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(Edited from posted in April 2015)

Since I was a little boy and as far back as I can remember, I’ve always had a strong belief in God and something “bigger than me and this world”.  This was so much so that in High School I began to question everything I was being taught in the Catholic church, and set out on my own journey to “find God”.  That search for “truth” continues to this day, but one very practical thing that never really made sense was how the world has portrayed Jesus, which has been a very frail, skinny, white, pale sickly looking man who anyone could take down with one punch to the face.

I believe in a very different image of Jesus Christ, one that I feel should have been adopted a long long time ago, and it’s based on very practical observations.  I believe that Jesus was not frail or sickly, but rather a very strong and fit man with dark skin, strong forearms and biceps, resembling a very fit and toned MMA fighter of today.  He probably didnt’ have the physique of a bodybuilder, and may have been more lean, but by all means had more muscle and endurance than most of us.  How have I come to this conclusion?


The fisherman of today have it pretty easy compared to the days of Jesus.  There were no motorized boats or machinery that lifted nets and brought fish into your boat.  Lots of rowing by hand, pulling up nets by hand all day, every day.  Unloading the boat of fish, packaging the fish, pulling the boats in, etc.  A complete work out like this every single day would have to keep these guys fit and toned.  The exaggerated depiction of Popeye’s forearms was not just the creation of a cartoonist, as I’m sure that fisherman developed huge forearms from all of this work.  In addition to all of the manual labor that kept them fit, take into account their constant exposure to the sun which probably kept them nice a tanned all year round.


Carpentry today can’t compare to the work involved in the days of Jesus either.  Because of my circular saws, miter saws, jig saw, and my dewalt cordless drill, I can build in minutes what it probably took hours or days for them to build back in the day.  And the energy exerted would be minimal.

If Jesus needed to build a table for someone, he had to manually cut each piece of wood, shave each piece by hand, and perform tasks that required strength and arm pressure.  Wood work back then was not easy work and I’m sorry, but if you do your research on the many different facets of wood work back then one would have to come to the conclusion that these craftsman were building muscle while working.


Without going into detail about every task involved with being a fisherman or carpenter back in that day, I would hope that you can see how easy it would be to come to the conclusion that Jesus was not what the world has described to us for so long.  I feel that one of the major reasons that Jesus was able to endure what he did during his crucifixion was due to his physique and fitness.  The “frail” Jesus wouldn’t have made it past lashing #4 or #5, and yet Jesus withstood 40 FREAKIN LASHES with a weapon that was designed to rip his skin off!

Add to this the beat down that he received from the soldiers, the fact that he had to carry his own heavy cross to his own execution, and then having huge railroad type spikes driven through his arms and feet.  The strength needed to continuously try to pull him self up and position himself to breath easier required a strength that the little white sickly Jesus simply wouldn’t have been able to handle.  Many of us would have been dead before even making it to carrying our own cross.


As you sip on your coffee this morning, prepare for lunch, or even as you make plans for this coming Easter Sunday, remember that the man behind the Easter holiday was plain and simply a Bad Ass.  Whether you believe that he rose from the dead or not, Jesus was a real man who walked this earth, and history supports the fact that he was executed in one of the most gruesome ways possible.

His message was just as real, which in a nut shell was one of LOVE and FORGIVENESS.  If you take anything away from the story of Jesus at least take that.  Learn from his selfless life of Love and walk in it everyday.  He gave us so many great lessons and tools to use to live this life and his story has stood the test of time and will continue for centuries to come.

Have a Great Easter everyone and eat lots of BBQ this Sunday.  *smiley face here.


 Photo artwork from Tjokorda Bagus Wiratmaja



It was chilly outside the night of the Super Bowl 2016 and me and a friend were standing outside sipping on a good drink waiting for the half-time show to start.  Cold Play was the featured music group and it was the first time I heard their new song “Adventure of a Lifetime”, (video below) which immediately caught my attention, mainly because it was a happy song and made me want to climb a tree or take off running.  I know there are Cold Play haters out there, but I don’t apologize for my love for their music and I feel it was this group that helped make the upright piano a staple instrument to have at center stage.

There’s a line in the new song that says “Turn your magic on” and it’s just one of many good motivational lines in the song.  There’s something very inspiring about someone telling you to “turn your magic on”, because whether you believe it or not, we’ve all got a little bit of magic in us.  Ever been in a situation where you needed to “perform” or do some convincing and someone close to you leaned over and said “Hey Steve, go do your magic”.  Steve is a fictional character, but yes, I’m sure many of you have had to do a little magic in your life, and I’m not talking about pulling a rabbit out of hat.

When’s the last time you had to “turn on your magic”?  When’s the last time you made some magic happen?  Well, it’s been too long and the world could use more magic.  For example, I know that one way I do magic comes in the way that I can make people feel.  For the most part I’m a positive person and I genuinely want to see people do great things in life, even though I myself may not be doing the same.  But it’s an honest desire and whether I’m having a great day or a moody one, I will go out of my way to make someone feel good about themselves by simply acknowledging them, shaking their hand with full attention, or by giving good hugs.  If someone walks away feeling motivated after meeting me then I’ve done my magic and hopefully they too will do the same.



Just be yourself.  Every one of us is unique and different.  One amazing trait about us human beings is that though there are billions of us walking around on this planet, there are no two identical finger prints.  We all have different prints and it’s what makes you you.  You can’t be duplicated and you are who you are for a reason.  It’s up to you to figure out who that is and what you’re great at.  Once you figure that out, turn “it on” and be awesome at it and change the world around you.  Anyone can paint, dance, build, speak, create something, but no one can do it like you.


Everyone that I know who is great at something, whether it be a sport, craft, skill, or trade, is where they are because of dedication and practice.  No one becomes a master at what they love overnight and it takes time to get to the point where you can consider yourself a “pro” or “master”.  Even then those people have to continually practice to stay on top or on point.  The same goes for your magic.  Once you figure out what you’re good at, put it into practice and be great at it.  Whatever gifts you have are not there for you to keep to yourself.  The world needs you and your amazing magic.


Your magic is useless if you’re not ready to “perform” at any time.  Always be ready and even go as far as look for opportunities to “turn it on”.  With as much negativity as we have in the world today, we NEED more magic.  Make it happen and be awesome at it like the monkeys in this video.  They’re making magic happen and you’ll want to watch this magic over and over again.

Have a great St Patty’s Day.  Go find your pot of gold you little magic Leprechauns.







Im pretty sure the day was a Monday afternoon in the summer because dad had just called us in for lunch and his days off were Sunday and Mondays and we weren’t in our Sunday clothes.

As my brothers and I grabbed our plates and parked ourselves around the behemoth of a TV, ( you remember that crappy cheaply stained big box of a tv that looked like it took an acre of trees to make) we started our routine argument about what we were going to watch. Of course I wanted to watch cartoons and they wanted to watch MTV or something I had no clue about. I was only 7 and it was a long time ago but I can still feel that blue shaggy carpet and the summer breeze that would blow through the windows.

Growing up in our house there was an unwritten law that everyone abided by and that was that the AC was only allowed to be turned on from 4pm – 6am. So if you wanted to be inside the house during the heat of the day, you made sure every window in the house was open. As we continued arguing, we kept getting louder and louder about what to we should watch. By then My father was fed up and simply yelled from the kitchen , “lla!”. Translated to English , “Stop! Cut it out!.”We did and as always I was out voted. After that, My older brother changed the channel to what he wanted watch and we just sat there eating our lunch in silence.

As we continued eating,  my older brother began to sniff the air and then continued to sniff with determination, like a blood hound out to find his target. This then became his mission and he took another long sniff of the air to confirm the odor and yells, ” who farted? I’m eating! That’s nasty!” Everyone denies the accusation and the ping pong match begins. He then says, “Well why does it smell like shit!” The timing could not have been more perfect if it had been scripted, they all said in a unanimous voice, ” Steve did it !”, which surprised the hell out of me! I was completely lost! Had I farted and not realized it? By then my two brothers had jumped on my older brother’s wave and started saying it was because I hadn’t showered since the day before and that maybe I didn’t wipe right. Needless to say I defend myself the best way any 7 year old kid would, by simply saying, ” nuh-uh, nuh-uh!”

Of course by this time we were very loud and my dad decided to walk over to the living room and asked what the heck was going on. Once aging the destiny child group sang in harmony ,” Steve crapped on himself or really needs to go take a shower because it smells like poop and we can’t eat.” Like a scratched record I stayed in the bridge signing , ” nuh-uh, nuh-uh!”

As my brothers waited for my dad to get after me, my father simply asked, “Were you guys playing outside?” “Yes” we all said. He then looked at my older brother and simply said, “Look at the bottom of your shoe.” You see my brother was sitting Indian style with a huge turd on the bottom of his shoe which was facing the side I was sitting on. I can see how my older brother thought it was me, I can see how it was so easy to say that I was the source of the stank. The one who made a stink about the stank is the one who ruined his own appetite.

Although I was free and clear of all wrong doing , Id like to believe we all learned a valuable lesson that day. Like most valuable lessons they fly out the window when we need to apply them. Like myself, I’m almost certain you have reflected on some instances in your life when you could have saved yourself some pain, embarrassment  and sadness by simply checking the bottom of your shoe and admitting to your contribution to the situation.

There will be times in life when everything seems like it’s someone else’s fault, like all the signs point to someone else for your misfortune or “bad luck”.  Well I say to you today, before you start blaming someone else or society and whatever excuses we can come up with, let’s take a hard look at ourselves.  Let’s be honest with ourselves, about how we acted, what we did, how little effort we have put in and most importantly lets be honest about how no matter how awesome your are today, there is always room for improvement.

I say to you once again, let’s be honest with ourselves and dig deep, leave no rock unturned and no shoe unchecked so we can enjoy our lunch and enjoy this show we call life.

Steve Martinez:  Guest Blogger.  |  @iamstevemtz



Over the weekend as I was chilling on a bar balcony in Downtown sipping on a tasty cold beer, a young guy from the table next to us leaned over and asked “Hey, are you Hector Garcia?”  As I extend my hand to shake his, I’m like “Yeah, what’s your name?”  As he gave me his name he stated “I follow you on Instagram!”  I embraced my Instragram fame for those brief moments and made a new real life friend, who I too had already been following.  In fact he’s a great local artist that you should follow at @whatevs_jacob

I shared this with a friend the next day who jokingly said “You’re famous bro” and it was at that moment that I realized that if we’ve chosen to use Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and any other social media tool, then the truth is WE’RE ALL FAMOUS.  Because of Instragram I’ve met some great people the same way I met Jacob, with one of my closest friends being met for the first time with the words “Hey, you’re that girl from Instagram!”.  The rest is history.

So yes, all of you are famous and while many don’t use their online fame wisely, many do and have a great following.  Meeting people online first is now the norm with first time meetings being accompanied by those famous words “Hey, you’re the person from Instagram”.  With this said, I wanted to provide some social media tips that I’ve been wanting to share that I feel will help us all live socially happy together.  There are no rules to this game, but maybe there should be a few.  Here are my few.


My number one piece of advice is to simply have fun.  Many people take things so personal on social media and are ready to fight you if you say something they disagree with.  The walls of Facebook should be full of happiness and laughs, not hate, anger, or ranting.  I have no problem deleting someone that doesn’t know how to follow this first rule.  Your experience on social media should make you laugh everyday and if you’re not then you’re doing something wrong or maybe you should search for more keyboard cat videos to cheer you up.


If you’re going to post something online, be open minded and leave room for opinions that are different than yours.  Don’t be that censor who continually deletes comments that you disagree with.  When I post anything that is considered a “hot topic” I allow my friends and followers to hash stuff out and respectfully disagree.  If it gets out of hand and I see that a few are becoming mean with each other, I’ll put a stop to it.  But I never ever censor.  If you’re going to do that, then you have no business posting in the first place.


I see this one all the time and it’s sad and funny at the same time.  Please don’t be this person who uses their Facebook status update as a way to deliver a subliminal message to an ex boyfriend or girlfriend or to that person who did something to hurt you.  It’s ridiculous and yes, you look stupid when you do this.  I’ve actually called people out on this and encouraged them to take the post down and handle this “hurt” in a different and non-public way.


This one goes without saying.  Make the social media world a happy place by at least doing this once a day.  Make it a habit or else.


With the rise of fitness and crossfit there are many people who have made some very lucrative careers as fitness models or “spokes persons” for fitness.  I follow a few that are legit with one person having almost 2 million followers on Instagram.  With so many reaching for the same type of success, modesty isn’t something being reached for at the same time.  In fact modesty has been thrown out the window, with many using “fitness” as a reason to post photos of themselves in panties and bras, or maybe none at all.

I saw a meme once that stated “Back in the day you’d be lucky if you could get a girl to send you half naked photos by text, now all you have to do is follow them on Instagram”.  Bring back modesty and if you’re truly promoting fitness, then promote that, not soft porn.


Be yourself.  Be unique.  Be different.  This is the way we communicate today and people just want to see us for who we are, not some fake social media personality.  Just be yourself and be awesome.  Have fun and remember, at least one pic or video of puppies per day.  You’ll easily get at least 50+ likes on those posts.  LOL.




TV Made Me: It’s not the same anymore…

“Television is bad for you. It makes you dumb.” These are the things we hear quite often these days. In my opinion television may have saved my life and for better or worse, I can proudly say it made me who I am.

Unfortunately, growing up alone in a house of 6 is something you may understand.  There was love in the house, but in my family’s own special way. The bills always got paid and there was always food on the table and as we got older the birthday and Christmas gifts got better.

I had friends in the neighborhood and in school, and though I wasn’t one of the popular kids, I was definitely in the “it” circle. As far back as I can remember I was never affected by what people thought of me and I was always the comic that could lighten up any mood. I’d  also give the shirt off my back if needed and I say these things in the most humble way possible. I wish I could say my parents and siblings had something to do with any of that, and maybe they did, but it might have been indirectly, like doing the opposite of what my environment was doing.


As I reflect on my life I can clearly recall the first moment when I can say TV had altered my life.  As the assistant principal waited for me to explain my actions -I simply answered . . .

“I don’t recall.” She then asked, “do you know what that means?”

I said, “what”?

“The word recall,” she said.

I said, “yes, I mean, like…, to remember?.”

She asked where I had learned such a big word.

“Isn’t recall smaller than remember?” I asked.

“Well, yes but a word like that isn’t typically used by a second grader” she said.

I guess she expected to hear that my teacher, my parents or even my siblings may have taught me such a word and for some reason I didn’t want to admit I had picked it up from watching Mr. Belvedere. I mean you could only be taught from a teacher or by someone sitting you down and teaching you what words mean, right? What if my context clues skills were not as accurate as I thought. Needless to say I just shied away.


Growing up there were many family sitcoms that had positive messages and more importantly they showed me love and compassion for others that my environment seemed to dismiss. Programs like Mr Belvedere, Growing Pains, Diff’rent Strokes, The Facts of Life, Family Ties, The Cosby Show, Little House on the Prairie and of course Good Times all found a special place in my heart and helped me view the world in a different way. I found myself engulfed in the antics and complications of a scripted life, and was always satisfied with the way everything came together at the end of every episode.

This may sound ridiculous but some of the valuable lessons that I adapted into my life came from watching TV such as:  honesty is always the best route because at the end of every episode the truth always comes out, to take responsibility for your actions, and be ready to pay the price because every action has a reaction.  I also learned to always apologize to someone if you have hurt them because at the end of the day we are all in this together, as well as defending yourself in a tactical manner because life is not linear and you never know what life is going to throw at you after each commercial break.


The most evident thing that I have kept in my life is the one liner approach to life… (thanks Cheers and Night Court) I sometimes surprise myself with my quick wit and one liners and it sometimes feels like I’m on a show… I’m sure you know what I mean. We all have that moment when that perfect joke lands. (Except for me it’s all the time, yeah I’m funnier than you.) This may not all be tied directly to TV and I’m sure my environment gave me no choice but to look at the brighter side of things. What I can give credit to TV for is teaching me the timing to a joke and the ability to take the blunt end of a joke for the sake of a good time.

There are so many things and so many shows that are not on this list that were and are fantastic that can be very useful. I know they should be listed on here, like Herman’s Head… I know you don’t know what I’m talking about so take a break and google it. Herman’s Head was awesome and ahead of it’s time, the idea and concept was used for the animated movie Inside Out.


I understand TV is what you make of it but unfortunately this generation and my kid’s generation will not have the privilege to know what I am talking about. How there were more positive messages on every channel and the “bad” shows were limited. Television these days is focused on the wrong things and is being used to project the wrong messages. (Yeah I know I sound old but your mom likes it…) I understand that TV works off ratings and if the junk shows are what people are watching then that’s what’s going to be on the majority of the menu.


I say all this to say, thank you 80s and early 90s TV sitcoms for making me the person I am today. You taught me many lessons while my brothers were too busy with their lives and while dad and mom worked so hard to keep the little we had. Thank you for not being full of crap, and for allowing me to escape for a brief moment and walk out the other side a “wiser” kid. Yes, thank you for Alf and Pee-Wees Playhouse as well, I took the good with the bad you dished out…. I was able to see what kind of family I’d like to have when I got older. I was able to envision what kind of career and environment I’d like my children to grow up in. Don’t get me wrong I still have many flaws which my environment and TV are not the blame for. If you’d like a list, I’m sure my wife would be glad to forward to you.


I encourage you today to reflect on that one source that you may have over looked and say thank you. It may have been tv, comic books, that one teacher, the weird uncle or that aunt that always seemed to understand you and make you feel like everything was ok with that warm smile. Take those positive values and share them with the world.

So once again, TV, Thank You and know that I will share all the positive things you have taught me with my family and friends. As in all great sitcom . . . fashion, hugs and fade scene – roll credits.

Shout out to:

Mr Belvedere, Growing Pains, Full House, Who’s the Boss?, Married… With Children, Mork & Mindy, Happy Days, Diff’rent Strokes, Little House on the Prairie, The Facts of Life, Family Ties, Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, The Jeffersons, Taxi, MAS*H ,The Cosby Show, Cheers ,Herman’s Head, Boy Meets world, Saved by the bell, Fresh prince of bel-aire, Sledge Hammer!, Knight Rider, Sledge Hammer!, Three’s Company, ALF, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Tracy Ullman Show, Miami Vice, Fraggle Rock, The Love Boat, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, MacGyver, The Dukes of Hazzard, The A-Team, Quantam Leap, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, The Wonder Years, Magnum, P.I., Night Court, At the Movies, Martin, In living color and many many more ….. especially all the cartoons.

– Steve Martinez:  Guest Blogger