Thursday, December 20, 2012

December 2012

I should be doing a "year in review", but that just isn't gonna happen in any official or comprehensive capacity.
Do awesome gig, run from stage, go home to boys!!!

But it's been a CRAZY year, as a few of you know. It is now public knowledge....my 2 grandsons (20 months old & 5 months old as I write this) now live with us....as in, we have custody of the boys. Permanent custody. Needless to say, this is not where I thought I'd be at this point in my life, but they sure are awesome kids!

It's taken some adjustments (that's why Alien Blue cancelled almost all of our shows in 2012 and why I've been FAR less active musically outside of teaching), but I'm thinking I'm getting my groove back.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

October Lifestyle Challenge

Arrgghh! We missed September....but we're back now! I assume most of you reading this know we've cranked out a LOT of content over at Skinny Devil Magazine, so be sure to check it all out, including our "SDML Instructors Speak" series, with our first installment "Top 10 Best Live Albums of All Time".


So here we are...October of 2012! Time flies, and it's time for another challenge.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

August Lifestyle Challenge

My apologies we missed July, but we're back now! I assume most of you reading this know we've cranked out a LOT of content over at Skinny Devil Magazine, whch is one of the reasons I didn't get a July challenge posted. But....


Here we are...August 2012! Time for another challenge.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

June Lifestyle Challenge

Yes, I know it's been a few months. Crazy times here at Skinny Devil Music Lab! But....better late than never! And I'll be using this to up-date everyone on a few things (see the "comments" section below).

Here we are...May 2012! Time for another challenge.

Working with Jason at Sneak Attack Studio, where I've spent a lot a time lately!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

March 2012 - Guitar Lessons

1) Recital - GREAT recital/Lexjam! Congrats to everyone who made it out and hoping we can do it again later this year!

2) Lessons - Remember: March is a 4-week session, but then back to the 8-week sessions for April-May. This session begins this Tuesday (Feb 28) at the COC and Thursday (March 1) at Beaumont.


3) Pricing - Private students at Hurst are at normal pricing (remember, your price is locked in as long as you are an active registered student); Beaumont prices are available at the YMCA web-site; pricing at the COC will remain at 20% off thru the end of the year as part of our "the economy sucks" discount!

4) Scholarships - Scholarships still available....and remember that private students still get FREE access to the groups lessons thu the end of March....and Y students get to come to the COC free thru the end of March.

5) SDML Instructors - We have 2 new instructors in the ranks.....Tim Fowler at Hurst Music (420-8454 or Timfguitar@gmail.com ) and JD Wright at the Doowop Shop (312-1150 or jamesdalewright@earthlink.net ). If you need private lessons now (yep, I'm still full), drop one of these guys a line and they'll hook you up!

More soon!!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Guitar Recital & more

Quick newsletter..........


1) Recital - The next SDML Guitar Student Recital is almost upon us! We've partnered with LexJam this time out....so we have the 11am to noon slot blocked off at Natasha's Cafe on Saturday, February 11!

Students who have not played a recital before go first, followed by recital vets who have not played LexJam, followed by everyone else.

Please be there by 10:30am so I can tune guitars and give everyone performance-day details.

2) Lessons - We're half-way thru the 8-week group sessions at COC and the YMCA. Remember: March is a 4-week session, but then back to the 8-week sessions for April-May.

3) Scholarships - Scholarships still available....and remember that private students still get FREE access to the groups lessons thu the end of February....and Y students get to come to the COC free for the remainder of the session.

4) SDML Instructors - We have 2 new instructors in the ranks.....Tim Fowler at Hurst Music (420-8454 or Timfguitar@gmail.com ) and JD Wright at the Doowop Shop (312-1150 or jamesdalewright@earthlink.net ). If you need private lessons now (yep, I'm still full), drop one of these guys a line and they'll hook you up!

More soon!!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Word About RON PAUL

A Word About Ron Paul

Let me start by saying I simply LOVE when people are politically engaged. I don't care if they agree with my personal politics or not - just so long as they are passionate, informed, and active. Now...to the point:

This note isn't about which candidate I directly support. Neither is it to sway readers into my way of thinking or to tell them who to support. Rather, this note is in response to several discussions lately (in person, social media, and one talk radio discussion that I chimed in on) regarding the foreign policy (& related) of Ron Paul....who seems to be a very polarizing figure, but one with incredibly enthusiastic support (and a large segment of the youth vote).

For the record, I do not speak for Ron Paul's campaign. I was engaged in a few of these discussions because several people were aware that I'd been following his career since the late 1980s and because they know my personal political leanings (which are more libertarian than Paul's, I should note). Others - like Marc's & Paul's - I just butted in on (hahaha!).

This is not an attempt to address any other issues one may have with Dr. Paul, so if you decide to comment, please stay on point.

The critiques are many, but probably summed up best by what Mr. Denny said. To wit: "...(I) find him profoundly deluded on certain international realities...". Or perhaps what one caller said on Kruser's show (WVLK): "He blames America (for 9-11)....(and) he doesn't support Israel...".

Fair enough. Let's take these 3 one at a time.

1) Foriegn policy: One thought. And I mean it - I'd like everyone to actually consider this fact carefully rather than just jumping in with a response:

Ron Paul is the only military veteran in the race in either of the 2 major parties - he was a pilot & flight surgeon during the early 1960s - and receives more money from active military than all other republican candidates combined AND well over the amount Obama receives. At one point, he was getting more than ALL republicans PLUS Obama combined.

So the question to consider, while we all sit here safely thousands of miles away from combat zones overseas, is this: Why do our fighting men & women overwhelmingly support Ron Paul?

If Ron Paul is deluded or weak or irresponsible (or, as Newt said at one debate, "profoundly stupid") on foreign policy, why do they guys who fight the wars overwhelmingly support his stance on disengagement, budget waste reduction, and non-intervention?

2) Israel: Dr. Paul is the most Israel-friendly candidate on the campaign trail. While some see his position of lifting support for them as a knife in the back, both he and the military realize that Israel only needs aid from us because for every dollar we give Israel, we give their enemies between $3 and $7 (figures vary). Moving further back, the Reagan administration condemned the attack on Iraq's bomb facilities by Israel way back in 1981. Only Ron Paul dissented from the official view. He supported Israel 100% when Reagan & the GOP (not to mention the democrats) did not.

Dr. Paul realizes that if we stop financing Israel's enemies, we no longer need to finance Israel's military. It is that simple. Then if Israel decides, for example, to bomb Iran's nuclear development plants (as they did Iraq's), they are free to do so. If they decide they need help, they can ask. There would be a clear mission with a clear plan and a clear objective and a clear measure of success and a clear time-line.

3) Blaming America: Ron Paul has never blamed America for 9-11. Ever. In fact, he has explicitly stated that flying planes into buildings was not an appropriate response no matter what they thought the US government was guilty of (even if they were found to be completely accurate).

What Paul did was acknowledge that there are actions and reactions, and that there are all too often unintended consequences when the US (or anyone) meddles into the affairs of others. He was discussing "blowback" (the term the CIA uses for "unintended consequences of our actions") and he simply acknowledges (as does the CIA and other experts on US activities abroad) that we have - regardless of our good intentions - been meddling.

This is not opinion, but fact....and a matter of public record. From the 1953 Iranian Coup D'etat to the Nicarague/Contra scandal of the mid-1980s to the arming & training of volunteers from the region to go into Afghanistan to fight the Soviets (these fighters became al-Qaeda), the US has been extremely active outside our own borders and into the affairs of others. Sometimes that activity has produced good results, but more often than not, our covert activities (the original usage of "blowback" stems from this) have unintended consequences that outweigh whatever good was done.

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So consider these points before you swallow the sound bite that Ron Paul is weak on defense or blames America or whatever other blurb you've heard from his detractors.

As an aside, I'm happy to provide links for all data contained herein if anyone reading isn't already aware of these facts.

If you have any other specific questions (specifics like Iran or more general philosophical queries), I'd be happy top do my best to respond to those, though again, I in no way speak for Paul's official campaign.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

January Lifestyle Challenge


Yes, I know I'm late. Crazy times here at Skinny Devil Music Lab. But....better late than never!

Here we are...January of 2011! Time for another 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?