Monday, December 6, 2010

December Lifestyle Challenge!


December is here....only a few weeks left in 2010!!!

December...12 month of the year (Gregorian - 10th of the old Roman calendar), Victory Day, the Winter Solstice, first day of winter, Kwanzaa, Hannukah, Christmas, New Years Eve....and it's time for our final Lifestyle Challenge for 2010.

For those new to the challenges, it isn't to compete against others. It's to push yourself to greater heights, have some company & inspiration along the way, and a few ideas the help get us focused. For example, you can use this waving of the analytical knife to help organize your goals:

1) Exercise - Set a specific plan or goal(s). Keep us posted weekly (or more) on your progress!

2) Creativity - Music, art, writing, acting...set a goal to complete by month's end. Keep us posted!

3) Personal life - Re-affirm your personal relationships, get to that project/chore you've been avoiding, or just read a book you've always wanted to read!

4) Professional life - Set a work goal or change jobs or....just tell us what it is and keep us posted!

I'll post my goals below, and then provide weekly up-dates...

How about YOU?


Monday, November 1, 2010

November Lifestyle Challenge!


That's right, kids - only 2 months left in 2010. Time to open up the throttle!

David here, and it's November already! Halloween is behind us, we're officially in the "holiday season"....and it's time for the November Lifestyle Challenge!!

For those new to the challenges, it isn't to compete against others. It's to push yourself to greater heights, have some company & inspiration along the way, and a few ideas the help get us focused. For example, you can use this waving of the analytical knife to help organize your goals:

1) Exercise - Set a specific plan or goal(s). Keep us posted weekly (or more) on your progress!

2) Creativity - Music, art, writing, acting...set a goal to complete by month's end. Keep us posted!

3) Personal life - Re-affirm your personal relationships, get to that project/chore you've been avoiding, or just read a book you've always wanted to read!

4) Professional life - Set a work goal or change jobs or....just tell us what it is and keep us posted!

I'll post my goals below, and then provide weekly up-dates...

How about YOU?

Monday, October 11, 2010

October Lifestyle Challenge!


HOWDY!

David here, and it's October already! Where has the year gone? Leaves are changing colors, the Atumnal Equinox behind us and only the Winter Solstice to go, Halloween sneaking up on us fast....It's time for the October Lifestyle Challenge!!

For those new to the challenges, it isn't to compete against others. It's to push yourself to greater heights, have some company & inspiration along the way, and a few ideas the help get us focused. For example, you can use this waving of the analytical knife to help organize your goals:

1) Exercise - Set a specific plan or goal(s). Keep us posted weekly (or more) on your progress!

2) Creativity - Music, art, writing, acting...set a goal to complete by month's end. Keep us posted!

3) Personal life - Re-affirm your personal relationships, get to that project/chore you've been avoiding, or just read a book you've always wanted to read!

4) Professional life - Set a work goal or change jobs or....just tell us what it is and keep us posted!

I'll post my goals below, and then provide weekly up-dates...

How about YOU?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

September Lifestyle Challenge


Fall is here!!! Not officially, of course (that comes later this month), but the leaves are falling and school is back in session. It's time for the September Lifestyle Challenge!

For those new to the challenges, it isn't to compete against others. It's to push yourself to greater heights, have some company & inspiration along the way, and a few ideas the help get us focused. For example:

1) Exercise - Set a specific plan or goal(s). Keep us posted weekly (or more) on your progress!

2) Creativity - Music, art, writing, acting...set a goal to complete by month's end. Keep us posted!

3) Personal life - Re-affirm your personal relationships, get to that project/chore you've been avoiding, or just read a book you've always wanted to read!

4) Professional life - Set a work goal or change jobs or....just tell us what it is and keep us posted!

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So here are my goals....

1) Exercise - Continue with hard training, but add extra cardio. I may shoot for one of the pull-up or chin-up records again, so I don't wanna pull any extra weight. Gonna try to strip it down to under 10% body fat.

2) Creativity - Get back on track with writing for the new Alien Blue CD!

3) Get organized!!! Finish "Rant" (Chuck Palahniuk) and then read "Orlando" (Virginia Woolf). Then to other suggestions I've received lately. Also, I think I'll drink no alcohol and get more hard-core with my eating. Considering another 100% raw vegan month...or maybe that except for once a week raw meat treats!

4) Post both "Guitar Gods" interviews that I didn't get to last month (Dave Martone and Frank Marino), set up gigs for students (Woodsongs pre-show, a few coffee shops, & some pay gigs), and follow up on a couple of interesting projects that combine my teaching and my duo with cool gigs!

Sooo......what about YOU?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

August Lifestyle Challenge


Yes, it's been a crazy summer...many serious ups and many serious downs on this roller-coaster. Along the way, I fumbled on several things, including the monthly Lifestyle Challenges.

For those new to the challenges, it isn't to compete against others. It's to push yourself to greater heights, have some company & inspiration along the way, and a few ideas the help get us focused. For example:

1) Exercise - set a specific plan or goal(s). Keep us posted weekly (or more) on your progress!

2) Creativity - Music, art, writing, acting...set a goal to complete by month's end. Keep us posted!

3) Read a book - Old, new, or something in between. Start now, finish by month's end. Tell us what it is!

4) Professional life - Set a work goal or change jobs or....just tell us what it is and keep us posted!

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So, my personal stuff....I dropped the ball on the "Guitar Gods" interview series. However, in early June I did not one, but TWO awesome interviews that will go on-line this month:space-age guitar wizard Dave Martone and 70s guitar legend Frank Marino. Damn right!

We have several very cool gigs...just did the Almira Benefit at the KY Theater and are off to do "Heroes Night Out" for the wounded soldiers at Ft. Knox, then back to Lexington for the 2nd Almira benefit (this one at Busters), a few radio & TV interviews to promo the gigs, and then back into the rehearsal studio to complete the writing for the new Alien Blue CD (being recorded in Atlanta at Open Sky Studio).

I finished Jared Lanier's new book "You Are Not a Gadget" and have started re-reading "The Iliad". Nothing like that Greek sense of excellence!

Getting back on track with the workouts...they were pretty light throughout the past 4-5 weeks. Gotta add some extra cardio in there somewhere.

How about YOU?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Almira Fawn


I don't have an "official" comment - I'm still trying to wrap my head around all that has happened. But this piece by Michael Johnathon is beautifully written and says, I think, all that needs to be said for right now.

http://woodsongs.blogspot.com/2010/06/lost-little-girl.html

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

June 2010 Lifestyle Challenge!


Due to some e-mails I received....Something a bit different for this month's challenge.

Pick & choose, or make up your own!

1) Exercise - set a specific plan or goal(s). Keep us posted weekly (or more) on your progress!

2) Creativity - Music, art, writing, acting...set a goal to complete by month's end. Keep us posted!

3) Read a book - Old, new, or something in between. Start now, finish by month's end. Tell us what it is!

4) Professional life - Set a work goal or change jobs or....just tell us what it is and keep us posted!

So here are mine....

1) Increase reps on my pull-ups in attempt to get back to world record pace. Drop bodyfat percentage roughly 2 points per month until I'm under 9%...in time to close in on that elusive 40+ pull-ups in 60 seconds.

2) Complete all writing & demo-ing for the new Alien Blue CD - to be recorded in July at Open Sky Studio (Atlanta)!

3) Just cracked open an old collection of world mythology. It didn't have Gilgamesh, but I've already worked thru short versions of Greek, Roman, & Norse myths. I'm on King Arthur, Charlemagne, & Robin Hood now. Next stop: Africa!

4) Record & release several pre-release video clips for Alien Blue. Book a few more gigs. Secure funding for guitar performance clinics with special guests (like last year's Muriel Anderson gig).

How about YOU?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Feelin' GOOD!


Yeah...the new Alien Blue material is coming together wickedly (hahaha!!!) and we're throwing it out there this weekend at the Common Grounds gig (with opening act Tubanjo from Cincinnati, OH) this Friday night.

We were hoping to record the new CD in Atlanta at Mike Froedge's Open Sky Studio, but logistics might fail. If so, we're chatting with a few top-flight facilities in Lexington. Either way, the new Alien Blue disc will be a pro-level product...ready for prime time (hahaha!).

Sunday's recital rocked...check out the picture of Sydney playing her Dean acoustic (autographed by actress & country singer Laura Bell Bundy).

Also....had a great workout today, and tonight I do a second, short workout when I get home.

Morning workout:

Push-ups (200), sit-ups (600), calf raises (500), plus some extra work with light weights for continued shoulder rehab.

Evening workout:

Pull-ups (50) and chin-ups (50).

Tomorrow will be push-ups, 1/2 bridges, and squats, plus shoulder rehab. I'm holding off on the punching bag for a few weeks, then I'll slowly add that back in. Working those pulls & chins back to the 100-150 per workout, then going for a personal best (& maybe more)......

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May Lifestyle Challenge


For those new to the "Lifestyle Challenges", well, it's all about self-analysis & improvement. Pushing yourself just a little or a lot. I list some of my goals, then ask about yours, which you can post to share with everyone. Lotsa mutual support here!

Sooo....It's time for the May Lifestyle Challenge!!!

What are YOUR personal or professional goals? Writing songs? Reading a book? Changing your diet? Exercise? De-cluttering your life? Re-committing to a project or loved one?

My personal goals include more intense & productive workouts (& more pull-ups/chin-ups!); professional goals include reviving "A Personal Note" (more on that later) and playing & promoting more events like last year's Muriel Anderson gig; musical goals include completing the writing & pre-production on the new Alien Blue songs.

How about YOU???

Monday, April 5, 2010

April Lifestyle Challenge


Soooo...here we are at the top of another month - April - and the beginning of Spring....which means 25% of 2010 is gone, gone, gone.

Are YOU feeling "actualized" yet?

What are YOUR personal or professional goals? Writing songs? Reading a book? Changing your diet? Exercise? De-cluttering your life? Re-committing to a project or loved one?

I read about Rush drummer Neil Peart years ago when he decided one of his personal goals was to "read all the great books", so he started with a list of Pulitzer Prize winning books and a list of "the classics" and then...he started reading.

I'm off to do a workout, now, then eat a wonderful salad. This week will be predominantly both raw and vegan, but I'll likely add some sashimi or tataki at the end of the week. Prepping lessons for today as well as the new session at Beaumont; booking some more Alien Blue gigs; coupla phone conferences with prospective agents; decide if I'm buying a new guitar....it's a dog's life, eh? Hahaha!!!

So, for the April Lifestyle Challenge, what do YOU plan?

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Assignment!

It started at Facebook. The original post:

Class - Today's POLITICAL LESSON: With all the fighting going on about health-care and such, today you must argue CONVINCINGLY for the OTHER side. If you can't do that, then you not only don't understand any other option but the one you support, but cannot see & address the problems with the plan you support. Sooo...who is up for the challenge?

Ignoring the discussion that ensued (for the moment, anyway), here is my entry:

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The US needs not only general reform of the health-care industry, but serious governmental oversight AND a public option so that ALL Americans are covered.

1) Rights: The issue of whether or not health-care is a right, at least on a practical level, is a point settled long ago. It is illegal in this country for emergency rooms to refuse treatment on the grounds of one's ability to pay. This demonstrates, at the most fundamental level, that most Americans (including those opposed to Obama's plan) feel that health-care is at the very least a quasi-right.

2) Range of coverage: Extending from point #1 and the term "quasi-right", no one is even remotely suggesting that a pubic option or "health-care as a right" extends to cosmetic surgeries, lazik surgery, and other purely elective non-urgent treatments. While "functional" electives should be covered (re-constructive surgery, cataract surgery, etc.), no one is positing that breast augmentation or rhinoplasty be paid for with tax dollars. "Right" doesn't mean "hand-out" for every whim or fancy.

3) Public option: Let's cut to the chase - the biggest 2 issues with those opposing Obama health-care package are the public option and the insurance mandate. One at a time....The public option is not a governmental take-over of the health-care industry. What is it? It's the acknowledgment that we are a civilized society, period. No rational argument can be put forth that it is somehow "good" or "moral" for so few to sit in pampered luxury while so many starve and die in the streets. It is exactly because of this that we implement social "safety nets" like fiscal aid to the poor (free & reduced cost housing, food stamps, WIC, Medicare, Medicaid, Head Start, & so many more). But not only that, we provide assistance to level the paying field, and provide that assistance (read "opportunity") to rich & poor alike (public schools, for example, or public roads & trash collection & hospitals/clinics). No one would soberly claim that only the rich should have their garbage collected or have access to travel or be able to read.

Similarly, it is the duty of any civilized society to provide to all it's citizens - regardless of income, gender, race, etc. - the the most basic requirements of living. Otherwise, we only claim to be civilized, but we are actually only a concrete & prettied jungle functioning at the most base "survival of the fittest" level.

4) Insurance mandate: You are required to have auto insurance to drive a car, boat insurance to drive a boat, and more. The fact that the US pays for those who DON'T pay their medical bills demonstrates that we already subsidize (though in an indirect & thus more costly way) those who lack insurance, and those who are in-insured or under-insured cost the tax-payers billions of dollars a year. An insurance mandate simply streamlines (& thus saves money) the situation and makes those who CAN afford it pay their fair share. Those who cannot afford it have immediate access to the public option.

Summery: Though money shouldn't be a primary concern when dealing with moral issues, the fact is that an insurance mandate and a public option is the best way not only to serve a requisite for an ethical society, but to be as financially responsible as those who oppose the new health-care package propose. Clearly, Obama's solution is MORE fiscally responsible than what we currently have.

In summation, the free market had it's chance. In fairness, it did quite well for a while. But as the market often does, greed got the upper hand. Corporations aren't run by elected officials and are thus not beholden to the public at large. Therefore, it is time to make our elected officials reform the health-care market and put the health of ALL Americans back in the spot-light and the profit-motive in the back-seat where it belongs.

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How did I do?

Original discussion:

http://www.facebook.com/skinnydevil?v=feed&story_fbid=107997382554058

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

March 2010 Lifestyle Challenge!

For Facebook users, I'm rotating the tags (and using both my personal profile and the ALIEN BLUE page to tag), so don't feel left out if you weren't tagged...and don't be confused if you were tagged and haven't heard of our Lifestyle Challenges before. Same for MySpace & Tribe users.

For those unaware, it's all about self-analysis & improvement. Pushing yourself just a little or a lot. I list some of my goals, then ask abotu yours, which you can post to share with everyone. Lotsa mutual support here!

Sooo....It's time for the March Lifestyle Challenge!!!

What are your personal or professional goals? Writing songs? Finishing that book? Changing your diet? Exercise?? De-cluttering your life? Re-committing to a project or loved one?

My personal goals are more intense & productive workouts, and going back to near-vegan status (limiting sashimi heavily after learning about the continued devastation of ocean life & severe over-fishing of tuna, oysters, and other "seafood"). Ramping back up from about 80% raw to 90+% raw.

Biz goals are to book most of the 2010 dates for ALIEN BLUE. Looking for not only the type of gigs we did last year, but some major opening slots, larger blues, folk, & new music festivals, and the like.

Musical goals are (technical) to increase speed by 10% on all scales & arpeggios and (creative) to compose 4 new ALIEN BLUE songs....giving us about 8 new trax by month's end. Aslo looking for some old spirituals &/or work-songs. Let me know if you have any suggestions!

What about YOU???

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Work Out



I'm asked a bit about my work-outs, so I thought I'd post something here. I've answered queries at Facebook and at SkinnyDevil.Com (on the "about" page), but I thought I'd post here as well.

Soooo....today's work-out (for a typical sampling) was body-weight callistenics & cardio, broken into sets with totals below:

  1. Push-ups: 100
  2. Dips: 100
  3. Sit-ups: 400
  4. Reverse Sits: 100
  5. Bridges: 100
  6. Calf Raises: 250
  7. Squats: 100

Then some cardio, capped off by 25 pull-ups and 25 chin-ups.

Post work-out meal: Turkey tataki (seared exterior, raw interior) and an apple. Then I'll down about 16oz water.

Hope this helps. I also include running stairs, some light weight work, and punching bag (done in 3-5 minute rounds). It's also nice to stay active playing with the family & friends...rock climbing, hiking, biking, swimming (skiing, snowboarding, & tubing in the above picture).....

If you have questions, feel free to drop me a line.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

February LIFESTYLE CHALLENGE!!!


It's time for the February Lifestyle Challenge!!!

What are your personal or professional goals? Writing songs? Finishing that book? Changing your diet? Exercise?? De-cluttering your life? Re-committing to a project or loved one?

My personal goals are more intense & productive workouts...

Biz goals are to either secure a booking agent or a promotional assistant who can handle some of the stuff that keeps me bogged down and less than productive....

Musical goals are (technical) to increase speed by 10% on all scales & arpeggios and (creative) to compose 4 new Alien Blue songs....

What about YOU???

Thursday, January 7, 2010

January Lifestyle Challenge


Let's kick off 2010 right...with a brand new personal challenge.

What are YOUR personal challenges? Setting goals for music? Diet? Exercise? Gotta get to that project that you keep putting off or that book you always wanted to read?

Join us!

My personal challenges:

Music. - writing new material for ALIEN BLUE! Guitar - Working on those arpeggios, cleaning up the scales (time to nail down 150), and strum-hand technique...Teaching - We're still re-working the CD & hand-outs, but I hope to polish it all off by the end of this month! Diet & Exercise - I'm back to about 90-95% raw...mostly vegan, but stabs of sashimi...and increasing cardio significantly. I have a few professional goals that I will discuss elsewhere...

HOW ABOUT YOU?????

(most of the discussion takes place at Facebook)