Rainbows Are Prettier 🌈

There’s a strange phenomenon that tends to happen when people train in the martial arts. Everyone becomes obsessed with black belts. I mean, I get it… Most people, especially when they start training in martial arts, consider obtaining a black belt to be “the” goal. This is a true falsehood, considering that obtaining a black belt is really only the beginning.

Last week during a karate class I attended, something was said that struck a chord… It’s been said a great deal in the past three years that I’ve been training there, but I really only noticed a problem last Thursday. While practicing some specific techniques, we were paired up with the following words:

“Grab a partner. Make sure that they’re as close to your belt and height level as possible…”

Hmm… Does anyone else see what the problem with this statement might be? I totally understand what the thought may be, behind this thought. By training with someone of your same basic height and build, it guarantees a consistency. By raining with someone close to your own belt rank, it guarantees that speed and skill will be a closer match. Wow, THAT sounds like it’s conducive to learning and improving…

One needs to ask a basic question: What are the odds that someone you may face in a confrontation will be the same height? Same weight and build? Same level of fighting skill? I can almost guarantee that there’s no chance of all those aspect lining up in your favour. That’s why it becomes important to acknowledge that training with a diverse number of different people is of the utmost importance.

I paired myself up with a white belt who has only been coming to class for about a month. Halfway through the drill, he apologized to me and shared his thought that I would be better off with one of the other black belts so I could practice harder and faster. I explained him that he was providing all the opposition I needed and that I could learn as much from him as I could coach.

And that’s the important lesson, here. A variety of different belt levels, skill sets and body types are what will help you to develop your skills and techniques properly. If you only ever train with people of the same skill level, there’s no opportunity for either one to progress. Make sense? So mix those belt colours up! Don’t be afraid to train with someone of a higher rank; they should be able to coach and teach you. Don’t be afraid to train to train with someone of lower rank; not only do we learn by teaching, but they have plenty to teach you as well. ☯

Doin’ It Just To Do It…

I’ve been asked on a few occasions why I write a blog and how easy it is. The truth is, it happens to be a very subjective thing and unless you’ve tried it yourself, you may not understand what it requires. In a lot of ways, writing a blog is just like the martial arts. I’ve often written that everyone has a reason for joining the martial arts and that there usually isn’t a BAD reason, unless it involves wanting to harm someone else.

Blogging falls very much under the same category. Most people have different reasons for why they write a blog, and there isn’t really a BAD reason. To a point. There are some unfortunate exceptions, and my fellow bloggers are welcome to expand on this at their leisure. For example, there’s a blog out there that is a “blog about how to blog.” Although that’s a cute concept, eventually you need to post more content than just repetitively posting that you’ll teach someone everything they need to know to successfully blog if you send the writer money through PayPal.

There are some points you should bear in mind, if you intend on drafting your own blog. These are just my perspective, of course. But that makes them no less important.

  1. It’s not a diary! This is probably one of my biggest pet peeves. A blog is not intended to be a diary or a journal of your daily activities. If this is your intention, go buy yourself a paper journal at a stationary store or, better yet, write a digital journal that you can save on an external media;
  2. You need a topic. If you expect to draw and attract readers, you need to have a topic in which you base your blog. For example, this blog focuses on Buddhism, Martial Arts and Diabetes. Even if I stray from those three, whatever I’m writing about usually falls under the realm of those three main topics. If you write about anything and everything that crosses your mind, you spread yourself a little too thin and readers may become confused as to what you’re writing about;
  3. Make sure you love what you’re writing about. You have to be passionate about what you’re writing about. Not only does this make it easy to come up with pertinent blog posts, but it also shows in your writing. The reader can sense whether you’re writing for the sake of writing or if you’re passionate about your topic. I’ve spent my life studying and practicing the martial arts and I’ve had Type-1 Diabetes since the age of 4. This makes it exceptionally easy to come up with aspects to write about and be passionate about it. For most posts, I have to forcibly cut my writing short, otherwise it would be WAY too long for a blog;
  4. Post to your blog daily. I can’t stress this enough. It’s all well and good that you create a blog, but you need to add content daily. Yes, DAILY! If you only throw something up there once every few weeks, your blog will have difficulty getting off the ground and propagating to multiple readers; and
  5. Advertise yourself! I’m one of those few, rare individuals of my generation who doesn’t use social media. This makes it all the more difficult to advertise and spread the word about my blog. Luckily, I have some friends who have taken care of this aspect for me. But if you have the ability to spread your posts through your Twitter, FaceBook and other popular social media platforms, it will go a LONG way towards increasing your readership. What I did for the first six months that I was writing this blog, was create business cards at home with my web address and email and I would post them to bulletin boards at local grocery stores and coffee shops. I would also provide them to folks, since most of the time, even when you say, “Hey, I have a blog. You should check it out” people usually won’t. With that business card in their back pocket, they’re far more likely to look up the web address.

So, there you have it. At the end of the day, even if you’re doing the opposite of all five points I wrote out above, you’re not hurting anybody and your blog is ultimately meant to be an expression of yourself. As long as you keep pumping out that content and you enjoy doing it, you can’t go wrong. ☯

Warming Up Isn’t Just For The Cold

When people hear the term “warm up”, they usually associate it with stretching and getting the muscles warm. But there’s a whole bunch of other stuff that you should be paying attention to, especially if you want to prevent injury while doing your preferred activity. Warming up becomes all the more important when your fitness is taking place in a colder climate or during the winter season.

Muscle tissue is elastic. The whole point to stretching is to provide a bit of “give” to that elastic tissue, allowing for a greater range of motion with less chance of injury. take note that I say “less” chance as opposed to “no” chance… Stretching doesn’t guarantee you won’t pull o tear a muscle and in fact, muscle damage is actually how you get an increase in muscle mass. But I don’t want to get too technical on that aspect.

Most people seem to forget (or they simply don’t know) that it’s important to focus on your joints, cartilage and the fluid between your joints as well. This fluid is known as Synovial Fluid, and it’s responsible for reducing the friction in your joints as you move around. I’ll just let y’all Google that term, but these things need to be warmed up prior to a heavy workout as well, and are often neglected by most people. This is often because they aren’t even aware that these parts of the body require any warming up. But they do.

When stretching and warming, it’s important to chose a wide range of full-motion exercises that will include the joints by rolling them and getting a full articulation of movement. This ensures that you warm up that fluid and “activate it”, ensuring that your joints are as ready to go as your muscles.

The human body is an amazing machine. Despite the aches and pains we feel on a daily basis, the average human body thinks of almost everything. But you still need to nudge it along and give it the help it needs to work as efficiently as possible. Make sure that when you get ready for any strenuous, physical activity, you prepare muscles and joints for the hell you’re about to put them through. this will help to prevent injuries and potentially, long-lasting pain. ☯

Protocol And Ceremony ≠ Discipline And Effort

One of the biggest issues facing any martial arts club is when the club as a whole focus more on the bowing and ceremony and less on putting in the honest effort to break a sweat. Unfortunately, this is a trend I’ve seen all too often in some karate clubs, and although it provides the illusion of a nice, fancy martial arts studio, it actually provides nothing beneficial to the students. Or the instructors.

Picture this: The entire class is standing at the back of the dojo. the head instructor provides instructions on a specific set of techniques that he wants the students to practice while moving up the length of the dojo. The head instructor bows to everyone, and everyone bows back. The students perform their respective versions of the demonstrated technique and make their way to the very front of the dojo where they end their techniques and bow to the front. Then they run to the back, bowing to senior belts as they pass them. Some of them no doubt develop hip dysplasia from all the bowing they do. It doesn’t matter that they aren’t doing the technique properly; the importance is placed on ceremony and protocol of the class.

Now, I’m going to be very clear about one thing right now: proper respect and dojo etiquette are VERY important to me. There’s nothing worse than someone who can’t maintain discipline within a karate dojo and shows no respect to those who have been where they are. But you HAVE to be able to work on the learning at the same time! While it may look nice to have a clean, pressed karate gi, and bow at every opportunity, you’re essentially wasting your time and the time of your instructors if you don’t commit to what you’re trying to learn and break a damn sweat!

Some martial arts clubs focus on the “club” and neglect the “martial arts”. That’s all well and good if all you happen to be looking for is a place to congregate and socialize with like-minded people. But while you’re busy exchanging Instagram user names, don’t forget that you’re actually there to learn a skill set that’s centuries and even thousands (depending on your style) of years old. Show it the respect it deserves or go join a knitting circle. ☯

Runnin’ With The Devil…

I come up with these ideas, sometimes. They always have the POTENTIAL to be good, but getting through them can be something of a laborious endeavour. A few days ago when I started getting over the illness I’ve been dealing with, I had this bright idea about going for an early-morning jog. Under regular circumstances, this wouldn’t be a big deal. But one of the ideas behind this decision is that I haven’t really focused on cardio in quite a while and some of my job requirements involve something more than a mastery of the martial arts.

Since I already broke my “no working out” seal on Saturday with a pool party I attended with my son, I thought yesterday morning would be an ideal time to just give it a try. When I was training for my job, I was able to run 3 kilometres in about 21 minutes (see my post about it here: https://thebloggingbuddhist.com/2020/02/08/it-isnt-about-what-youve-done-but-what-youll-move-on-to/)

Since my cardio has been pretty limited to the warm-ups we do at karate, I thought it might be a good idea to do something to increase my cardio and attempt the 3-kilometre run I used to do. I tried to get permission to use the gym facilities through my work, but they stopped me cold. So, I figured I may as well try an early-morning run in from home. Especially since I’m not much of a fan of treadmills.

My alarm went off at 6 a.m. yesterday morning and I rolled over and groaned as my body made a sound similar to a bowling ball rolling over a grocery bag full of corn flakes. Once all of my joints acknowledged the sudden movement I was forcing them into, I walked out to the living room to wake my wife, who had been up a few hours previous to deal with our infant. I didn’t have much time, since it was a school day for Nathan and I would have to get HIM out of bed in an hour.

I dressed up in thermals and slipped on my ear buds and stepped out into the morning chill. The streets were quiet and although I’m certain i wasn’t the only one who was awake at this hour, the streets hadn’t quite come to life yet and everything was quiet. I started my fitness app, which tracks my distance, elevation and plays my workout music.

Monday morning’s stats on my run

The temperature was only -8 degrees Celsius, but that was apparently cold enough to cause my lungs to seize within the first half-kilometre. Running was fairly difficult, despite the quiet streets. But as you can see from the image above, I managed 3.18 kilometres in just under 29 minutes. Not too shabby, considering how long it’s been since I ran like that.

If I were to have planned it out better, I would have done a few things differently:

  1. I would have laced my boots tighter. It stands to reason that I couldn’t run during the winter months with my sneakers, so I had to wear a pair of my tactical boots. I’m reasonably used to running in those on the job, so I figured it would be the best bet. But those boots have a zipper down the side of each boot for easy removal, so I rarely have to tie them. This resulted in them being a bit loose yesterday while I ran. not only is this bad for your feet, it can cause blisters;
  2. I would have mapped out my route a bit better. My goal was to run a definite 3 miles. I used Google maps to track 1.5 kilometres with the intention of simply performing a round trip. The round trip should have totalled 3 kilometres, but either Google maps was a touch off, my RunKeeper app was a touch off or I don’t know how to trace a map properly. Luckily, the app calculates the average speed for me, so it took some of the math out of the equation; and
  3. I would have chosen my layers a bit better. I wore thermal pants and a long-sleeved thermal shirt, with nylon splash pants and a cotton t-shirt over that, followed by a winter jacket, balaclava and leather gloves. The balaclava was a good choice, as minutes into the run, I needed to cover my cheeks and it worked well for this purpose. However, my layering caused excess sweating (right, it was the layering!) and the cold was causing discomfort.

All in all, it was an alright run and it woke me up better than my usual first hit of caffeine. By the time I got back home, I was tired and sweaty but I felt good. This is encouraging for future runs. Not only will I be doing it again, but the goal now is to work on lowering that total time for a 3-kilometre run. The best part is that my blood sugar levels stayed consistent throughout the entire run. The worst part is that I have to go to karate tonight, and my legs are still screaming at me. this should be interesting! ☯

Get BACK To It…

Boys, I was having a rough go of it, for a couple of weeks. Catching any sort of illness when you have Diabetes always has a different share of complications and issues than it would for a non-Diabetic, and this illness was no exception. This is about as much complaining about being sick as I’m going do, but one point that sticks out is that I haven’t had a decent workout in almost two weeks.

Enter: kids’ birthday party! My son Nathan has reached an age where he’s been getting invited out to birthday parties for the past year or two. Given the state of the world and how many people believe everything has to be bigger than life to be worth remembering, we haven’t been attending simple at-home parties with cake and presents. There’s been a Dino-bounce party, involving an indoor bouncy house gym and a couple of waterpark parties, were the family books a room at a local hotel and let’s the kids free range all over a water park with slides and fountains.

The first one of these that we attended, my wife was pregnant with our second child and didn’t partake of the watery fun. Last Saturday, we attended the second of these water-themed kids’ parties and it had a long water slide that required climbing three stories of steps to reach the top. As our infant son is only four months old, he stays with my wife, so she once again couldn’t partake of our watery fun. This means that I was left running along the deck, climbing all those steps and riding down a high-speed water slide for almost two hours with my hyperactive 5-year old.

Now, just to be clear… It was loads of fun! I mean, who DOESN’T enjoy water slides? Probably some people, but my point is that I lost count of the number of laps I swam and the number of steps I climbed, making for a wicked overall workout. The following day revealed the tell-tale tightness in my legs that usually accompanies a workout, especially since I haven’t done anything in almost two weeks. But it also accompanied something that I haven’t had much experience with: back pain.

According to an article written in WebMD, lower back pain before the age of 50 is often the result of sitting for long periods of time, which puts an increased amount of stress on the discs in your back. This is something I can easily admit to, considering my writing, reading and movie-watching habits of late. The article goes on to say that “Strength-training and cardio exercise are both helpful.” This is because it can strengthen the pertinent muscle groups and increase blood flow, which can reduce the pressure and help with the ache. (https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/features/common-pains-of-age#1)

There are a lot of other reasons why your back may ache. As most of you are likely aware, muscle tissue is elastic. As years pass, your muscle groups lose that elasticity and you may lose some cushioning in your spine. When coupled with secondary conditions, such as arthritis, osteoporosis or infections, it can easily result in back back. In my case, I’m inclined to believe that I simply pulled my back muscles as a result of overexerting myself in a short period of time after sitting like a lazy lump, blowing my nose over the past ten days.

Your back is your body’s entire support system, so it’s important not to ignore lasting pain and to take good care of it. As with most things related to the body, the first line of defence is to get plenty of good physical exercise and drink plenty of fluids. keep your core and the related muscle groups strong, and this will go a long way to preventing those annoying twinges in your back. ☯

Do You Think They Had Diabetes On The Enterprise?

Ahh, Star Trek… So many fond memories on so many lazy Sundays during my childhood… I remember laying on the couch on Sundays, watching the adventures of Captain Kirk, Captain of the starship Enterprise, guiding his ship through the cosmos and meeting all kinds of different life forms. And green women… We must not forget the green women!

I’m referring to the original series, of course, that aired in 1966. As I write this, I realize how I’ve just aged myself horribly but when I ask someone nowadays if they’ve ever seen Star Trek, I’m usually met with “What, the one with Chris Pine?” Disappointing. I no longer want to live on this planet, anymore. But on a serious note, Star Trek spawned over half a dozen television series and tons of fantastic movies, some of which have given us a glimpse into the future of technology. I’m sure we can all remember Captain Picard on Star Trek TNG, using those thin touch-pads to write his logs and reports. This was well before the advent of the iPad.

When seeing all that technology and how it’s applied in the medical context, it makes me curious just how disease-free the Star Trek universe actually is. I’ve seen them heal people who were on the brink of death, infected by alien viruses and there’s virtually no mention of disease throughout any of the series, with the exception of a few one-in-a-million incidents. It makes one wonder: Did they cure Type-1 Diabetes in the Star Trek universe?

A Star Trek medical tricorder. Yes, I’m a nerd!

For as long as I’ve had Diabetes, I’ve been hearing how “close” we are to a cure. Back in 1982 when I was first diagnosed, they predicted that we were only about 20 years away from a cure. Here we are 37 years later, and I ain’t hearin’ no cure! It seems that about every five years, they come out with something that “could” potentially be a cure, but nothing ever sticks. It probably doesn’t help that there are a lot of “cure Diabetes” books and articles out there, but they generally refer to Type-2 Diabetes, which is a whole different ballgame (And the effects of Type-2 can be reversed but not necessarily cured).

There have been a lot of promising treatments in recent decades. Different things, such as islet cell or beta cell transplantation, whole gene sequencing and even immune system manipulation have been examined and attempted. The prospect of a true pancreas transplantation has been toyed with, as well. Unfortunately, because it has to do with the immune system and the body’s beta cells, the average ability to be independent of insulin injections is only 60% after five years.

There was even talk about a preventative vaccine that could prevent the onset of Type-1 Diabetes, and was due to start human trials back in 2018. I haven’t heard much in the way of updates on the progress of this vaccine in the past two years, but if successful it would go a long way towards eliminating Type-1 Diabetes. It’ll suck for those of us who already HAVE it, but at least it would guarantee that the next generations to come won’t have to put up with injections, testing and the many complications associated to Type-1 Diabetes. I can almost hear all the anti-vaxxers grinding their teeth in opposition…

So, there you have it. I’m still hearing that magic “20 years” being thrown around when I research potential cures and timelines. But who knows what treatments and possibilities may emerge in the decades to come? By the time we reach the Star Trek age of the future, Diabetes may be a thing of the past. It sure would be nice if all it took was the gentle hiss of a hypospray against my neck and have the doctor say, “There you go, you’re healed!” In the meantime, it’s a classic case of hurry up and wait. ☯

It Isn’t About What You’ve Done, But What You’ll Move On To…

Recent events and seeing old friends has had me feeling nostalgic lately. Despite my best efforts to try and keep myself going, the reality is that time affects us all. And what one is capable of at one point in life may not be what we’re capable of in the years to follow.

I’m reminded of a point in my martial arts training from almost fifteen years ago. I had reached brown belt and somehow I had hit a slump. My techniques weren’t quite as crisp, my kicks felt laborious and my energy just wasn’t there as it used to be. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. I was only in my mid-20’s and had been training more than consistently.

It reached a point where it was starting to affect my mood and my perspective of karate. This is not a good thing when you’ve made karate a permanent part of your life. I started dragging ass and getting down about the whole thing, until Sensei sat me down and snapped me out of it. He explained that everyone has low points and everyone hits a slump time and again. The important part is to keep pushing and working through it. Otherwise, that slump will take you over if you lie down and let it happen.

When you’re on top, it feels as though you’re floating on air!

Eventually, I pushed through whatever was holding me back and went on to black belt. And it’s a good thing I did. If I hadn’t pushed and continued on, I might have missed out on a lot of the great things that followed. And that’s the important lesson: no matter what difficulties you may be facing in the here and now, your perseverance will help you to get through it and be receptive to the positive things to come.

Float on air all you want… 3 miles in 21 minutes is exhausting shit!

I’ve spent my entire life pushing hard to achieve my goals. Even in the face of life-altering difficulties, no self-respecting person can/should do otherwise. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt and never stop fighting. If you give your best effort, once the smoke clears, there can only be warm sunrises and better things on the horizon. Stay strong! ☯

A Blast From The Past

I had the opportunity to visit with an old friend, two days ago. We hadn’t seen each other in over ten years and it was a good time. We parted ways, all the way back in 2009 and although we’ve managed to stay in touch to a certain degree, being scattered across the country makes it a bit difficult to get together for Sunday tea!

My friend and I, back in 2009

My friend was in town for only a few days and reached out to me unexpectedly. We agreed to meet for dinner, had some beers and reminisced about the “good ‘ol days.” We both commented about the fact that despite the amount of time that’s passed, it almost felt as though it was ten years ago and we had never left. It brought up a conversation about brotherhood, and what it truly means.

We often go through life looking straight ahead and pushing towards building our future. This isn’t a bad thing, but for most of us, we tend to forget the people we’ve met along the way. Time and distance plays a hell of a role on who we stay in touch with, and how connected we stay with them. Sometimes it’s nice to stop for a moment and reconnect.

My friend and I, two nights ago!

Although we were both amazed at the effect that ten years has had on both of us, we were able to recognize that we were still the same guys, inside.

In light of the life-altering difficulties I’ve been going through for the past two years, I’ve been blessed with some great people who have lent their support and belief in me. On the home front, I’ve been lucky enough to have my wife who supports and believes in me. My two sons who, despite being a destructive force to be reckoned with in our household, lend an aspect of pride (and entertainment) to my life. Last but not least, my friends. And since you’ll likely be reading this, you know who you are!

You can’t live in the past. This, I’ve said before. But it’s always a good thing to occasionally take a look back to remember where you come from. And to remember who you are. In the right circumstances, it just may give you the added little boost you need to fight your way through your difficulties. ☯

A Bit Of Darkness Mixed With Your Light

“The Good Deeds A Man Has Done Before Defend Him.”

– J. Robert Oppenheimer, Theoretical Physicist and Father of the Atomic Bomb

What causes good people to do bad things? Seriously, we would like to think that the average person walking down the street could be depended upon to always do what’s right and not to perform any intentional action that may cause suffering in others. Makes sense, right? If you’re a good person, why would you do or say anything that may damage or harm another person’s life and/or livelihood? Unfortunately, it’s a lot more common than you think and I see it almost every day.

I’m reminded of a story I read, some time ago. Although the story is a bit different than how I’ll recount it, the lesson is the same. Here we go…

You get off work during a hot summer day and join a coworker at a local bistro for a cold beer after your shift. The sun is out, the weather is beautiful and you decide to sit on the patio so that you and your colleague can enjoy your drink in the warm weather. As you sit down, you’re about to take a sip of that wonderful golden brew, intending to enjoy it to the fullest. Suddenly, a bird flies overhead and drops a shit right into your beer mug. You put the mug down and stare in disbelief as a singular glob of bird shit sits floating on the surface of your beer.

Now, if your friends are anything like mine, your colleague would be laughing his or her ass off at that moment and likely snapping photos for social media or to share around the office. But I digress…

Ask yourself an honest question: Do you get a napkin or a spoon, and scoop the bird shit off the top of your beer and drink the rest? Or do you consider the entire beer spoiled because of that one, tiny drop floating just on the surface? Do you acknowledge that the rest of the beer is fine? Or do you consider the entire drink tainted and destroyed by the one percent that is touched by a negative, outside influence?

“I Believe That Unarmed Truth And Unconditional Love Will Have The Final Word In Reality. This Is Why Right, Temporarily Defeated, Is Stronger Than Evil Triumphant.”

– Martin Luther King

This is comparable to what I’ve been facing over the past two years. I’ve always been the kind of person who prides himself on working hard. I’ve always pushed myself beyond the expectations of society and others and often, beyond my own expectations. I’ve sacrificed and given up more than I can remember and I’ve always felt as though I’ve done the right thing. And despite building over ten years of dedicated, committed effort towards a solid career, someone came along and dropped a shit right in my beer mug!

I would be inclined to believe that most people would throw away the beer. Maybe there are some individuals who would look past the one spoiled aspect and rectify the situation in order to enjoy the rest of it. For the most part, I think we can all agree we’d throw out the beer. I know I would. And comparatively, that person’s actions have now tainted and damaged the past ten years of hard work and effort I’ve given to my career. To the point where most who see it, would throw my career away much like that beer.

So why would this person do this bad thing? For the most part, I believe that a lot of it stems from the societal condition that the world has developed, where people feel the need to come out on top in a “you versus me” environment. Although there may be nothing to inherently gain or lose from your bad action, the prospect of taking the other person down as a matter of personal principle is a bad thing, even if you seem able to rationalize it in your mind.

I read an article in Psychology Today, where the writer shared some information he received from Craig Johnson, a leadership ethicist. Johnson explained during a conference that there are many reasons behind why good people do bad things and the assertion that “people believe we are more moral than we actually are […]” include such things as “the ends justify the means”, meaning that’s it’s okay to do a bad thing if it elicits a positive result. Another method is by devaluing the victim you create. This is the phenomenon where the person thinks, “They deserved it” as a justification for their bad actions. I’ve only provided a couple of examples, but the article goes on with further examples and can be read here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/201411/the-science-why-good-people-do-bad-things

At the end of the day, unless you’ve taken or ended someone’s life, it’s never to late to make amends. You can step forward and repair the damage you’ve caused and try to make your little slice of the world a more positive place. The idea is NOT to cause more suffering in yourself or the world. My personal battle continues, and I can only hope that when the smoke clears I can carry on with my chosen career and continue to help people. After all, even though someone dropped a shit in my mug, there can always be another beer! ☯