I made a new aluminum roof for my van (also w/ cork insulation)

I wanted to beef up my step van’s roof. It had a pretty wimpy translucent fiberglass roof. And I decided I was going to add a layer of cork insulation and aluminum.

So after some searching I found a place a couple of hours away in VT that sold big wide rolls of .04 aluminum. It took a week or so of searching to find it. Most places places don’t sell rolls like that. Most places that sell metal sell it by the sheet like 4×8′ or so.

The big ass roll of aluminum 12ft long by 103 inches wide

The light the translucent roof gave was nice, but it was very thin. When it rained it felt like I was in a tent. I encountered this while sleeping in the van for the first time after driving it home from Fargo.

See all the light coming in from the roof??? No more, now it’s very dark!

I was just waiting for a leak to spring. So it wasn’t very reassuring and that thing in the summer would heat up like you wouldn’t believe. In fact one sunny day this past summer I touched the metal roof supports called roof bows and they were like burning hot. Kinda like stepping in beach sand on a hot summer day.

Is this going to work? Measuring translucent fiberglass roof with a piece of cork

I had lot of doubts about doing this. I wasn’t sure how wide to cut it and was planning originally on cutting it wider that you see in the video thumbnail below and then trying to hammer bend it down on the sides to the little gutter there.

But fortunately I tried a test piece and bending a small piece over the roof side there where it rounds down to the gutter and it didn’t bend like I thought it might. Good thing to test when possible!

So I cut it to just fit on the flat top part of the roof.

I also feared that the roof would crack or something. It was extremely thin. Like thinner than a fiberglass canoe and all bubbly on top. Winter is coming and I also wanted insulation. If I put insulation on top of my van it would be a thermal break and a big score. It wouldn’t get so hot in the summer because the sun’s rays can’t pass through so easily any more and same with the cold!

So I taped 1/4 cork underlayment to the roof with butyl flashing tape. I first tried some other Robert’s underlayment tape recommended by home depot for cork but that sucked. Returned it and still had some butyl flashing tape that’s kinda waterproof that I thought I’d try.

That butyl tape stuff is real sticky and similar to the kilmat sound insulation. Sorry I got no pictures of that. I thought of taking a picture after doing the cork and was just in the moment and couldn’t be bothered at that time.

All I did was cut 3 pieces from the 4ft wide roll, put them on the roof covering the cargo area and taped them at the seems and along the sides with the butyl tape. I did add a little glue to the cork as well and sanded down the edges a bit so it would taper well down to the sides where I put the rivets in.

I still had some of that cork which i am going to use on the floor. And then I got this big roll of 12×9 or so feet of .04 aluminum.

That was like $430 or so at the heavy duty truck store (aluminum coil). I also got some more roof bows to support the roof. The roof bows were 24 inches apart and then I added another inbetween. And then I riveted the aluminum to the roof. I used mostly solid rivets but also some sealed pop rivets.

Riveting an aluminum roof to my step van

Update: I did get some leaks because of this and seemed to have fixed them but would do a few things differently.

I would have just used the sealed pop rivets instead of trying to use solid rivets. The solid rivets required two people and I didn’t have the right tools which caused some rivets to bend and those rivets eventually leaked.

The sealed pop rivets I used on the front seam and they are just way easier. I would have just used them all around. I guess I didn’t at the time because I thought they wouldn’t be strong enough.

The hammer I think caused some damage and bent some of the roof rail because on the other side sometimes the tool my dad used to place under the rivet would slip off the rivet and I would strike the top of it and if there is nothing under it then the roof takes the strike.

Another problem I had was the Sikaflex didn’t stick well to that aluminum coil I think cause it was so polished or had something on it but the Sikaflex sticks very well to the aluminum inside my van. I used it to glue wood to aluminum and steel in the van and it is very strong there.

The Sikaflex peeled off the seams in some spots. I later took a wire wheel to the aluminum to scratch it up and the Sikaflex seemed to stick better to that.

The 3m double sided tape which was supposedly super strong didn’t hold the front aluminum down instead I would have just put some sikaflex under this and compress it with weight. I have since done this.

Things learned from these leaks.

  • Use the sealed pop rivets because they are easier and you didn’t have the right tools or experience with solid rivets
  • Put a sealant under the sheet of aluminum between the original roof
  • Scratch up the aluminum where you will put the sealant
  • Test everything before you commit or put holes in your roof

Now I will…

  1. Scratch up the aluminum
  2. Reseal the seams with Sikaflex
  3. Reseal the edges with Eternabond tape
  4. Use a white rubberized roof coating over the rivets for additional waterproofing

For some reason things didn’t stick well to that aluminum roof coil.

  • Sikaflex failed
  • Gorilla waterproof tape bubbled and failed after the first rain
  • 3M double sided tape failed
  • Fast seal RV tape didn’t stick that well on a test piece

So now I will test Eternabond tape hopefully that will work

Old post continued…

1st I had to remove around 46 rivets holding the fiberglass in place to the roof bows. That’s not fun. Then chose the type of rivet. Ahh, another decision to make. So many decisions to make with this van.

Solid rivets are stronger but they are trickier and you need another person if you can’t access both sides. Pop rivets are easier and you can get one of these tools I got on Amazon. But they are not as strong or waterproof. I was going to use just sealed pop rivets which are more waterproof, but I just decided on solid rivets like used in the body of the van. The step van is held together by mostly rivets.

I didn’t cover the whole roof just the cargo area where I’d be staying. I am planning on adding a loft and raising part of the roof above the drivers area, but I wasn’t quite ready.

To be continued hasta…

Tools and products used:

Does Jay peak get as much snow as they say?

Jay Peak is a ski area in northern Vermont near the Canadian border. They claim that they get 347″ of annual snowfall a year and that’s more than any other ski area in the northeast and more than quite a few out west too. But is it true?

In this post I will explore why I think it’s a stretch.

Reason #1. Jay Peak claims to get more snow than Mount Washington

Jay Peak claims they get more snow than any of the 50 or so taller mountains in New England and that includes Mt Washington.

If you didn’t know Mt. Washington is the tallest mountain on the east coast which lies in New Hampshire. It’s 6,288 feet tall. So how tall is Jay peak? It’s 3,862 feet. So Mt Washington is 2,426 feet taller than Jay. That’s roughly the size of a good size ski area like Sweitzer, Idaho on top of Jay Peak.

So Mt. Washington observatory has been recording snowfall and weather for many years.

Mt. Washington gets an average of 281 inches of snow a year.

It’s also famous for Tuckerman’s ravine on the backside which is a place you can hike to and ski or ride often into June and they don’t make snow.

*Annual and monthly snow totals on Mt. Washington.

Jay peak claims it gets more snow than this mountain

Okay I imagine some local might say, well yeah dude Vermont gets more snow than New Hampshire and Mt. Washington is a 100 miles away and like all the snow blows off up there, duhhhhh.

Okay fine forget the fact that Mt. Washington is 2,400 feet taller and only 100 miles away let’s look at reason #2.

Reason #2. Jay peak claims they get more snow than Mt. Mansfield.

Mt Mansfield is only 40 miles from Jay Peak and it’s roughly 400ft taller than Jay. Between 2007 and 2017 it only received one season where it got more than 300 inches of snow, and 5 where it got less than 200″.

The snow depth has been measured at a stake at 3,900 feet on Mount Mansfield nearly continuously since 1954. – source

2017= 214.7
2016= 149.2
2015= 146.3
2014= 192.2
2013= 186.3
2012= 193.0
2011= 203.9
2010= 234.3
2009= 205.0
2008= 272.3
2007= 326.8

That’s 211 average annual inches of snow on Mt Mansfield between 2007 and 2017.


So how much snow does Stowe or Smuggler notch get?

They both claim to get around 300 inches of snow. So how can it be that Stowe gets more snow than Mt Mansfield when Stowe ski area is on and below Mt. Mansfield????

IDK about you, but I’ll trust information about snowfall totals and weather if it’s coming from a weather station vs. a ski area that’s trying to sell me a lift ticket.

Reason #3. Nearby areas don’t get any more snow because they are near Jay and the so called “Jay Cloud”.

Have you heard about the so called Jay Cloud???

I can hear someone saying that Jay gets so much snow because of the clouds that sit around Jay since it’s a monadnock and gets precipitation from orthographic uplift which is probably true, but remember Mt. Washington has another 2,400 feet of orthographic uplift.

Now if you haven’t already check out this map. I will be referencing some towns and snowfall totals nearby and not so nearby Jay Peak below.

So if Jay gets so much snow then you’d think that the town Jay would get a little more too. And they do get a fair amount but not more than some other towns that you will soon see.

Here’s what bestplaces.net (which which gets some of it’s snowfall totals from the national weather service) says about Jay.

Jay, VT averages 94 inches of snow per year.

Here’s what it says about Montgomery which is to the west of Jay.

Montgomery, VT averages 92 inches of snow per year.

Here’s what it says about Underhill, VT which is to the west of Mt Mansfield and it gets a little more snow.

Underhill, VT averages 115 inches of snow per year.

Here’s what it says about Colebrook, NH which isn’t far from the defunct and hopefully to be revived Balsams Wilderness.

Colebrook, NH averages 103 inches of snow per year

And lastly the town I found in the northeast with the greatest annual snowfall was Rangeley, Maine.

Rangeley, Maine averages 125 inches of snow per year

If you find one with more than that let me know!

Northern ski areas…

We talked about Smuggs and Stowe but are there any other ski areas in that region? Well, Jay is as north as it gets in VT, but what about in Canada?

Mt. Sutton is about 27 miles from Jay peak and a 40 minute drive. They state that they average 354-472 cm a year. That’s about 139-185 inches of snow a year.


With a little more research I found:

  • Mt. Washington, NH 281″
  • Pinkham notch, NH 135″
  • First Connecticut lake, NH 143″
  • Island pond, VT 114″
  • Smugglers notch, VT 139″
  • Mt. Mansfield, VT 234″ 1991-2020

Reason #4. Jay Peak makes snow

Jay peak states that they have 80% snowmaking coverage. Which may sound good, but if they get so much snow then whey do they need to make it?

I’ve spent most of my seasons out west snowboarding. I’ve ridden at 41 different ski areas and most of those out west at home mountains that had no snowmaking or very little snowmaking.

Here’s a few examples of places and there are many more ski areas out west that don’t make snow.

Brundage ski area, Idaho 300-350″ a year. Worked there last season and their snowmaking consists of 2 portable snow cannons only used on the baby slope in early season. There are no pipes on trails. They open on Thanksgiving or early December and close in April like other ski areas.

Lookout Pass ski area, Idaho, 350″-400″ a year. Worked there in 2022. There is no snowmaking. They will open as early as possible in November and close mid-April.

AZ snowbowl in Flagstaff, AZ 250″ a year. When I lived there in the mid-late 90’s for college there was no snowmaking. There is now, but they usually opened in Dec and closed in April.

Showdown, Montana 200-240″ a year. Talked to them earlier this year and they say if they can they will open on Thanksgiving and close in April. And they don’t make snow.

So those are just a few examples of mountains that get more or less snow than Jay Peak and either don’t make snow at all or very little. There are lots of mountains out west that don’t make snow. You just got to search.

Some of the other mountains I worked at are Timberline and Mt Hood Meadows in OR and Sante fe ski area in NM. Only Sante fe had limited snowmaking on the bottom of the mountain.

350″ of snow a year is a good amount. It’s not in the highest groups of mountains for snow but it’s somewhere above medium. And if you really get that much snow you can live without snowmaking.

You make snow because you need to. Snowmaking costs a s#@!load of money and if you didn’t need it then you wouldn’t make it.

Reason #5. You can’t get 350″ and have no base

If you get 300+ inches of snow a year you are going to have a base. For the last 3 seasons I will from time to time look at Jay’s snow report and by the end of the season they still claim to get over 300″ of snow, but one thing doesn’t measure up.

I would look at their base depth. On the bottom of the mountain the base would be like 20 inches or so. What???? No way man, if you get 300+ a year you’re going to have a good base and 20 inches at the base of the mountain is like east coast stuff. I’ve ridden mountains out west that claimed they got like 250″ a year and when they did they would have a base depth at the base of the mountain of like 60 inches and like over a 100 on top.

And like when you drive up to these mountains there is like snow on the side of the road.

Yeah so maybe Jay Peak has a snow cannon pointed at their snowfall stake… “Huh, ticket sales are down, point the cannon at the stake and see if that helps… Yeah it worked lets keep doing that. And let’s talk to the marketing team for more ideas…””

Or maybe the weather reporter there is wearing rose snow colored glasses or maybe his head is in the “cloud”.

Of course I can hear that skeptical troll again saying, “Well it heats up and melts and then snows again dude and that’s why they have no base dumb$@!. Yeah you should really check your facts before spouting this nonsense”.

Yeah those events can happen anywhere and are common in New England, but if that was true then Jay Peak wouldn’t have much powder that it brags about either.

Reason # 69 dude. What does the national weather service say?

I love this pic.

I keep coming back to it. Staring at it out hoping to find something or IDK. It’s really cool.

Average annual snowfall in the northeast 1981-2010

1981-2010 snowfall averages

If you check this map out it will show that Jay sits in a region that gets around 150-200 inches of snow annually. The only area marked here that gets more than 200 inches of snow in VT, NH or Maine is Mt. Washington.

Then if you look to the west in New York in the Tug Hill region you will see an area that is much larger than Mt. Washington’s little pink dot that gets over 200 inches of snow and that’s low elevation too. This is due to lake effect snow. Unfortunately there are no big mountains in that area.

Of course someone might say, “well, yeah dude Jay gets lake effect snow too”.  Compare it to lake Ontario.

On Lake Champlain, wind direction and lake width are limiting factors for lake-effect snows. Since Lake Champlain is a north-south oriented lake that is 120 miles long, northerly winds are the only winds that stay in contact with the lake long enough to generate lake-effect snow. The lake’s greatest east-west distance, 12 miles between Port Kent, NY and Burlington, VT, is too short for this weather phenomenon to generate snow. – source

This past winter when I drove from New England to Idaho through Canada the place I saw the most snow was in Michigan near Lake Superior. And the same when I drove back in May. There was still 4 inches of snow on the ground in some parts of Michigan.

The data I found not only makes Jay Peak look like a liar, but it also makes many of it’s competitors in Vermont like Smuggler’s notch, Stowe, Killington, Sugarbush, etc. all out to be a bunch of liars.

Oh here’s another pic that’s more updated than above.

Average annual snowfall in the northeast 1991-2020

1991-2020 snowfall averages

What’s different?

It doesn’t look like much at first glance although the area around Rangeley looks like it might be getting less snow and it looks like they added a new range total for 175-200. And after zooming in it looks like Jay probably lies in this zone. Mt. Mansfield looks like it is in the over 200″ zone.

Annual snowfall at Vermont ski areas is probably more like this

Popular belief about annual snowfall at VT ski areas can be found here. I used the more recent NOAA maps to come up with perhaps less “cloudy” data than the data provided by the ski areas themselves.

Jay Peak (355?) 175-200″
Burke (217?) 125-150″
Smuggler’s Notch (320?) 175-200″
Stowe (333?) 175-200″
Bolton Valley (312?) 175″
Mad River Glen (228?) 150-175″
Sugarbush (250?) 150-175″
Middlebury (200?) 150″
Pico (250?) 150″
Killington (250?) 150″
Okemo (200?)  125-150″
Bromley (145?) 125″
Magic Mountain (145?) 125″
Stratton (180?) 150″
Mount Snow (158?) 125″

And it looks like the Presidentials and Mt. Washington are all in the over 200″ zone. Mt. Washington is reporting a slight increase in temperature and an increase in snow particularly late season snow.

Jay Peak might get the most snow in the Northeast, but there is no data that supports their claims or Smuggs or Stowe, etc. The data supplied by the national weather service shows that New Hampshire ski areas are actually more honest with their snowfall totals.

Cannon for example claims around 16o inches of snow. And Loon a little less. And Bretton Woods and Wildcat closer to Mt. Washington claim around 200″.

Cannon powder?

I worked at Cannon for a season and start of another. I remember seeing pictures on the Cannon site with some dude in deep powder (not the one above) thinking to myself it often doesn’t look like this. Cannon crust is much more common.

One season wasn’t too bad until the heat up and cool down which lead to boiler plate until warm spring rolled around to soften up and melt the snow. That season I might have gotten 6 or 7 powder days. Anyways…

If we were to go by that map above then pretty much all ski areas in Northern New England are in the 150-200 inch zone. Then look at the data supplied by Mt. Mansfield and Mt. Washington if you still have your doubts.

Believe in the “cloud”if you want, but remember these ski areas want to sell you a lift ticket.

So there you have it. Any info you’d like to share?


I went skydiving

Back in 2009 I was living in Busan, Korea and I took a trip down to Hawaii for a few weeks to escape Korea, buy a computer (actually the one I am using right now to write this in 2023), and skydive.


To do something scary and I was thinking then of starting my site ESLinsider.

Anyways this was in Oahu. I believe we flew up to around 12,000 feet in that little plane and jumped out. It’s a tandem dive so I don’t think I liked the guy I jumped with so much as he was a little uptight compared to the other coaches or whatever you call the guy you are strapped to…

But the jump was pretty cool. It’s like a free fall for a minute maybe until he pulls the chute. Cool to see the clouds coming and going through them. There’s some anticipation and a little bit of fear/excitement before the jump, but I think the scariest part was when he pulled the cord and then just hanging there in the air attached to him floating down to earth.

When you are free falling it’s going so fast, but I felt pretty vulnerable there all attached by my back to this guy and slowly coming down to earth.

The opportunities that I missed

I was watching a video the other day by Jon Jondai. And it was quite interesting.

And the message that I took from this video was to challenge yourself more. And I woke up this morning thinking I have missed a lot of opportunities because I was scared.

A little over a year ago while I was still in Japan I got an offer for a job at the time teaching English in Japan as an ALT teacher in Fukuoka. I contemplated it as I had no other options really at that time, but I said no because I felt over experienced and that they should pay me more than the average new teacher given my experience.

I was also out of money at the time, but decided to quit Japan and come back to the States to live with my parents. It’s easy (sort of) to do that.

It’s free for me. But I’ve done it before and I don’t think it’s very responsible or independent for me. Do I feel I missed a big chance because I didn’t take that job?

No, it’s not something I really wanted to do, but I missed a chance to independently get myself out of a bad situation and make some money.

Of course who knows what would have happened if I did start the job…

More recently my dreams have been delayed

More recently over the last 5 months I’ve been looking for a step van to convert into a living space and use as a creative medium for my artistic interests. I’ve spent a lot of time researching it and looking for a certain kind of van.

Given my location and the kind of step van I want (diesel w/ a 10-11ft cargo area) and price that I want I have had few options.

I could blame the market or the things I just said, but there were some chances.

There was one in Maine that I saw back in June I think and contemplated (’87 Chevy P30), but the steering was messed up and it was old. It ran though and honestly I could have gotten it and fixed it up, but I was scared.

Like in Japan I was scared to change my situation. To get a job. This time I was scared to take a chance. It’s true it could have turned out to be a dud or have problems, but it would be months before I would find another option.

The next chance

I found another in Oklahoma in August. This one was newer (a 2003 p42), but actually had worse rust underneath than the one in Maine. I sent a mechanic there to look at it for me and he said it would be a “project”.

I talked with the owner many times and made an offer. Well, actually I just said what the mechanic said which was “I would only pay about $3000 for it”. He was asking $5000.

After that I called back and he said he sold it.

Certainly it had problems and I feared the rust might be so bad that it couldn’t be repaired. I could of went there and saw it but I didn’t. I was stuck imagining the worst case scenario vs. the best.

Which as I understand it is the problem of a pessimist. Am I a pessimist? I’d like to think not, however I remember reading a quote not long ago that said something like (paraphrased):

A pessimist imagines the problems in any given situation and an optimist imagines the possibilities in one.

It’s possible it was too far gone, but possibly not.

I won’t know.

You’re going to fail. The best athletes in the world fail. They lose. They miss the shot. Michael Jordan missed many game winning baskets. The best baseball hitters only hit like 30% or so of the time.

What I lost?

I lost time. Now it’s October and I still have not a step van. The goal was to convert it and move out west with it. I have been very excited about this and been researching it extensively.

But am I out of time?

Nearly. It’s not impossible until the season starts and I am still here. The chance of using this place (my parent’s home) to build it out is almost gone though.

Other options I missed

I missed probably a hundred beautiful women over the years that I could have met or could of had a date with if only I had made a step towards them and opened my mouth.

Sure, I know a lot of them would have said no.

Sometimes I did step forward, but more times I didn’t because…

Fear will make your life really boring.

Fear is what has held me back from all of these chances. It never goes away. It’s like my judo teacher always said, for every competition you do you will always get scared.

It’s true.

In the States I did 3 jiu-jitsu (BJJ) competitions and I probably would have done another 3 if I had more guts. It sounds simple and the act of showing up is, but the act of competing in a fighting tournament…

Basically it’s a fight and of course there are rules, but it can be nerve wracking weeks up until the moment the comp starts and then the fear is pretty much gone and you are in the moment.

I did 2 judo competitions in Japan and that is how I got my black belt.

I faced my fears.

Every single time I competed I felt better after. Sure, sometimes I lost or was frustrated, but I did not regret it.

Like someone else said…

You rarely regret things you do and you often regret things you don’t.

Now I am pissed off because the summer is gone and I have no van to drive out west with. Sure, I may just go out west without a van, but then I am dumping money into my landlord’s pockets vs. being independent and having my own place.

And despite the poor buyer’s market or lack of options it’s still my fault.

I could blame others and I have, but really it’s my fault. So there will be more options in the future, but the time I am missing by not taking a chance…

And as Jon Jondai said above it’s more fun to take chances. You’ll lose some, but there’s always something to learn.

I got promoted to judo black belt (shodan)

On January 2019 I went to Japan to live and train judo/bjj. Finding places to train BJJ was no problem. There were 6 or 7 places where I could train and I ended up at a place called Axis.

But judo was a different story. I found 2 places in the city for training judo. I picked one that seemed to be a little more friendly and probably because they were a few other foreigners there.

They helped me get a cultural visa to stay in Japan.

And they recommended I do the shodan shinsa test. Which was a competition to get a black belt. Shodan means 1st degree black belt.

So I did that 2 times and accumulated 2.5 points which is only .5 of a point away from having enough to get a black belt.

Getting a black belt in Japan vs. the USA

I had a green and a brown belt in the USA prior to going to Japan.

In SF city college it goes: white-green-brown-black and I think in brown you have to get a couple of degrees.

In Japan it goes white-black.

As far as I know for adults there are no colored belts. Sometimes children or teens may have colored belts.

In CCSF you basically sign up to get promoted and then you do a demonstration of throws and a written test. You don’t have to compete.

In Japan you have to compete. You have to accumulate enough points. If you lose once you are out. If you win you get a point. If you tie you get a half of a point but you are out. If you lose or tie then you have to wait until the next competition.

If it’s your first comp. then I think you need 4 points total but after your first comp the number goes down to 3 points and even after you get the points you have to do nage no kata.

COVID cancels the competitions for black belt

So I missed 2 competitions in Japan because they were cancelled to covid. So the budokan (local martial arts center) in Fukuoka sent a letter out to the dojos and said if you think you have someone with enough points that you would recommend for black belt then so be it.

So my dojo recommended me for black belt and that’s how I got it. From that point until I actually got it took probably 7-9 months because of covid affecting shipping.


Genomelink.io & why I don’t recommend them

Genomelink.io is a company that offers DNA testing services. I uploaded some raw data to them and then after a few weeks decided I didn’t want to use the service anymore.

So I didn’t find any easy instructions on how to cancel and sent them an email on July 1.

Sent: Thursday, July 1, 2021 8:57 AM
To: info@genomelink.io <info@genomelink.io>
Subject: Cancel
I’d like to cancel my plan and how can I download what I learned or can i?

I waited a couple of days and did not receive a reply so I tried again.

Sent: Saturday, July 3, 2021 5:47 PM
To: info@genomelink.io <info@genomelink.io>
Subject: Cancel
I’d like to confirm that i won’t be charged again. please respond.

Again no response.

So I assumed maybe they went ahead and cancelled it. Then on July 15th I get a receipt for $14.


I’ve since sent probably over 10 emails to that above address that have not received a reply.

How to contact genomelink.io?

info@genomelink.io doesn’t work. Or at least it haven’t been between July 1 and today July 20th, 2021. And I couldn’t find any other emails or phone numbers where you could actually speak to someone.
And that’s pretty much the only email I could find.

I have tried to contact the company AWAKENS that supposedly owns it in Berkeley by sending a letter. I went to the company ‘team’ page and searched for emails and no luck.

What kind of company doesn’t reply to emails?

When you sign up there is either a year long or monthly option and I did the monthly, but now it looks like they are going to keep billing me.

I contacted my bank and they gave me some phone# of the visa that was supposedly Genomelink’s but I called it and it was totally unrelated.

My bank is trying to track them down now.

This has been a big hassle and waste of time trying to track this company down. Definitely don’t recommend.

Hitchhiking adventure + should you go home & live with your parents?

Yesterday I wanted to go to St. J to get some food which is about 10 miles or so and I grabbed my skateboard and took off. I was thinking no one might pick me up given this COVID thing, but I was gonna give it try and if I didn’t then maybe try to walk and skateboard.

But I actually found my first ride by an older guy who gave me a ride about 2 miles or so. Then we did a little more walking and skating and then I made this video…

About the COVID shake.

Then after a little more pushing I got another ride in the back of someone’s truck who just came from skiing in Killington.

It wasn’t that cold though. He had a camper and I saw he had a skateboard in the back. He gave me a ride to St. J then we talked a bit. So then I went to the markets to get some food and then on my way back I saw a couple young skaters maybe 10 and 14 years old.

And they were cool. They were curious… Let em try out my board even though it was like 20 years old and they thought it was cool. Then we started home and made this video.

About should you live with your parents?

Thoughts on feminism, BLM, SJW’s, trans activists (and RELIGION)

I believe in equal human rights. I don’t think you should be treated any differently if you are a woman, gay, trans or any other race.

And I also don’t think you should be given any privileges or special treatment either.

Am I a sexist because I don’t like feminism?

Am I a racist because I don’t like the black lives matter movement/slogan?

If your answer is yes, then I think you are arrogant. Did you know that BLM is run by black feminist lesbians?

I heard that first from Lord Jamar of the old rap group Brand Nubian I used to listen to back in the day.

Then I saw an article on Medium about its “queer roots”.

So it’s backed with a triple dose of political correctness, and resentment.

All these groups…

What do they have in common?

Go Bernie
Go Trump
Go Christian
Go Mormon
Go woman’s rights
Go Red Sox
Go Gay Pot
Go Black lives matter
Go Jim Jones
Go Lakers

There’s forbidden language too. And if you don’t believe what they do then you are a bigot and not part of their group.

Politics, religion, team thinking…


How about humans first?

If you really want equality why call yourself a feminist or join black lives matter?

If you are trans or gay then do what you want but I see it like baseball, personally I don’t like baseball.

I think it’s a boring sport and I don’t play, but just because I don’t play doesn’t mean I am going to vote against banning it.

How to breath better (through your nose)

I found this video a few weeks ago that I helped me and I wanted to share it, but didn’t get around to it. Then today I saw an episode with Joe Rogan and James Nestor talking about breathing and that reminded me.

They talked about all kinds of things related to breathing: deviated septum’s, athletics, tumo breathing, anxiety, asthma, co2, oxygen, nitric oxide and basically how to breath better.

I found the below video to be quite helpful.

Years ago I had seen some videos of Patrick McKeown and the butego method which is like plugging your nose, nodding your head and holding your breath and then releasing, but that wasn’t that helpful for me.

How to unblock your nose

I found this one and I’ve been doing this daily for probably 2 months or so now. It definitely helps.

It makes more sense to me as you physically manipulating the airways more.

A word of warning…

When you do the last part when you blow hard out through your nose (5 times) you might want to get a tissue beforehand because you are likely to blow snot everywhere :=/.

But I definitely recommend it. I think you will notice a difference. He recommends doing it twice a day for 3 weeks I think. I would do it more than that if needed. I sometimes do it 3 times a day.

I don’t think it has straightened my nose, but it has helped my breathing at least temporarily.

I’ve often thought that if the septum was made crooked by basically being pushed out of shape (struck) then maybe it could be pushed back into shape somehow.

Can you pry it open?

I bought a killian’s speculum about a year and a half or so ago and dabbled a bit with trying to pry my nose open more based on this. But it’s painful and a little sketchy.

I noticed on my right side I can’t insert it as far as I can on the left side.

I remember when I went to the ENT in SF and he used one to look inside my nose and when he did I could instantly breath better. Pushing my nose to my right where it deviates has a similar effect.

Another idea I had was to make some sort of nose guard (out of friendly plastic) at night that would push it back in place or DIY nose dilators. The later would be easier to do

I had surgery (septoplasty) in Taiwan back in maybe 2006, but it wasn’t very helpful. Actually I don’t think it did anything except cause a whole lot of trauma and bloody discomfort following. About 3 years ago I saw a couple surgeons in San Francisco and was considering it again.

One talked about removing a piece of cartilage from my rib or ear to use.

Recently started looking into it again. I remember reading once about using laser to heat and remold the cartilage instead of surgery and found the above video by Austin Goh.

I also learned in SF that I had an allergy to dust mites when I was living in an old apartment with carpets. So if you have an allergy that could affect your breathing problems too. If you have carpets and a stuffed up nose you might want to get rid of them.

Doesn’t matter if you clean them or vacuum.

I don’t think that is going to get rid of them. Dust mites are tiny and it’s not them but their feces that causes the problem so I was told.

I’ve got a crooked nose. How about you?

I broke my nose for the first time when I was 14 years old at St. Johnsbury Academy in VT. There I was standing in line in basketball practice waiting my turn and then suddenly the back of someone’s head came flying into my nose.

Lots of pain, black and blue eyes, a crooked nose and like 30 years of bad breathing habits followed.

Since I’ve had breathing problems mostly in my right nostril. And at least one more broken nose since.

Mouth breathing might have actually changed the shape of my face too and made it longer. I do have a long face. There is research out there that says this happens with mouth breathers.

About 2 years ago or so I started taping my mouth at night time when I sleep.

Research also shows that mouth breathing can also change your teeth, make them crooked, cause an open bite and even affect your posture.

Also as far as sleeping goes it’s better to sleep on your side. Sleeping on your back will make your mouth open or cause snoring.

When I was 25 I started doing something that will help your breathing…

When I was 25 (circa 2000) I started practicing yoga. Initially I trained with several different teachers 3-4 times a week for a year.  Then after that I I have practiced it daily for close to 20 years. I do about 15 minutes a day or so.

That helps my breathing, because in yoga most of the time you are trained to breath through your nose not your mouth. Certain positions also open up your chest and airways too.

Then when I was about 32 or 33 I started practicing meditation which was actually inspired from a book I read that talked about tumo meditation mentioned in the Rogan video above.

Simple meditation is to either sit still or lie down on the floor (without a pillow) and breath through your nose and focus on your breathing.

You can try:

  • Slow and steady breaths and maybe…
  • Holding your breath after you exhale for maybe 5-10+ seconds and then slowly and deeply inhale and continue.
  • 6 seconds in 6 seconds out (or vary the number)

I didn’t really learn how to do the tumo meditation, but I have learned some basic meditation practices since and do it everyday for at least 20 minutes. Again it’s breathing through your nose.

Breath through your nose.

Breath through your nose.

Breath through your nose.

One of the things they talked about was that some people may need surgery to correct a badly damaged or deviated septum like Rogan did. But Nestor also had a deviated septum but said he forced it open through breathing.

Bad habits like mouth breathing may shrink your nostrils.

I notice often during the day at times I can walk around with my mouth partly open. It’s a bad habit.

Mewing might also help your breathing

Another thing I’ve been doing is called mewing.

It’s a relatively new thing named by fans of the orthodontist or dentist Michael Mew. It’s basically about changing your posture, head, neck and tongue position.

You can also look up exercises to improve your posture or “text neck”. Yoga includes many of these exercises.

Some basics…

  1. Look up more
  2. Squeeze your shoulder blades together
  3. Tuck your chin
  4. Do sun salutations

It’s hard to change your habits, but if you do you’ll likely see various benefits. It takes discipline and practice like anything.


To breath better you can…

  1. Do the exercises above by Austin Goh (you might notice immediate improvements)
  2. Close your mouth.
  3. Breath through your nose.
  4. Correct your posture.
  5. Get rid of the allergen (mites, pets, food).
  6. Do yoga, meditate and/or exercise with your mouth closed.
  7. There are also breathing strips or dilators you could use which I haven’t tried yet.
  8. Mew: tongue on the roof of your mouth.
  9. Surgery is an option too, but if you get religious about the exercises then you will likely see an improvement.

I need to practice exercising with my mouth closed more. Bit by bit. Practice makes perfect.