Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The basement gypsies


Hello All,

 This post is for anyone out there that has an idea but they might be thinking what’s the point of trying.

When I was 14 I saw the musical “ Beatle Mania” for whatever reason it never occurred to me that anyone could play the Beatles music…the fever took place that day and I started to teach myself guitar. I don’t sing and have zero stage presence so the best I could do was annoy folks at my house as I played little riffs to songs.

I saw a story on the news where a group of school kids tied paper cups to balloons and waited to see if they would hear back from someone maybe a few blocks away.

This was the seed planted in my wee  thick skull, what if I was too send a message out in a bottle and toss it in the sea,how far would it go and would anyone reply?  So with the help of a small multi tracker I recorded some of my favorite songs,Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Celtic and a few I just came up with.  I called my album “Deja vu Blues”. 


I have no clue about copy writes and all so I made about 30 or so copies and then handed them out to family, friends and co-workers and waited…

I asked that instead of paying for the CD folks would listen too it and review it and then send it on to someone else. I also thought it would be fun if they took a picture of themselves holding the CD showing where they are in the world… so I waited some more..

Instead of being overwhelmed or ignored I now receive little bits of joy here and there from some unexpected places. My little project from my basement in St. Louis made its way over the years to the UK, the Middle East and all over the USA. I once got a call from one of our offices in Albuquerque that they were burning copies of it to share.

 398493_2623233102667_303129865_n Kathy

So last year I decided to try it again but this time I wanted to create all of the music myself.  I call the band “ The basement gypsies” I felt this takes away from any pressure on my self and leaves room for any other musicians to join in.  I play guitar and  a little bit of mandolin. A friend gave me a mountain dulcimer so I tossed all these in the mix.  The tracks I wrote from the first CD made their way on to the new CD and I released it on ITunes and Amazon and the called the CD “ Cellar Door” by the basement gypsies!

Some of the things I learned along the way that really surprised me.

1. I got a small taste of fame and I found out that a small dose is more than enough.

2. I found out other peoples opinions' can be great or bad but that is all its just another voice.

3. I use to be amazed when I would read that one of the Beatles were not sure which album a certain track was on, How could they not know??!! ,trust me after spending all that time on tracks the best thing is too hear something and like it and then discover its yours. Very easy to forget which track is in which order.

4. I now feel a kindred spirit with all my hero’s of music who have sat in a studio with headphones on trying to get the right sound.

5. Most of all I know I want to continue doing this even if no one else listens I’m having fun! 

The important difference between the two CDs (and only the second one is now available unless some asks me nicely for a copy of the first) is that the first CD was made to impress other people ,for me to try and show off… I learned through my efforts that it was more important to do a project for myself and if anyone cared about it then that would also be nice.

So the results this time around because of the internet is I’m seeing downloads around the world of people checking out my tunes, I’m thrilled every time someone checks out one of my songs or sends me a comment, more fun than I could ever have imagined. You just never know until you try and see how far you can go.


So the point of today’s rambling is two fold: HEY GO TO ITUNES OR AMAZON AND BUY MY CD!!!!  ( on Amazon you have the choice to order a hard copy or download) and the other point is if you have a dream then go for it, but do it for yourself and then no matter the outcome you will be happy with the results.

 Cellar Door 2 Cellar Door Back 

Peace and Love

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Mind Games


I will continue to keep on playing those mind games forever, thanks John Lennon now I have that tune in my head.  I play all sorts of stories in my head to get through my day, and you know what? its working!

There is a loneliness  at first when you are side stepping all the trappings that made you unhealthy or when you  are working out and  no one is around and you have to push yourself to keep up the fight. It can be very tough,…so you need to come up with some ideas to focus on when it gets rough and it will get rough.

The first thing I do is keep my mind focused on my end goal and I balance it against one of my least favorite memories. Its an old idea that works that bowl of Ice cream better tasting than the feeling you get when you can wear that outfit that a year ago was impossible to conceive?!

I also picture myself after reaching my goal, I act like I’m already there. My confidence is higher, and just like having a new car I take care of this new healthy body and treat it with the respect it cheap gas for  this baby!

Over time I have turned every bad snack into a poison in my mind, so much so I get repulsed when I see folks eating cake or large amounts of bread.

If you every goes your way at some point you will reach your goal,but the game is not over now you must maintain so the mind games must continue.

When I reach a goal I add a new goal , and get my head wrapped around that.

I indulge myself with all sorts of Walter Mitty adventures to finish up one more rep or go and extra mile and it always pays off.

So make up your mind the type of person you want to be, and start acting like that person today…it will so become a habit and than a lifestyle.


Peace and Love


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Quick Fix


There is no quick fix, so sorry if that was a tease ,but the truth is you can change…over time. A quick fix result will last about the same time. In order to get healthy you need to choose a plan and make it your way of life! I have been pushing the Paleo lifestyle for almost three years and I have yet to find a reason to not believe in it.

The quick fix is just a ploy of marketing in order to get you to buy their products, no one gets out of shape over night and the same holds for getting fit.  What is your plan once you reach your perfect size?, return to snacking and over eating junk and give up moving!

I have said in the pass chose an ideal role model for the body type you would like. I chose British actor Jason Statham (also short and bald like myself) who has a very lean muscular cut to his frame. If you could snap your fingers and switch bodies with the person you admire just how long do you think it would be before this new body would like somewhat like your old persona?

So instead of thinking how do I lose 10 lbs by next Friday or a month from now, change your thinking to how can I make healthy choices today.

I have found its not the big effort at the gym or eating only Kale but the amount of little changes we make everyday that direct you right where you need to be. Imagine if your a pilot leaving LA for New York, now that’s a long flight and your navigator will be making adjustments along the way to keep you on track. A lot of the time you will be veering of course and you will need to be reminded of where you are going… its the same for the destination of your health. You start off strong,but without a navigator where are you going to land?

This is not a quick trip I hope but an epic journey and each step can be made towards getting you there or taking you off the path.

Make smart small choices everyday, avoid sugar and grains. Take the stairs and park a little further away.  Make your own routine for working out that you enjoy and fun along the way.

My body is nothing like Jason Statham yet, but it also no longer looks like Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now!

Peace and Love all 



Friday, March 13, 2015

Missing parts of the puzzle


  I humble admit if I was a cartoon I would be Pooh bear just walking about smiling at the sunshine and getting lost in the woods and slowly learning something every now and then. So its far all the other Pooh bears I continue to share my progress …

In a brief review last year I gave up using a scale, started using a kettlebell, joined a gym for Winter access, started using a Fitbit, quit using a Fitbit, started cooking and preparing as many of my meals as I can, but I was missing something that I knew I would have to accept…


Now as I have said in other posts the scale does not hold much weight with me (pun intended) a scale is just that what you weigh at that given moment,but still we have numbers we would like to see.

So for myself I want to be under 200lbs the lowest weight I have reached is 207lbs and most of the year I seem to be about 215lbs. I’m far more interested in getting inches off of my belly. The guide lines for Men is under 40inches and for Women under 35 inches. There was a time when my belly was 58 inches!! and I got it  down too 41 inches over the  year .

So the damage the Winter had on me was my weight went up to 225lbs and my stomach went up to 46 inches (shit!) .

So I reviewed my Winter months looking for the reasons…I had a few good excuses, I hurt my elbow and stopped going to the gym, its dark when I get home, ice and snow stopped me a few times, but the real culprit was I started snacking more and eating more.  I got into a habit of snacking on a mix of nuts and little bits of chocolate in between  meals and even when eating healthy I was eating more then I should have.

On March 1st I decided to stop mindless snacking and prepare all of my meals that I can.The next step was to be aware of the amount of food I was eating and get use to eating one serving.

Update: 13 days later and my weight is around 215lbs again and my stomach is around 44 inches. I broke out my bike and now that the clocks have changed I look forward to bike rides after work. You just have to be honest with yourself and take responsibility for your actions.  So for me the missing piece of the puzzle was that I was still over eating ..”Oh Bother” said Pooh Bear


Friday, March 6, 2015

Cauliflower Pizza


Eating Paleo is not so much about giving up all the foods your use too as it is coming up with a new way to make them. So this year I’m going more paleo then before because outside of health I also want to push myself to see how fit I can get within reason of being a lazy short 51 year old guy.

I like to learn, so instead of just reading about history or working on my guitar skills I  now add cooking to my list of passions. My latest wonder food is cauliflower!! I steam it and then drip a butter sauce over it and toss it on bbq grill and its amazing, now I learn you can make it into a pizza crust..well game on!

If you toss cauliflower into a food processor or as in my case a blender, it quickly becomes very close to a rice like mixture. 10177977_10203591990662928_1980656597323224863_n

So I tossed chunks of cauliflower into my Ninja blender and then put the “rice “ into a pan with a little water and boiled for five minutes.   OK here is the important step, you take the mash of wet cauliflower in dump it into a tea towel and then squeeze out as much water as you can. There will be a lot of water by the way. I then add one egg to the mix and whatever spices I have on hand. You roll it on to some parchment paper and make it into a pizza crust shape ( I made mine a circle, whatever you like). Toss it in the oven at 400 and let it cook away until its golden brown and the edges or dark. While this is going on I sliced some peppers and olives and pepperoni.


Take the crust out of the oven flip it over because the underside will not be as crispy. I then added my tomato sauce and toppings along with cheese and tossed it back in the oven for 15 minutes.



The end result is pretty damn good, now its  not the crust your use too and it will taste of course like crispy cauliflower and egg,but it was very good and you could hold a slice and eat it just like normal pizza without all the calories and such.

I’ve only just started with cauliflower so I will keep you posted as I learn more.


Peace and Love all

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Time to Eat!


I refuse to eat fast food, if I don’t have the time to prepare a meal then I would rather do without.

I admit the first time I read a cook book and saw phrases such as put in oven for 60 minutes or use fresh garlic gloves, well I was like who has that kind of time?! It turns out I do and my hunch is you do as well.

I walk in the door from work and first thing I do is preheat my oven and starting dicing veggies or making up a salad while the rest of the meal is in the oven. Its no different then when you go out for dinner and order a steak.

I love smelling the food in the kitchen or out on my bbq grill, it gets your body ready for the food your about to it. I keep learning all the time and I ask other people who cook for ideas. I called my mother and had her show me how to make my favorite meals she made for me growing up.

I take pride in working in the kitchen and coming up with something new. I have learned how to enjoy a glass of wine and savor the time when I sit down to eat.

Some basic things I add to a lot of my meals: grilled onions,garlic, peppers ,ground pepper and sea salt. For oils I only use extra virgin oil or coconut oil.

Such simple little changes in my life make be a happier person and I feel a healthier person as well.

It’s not my  position to tell anyone what they should be eating , I’m just sharing what I have learned. Slow food that you make fills more than just your belly.


Peace and Love all!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Body beautiful


Hello All,

Just some ramblings on body image as I wonder on my path to a better life.  The human body is an absolute marvel to behold and if treated right will respond in kind with helping you do all the things humans do  like climbing stairs, lifting heavy things, breathing etc..

We allow media to dictate so much to what we should be like its very easy to forget the most beautiful thing is an individual.

We live in age where a young girl who is tall and lean has her makeup done by professional artists, then photographed under ideal lighting and at last photo shopped so no blemish or unwanted curve appears and it presented on a glossy magazine cover and the world says yes this is a real natural beauty. The end results are  real girls of all ages feel they are ugly and do not measure up.

I watched a body building documentary the other day and it was funny to watch these guys just before they go onstage and they not only get tan applied but they had their helpers wiping their bodies with a bronzer paint so the muscles looked “better”. 

On one hand I believe in wear what you dig, life is short go rock that hat or leather boots ..but when it comes to your body it should be about health.

Science has made much of a face that is symmetrical is more appealing and I’m sure that there is something to all of that, but when I look around I see beauty comes in all sizes and shapes.

I have found what is beautiful, is the imperfections we have and what what we do with what we have. The struggle should be to feel valid in our own skin not to blend into a crowd of mannequins (which are creepy –Twilight Zone episode anyone??). No one on the planet can decide for me what or who I feel is beautiful, I will make that choice myself. Beauty is truth and reality,when all else is stripped away and the results that shine too me are the people who understand that its not about a dress size or the amount of muscles you have…its celebrating all that is you.

Don’t wait for the slow song folks, the dance has begun!


Peace and Love all