My Visit to South Florida

Recently, I decided to take a road trip and visit my old “stumping” grounds down in sunny South Florida. Sure, I have some family and friends living there and but it was the constant nagging of my younger brothers that pushed me to finally make the drive. They even said they’d give me a place to stay while I was down and since the hotels down there can be quite expensive, I couldn’t resist their offer. So, I packed up (about a weeks worth of clothes) gassed up the Honda Civic, and headed down to my destination in Davie, Florida. The idea of a road trip was quite liberating, to say the least, and I embraced that feeling with exciting and adventurous plots and plans for what I would do when I finally arrived. To cut a long road trip short, the trip was somewhat boring, and I made it to Davie safely, and it only took me 72 hours.  So the trip itself was fun overall, but apart from the emotional reunions and unforgettable memories I made, there were a few downsides that occurred during my drive down and also while I was staying with my family. Before I elaborate on the “bad” events, lets quickly cover the “good” that took place.

Upsides & Downsides

The beaches were great with some new additions to the boardwalk since I’ve last visited. Also, downtown Davie has a nice dive bar called “the something barn,*” where ‘something’ is replacing the first part of the name because I can’t remember it for the life of me. The best part of my trip was the night after arriving; it was a Friday, and I had the urge to drink a couple of pints with some old friends and meet some interesting new people. Fate decided that University Drive was our destination where we spent some time at a great hookah bar followed by some beers at a cool little pub right in the middle of the bustling college town. After experiencing the local nightlife, the time was 9:45 pm and it was time to head home (I was sober and had two bottles of water an hour before driving). Halfway there, I suddenly realized the tank on my vape mod was empty and I had no juice to hold me over til the morning. Now, I’m a former smoker who switched a while back and believe me when I say this: ‘there is no bigger trigger to buy a pack of smokes than running out of e-juice at night when everything is closed.’ Hookah is great, but it doesn’t do the trick. So, in a panic, I asked Siri, to find me a vape shop in the area opened late, only expecting the worse. Of course, all shops were showing they were closed, except for one, which showed “closing soon” in Cooper City. Challenge Accepted! I raced down to the shop and arrived in the knick of time. When I first walked into Vape Masters, the brightly lit room was slightly intimidating but the two guys running the place were very welcoming and friendly. I came for e-juice and ended up spending an hour talking and learning with these two gentlemen, who were extremely knowledgeable and fun to talk to. I’ve been to some crappy vape shops in the area, as well as back where I live, and this place puts them all to shame. Humble and brightly lit, it doesn’t look like much from the start, but Vape Masters is a prime example of how looks can be deceiving, but in a positive way.

After buying my e-juice, I headed home and slept in til 2 pm the following day. It was a beautiful night but unfortunately, the only ‘nice night’ I had while visiting. Let’s backtrack to my drive down….

It wasn’t long into my drive before reality sunk in, and I began to remember the two main reasons I moved so far away in the first place. Thanks, reality; You ugly, spiteful, bitch.

Reason number one: Shitty people with shitty attitudes make for even shittier drivers.

I mean sure, every city, town, state, etc. on Earth has a portion of its population that should’ve never been born in the first place, but there’s just something about South Florida that seems to draw in the worst of them. Now I could elaborate on this topic if I wanted to, but for times sake, I’ll stick to a few specifics. For one, South Florida roads are polluted with the worst drivers known to man. I don’t know who gives these lunatics their licences, but those DMV’s should be shut down. I’m pretty sure that turn signals don’t come equipped in the models down there because I didn’t see a single blinking light, indicating a turn or merge, the entire time I was there. Let me be clear, when I say ‘the entire time,’ I’m not exaggerating. It blew my mind! Furthermore, anytime I signalled to others that I was switching lanes, they answered the gesture with a series of honks and “screw yous!’ One more thing worth mentioning, apparently “STOP” signs are nothing more than suggestions. Secondly, (and to make a long rant short) the people residing there walk around with an unjustified sense of self-entitlement that screams, “everyone owes me something for no particular reason at all” and it’s quite sickening, to say the least. Those two factors played a big part in my exodus of the panhandle; the latter being much harder to explain and is something you kinda have to experience for yourself.

Reason number two: Equally shitty weather.

Whoever it was that said South Florida is the number one retirement destination due to its beautiful, sunny weather, is a liar and should be shot. The weather is just as shitty and bipolar as its locals. You’ll wake up to gorgeous beach weather; beautiful clear skies, a comfortable 80 degrees, and within an hour or two a tropical storm is tearing your the roof from your home.

My Visit to South Florida

All in all, it was a decent experience; a boring road trip and a mediocre vacation. The Friday night I described was probably the only entirely positive night out that I had while there. Don’t get me wrong, South Florida can be a wonderful place to visit if you’re JUST visiting, but I wouldn’t recommend staying for too long at the risk of developing a crappy personality flaw and turning into a shitty driver. Well, that was how I spent my week. I know, not too exciting, but screw it, I had to let you know what ground my stump about Florida. Until next time!

* March 8th, 2016 Revision: It finally came back to me, it’s called the Sports Barn. How could I have forgotten that?

My Rules for Life

Rule 1: I Am Grateful

Due to my past, I can honestly tell you that gratitude is one of the most important keys to a happy and content life. Before I was incarcerated for the first time, I never consciously took notice of all of the great and wonderful things that I should be thankful for. Where was it written that waking up today was your right? Be grateful for every day that you are here on this beautiful earth.

Rule 2: I Respect All Life

In any form, life is beautiful. From myself to my animal brethren, I always appreciate life in each and every form. I tried being a vegetarian, but I love meat too much. I still respect the life that is nourishing my life, and after each and every meal, I give thanks that I am here another day, enjoying the food that I love.

Rule 3: I Can Accept Help

If you can’t ask for help, then you’re surely in trouble. I don’t remember who told me this exactly, but I know when I’m beaten. We’re not omniscient, we can’t know everything in this world, and that was something that I learned at an early age. I always thought I could know everything, but it’s not possible. Learn to ask for help when you need it, as it shows great strength, not weakness.

Rule 4: I Take Care of My Body

You only get one body right? Then that means you have to take care of it; it’s as simple as that. Go to the gym, eat as healthy as you can, limit your consumption of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. I’m sure I’m not the first person to tell you all of that, am I? So take care of that miracle that is the human body, as you only get one, and there is no return policy. At least not that I know, but that’s a conversation for another day, just remind me to tell you about my beliefs on reincarnation.

Rule 5: I Am Open to New Things

Humans are insecure if you think about it. I used to be that way more than most, as I was unsure if I was making the correct decisions and doing what I needed to do. But we are human, we fuck up. Don’t let life beat you down when you think that you’re the only one that has shit going on. Be open to new things, be open to learning something new. Remember, you might not be here tomorrow.

Rule 6: I Help Others

When you help others, you do more for yourself than you do for them.

I honestly believe this, and I take solace in the fact that there are still people in this world that care about others more than themselves. Honestly, just the other day I met a nice girl who started a non-profit with here family. They started just by passing out food to those that were “house-less” (I don’t like the term homeless). Now they build homes for these people, and they’re getting bigger every day. This is the world we live in. People are still good people, I guess. I don’t meet them every day, but when I do it changes my perspective completely.

Rule 7: I Enjoy Life

Now I know that I spoke earlier about how I was incarcerated and that’s a story for another time… But my seventh rule is that I always enjoy life. Live in the moment, don’t think about what could’ve been or what will be, just appreciate that moment that you’re in right now because it is beautiful and perfectly unique. Moments are definitely fleeting, but if you appreciate where you are and who you’re with at that exact moment, you will be a much happier person. Be present in your own life. Remember that.

Rule 8: I Love

All You Need is Love. – The Beatles

The feeling of love is indescribable. And I’m not sure how to explain this to you guys, but you need to love as much as you can. From your parents to your children, if we all thought about the ones we loved before we did ANYTHING, we would make much better choices in life. For a long time, I forgot about who I truly was, but now I know that I need to love everything I can for as long as I can. That is now my place on this planet.

Rule 9: I Strive for Inner Peace

A very important aspect of learning to be happy and satisfied in your life is coming to terms and accepting your past for what it is, your past. With all of the terrible decisions I made in life, I can’t tell you for sure how I decided to put it all behind me, I just know that I got sick and tired of being sick and tired. I usually hate clichés, but that is one that sums me up. I fucked up relationships and friendships and lost out on a lot of things that could have been great for me, but I decided that this is the new me and the new me would never make the same mistakes.

Rule 10: I am One with The World

We are our worst enemy. But if you realize that you are your biggest ally, you’ll learn to do things a lot differently, you’ll start helping yourself to become a better person, to learn more, to help more. And that’s when things start to get fun because you’ll learn that you really can do anything that you want to in this life.

I hope that this helps someone as if it makes a difference in one person’s life, then my goal with this blog has been achieved. Either way, I’m getting quite tired, and I have to do some real work tomorrow. If you got this far, I commend you and I hope you stay tuned for my future updates!

Welcome to My Stump Grinder

You might be asking yourself… Why am I here? Why am I on a site called My Stump Grinder? If you’re like me, you’re tired of all of the repetitive websites where people refuse to give it to you straight. In all honesty, I’m tired of this world. It seems that everyone has forgot about what it means to be a human. To care for one another and to treat people with respect. Either way, I decided to create this blog as I need an outlet for my anger. I figured writing would be the best way to forget about how angry this world gets me. I’ll go into more detail about my hectic life in the future, but I just wanted to let you know why I decided to create this site. By the way, my name is Richard and I really hope you enjoy what I write about. I’m currently watching WordPress tutorials to learn more about how this works, so please stick with me, as I’m still learning. Thanks for stopping by!