The Journey to find Balance

Written by: Colin Offenbacker

After consulting with each other throughout the week, Don and I have decided to take this weekend off from recording the show, so this will be a week without a traditional Salt of the Streets Podcast. Over the last couple months we have been a little sporadic when it comes to our release of content, but have no fear, this is not a sign the podcast is falling off or anything like that. Simply put, Don and I have both had some pretty major changes to our lives and we are trying to figure out how best to balance the heavy workload of the podcast with work and family life.

We’ve talked about it on multiple occasions so it shouldn’t be news to anyone at this point that Don has become a Father for the first time recently. That of course comes with a multiplicity of new responsibilities, in both his life as an individual and the life of his family at large. It is news to absolutely no one that parenthood forces drastic changes onto a person, and while he in no way seeks sympathy for these things that effect the majority of people around the world, they do necessitate a change never the less. It amazes me to no end that as far as those major changes to his life are concerned, Don’s supportive friendship has been my steadfast rock while I’ve been adjusting to major changes in my life as well. Whether it’s hammering out blog posts, social media posts, planning and coordinating some of our biggest topics, listening and taking diligent notes on multiple days of eight plus hour long Congressional testimony and of course the recording of a 30 minute livestream sports special by himself, Don’s commitment to truth, his co-host, his friends and his family hasn’t wavered.

Don isn’t the only person in our little Salt of the Streets family whose life has gone through some drastic changes. While I wouldn’t even attempt to scale the difference between the changes in Don’s life and my own, since it would be like comparing apples to oranges, I have recently gone through a rather abrupt career change that has caused me to drastically change my entire lifestyle, which in turn effects how I make the podcast work on my end.

To begin with, the idea of a total and abrupt career change at the age of 30 is something that many people in our generation undertake, however, it’s a concept more or less foreign to a lot of our progenitors. An ad-read that I’ve heard recently on a podcast comes to mind, “The days of working the same job for the same company for 40 years and retiring with a pension and the proverbial gold watch are long gone…” and it’s situations like the one I’m in now that make that ad-read really hit home. I believe it was an ad for skillshare.com or lynda.com, websites devoted to teaching new skill-sets in order to make people more marketable or more proficient at whatever it is their looking to do/are already doing in hopes of gaining the skill based knowledge required to advance or solidify your marketability in a chosen line of work. Whatever the reason, people in our generation seem to pop around from job to job, company to company more than any other generation before us, and I, it appears was no different. In truth, I subscribed to one of those websites above, paid a little money, got some training and some knowledge in a field I had no previous experience in and it has now paid for itself multiple times over. I only bring this up because I wanted to show that my current situation is something that I’ve worked hard to achieve, and now that I have achieved what I sought, I’ve been forced to adapt my lifestyle to meet the requirements demanded by the path I have chosen. I don’t know if I’ll do it forever but I do know that if the podcast ever caught fire and I was forced to make a choice between my current career and doing the podcast full-time, I’d happily leave my job to see just how far Salt of the Streets could take us.

With any major change in life, whether it’s a new child entering into the world, embarking on a new career path or any number of things, finding a way to continue doing what really makes you happy and fulfilled can be challenging, especially while trying to keep up with the added duties and responsibilities that these things can bring to the table. But it is imperative that a way be found and a be balance struck. It is in fact wholly unhealthy to consciously or unconsciously deprive yourself of joy. I know very well how easy it is to let your new found burden of responsibility weight you down. Even to the point that the seemly simple thought of trying to find the time to do anything fun or relaxing seems impossibly out of reach, but their is always a way. It takes a focused and intended effort, but the payoff is not only worth it in the end, it’s often more fulfilling then it used to be before your added responsibilities had taken hold. I’ll be the first to admit, that for my part, I continue to struggle to find that balance, though I make a conscious effort each and every day. Whether that takes the form of a mandatory 30 minutes of reading, recreational podcast listening, video game playing, fiction writing or even sitting down for an episode of Rick & Morty, I now make the time. Regardless of how many extra hours I have to put in at the office, no matter how much video editing I have waiting for me at home, I take that 30 minutes everyday to try and relax my mind and body.

Don and I are constantly trying to figure how to best balance out our lives and our podcast and at this point it means taking the occasional weekend off from recording. We take those days to spend time with our families, our friends and sometimes just some quality “me” time, all in the hopes that when we return the following weekend we’ll both be fully recharged and able to bring the best quality content we can muster. As we both go forth into the future, Salt of the Streets will always be part of our lives and we’ll always continue our endless efforts to bridge that gap between people and information. On these weeks without a podcast, remember that our efforts to speak truthfully and informatively continue on social media so be sure to follow us.
I am @Bigbirdoffie on both twitter and instagram
Don is @saltofthestreet on twitter and @alpaca_donavan on instagram
Follow us on Instagram @Saltofthestreets
Give us a Like on Facebook @saltofthestreets
Check out the website over at Saltofthestreets.com

See you all very soon.

Iran-Contra Part 1: Nicaragua

Hey everyone this is Colin from Salt of the Streets and welcome to my first audio blog post. This will be the first of a multi part series on the political controversy known as Iran-Contra.

For as much as I would like to cover this topic from start to finish in one sitting, as a big fan of history I believe proper context must be given to historical events to truly understand them. With a topic like this which led to one of, if not the biggest, political controversies our nation has even experienced context is paramount to understanding the full story. So I invite you to check out my series about the Iran-Contra affair. A story that spans the globe from the deserts of the middle east to the jungles of central America. CIA covert missions, gorilla warfare, hostages, White House scandal and even a little treason.

So without further adieu, welcome to: Part one of Iran-Contra: Nicaragua.

Lets travel back in time. The year is 1979 and President Jimmy Carter is in the White House, though not for much longer. The multi decade long Cold War is entering a new era, but the United States government is still very concerned and determined to stop the spread of communism across the world.

Down in Central America, nestled between Honduras and Costa Rica lyes the small country of Nicaragua. It’s leader, a US backed dictator named Anastasio Somoza DeBayle is in trouble. As head of the National Guard, he had essentially become the de facto ruler of the country since 1967 after the death of his older brother. But his grasp on power is slipping, and very life is in danger. He is about to become the last of the Somoza family to be President, ending a family dynasty of power dating back to 1936, when his father had first risen to power, with thanks to the US Marine Corp by the way.

His county has been embroiled in deeply violent civil war since the early 1960’s when the Nicaraguan Revolution first began. The Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (F.S.L.N.) known in English as the Sandinista National Liberation Front have grown in strength and number to the point that a governmental overthrow is coming, it’s now just a matter of time.

As far as the United States is concerned, the FSLN were becoming a massive problem. If you’re looking at this situation with contemporary glasses, you may be thinking that the US government would be on-board with helping a peoples revolution to overthrow a nepotist dictatorship like the Somoza’s, but keep in mind that the Somoza family only came to power due to US military involvement in Nicaragua a decade or so earlier.

The real problem the US had with the rise of the FSLN was the fact that they were primarily supported by communist governments such as Cuba, Panama and Venezuela. But of course the strings traced all the way back to Moscow, the proverbial queen bee of Communism. On July 17th 1979 it happened, Somoza stepped down and escaped into exile essentially handing over the reigns of power to the FSLN who began to inject communism and socialism into the county.

Now we introduce the Counter Revolutionists, better known as the Contras. The Contras were actually built up of a great number of various anti-Sandinista rebel groups, the largest of those being the Nicaraguan Democratic Force. Overtime these various rebel group began to merge, ultimately they would from into a group known as the Nicaraguan Resistance, though this didn’t happen until 1987.

In 1980 a man by the name of Ronald Reagan had become President. Reagan was a staunch anti-communist and his administration saw the formation of these loosely grouped bands of anti-Sandinista rebels as an asset and wished to forge a relationship with them. Anti-Sandinista meant Anti-Communist after all, and fighting Communism was one of, if not the greatest foreign policy concern at the time.

There was a problem that the Reagan administration faced when allying with the Contras though. While fighting the Nicaraguan government, they allegedly committed a large number of blatant violations of human rights, carrying out more than 1300 attacks that would be classified today as acts of terror. This is something the Reagan administration downplayed as much as possible, but this is how the contras fought, and there was no amount of downplaying the administration could do to make that fact go away.

From the beginning of there relationship with the US, the contras received the vast majority of there support directly from the United States Government, something they grew to depend on as time went on. That is of course until the all mighty power of the United States Congress put there own foot down with the passing of the Boland Amendment between 1982 & 1984, which essentially stopped governmental assistance to the contras in it’s tracks. But this wouldn’t stop the Reagan administration from fighting back against the spread of the communism. As they saw it, communism was still the greatest threat to American safety and Democracy, and they’d stop at next to nothing to rid the world of it’s cancerous spread.

How’d they do it?

You’ll have to wait for Iran-Contra part two, when we tackle to Iran side of Iran Contra, which comes out January 10th 2019, right here on saltofthestreets.com.

Until then, as always you can find us @saltofthestreets on both instagram and facebook.

Or you can find Don and I directly:

I am @Bigbirdoffie in both the instagrams and twitter machine

Don is @saltofthestreet on twitter and @alpaca_donavan on instagram

Together we are Salt of the Streets and we’re here to bridge that gap between people and information.