Sharing stuff I've learned, and things I've thought about...


I used to rely on our once-excellent NPR affiliate to keep me supplied with new music. They had highly knowledgeable and eclectic music hosts on the air all week long.

Now, it’s kind of a grab-bag of sources. WDET still has some good music programs left, and I pick up a lot from my favorite internet radio station (The Buzzoutroom) which specializes in downtempo artists. Downtempo is a sub-genre of electronic music, and encompasses Acid Jazz, Trip-Hop, Drum’n’Bass, Ambient and probably some others. I also work for an ad agency, so performers and music come through the agency from time-to-time. I also listen to commercials, segue music on news programs, video games etc. and try to track down artists that catch my interest. One of the more interesting finds was a band called Devotchka, who meld together rock with eastern European themes. I discovered this band a few years ago as one of their tracks got used to back a TV ad for the new version of the Gears of War video game! The same song (“How It Ends”) just popped up in an add for Dish Network (I think…)

Another interesting band called Shiny Toy Guns came to my attention when the agency used one of their tracks – a cover of Peter Schillings’ “Major Tom” – for a Lincoln ad. Their 2006 album “We Are Pilots” is highly recommended.

Then there is this lovely performer named Elizaveta (full name Elizaveta Igorevna Khripounova!). I don’t recall where I found her, but it may have been on another internet radio station that I frequent, Radio Paradise. Wherever I found her, I’m glad I did. I’d normally link just one YouTube video here, but I can’t resist. Check out both of these. (I hope the ads aren’t too annoying). Both songs are available on her album Beatrix Runs. The first is a nicely produced video. The second is a stripped-down studio performance with Elizaveta showing off her classical training. Very different songs, but both worth a listen.



A new WDET radio show worth checking out

WDET is fooling around with their programming again, and something that they’ve quietly added recently is pretty good.

Nightly from 10:00 to midnight they’re airing “Echoes”, a PRI show that has a music mix that is absolutely perfect (in my opinion) for that time slot. It’s available as a ShoutCast stream so you don’t need to be from The D to enjoy it. Stay tuned in after midnight for their new locally-produced “Alpha” program which is a mix of Electronic and “Progressive Soul”.

Both are well worth your time.


Managing weight

Who am I to be giving advice on weight management? I’ve been overweight most of my adult life, I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist. However, I have succeeded in losing a lot of weight, put most of it back on (like most people), but have managed to lose a total of 70 lbs over the last 10 years, and I think I finally understand how to do this.

Michael Pollan in writing a very good, simple book on nutrition (Food Rules), set out the most basic eating advice I’ve ever encountered. It is, simply:

Eat real food, mostly plants, not too much

Now, while healthy eating, good nutrition and weight management are really as simple as Mr. Pollan’s epigram suggests, there is nothing easy about getting and keeping our weight under control. Anyone who has succeeded in losing weight who claims that it was easy are simply finding a way to be judgmental without seeming to be so, and are doing their part to promulgate the idea that obesity is a character flaw.


Losing and managing our weight requires planning, determination, and a fair amount of self-education. If you’re depressed, anxious, stressed-out or otherwise not in a good place emotionally, changing your eating habits is going to be very difficult to do. The things that it takes to improve eating habits and maintain a proper weight requires a considerable amount of mental energy. The first time I succeeded in losing weight I’d just escaped from a bad marriage. I no longer had the concerns and effort required to maintain that relationship, and I had the mental and emotional resources to concentrate on doing what I needed to do.

Before I close out this post, I want to point out that I keep referring to “weight management”, not weight loss. So many people fail to manage their weight despite being able to lose weight, because they can develop a strategy to lose weight that is not sustainable in the long term. We can only permanently change our eating habits (and thus manage our weight) if we do so in a manner that is sustainable. That means that whatever new habits we adopt must not be to only lose weight, but to maintain that weight over the long haul. Anything that leaves us feeling deprived or denies us the pleasure that most people derive from food is not something that I can live with, so I needed to find a better way.

Stay tuned.