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The Voyage Air, VAOM-4 model guitar is a full-sized orchestra model guitar. It has a spruce top, mahogany back and sides, and a rosewood fingerboard. The neck is a full 25.5” length, and the top has a glossy laminated finish. These specs, however, are not what make this guitar unique. What sets this guitar apart from the rest is that the neck folds in half across the body. No, you don’t need a screwdriver. The nut for the strap merely unscrews, and the neck folds over the body. Okay. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking – man, that sounds like a pain in the butt as far as restringing, tuning, etc. The crazy thing is that guitar stays about 90% in tune each time as you fold it and unfold it. It’s one of those things you have to actually do to believe. So this full sized orchestra model guitar that folds in half fits into a backpack that you can store in the overhead compartment of an airplane. ...continue reading "A review of the Voyage Air OM-4 (VAOM-04) Acoustic Travel guitar"

News broke today that Congressman Chip Cravaack (R-MN) has filed an amendment to the FY 2012 defense authorization bill to repeal the charter of the U.S. Institute of Peace. This proposal comes after what has already been months of battle to keep the organization alive. The vote is set to hit the House floor very soon – possibly even today. This being said, the vote would have to pass on the Senate side for such a change to take affect. Passing of this vote would eliminate USIP entirely. Time is now  to start making phone calls to our representatives.

I wrote a short op-ed and call to action earlier this year that outlined some basic talking points, and examined some of the issues surrounding the work of the institute and its effectiveness relative to the amount of money costing US taxpayers. More to come as things develop.

Click here for an Op-Ed from Rep Mike Honda (D-CA) defending USIP.

The academic year is winding down for me here in Denver. 30 total weeks of class, 3 rounds of midterms and finals, and more reading than I’ve ever tackled before. All good things. Very exhausting nonetheless. Life in here has been nothing short of a major change from life in Washington, DC. Maybe it’s the mountains, or the dearth of policy wonks, or the fact that I often spend Friday night reading books as opposed to playing shows somewhere on the east coast…. Whatever it is, it’s different.

Anyway – thanks for taking the time to come and check out my new blog. I don’t get the chance to catch up with friends and family as often as I’d like, so this is my attempt at staying in touch as I keep moving forward. And, this being my first post, I’ll cut to the chase, as I really got this up and running because of a new adventure that I’m about to embark on which many of you may know about by now.

In the coming months I will be heading to Israel to work on a health assessment project with an organization called Grassroots Jerusalem. Their work, among other things, aims to connect the efforts of peacebuilding organizations in Israel-Palestine. I’ll have more to say about their efforts once I hit the ground, but the projects we will be working on this summer have to do with assessing the conflict<->health nexus. From community organizing, to web portal and multimedia development, it sounds as though there will be no shortage of work to do. And, with the country feeling the effects of power shifts across the Middle East, George Mitchell recently stepping down as U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace, and social unrest leading to increased violence in the region, the experience should be nothing short of… well, eye opening I suppose.

This being said, I also plan to meet up with some good friends along the way. And, no trip to a new country (or countries, if you will) would be complete without learning about local music, food & culture. I’ll do my best to document my travels on this website. So check back for photos, videos, and general musings on day-to-day experiences. Thanks for stopping by!

-Greg