P90X, Beer, Music and other stuff

This is what I am going to call a “catch up” post. There’s been a few things I’ve been meaning to post on but I just haven’t had the will to sit and write lately. So since it’s a quiet morning here, I’m going to catch up.

First up: P90X. Michelle and I finished our first round of P90X last week and have started the program over again. The question everyone wants to know the answer to is: “Does it work”? Well, I would say that depends. Like any other exercise program it depends on how hard you work, and what you eat. These programs love to show people losing 50lbs and getting six pack abs in 90 days, and that’s certainly possible for some. But the reason most of us are fat and tired is because we simply eat wrong and don’t put in the time to exercise. So unless you change habits, this program is no better than any other.

What I do like about this program though is that it’s got great variety and it doesn’t require fancy equipment. For me those are the two things that make it easy for me to stick to it. So for me, it’s working. I’m building muscle and losing fat. My progress has been slower because, well, I just don’t want to make exercising a full time hobby. I miss a day here and there. And I like to have a pizza and beer occasionally. But overall I’m happy with the progress. I feel much stronger, I’ve lost 7 pounds, and I still enjoy doing the program, so for me it’s a total win.

Ok, so since I mentioned beer, let’s switch gears and talk about home brew. I’ve been home brewing for a few months now and I’m happy to announce that my second batch has gone into the bottles. In two weeks I will have a beautiful Dry Irish Stout. Oh man, it smelled so good when I cracked open the fermenter yesterday. I think this is going to me a very nice batch. So on May 7th, the bottles go into the fridge and it’s time to have a tasting party! Put it on your calendars. I’ve also got the ingredients for my next batch already which I plan to cook up early next week. It’s going to be a mild Ale and only takes 4 weeks to make, so I’m hoping to get a nice rotation of beers going on. I’m telling you though, this whole bottling thing sucks. I really gotta get me a kegging system soon.

OK, lastly let’s talk about some music because there’s been a few great albums that have hit the streets recently.

Slash released what I think is his second solo album. The cool thing about this album is that on each song he collaborated with a different singer. The result is an incredibly varied album with musical styles ranging from arena rock to blues to metal to southern rock, you name it.

I’m completely blown away by this album. There’s really not a bad song on it, though the one with Iggy Pop called “We’re All Gonna Die” is probably the dumbest song lyrically, but it’s still catchy. The tracks I think are most impressive are the instrumental with Dave Grohl called “Watch This”, “Beautiful Dangerous” with Fergie (who know she could rock?), and the two songs featuring Myles Kennedy. Kennedy in my mind is the absolute best rock singer on the planet and if you want to see what he’s capable of, check out the band Alter Bridge. He’s also did a track on Sevendust’s last album which was fantastic. Slash is a great album full of great rock and roll. Pick it up.

And speaking of Sevendust (am I not the master of the segue?), my favorite band in the entire world has released their 8th studio album and the first since original guitarist Clint Lowery returned to the band after leaving in 2004.

This album is flat out amazing. While the albums written in Lowery’s absence where killer, I really didn’t realize how much had been lost in his absence. Yeah there were high points, but a lot of those songs sounded just a tad flat in comparison to this latest collection. The new album is ferocious, melodic, emotional and extremely powerful. It just smacks you right in the face with track one and continues pummeling you all the way through track twelve. It’s simply fantastic.

I’d say the stand out tracks are Splinter, which is a metal heads dream. Crazy guitar antics, insane double base runs, and ferocious chunkiness. Great way to start the ride. They immediately follow that with Forever which is my favorite track on the album. It sounds like no other Sevendust song with it’s great dynamics, it’s breakneck soaring chorus line and crunchy breakdowns. It saw them do this one live and it was amazing. The rest of the album continues with exactly what you’d expect from a Sevendust album and that’s a good thing. Sevendust is one of those bands that know what they do best and don’t vary too much from the formula. It’s good melodic heavy metal. The way it should be.

Alright so that’s my catch up post! Today is Saturday and it’s going to be a beautiful sunny California day so I’m gonna do my P90X this morning and then get on the bike and go visit an old buddy of mine back in my high school stomping grounds, Manteca. This guy was the bass player of my very first band. I haven’t seen him in 20 years. This should be good times.