Thursday, December 31, 2020

Last Breakfast of 2020

Last day of 2020, and I had a fine breakfast! I toasted a banana muffin, had my almost daily savory oats and something new I fashioned up. I had some granola hanging out in the cupboard so I poured some in a bowl. I added raspbeerry pudding in place of yogurt from the Engine 2 Cookbook and topped it off with some blueberries.

This coffee isn't really coffee but Teccino Dark Roast Chicory Root "Coffee". It is close enough to real coffee that I don't really need coffee anymore. One of my goals last year, unspoken though it was, was to wean myself off of caffeine partiularly in the form of coffee. But i really like coffee, dark and black. Even Decaf has caffeine in it so I really wanted to get off caffeine. This helped me do that. It is close enough to a dark roast coffee that I was able to convince myself it was acceptable. I actually made a pot of "coffee that 1/4th was regular dark roast coffee and the rest this and I could tell almost right away the effect of caffeine on my system. I did it again yesterday and decided I don't really like the effect even though it does provide you with some focus. I decided that other than really necessary scenarios I will not be drinking coffee and even so if I want to have some caffeine I intend to get it from green tea not coffee.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Intermittent Fasting - Gonna give it a try

So I am going to give intermittent fasting a try. I don't really like the name or the fad but the practice of it seems to make sense for me right now. As you know fro my last post, I am slowing pulling together what I want my goals to be for this next year. I have already begun the process of starting the transition to getting up earlier again as I've fallen back to my night owl ways. In fact, I got up at 5am today, yay for me. Getting up to do my Morning Sadhana consistently will take time and I should be getting into the swing of it as it begins to get lighter in the mornings. However that does mean I'll need to be getting to bed earlier than I have been. This in turn impacts when I should eat dinner. So I've been thinking about that.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Coming Down to the Wire

It's coming down to the wire - it is almost the new year and I haven't figured out my goals yet. I know it will be similar to the goals I have set year over year for the last couple of years. However, 2020 was such a failure that I may need to step back my goals a little bit. I'll still have a mix of yoga and whole food, plant-based goals but I think for 2021 I may be a little bit more specific about achieving certain milestones. For example, taking a 300Hr yoga teacher training, and/or getting a certificate in Plant Based Nutrition probably from eCornell.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Change Your Brain; Neuroscientist Dr. Andrew Huberman

I just listened to this podcast. Wow, it was really good. It is Rich Roll's Channel on Youtube. I have been subscribed to Rich's podcast for several years now. I discovered Rich when he spoke at the Cleveland Vegfest in what 2016, maybe 2017. He was one of the keynote speakers, and his wife Julie Piatt co-taught the yoga class the kicked the vegfest of with my teacher, Marni Task. Mostly because via the Esselstyn's I knew he was a vegan ultra marathoner, but when I heard his story at Vegfest it was his story of recovery from addiction that really hit home with me (I'm a recovering alcoholic of 25 years) and the connection to a whole food, plant-based diet.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

New Website: First Thoughts

I've been playing with Django again and playing with Google Cloud services though I may end up trying Amazon's AWS Services. Part of it is to remember what I used to know as well as learn what's new in the cloud service world. It's been close to a decade perhaps a little more since I've really played with it. It's kind of fun getting back into it even though I'm not a coder in and real sense, but I can do simple stuff - like a django website.

Arisa and I are preparing for when we "retire" from regular work jobs. However, we'll never have enough money that we can stop working so we are loosely planning our "second careers". We both have begun our own journeys along completely separate path than we would have ever imagined. We hope to combine our separate "specialties" into a multiple service wellness business. For me that means Yoga, Meditation, and whole food, plant-based dietary lifestyle coaching. For Arisa that means Reflexology and Kikou (気功), or it's more well known Chinese name of Qigong. It is similer to Reiki (霊気) which is probably more well known in the US than Kikou. Since we are thinking about that, I figure I can kill two birds with one stone and start on our new website as I learn django and all this cloud computing stuff.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Finally To Chapter 4: Kaivalya Pada

As you may recall, I am reading three different version of the Yoga Sutras - the first being T.K.V. Desikachar's translation and commentary, Swami Satchidananda's translation and commentary, as Edwin Bryant's tome. I generally read on sutra per day, and read it from each of the books. Often Edwin's version will have a lengthy discussion as well which is really educational.

Long story short, it has been taking a while to read through the Sutras but I have finally reached the last and final chapter Kaivalya Pada, or as one of them translated it Absolute Independence.

Progress is progress but I'd probably be making more of that if I were only reading one, but more importantly weren't taking a Yoga Sutra's workshop with Dr. Bryant Which I have now extended to include his study group, or Svādhyāya-śālā on Friday nights. This class is currently studyig the Sāṃkhya Kārikā. Dr. Bryant says on his website:

This is the primary text of the Sāṃkhya School – it plays the same canonical role for Sāṃkhya as the Yoga Sūtras play for Yoga. We can note that actually Yoga and Sāṃkhya were originally one system (as the Gītā also notes: V.3-4), with Sāṃkhya occupying itself primarily with the metaphysics of prakṛti, and Yoga with the practices leading to puruṣa.

If you are interested feel free to come on Friday evening's at 6pm. Check his side for the specific dates.

Friday, December 04, 2020

Started Okinawa Program

I actually read the Foreword and first Chapter of The Okinawa Program. I read this book in the early 2000s when it was first released. I may have mentioned in my earlier post on it that I lived in Okinawa at the time the book was released and I've met all three of the authors as well as Dr. Weil who wrote the foreword. As I suggested in that previous post, the Okinawa Program does say it is not simply diet, but exercise, spirituality and community that help define what makes Okinawans so long lived.

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Playing with Django

It has been quite a while, probably close to a decade, since I have played with Django. Motivated partially by watching my son Ken creating an app I decided to take a look at it again. I may look at moving my website away from Google Sites which is getting worse and worse website tool. Well that's not completely fair, it makes it really easy to create really simple sites that are not awful to look at and are accessible to multiple devices (cell, desktop, etc). It is also really nicely incorporates GSuite capabilities. Maybe because I am used to being able to tweak what I use more I feel really restricted by sites.

If I do move over to Django for my website the other question is what to do with this blog. Blogger is more that sufficient for my blogging purposes and ties nicely in with photos and youtube making some of the things we probably want to do with our website. But it would also be nice to have everything in one place.

Plus it is just fun to "develop" (cut and paste code) a web site.

Friday, November 27, 2020

What I'm Reading: The Okinawa Program

I finished Your Survival Instinct is Killing You the other day so it is time to pick up a new book. I have decided to re-read The Okinawa Program. It is a book I read almost two decades ago while I still lived in Okinawa. The Okinawa Program is a book that presents the results of a 25 year study conducted by a Ryukyu University professor conducted in to the longevity of Okinawans. With this English language book revealing the results of that story, Dr. Suzuki collaborates with twin Drs. Bradley and Craig Wilcox. The foreward is by Dr. Andrew Weil.

Since I have read this before I pretty much know what is in it but I hope to take it slow so and take detailed notes so that I can start to weave a story that ties together this book, The China Study by Colin Campbell, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell Esselstyn, How Not To Die by Dr. Greger, etc. from all of the doctors I have met since switching to a whole food, plant based lifestyle in 2014. I hope to take the eCornell Plant Based Certificate program so that I get a really good grounding in the science of a whole food, plant-based lifestyle.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Unexpected Synergies

Not really a fan of the word "synergies" but when it is appropriate I use it. As you know I've been reading the Your Survival Instinct Is Killing You (blog post) personally and The Remote Facilitator's Pocket Guide (blog post) professionally. Interestingly enough, both are talking about how social fears or work stress can lead to problems. In the case of the former book it is focusing on how the survival instinct can turn in to maladaptive habits. In the latter book it talks about how social pain is the same as physical pain in that the same centers of the brain light up to process it; and therefore being exluded from participation in remote meetings can feel like physical pain to people.

Not earth-shattering revelation but the degree to which our bodies impact our mind, and our mind our bodies is an increasingly fascinating topic to me. And it is fun to find this type of unexpected synergy between books I'm reading for different purposes. Far out!

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Magic 10 and Beyond

Tonight I am taking a workshop lead by one of my favorite yoga teachers, Jennifer Lenhart (Jivamukti Profile), and owner of Satasang Yoga in Berea. the workshop is based on the book The Magic 10 and Beyond by Sharon Gannon, co-founder of Jivamukti Yoga.

The Magic 10 itself is a series of yoga poses that takes about 10 minutes to complete. It moves the spine in every direction it can, with folds, twists and even handstand. It is a great warm up sequence for a long practice. If you are short on time, you can still get a yoga practice in.

The key to the book is the "beyond in the title of the book. The book goes into a whole series of activities that come together as a daily spiritual practice, allowing adopters to achieve greater peace and overall well being.

I am really excited to see what Jennifer is going to do with this. Whatever it is I know it will be good!

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

The Remote Facilitators Pocket Guide

Today I started a new "work" book having finished Team Topologies recently. I chose to read The Remote Facilitator's Pocket Guide since we're in a pandemic and are forced into remote interactions. It has been successful enough that I think for the most part we will not be going back to the office like we had before, or pre-pandemic.

I'm kind of excited to read this book as it takes in Agile methods and practical tips to improving online meetings that drive more engagement and collaboration. Some reviews I have had from colleaques was that the book wasn't ground breaking but was helpful nonetheless.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

George's Website

My son George is in the process of writing a book, a young adult fantasy novel. The book is called Challenger's Chase. It is very hard to get published so he is taking on the new world introduced by internet technologies. He will be releasing the book one chapter at a time to Patreons. He's calling it an illustrated web novel.

It's pretty cool to see him give this a go, even though we have no idea if he'll be successful or not. At least he's giving it a good shot before he gets serious and has to go find a job. He's going all out and creating accounts on various social media including twitter, youtube, facebook, instagram, etc. He's created a website and a blog. It'll be interesting to see how he can keep all of those things up and running, I would have started with a shortlist, probably something like Youtube and anything an app like hootsuite can support (1 post to multiple sms). I'm doing my best to not say anything because it is his thing, not mine. He can do what he wants but it is hard to see a blog that doesn't offer an RSS feed. Part of being a parent to adult kids though, you gotta let them do their thing.

Here is the list of his online presence:

George Hawkins - Challenger's Chase
Website -
Blog - ccghawkins/category/blog

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Team Topologies

Team Topologies book cover

Today I finally finished Team Topologies. Really good book, kind of dense even though it is relatively short and very well written. There is just a lot to unpack. I'll do a brief overview here which will not do the actual content justice.

The basic premise of the books starts with Conway's Law

Any organization that designs a system (defined broadly) will produce a design whose structure is a copy of the organization's communication structure.[2][3]

Melvin E. Conway

The idea that Unfortunately, organization structures do not necessarily make the best design. In fact the first chapter goes into why that's true, the second chapter goes into why Conway's Law matters. The third chapter discusses a team first mentality. The rest of the book talks about what the authors are proposing as the fundamental team topologies and what goes into making them successful.

Monday, November 09, 2020

Vegan 21 Day Diet

Starting on November 1st, I am following the 21 Day Vegan diet as outlined in Sharon Gannon's Yoga and Veganism book. I will be making some changes to it as I don't think it contains enough greens. This post will outline what I'll be doing from November 1st until November 21st. I'll first review what Sharon recommends in her book, clarify how I am adapting it and why.

The 21 Day Vegan Diet as outlined in Sharon's book is fairly easy. There are only really two meals per day, not limit on how much you can eat at those two meals. However, what you can eat is limited.

Saturday, November 07, 2020

Congratulations Joe Biden and Kamala Harris

Today, AP and the networks finally called the election as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won Pennsylvania and subsequently Nevada. I don't know enough about how this works but they all called it even though the vote count isn't finished. We also know that the current resident of the White House will fight it in the court system, and considering how close the votes actually are that make sense. As much as I dislike them, if I'm them I'm forcing re-counts at a minimum. But of enough of that!

Biden and Harris are the next President and Vice-President of the United States!


The amount of damage this current administration and its GOP enablers in the Senate is unreal and the absolute lack of ethics is truly astounding. I hope everyone involved in separating children from parents are indicted on crimes against humanity.

But none of that will come easily. Biden will be in full rebuild unity mode, understandably. However, it is always the democrats that are being open and compromising while republicans never do - and we slide further and further right.

Georgia senate seats are up for runoff that if the Democrats can win will split the Senate 50-50. That will be a better outcome than the situation President Obama had during his administration.

Celebrate this weekend, Monday get to work to win Georgia.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Yoga Sutras; Svadhyaya, Satsang

I've enrolled in an Embodied Philosophy 6 week workshop studying the Yoga Sutras with Edwin Bryant. I actually began reading his book The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali earlier this year in cominbation with two other versions (The Heart of Yoga by T.K.V. Desikachar and The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Sri Swami satchidananda) and I found Bryant's the most accessible to me. I also liked the Heart of Yoga which is more than just the Yoga Sutras. The last section of that book includes Sri Deskikachar's translation and commentary on the sutras so when I got their I decided to take do a comparison reading

Monday, October 26, 2020

What I'm Reading: Your Survival Instinct Is Killing You

I started a new book this last weekend It is called Your Survival Instinct Is Killing You with a subtitle of Retrain Your Brain to Conquer Fear and Build Resilience The author is Marcho Schoen, PH.D with Kristin Loberg. The link above takes you to amazon.

Premise of the book is that our flight or fight instinct that is controlled by the limbic or reptile brain is increasingly causing us to experience health, mental, emotional, and physical problems even though we are increasing safe and lead a live of relative ease and comfort. Many of our modern chronic diseases have at its root our survival instinct kicking in when we don't need it.

Well that's a loose summary, I'll let you know how close I was.

Monday, October 19, 2020

The Kid is using Krita

So back in the day when all my machines were Linux, our family were heavy KDE users. Used it for years and years never really liking Gnome. However, for photoshop type of work we generally used GIMP. Come to find out that my son, now 25 years old and an illustrator is a proud user of Krita. I was like, wait a minute I've heard that name before. Well, I looked it up and sure enough it was the same software from KDE. And I thought damn, ain't that cool!

Well I also found out that around 2009 after I had pretty much stopped using KDE and KOffice by that time largely because I wasn't on my machines as much by that point, that Krita changed direction and became a "painting" app. Which is exactly why my son switched from Gimp (on Windows) to Krita. He finds it much more useful and intuitive to use (he showed my the one exception) than GIMP so that's what he's using.

Open Source is still a cool place to be!

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Bike Ride with Elly

I am currently in Washington DC to spend time with my daughter before driving us both back to Cleveland. Elly brought her bicycle from Japan so I brought mine from Cleveland. On Friday we were going to take a ride down to Mt. Vernon but due some other circumstances we were not able to do that so we just walked around DC.

This morning though we were able to go out for a ride which was fun. We rode around the Mall, rode through China Town which reminded me of all those Cavs vs Bullets games back in the Gilbert Arenas days. We stopped by the Supreme Court and rode by Union Station. Adding a few pics below.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Starting with Tiny Habits

A friend of mine mentioned to me the power of tiny habits. Simplifying the concept it basically means take baby steps. Yes really, really small baby steps. For example if you want to get into the habit of brushing your teeth after every meal, don't start with all your meals and brushing all of your teeth, start of with after one meal brush one tooth. It'll take you a second and your done.

Now that brushing your teeth example is a little silly, but that's the idea. Start small and go from there. If it is small enough it won't create the resistance to it that you naturally feel. If you are consistent you will gradually get there.

I have been trying to get back to blogging for years but never quite make it. I'm gonna try tiny habit, so my posts may be more like tweets than blog posts.

This is one

Monday, January 06, 2020

Seven Day Rescue Video

In yesterday's blog post about my new vlgo, I mentioned that the Rescue 10X is the 7 Day Rescue ten times in a row. Here is more info on the 7 Day Rescue: The first couple of scenes that are interviewing with Rip and Jane Esselstyn is in as at Hyland Software which was one of the two location Engine 2 conducted their programs in a non-immersion environment.

Sunday, January 05, 2020

My Engine 2 Rescue 10X Journey Channel

I will be vlogging about my Rescue 10x hosted by Plant Strong by Engine2 on Youtube. I intend to embed the videos here on my blog to keep all my content in one place. This is new for me so the learning curve will be steep. It's not very good yet, but I published my first one.

I need to work at getting more natural at talking in front of the camera. I speak too fast, and not clearly enough. But I got the first one under my belt.