Today was spent recovering from another episode of mowing the lawn. It was also the first day of my Summer 2016 three-day fast. This is the third three-day fast of this year. Doing a quarterly three-day fast is one of my New Year’s resolutions. I feel that these periodic three-day fasts have been and are beneficial for my health.

As a lead-up to this fast I’ve been getting back into meditation via the Headspace app. I had stopped meditating for a while and I think that was a mistake. My blood pressure has been creeping up: it was 134/91 on June 23rd. This morning after meditating it was 115/81. I can’t believe that just sitting quietly and calmly every morning can have that kind of effect, but there it is. I better keep doing it.

In general, when I don’t do the things that I know that I should it’s very easy for me to get unhealthy rapidly. A month or so ago I cheated (too much of the wrong kind of food, not enough sleep) for 3 days and gained 8 pounds. Getting back to good to longer than 3 days…

Lesson learned: I really need to be vigilant to maintain my health.

HCAHH – Trustworthy to Maintain Consistency

(HCAHH == “Holy Cows and Hog Heaven”, a book by Joel Salatin)

This is Chapter 1, the first of section 1 which is “The Farm Friendly Producer”. The message or producers here is: don’t cut corners. Farmers aren’t immune to the temptation to cut corners. Mr. Salatin says, “Don’t do it.”

So, what’s a would-be-buyer-of-honest food to do? Mr. Salatin has a checklist for prospective Farm-Friendly Food Buyers to find out about prospective Farm-Friendly Food Suppliers:

  • Find out what he’s reading. Does he even read?
  • Find out what his business peers say. Is he a member of any local “alternative food system support group”s?
  • Find out what his neighbors say about him? “Trustworthy farmers earn their place in their community.”
  • Visit the farm. Does it look like a place you’d like to live?

Mr. Salatin encourages us to be courageous enough to ask questions.

“Trustworthy producers are the only ones who are truly farm friendly.”


Bass Stuff

Today was another bass lesson. It went pretty well. time to move on to a new Storch/Hrabe exercise.

Just before my lesson I took my bass back to the place that did the setup – a spring and a screw fell off the bridge while I was playing! They put it back and checked the intonation. I hope it doesn’t fall off again…

In other bass news, I’ve been working on some of the blues progression in Rufus Reid’s book and I have started entering some of those progressions in Band-in-a-Box so I can play with some accompaniment. There’s so much to learn about Band-in-a-Box – I’m just a beginner at this point.

I also haven’t posted much to my soundcloud account for a long time now. Maybe it’s time to get back to doing that as well…

Holy Cows & Hog Heaven (Joel Salatin, 2004)

Today I finished reading the above-mentioned book. It’s a great, short read on how to move to more farm-friendly food. I really enjoyed this book, especially as we are trying to get more into farm friendly food (getting eggs & meat from a local farm, joining a local CSA).

The book consists of chapters that cover the different aspects of what it takes to become more farm-friendly from the point of view of the producer, the product, the patron, and policy.

I was searching through the book for some pithy quotes that captured the spirit of it but then I realized that I couldn’t pick out one or a few particular ones. Instead, I think what I will do is write a short blog post on each chapter, attempting to summarize them all. Those will come after this post.

I’ll wrap this one up with a quote from Michael Pollan’s Forward (this after the author told him that there was no way he would ship his meat to New York for him to try; if he wanted to try it he would have to come down to where Joel’s farm was in Virginia):

“I realized then and there that Joel Salatin was a man dead serious about his principles, and that there was no principle as dear to him as local food.”

This seriousness about his principles (and his broad experience, knowledge, and common sense) is apparent throughout the book.


As I type this I’m listening to the Robert Fripp album At The End Of Time. This is an album of Soundscapes (here called Churchscapes) that was released in 2007. This seems appropriate music for this Sunday afternoon. The day began with rain but now the sun is shining.

(Later that same day…)

Some web surfing reminded me of my days at Microsoft. I have to say at this point it feels like a million miles away. And I can’t say that I miss it, but it was a big part of me for almost 20 years. Funny, that.

Siam’s House in Niles

My last time there for a while. First week in July I’m doing my fast and after that I’ll be back to strict mode as far as food, supplements, sleep, exercise goes for at least 3 months.

In other news, today, there was a block party on our block. Relatively tranquil and the loud music has already stopped.

Some bass practicing today and now for a little guitar practicing before heading to bed…


Today felt like a weekend day, even though it wasn’t. Today my wife had a rheumatologist appointment. Things are OK for now and we’re back there in 3 months time.

After the doctor appointment we went to a nearby Chinese restaurant that we had been to before and enjoyed. Today we didn’t enjoy it as much. Later, I started buzzing, like from having too much MSG.

Walking in the evening I felt less than 100%. Maybe the Chinese restaurant wasn’t that good of an idea.

Dinner was much healthier – a shrimp curry with spinach (from our CSA box for this week) added. Raw pistachios and 85% dark chocolate with turmeric tea for dessert. We have now used up everything in our first CSA box except some Kale.

In the area of food, I’m probably going to not be strict until Tuesday, then prep for my upcoming three-day fast at the beginning of July.