Kirk's Blog

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Kirk started writing articles for his blog around the time his first book was published (September 2011). Not having any other bright ideas at the time, he adopted the book title as his “brand” for the blog. Over time, Shaky Paws Grampa (SPG) has become his “identity” in the PD world. The good news is that he hasn’t had to fight anybody for it and there was no competition for the web address (understandably).

He didn’t have any clear goals in mind for the blog when he started other than to make his target audience the “PD world”, opting to write about what ever inspired him at the moment. Over time, various themes emerged:

Book or writing-related
PD-related information
Clinical research study advocacy/participation
Cognition issues
Living with PD-personal
PD meeting/conference announcements
SPG speaking engagements, media interviews, and webinars
Calls to action
Personal

Three years later, he has posted 120 articles that have been viewed by readers from over 60 countries around the world.
Kirk Hall

What is neuro-physiology?

Neuro-physiology combines the use of a neurofeedback device that records brain frequency with a mobile app that guides the user through an exercise program.

Neuro-physiology enhances exercise helping fend off Parkinson’s symptoms. Here's how:
Reducing brain frequency during exercise makes exercise more effective. Exercise prolongs the good effects of the dopamine that remains in your body (or is taken orally).


Using the FocusBand neurofeedback device, you train your brain to be in a better state during exercise. This makes the effect of the exercise on your body better, allowing the existing dopamine to be more effective. This has the effect of increasing a Parkinson's patient's "on time,"reducing or abating some of the symptoms of Parkinson's.
 
 The Just Do Something Every Day mobile app provides a custom exercise program that, when used in conjunction with FocusBand, guides the user through a carefully designed exercise program. Each exercise is chair, wall, or floor supported so balance issues are reduced. The program was designed by Tom House, PhD. Tom is a former major league pitcher and is currently one of the world's most renowned throwing coaches, working with Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, and scores of major league baseball pitchers.


T Together, FocusBand and the mobile app will retrain your brain during a short daily exercise program to get the best possible benefit from the exercises. Just Do Something Every Day is setting up a "crowd trial" to collect more scientific data on neuro-physiology.

More information on the complete program and crowd trialing can be found at www.justdosomethingeveryday.com.

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Kirk Hall

Confessions of a Hobbit-wannabe

I used to really love reading.  I think I really got hooked when I first read The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien my senior year at Ohio State.  Not for a class, but for pleasure.  I don’t remember for sure who “turned me on” to that book, but it may have been someone I knew at a campus men’s wear store where I worked part-time, College Classics.  I tried working at McDonald’s and walked out after a few hours.  I guess it wasn’t meeting my career goals.

I probably read all three books five or six times over the next ten years.  I do believe that on at least one occasion, I started the first book (Fellowship of the Ring) immediately after finishing the last book (Return of the King).  I wasn’t just reading those books, when I picked them up I was in Middle Earth.  If by doing this, I was “escaping” the real world for a time, that’s OK with me.  That is one of the things a good book is for.  I have gradually become aware over the years that, whether it’s a personally engaging book or movie, when it’s over I feel like I was there.  Sometimes it takes me a while to recover afterward, because of the impact the book or movie has had on me.  These feelings have been amplified the last couple years, I am sure due to PD.

As I got older, I would read at night before going to sleep.  Another favorite reading time was on long airplane trips for business.  During my “free time” when I wasn’t working I was busy going to watch our son’s games, running (I jogged wherever we lived and on trips-I can remember jogging in Tokyo, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Detroit, Buffalo and lot’s more), playing tennis or golf, or doing yardwork (with the help of my reluctant staff-our boys).

For example, I remember getting into James Clavell’s Noble House books about Hong Kong on several flights back and forth to that great city.  I was a big fan and ardent reader of Stephen King for many years until I read Pet Semetary (I don’t think I have fully recovered from that one to this day).  I can remember reading the Agony and the Ecstasy (if I remember correctly, it was about the life of Leonardo DaVinci).  One book that had a big impact on me in the early 1990’s was The World Is Flat. It helped me to understand the “big picture” of how the world was changing at an accelerating pace and the challenges we would face as a result.

Fast forward to the more recent past when I became a fan of Tom Clancy and John Grisham, in particular.  I read very little in the few years after my PD diagnosis.  I tired easily and basically gave up on it.  As time has gone by, I have “re-engaged” in many ways including reading.  I started reading on a much more regular basis the last couple years.  Books that I found to be particularly memorable included A Man Called Ove which was made into a memorable movie (mostly shown at small “art” theaters). 

My son gave Linda and me their children’s used Kindle Fires for Christmas last year.  After getting over the initial intimidation factor I experience with any new technology, I found that a fabulous door had been opened for me.  I learned how to up or download (I can’t keep straight which is which) ebooks from the library to my Kindle Fire using Overdrive.com.  It still takes me a long time to navigate the system, locate a book that I would like to read and actually get it sent to my Kindle, but I have persevered.  I have really enjoyed Bill O’Reilly’s Killing books and found more good Grisham books.

I just started a fascinating (and controversial) book that was loaned to me by my younger son’s father-in-law (and good personal friend), 1421: The Year China Discovered America, that makes a convincing case that China became a major force in world exploration in the early 1400’s before the time of the famous European explorers.

If you have PD and have “given up on reading” like I did, you might want to give it another shot.  I am glad that I did.

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