mystery here. His future is quite clearly established.

Some will try and fail. They will work hard to develop a life and it simply won’t pan out.

But not most. Most will simply be content to stay where they are. In fact, they may even find it preferable. They will continue in the ways of their fathers and they will pass on their dysfunctional ways to their children.

Normally, I try to include some relevant data in my posts to back up my points, but not today. Today I’m speaking anecdotally about my upbringing. So its possible that we were the only dysfunctionally poor family in America and none of this applies to the rest of you.

But we weren’t. What I’m going to describe took place all around me. So perhaps it was just my small town.

But it wasn’t. I moved to the other side of the state and found the same things happening. So I’m just going to continue and you can judge for yourself whether you’ve encountered any of these problems.

What do I mean “poor but arrogant”? Don’t confuse it with the phrase, “poor but proud.” I am not talking about your hard working farmer or blue collar worker who works his ass off every day to eke out a living and is content with what he has. There are many amazing people out there who understand the value of a honest days work. They keep their homes and equipment in immaculate condition. They wouldn’t steal a penny to save their life.

I know those folks exist, but they aren’t why we’re here.

I’m talking about those who find no shame in being unable to meet their own basic needs. Who don’t feel guilty that they contribute nothing of value to society. Those who don’t realize that there actions almost guarantee a life of failure for their children. This was the world I was born into.

To help you understand what I’m describing, here are five mindsets that were typical of the “Poor but Arrogant” culture I grew up in.

1. “This is just my lot in life.”
The idea that their situation could change is completely foreign. Some people are just always going to be poor (that unspoken bell curve) and there is nothing you can do about that. Their only hope is to win the lottery.

They are exempt from any personal responsibility on the basis of bad luck.

2. “Someone owes me a living.”
Employers are the bad guy. They would rather live on unemployment than go work some minimum wage job making some asshole rich.

My aunt (the one that offered me drugs, more on that later) told me she was better off not working. She got more in welfare and food stamps than she would make at a job. If she got off her ass and worked 40 hours a week, she would lose money so fuuuuck that.

3. The man is just trying to keep me down.
When Johnny goes to jail, it isn’t because Johnny broke the law. It’s because those prick cops get a hard-on hassling people. When the bank repossesses his car for non-payment, it isn’t his fault. Those greedy bastards took advantage of him when he tried to borrow money that he couldn’t pay back for a car that he couldn’t afford.

Here is an example. My younger sister, who dropped out of high school, called me one day to ask me to co-sign on a car loan for her and her husband.
Her: “We can afford it, but they won’t give us the loan without a co-signer.”
Me: “That’s because you can’t afford it. They know you won’t make the payment. Let me ask you, how much money do you have in the bank right this minute?”
Her: “I don’t know, maybe three, four hundred dollars.”
Me: “Girl, you don’t have a car payment now and you still don’t have enough money to pay the taxes to license the car. Don’t tell me you can afford a car payment.”
Her: “Fine. Thanks a lot.”

Guess whose fault it was that she couldn’t get the car?

4. I’ll always be poor, so I might as well enjoy what I’ve got as best I can.
Go to the rent a center and pickup that 50″ big screen for $45/month. Spend all your money on video games, cell phones, mud tires for your pickup and booze. This is all you can hope for out of life, so take it where you can get it.

Here’s a quick quiz to determine if your poor.
Fingerhut?

"Low, low monthly payments. We promise."

“Low, low monthly payments. We promise.”

Congratulations. If you recognize that name, you’re poor. And an idiot.

Full disclosure; I only included that because I was that idiot who bought a stereo out a magazine, on payments, because I didn’t qualify for a credit card. Hey, some lessons come later that others.

5. There is no such thing as preventive maintenance.
This was a concept that I didn’t even know existed until I was an adult. When you are poor, everything you own is disposable. You buy cheap with the understanding that it isn’t going to last long enough to bother maintaining.
The first eight vehicles I owned cost me an average of $500 each. Consider that; most of my automobiles cost less than the new set of tires they always needed.

For example! I drove a ’64 Ford pickup truck to college. It looked like this

Chick magnet

But with more bondo.

In 1995!

The concept applied to where you lived, what you drove, your furniture, and worst of all, your health. You eat as much as you can as often as you can. You eat cheap because packaged food cost less (not in the long run, I know) than fresh food. You don’t go to the doctor. You don’t exercise. You drink or smoke what you can as often as you can.

Can you see how difficult it would be to make any progress in life if this is how you see the world?

I want to tell you about my upbringing and how I managed to escape this self-defeating world view. I have to be careful not to overstate my accomplishment, because in the end, I’m going to tell you that it was surprisingly simple. The main theme I want you to see is that the opportunity to improve beyond my situation was always present.

Stay tuned….

“Just F@#$ Me Already!” What Nice Guys Don’t Understand About Sex

Sometimes, I feel like that masked magician who went on tv to give away all the secrets of magic.

My new avatar?

My new avatar?

Here at the Big Dick Chronicles I offer free of charge, and open to the world, insights into the often dysfunctional inner workings of how men think. I do this for good, you understand. This isn’t ammunition; it’s designed to help improve marriages.

If you are married to, or in a relationship with, a Nice Guy, congratulations. You are probably involved with a very skilled lover. Technically speaking.

We Nice Guys pride ourselves on being competent, and sex is no exception. We strive to make sure that we’re capable of satisfying a woman as thoroughly as possible. If our bedroom were a restaurant, our motto would be, “Nobody Leaves Here Hungry.”

Which is an apt metaphor for how we view sex.

Being with a Nice Guy is like having your own personal chef, on call 24 hours a day to provide you with a seven course meal of orgasmic delight. All you have to do is give us a nod and we’re pulling out the dough hooks for some made from scratch pastries.

In fact, we live to cater to your desires with a menu that would impress Chef Mario Batali.

He's impressed.

He’s impressed.

It is all yours! And all you have to do is let us cook for you! And why the hell are you pulling out a loaf of bread and a pack of baloney!
Oops, sorry. Nice Guys don’t get angry or frustrated. I’ll cut that last paragraph during editing.

This is how we think. We have the ability to bring you the utmost in sensual pleasure. We’re willing to perform these duties any time and anywhere. We’ll fire up the grill, we’ll do all the work, hell we’ve even do the dishes and put the kids to bed.

We are offering you gourmet seven course sex here. So why is that when we turn on the oven, you give us this pained expression and say, “I’m really not that hungry tonight, dear”?

Ladies, are you tired yet? I bet you are. Knowing what I know now, I’m tired for you. That is utterly exhausting.

Gentleman, listen up! Your sexual abilities do not dictate her hunger for sex!

I’ll give you a moment. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Better now? Okay, let’s continue.

Nice Guys are notoriously caught up on making sure we aren’t jerks when it comes to sex. If you aren’t satisfied, we feel like failures. Worse yet, we feel selfish. These are two of the most difficult emotions for any Nice Guy to endure. It’s even worse when we experience them together.

So sex becomes an event for us. We’re gonna make sure you get your money’s worth baby!

Every Nice Guy reading this is asking, “So what’s the problem?”

It isn’t what she wants.

What do you mean?! Who doesn’t want a gourmet meal?

Sorry guys, it isn’t for you to decide.

If you are one of those guys who says, “I’m going to blow your mind for three straight hours” every damn time you have sex, you are going to be disappointed. Whether you like it or not, this isn’t what women want.

So what goes wrong?

1. Too much pressure.
Guys, you have no idea the pressure you put on a woman when you make it clear that your intention is long, drawn out, multiple orgasm sex. Men don’t get it because we have no concept of failing to orgasm. We’re more concerned with trying not to orgasm.

If your wife is faced with the choice of trying to meet your expectations of responding with multiple orgasms (unlikely on most days) or simply avoiding the encounter…well, you know what happens. You get sex when she’s in the mood for marathon sex.

2. It becomes clear that you aren’t listening.
If your wife says, “Okay, but make it quick.” What do you hear? Your initial assumption is that she’s offering placating sex; the worst sex imaginable for a Nice Guy.

"I hope he hurries, I forgot to dvr Love It Or List It."

“I hope he hurries, I forgot to dvr Love It Or List It.”

But perhaps, just maybe, she just wants it quick.

This was one of the hardest truths I ever had to accept. The day my wife said, “Sometimes I just want you to throw me down, fuck me hard and walk away,” was difficult for me. I knew she was telling me the truth, but it contradicted everything I thought I understood about women and sex. She was asking me to…to…oh my God, she was asking me to act like a jerk.

(and all the women cheered)

3. You are completely dismissing and bypassing a women’s desire to be used.
This one was so hard for me.
Women can get off on the sensations of being used.
Women can have mind blowing orgasms from being taken.
And most importantly, women often prefer being used over being catered to.

How the hell is that possible?

Quite simple really; servants aren’t sexy.

Chris Hemsworth is sexy.

You're welcome ladies. You know who you are.

You’re welcome ladies. You know who you are.

And I guaran-damn-tee you he never once got laid by promising to service his wife. That’s a guy that throws you down, rips your favorite panties off (and you don’t mind, do you ladies?) and just pounds away until he’s satisfied.

Can you pull that off? I bet you could. If you tried.

4. Her orgasm is her responsibility.
I’m borrowing this concept from Athol Kay  at marriedmansexlife.com.

Make sure you understand the intent of this statement. I’m not telling you to be an asshole. Just be mindful of the fact that it’s perfectly acceptable to most women for you to orgasm even if she doesn’t. If she wants it, she can let you know and then do your best to accommodate.

Trying to force it upon her is ultimately selfish when you stop to think about it. It’s saying that you understand what’s best for her more than she does. It says that your desire to prove your ability is more important that her ability to enjoy sex the way she wants. It says you aren’t willing to consider that you might be wrong about this.

Have a conversation with your woman. I dare you. Asking if she feels pressured when you have sex. Ask her if she actually wants it quick sometimes. Ask her if it’s okay for you to be a jerk once in awhile.

And then, for God’s sake, listen to her when she answers you.

What Do YOU Learn From Early Successes?

I have been fortunate to have experienced a fair amount of early successes in my life.

As I mentioned in my last post, the first poem I ever wrote won second place in a regional school poetry contest. I was in sixth grade.

I had my first threesome in second grade. Seriously. Two third grade girls lured me into the bedroom closet and took their clothes off. For the sake on not being disgusting, I won’t describe what happened. But my clothes stayed on.

In 2004, I began writing short stories. The first story I ever tried to submit, The Blood of The Wicked, was immediately accepted by an on-line publication, Skive Magazine. A few weeks later, I was contacted by a film school student named Craig Ormiston telling me he had read my story and wanted to make it into a short film.

wicked3 wicked2(1)

Actual screen shots from the short film.

Actual screen shots from the short film.

In high school, I got a 30 on my ACT’s (midwest’s version of the SAT’s) on my first try. That is the elusive 95%. First kid in my school to do so in several years.

I played basketball in high school, I’m 6’2′, and I was one of only two kids in my class who could dunk a basketball. I’m talking two handed throw down. I could almost touch my elbow the rim.

So, what did these early successes get me? Not jack shit.

The rest of my poems are in my notebooks, never again to be seen.

I didn’t have my first kiss until I was 16. I never had a girlfriend in high school and I was a virgin until I was 19. And even that was a completely messed up affair. My wife was my second actual relationship.

I actively wrote short stories for about another year, then just…stopped. I never attempted to submit anything else for publication. I just lost all interest.

I had my ACT results sent to three schools in my state. Two of them didn’t even acknowledge me.

I sat the bench my entire junior year of basketball and quit the first day of practice my senior year. I could jump like you wouldn’t believe, but I actually sucked at basketball as a sport.

So, what is my point?

None of the things that came easy have lasted. The only affect they’ve had is to mess with my head. I wanted them to mean something. I wanted people to notice my accomplishments and be impressed. What an awesome guy I must be to have accomplished these things! And with so little effort!

But nobody noticed and nobody cared. And while I enjoyed them, they really weren’t that important to me. Except the short story. I’m actually damn proud of that one.

I wish the poetry contest would have paid some money. I had to attend a formal gathering where they recognized all the winners. It was very uncomfortable for my family as it was a bit of a dress up affair and no one in my family owned any decent clothes. Frankly, it was embarrassing and I wish it hadn’t happened.

I wish the threesome had come along ten years later when I really needed to know what the hell to do with girls.

I would have traded the jumping for a decent outside shot any day.

I wish my guidance counselor hadn’t made such a big freaking deal about the test scores. When I got to college, the scores didn’t matter and C’s get degrees just as well as A’s and B’s.

You know which things matter to me?

The ones I had to work my ass off to figure out, often through lots of trial and error.

My job that I didn’t find until I was 27, after four years of floundering after college, wondering if I was going to amount to anything.

My storage shed in the back yard that I built by hand three times before I got it correct enough stand up.

The 12 bars of Cliffs of Dover that it took me a year to learn on the guitar. That equates to less than 30 seconds of the four minute song. I’ll never be good enough to learn the rest.

This silly blog that gets fewer visitors a month than most of you get in a day.

And most importantly; my marriage. Which I can say I get right more often than I get wrong, but I’m still figuring it out.

It’s simple really; I’ve got more invested in the failures. Every time I have to start over, I’m making the decision to continue in spite of poor results. I’m investing myself emotionally in the process of failure and success. And once I find success, I see it as a true accomplishment.

Easy successes are fine. They can be a fun part of life, but it’s the ones you have to work for that you really appreciate.

No go work your ass off.

On The Road

It is Saturday night, I’m sitting in a hotel room in the middle of Iowa, naked, wearing only a cockring.

I am in Iowa for work. I’m wearing the cockring because they are surprisingly comfortable.

It's a bit snug.

It’s a bit snug.

My family is back home enjoying the 4th of July weekend with some good friends. I’m enjoying hotel room cable tv which is just a little better than taking a bottle rocket to the eye.

Iowa is a nice enough place with really great people and the worst cow shit odor you can imagine. It’s a good thing I’m not writing for a travel guide, because that would be my entry. “Great folks, lots of cow shit.”

That isn't dirt they're walking in.

That isn’t dirt they’re walking in.

What am I doing in Iowa? That’s a great question. I’m glad you asked.

I am an insurance claims adjuster. I know, sexy right? On rare occasions, I get called to Iowa to assist some of the small, local insurance companies if they get hit by large hail storms. It looks like this….

hailstone

and it results in this…

iowa hail

hail-casey-7-JPG

I’ll be here for about a week, meets lots of nice people, then go home and jump back into my daily routine.

I realize this is turning into a boring post so I will get to the point.

I have one co-worker here with me. His name is Chuck. He joined our company last year and has a great work ethic. Insurance claims is a “work your ass off” profession. My pay is strictly tied to productivity; no base salary, no safety net. I work, I get paid. I don’t work, I don’t get paid.

We arrived in Iowa on Thursday. Chuck advised me that he had six inspections set for the day. I told him I had two. He looked at me a bit quizzically, but didn’t say much.

On Friday, He scheduled six more. I scheduled five. “That’s it?” he says. “That’s all your doing?”

“Yep.”

Here’s how this works. I inspect the homeowner’s property. I prepare an estimate for their damages, and then they sign off on the payment amount. My job isn’t done until they sign the paperwork. (For the record, I do my best to make sure I pay more than enough to cover the repairs. I hate having to re-open a file.)

I’ve written before about how awesome I am at my job. Chuck knows this because all the bosses and secretaries keep telling him, “Do it like Adam does it and you’ll be fine.” So I know he was sizing me up to see how well he could compete. That’s totally cool. We’re very independent minded and competitive here.

My first appointment on Friday is at 9 am. Chuck did the same. I finished for the day at 1:30. Chuck called me around 5:00 to say he had only made it through three of his inspections and he still had all the paperwork to do when he got back to the hotel. I was napping when he returned.

“What do you mean, done? Like ‘signed off on the paperwork’ done?”
“Yeah.”
“How?”
“Eh,” I shrugged. I don’t know him well enough to say, “because I’ve got a big dick,” but that’s the answer that was going through my head.
“I’m going to have to give you some of my claims. I won’t be able to get them all done in time,” he says.

We spent the evening discussing our work methods. I showed him some examples of my work and he just shook his head. “I can’t do it that fast. I don’t know how you do it.”
“Eh,” I said and shrugged.

Okay, I promise I’m not just being an arrogant jackass. There’s an actual point to this.

What separates me from my co-workers? Why is this guy, who came in quite proud of his ability, shaking his head and looking at me as if I am a magical being?

Here is the secret to my success. Feel free to integrate it into your own life as needed.

1. Efficiency trumps speed and strength.
Back in college, I worked third shift at Wal-Mart. We were unloading a trailer that had several loads of 50 lb weight sets. I jumped right in and started carrying them out one at a time. One of the older guys strolled in, taking his time. As I was walking back to the trailer to grab my third box, he stopped me.

“You know the difference between you and me, Adam? You’re strong enough to carry them out one at a time. I’m smart enough to carry them out five at a time.” And then he wheeled the dolly on out the door.

I never forgot that lesson. Thanks, Herb.

2. Efficiency creates strength and speed.
The best advice I’ve received in this business came from my first boss.
“Never pick up a file more than once if you can help it.”

Coming back to a project over and over again generates redundancy and wastes time in set up and transitions.

I set my appointments two hours apart and by the time I leave their homes, everything is complete. My customers feel like I’ve given them four star treatment because of the amount of time I spend with them, and I have an answer for them on the spot.

No one else in my company does it this way.

Chuck called me yesterday. As he was leaving a property, telling the homeowner that he would get back to him in a couple of days, the owner’s friend stopped by. He told Chuck’s customer that his adjuster (me) had already been out, left him an estimate and was turning it in for payment.

Chuck cussed me a little for that. “Eh,” I said, and shrugged.

3. There is no substitute for working your ass off.

At the end of the day, these things only matters because I push myself. I’ve learned to be proficient with my computer skills, knowledgeable in my field, and willing to work as much as needed to get the job done. But what sets it all apart is learning to be outrageously efficient with my work flow, to the point that it looks like I’m not even trying.

My plan is to let my co-workers go on thinking that. They assume that, because I make it look easy, it must be easy.  And when they discover it isn’t, they aren’t quite sure what to make of me. I think that’s always to my advantage.

Happy Independence Day everyone!

Active Living; Creating Your Own Content

Coming up with something interesting to write on a regular basis is hard work. Coming up with something that is interesting and true is even harder.

I take pride in telling you that every word of the Big Dick Chronicles is factual. That’s one of the reasons my wife is my proof reader. If I embellish something, like telling you my dick is 10″ long when its really only 9″, she calls me on it.

Coming up with topics can be a challenge. I enjoy my job, but the daily operations of it aren’t noteworthy. We live in a quite Midwest rural area, so unless you’re dying to know that my dogs woke me up at 4:30 this morning barking at an owl, I don’t have a lot to say there either.

I realized that my problem is, I’m not a very good casual observer. I don’t notice life well enough to catch the details of a routine interaction and make it interesting. I was considering this one day as I was driving and the thought that kept coming back to me was, “You have to make your own content.”

An interesting thought, but what does it mean?

It means that I want to start exploring, and document my findings. I want to try new things and learn new things and then tell you what I think of them. Most of these will be done in short series’ as I introduce a topic and take you along on my journey.

So, if any of you find this interesting enough to stick around, here’s my tentative schedule of topics to explore:

“A Day In The Life Of Something I Know Nothing About”
I’m going to explore topics of interest that I know absolutely nothing about. Ideally, I will have a chance to delve into that community and do some short interviews with people who are active in the topic.

“Learning How To Home Brew Beer/ Roasting Your Own Coffee Beans”
One of my friends has been dying for me to join him in home brewing beer. There is a ton of information to learn about this and it should be fun to explore. About a year ago, I introduced him to the wonderful world of roasting your own coffee which we will also explore.

“Exploring The Five Most Common Sexual Fetishes”
This one will be information only. No active participation on my part.

“Daily Run”
I’m not a runner. But I feel like I should include something physical in this series. So I’m going to run a mile every day for three weeks and chart my time to see how much progress I can make in 21 days.

We are also about to start a new series in our Sunday School class called “I’ve got a problem with the Bible” where we explore specific questions or complaints that the class members have regarding some aspect of the Bible. I will try to post our study notes on Sundays.

There will be more topics as I go, but I think this is enough to get me started.

I think this will turn out to be an interesting endeavor and I appreciate you coming along for the ride.