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Always Forward, Always Courageous…

September 21, 2013

Issue 13
Vol 3

34_Payton

Listen, I’m sorry. I did it again. I rebooted my blog. Or did I move it to a new network? I dunno. I had a better introduction than this but decided to move it around, then added some new stuff then it became something else. That paragraph down there. Either way this is where I will post future updates until I tell you otherwise. I hope that you stay in touch, i hop ethat you continue to read because I will continue to write.

To hell with a quirky introduction. Lets get started…

New Diggs

I decided that if I really wanted to take my blog, my writing, to the next level I was going to have to start posting somewhere besides Facebook. There isn’t anything wrong with our favorite social network but it isn’t the place to talk about the things I was talking about. I want to write about my thoughts and ideas and some of them are much to serious for something like Facebook. Also it had this annoying habit of taking what I wrote and reformatting it, removing letters and spaces. It made me look foolish. The bad spelling and grammar do enough of that.

I know, on some level, that I am supposed to be writing for myself. Art for Art’s sake and all of that jazz. But who am I kidding: I love my readers. I hope more people follow me and I hope you return month after month and read what I think about so many things and follow my misadventures through life. I hope that by doing this I can find a better place for my ideas and thoughts. A friend recently told me “You are a story teller at heart.” And I think I have a story to tell and I hope you will read it. But what is that story?

The title of my blog is “Semper Anticus, Semper Fortic” its a chopped and screwed Latin phrase that means “Always forward, always courageous.” If I had to come up with a  a phrase that summed me up, that was carved into the bottom of my personal seal, then it would be that.

Always moving forward, on to the next thing, the next platform, the next milestone, the next goal. I have this burning and restless desire to learn and do better. I sit often, with every intention of reading a magazine or book and find myself in 15 minutes reading about statistics and probability or the history of the Tectonic Knights or the Happy Days spin off Mork and Mendy or the origins plastics or just reading page after page IMDB. I have a hard time just sitting down and focusing or lettings things be, or waiting for something to happen. Despite almost 3 decades on this planet I still have the patience of a toddler.

I was watching Scrubs and in the middle of the 3rd season Michael J. Fox made a guest appearance as Dr. Kevin Casey a doctor with severe OCD. Instead of letting it destroy him and his career he used it to his advantage. He read and reread text books. He practiced procedures repeatedly until he was not just good but the best. The other characters grew fed up with him outshining them at what they thought they did best. John Dorian, the show’s protagonist, went to confront him. J.D. found Dr. Casey first and saw him at his weakest, washing his hands. Standing there in front of the sink in blood covered scrubs, shouting in frustration, he was stuck living in the same nightmare, washing his hands repeatedly hours after surgery had been completed. He was stuck in a vicious loop that he ultimately couldn’t control. He never overcame his demons just learned to live with and use them and living with your demons sometimes means giving into them, no matter how hard you fight. We all have demons, issues, things, or fears we need to overcome. If you embrace them, use your fears to better yourself or overcome them it is the courage to deal with them that is important. I forget this from time to time and me writing about it helps to remind me. (Stick a pin in this topic though. I will revisit…)

The hardest battle we have to fight.

The hardest battle we have to fight.

You know the Chinese horoscope where they predict your personality depending on your birth year. 1986 is the year of the Tiger and Tigers are supposed to be brave, honest and passionate. A frienemy of mine (I HATE that world but that is the best way to describe the friendship me and this guy had) way back in middle school told me I wasn’t brave. Long story short he was an whiny, weak little asshole but that cowards swipe at my ego always stuck with me. I wondered if he was right, maybe I wasn’t as brave as I thought I was.

I have faced my biggest fears and when facing them I realized that I was only scared right before and right after. Doing whatever it was that terrified me I never felt fear, only focus. That fear right before is the worst, all of the thoughts rushing through my head, the million “what-ifs”, game theory and “could-bes” drive me, more often than I want to admit, into inaction.

The promise of that strange calm, and a focus, I can never seem to muster at any other point in my life,  right after the sudden rush of paralyzing fear is one of the things that keeps me going. Right in the middle of doing whatever I was doing I have never been so calm. It is euphoric and dazzling.

If there is a theme to this blog, journal, experiment than that is it. These are the musings of a young man with a caustic and irreverent sense of humor, who thinks too much and too little of himself. Who’s reach was maybe just beyond his grasp and who never gave up. Ever. The story of a young man who was willing to share his victories, because he forgets them to easily, and my failures because I never seem to let them go. This is my story the misadventures, both internal and external, real and imagined, of Me.

Adam M. Circa December 1987

Adam M. Circa December 1987

Once More into the Breach

I am done with the ship officially. Whew. I am in school learning everything that I wanted to learn while I was on the ship but didn’t have the time to do it. I will get a refresher course in Security+, one of the hardest certifications to get, and I am working on Network+ of my own accord. I have enough time to really dig into a project. Working out is time consuming but even if I did workout for several hours a day I have to have other things to do.

Always forward, like I said. So recently I decided to make good on that promise and take a step towards the goals that I wanted to reach. Studying and learning is all well and good but they won’t do you a bit of good unless you exercise the theory that you learned.
The idea I stuck upon was that I needed some shitty tools to practice on. Where to get some shitty cheap tool…

…By george…I think I got it.

Craigslist – Who the fuck was Craig?

Seriously. I love my Macbook Pro. I have been a fan of Apple since before it was cool (HIPSTER JOKE). I have a deep appreciation for most Apple products and will buy their laptops from now until they stop making them. It is because of that love and its expense that won’t do anything incredibly fancy. So I decide to use the off brand ice-cream van of the internet to find a shitty used laptop to practice on.

hipster

Craigslist.

After an easy search I was able to find a netbook for 200$ and arranged to buy it. A netbook is a short lived worthless little piece of technology. Its a laptop without any real power or a media drive, save two USB ports. It was a mode of technology replaced by tablets.

As I drive back to my apartment I smile knowing that I am closer to my goal. This gently used little red laptop was going to be the very first steps to getting what I want.

Ubuntu is the distro, or version, of Linux I loaded onto my new netbook. Given that it is designed to be easy to use for the new user and is free it seemed like the best fit. In fact through my research I found that most distros of linux were free including…

A set of tools

I have stated in my blog before that hacking isn’t what you see in the movies or hear about on the news. It isn’t some lonely, cruel 18 year-old, with a computer and unlimited free time that bangs his keyboard and BOOM is suddenly in control of your bank account, automotive history and Facebook account. The same way that I can’t just kick a safe open is the same way I, or anyone, can just break into something. It requires tools, training and time.

I have plans but most of them I am careful not to write about. Because my blog is very public, now more than ever, I don’t want to incriminate myself. On the other hand my pride and ego want me to expound or monologue like a villain in the Incredibles. Even in my failing there is a story to be told, a lesson to be learned and a view into the world of hacking, security auditing and penetration testing.

Bottom of the 7th, 5 seconds left on the shot clock and its 3 and 12 on the 30 yard line

I honestly believe that I am clutch. The sort of guy who will miss every shot in the first 3 quarters of a game, who will drop every pop-fly and and every wide open pass but when I need to get things done I find a way to make magic happen. Time and time again I have done this in video games, sports, school work and the Navy. It doesn’t always workout, I lose as much as I win, but even in my losses I have pulled out miracles, had crowds stand in awe and changed how people understood me.

I am the guy you want up to bat with 2 outs, and no one on base.

I have a 3 months before the end of the year. 3 months before I write the final blog post for the year and either try new resolutions or retry the ones from this year again. But that’s 3 months, the last quarter and the last inning to make my magic happen.

Reading -C

I should give myself an “F” again. I haven’t read as much as I wanted to. BUT I did recently finish a book. It was an interesting read and seemed to fit in the “overly-neurotic-twentysomething-postcollege-meh” sub-sub-subgenre that is best realized in that show “Girls”. It was a decent read but I still have to finish so many more. I did the math. I read like 3 books this year. I never did finish silence of the lambs.

Lets do some more math. I have 3 months. I have 21 books to read if I wanted to match my original plan of reading 2 books a month for a year. That’s 7 books in a month. Shit. I really don’t have the time, or what I mean is that I am not willing to make time for that.

I am too distracted. I start reading a book and find something else that grabs my attention. It is so easy to just sit and watch TV, knowing all the while that I should be studying, or reading or something productive. I may reduce greatly the amount of TV I watch next year but should I wait that long. After all football season is in full swing.

Improving my Nutrition – B+

I have really been good about this. I don’t eat anywhere as much fast food as I used to. Instead of giving into my sweet tooth and grabbing a snickers or some other candy I have been eating oranges and apples. More to the point I have been looking forward to eating fruit. In fact for lunch I had an egg white omelet and turkey sausage. I am willing to give myself an A by the end of the year if I can keep this up for the rest of 2013.

I have a trainer and we speak about my nutrition. He proposed an experiment where I counted the total number of calories I was consuming a day and use a body bug to calculate the amount of calories I burned a day. What I found out was shocking. I was only eating 1300 calories a day while I was burning closer to 4100.

Both of these numbers are averages and I never intended to eat so little calories. I was always full and never felt hungry. I was eating tons of fruit and vegetables and over the past few months I have reduced the total amount of food I eat in one sitting. (Pro-tip: You should stop eating when you are full. WHO KNEW?) What I was eating wasn’t giving me enough caloric energy to properly lose weight. My body thought I was starving.

What is really hard, for me at least, is to find healthy food that will provide me with the caloric intake I need daily. On top of that I always see good looking food on tumblrs but have no idea what the dish is called and sometimes I can’t identify what the hell I am even looking it, despite wanting it.

Writing every Month – A+

Boom. Done. And if you are reading this you know I launched a new blog at wordpress. Please book mark as the same rules apply. Every month on or around the 20th I will post something. I just ask that if you like, dislike, want to talk or ask a question this please comment. Also share with friends and family. I’m serious.

"I am super-serial guys!"

“I am super-serial guys!”

I did a lot of soul searching and decided that if I wanted to grow as a writer I would need to get off Facebook and go back to my roots. I felt that I had outgrown blogger and decided to use the very same service that a friend of mine used.

When I started on blogger I was doing it because it was the best place to write with out feeling like a recluse. Keeping my writing hidden from people was never the goal and neither was sharing it but I like the feed back and I realized that it was equally about writing as it was about using my readers as a sounding board for my thoughts. I get to flesh out ideas and think things through the whole act is very enjoyable and therapeutic.

Dating – D-

Hopeless isn’t the right word. Nihilistic is a better word, not only to describe my dating life, but in general its just a better word. I also don’t want to post too much a bout this because don’t want it to dominate the comments section.

I get two types of advice when it comes to dating. Either its mean spirited and condescending and goes like this “You need to not be yourself because women don’t Star Trek.” Or its just condescending “Stop worrying about it. Dating is so easy for me, and you shouldn’t be jealous. What you should do is just accept that it is hard for you, the way its hard for the mentally handicapped to color inside the lines.”

I am lonely and that’s hard to admit. I know human contact, love and relationships are apart of the human condition but I feel like, for me, its a weakness. I  feel like there is a game everyone is playing and I wasn’t given enough or the correct pieces. This feeling of inadequacy informs and fuels my most brutal fancies.

YOU CAN'T KILL ME!

…To do what others cannot.

Until next time. If you can handle it…

~ Adam J. Milton

One Comment
  1. Good in you for pursuing your writing with such ferocity! I’ll definitely be rooting for you!

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