R.I.P. Party Bus
March 8th, 2013 | View Post

The specially rigged up driver's seat
One of the things I've desperately needed to take care of this year has been the removal of a giant bus on my driveway. I had really great intentions for starting the project last April. It wasn't too expensive, I thought it would help someone gain consistent income, and I also thought it would be a fun project to share (working outside, drinking beer, wood-working, etc.).

While some of that proved to be true, I'd have to say that overall it was an abysmal failure. Worse is that I've been left to consider this abysmal failure virtually every time I arrive at my house.

I figured that I'd have to fix the driver's seat before I could sell it, but a few people convinced me that probably wasn't the case. So after typing up the story of the bus on Craigslist and letting people know I was just trying to get back what I put into it, I found a handful of buyers.

Thankfully, one of those buyers purchased it this morning and drove it off.

The moral of this entire story is that projects are fun. But if you're going to start a project with someone, make sure that someone really wants to do the project with you. All you really have to do is ask. Sometimes failing to do so will leave you with a 10,500 lb vehicle that really only serves to explain what house is yours on the block.


My view of the bus as it drove off my block.


The first time my truck has ever been parked in my driveway.

First Responder
February 10th, 2013 | View Post

The side of the car the old man was in. I should have taken a picture of the front passenger side as it was completely caved in.
I'm not sure exactly why, but I've always wanted to be the first responder on the scene of an accident. I've always assumed that I would act calm and composed under pressure, all the while doing whatever needed to be done to help the victims. I finally got a chance to find out.

I didn't see the actual impact, but I did come upon the two cars spinning out in the intersection as I came over a hill. An older man was driving the Toyota (in the picture) and apparently cut across an intersection just as a red Corvette was coming down the road. I was later told that the older man mustn't have seen the Corvette and cut right in front of it.

Although the car wasn't about to explode or anything, the man driving the Toyota had been hit pretty hard. When I ran up to the door, he was clinching his chest and a painful expression lined his face. Another woman was on the scene with me and started asking him medical questions. He was complaining about severe chest pains and was frantically looking for his glasses. Smoke started pouring into the car and so we started yelling at him to get out. I'm not sure if he was acting erratic as a result of the impact, but we eventually unbuckled his seat belt for him and helped him out of the vehicle. The woman was particularly helpful to him.

I think the bulk of the smoke was from the airbag deployment and the various fluids burning off on the engine, but it was getting increasingly hard to breath in the car's environment. I had the pleasure of calling the accident in to EMS as the woman walked him over to the curb and sat him down. Once they were on their way, I crawled around his car trying to find his glasses, but they were nowhere to be found. Since it was getting harder to breathe, and I wasn't sure if the car actually might catch fire, I thought he could probably do without them.

The guy in the other car looked to be okay, albeit his car was much worse. He was walking around on the phone and so I didn't pay much attention to him.

Once the situation was resolved and EMS was in range, I went about my day.
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

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