Jerry Cantrell’s solo work often gets overlooked which is a shame because it is awesome. The entire album is great, but below are a few of my favorite tracks.


Jesus Hands

Hurt a Long Time



I listen to a lot of podcasts while at work. Below are my favorites.

This podcast is a morning radio show out of Boston and my favorite of all podcasts. I laugh out loud quite often while at work listening to it. The two guys started in rock radio and switched to a sports talk show when the station changed format. The great thing about the show is that it isn’t endless hours of boring analysis. There is some of that stuff, but they still mix it up and talk about other things like music, movies, etc. Obviously, the sports have a Boston area slant, but they do talk about sports on a national level too so you don’t have to necessarily be a fan of New England sports to enjoy. Thankfully, I grew up a huge Celtics fan and actually became a Bruins fan because of the show so I don’t mind most of the Boston sports talk.

Wrestling, music (especially heavy metal), the supernatural, movies, and everything in between. Really awesome interviews with a laid back and relaxed format.

The below podcasts all focus on the sci-fi/fantasy genre whether in book, movie, tv, cartoon, or music form. Besides just some generally good discussions on genre topics, there are a lot of great author interviews as well.

The Functional Nerds -
Sword and Laser -
Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy -
Adventures in Sci-fi publishing -

The below podcasts focus more on the craft of writing, so they probably wouldn’t be as interesting to non-writers. Still, I find that there is usually some good information/perspective in each webisode.

Writing Excuses -
Speculate -
Hide and Create -

There are quite a few other podcasts I listen to with regularity as well, but the above are the ones I download pretty quickly once a new webisode is posted.

What podcasts do you enjoy?

Easily my favorite Chicago song. A song about how hard it is to write a song.


Sometimes I feel like an old man. Besides, my issues with Crohn’s disease (which I’ve mentioned before on my blog), I have quite a few nagging injuries that aren’t very visible to those who know me. They include:

- A herniated disk from a weightlifting injury (455 pound box squat plus light bands for resistance) six years ago when I was pushing myself too hard to recover strength after a stomach surgery. Another lesson learned the hard way.

- A left knee that bothers me from time to time which I hurt in college while landing wrong in a game of basketball.

- Ulnar nerve issues on both arms that worsen based on the amount of office work I do.

- Some minor carpal tunnel issues from the same office work. This one isn’t too bad and is mostly dependent on the ulnar nerve issues above.

The back injury is by far the worst as it affects practically everything else. When it is at its worst, I’ll put my body in compromising positions to take pressure off my back which in turn injures something else.

The problem with all these injuries (back especially), is that it prevents me from doing quite a few things I used to love to do. I no longer powerlift as I once did (I do try to lift weights with some regularity and limited exercise selection though). I don’t run or play basketball as often as I would like either.

Needless to say, I’ve found it harder to stay in the shape I would like to be in.

However, I recently discovered DDP Yoga while listening to Chris Jericho’s Talk is Jericho podcast. The exercise program was created by Diamond Dallas Page, former pro wrestler (I was a big fan of him back in the WCW days).

I didn’t think much of DDP YOGA the first few times it was mentioned. However, I learned that he had started doing yoga after suffering a back injury worse than mine and that the program in many ways was designed for people with a lot of my problems. After a couple weeks of debating, I bought the program.

I’ve been doing this consistently for about a month with my wife, and I have to say that I’ve been pleasantly surprised. I can see some noticeable changes in the mirror and feel stronger when lifting weights (I still do one full body day a week). Most importantly, my low back pain and my knee pain has decreased.

Yes, I’m drinking the Kool-Aid.

I actually look forward to working out again as I’m thinking more about the things I can try to do next rather than being depressed about all the things I can no longer do or the amount of weight I can no longer lift.

If you struggle with nagging health issues or just with motivation to stick to some sort of program, I suggest you give it a try.

Check out this guy’s inspiring story who couldn’t even walk before he started DDP Yoga.

And this is what DDP once looked like back in his heyday. Definitely one of my favorites and grossly underrated.

Self high five!

My three favorite tracks from the album. I love those raw sound on the earlier releases.

Rock and Roll Damnation (live)

Gimme a Bullet

Sin City (live)


My favorite album by one of the best thrash/metal bands of all time.


Black Lodge

Room for One More

Potters Field

This is Not an Exit


There’s an odd question that people ask each other every so often . . . Would you rather be blind or deaf?

Almost every person says without hesitation that they would rather be deaf. They don’t want to miss out on seeing their kids grow up, seeing their spouse grow old, watching the world change around them, and so on.

I can understand and agree with all of these things.

If I was blind, I wouldn’t be able to play sports with my kids, read to them, help them with their schoolwork as easily, drive them around, play board games or cards, build things with them ,and so on. I wouldn’t be able to do a lot of things with my wife that we enjoy as well. And being blind would put a much greater burden on her than if I was deaf.

However, if I could be completely selfish, I think I would probably choose to be blind rather than deaf. I know that’s a pretty odd thing for a writer to say since it would make that part of my life extremely difficult to continue.

But, without my hearing I’d no longer be able to listen to music. It might not sound like a big thing to some but music has always been a huge part of my life. I have memories from when I was just a couple years old listening to records with my mom or my grandma. No matter how lonely or depressed I’ve felt, no matter how angry I’ve been, or whatever, music has always been there for me. The thought of not being able to hear one my favorite songs when I absolutely need to makes me a bit nauseous.

Besides the music thing, there is something to be said about hearing a person’s voice, their laugh, and even their cry.

Although I might be in the minority in my odd choice, I’m not alone. Helen Keller said in an interview that if she had a choice to have only one back (she lost both her sight and hearing before her 2nd birthday), she said she would rather her hearing was restored than her sight as the silence was extremely lonely.

“Blindness separates people from things; deafness separates people from people.” ― Helen Keller

Any other thoughts?