Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Fond Farewell To A Friend

I once read a quote that said "All good things must come to an end, but all bad things can continue forever".

Pretty true statement.

And after 2 years, 3 months, and 9 days, over 5,700 hits to this page, and 136 entrys, it's time to say goodbye to The Beatdown Blog.

It's time to say goodbye...after one last entry, of course!

C'mon, you didn't think I was going to go quietly, did you?!?!?!?

It's been a rough week.

Ghosts from years past decided to come back for one more round, memories that I try to keep locked away broke loose and danced in the forefront of my thoughts...I did way too much thinking and reminiscing this week.

And it made me realize, history has a funny way of repeating itself, just with different names and places.

Anyhow, most of the thoughts centered around a bad day - April 19, 2005.  I don't need to go into specifics, I'll just say it was a very long and very stressful day, and the ramifications can still be felt by me today.

Some people tried to impose their will to take EVERYTHING from me.  Thankfully, it didn't happen the way they apparently wanted it to, and I was able to limp away from the day, albeit shackled with a significant chain (that strangely enough rattled itself again last week).

And the worst part of that whole experience - I honestly in my heart believe the stress of that day was the final nail in my father's coffin.  See, we lost Mom on February 23rd - a mere 55 days prior.  Dad was heartbroken.  His soul mate was gone, way before her time, way before any of us were ready for her to be.  And on April 19, he watched and carried the stress of a potential bad outcome for me.  Some pushed hard that day, some knew the situation and ignored it, and the stress became crushing.

I actually watched the remaining sparkle leave my father's eyes that day.  I watched the fire go out.

He died 18 days later.

A heavy burden I place on my shoulders.  But one that no matter how hard I try will not leave.

It seems like this time of year, a fire starts burning in the pit of my stomach, and a lot of anger creeps to the surface.

Is what it is.  Forgiven, not forgotten.

And all of those thoughts of April 19th compounded into many more thoughts of days past and present...thoughts of lessons I've learned through my actions and experiences.  Things I'll throw out there as a last entry into the Beatdown Blog...

1. More often than not, we look at a person's inner beauty - and that makes them so much more attractive outwardly.  But sometimes the more you dig, the more the layers come off, you realize the inner beauty is in your imagination, in your dreams - and all you have is an ugly, soulless person that you're better off without.  I'm a big believer of laying your cards on the table - going all in - but be weary; you may not truly like the pot you're betting on.

2. "Me" time is important.  Never lose yourself in any relationship, be it professional or personal.  Stay true to YOU.

3. The grass isn't always greener; the closer you get to it, the green on the other side of the fence may be algae!

4. Always end conversations with loved one's with "I love you".  You may not get another chance to tell them that.

5. Live life; you can't enjoy it being holed up in a house.  Go out, meet friends, meet new people, be social. 

6. Acknowledge your own mistakes.  I'm no saint.  I've messed up PLENTY in my life.  I've done and said some really dumb, immature, hurtful things...I've lied, cheated, and stolen with the best of 'em.  Nothing I'm proud of.  But I've come to terms with those mistakes...those short comings.  I've forgive MYSELF.  And I've learned.  And I've accepted.  And I'm 110% okay with the man I see looking back at me in the mirror every day, and I know my kids think I'm pretty awesome, too - and THAT is all that matters.

7. Trust your gut.  People will lie to your avoid getting caught, to "protect you" (love that one)...but if your gut is telling you something isn't right, if your gut is telling you that something isn't on the up and up, it's more often right than wrong.  We as people are magnificent creatures capable of great and terrible things; we're given the gift of instinct.  USE IT.

8. S'Mores Pop Tarts can cure a lot that ails you!  ;-)

9. If you can not find your way, make your own.  Aut viam inveniam aut faciam.

10. A daily recipe for success and personal gratification - DO EPIC SHIT.

11. Never - e-e-e-ever - allow yourself to be someones sloppy seconds.

12. Never do a duck face in a picture.  Ever.

13. Speaking of ducks, If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and acts like a duck - chances are it's a duck.  Look at people's social media posts.  It's an easy way to see who and what they really are (and yes, I'm aware that I'm a bastard - but I'm one awesome, magnificent one!).

14. Do something you enjoy daily; it's the best remedy to clear your head.

15. Life is never too full to have a couple beers with your friends.

16. Screw me once, shame on you; screw me twice, shame on me; screw me often and you're just a piece of poo.

17. Actions speak louder than words, and silence speaks even louder in some instances.

18. Trust is earned.

19. Don't settle in a job you hate; strive to do something you love.

20. Someone said to me back in October, "Matt Stone will always be Matt Stone".  Hey buddy, go f yourself; that's a pretty awesome thing.

21. As said in Risky Business, "Every now and then say, 'What the f*ck.' 'What the f*ck' gives you freedom. Freedom brings opportunity. Opportunity makes your future".

22. As said in Teen Wolf, "There are three rules that I live by: never get less than twelve hours sleep; never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city; and never get involved with a woman with a tattoo of a dagger on her body. Now you stick to that, and everything else is cream cheese".

23. "It's the poison that in measures brings illuminating vision, It's the knowing with a wink that we expect in southern women, It's the wolf that knows which root to dig to eat to save itself, It's the octopus that crawled back to the sea...instinct, gut, feeling...feelings".

I could go on, I'm sure.  But I'm not going to right now.  I'm going to try to dream it all up again, but it won't happen here on the Beatdown Blog.

This is it.

This is goodbye for the Beatdown Blog.

Oh, and one last thing...


Instinct, Gut, Feeling, Feelings...

This flower is scorched
This film is on
On a maddening loop.
These clothes,
These clothes don't fit us right
I'm to blame
It's all the same
It's all the same

You come to me with a bone in your hand
You come to me with your hair curled tight
You come to me with positions
You come to me with excuses
Ducked out in a row
You wear me out
You wear me out

We've been through fake-a-breakdown
Self hurt, plastics, collections
Self help, self pain,
EST, psychics, fuck all
I was central, I had control
I lost my head
I need this. I need this
A paper weight, junk garage
Winter rain, a honey pot
Crazy, all the lovers have been tagged.
A hotline, a wanted ad

It's crazy what you could've had

It's crazy what you could've had
It's crazy what you could've had
I need this
I need this

Now You're Just Somebody That I Used to Know

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

This One Struck Me

I saw this picture out on tumblr.  I liked it.  I didn't take note of who posted and/or created it - but to that person, Thank You.  This picture reached out and grabbed me...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Too AWESOME not to share.  No copyright infringement intended - just sharing some musical genius.  When ever I get into one of "these" moods, this song goes into heavy rotation...Dave Matthews Band.  "#41".  Lyrics below.  Enjoy.

Come and see
I swear by now I'm playing time against my troubles

Oh, oh
I'm coming slow but speeding...
Do you wish a dance and while I'm in the front
My play on time is won
But the difficulty is coming here...

I will go in this way
And find my own way out
I won't tell you to be here
But Its coming to much more...
All at once the ghosts come back
Reeling in you now oh
What if they came down crushing
It used to be
that you and me
play for all of the loneliness
that nobody notices now
I'm begging slow I'm coming here...
I'm waiting

I wanted to stay
I wanted to play
I wanted to love you

I'm only this far
And only tomorrow leads the way

I'm coming waltzing back
and moving into your head
Please, I wouldn't pass this by
Oh, and I wouldn't take any more than
What sort of man goes by?
I will bring water
Why won't you ever be glad?
It melts into wonder
I came in praying for you
Why won't you run in to rain and pray?
Let tears splash all over you

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Love Rescue Me

Reprinted without permission. I don’t own these lyrics, and no copyright issues are intended.

It’s just a magical song that all need to know the lyrics to.

This is “Love Rescue Me” by U2.

Love rescue me
Come forth and speak to me
Raise me up and don’t let me fall
No man is my enemy
My own hands imprison me
Love rescue me

Many strangers have I met
On the road to my regret
Many lost who seek to find themselves in me
They ask me to reveal
The very thoughts they would conceal
Love rescue me

And the sun in the sky
Makes a shadow of you and I
Stretching out as the sun sinks in the sea
I’m here without a name
In the palace of my shame
Said, love rescue me

In the cold mirror of a glass
I see my reflection pass
See the dark shades of what I used to be
See the purple of her eyes
The scarlet of my lies
Love rescue me

Yea, though I walk
In the valley of shadow
Yea, I will fear no evil
I have cursed thy rod and staff
They no longer comfort me
Love rescue me

I said love, love rescue me

I said love
Climb up the mountains, said love
I said love, oh my love
On the hill of the son
I’m on the eve of a storm
And my word you must believe in
Oh, I said love, rescue me

Yeah I’m here without a name
In the palace of my shame
I said love rescue me

I’ve conquered my past
The future is here at last
I stand at the entrance
To a new world I can see
The ruins to the right of me
Will soon have lost sight of me
Love rescue me


So back on 12/20/11, I blogged about stepping away, and dreaming it all up again.  And to be 110% honest, I borrowed that quote from Bono, who said the same thing about U2 way back on 12/30/89.

And here I am, 100 days since that blog, and I have to borrow another phrase made famous by U2...I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.

Don't get all up in arms - again this is no cry for help or anything.  I'm totally cool with the reflection I see in the mirror everyday.  It's just I feel like I'm being a bit pulled by some unseen force to do something...more.

As I said in that December blog entry, I think I've gotten a little too comfortable.  But not in a good way - no, the being comfortable is more like tolerating it...or better yet, more like simply blending in.

Blending in ain't my bag.

Dare to be great situations - I'm sorely lacking these.  And that just sucks...I'm awesome, afterall...I thrive on those situations.

I think part of the problem is I didn't do what I said I was going to - actually take a step back and dream it all up again.

I didn't do that because I never really gave much of a thought to what the "it" I need to dream up again really is.

And that's the first step, I think. 

I've put myself out there - sometimes way too far and way too often - over the past 12-plus burned plenty for it, too...and 110% deserved each and every time I did.

I've gotten a little reserved when it comes to that of late...going big, going all out.  Call it maturing (go ahead and laugh at me insinuating I'm mature, a'holes), but I really need a reason nowadays to put myself out there in any capacity again. 

I never did it to be popular.  I never did it to fit in.  If anything, I've put myself out there to be anything but trendy or mainstream.

But I think the initial phase of the "it" I need to dream up again is determining why I need to put myself out there again - and I'm pretty sure there is only one acceptable reason - do it for ME

Anyhow, I certainly can't and won't figure it out tonight.

But I intend to start figuring it out piece by piece, day by day, week by week...

I'll end with an appropriate quote that I need to take to heart...
The touch and feeling of free, In intangible technically, Something you got to believe in.  Connect the cause and effect, One foot in front of the next, This is the start of a journey...
Until next time...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Social Media Revelations, Ruminations, and Assorted Lagniappe

Ah yes, the modern day dilemma - can one slow things down and step away from the smartphone, tablet, e-mail, or various social media outlet of choice for even a day...

Face it - social media has 110% CHANGED the way we as people connect with one another...doesn't matter if you use social media to keep up with your friends and family or for business media has made an enormous impact on all of our lives.

Back to the modern dilemma - can you (or any of us) survive without feeding our social media addictions even for a day? And would life's pace be "better" without the Tweets, status updates, tumblr posts, etc.?

In today's world, social media has become “mandatory”, a prerequisite to function in the daily hustle and flow. We can't call it a day before checking e-mails, looking for things to retweet, checking the latest business moves and adding people to our professional network on Linkedin, "pinning" the latest and greatest on Pintrest, and (who are we kidding) stalking people's Facebook pages to see what's what and to keep up with the Jones'.

We've become - as a people - “addicted” to social media...addiction, obsession, compulsion...the verbiage doesn't matter. We Tweet at work, check Facebook hourly from our smartphones, spend hours on Pinterest checking out pics and vids. We get stoked when our friends and followers number increases, and we lament when someone ceases our social media relationship. The moment news breaks, be it a celeb going nuts or dying, an earthquake, a storm, a political fiasco, etc., we reach for our smartphone or tablet or CPU and tweet about it and start a hashtag or incorporate it into our status update. Friends or family post pics that make us laugh, or make us jealous, and we stop whatever it is we're doing to post a comment on it.

Seriously, that can't be a healthy thing!

I say put the smartphone down and step away from social media - even if it's for a day. Who cares if you miss a funny tweet, or an invite to Johnny's Happy Hour. Your friends and family will survive without your witty revelations, ruminations, and assorted lagniappe on whatever social media outlet(s) you subscribe to.

Now let's not be silly - I don't think it'd be prudent to go cold turkey on social media and quit it all together. In today's world you'd be truly disconnected. But be it a camping trip, a kid's birthday party, or a date night with that special someone, it's okay to be disconnected for that moment. Give priority to the awesome people around you. Give priority to catching yourself enjoying the moment that you are living in - reality, not virtually.

Fight the compulsion, obsession, or addiction. Spend more QT with friends and family, hit the gym, go for a walk, read a'll be good for you - for all of us.

And besides, a little break from social media will help your iPad or smartphone battery last longer. ;-)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

And At Once I Knew I Was Not Magnificent

Bon Iver.  "Holocene".  Amazingly beautiful song, and a stunning video.  Enjoy, from a rainy day in The Dena.

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Toast

Being that it's St. Patrick's Day Weekend, I find it only fitting to raise a toast to one and all who read The Beatdown Blog...
Here's to a long life, and a merry one.
A quick death, and an easy one.
A pretty girl, and an honest one.
A cold pint - and another one!
Happy St. Patrick's Day, Beatdowners!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Something We All Need To Remember As We Stand At A Crossroads

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

For Mom

Hard to believe it's been 7 years. I miss you every day. This one's for you, Mom.

Ann R. Stone, 8/15/44 - 2/23/05

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Radiating Awesomeness

I'm still pretty new to the whole Dubstep thing - I really do like quite a bit of it - big, big fan of deadmau5 (even his non-dubstep, club/trance/house stuff)...Skrillex is pretty good, too.

I recently came across this gem and had to share.

This is Nero.


AWESOME song, and a WICKEDLY EPIC video.

Monday, January 30, 2012

This Is Not A Rebel Song, This Is Sunday Bloody Sunday

On January 30, 1972 - a full 9 months prior to me even being born - in a small town called Derry in Northern Ireland, 26 protesters were shot by British police...14 of them died. Many historians say that this one day - this one event - was the most significant, the most horrific, and the most violent event of the far too long conflict in Northern Ireland that later became know simply as "the Troubles".

January 30, 1972.

Sunday, Bloody Sunday.

This entry into the Beatdownblog is dedicated to the memories of:

Paddy Doherty (31)
Gerald Donaghy (17)
Jackie Duddy (17)
Hugh Gilmour (17)
Michael Kelly (17)
Michael McDaid (20)
Kevin McElhinney (17)
Barney McGuigan (41)
Gerald McKinney (35)
Willie McKinney (26)
William Nash (19)
Jim Wray (22)
John Young (17)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My State of the Union

Good morning!

It's really quite simple, my fellow Americans. The state of our Union isn't quite as good as it could be; dare I say as it SHOULD be.

The bi-partisan politics in Washington DC has created a toxic environment where good ideas on how to fix our country die on party lines, regardless of the feelings and desires of the MAJORITY of we the people...the electorate.

The lack of term limits in Congress has led to reelection bids and holding onto power being far more important to members of Congress than doing the job they were sent to Washington DC to do - govern according to the will of the MAJORITY of their respective legislative districts.

Corporate money, special interest groups money, and lobbyist money has become the decision making fodder for members of Congress & the President, and the voice of the people has faded into the background, barely audible over the din of party line politics, flashy campaign slogans, and hallow promises never intended to be kept.

The government has gotten so big, so cumbersome, that it works against itself; departments within agencies work against each other, grossly overlap responsibilities, or make far reaching decisions only to justify their existence and reason to collect a paycheck - a paycheck provided by tax payer dollars. Corporations throughout our country have had to make cuts...they've been forced to work lean and give more responsibilities to the employees they have. Washington DC should be held to the same standards. Congress member staffs must be trimmed. Agencies need to be "right-sized"; some eliminated.

The welfare system must be overhauled; as the President said, rather than unemployment benefits, the goal must be re-employment. No one should have an opportunity to take advantage of the system; and it does happen.

Social Security must be overhauled to ensure its continuation. People have money taken out of every paycheck for their Social Security benefits; it must be available when the retire and need it. I think the most prudent course of action is to invest the money, similar to 401(k) accounts, in regulated, steady growth funds.

We must work to become less dependent on foreign energy sources, and work to be the pioneer for clean, efficient, and affordable energy.

We must solve the immigration problem. Illegals should face consequences, not be rewarded. Upstanding, working illegals should be given the opportunity to earn their citizenship. Our country, despite it's current challenges, is still a beacon of hope - we should integrate those that want to be here, legally.

Our education system needs to be improved so we can compete with other countries in terms of math and information technology skills. And to quote the President, stop teaching for the test; teach skills and knowledge that will translate into preparing students to go to college, enter the workforce, and compete on the world stage for the jobs of tomorrow. And speaking of college, it must be affordable; loan interest rates can't be at levels that will cripple new graduates with huge bills that will chew up their starting salaries; after all, these young adults go to college to better themselves, and begin their paths to professional excellence.

Companies need to be encouraged and rewarded to keep jobs in America; companies that outsource shouldn't. It's pretty a simple solution to add jobs. Provide incentives to companies that keep jobs here, that provide necessary training and re-training of skilled workers, and keep communities alive.

And lastly, we the people must shoulder some of the blame for the current state if the union. For too long have we focused on greed, immediate satisfaction, entitlement rather than empowerment, and not wanting to sacrifice anything for the greater good, as previous generations have done to allow us to have all that we do. Hard decisions have to be made; some painful. We can not continue to spend more than we take in. We can not continue to borrow money from other countries. Taxes must be raised. The rich must pay their fair share. Loopholes in tax law need to be closed. A billionaire paying less of a tax rate than his secretary is ridiculous. It can't happen. We all need to shoulder the burden and, to fix our country, pay more - for a leaner, more efficient government. We need to stop expecting handouts. We need to stop trying to keep up with the Jones'. We new to rethink the American Dream, and make some sacrifices in the short term to ensure future generations - our children and grandchildren - have the chance to see that American Dream.

It won't be easy. It will be a complete 180 degree turn on current policies and track of thought. But if we as a nation agree to get back to basics, work smarter, and pay our share, the Union will persevere. The Union will heal. The Union will grow again. The Union will be all that we want it to be. The Union will be all that it SHOULD be. For all if us. For we the people can, and we the people will!

May God Bless you all, and may God Bless the United States if America.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Some Men Just Want To Watch The World Burn

"Because some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn."

I Dig This Song

Attach Attack! - The Wretched

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

For Pop

So I'm not exactly sure why, but ever since he passed away back on May 7, 2005, this song has reminded me of my dad.

Perhaps it's the line, "From hand to hand, Wrist to the elbow, Red blood sand, Could Dad be God?"...because there is always (at least for me) the thought when we are children that our dad is the end-all, be-all.

Dad would have been 68 years old today.

There isn't a day that goes by where I don't think about him, wish he and mom were still around...

This one is for my dad. My hero.

I love you, and doing the best I can to make you proud each and every day...

Monday, January 16, 2012


For Martin Luther King, Jr., today, yesterday, and tomorrow...

Some Advice

Happy Monday from a bright and sunny, albeit chilly, Pasadena, Maryland.

A quick piece of advice...take it as you will, and for whatever it's worth coming from yours truly.

When it comes to relationships, be it marriages, domestic partnerships, or long-term-definitely-going-somewhere kind of gigs...ALWAYS carve out some time for one another, to spend some quality time together, just the two of you.

In the immortal words of one Ferris Bueller, "Life moves pretty fast...if you don't stop and look around every once in awhile, you could miss it".

So very true, in all aspects of life.

We are all busy. Jobs, looking for jobs, homes to keep clean, maintain, and update, kids, pets, friends, family. The list of things to do, places to be, and people to see is never-ending. It sometimes gets a little too easy to be distracted, to forget that special take them for granted.

You hustle and flow, and plow through the daily grind and that never-ending to-do list. It becomes routine. And next thing you know, you and that special someone hit a fork in the road and start down seperate paths. And the longer you continue down those paths without one another, the farther away from your relationship you get; and unfortunately, it seems to happen more often than not nowadays that more and more people take their seperate paths and eventually end their relationships.

While sometimes it is for the best, a lot of times it is tragic. And avoidable. All it takes is making time to step away from the daily grind and spend some time together. No kids, no housework, no nothing. Just the two of you doing whatever it is that you both enjoy, whatever it is that brought you together in the first place.

Make the effort. It's worth it. And for all those that think there will be time to spend together "later"...when the kids are grown, when the bills are all caught up, when the bathroom is painted, when the house is spotless, when the laundry is done, when the promotion is obtained...remember one very important're never promised tomorrow. So don't wait until later, because you might not have a later.

To young couples everywhere...spend time with your significant other, and seriously figure out who the two of you are together as a couple.  As one.  And just as important, take time and space to figure out who you are as an individual, because until you figure that out, you won't be a successful partner or better-half to anyone.

To newlyweds...enjoy being married, enjoy each other for awhile. Adjust before starting a family; because once the bundles of joy start blessing you, all priorities shift to the children.

For couples with young stuff as a family, enjoy shaping the minds of your Littleheads, but do whatever you can to take a break, weekly, bi-weekly, or at the very least monthly, to go out with your partner...just the two if you...and make sure you're staying on the same path...together, hand-in-hand, side-by-side.

Relationships shouldn't be a job. They should just be. But they can't be anything without nurturing them with the most important - and readily available (with the right help) - building block - togetherness.

May all of your relationships stay awesome; help the cause by making sure to take the time for just the two of you to reconnect as often as possible without any distractions...ensure you're staying on the same path, side-by-side, by spending some quality time - together. Don't get caught in the hustle and flow and drift apart beyond hope of reconnecting.  Always take a moment and remember - and celebrate - what it was that brought you together in the first place.

Until next time...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Quick Tebow Note

Yes, Tebow lost last night.

His stats were dreadful.

But last time I checked, there are 10 other guys on offense and 11 on defense.

Tebow didn’t lose.  The Broncos lost.
While it's the "in" thing to do to bash Tebow, look at the O-line for Denver - no QB would have been able to fair well with that kind of coverage on his receivers and dreadful pass protection and run blocking.  Look at their defense - Tim Tebow did not give up 45 points.  He's a QB and doesn't play defense.

For the record, Tebow is 9-7 in his first 16 games, including play-offs. I’m pretty sure the only QB with a better record than that is Tom Brady.

Tebow is a lightning rod because of his faith, and because he isn't afraid to show his love for God and Jesus Christ on the field and during interviews.  He's a lightning rod because his style is unconventional.  He's a lightning rod because of the immense amount of hype the media thrust on him.


Tim Tebow has got an intangible quality that will make him successful in the NFL…he’s a leader. In good and bad, he leads.  He knows his role, accepts his mistakes, and does what he can to improve on them.  He doesn't blame others, his coaches, or anyone but himself.  That's a trait a lot of other quarterbacks in the NFL sorely lack.

One thing is for certain...Tim Tebow WILL get better and grow from his experience this season...he’ll be back next year and I for one think he'll prove the nay sayers wrong.

Great season, Tebow - looking forward to seeing what you and the Broncos can do next year.

Lastly - GO RAVENS!