About Me

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Welcome to my blog - My name is Jim Bull and I share this information with you in the hopes of helping you or a friend or family member in some way. Here you'll find motivational material, my views of life and some background info from my past. I help others live the life they've always wanted through the sharing of information regarding all areas of life.Please let me know how I can help you. Ezekiel 36:26

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Wow - learning to live in the blur.

Its been a long while since I've shared here, but life has been kind of crazy lately. As many of you know on September 1 our beautiful little grandson Aiden was born. Months before when we learned of my daughters pregnancy we all talked about and considered the options. There was only one of course and that was for Jess to keep the baby.
Over the months leading up to his birth we mostly just went through the motions without really considering how our lives would be changed. Occasionally we would say - things are really going to change once the baby arrives, but I don't think I was really prepared for what life was about to throw at me.
Once Aiden arrived we were all filled with joy and the anticipation of his arrival home. The day he and Jess came home I was leaving for a business trip, so it would be another few days until reality actually hit me. Once back in PA I was overjoyed by my new grandson, but unprepared for the lack of sleep, the hours of crying and the in ability to really get any work at all done in my home office.
You see I'm a bit of an entrepreneur. I work for a company as a publication manager for two monthly motorcycle publications. In addition I own a Promotional Products business and I sell Real Estate in Southern Lancaster County. Now throw in husband, father and pap to a newborn and guess what you get - yes that's right, crazy....... and really that doesn't even come close to a proper description.
Fast forward two and a half months till today, yes I finally got a free moment to write in my blog. I really shouldn't be because I have a deadline tomorrow and I'm not quite there, but I've come to the realization that it will all get done. We have learned a lot, or should I say have remembered a lot about raising a new baby. I have to give props to Jess - she is the best 17 year old single mom I know. And thanks to my darling Debby, she is still the rock that holds it all together. Without her we would all be in trouble.
So life is good - the baby is starting to settle in, my son is home safely from the military and the rest of us have all learned how to function on a few hours sleep a night. The biggest thanks goes out to God for giving us all the strength, energy, will and desire to move forward each and every day.
Hey, maybe with a little luck I'll even find time to do this more. Thanks for reading and we'll see you the next time around.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

From Simple Truths

Weekly Verse
"And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."
-Colossians 3:17

Weekly Quote
 "God has created me to do him some definite service; he has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another. I have my mission. I never may know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next."
John Henry Newman

Weekly Thought
Charles Plumb was a U.S. Navy jet pilot in Vietnam. After seventy-five combat missions, his plane was shot down, and Plumb parachuted into enemy territory, becoming a POW. He survived his ordeal, however, and eventually returned home. While eating in a restaurant one day, he was approached by a scruffy-looking man who said, "You're Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam and were shot down!"

"How did you know that?" asked Plumb.

"I packed your parachute," the man replied. "I guess it worked!"

Plumb couldn't sleep that night, thinking about the unknown man who'd saved his life. From that day on, he determined to always take notice of—and say thank you to—those who "pack his parachute" each day.

Make the most of each day by thanking those who "pack your parachute" and by making an effort to do the same for someone else.

Father, I know that You can use even the smallest gestures and efforts. Thank You for all the little things people do for me, and help me to be an encouragement to someone else today. Amen

Join the weekly newsletter at: www.simpletruths.com

Friday, October 14, 2011

Planning for the Future

As I was working off my 90 days at the jail for "driving under suspension" I was quickly planning my future, or so I thought. You see a good friend of mine rented a second floor apartment on the west side of town and he called me one day at work to let me know that the first floor efficiency was opening up soon. I just had to have this place, you see there was a girl that lived on that side of town that I had my eye on and I knew she hung out a lot and partied on the third floor of this very same building. It was a crowd that I kind of knew and I was just certain that I could score this prize if I could just be around that "scene" more often.
So I got the number of the landlord and while I was supposed to be at work one day I was off to check out the apartment. I jumped on a motorcycle at work (still no license and in jail for driving without one) and off I went. I met the landlord, looked at the place and told her I would take it. Now wait a minute she says, I need to learn a little about you before I rent you this place. Well of course I made up some kind of story and convinced the lady that I was the guy. Timing was perfect because just as I was getting out of jail the apartment was becoming ready so I moved right in.
The goal was to hang out more with the crowd on the third floor and get to know this girl better. Turns out while I was finishing up my last couple weeks in jail that she started to date another guy in the crowd. It turned in to a bit of a competition at first but the dude definitely had a lot more going for him than I did. Her choices, a relatively good kid who's family owed a successful small business or an ex felon with no money and bad intentions. Anyhow, he got the prize and I moved on.
It would be the beginning of a two year binge of chasing women and the ultimate buzz. I would again meet a whole new group of people. People who taught me how to smoke crack, people who had people shot because of drug deals gone bad, people who would let people lay along the road and die after a traffic accident because they didn't want to get busted, people that would do just about anything to protect their self, and I was right there helping to lead the charge. It would be a new level of selfishness, deceit, run ins with the law and near death experiences. It would be a time that has too many details to divulge here, a time that I barely escaped with my life. Matter of fact the day I left that "scene" I called my dad and begged him to allow me to come home, he said ok and asked when I wanted to do it. My reply, it has to be today dad. I knew it had to be that day because I wasn't sure if there was going to be a tomorrow. He didn't like it, but he came and helped me move that day. I was so desperate that I set up shop in their garage because there was no room in the house. At the time my parents were caring for my sick grandparents and it was the only place to go.
I was just happy to have a place to lay my head, a place away from the madness I had become a part of. It was a new start, but by now you should no me, again it was a start in the wrong direction. Planning my future, I had no clue.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Right Back to Jail

It wasn’t very long that I was out of rehab that I moved back to my original hometown and I was hanging with some of the old crowd and a little bit of a new one too. We were really into drinking and we were all still underage. I believe I was home for less than six months and I got pulled over for speeding on my way home late one night and I was drunk so I got a DUI charge. Because of my recent stay in the drug and alcohol rehab the judge denied my ARD application and sent me off to jail to serve 48 hours behind bars and he gave me a year’s probation period in which they took my license for 90 days.
Again, I shrugged it off and continued on with my wild lifestyle showing no respect for anybody or anything. I had lost my license but it didn’t stop me from driving. I was on my way home from work one evening just a few weeks after my arrest and a car full of girls pulled up beside me on a two lane, blew their horn and waved and took off. Of course I wasn’t going to let this opportunity pass me by so I was off on the chase. Just one mile down the road I heard the sirens and saw the lights in my rearview and thought oh crap. As I watched the car full of girls drive off in the distance I pulled to the side of the road to “deal with the police” so I could get on with my evening.
As the officer approached my vehicle I was quickly conjuring up a story. I told him that I left my license in my other car or something or the other so he told me to sit tight and that he needed to check with dispatch. As he came back to my car the first thing he did was advise me to contact a lawyer, that driving without a license on a DUI suspension was a mandatory 90 day jail sentence. I’m thinking, you gotta be kidding, and I’m not even drinking and I get 48 hours for driving drunk and 90 days for driving sober, what is wrong with this picture.
It turns out the officer was correct so off I went to the county jail a short time later. Fortunately I was able to get on the work release program so I could continue to work and party, after all it was all about the buzz. As I traveled back and forth to work I would still manage to smoke a joint and even sometimes do a little drinking, depending who was on duty back at the jail. The county prison was strategically placed only about three miles from my work so I never had trouble getting a ride. It’s funny how things work, I remember coming in from work one evening and there was one of the counselors from the drug rehab I attended. He was at the jail to interview another inmate for the program a whole county away. He took one look at me and just kind of chuckled and asked me why I was there. I told him my story and all he could say was, I think I told you so…

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Leaving Re Hab

I had finally managed to leave the rehab for good. I had worked my way almost the whole way through the program in record time and I was about to be released when I messed up. It was about 6 months in and they were allowing me to attend art school with the plan in mind to be released after several weeks of successful attendance. Unfortunately I blew that notion a few weeks in when a pretty girl at school offered me a Quaalude, I took the drugs, didn't get the girl and went on a two week binge before returning to the program. Thus I had to start over and go through the whole process again. I was just about through the levels when my year term had come to an end. A few weeks prior to that I managed to get a painting and remodeling job with a pretty solid firm in town and I found a small third floor efficiency apartment to rent.
Things went pretty good for the first few weeks, my employer was keeping me busy and I was staying away from the old crowd. It was easier because I was a whole city away and I really didn't know anybody except for the people at work and a girl I met who was an outpatient and attending the rehab for night counseling. (we'll call her sally)
Sally and I hit it off good and we started to date. Of course her dad didn't like this because he knew my background and was trying everything in his powers to keep us apart. He was running for mayor of a small town and didn't need his daughter associating with a guy like me. I managed also to bump into a local kid who I met in rehab who had recently got out too and the first thing he did when we bumped into each other was to hand me a bong. At first I declined but it didn't take much urging from my new friend to get me to cave in.
That was kind of the beginning of the end of the sobriety. I was now smoking pot again with the new kid, Sally's dad was making it hard for me to spend any time with her, so I started to travel back to my old hometown on the weekends to see who I could meet up with and what I could get myself in to.
Well the bible says, seek and you shall find and sure enough another truth from that little black book that so many of us run and hide from. The weekend trips turned into weeknight trips too and before you knew it I was missing work, late on my rent and getting stoned all the time. (I think they mentioned something at rehab about staying away from the old crowd) obviously they were right again.
From that point things are kind of sketchy in the old memory banks. My old girlfriend had ditched me so I was pretty much partying with the guys and always on the hunt. We did a lot of drinking and party hopping, I had to be around 19 or 20 at the time and I had finally landed a real job as a salesperson at a local motorcycle shop. I had hooked up with a new crowd of old friends that would eventually lead to my heavy use of cocaine and more jail time. Life was a party and we were living it large, it was a time of anything goes and living for the buzz.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Three Week Blur

I remember years gone by when I was into the party scene that I could forget entire evenings and sometimes weekends depending on the size of the bash and how much hard liquor I would consume. But the the last couple of weeks are almost the same or even more of a blur than those days from long ago.
My bouncing baby G son was born three weeks ago today, matter of fact just a half an hour ago it was official. I taught Aiden how to count to 100 today for his 3 week birthday gift. I know kinda korny, but that's what paps do.
In the last couple of weeks I've traveled by car over 2000 miles, I've had deadlines for two publications, I've changed countless poopy diapers and I am probably sleeping less hours a night than more. Sometimes Jess looks at me and says dad, when did he eat or sleep last? She's been writing most of it down but boy is it easy to forget.
I thought I better get back to my blog and at least talk about something. I can't even image continuing on with the blog book for now. I know it will come back soon but for now we're just living day to day. How do you do it you ask? It only takes one look at the little stinker and the energy comes rushing right back and your ready to go again. At least till the next task is done.
For those of you following along with the story, thanks for your patience. I just ask that you stay tuned in and it's most likely I'll talk about something. TTYL - the pap.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Re - Hab

Wow, what a year in my life this was. I was 17 years old and found myself in a court appointed drug and alcohol rehabilitation program. I had no idea what to expect and I was a little scared while on my way there. The judge had given me a few days out of lockup released to my parents with their promise that they would deliver me to rehab on time.
I said my goodbyes to my friends and went and bought some new cool T shirts to wear while there. The first thing they did when I got there was to go through my stuff and they took every one of those brand new t shirts I had bought to impress my new roomies. I protested but they said that it would remind me of my old life and that I had to forget everybody and everything that I knew if I was going to get clean. Well already I didn’t like the sound of this and I began my stay with the attitude that these people were crazy and had no idea what they were talking about.
It would be a year of group meetings with my peers and counselors three and four times every day. These meetings would last two to three hours each and they were designed to break you down and help you realize the real meanings behind your addictions. According to the experts we all have some deep dark reason why we began our abuses. It could never be because you just liked to get high and one thing led to another. There was always some terrible thing that had to have happened in your past for you to start down this path. Maybe you were sexually abused as a child, or perhaps physically. Maybe you were always picked on or beat up as a kid at school. Maybe you’re just a loser and your brain is all messed up. Maybe it was because your dad put a gun to your head when you were 11, who knows.
It was definitely not a building up period but a tearing down, kids in your face and adults in your face, and this was supposed to help me quit using drugs. All it managed to do in my case and in many of the kids I talked to there was to learn how to work the system, tell them what they wanted to hear so you could get the heck outta there. It was mind games at its best and the house ruled the roost. Here you were locked up with 30 other people between the ages of 16 and 25 and the group was your judge, jury and executioner.
You see when it was your turn to be counseled by the group, look out. We all would get hammered at some point and all you wanted to do when it wasn’t your turn was, hammer back. You have all these criminals locked up for various reasons with an almost free reign to mess with you during group to find out which one of your relatives made you have sex with them when you were 8 thus causing your drug use. It was a circus and I don’t think anybody got cured. Keep in mind this was many years ago and I’m not sure if current programs work on the same premise or not. I sure know it didn’t work for me.
They were right about a couple of things though and to their credit I did not listen. If you are using or abusing drugs your life will definitely get worse the longer you continue the use and if you want to get clean you need to remove every aspect of your old life to begin a new life, sometimes even parents and girlfriends need to go. The one thing they didn’t introduce was the saving power of Jesus which is a vital part of the solution but I imagine there is some law that says they can’t do that. Forbid entering God into the picture, it might anger some atheist three states away (but again that’s a story for another day).
I do know I spent a little over a year there and went through the program twice and I was using again before I ever got my official release. But they were right after all; life did continue to get worse because I just wouldn’t give up the buzz.

Back to the Book

I apologize to all my faithful blog readers. I have not made a regular post lately due to the awesome arrival of our new Grandson Aiden. He is a cool little dude but he has definitely topped the list of priorities around the household. His mommy is doing a great job but as any single parent knows, it’s more than a full time job. So Deb and I have been helping out with taking care of the little squirt, in between feedings, cleanings, sleepings and working there is not much spare time left to write. Never fear, it’s all good. We love junior and his mommy so it’s rock on and get er done time and we’ll fit everything else in when we can.

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Week With The Kid

My new little buddy Aiden is now a week old. Actually it was official yesterday and tomorrow he'll be home for a week. What a change around here, we've talked about it for the last 6 months. About how it was going to change all our lives and now the reality is finally beginning to set in.
Most of the time he is a very good little dude. As I am typing he is beginning to squawk. Boy can the kid squawk,turn it on, turn it off. But overall he is a great little baby. The sounding off at two in the morning is definitely a new sound in our household but it really doesn't bother you that much. After all you know its just another Bull kid learning the ropes. How can that be bad.
Anyhow, I gave Jess the new Mom of the week award today. She is doing so well, especially for her age. I can picture many young girls her age struggling tremendously with the task at hand. She's had a few brief moments but all in all she has adapted very well and I expect her to be the new Mom of the month before long.
So we have the smelly diapers, the crying in the middle of the night. The constant struggle to try and figure out what he needs now and the new lack of sleep. Life couldn't be any better if you ask me. Props to Aiden and Jess and oh yes, Grammy Deb too. Who do you think gets the kid fired up most of the time? As soon as he's content, she wants to play. Thank God for Grammy, she is the rock that makes the whole family rock.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Now What

I remember spending those first two weeks locked up in isolation trying to put all the pieces together from that dreadful night on the town. Things were very sketchy and I knew that I had done it good this time. At one point I even found myself turning to God in the hopes that things would be ok. Isn’t it funny how we do that? Especially when we call ourselves non believers in God while out in public yet behind closed doors as soon as something doesn’t go our way, we find ourselves praying to him to save us.
It’s also funny how so many non Christians will call a person who proclaims themselves a Christian a hypocrite as soon as we let a cuss word fly, or do something not Bible worthy. I mean out on the street I would brag about being a General in Satan’s Army and the minute I got caught, I was praying to God to help me. I would say that would be a better definition of a hypocrite. But anyhow that’s a story for another day.
After the first couple of weeks they moved me to Juvenile Detention awaiting a trial date. It took around four months till we finally got through the whole process and sentenced. I remember being scared to death while I was in jail, however it didn’t take long once they moved me to the general population over in Juvee Hall that I would start to quickly forget the severity of my charges.
Matter of fact in there I was at the top of the food chain. It’s rare that anyone comes through that system with the types of charges I was facing and I even knew a few of the kids there. That’s another thing I’ve found while doing time in different institutions. It starts to become a way of life for people. I couldn’t tell you how many guys I knew that found themselves in trouble just days before their scheduled release and bam, they get more time tacked on. Then the other scenario is they get out and don’t know how to support themselves on the streets so they get busted just to have a place to live. It is a true shame and certainly not the right road for anyone to travel.
While in detention I pushed the limits. I went from being scared and concerned about the crimes I committed right back to the idiot I was while on the streets. I had my then girlfriend bake pot brownies for me and bring them in at a visitation. I would have my friends come by late at night and blow pot smoke through the screen in my window to get high. I was even plotting an escape with another kid who was there on burglary charges. Before we could make an attempt I would get sentenced and be on my way to a court appointed drug and alcohol rehabilitation center a county away.
To this day it still seems like a dream. I was so wasted that night that I didn’t remember a lot of the facts. I had no idea that we had actually shot a person. We were shooting at headlights and we took off. The car we did shoot at while moving turned and drove in the other direction so I figured they were ok. In my trial there was a judge, a prosecutor, several police officers that testified against me and the reports from the tests they ran on the shell casings in my car that matched the bullet that struck the man in the chest. Till this day I have never met any of the victims and I don’t have a clue how I may have affected their lives.
I had been the lucky one I guess. No one died thankfully and I was under age and was able to convince them that I would get cleaned up and change my ways if they gave me the opportunity. So off I went, I said good bye to my family as they dropped me off at the center. I believe they gave me a few days to gather the belongings I needed for the year long stay in the program. The games were about to begin as I embarked on this new learning opportunity, not to get clean, but to learn how to better work the system. It would be a year of ups and downs but certainly not a year for getting better.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Waking Up With A New Baby In The House

Like, every couple hours or so, ha ha. Last night was the first night for me with my new grandson in the house. Deb stayed at the hospital with Jess and Aiden the entire time they were there. I would visit for a few hours at a time in between my work schedule. They came home on Saturday as I headed off to upstate PA to cover an event for work, I returned home late last night to the joy of our new baby boy.
The girls are both troopers and were up with Aiden whenever necessary. He does seem to be a very content kiddo but boy can he scream when he wants to. The girls told me to stay in bed and that they would handle everything. You can't help but hear him though when he gets to squawking. To me it seemed like he was up most of the night but the girls informed me that he did real well and actually slept from 1 to 4. I could tell they were both pretty worn out so pap's on duty now. They are both in bed sleeping and so is my grand baby boy Aiden, for now.
He is a beautiful boy and I look forward to the joy that he will bring our family in the coming years. Jess has gone in to mom mode and Deb has definitely gone into Grammy mode. The only thing we need now is for our son to come back home from the Marine Corp and the family will be complete once again.
Thank you God for this beautiful bundle of joy and we pray that we can all grow old together. Matter of fact, Deb and I are looking forward to the day the we can be called great grammy and pap.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Waking Up In Jail

It wasn't the first time that I had woken up in either a police station or a juvenile facility, but this was the real deal. I was in a small cell with very bright lights and it was just big enough to fit a cot against the one wall with a metal toilet and mirror on the other side and a very small ledge that you could sit at and write a letter on or read a book at.
I remember the lights coming on early in the morning and that's how they woke you up everyday. I guess it beat the detention center I had spent close to a month in down in Virginia the year before. There they never turned the lights out, they said it was easier to make sure you hadn't escaped that way.(who needs sleep)
I remember that first morning waking up to the bright lights, it took a few minutes for reality to set in. There were many mornings I woke up trying to remember the events of the night before, but this time was different. Even though many of the details were sketchy, I knew I was in big trouble, that I had really messed up this time.
Finally a guard came and spoke to me through the small opening in the cell door. There was a window in the door with wire running through it so I could see out into the control area. I knew I was in a special place in the prison because there was this huge round room with lots of plate glass windows and it was full of guards. I think from this spot they could control the whole facility.
Anyhow the guard told me that when he left the area that they were going to open my door and that my breakfast was waiting for me on a table out there. They were acting like I was some kind of a wacko that was going to try and take out the guard (I guess after all I was there for going on a shooting spree) it was taking a little while to sink in.
So this guard left the front of my cell and an outer electronic door opened, I'll never forget the sounds of those doors opening and closing. Once he was outside, then my door opened and I was able to walk out into a room that was a little larger than my cell with a table and one chair that you could set at and eat.
This happened three times a day, breakfast, lunch and supper and the rest of the time you were in your cell. I later found out that I was in a special section of the prison for two reasons, first was the fact that I was still 17 and couldn't be put into general population and secondly because of the severity of my crimes.
I don't remember for sure how long I was there, I 'm pretty certain it was just under two weeks. I know they only let me out to shower once and I got out once for a visit with the pastor from a church that I attended with my grandparents as a kid and my mom came once after she got out of the hospital. You see my stupid acts gave her heart issues that night and she was in the hospital for a day or two. I got to look at her through a pain of glass and listen to her cry for the entire time she visited over a telephone. She just kept asking me over and over again, why did you do it? Why did you do it?
After my stay there they moved me to a juvenile detention center until my trial came up. This place was much more forgiving and it didn't take long before I was taking for granted what I had done and I was already learning how to work the system.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It May Be Another Night I'll Never Forget

Well here I sit, just waiting. Twenty years ago tonight I was in the same position, only I was waiting for my first child to be born. Here I am tonight, still at home but betting I will be at the hospital a little later, this time waiting for my first grandchild to be born.
It was a little crazy at some points today, my young daughter is having her first child and at one point we had a very scary episode. But all is well, the girls are now counting the minutes between the contractions and I'm just waiting.
How cool could it be to have my son and a grandson born on the same day? Only time will tell. So tune back in tomorrow and we'll all know the results.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Night I'll Never Forget

There is one night from my teenage years that I will always remember. And to be honest there are many parts about the evening that my mind must have blocked out. I do remember the outcome but much of it is still hearsay to me because I don't remember witnessing it and I have never met the victims. I didn't remember the events the day after it happened and I don't remember them to this day. Maybe it's Gods way of sparing me the unnecessary replays that would occur in my memory. Maybe your brain takes over to protect your heart or maybe it's just denial. Maybe it was just all of the drugs and alcohol that were in my system that night . Either way they proved it all in a court of law so here you go.
I don't remember what night of the week it was, I do know it was cold out and it was sometime in February I believe. My father was back in the hospital again from complications from drinking too much his entire life and I do know it was just a few months after I had quit school. I had been spending a lot of time with a certain friend of mine and we had been reading a lot from this Satanic Bible that I had found at a bookstore in the mall.
I remember going over to his house that night around 6:00 and there was another kid there who was only 14. I was 17 and this other guy had just turned 18. We had picked up some more grain alcohol for the night and that stuff would put you right over the top. It was 190 proof and would just warp your brain. On top of that my buddy had some pills that we took and I couldn't tell you what they were. This guy had a steady supply of this stuff and about all you could ever get out of him was, just take them, you'll like it. We were also smoking pot all night and we were reading from this book.
Our dream was to have power over people, power to get what we wanted without having to work for it or pay for it. We believed that if we did the things the book said to do that we could have whatever we wanted. I don't remember what we read that night or what we actually set out to do.
What I do remember is going to my parents house and taking two hunting rifles and a shotgun out of the gun cabinet and hitting the road with my friends in my 1969 GTO. My mom woke up that night and she tried to stop me, she tried to talk some sense into me but I just pushed her aside and told her not to worry about what I was doing.
I only remember bits and pieces from that night. They pieced most of it together for me in a series of trials that found me guilty on two counts each of reckless endangerment, aggravated assault and accomplice to attempted homicide.Attorneys didn't want to represent me because they all thought I was lying about not remembering the events of the night. Finally my parents were able to find someone to take the case and I think my grandparents paid the attorney fee's because it was so much money.
The main elements I remember from that night were my friends telling me to go, I remember being chased by the police for hours and losing them several times. I remember telling my buddy to blast the car in front of us, which he did because they had pulled out if front of my prized GTO. I remember being face down in the middle of the road with lots of police cruisers surrounding me and seeing my buddy laying on his back in a police car trying to kick the rear windows out.
I remember the police telling me later that I was a good driver and I also remember the police taking my mom to the hospital with heart problems because of what I had done that night.
I don't remember the man getting shot that was sitting in his van trying to defrost the ice off his windshield so he could begin his delivery route. I remember leaving the parking lot and the police chase beginning just a short time later. I remember dropping off one of the kids to stash the guns in the woods and I do remember picking him back up with the guns because we thought the coast was clear. I also remember taking the shots at the girl in the car ahead of us, but she didn't get hit.
I do remember spending over a year locked up for my crimes, I do remember the fact that the 18 year old spent eight years locked up because of what we did. You see he was an adult and I wasn't and that made the differences in our sentences.
I do believe God was with us that night no matter how terrible that sounds. You see God kept the bullets far enough away from the mans heart so he didn't die and God kept the lady leaning just a bit to the left so two bullets didn't enter the back of her head. I do know that the events we set in motion that night came from doing and believing the wrong things and I also believe that God intervened to keep us all around to do better things.
Believe what you want, but just for a moment imagine that there is something bigger out there than us all. Imagine that good can come from bad and imagine that God uses us all in different ways at different times for different reasons. I meet so many people that say if there was a God he wouldn't let things like that happen. I can bet that some of the people we hurt that night could maybe feel that way or maybe their family members while they were laying in the hospital trying to recover. I know it drives me crazy sometimes too because I don't understand why things happen or what the reasons may be. I can say just keep the faith and life can and will be good because trust me, the spree wasn't over yet.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

What Year Did That Happen

As I reflect on these writings I struggle to remember many of the facts and dates when events actually occurred. I do know up until the summer I turned 17 there was a whole lot of partying going on. There were so many mornings that I didn't have a clue about what happened the night before. I still to this day don't remember many nights of my youth due to excessive drug and hard alcohol use. It actually scares the crap out of me because of the things that I do remember that we did, who knows what else might have gone down. 
By this time I had run away from home twice, and I'm not talking about the temper tantrum scenario where you want to prove a point to your mom and dad because they didn't buy you the new stereo you wanted. I'm talking about stealing vehicles and heading for the border. About selling stolen goods to family members to raise money for the trips. About wishing that I'd never see my family again. That's how clouded my judgement was from the drug use.
Both times I ended up in juvenile detention in other states which caused lots of problems for not only my family but for some of the others that were involved. It was my first time being locked up and it scared the crap out of me at first, unfortunately it didn't take long to fit into that scene too.
I ended up back in PA and as fall came along my parents made me go back to school. I really didn't want to do that so I continued hooking class. My parents even began driving me to school to make sure I would go. Many days they would drop me off in front of school  and five minutes later I would walk out the back door and go about my business for the rest of the day. PA had a law then that you couldn't quit school before you were 18 without a full time job, of course I didn't want one of those either.
I finally convinced my parents to let me tell my guidance counselor that I would be going to live with my Grandparents in Maryland and that I would be attending school there. It was November of my 11th grade year and it would be the last time I would ever set foot in a high school classroom.
I did however manage to get my GED diploma before my class would graduate. I was able to take the test and pass while I was locked up in a court appointed drug rehab on attempted homicide charges less than one year later.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Big 16

The next milestone on the way through life is getting to 16. That means the drivers license, more freedom, the open road and more opportunities to either do the right thing or the wrong thing. For me it meant another new school and meeting more new people.
I had pretty much blown all opportunities at my home school. I was really into smoking pot and hooking out of class. The pot made me lazy and I just wasn't into the learning, I had become a juvenile delinquent, always fighting with my parents and teachers, thinking I knew what was best for myself and getting into trouble with the law was starting to become a habit. It was stupid things like underage drinking and driving violations, but the pattern had begun.
I had decided to attend school at Vo Tech because I heard you could get away with more there. You only had to spend half the time in general education classes and the rest of the time was spent in shop. It sounded like a plan to me, I had also heard that it was easier to score the good drugs there.
I know the last part of that statement was certainly true. By the time I was half way through the 10th grade I was buying speed by the jug (1000 hits) and dropping acid a couple times a month. I had a car so I could now drive myself and my friends to school and we would always go in late and leave school early. I think if you were there by 10:15 it only counted as a tardy and not an all day abscense.
By the end of that year I had developed quite a reputation as a drug dealer, I had been busted for possession of marijuana and my parents had received numerous truancy fines for me not attending school. Life was good, I was living large and I was in control.I had already gotten to the point of not caring how my actions affected others and it wouldn't be long until the big hammer would drop.
Believe it or not I made it through 10th grade and was even able to pass. We moved into summer and thats when the partying really kicked into gear. I had met another knew friend, a guy that would take me to levels unimaginable in most peoples lives. That summer we dropped acid, learned how to drink grain alcohol and picked up a little book at the local book store called the Satanic Bible.
We were looking for power, power that would let us rule the world. We had know idea yet where it was going to take us, but I'll tell you now, it wasn't like the lyrics in the song said,

Hell ain't a bad place to be...

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Early Teens

Every kid looks forward to that magic number 13. It's the first milestone in growing up. At 13 you're a teen, 16 you drive, 18 you can vote and drink in some states. The big 21 gets you into the bar then life is all downhill from there. At least that's how I felt, heck as an older teen I never believed that I would live to see 21 so I thought, we better party hard and who cares what happens.
The 13-15 years we're pretty crazy for me. I hadn't gotten into much legal trouble in those years but boy did I learn how to party. I was working out the drinking thing and I can't really remember but I think I was over the "throwing up phase" every time I drank. I was getting really good at rolling joints and experimenting with pills. Uppers, downers, there was a pill for everything. And then there was the acid. I didn't get into that too heavy until I was about 16, but those days were coming.
I was excited about 16, I wanted to drive. I already had a car but a little run in with the law on my dirt bike held up that process. One day I took the cops on a 5 mile joy ride but they eventually caught me and wrote me up for numerous driving offenses delaying my driving permit for 90 days.
It was all fun and games and I didn't think I was hurting anybody. What I didn't realize was that it was just the beginning of a 10 year stretch of trouble with the law and serious alcoholism and drug addiction that would put a serious dent in my current happiness and future prosperity.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Motocross for Christ Camp

Hi all - I just got in last night from the second camp for 2011 and what a great time it was. We spent the last half of the week at the Wicomico Motorsports Park in Southern, MD. Their facility is located on Rte. 234 just a few miles before you reach Budds Creek.

I think there was close to 50 children there plus staff and volunteers and many of the parents hang around also to partake in the activities. Opening ceremonies were Wednesday night then we were up bright and early Thursday morning to kick off the activities. A typical day at camp starts out with morning exercise before breakfast then it's into morning chapel then bike safety and maintenance before they hit the track for morning motocross training.
At noon it's a quick break for lunch then back to the track. Mid afternoon brings creative learning and adult devotions. The rest of the day then gives the kids a free ride period leading into the evening activities which include devotional speakers, camp fires and snacks, candle light services and Friday night always brings a Christian Rock band to camp. Then bed and repeat the next day.
By Saturday everyone is pretty wore out and ready to head for home. Its three days and nights of learning about Jesus, learning how to ride and having a lot of fun.
I'd like to thank Roy and Patti Craig for their vision for camp and the tons of volunteers, trainers and sponsors that make it all happen. Roy and Patti started with just seven kids that first year and in 2011 they held two camps witnessing to a hundred kids and lots of adults all in the name of Christ.
These camps are free to the campers and run on donation and fundraisers alone.Motocross for Christ is a 501 c3 non profit group so they can make all donations completely tax deductible.
If you like motocross and believe in helping others to learn about Christ this camp may be for you. Registrations will be excepted for 2012 camps beginning on January 1st and registrations are excepted on a first come first serve basis. Of course funds are needed to help support those camps. In 2011 they turned away 130 applicants because they lacked the funds to operate more camps. If you can help or no someone who can, please contact Roy or Patti Craig on facebook at Motocross 4 Christ or online at: Motocross For Christ

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The First Time - Getting Caught

I know what most of of us think about when you talk about your "first time". No this first time was completely different, it was the first time my parents knew for sure that I was not only smoking pot, but selling it too. I was 15 years old. I can only remember my age because of which dirt bike I was riding at the time. They had found out by now that I was stealing their booze and getting drunk. I know that they didn't like the idea, but they also weren't in my face about it either. To them, it's what you did. I think they thought that I was just growing up faster than most.
They knew from talking to the other parents in the neighborhood that the older kids were getting high. They knew that I was smoking cigarettes and they allowed that to continue but I knew they were suspecting me of using drugs too.
I'll always remember that day, I was just getting in good with a couple of brothers that lived close by that had good connections from the city and they took me along riding with them at Tower City that day. We got home around 7:00 that night and there was my dad sitting in a lawn chair at the end of the driveway drinking his beer and waiting for us to get home.
He had found out earlier that day that I had sold some weed to a girl at work whose mom just happened to work with my parents too. This girl got caught with the weed and when her mom asked her where she got it she spilled her guts.
My dad just knew for sure that I was getting this weed from my new friends and he was ready to start the war. I just thank God that he wasn't sitting there waiting with a gun. Us Bull men have been known to do some pretty stupid stuff over the years when we were drunk. Anyhow dad went nuts and threatened these guys and they threatened him back and it took everything I had to keep the blood from spilling that day.
The ironic part is, that as hard as I was trying to make this contact with this group of brothers, the weed was actually from a crop I had grown in the area corn fields and one of these guys had it stashed to dry in his attic for me, but I was the source.
Of course there was no lying out of this one, I had to take the heat from my dad or I would have taken worse from the brothers. You see that's almost the bigger risk you take when you get into the business. Some times it much safer getting caught by the cops than it is to give up the supplier. (even if they aren't the supplier)
Anyhow, after my two week grounding I was able to smooth things over with the brothers and back in business I went. After all, if the only penalty for getting caught was the two weeks grounding who wouldn't be staying in business. Luckily the girls mom agreed not to call the cops. Or maybe it would have been better if she had. Maybe it would have stopped the long streak of... Getting Caught before it ever got started, unfortunately it was way too late for that..

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hooked - It Didn't Take Long

It sure didn't take long. I know that unfortunately most kids experiment with drugs. I am however of the belief that many try it and then stop. Whether it be they don't like the effect, maybe they new it was wrong or they just had a bad experience but they tried them and they stopped. After all, isn't that how we as humans function? We have this need to find out for ourselves.
For whatever reason though, I wasn't one of those kids. I was one of the many that did continue on, then as they do now. I gave drugs a try and before you know it, I was hardcore. It may have been my personality type or more than likely at first, just the need to fit in. I wasn't really good at making friends in those days so I'm betting that was the case.
Here's the thing though, once I started, I didn't stop. I was always that way the entire time that I used. It was never lets smoke a bowl or snort a line. No, lets keep going. Even as I got older, I could never just drink a beer or two, once I started it was an all night affair.
I began first with the booze and then the pot. This seemed to satisfy me up until I was about 15 or 16 and that's when I discovered LSD or acid. I also took a lot of speed as I got into high school but I'll talk about that later. I began using when I was around 13 and I went after it full time, I was a pro in no time, I even passed some of the guys that first got me started. To them it was a weekend thing, something to do to have some fun. Not for me, it was an almost everyday thing, especially with the drugs. By the time I was 14 I was moving quarter pounds on a regular basis and it wasn't long before a pound a week was the norm. I had to support my habit because that $30.00 a week dishwashing job just wasn't getting it done. Besides, I liked the risk, the being in charge and having something that many people wanted. It made me feel important.
So here I was the kid with all the friends, only because I had the weed or I could get the booze. Nobody liked me because I was Jim Bull. They wanted what I had and that was just fine with me. During those years I learned how to read people, I learned how to take advantage of people and because of the drug use I learned how to not care about people. By the time I was 16 I had numbed my mind to the feelings of others, all that mattered was how I felt and how I could prosper. It had become my way of life.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Attitude Rules the Day

I’m going to step away from my story today to talk a little about Attitude and how it can allow you to have either a great day or a pretty crappy day.

You know it is one of the most important things to remember, next to Gods word of course. I‘ve been preaching it to my kids for the last 15 years but it is so easy to let it slip away.
The last few days I’ve been dealing with some pretty heavy work loads and with that usually come “issues or challenges.” I remember one of my first employers telling me that there are no problems in life, only opportunities.
With that said it goes to show just how important practice can be. Even the most successful people in the world have to practice their talents daily or they will be lost. The same is true about our attitudes. If we don’t constantly remind ourselves how great life is and that God wishes to fill us with blessings each and every day, things can quickly go in the wrong direction.
I have to stop and thank my wife here also. Deb is the biggest cheerleader in the world and no matter what happens, she’s like, no problem baby, everything is going to be just fine. Next time it will be better. There’s days I look at her and have to wonder, you still smoking something and not telling me about it?
Anyhow, the last couple of days I’ve been on a roll about a particular situation at work and she’s just giving me that look again so I know I’m on a tangent. I also know that I need to do something about it soon or it’s going to spiral out of control.
Another big cheerleader in my life is Joyce Meyer. You can check her out at: www.joycemeyer.org. I do my best to watch her TV show every night to get my daily dose of the word because number one I enjoy it and number two, I just don’t get to church near enough with my hectic weekend schedule.
You know it’s funny how God always brings you what you need when you need it the most. It seems like every time I’m struggling with something, no matter what the subject, there is Joyce or my wife just telling me what I need to hear, of course all manipulated by God. You have to remember that he is there every step of the way for you; you just need to open the door and let him in.
So I woke up this morning and before I could even say my morning prayers he was working on me. Do you know how it is when you still want to be mad about something, but there he is trying to make it better. You know you should tell yourself – Today is going to be a great day, but you really don’t want to.
I’m telling you to just let it go and speak the words. Today is going to be awesome, God is going to bless me greatly today, life is good and I’m riding the wave.
Whatever it takes, keep the attitude up and know that things are going to go your way today, that something great is going to happen to you today and that you can’t wait for it to happen. Happy Thursday everybody – today is going to be an awesome day.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Learning to be cool !!

.Cool: 1. moderately cold; lacking warmth, 2. producing a feeling of coolness, 3. calm in action or thought; composed. I really wish I would have been smart enough way back then to check the dictionary's definition of cool. Here is how my new friends defined, cool.
Lung cancer, pot head, falling down drunk and lets try to kill some people while were at it. It’s amazing because just a few short months prior to us making our move to a "better school district" I was scared to death just to come home a few minutes late or literally to do anything against my dad's word. I was afraid to get beat or maybe he'd just put a gun to my head again like he did one night when I was 11 and he was mad at my mom. In just a few short months of smoking pot I really didn't care what my dad thought at all and I began breaking all the rules...
At first I broke down and tried the cigarettes, it probably took me 4 or 5 weeks just to get over the coughing and learn how to inhale properly. After all I needed to perfect that to take full advantage of the pot that I had begun to smoke with my new cool friends. I already told you about my first full blown booze experience, my new friends really liked me because I had a steady supply of that. At first it was the whiskey but you could only water down the bottles so much before dad restocked. I had considered stealing some from my parents work but I wasn't quite that brave - yet. I had quit hanging out there through the week because I was now old enough to stay home and take care of myself. I did however take a job there working on the weekends so I could buy my own pot and keep gas in my dirt bike.
It's a shame too, because my dirt bike had suddenly become my means of transportation to get to our party spots and make cigarette runs to the local convenience store. It was quickly fading from my list of fun things to do. At that point I started to steal my dad's beer because there was always plenty around and it was hard for him to keep track of it.
So we had made are move and my life as I once new it was over. There was no more waiting around the bars for my dad to get done drinking. I was now sitting around with my own friends doing my own drinking. Through the week mom would be at work and dad still had his normal routine so many nights we could catch a buzz after school and be in bed by the time he got home. On the weekends I would get off work around 9:00 so now dad had an even better reason to stay at the bar till then. He was waiting for me to get off work to take me home. After work I was on the move because many weekend nights me and my buddy's would "sleep out" so we could party all night long. It was perfect, I could get wasted and my parents wouldn't even know it.
And that's when the real trouble began; staying out all night lead to bigger buzzes and bigger parties. I was meeting cooler friends and doing even dumber things. I was a 13 year old juvenile delinquent. Stealing things, destroying peoples property just for fun, breaking into churches and homes, blowing things up (yeah Larry was into building bombs). We would set things in the middle of the road just over a knoll late at night just to watch people crash their cars into the corn fields. Do you know how cool it was to sit 4 or 5 trash cans on the road where people would be traveling 45 to 50 mph and watch them loose control of their car in a panic.Yeah, real cool - we were lucky nobody died.
It sure didn' t fit definition # 3 above - composed. No we were far from that. It would be the beginning of a long ride through hell with Satan by my side. It was just beginning and I had no idea where it was headed next. The worse part of it all was that I thought I was the coolest kid around.

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Better School District

One of the first things that most new parents realize is that when you have a baby, they don’t come with a manual. My teenage daughter is about to become a mother and if I could only get a dollar for every person that’s said, “She’s not ready to have a baby”. I‘d be heading off on a Caribbean vacation. My question is – who really ever is.
When I was in middle school my parents made the decision that it was time to change school districts. It sounded like a smart idea at the time. We lived in a “city district” and you would always hear the reports about the violence and the drugs and my parents decided it was time to head for greener pastures before the kids have to go to that high school in the city.
So off we went. It was a decision we were all excited about, after all I didn’t have a lot of friends at the old district and my dad told me that I might be able to ride my dirt bike at the new place. It was out in the country and surrounded by farmlands, so I was excited about that.
I remember the first day we were there a family who lived down over the hill knocked on our front door and welcomed us with some baked goods. They had a son and a daughter so off me and my sis went to make some new friends. It turned out the girl was about 6 years older than my sister so they really didn’t have a lot in common. The boy was the same age as me and we kind of hit it off.
The next day I was in the back yard messing around on my dirt bike and up over the hill behind the house comes another kid riding his dirt bike. Instant cool, we introduced ourselves and I asked my dad if I could go ride with the new kid. Dad wasn’t wild about the idea but my new friend convinced him that the local farmers allowed all the local kids to ride and that just about everyone in the neighborhood had a bike to ride.
So after lots of begging Dad said it was ok but to check back within the hour. So off we went as I thought to myself, I think this is gonna work out. Me and my new friend rode the trails for about a half hour before we pulled off the trail and into the pine trees. Once inside, things opened up and we came to a stop where another kid was sitting along the trail.
We took our helmets off and Dave introduced me to Larry and the first thing he said was – smoke break. I wasn’t sure what he meant and then Larry pulled out a pack of Camel Filters from his jacket and they both lit up. Of course they offered me a smoke but I declined, I mean my parents were smokers but I was too young to start smoking, I was only 13.
They asked me what was wrong, don’t kids smoke where you come from and I said yeah, that some did but my parents would kill me if they found out. It only took a few weeks before they had convinced me to give it a try. They also convinced me that the kid I met on the first day there was a real dweeb and that they were the cool kids on the block. They asked me; don’t you wanna be cool too?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Learning How to Drink

It really was the beginning of all my troubles. My parents certainly didn’t realize that they were teaching me how to be a drunk. My wife and I talk about our parent’s generation, we don’t blame them for our actions but it was definitely a different day and age.
We often talk about how we were molded into our parent’s activities. If they wanted to hang out at the bar, we got to hang out with them. If they wanted to go bowling, we went bowling with them. If we wanted to do something, it was usually answered by; we’ll see if we have the time or the money to do that.
Quite the opposite occurs today. We as parents are molded to our children’s activities. At least that is how my wife and I have chosen to raise our children. I am involved in a lot of youth sporting activities as well and it’s my opinion that it’s the status quo.
Back to my youth, you’ll notice in the picture included in today’s entry you’ll see me on the left with my friend Steve. We were about 10 or 11 at the time and we were sitting at my parents bar in our basement with my grandma and my little sister and we were pretending to be drinking. It was the environment I grew up in, alcohol and cigarettes were the norm so what’s a kid to do?
Through the week I was hanging out where my parents worked watching everybody drink. On the weekends I couldn’t start riding my dirt bike until I helped my dad unload his beer out of the truck at camp and even when we were at home and we weren’t at the bar there was drinking going on, I thought it was what you did.
Hence I still remember the first time I got drunk. Not my first drink but the first time I really got lit up. I had often as a kid gone hunting with my dad when he and his buddies would think it was cool if they would give a young boy a beer at night, telling hunting stories and learning how to be a man. Again, it was just natural instinct. After all we do want our parents teach us to do, right?
We had just moved to a new neighborhood and I was 13 or 14 and I had just met a couple of the older kids that lived up the street. It was a Saturday night and they were talking about how they could get some booze to party for the weekend. Of course I wanted to fit in and I just happened to know where there was a whole lot of booze, hard liquor as a matter of fact. My dad kept the home bar stocked because you never knew who was going to drop by.
So that night I filled two of my mom’s Tupperware containers with hard whiskey and I met up with the new gang. We were sitting in an old abandoned car by the pines that we hung out at and I was determined I was going to show my “new friends” that I knew how to party.
I downed most of that whiskey myself that night but would pay for it dearly. Matter of fact it’s probably one of the first times in a long string of incidences that God stepped in to save my sorry butt.
I got so drunk that night I could barely walk, I slid down a tree and rock strewn hill that had to be 50 feet tall and laid there at the bottom until my new friends could get to me. They then had to carry/drag my dead weight back up the hill and they put me in the neighbor’s abandoned chicken coupe for me to sleep it off because they didn’t know what else to do with me. I got very sick that night and the next day felt like I had been beaten with baseball bats. I didn’t remember much but thankfully I had my new friends to fill me in on all the details.
It was just the beginning of many years of pain, hurtfulness, legal issues and close calls.

Who knew little Jimmy would grow up to be a professional drunk and an absolute menace because of it?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Early Years

I can tell you this, that my life was kind of normal as a small child. It must have been because I really don’t remember much before the time I was about 6 or 7 years old except for those accidents I spoke about in my earlier blog. I started to ride mini bikes at that age so maybe that’s why I remember, motorcycles have been a huge part of my life as that is one of the main ways that I earn my living and I still enjoy to ride even to this day.
I remember going to the mountains and riding on the weekends and going to the bar and hanging out through the week. There are a few things that stick in my mind from my elementary school days but most of my memories stem from my life at the bar, probably because it’s where my life started to go wrong.
We would get to the bar after school around 4:00 and grab something to eat. Most times mom wouldn’t have time to cook supper so we would just grab something there. Miss Pauline knew just how I liked my grilled cheese sandwiches and they were my favorite. After that it turned into the waiting game. Dad worked till 6:00 and some nights we would head home right after a beer or two but many nights it would be 8 or 9:00 till we would get home. Some nights we would even stop at other bars on the way home and have to wait for my dad in the car. (That’s another distinctive memory I have from the early years, waiting for Dad in the car while he was drinking in the bar.)
What does a kid do in that time? They had a pool table at the bar and a couple of pin ball machines. In the early days I would bum quarters off the regular patrons at the bar but as I got a little older I was learning how to hustle them on the pool table.
The bar was located in the basement of a strip mall and my sister and I would spend a lot of time there. Myself more than my sis cause we fought a lot when we were little and Lori would just hang out at the bar playing with her baby dolls. Buy not me; I was on the move learning the ways of the world on my own. I knew a lot of the store employees by name and I was definitely learning new skills and ways to inquire things. There was also a bowling alley at the strip mall and I remember spending a lot of time there.
All of this was ok at first but as I was getting older I was really becoming tired and bored with the whole situation. I needed something more in my life and basically I wanted things to keep me busy. I needed money to get the things that I wanted and my dad couldn’t give me any, he needed his money to buy his beer. So I took things into my own hands and I began to steal the things that I wanted.
At first it was small items like candy and magazines. Then it turned to larger things like baseballs, hockey pucks and sporting goods equipment. Heck by the time I was like 10 I had stolen a complete football uniform from Pep Boys, one piece at a time. I remember it took about two weeks to get it all out of the store but I pulled it off. My mom began to ask me where this stuff was coming from so I had to learn my next basic outlaw skill, and that was how to lie.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Fast Forward - It's Friday Night

You know it's funny how things can change in your life. From the time I was around 14 years old until I was around 26 years old, friday night meant it was time to get smashed. You know stoned, drunk, out of your mind wasted. Today I'm 47 and I worked in my office for a few hours than went out and saw a few accounts.

Right now I'm waiting on my supper to be ready then it's off to the race track to work some more. Back in the day I might have been able to do that, but for sure when the races ended I would have partied till dawn. Now as much as I enjoy the races, I'll probably start yawning around 9:00 and looking at my watch and hoping I'm home and in bed by midnight.

Go ahead and laugh if you want. I much prefer the events of today rather than the events of then. The best part about it is that I'll even remember tonight's trip home when I wake tomorrow morning. I'll know where my car is and I wont have to call anybody to find out what I might have done.

Yeah, it's Friday night 2011. Lets rock it and have a smashing good time without getting smashed.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Very Beginning

It all started way back in August of 1964. It was the me generation and it was all about the sex, the drugs and the rock and roll. The Beatles and the Rolling Stones were making it big and the Vietnam War machine was just getting cranked up. Racial prejudice was running rampant in our country and President John F. Kennedy had just been assassinated the year before. Americans were just beginning to realize that just about anything was possible (good or bad) if you just set your mind to it.

We were a normal family, a mom and a dad and two kids, the great American dream, right? We had lots of friends and we lived in a small home in a nice neighborhood just outside of the inner city limits. My parents married in their late 30’s and they worked at a bar and restaurant across town from our house. Dad tended bar during the day and mom was a waitress during the night. My sister and I would get home from school and mom would load us into the car and take us along to work. When dad would get done his shift or done drinking for the night we would jump in the car and head back home.

It seems odd but some of my earliest memories are only of times that I got hurt. Like when I was two years old and I chased a bouncing ball onto the sidewalk and got run into and hurt pretty bad by an older kid on a bicycle or the time when I was five and we were playing cowboys and Indians and I slid behind a tree and ripped a huge whole in the side of my leg on a metal property marker that was sticking out of the ground. Weird I know, but that’s what I remember.

We spent a lot of time at my parents hunting camp in the mountains of northern Pennsylvania. My folks had off work every Sunday and Monday so we’d load the truck with the dirt bikes and the beer and we’d head north. Dad would drink all weekend and mom would a little too and my sister and I would ride our Honda minibikes and run around the mountains playing kids games. We were one big happy family, I thought.

As the years wore by we had the same routine every week. Hang out at the bar waiting for dad thru the week then head to the mountains on the weekends. As I got older I was beginning to get bored of this waiting around and killing time just waiting for my dad to get done drinking with his buddies at the bar. Not only was I getting bored but I was starting to learn new habits. Habits that weren’t very appropriate for a 12 year old.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

They Call Me – Bull

My name is Jim Bull, I’m married with two children and I live in south central Pa. I’m 46 years old and for the past 10 years my wife has been telling me that I need to write a book about my life. My first thoughts are “why would anyone in the world care about my story” and secondly, “maybe if I can help somebody by doing it, then it really doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks”.

Before we talk about my life I’d like to share a little background about myself. My family and I live in a very conservative area of the country in a middle class neighborhood. We’ve struggled like most to make ends meet our entire married lives. I have a very beautiful and understanding wife along with a fantastic daughter that is just finishing high school and a courageous son serving in the United States Marine Corp.

I am a photographer and publication manager for a couple of motorcycle publications and I dabble in entrepreneurship. Recently I’ve owned and operated my own successful business and also a not so successful business. I’ve worked blue collar jobs and suit and tie type jobs. I’ve also been convicted of four felony charges and various misdemeanors in the past varying from auto theft and drug dealing to attempted homicide. I’ve survived many devastating vehicular accidents and I don’t have a clue why I’m still alive yet today. I’m a recovering alcoholic and drug addict and have spent close to five years of my life in jail. There was one point in my life when I actually conspired to kill my own father.

Today most people I know don’t have a clue about my past. Many that do see the change I’ve made in my life and wonder how, those that don’t I’m hoping will read this blog and be touched in some way or the other. I’m thankful to be alive and a believer in Jesus Christ and a big believer in being able to accomplish anything in life that you want if you’ll only believe that you can. 

I’m writing this blog to share my vast experiences just to let you know that no matter what you’ve done or no matter what has happened in your lifetime that there is a reason that you’re here and that life can be good if you’ll only allow it to be. So please read on and share this blog with someone else when you’re done. I hope to touch many but if I can at least touch one than my life will have been worthwhile.