Taking the Your Turn Challenge

The “Your Turn Challenge” is a 7-day blogging challenge inspired by the Your Turn book by Seth Godin.

seth godin your turn challenge


Today’s writing prompt is: Why are you doing the Your Turn Challenge?

Because it is there.

Because Winnie asked me do it, and who can say no to a Winnie?

Because if I spend an hour each day on my blog post, I’ll only be 9,993 hours away from being a blogging master.

Because, to paraphrase a writer or three, “writing is easy”*

Because taking on this challenge gives me a great excuse for avoiding domestic chores like washing the dishes and folding the laundry. I know my wife appreciates that. In fact, she’s giving me the “#1” sign right now. (Wrong finger, honey.)

Because every one of my blog posts will be a pile of ship.


*I left out the part of the quote that talks about opening up a vein and bleeding onto the page. Because that sounds icky.

Imagination is wonderful… except to TimeWarner Cable

I can’t stand the TimeWarner Cable commercial where the mom gets mad at her husband and their son because they’ve used the living room furniture and some blankets to create a giant fort to play in, thereby preventing Mommie Dearest from watching her favorite shows on the TV in that room. In other words, she’s mad at her husband and son for using their imagination and playing together, because it prevents her from sitting on her butt on the couch and ignoring her family while turning her mind into mush watching cooking shows on a big screen TV. Thank goodness she has the TimeWarner app so she can still tune them out and stare at a screen.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge” – Albert Einstein

“Imagination is more important than watching ‘Chopped’.” – Me

Hocus Focus – Meathead edition


Find at least 6 differences in details between panels

meathead rob lowe   gronk


(This was a trick question, there is no difference between Meathead Rob Lowe and Gronk.)

Quiz of the Day

A “Cumberbatch” is:

A. Hollywood’s flavor of the month.

B. a vegetable appetizer.

C. a slang term used in tuxedo rental shops to indicate any amount of 8  or more.

D. all of the above.

Another shot of Brandi

Someday, perhaps, most of the world will finally realize that Brandi Carlile is a real gem of a singer and songwriter. Until then, she can be our little secret. Check out this video of Brandi and her band performing “Wherever is Your Heart” — a song from her forthcoming album “The Firecatcher’s Daughter” — live in the studios of The Current (a great public radio station) in Minneapolis.

You can check out audio of the full performance and interview here: http://www.thecurrent.org/feature/2014/12/30/brandi-carlile-performs-in-the-current-studio. The new album comes out March 3rd on ATO Records.

Here’s a video of Brandi and her longtime bandmates and songwriting collaborators (“The Twins” aka Tim and Phil Hanseroth) doing another song from the new album:

If that performance doesn’t give you goose bumps, you have no soul.

And here’s a nice interview with Brandi from an NPR blog: http://www.npr.org/blogs/therecord/2014/12/16/371064979/listen-to-the-eye-a-new-song-by-brandi-carlile

Now go tell your friends about Brandi Carlile. This is one secret that needs to be revealed.

Favorite albums of 2014

There are 3 major problems with my year-end “favorite albums” list:

  1. No one listens to albums anymore.
  2. No one listens to me.
  3. Sometimes the list maker will pad the list just to get to a magic number.

But here are some albums I thoroughly enjoyed in 2014, in no particular order:

Spoon – They Want My Soul

Sharon Van Etten – Are We There

Lykke Li – I Never Learn

Ryan Adams – Ryan Adams

Ty Segall – Manipulator

Strand of Oaks – Heal

Alvvays – Alvvays

Hurray for the Riff Raff – Small Town Heroes

Lucinda Williams – Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone

Wussy – Attica! 

Robert Ellis – The Lights From The Chemical Plant

The Rural Alberta Advantage – Mended With Gold

The Both – The Both

The War on Drugs – Lost In The Dream

Sons of Bill – Love and Logic

First Aid Kit – Stay Gold

Tweedy – Sukierae

Drive-By Truckers – English Oceans

Tycho – Awake

Reigning Sound – Shattered

Nikki Lane – All Or Nothin’ 

Thompson – Family

Bob Mould – Beauty & Ruin

Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires – Dereconstructed

King Tuff – Black Moon Spell

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Hypnotic Eye

The Apache Relay – The Apache Relay

Bob Forrest, a monster talent

Waaaay back when, I heard an L.A. band called Thelonious Monster, and fell in love with their album “Beautiful Mess.” Thelonious Monster was like a West Coast version of The Replacements. They both wrote great songs, and both groups’ drinking and drugging could turn their live shows into beautiful messes, or just plain messes.

The lead singer and main songwriter for TM was Bob Forrest. After Thelonious Monster imploded thanks to his addictions, Bob cleaned up his act and put out an album with Josh Klinghoffer (now guitarist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers) under the name The Bicycle Thief. The album was entitled “You Come And Go Like A Pop Song” and it was – and still is – a hidden gem. Here’s my favorite song from that album, as done live by Bob and Josh:

Another great one is Rainin’ (4am):

These days Bob is a rehab counselor. He was on VH1’s “Celebrity Rehab” apparently, but I never saw an episode of that. He wrote a memoir recently. I just wish he’d make more music.

See less of yourself in 2015

Have you made a New Year’s resolution to get in better shape in 2015? Congratulations, you’ve chosen one of the most popular resolutions of all time. And one of the most easily broken ones too. I’ve tried myriad diet/exercise plans in the past, and usually about two days into them I’m constantly hungry, cranky and headache-y. Needless to say, I bailed out on each of those plans.

fat bastard

But in early 2014 I read a book called 4 Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss, and tried his plan. I lost 25 pounds in about 4 months, and have managed to keep those pounds off in the ensuing 6 months without feeling hungry all the time. I feel better and less bloated too. It’s worth checking out.