Month: July 2016

A Trip To Historic Farm Days ( one of the biggest antique tractor shows in the world!)

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The title doesn’t cover it! Tractors. Implements of all kinds. Music. Demonstrations. It’s huge!  Amazing food everywhere in the middle of nowhere. It is one of the coolest things you can see. Farming drives much of America and the world. A fact that I’m proud of as a kid who grew up tossing hay bales and walking beans. I live in the heart of it. I may have been all over to fight, teach and travel but I’ve always called this home. 

  The show is run by and held on the grounds of the I&I tractor club in Penfield IL. Penfield is tiny, the grounds are huge. The old school is now a museum for the club and the grounds make a state fair location blush. Besides people bring stuff the club itself has amazing equipment it has restored. This includes a Hart Part steam tractor that they place on loan to The Smithsonian most of the year. Yep, that big of a deal. Full disclosure, we have been involved in this for for about 13 years. My dad and son decided to start restoring small hobby farm tractors and got involved. This got me involved lol. Even though my son his own home, there is still a project here in my shop!!! ( a Roof 60 if you’re interested in that type of thing). 

We love going. It’s not a far trip for us but it’s an annual family adventure. Food and farms!  Geographically the area might ring a bell. It’s about 7 or 8 miles from Gifford IL which became famous on CNN a few years back. Devastating tornado, which sadly is a bit normal where we live.  

    I’m going to let pictures ( a bunch of them) do the talking for a bit. Talk after the jump. 

As many pictures as i posted it doesnt even cover a quarter of it. Bbq, fried things and true americana. There really isnt anything like it to show you what rural ag life means. Parades, music and real farmers who know how to work on their own equipment.
This is in the heart of Illinois. If you take my advice and make this an adventure next July there are things close by. Two hours from chicago and indianapolis both. Besides that it is 35 minutes from Champaign/ Urbana ( uiuc campus) so plenty of places to stay! Give it some thought. If you have questions on the pictures, comment here and ill answer as best i can. Follow @combatsportlife on twitter and email for ad/ sponsor info.
Check out the clubs website


Sunsets and Dusk From Various Trips ( a short pictorial to inspire)

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The sun is great .Awesome on the beach and in the mountains. I love sunset and Dusk even more in those locations though. There is a relaxing and restoring energy for me at that time. It could be my American Indian heritage, the beauty of I’m just weird. Who knows. I thought I’d post a few here to help inspire you to search out what gets you relaxed and restored. Enjoy travel for what you see and experience wherever you are!  The pictures includeVegas/Destin/Virginia Beach/Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge and the wild prairie of central Illinois. Enjoy. Talk after the jump. 

Find what inspires you. Better yet, find inspiration and beauty around you. Explore life wherever you are.
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Todays links ( be here for the price of a dinner with social mentions included)

Road Trip To A Horse Show (pictures from rural America)

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h Our son Zakk owns a horse stable. His fiance Dani and our daughter Kaleigh are involved as well and we pitch in when they are gone. Zakk and Dani compete in pro rodeo but also take kids they train to horse shows. Western style riding with barrels also. We go as often as we can to support them. 

   Recently we went up past Peoria to watch. Its a cool facility called Heart of Illinois right on the Illinois river. Lots of little old bars and ancient small motels ( think old Route 66). Ill actually do a piece on that part of the area soon. Its a dying part if American road life and is very cool. The commercial and recreational river traffic is so interesting to watch.

Wandering back home we stopped at a little reastaurant called Jacks in tiny Leroy Il. Great diner food and i could even get a Sam Adams. Not common in the small rural family diners. These places are staples of rural midwest and that’s a good thing. A very good thing. Ill let the pictures tell the story( im a horrible writer!) Talk after the jump.

The last picture is at the gas station in Mansfield ( yes just one). The station owner, a local in his cool golf cart( no golf course,just transportation) and the line town cop Jimmy just hanging out. Ahhh the rurak Midwest!
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Todays links

Relaxing Beach and Mountain pics From our Trips ( we could all use that today)

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Short and simple, we need a bit of this today. As people mourn and also hate each other some great scenery that is relaxing is something needed. 

  My Native American heritage has always made the mountains a relaxing and restoring place for me. It’s genetic!  The Smokies are a favorite (also genetic) but I love them all. As a fighter and traveller, the beach has been both a training facility and place of serenity. Without saying more, here is a bit of both. Hope it helps. Talk after the jump. 

I hope you enjoyed this hastily put together post. Thought we could all use a bit of relaxation and wanderlust today. If you would like to be a sponsor/ advertiser here or on our large engaged social media(both!) Contact us. From links to spokesperson campaigns that almost anyone can afford. Email & follow @combatsportlife on twitter. Bob Tompkins on FB and @combatsportslifestyle on IG

Elegant , Simple and Fresh ! Grilled Sirloin With Cilantro Butter Drizzle & Spinach/Basil Salad ( from the garden)

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As I’ve said so many times,i love using fresh things from our garden when I’m cooking. As a fighter it was a way to keep a training diet fresh and health.As a torn up old trainer/writer/ wannabe foodie it’s fun and let’s me live out my chef fantasy. You know those famous chefs at a rural inn with a gorgeous garden and they show you all these incredible things they cook from it. OK, I know I’m goofy but indulge me here, I used to get hit in the head for a living !

   Both my wife and I prefer a simple Sirloin to about any steak. Charcoal grilled medium rare is right in our wheelhouse. Perfection. Simple and gorgeous. For this one I add a twist because of her love of cilantro.  The woman needs an intervention over this!  Then again I grow mass amounts of it so it could be my fault.  Dang, I’m cilantro kingpin, how did this happen??!!

The whole dish is quite simple. I put a little garlic and pepper on a piece of top sirloin,about 1.25# for the two of us. Grill medium rare, or to your taste(why change perfection). Toss a handful of cilantro( also fresh from the garden ) into a bowl with a couple of spoons of butter/ margerine. Nuke it to liquid. Drizze a bit over the steak. Then toss up fresh spinach and a bit of fresh basil into a small side salad. Dress it as you like, naked is great as well.

This is a great, fresh dish that you can have a glass of wine/beer on the patio while you make it. We enjoy relaxing and talking about our respective days while we do that. The dish is simple yet has a classic elegant look. The best part, it tastes like perfection!
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Vegas Random Unusual Shots ( things I shoot as background)

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Sometimes as I dig through pictures  for work, I notice how many  random background shots I’ve taken. On second viewing, some of them are pretty cool. They give you feel for just being there. As you know, I’ve done several posts on just random walks. I feel it gives you a better idea what a place is like and about. You learn and some of my best adventures come that way. 

This piece is almost more in the way of outtakes but they still give you that same idea. As travel/lifestyle/ martial arts blogger I’m all about trying to get you to experience things and places. See and feel it here and then hopefully go there yourself. At least get motivated to go somewhere new or view old things in a new way. Take a look at these from Vegas and we will talk a bit after the jump.  

My family laughs at how many random pictures for work. My wife doesnt now as she has see the success from my goofiness here and in our other social media. Lots of random pictures. I hope you get inspired to wander around and see new things by these posts. 

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Be watching for our friends/family at Legacy Home and Ranch.  From custom furniture to rodeo supplies we are looking forward to working with them. Web launch soon , check out their FB page now