Monday Bacon: Texas


The perfect Branding Iron plate. Brisket; ribs; okra, and a red draw.

There are times that I miss Texas. Oooooo, not the whole state of it all, but the good parts that don’t exist north of the Mason Dixon. Of course first is the meat. We don’t get good meat up here. I was spoiled down there. Hell, a Gene’s Tasty burger or even a Braum’s burger is better than 90% of the burger you get up here. And a Herd’s Burger? Fuggitaboutit. I could take a left or a right out of my driveway for either great BBQ or some of the best BBQ. Here? Matt and I went to a BBQ joint here once. They didn’t have a smoker. Ummmmm, huh? Yup. We actually went to a BBQ joint that smelled of french fries. It was heartbreaking. Oh sure, I think there’s one or two okay places that people go to but a quick glance at the menu and they’re asking $13.50 for a brisket sammich. $13.50. For a brisket sammich. See that pic up there? MAYBE that plate PLUS the red draw cost $13.50 but I don’t think so. But you could get a roasted portobello sammich for $9.75. Hey, BBQ’s joints, if you sell Portobello sammiches you’re not a BBQ joint.

Also, they sell a 1/2# sausage for $12.50? For a 1/2# of sausage and shitty bread. Really? GFY. True story.

OH! Talk about sausage, I miss Windthorst sausage. Windthorst is a little German town nearby WF and the local grocer carried the sausage (the butcher actually trained at the gym and every so often he would say, “I left you some sausage in the fridge juli”. I loved him.)  I practically lived off of it down there. I have yet to eat a better breakfast than leftover Branding Iron, a little Windthorst sausage and some over easy eggs with French Press cawfee. Damn I miss it.

Of course I miss the people. My friends; my pilots; the nice kids at Market Street who brought out my groceries and had the verbal skills to carry on a conversation with an adult. That’s becoming a lost art. FoShizzle.


Sunday shootin’. Yes, all guns were empty of shells or clips and Yes, it still made me nervous the way Rose was holding that thing;)

I miss having fun gym conversations with good people who say, “Hey, why don’t you come out Sunday and we’ll do some shootin’.”  Heath, Janet, Morrison, Mary, Lael, Tina and my beautiful friend Veronique who is no longer with us. People who say, “Whaddo ya need?” God I miss that.

But what mostly brought on this bout of nostalgia was something that happened the other night that really made me miss these…


When an Irish lass wants a picture with true Texans, they oblige.

…Texas men. See, there’s something about Texas men. And no, I won’t say all Southern men because I’ve met some hyooge douche bags from the south that believe just because they tack an accent onto asshole words that it works for the little ladies of the north. F.O. From early childhood, these males are taught to show respect to women. Mad respect. Yes, of course there’s still creeps and men who don’t. But (in public anyway) they are not tolerated like they are up here. Milwaukee particularly. I noticed it right away. When out and about, a man would just as soon drive a woman off the road than allow them to merge in. At bars, they are aggressive and disrespectful. Unheard of down there. A man gets aggressive with a woman at P2 and he’s got a line of men waiting to  jumping in and kick his ass. True story.

I’ve even seen when drunk women probably DESERVE to get barked at for poor behavior down there and if a dude dares even try it, he’s quickly surrounded. I miss that.

The other night I had a waiter at a restaurant not only get aggressive with me (ask a waiter who isn’t even yours for a set of silverware and I guess that’s enough to set them off) but he put his hands on me and when I talked to the manager about it he ran over and jumped in my face. When I kept looking at the manager and asked him to remove this angry man from my face ‘angry waiter man’ actually got closer and tried to brush me back. It was upsetting to say the least. That the manager did nothing was disturbing,  yes. But that two men from the kitchen were standing right there and did nothing to reel this guy in was most distressful. See, that wouldn’t happen in Texas. Men don’t stand by and let women get treated like that. I miss it. It makes me sad. I’ve seen it in the gyms; at bars; in coffee shops and now at Hamburger Mary’s.

Being disrespected is one thing, ya gotta have thick skin around this whole life thing. But when a man is trying to brush back a woman in public? You stand up and say  nope, that’s not how we do things ’round here. At least that’s how it is in Texas. And I miss it.


Someday I’m going to have a Herds Burger birthday cake!

Herd’s burgers. I really miss Herd’s burgers too. In case I haven’t mentioned it.

Respect yourself and others will respect you.


**actually this is wrong. Just because you respect yourself doesn’t mean you’ll be respected. There are a lot of folks out there who don’t own the self-esteem to show respect to others. They need to show anger or aggressiveness towards others they think they can bully. It’s pathetic and sad.

Training Log


About tosabarbell

For training opportunities at tosabarbell, call or text Juli at 320-296-9313. e-mail to At tosabarbell, I build relationships cultivated in a strength and learning environment. There is no 12 week magic pill program to strength but rather a lifetime commitment to be the very best and most useful human you can be. tosabarbell is a private, home grown gym with three lifting platforms; squat rack; prowlers; throwing implements; bars, bumpers and everything else needed for an effective strength and conditioning program. Straightforward barbell programming including the Olympic lifts; sound (read: not fancy bullshit) diet advance for weight gain or loss; and strong coaching will ensure you will meet your goals such as becoming stronger, more explosive, and better conditioned. I have been coaching teams and athletes for over 30 years. I grew up participating in various sports at various levels but was always drawn to those that require strength training. I have multiple local, national, and world records in the sports of Weightlifting and Highland Games Heavy Events as well as a combined total of 5 World Championships. My 5 years of training and coaching under Mark Rippetoe provided a wide range of influence from some of the top strength & conditioning and throwing coaches in the country. I will strongly encourage tosabarbell athletes to compete (and prepare you to do so.) However, tosabarbell is also for those who wish to be stronger and go through life feeling better. Matt WanAt is a retired Professional Strongman who competed frequently with Strongman Champions League in Europe. He played a year of D1 football with Iowa before concentrating on his Chemical Engineering degree in Iowa City. He is a native of Wauwatosa and still remains a staunch supporter of Tosa East. This blog will be a mixture of strength notes, coaching and nutrition tips, personal shit; bacon delicacies, and a whole lot of fun.
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