Free Dakota

28650035Life has been going downhill for Don Jenkins. He is a writer with Writer’s block, his kid is grown and his ex-wife wants more money which he isn’t able to give. His biggest problems start though as he goes into a 7 11 to get his extra-large mug filled with soda and the cashier won’t fill it because it’s against Government regulations. Don is tired of the Government’s restrictions on our freedoms and wants a change.

Don blogs about his feelings on the government and supports a movement called Second Vermont Republic which wants to break away from the United States and govern itself. Things aren’t going well with the movement though and one day a comment on his blog leads him to North Dakota. Here he finds a man named Mackey who wants to turn North Dakota into its own self-sufficient country. The Free Dakota movement is being met with major opposition though and with the feds investigating and the armed forces entering the state to keep the peace, everything is about to change for Don.

Free Dakota by William Irwin is an interesting book and whether you like it or not will depend on what you are looking for. If you want action, adventure and a great story then this one might not be for you.  What it does have is a good social commentary, political debate and good ideas on how society should work from characters that are entertaining and believable. After you read Free Dakota you will want to have a discussion about it when you finish.

When I first started reading Free Dakota I had to get use to it because I kept thinking that regular people don’t talk like this and the story seemed chaotic in how it was told. That being said it gets better as it goes along and the way it was wrapped up at the end really got me thinking. I think the story and characters are secondary to the information being presented but it needed them to make it a better read. The main point in this book is that we can live better with less government and we should be more self-sufficient. It also presents the idea that people and businesses can do a better job of regulating themselves then the government can.

One of my favorite things about Free Dakota is how it was written. William Irwin is a Philosophy professor and has written several books on Philosophy including The Free Market Existentialist: Capitalism without ConsumerismI read this book and some of it I understood and some of it went over my head. While that was a non-fiction book, this one is a fictional novel but it includes ideas on being libertarian and having less government which are real. I loved listening to the ideas presented and I loved how the characters in the story defend their points of view on society.  In Reading this book I felt that if these ideas were presented in a non fiction book I wouldn’t have been as interested and probably wouldn’t have understood it as well. Since the information William Irwin has presented is in the form of a novel I understood it and enjoyed it.




Music That Kicks Ass: Part One

One thing that I’ve been really into lately is searching youtube, amazon prime, Pandora, sound cloud and record stores to find good music to listen to throughout the day. I’ve been saying for a while now that I was going to start blogging about what I’m listening too and today is that day.

I find that as I’ve gotten older my tastes in music have changed quite a bit. When I was a kid I don’t remember caring about music too much. In the mid to late eighties I started getting into Aerosmith which led me into becoming interested in Rock music from the late sixties, seventies and the hair bands of the eighties.

Now a days I like to listen to all genres of music depending on my mood. Jazz, Blues, Rock, big band music, it’s all good. I find even some of the bands that I hated as a teenager I actually appreciate now. I’m talking about bands like The Bee Gees, Bon Jovi, Earth Wind And Fire and even Bruce Springsteen. I use to hate Springsteen with a passion but now a days I can at least say I appreciate him.

Getting to my point, I’m going to start posting regularly about what I’m listening to and I want to know what you have been listening to also. Just leave a comment. This week I’ve been listening to Abney Park a lot, if you’re not familiar with them then you have to do yourself a favor and check them out.

Abney Park is a band that can’t be compared to any other. They are a steampunk band and other than saying that, you just can’t fit their music into any other genre. I think some of their music makes me think of Irish Celtic music but some of it sounds like Rock and Jazz also. Abney Park are true originals and they have built up a small industry around themselves. They have a series of novels, a coloring book, a role-playing game and tons of merchandise available.  Don’t take my word for it though, check out the clips below:

The Importance of Exercise

The Importance Of Exercise


David Watson

Do you want to be happier, reduce stress and lead a healthier lifestyle? It’s easier than you think to accomplish, all you have to do is exercise. You might be thinking to yourself that you don’t have the time for it or maybe you think it’s to hard to stick to a routine. Change never comes easy but once you find out how physical activity can improve your life and how much fun it can be, you will be glad you did it. Twenty minutes of exercise a day can change your life.

Why is it important?

The human body is meant to be active. If we sit for too long we have problems with obesity, high blood pressure, stiff joints, depression and anxiety. When you exercise your body produces endorphins that elevates your mood and reduces stress. Exercise is an all natural anti-depressant and it costs you nothing.

I started to exercise regularly when I was in my early thirties. I got to a point where I was heavier than I had ever been and I didn’t like how slow I was moving, so I started to walk on a treadmill at work during my lunch breaks. Pretty soon I lost weight and found that I really loved getting a workout in. Pretty soon I went from a half hour a day on a treadmill to trying yoga, zumba and taekwondo.Fifteen years after starting, I’m addicted to it and can’t imagine going more than a day without it. I also find I have more aches and pains if I go too long without being active.

I work with a lot of older people and they all agree that the best way to stay healthy as you get older is to stay active. As one co-worker I talked to said: “When you stop moving you start to have health problems, it’s not good to sit for too long.”

How do you find the time?

One reason some people don’t excersise is because they have trouble finding time, but if you put your mind to it you can find plenty of ways to be more active. One thing I did to make sure I was getting enough activity in my day was to park far away from the place I worked so that I would have a long walk to get inside. Another thing I did was on my breaks at work I went out into the stairwell to run up and down the steps. I knew a few people who did this and one woman told me she does it to help her deal with the stress on the job, if she didn’t walk to clear her head, she couldn’t handle the job and felt like the walls were closing in.

How do you keep motivated?

One thing to do to motivate yourself is to make it fun. At home I like to turn on a cheesy action or horror movie and do yoga while I watch it. I also use my smart phone or tablet a lot. There are lots of podcasts and internet radio stations like Pandora, stitcher or tunein where you can find excellent music to make your workout more fun.

Find an exercise program?

If you want to try something different to increase your activity level, you could try a class. You don’t have to look hard to find some in your area, like dancing, martial arts or yoga. There are plenty of professional gyms and studios that offer these but if you’re looking for a cheaper place to find some classes try your local recreation department. Many local communities have these where you can meet people in your area, play team sports take a zumba class or any other kind of class imaginable. This is the low-cost way to find out if you like something like yoga. Don’t worry if you’re not good enough to participate in a class. Most rec. departments offer classes for different skill levels and you will always find people who will help you learn.

In closing, exercise is important and not as hard to work into your schedule as you think. The benefits include less stress, better health and it could lead you to meeting a whole new group of friends. So give it try, you won’t be sorry.