2020, one HELL of a year!

30 09 2020

As you can see from my previous posts, I have not spent a lot of time keeping this page up to date. Between work, classes at Flagler College, Family and the over abundance of “crap” that I put on my plate, I have fallen behind. Below is but a “snap-shot” of the year thus far. I am pretty sure it is going to get worse before it slowly gets better.

3/6/20: I have decided to self quarantine due to this new Covid-19 “bug” or “China Virus” as the president calls it. What is going to happen if businesses have to shut down and we are not able to go out and do our thing? It is going to be an interesting situation. 

3/20/20: In person classes I have been taking at Flagler College have been “shoved” online, like it or not. I don’t think that it is going to be a bad thing in the long term, I just wish the instructors’ would spend a little more time learning the Zoom platform so we spent less time telling the instructor how to share the screen and more time learning the subject material. Seems like a LOT of wasted time.

5/12/20: The world has gone crazy… Government taking control of the citizens, business not allowed to be open so owners can have an income to support their family. Impeachment of our President. Riots and unrest, Social media listening to our conversations, DOGS & CATS LIVING TOGETHER… Where is it going end? My point is RELAX people. The left and the right are NEVER going to get along. Agree to disagree.. compromise

7/15/20: Masks I guess are now a “thing”. Do I personally think that they are going to be effective, no, but I am just one guy going about my life trying to stay afloat with our business. All mediations are now being done via Zoom video meetings, including small claims and evictions, but I am pretty sure that evictions are going to be place on hold for the foreseeable future.

8/01/20: Evictions still on hold, a LOT of landlords are starting to hurt due to tenants “taking advantage” of the situation and not paying the rent, even if they are working and have the ability to do so. Talk of “rent cancellation” by some snowflakes who don’t understand how economics works and the courts bound to follow the decisions of the Governor and the Florida Supreme Court.

9/30/20: Massive case of “senior-itis” as I am supposed to graduate 12/12/20 with my Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from Flagler College. Checking off a major bucket-list item. So many lost opportunities in my life due to not having a BS degree. It has taken 2 1/2 years of work to get it done, but it is SO close, I can taste it! I am going to miss some of the folks in the class, some that I now consider to be genuine friends.

I try not to overly voice my political stance on others, but after watching the 1st Presidential debate last night, I think Trump was the clear winner, but holy crap, what a mess. No cooperation, NO control from the moderator, NO WAY that Biden can handle the job he is trying to be elected for. What a SH*T show!

10/07/20: Just completed my final exam for the last class (#2 of 4 this semester). I have approx 10 days off from classes, then (2) eight week classes left. Fortunately, they are online so no more travel to St. Augustine, although I did not mind the drive on Saturday mornings when the weather was nice and I could take the bike. The final two subjects in this 2.5 year program. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I don’t hear a train whistle, so I am assuming there is NO train. After the week that I have had so far (and it’s only Wednesday) I hope the rest of the week will be better. Maybe what I need is a little “wind therapy” so once I get the ATM programmed (for a special event) I think I am going to take a ride and relax before getting on with my day. Hope your day is well!

What are you going to do?

25 06 2019

I was talking with a friend of mine the other day and he was telling me about an interaction with a guy about buying a car. Guy kept saying, “what are you going to do?” and politely my friend said he was going to buy the car, but the paperwork (title/registration) had to be in order before they would give this guy money. CLEARLY, he said, he is not a member of the upper crust of society and that his money would be in the hands of a drug dealer before it got dark. “What are you going to do?”

So over the last couple of days, we have been back and forth texting, making phone calls, and general good fun with just the statement, “What are you going to do?” But it has also gotten me thinking about the “less of me” journey that I started last week. Now I realize that I am getting fantastic gains (losses in weight) because that is how it works in the beginning, great losses, then it tapers off, to just a few pounds a week, then a pound or two every week or so. I am in that “great loss” segment and I am asking myself, “What are you going to do?”, “What are you going to do?”, “What are you going to do?”?????? I have been walking (about 1/2 a mile at least 1x per day) was shooting for 2x per day wake up and at dusk when it was not so hot. So far it is every morning. Certainly not taking the “exercise” route, but a little go get the blood pumping will not hurt.

The WW “freestyle points” system is very good, there are a LOT of things that I can snack on (different that what I WAS snacking on) that keeps me full. If I am not craving something, then I am REALLY good. But when that craving kicks in, I am “off to the races” in terms of finding something to scratch that itch…

“What are you going to do?” I have made a commitment that I am going to lose 100#. I now have a plan, and I know that every bite I do not take, is one step closer to reaching my goal. I did not like where I was, was having some real serious problems that were affecting my life, my work, and my attitude. Today 8 days from when I started my journey, I weighed in at 315.4# (started at 330.6#) for a loss of 15.2! That makes me VERY happy…

I hope to inspire you to take the first step, get off soda, that is a HUGE one, take about a week, get over the sugar and caffeine addiction. Water and certain juices are good substitutes. Then make a plan to “move”. Take the dog for a walk. Just a little, you will work up until you are doing more. Just 10 minutes a day.

BIG STEP #3: No pasta, bread, fried food, oils, butter, and buns.

Certainly, this is not acceptable:


BUT, alas, just the one, is acceptable! BUT, I chased it with several bananas, apple sauce cups, and some cashews. and it was OK because I had a really full, but low points day. Surprisingly, that little package was only 8 points. (a McDonalds cheesburger is 16 points for the little one). So in hindsight, if you are going to mess up, then this is the way to go. But I am still down 2.2# from my weigh-in yesterday morning.

So, “What are you going to do?”

Make a plan, make a move, DO IT NOW!

Until tomorrow?


Less of me, part deux!

24 06 2019

Today is Monday 6/24/19, a mere 5 days from what I “officially” started less of me, exactly 1 week from saying that “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH”.. I am down 10# exactly. NOW, I know that this has been because I stopped soda, and caffeine as of Monday, then officially joined WW to teach me how to really do it.  I do fully realize that at some point, I will only have 2 or 3 pound loss per week, not 10-12# as I am getting here in the beginning, but for now, I am going to enjoy the good feelings that I am having, and the success that I have achieved thus far. Here is what I have done, and what I have learned:

What I have done: I have started to walk a “lap” around the railroad tracks between the streets at my house and the closest one to the north, exactly .5 miles, I clocked it with the Jeep (so you know it is accurate, go MOPAR) and have attempted to do this 2x per day. Not running, just a brisk walk to get my heart rate up and to beat my previous time which was 10.4 min so a 20+ minute mile. REALLY RIPPING IT UP! The dog has not been thrilled, she is a slacker dog who likes to lounge on the large pillow, or the chair, in my office when the A/C is on, or on the leather sofa when I am not in the office.

What I have learned: I am a real a$$hole when I don’t have caffeine! Some lady almost run us over at the Home Depot and I screamed at her to the point that other people were asking what was going on. In my defense, she was texting on her phone while driving through the parking lot, and not yielding for pedestrians. Just saying…

Second thing that I have learned is that the “great” things that I enjoy, wings, pasta, good bread, regular soda, all are “no bueno” when it comes to eating healthy. Burgers, no bun, chicken, all the grilled chicken that I can handle, grilled, no butter, no olive oil, garlic is ok, but most of the stuff that contains the flavor, is out. I have found that there are other things that my loving and supportive wife have around ARE good for me, grapes, bananas, and cashews are all very good, and have very low points. Applesauce, one of my favs is good as well, can chow 2 or 3 individual cups and cinnamon powder is point free! So as long as I snack right, then I can snack as much as I want to.

I am adjusting, but slowly. This is my journey, my goal, my health (which is very good mind you, bp, cholesterol, A1C, all very, very good). My weight has been a problem for most of my life, limiting what I can do in most cases and has been the cause of me to stop flying, which I really love(ed). I am feeling good about my progress, and I even had 11 points left over from yesterday! Not sure if those credit back to my week total or not, but I am happy and I have not really felt “hungry”. The evening cravings are what get me and I am trying to stay strong.

Check in, in a couple days….

Until then, do something good for your community!


The journey of “less of me”!

22 06 2019
So here is the “scoop”… On Monday 6/17/19, I topped out at 330.6#. I broke past 300 over a year ago, and that was really depressing for me. BUT THIS little piece of happiness broke my spirit. I have been having physical problems, back ache, swollen feet, sluggishness, what I am going to classify as depression (Which I have never had, so I am not sure if that is what it is). I felt like crap, pure and simple.
I am a “sugar” addict. I like all things sugar, and CLEARLY that is bad for me. Thursday, I joined Weight Watchers, no so much for the Rah Rah meetings with all the little old fat ladies (although if you were single, that would be like fishing in a barrel, think of the inheritance money! LOL) I joined for the education. I attempted to do the “no sugar, no caffiene” thing a year or so ago, and I was down 30# but then when I came off, (really fell off) I not only gained the 30# back but and additional 30# on top of that, that’s when I broke the 300# mark.
I have a REALLY great lifestyle. Michelle the anchor, the love of my life, the one that carries the load for me day to day has been there to support me day in and day out. I stopped caffeine & sugar on Monday, so this week, I have been very cranky, Michelle Woodin I love you and apologize for my attitude.
This lifestyle has allowed me to do pretty much anything, and I mean ANYTHING (that does not include other naked women) that I can imagine and I am having a blast. Great friends, GREAT FOOD, great times! BUT with those great food and times, there is a “penalty”, that penalty is weight gain…
Monday I topped 330.6#
I stopped soda/sugar, cold turkey
Thursday, I started WW, officially weighed in at 327.6
Friday, started walking 20 minutes 2x a day (20 min mile) with the fat dog, and she was not happy either! If a dog could look pissed off and clueless at the same time, well…
Friday, weighed in at 322.7
Saturday, I weighed in at 320.4 (10.2# since Monday)
Did I mention that I like all things breakfast? Eggs (which actually I can eat at zero points) hash browns, ham, sausage, bacon, BISCUITS AND GRAVY!!! WOW! ORANGE JUICE, really cold with ice, this is the ultimate. So I am going to have to cut down to 3 eggs, over easy, ham (take the couple points there with the OJ) and applesauce which is also NO POINTS, and a banana or an apple, also no points. No toast, bread, bagel, English muffin, or potatoes… : >(  AND certainly under no circumstances NO CREAM CHEESE…
This journey for me is going to be learning what is good and healthy to eat, and what is not. PLUS for me, portion control. I also have a habit of finishing EVERYTHING that is put on my plate before I step away (that is my grandmother Lois, and every time I try to leave a little food that I really don’t want, I hear her voice…)
I know this is going to be a long journey, getting the weight off if the primary goal, but the “new’ eating lifestyle is going to be the biggest challenge for me. The point system helps me and when I find a few things that have zero points that I like, I will be good, unfortunately “mung beans” and “yams” are no among my top 100 list…
I am going to document my journey for my purposes, and my motivation, if you choose to follow along and give your support, thank you, if you don’t that you as well. When time permits, I will do an update here, daily at first, then maybe weekly.
My final goal is to get down to 220# which is just 10# heavier than I was when I graduated high school. Would I be happy with 250, YES, but for now the goal is 220#!

The “good news”

Start 6/17/19: 330.6
Today 6/22/19: 320.4
Goal: 220#
Total lost: 10.2
To go: 100.4#

5/31/19 PZA meeting document

26 05 2019

Agenda_2019_5_31_Meeting(297) (3)

Driving, a time for reflection…

4 11 2018

I am traveling today to complete an “active shooter instructor” training in Springfield, Mo. I flew into St. Louis, Mo this morning and had to rent a car and drive 3+ hours to get to Springfield. Driving for me, gives me time to “mull over” things that are bothering me, ponder my next business move, think about the things that I am grateful for, and to just generally, “unplug” and enjoy the day.

At some point, in some unknown city, I pulled off looking for DQ (so much for my diet this trip). Never found it, but I happened into the local Wally world to get a couple things that I would need over the next couple of days. While “taking a break” in the men’s room there was a guy who was leaving a rather stiff message to his ex-wife (or soon to be ex)

about her taking pics at his house to prove that he has a girlfriend. Odd place to be having that conversation with her voicemail, but, none the less. He had just hung up as I was washing my hands and I felt the strong urge to simply give him some advice that was very costly for me. I told him that as a mediator for divorces, the best advice I could give was to be the “bigger parent” and don’t engage with the other side. I could see that the attitude on his face changed just a little as he realized what I was getting at. Be the best parent for your child(ren) and she can’t fight with you if you don’t argue back. Eventually, she goes away. The judge will see things for what they are. Another guy chimed in and said, “Let her be stupid and crazy, but don’t fight”. I wished him luck and went back to the car for the remaining 70 or so miles of my trip.

I spent the last hour of the trip wondering if the advice that I gave him would help, simply because, been there, done that… There is LOTS of craziness that happens in our lives and if we as men, can’t help strangers, then what is our role in society? Women have the “Sisterhood”, what do we have? Advice from personal experience, very expensive, personal experience.

I felt good about the interaction. I never got his name and will never know how things eventually turn out, but I would hope that it opened his eyes just a little to see that the most important thing are his kids. I told him that the judge would see that you were the better parent, at least making the better attempt, and to document with video anything crazy that happened in the event you needed it. But overall, just don’t engage, regardless of what happens, simply don’t engage.

A very good friend (Michael Ray King) gave me that advice many years ago, and it worked so well, just as he said it would. At first, I tried it my way attempting to prove that I was right and she was wrong. That option was very expensive and accomplished nothing. Then I tried Mike’s advice to not engage, and eventually she went away. It has been years now, and I have only heard from her a few times and have no idea what she has wanted each time she has contacted me, because I don’t care and never responded.

Do something nice for others, help a friend or stranger in the next couple of days or week if you get the opportunity. Simply the feeling is worth the effort.

Be True To Yourself.

Everyday is a new “opportunity”…

24 08 2018

Greetings all;

Some of you know that I have enrolled in the “Public Administration” program at Flagler College. I started classes Monday this week (2 days a week for the next 5 semesters). I feel that I am a square peg in a “round hole”…

It has been a LONG, LONG time since I have “worked” for an agency or company, and the group attitude in my classes and thinking of the program is NOT one that I am used to. However, I am going to make the most of this opportunity and do my very best to “sand off the edges of my square peg, so that I fit better into the round hole”.

Maybe I have a 180 degree different viewpoint from those currently in the program and I don’t see things the same way. Because I have worked for myself and “built an empire” from the blood & sweat of my own 2 hands” for so many years, I see things differently.

If you are the person who sets the alarm in the morning and have to report somewhere by a specific time for work, I applaud you for your effort doing that day in and day out for all those years. That has never really been my “thing”. I will do it if the need arises, but by and large, I have tried to not sell my “time for money” and have gone from one project to another ensuring there was enough “profit” to skim off what I need to pay the bills in the process. To this point, it has not always worked for those around me, but it seems that it has been working for me. I have tried to not  just “tread water” but I have attempted to go above and beyond to build something for the future and work extra hard to provide for “the family” realizing that some day this horse will not be able to “run the track” and will need to take a break and “retire”…

I look at each day, as an opportunity to accomplish several things:

  1. To help someone who may need it
  2. To make the most of the time we are gifted
  3. To find joy and/or happiness for myself and my loved ones
  4. To make something or have a thoughtful conversation about a topic of interest
  5. To always be learning

I do not always accomplish each of these goals everyday, but most days I do. I am finding that when I want to get something done, I am constantly running into roadblocks that attempt to prevent me from attaining my goals. This leads to frustration most days. So I am learning to deal with my frustration in a healthy way.

Let’s call it ‘gasp’ maturing..

(for those who know me, insert your chuckle “here”).

Have a great day all!


It has been a while…

2 05 2018

Hello all;

It has been some time since I posted to this page. Not for not wanting too, simply because I have been REALLY busy. I have been attempting to finish my bachelors’ degree and had to take some “clean up” classes at DSC before moving schools for the Bachelors’ program. Why you would have to take a math class for “polygons” and figuring voting systems is absolutely ridiculous! Waste of time and money… and frankly, since I have not used that type of math to age 49 in my life, I doubt that I am EVER going to use it… I digress.

So I had a project in one of my classes to create a “radio commercial” and I had a bit of creative genius.. Thought I would put it up on the YouTube for you to check out. ENJOY!

What is important to you in life?

9 02 2018

Today, through a random happenstance, I realized what is “really” important to me.

You see, before Michelle & I got married, I jokingly told her to “hang on, it was going to be a HELL of a ride”! I have proven to ring true on that promise…

Fast forward to today, February 9th, 2018. Most who know me, have heard me speak of a little town in Western N. Carolina named Sylva. We (really meaning me) have been looking for a little cabin/house that we could fix, and spend some time in the summer up there, relaxing, fishing, antiquing, and just enjoying life a little, away from the overwhelming summer heat.

I found, negotiated, and signed a purchase contract for a 3+ acre property (2 lots) at the top of a mountain, with a small 2 room log cabin. The cabin, was a little “rustic”… it needed some work, but nothing that I could not accomplish with a little dedication and time. We came up today 8+ hours driving to see the cabin in person. Although the cabin was certainly something that I very well could fix, it was on the side of the mountain. It had no power, no septic, no running water (was supposed to have a spring, but not that I could see. Problem was, there was only ONE, ONE flat spot on the property and it was where the jeep parked. Just wide enough for 2 vehicles, with just a little space to try to turn around (because you did NOT want to go off the edge of the mountain.

I am a “flatlander”, I have lived in Florida all my life and I am a little out of my element when it comes to hills, mountains, or elevated land. SOOOOOOO, I attempt to turn the jeep around and the snow had just melted, the area had recently gotten rain, the jeeps tires were not new, but not slick either, and the ground was a little muddy. (Do you see where this is going yet?) I was working on a “97 point turn” and the jeep hit a few rocks that pinned it between the steep edge of the mountain, and the mud, with about 4″ to spare. NOT QUITE turned around enough, and pinned in. Having a winch would have been helpful. Michelle WAS FREAKING OUT, almost hysterical! Thinking that I am going to drive, slip, slide, or inch my way way off the cliff.

Fortunately, I am smart enough, to know when I am in over my head. A call to the local towing company to send help. 45 minutes later a 4×4 jeep with a winch speeds up the hill, gets behind us and winches us back safely to the point that we could drive out of the property in one piece.

It was at that moment when the tow guy “Mike” was winching me out, that I realized that my wife, Michelle is the one piece of the puzzle that glues the craziness of my life together. I have done some stupid things in my life, but fortunately she is in the back of my mind with the thought of “here hold my beer” comes into my head. I love her with all my heart, and am VERY, VERY lucky that I found her. One of us has to be the level headed one.

After decompressing, having a little lunch, talking it out 3 or 4 times and letting it settle in that I am not really as smart as I like to believe, we have decided that I am going to narrow the search to something “in town”, a property that already has the septic, power, and running water, something that needs a little work, but not A LOT of work. Still somewhere in the same area, just not up the side of a mountain!

Total cost of today’s education? $189 for the tow company, $30 for lunch, and $65 in the wine shop for alcohol = $284. But as I told Michelle, it was cheaper than a funeral!

-Be safe, and remember nothing good happens after the phrase “here, hold my beer”!


Through a Track of Time…

16 08 2017

It is funny how things happen. Yesterday I posted about getting a new motorcycle. Today, facebook sent me a message to re-share a memory that I had posted 5 years ago. It was of me on the black Honda Shadow that I posted in yesterday’s post. TOTALLY not planned, but how weird.


Top: 2012 first day with bike Bottom: 5 years later, new bike same guy!

With the help of my OH-SO-AWESOME wife Michelle, she took a picture this morning of me in the exact same place, on the new bike that I was 5 years ago when the first picture was taken. I even tried to find the same shirt, which I think has been shredded and used for rags in one form or another. She even did a side-by-side setup…

The resemblance is striking. Even though I am just 5 years older, I have tried to start taking care of my health and have made a firm commitment to be “fit by 50” and losing the 50+ pounds that I have put on over the last 10 or 15 years. I may look the same, but in the last 5 years, I have learned SO MUCH… “Education is VERY expensive.”

LasVegasElvis1Stephen Woodin has a unique take on his unique life. He
is the father of 2 grown boys who have taken the "right
road". Steve is a professional trainer & mediator who 
specializes in eviction  and Family mediations. Along 
with his wife Michelle, he runs the Flagler Mediation Center 
to serve the citizens of Flagler County. He can be reached at (386) 206-2954.


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