DDP YOGA – It Aint Your Mamas Yoga

Once in a while you happen across a situation or person that inspires you so much that you just KNOW that from that point forward, your life direction has changed; DDP YOGA is that for us.

Last weekend Wendy and I attended Supanova Pop Culture Convention on the Gold Coast here in Australia. While we were going to catch up with friends and meet / greet a few stars one in particular was a bonus for us; Diamond Dallas Page (DDP) of WCW / WWF / WWE Wresting fame.  As a fan of wrestling growing up being able to meet DDP was like seeing an idol of your childhood.  Little did we know that we’d find ourselves talking less about wrestling and more about Yoga.

“What’s it called?” as DDP would ask?

DDP YOGA!

Most of us have seen the video of the Gulf War veteran who was told he’d never walk again, and he went on to not just walk, but also run!  He did that using DDP YOGA.  Not seen it?  Video is below.

DDP is inspirational.  His story goes far beyond bouncing off the ropes and dropping the Diamond Cutter on an opponent.  His revolutionary thinking helped change the wrestling industry and more importantly, has helped changed the lives and careers of many actors, athletes, wrestlers and everyday people.

DDP YOGA - It Aint Your Mamas Yoga

DDP YOGA – It Aint Your Mamas Yoga

I know what you’re thinking… YOGA? Really?  Well, NO.  DDP YOGA… and never get the 2 confused.  DDP YOGA is far beyond anything you can imagine.  As the catchphrase states, “It aint your mamas yoga”.  Using dynamic resistance, this is a fitness, balance, motivation and muscle building machine and it doesn’t feel like Yoga… at any point in time.

So as you can tell, we’re hooked.  Check it out at http://www.ddpyoga.com or take a peek at the mobile app “DDP Yoga Now” available across all devices.

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Diver Waterproof MP3 Player A Swimming Must!

Diver waterproof mp3 player

Diver Waterproof MP3 Player (DBL-20)

As a regular swimmer i’ve often wished there was a way to listen to some vibes while burning off the calories.  As it turns out you can, with the Diver Waterproof MP3 Player. I recently purchased one of these in the boxing day sales.

This small and compact unit packs one helluva punch.  Don’t be fulled by it’s colourful exterior, the Diver DBL-20 MP3 player packs more features than you’d expect from something so well priced.  Yes, it’s an MP3 player with all your regular MP3 features like skip, random, repeat, etc, but it’s the other things that make the Diver waterproof mp3 player such a great unit.

Diver Waterproof MP3 Player Features:

  • 4GB of storage space.
  • Mp3 Player
  • FM Radio
  • Pedometer
  • Swim Fitness (think Pedometer for swimmers)
  • Fitness tracking
  • Universal Plug & Play – with both PC and Mac
  • Hooked (over the ear) Waterproof headphones included
  • 100% waterproof
  • lightweight and easy to attach to swim goggle straps
  • 12 month warranty
  • Don’t like blue? it also comes in pink!

In case you missed it… this little beauty wont just play music while you swim, it will actually count your strokes and keep track of your swim fitness.  And if you just happen to listen to it out of the pool, then you’ve got the pedometer feature to count your steps as you hit the sidewalk.

It comes with 3 different headphone plus to suit all ear types, and the sound quality is outstanding.  Go underwater and you get the full immersive sound experience (pun fully intended).  Naturally, it also works with regular headphones, too.

The price? From Amazon you can get this for under $100 AUD, likewhys the Diver Waterproof MP3 Player website itself has great information.

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Spey River Double Cask Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Spey River Double Cask Single Malt Scotch

Spey River Double Cask Single Malt Scotch

Tonight I had the pleasure of tasting the Spey River Double Cask Single Malt scotch whiskey, and i was very impressed.  I’ve tried a number of scotch’s in recent years and have a good number of “go-to” whiskeys i will buy if i want a good quality drink but had never tried or had any of the Spey River range before today.

I’m impressed.  This is a very nice scotch that goes down well with a very sweet, fresh finish.

This is a double cask single malt scotch whiskey. First it spends time in traditional American Oak Casks to create a perfect balance of natural notes along with the natural delicate taste of oak.  Then it is transfered into Bourbon casks to further enhance the flavours and develop the natural vanilla notes.  The finish is a Scotch Whiskey with beautiful floral notes with a hint of spice.  On the tongue it is a smooth whiskey with the ideal amount of heat while being an easy to drink whiskey.

In my opinion best served on ice or neat.

From the Masters of Malt: “Although the Speyside distillery was founded in 1956, it was not until 1990 that production began. The respected whisky maker George Christie purchased land near Kingussie and founded a grain distillery in 1957. In 1962, he commenced the building of a malt whisky distillery on the site and the work was completed in 1987. The new distillery sits opposite the site of the old Drumguish distillery, which closed in 1911. “

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Drive By: The 2014 Nissan Pulsar

 2014 Nissan Pulsar frontI get to drive a lot of different cars in my job.  As a stocktaker who often travels out of town for work i’ve seen quite a fair amount of cars, both good and bad.  Over the last 10 days i’ve had the chance to test the 2014 Nissan Pulsar (ST).  And by test, i mean that quite literally.  I’ve put up almost 1,600KM on it during that time and have driven in numerous conditions, on all types of roads.

The result: I’m actually quite impressed with it, though at first I was not.

This is a very roomy car and has an incredibly comfortable drive.  I usually dive a 2005 Lancer VR-X, so the soft suspension on the Pulsar was quite a luxury for me.  I needed it.

We drove this from Brisbane down thought Warwick, Goondiwindi to Moree in northern New South Wales, and then back again.  That’s nearly 1,100 KMs in total and has some pretty windy and rough roads as you get out west.  On the way back we drove through torrential rain and even had to navigate rising flood waters.  No, i’m not kidding either.  How did the Pulsar handle?  Perfectly.  Comfortable and smooth and only once or twice did it ever feel out of control during some pretty nasty conditions.

 2014 Nissan Pulsar interiorFuel economy isn’t too bad considering the size of the car.  I’ve seen 4 door hatches with far worse economy than the 2014 Nissan Pulsar seems to have.  As for those internal luxuries… no, it doesn have a mini-bar or masseuse.  It does have a great sound system with aux-in for you MP3 people, cruise control and full steering wheel audio and cruise command controls.  It’s got everything you need for it’s price range, and nothing more.  But what it has seems to be pretty well made and works exactly as it should.

Regarding safety, i’m pleased to say that this thing handled so well in the wet it’s not funny.  Traction control worked overtime during that heavy rain and the safety system disabled cruise control as soon as traction kicked in, thus cutting power to the drive and stopping potential spins and crashes.  This might seems like a pretty obvious thing to do, but some cars don’t appear to do this.  Scary thought, huh?

 2014 Nissan Pulsar

So, would I buy one?  To be honest, i’m not sure.  But that’s not because it’s not worth buying, but because i prefer other brands.  The 2014 Nissan Pulsar is a great car.  If you’re in the market for a car in this price range, take it for a test drive.  You will be impressed.

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A Not So Blurred View Of Thicke’s Blurred Lines

“Has anyone heard Robin Thicke’s new rape song?”

When Lisa Huyne wrote this on her blog (Feminist in L.A.), I wonder, did she know just how much of an impact it would have? The song she’s referring to of course is “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke.

blurredlines01In case you’ve been living under a rock, no doubt you are very aware of the criticism that Thicke has come under for this song. It has been labeled “Rapey”, “condoning rape’ and one of my favorites, “Supporting and condoning rape culture”. But is it? Is this #1 best selling song truly about something so horrible, so sickening, and so downright illegal?

What “Blurred Lines” In Particular?

It needs to be said that like any piece of art, this song can and does have many meanings. The most common one you’re going to hear about of course is that it’s a song about rape, and how it’s OK to do so. For a start I want to say, don’t be daft, we ALL know it’s not OK to rape someone, under ANY circumstances.

I ask you though, have you stopped and looked at this song from a different point of view? Are you actually open minded enough to put aside your per-conceived ideas and actually accept that there may be a very different meaning to this song?

What if this song wasn’t about rape, but was instead simply about going out and trying to read whether you’re going to get laid, or go home single? That sound you just heard was the prude prejudice club all gasping… yes, I just suggested people out out clubbing because they want to hook up and have sex. Shocking, I know. If you think this doesn’t happen, stop reading, because you’re clearly out of touch with reality!

So I did my research. I read articles, stories, comments, opinions and a TON of late, and I came by a really good article by a popdust poster by the name of Nate Jones.

Jones takes “Blurred Lines” and gives it a fresh new look through open minded, not so rose colored glasses. More importantly, he does it with an open mind, something seriously lacking regarding this particular issue. I encourage you to read his post. His outcome is simple. It’s not a song about rape, but about something that guys and girls experience on a daily basis at clubs around the world; this person I just met, looking so sexy, does he/she want to hook up tonight?

I’m not being sexist. This goes both ways, because as shocking as it might seem, girls like sex just as much as guys, and will actively look to hook up just as much as guys will when out drinking and dancing. How do you know if the person you’re dancing with is of the same mind as you? How do you read that person to find out? How do you read their style of dress, dancing etc correctly? How do you do all that without getting it entirely wrong?

We’re talking about people sending mixed signals here. And i’m not just referencing woman, but men as well. Is Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” simply a confused reference to Mixed Signals?

One Dimensional Controversy. Why This Song?

blurredlines03One of my biggest issue with the common attitude of this song is how it’s become the song to hate, almost as if it’s the trendy thing to do. Do you people out there even know there are many, far worse songs out there, that have received little, of not ANY criticism?

In 1992 Californian Rockers “Sublime” released their “40oz To Freedom” album which featured the song, “Date Rape” which delivered these punchy lyrics:

“Come on babe it’s your lucky date, Shut your mouth we’re gonna do it my way. Come on baby don’t be afraid, if it wasn’t for date rape i’d never get laid.”

To this date that song is one of the most popular Sublime songs. Did they get flames for their lyrics? Not really.

In 1979 DEVO gave us the song “Triumph of the will” in which they sing:

“I’m not a wanker or a banker. I’m not afraid to take a risk. It is the thing females as for when they convey the opposite.”

DEVO clearly did want to “whip it”, with or without permission.

“Closer” by Nine Inch Nails was a major commercial hit, and is considered by many to be (one of) the bands most successful songs. But this song starts with the line

“You let me violate you / You let me desecrate you” and later sings “I want to f— you like an animal”.

“The HIV Song” by Ween, “Rape Me” by Nirvana and “Smack my bitch up” by The Prodigy are just a few more examples of songs that are blatantly more inappropriate than Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” but never received the same level of controversy.

So why this song? Why now, when so many songs major are so incredibly sexual in nature, such as the hugely successful hit by Christina Aguilera, “Dirty”.

“Sweat dripping over my body, Dance and getting just a little naughty
Want to get dirty, It’s about time for my arrival”

and,

“Tight hip huggers (low for sure), Shake a little somethin’ (on the floor)
I need that, uh, to get me off, Sweat until my clothes come off”

From the sounds of it, this song is about a girl who’s gone to a club, spent the night dancing and is looking to hook up.

Or, is she? Is it possible I’m reading into this song the wrong way? Is it also possible that people are reading into “Blurred Lines” in a similar way?

“That Quote” … Allegedly

blurredlines02No doubt you’ve heard that Thicke himself claims that being degrading to women is fun.  Have you read the full quote?  He was talking to an interviewer for GQ Magazine, where he explained that all 3 guys involved in the clip are happily married.  Thicke himself has been with the same women since they were in school – yes, he married his high school sweet heart!  In a BBC Interview, Thicke was quoted as saying, “I don’t want to be sleazy, I’m a gentleman, I’ve been in love with the same woman since I’ve been a teenager,” he said of his wife (and high school sweetheart) Paula Patton. “I don’t want to do anything inappropriate.”.

But let’s talk about that GQ Magazine quote for a little bit.  This is a perfect example of a misread quote gone viral.  The actual quote in full reads as:

“We were like, ‘We’re the perfect guys to make fun of this,'” he told the magazine. “People say, ‘Hey, do you think this is degrading to women?’ I’m like, ‘Of course it is. What a pleasure it is to degrade a woman. I’ve never gotten to do that before. I’ve always respected women.”

Isn’t it quite amazing how that quote takes on a whole other meaning when you read it in full?

Censorship Approval

Most countries have some form of legislation that governs what we hear on the radio or see on TV. Every song on the radio must go through an approval process before it can be played to the public. Clearly, “Blurred Lines” got the tick of approval.

Summary

When I listen to this song I don’t hear a song about rape. I don’t hear a song that encourages rape. And I sure don’t hear a song that encourages the abuse of woman in any kind. I hear a catchy song about a guy who’s trying to figure out what his dance partners intentions are.

It’s a creepy song for sure, but that doesn’t make it worthy of the criticism it’s been getting. Music is all about interpretation, and if you listen to that song wanting to hear a song about rape, that’s exactly what you will hear. So please, before you label this song as one thing be sure that it’s not about another.

Watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQgJ4TlJGNk

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Live Review: Blue Gillespie Rock Brisbane

bglive001Back in April this year I wrote an album review for the (then upcoming) release of the “Seven Rages Of Man” album by Welsh Progressive Metal band, Blue Gillespie. This trio of Gareth David-Lloyd, Rhys Bryant and Nick Harrison (and former band member Anthony Clark) created an incredible concept album which took the listener to the very heart of their music, to the place where hardcore passion for their art exists. The weekend just gone, fans down here in Brisbane, Australia experienced the raw power of Blue Gillespie as they performed the first of 2 live shows in Australia as part of their appearance at the Supanova Pop Culture Expo.

bglive003Those not familiar with the band or the genre of music, Progressive Metal is a sub-genre of metal. Rhys Bryant, guitarist of the band, explained it to us as someone kicking in the face over and over again, with each kick getting harder or more complex.

Fans of the band piled into the Tempo Hotel in Fortitude Valley on Sunday night for the show. It must be said that the hardcore Gillespians down here in Australia are some of the most passionate people I have ever met, deeply moved by the music and deathly loyal to the band. As the time approached and the band came on stage there was a sense of anxious energy that enveloped the room. Nick took up his position behind the drum kit, Rhys picked up his guitar and Gareth got in position as the Prologue from Seven Rages Of Man started.

 

“Here I come, won’t be long
Pushing through, tearing you
Tunnel tight, fear the light
Time to feel something real”

bglive002Those opening lines poured forth as Blue Gillespie unleashed a barage of raw musical talent upon the waiting crowd, pushing away any and all expectations, tearing apart the soul and leaving us open to what I can honestly say is one of the best live acts I have seen in many years! We did feel something real… VERY real! Blue Gillespie aren’t just talented musicians, they are gifted performers who put their very souls into giving a live performance. When the opening chords of “The Mewling” pierced our eardrums we knew Blue Gillespie weren’t just putting on a show, they were performing the Seven Rages Of Man album in its entirety.

And they did.

Through all 7 Acts, the Prologue, 2 Interludes, the Epilogue and of course the always incredible “Effervescent Youth” and “Hydraslide”, Blue Gillespie’s performance captured us, took us with them as they ventured through the Rages.

No one knew whether to watch Gareth as he acted out each song and moshing with the crowd, Rhys as his fingers flew over the strings on his guitar and his foot tapped the bass set up on trigger – prerecorded by Rhys himself after Clarky left the lead guitarist role – or Nick on the kit as his beats thumped through the chests of everyone in the room.

bglive006We raged with them and they with us; and at the end of the night we left knowing we had seen something special. We had seen something real.

In many ways Blue Gillespie’s enthsiasm and “grimm determination” on stage reminds me of early footage of Metallica, in the Kill ‘Em All days.  I can’t wait for my next chance to see a Blue Gillespie gig!  If you ever get a chance to see them play do it, you wont be disappointed!

Have you listened to the VII Rages Of Man album yet? Listen to Seven Rages right now on SoundCloud or buy it online at the Blue Gillespie website.

Don’t forget, you can also follow Blue Gillespie on Facebook and Twitter.

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