Blog of Blog Entry

There are 269 blog entries within the category of Blog Entry

A New Experiment
January 30th, 2013 | View Post

Some random yoga art to make the post more interesting
This is definitely not the type of post that I am accustomed to writing, but after neglecting my blog for many weeks now I wanted to start off with something entirely out of the ordinary.

After years of fighting it, I finally gave yoga an honest go. Of course wouldn't you know, I really enjoy it. I've had many people over the years ask me to try it with them and I've never even considered it. I even dated a yoga instructor once and still wasn't convinced. I thought it was time for a new physical experiment.

A number of friends actually suggested that I try the hot yoga (bikram I believe it's called) as a way to clear my head and gain a little peace with the world. While it didn't really work for that purpose, I did very quickly discover that the endurance, balance, strength, and flexibility training was well worth my time. I really do enjoy being in shape, I just need to be motivated.

I showed up for a 90 minute hot yoga class a few weeks ago. Ten minutes into it, I was positive I was going to throw up, briefly pass out, and definitely not complete the next 80 minutes. Ten minutes after that, I caught my breath and figured if the other 30 people could do it, I could too. I worked it as hard as I could. When the instructor later found out (after class) that it was my first class ever, she was visibly impressed that I was able to perform all of the postures and was pretty surprised I'd started with their hardest class. Since I like to be good at things, that was motivation enough. I've only missed class when traveling and it's been working wonders on my body.

I started 2013 off about 14 pounds lighter than usual thanks to a spectacular Christmas diet. I think the first few yoga classes probably sweat off another pound or two, but I've been steadily increasing my weight since then; my muscles are already coming back in full force. The 90 minute class really does work every muscle group of one's body. As someone who suffers from really bad back and neck pains, I'll be curious to see if it's able to mend those areas a little bit. I can already see my leg muscles toning, can feel all of my abs, and my lower back and shoulders are developing all sorts of new muscles I'm not sure are supposed to be part of the human anatomy - at least not mine.

So overall, I'd like to give hot yoga a glowing endorsement. In hindsight, I do wish I had tried it many years earlier and regret not doing so with people who asked me to join them over the years. But at least now I know it's something to be taken seriously. Admittedly I could do without some of the hippie-verbiage and ridiculous breathing noises that come along with it, but it's a small price to endure for the payoff. Also, I would estimate about an 8 to 1 female to male ratio per class. And of that one male, at least a quarter of them are gay. So that's always an additional point of consideration for people.






Jimi Chords - Nashville Tuning
December 2nd, 2012 | View Post
I've recently been exploring with some sounds in a standard Nashville Tuning. If you're not familiar with this, it basically just means using the higher octave strings from a 12-string set in a standard 6-string configuration. I've gotten some particularly cool sounds out of a DADGAD-Nashville Tuning, but this was just a standard EADGBE.

There's a part in the middle (around 0:46) where I run some scales up around the 12th fret. What's interesting about this in a Nashville Tuning is that since the G-string is an octave up (making it the highest string on the guitar), but the B and high-E strings are standard (per a 12-string configuration), the 14th fret of the G string winds up being the same as the 17th fret of the high-E string. Basically this means that you can easily play multiple notes at the same time that would be impossible to play since they would otherwise have to be played on the same string.

This is recorded through my Ashdown Engineering acoustic amp with a standard compression pedal turned up pretty high.


Seats are Finally Done
November 18th, 2012 | View Post
It's been a couple of months since I've last made any updates to the bus, but this is a pretty big one. Now that I've gotten some work to slow down, have published my book, have released my book, have the podcast running strong, and am headed into the holiday season, I thought it was high time to get back onto the bus project.

Over the past couple of days I fully built out the seats. They were framed, bolted, and had plywood attached.

All that's left to do on them is foam them and stretch over the vinyl.


One of the frames already built out


Jigsawing some of the wood for the seat backs


A nice view of the seat backs in place. You might notice that there is some slight variance to the height. This is not a problem as I will just jigsaw it off and of course it's all being wrapped with foam and vinyl.

Response from Congressman Ron Paul
November 13th, 2012 | View Post
I sent a copy of my book, American Healthcare: A Moderate Approach, to Ron Paul several weeks back. Although I'll be particularly excited should he send me a letter indicating that he's read it, I was pretty thrilled to get any correspondance at all.


A letter from Congressman Ron Paul

Acoustic Beating
November 7th, 2012 | View Post
Every once in awhile I like to toss something out there completely unrelated to my interest in pursuits of liberty.

I was messing around with my old 12-string in a Nashville+DADGAD tuning and came up with this little percussive beat. I wish the Apple built-in mic had a little more range, but it's good enough. For anyone who doesn't know what a Nashville tuning is, it's basically when you use the higher-octave strings from a 12-string set in just a 6-string fashion. In my case it's a bit altered even from that since I actually left the low G string in its typical 6-string configuration, but otherwise the higher octaves were switched out.

The result is a really twangy sound in place of the usual base, a base in place of the usual mids, and extra reverberation on the typical highs. And of course all of that in an open DADGAD tuning as well.


Book Release Party
November 4th, 2012 | View Post

A bunch of friends and I celebrating the release of the book
This Monday evening I was pleased to officially launch my new book, American Healthcare: A Moderate Approach.

Although the book technically went on sale on October 6th on Amazon, I had not yet had the opportunity to formally announce it. This party was for just that. My friends over at Maki Toki were kind enough to let me host it there and we had a turnout of about 40 people (at its peak). I even managed to sell 8 more copies of the book.

I'm still waiting for Oprah to pick it up...