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Breaking Bad Tribute

24 September 2013 Leave a comment

Breaking BadLike many people, I’ve been completely sucked into the popular AMC TV show, Breaking Bad.  With the final episode of the final season in the horizon, I wanted to share my favorite articles, videos, and podcasts that I’ve come across.  Some are entertaining, some are funny, and some actually enhance the show.  But, keep in mind – almost all of the links will include some kind of spoiler if you’re not caught up with the last season!

Also like many people, I “binge watched” Breaking Bad starting in 2012.  I flew through the first 4 Seasons to catch up before Season 5 started in July of that year.  It’s amazing how addicting the show is and yet it has still gotten better every season.  Without further ado…

Breaking Bad Links

Breaking Bad Recaps on Grantland.com

Last, and certainly not least are the recap articles that Andy Greenwald writes on Grantland every Monday.  I simply can’t recommend these articles enough.  He dissects each episode and interjects some brilliant insight, all while waxing poetic.  Unfortunately he didn’t start until Season 5, but for your reading pleasure, I’ve listed them all here.  I would suggest going back and reading some of the old ones!

If anyone has any other links they like, please add them in the comments!  I’m sure there’s a lot of other great material out there and once the show is over, I know us fans will be craving anything we can to relive the show.

“I am the one who blogs”…

*Update*

Here are some additional links I’ve come across since the show ended:

Tough Mudder is Here!

That video gets you pumped up, doesn’t it!?  Or you may think it’s just crazy.  Either way, I’ve been looking forward to trying out the Tough Mudder (wiki) ever since the July 2012 announcement that one was coming to Buffalo in 2013.  When registration opened in September 2012, I signed up the first day.  I don’t know what it is about the Mudder, but it’s drawn me in from the beginning.  Being in my mid-30s and never having been a person who does really crazy things, I feel I have a void to fill, I guess.  I still play competitive soccer and run 5ks, but the Mudder takes competition to a whole new level.  But that’s not accurate either because it’s not a timed race.  It’s meant to be a team-building event as well as a personal challenge.  The competition is within yourself and your preparation, determination, and grit.  I guess my biggest motivating factor is proving to myself that I can do it!

Tough Mudder Buffalo 2013

Tough Mudder Buffalo 2013

The Course

This whole thing became real when they published the official “Spectator Map” which shows the layout of the course as well as what particular obstacles they’ve chosen to include.  Click on the image to the right to see a full pdf of the map!

You’re not reading it wrong – over 11 miles through Andover, NY with 15+ obstacles in the way.  Scroll down to the second page of the map to see photos and names of each of the obstacles we’ll be challenged with.  To see even more, searching for the obstacle names on Google returns a ton of videos.  For instance, check out the Arctic Enema, Boa Constrictor, Funky Monkey, or Everest, to see some of the more famous ones.

My family knows how much I’ve been looking forward to this because I’ve talked about it for months.  But, now that it’s finally approaching and I’m seeing the map and watching videos – I’m getting nervous!  But, the good news is, the Mudder is best done with a team and it sounds like I’ll have a good one.  I’m going with 3 of my co-workers and we’re teaming up with a friend of one of theirs as well as 14 others.  My co-worker’s friend is the father of Army Spc. Blake D. Whipple, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2010.  We’re all running in his honor and will have shirts with “Blake’s Buddies” on them.  I think it’s a little added motivation, plus it should be great to have such a large team to keep everyone entertained and motivated for the 4+ hours we’ll be on the course!

If anyone has any last-minute advice or well-wishes, I’d be glad to hear it!  Otherwise, I’m sure I’ll be writing another blog post after the race to recap the craziness.  Think of me this Saturday (7/27/2013) starting at 8:40am!

Stay muddy, my friends!

P.S.  Yet another great video that gets me excited for this: Tough Mudder 2013

Categories: Entertainment, Health Tags:

The Newest Adventure for Jerry Seinfeld

14 June 2013 1 comment

My Seinfeld Obsession

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a huge fan of Seinfeld.  And “huge fan” is an understatement.  Let’s look at the facts:

  • There were 180 total episodes of Seinfeld and I taped them all on VHS.  Commercial free.  Every… single… one!  Back in college, with the help of my dedicated roommates, we taped every episode the old fashioned way: combining a CRT TV, VHS, TV Guide, and a sweet Excel Spreadsheet (how else do you know what episodes you’ve taped!?).
  • A day doesn’t go by when something in my life reminds me of a Seinfeld episode
  • It takes every ounce of willpower I have to not quote the show whenever said occurrences happen.  But, I still quote it often because I can’t help myself!

So, when I heard in 2012 that Jerry Seinfeld was trying out a new type of show, I was all in, no matter what it was.

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

On July 19, 2012 Jerry Seinfeld released his first episode of “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”.  These are roughly 10-20 minute videos that are released online on comediansincarsgettingcoffee.com, YouTube, and Crackle.  The premise is simple and is clearly explained in the show title – Jerry picks up a fellow comedian in a fancy car and goes to a random coffee shop just to chat.  He has explained that he typically borrows the car and carefully chooses it to match the personality of his guest for that episode.

Some of my favorite episodes from the first season were:

  • Larry David
  • Ricky Gervais
  • Brian Regan
  • Alec Baldwin
  • Michael Richards

Of course, I’m not that picky – I loved them all – but those were my favorites.  It’s really cool to see Jerry and his guests in a laid back setting where they act pretty normal.  And funny – surprise, surprise – they’re all funny in real life.

There’s More?Seinfeld - Tweet new CiCGC

The good news was Tweeted by Jerry Seinfeld on March 13th:

Since I enjoyed Season 1 so much, I was very excited when I saw that!  The news was caught in mainstream media too because shortly thereafter there was a New York Times article on the series being renewed (here).  And since it’s taken me so long to finish writing this blog post, the new season actually started yesterday (6/13/2013)!  Go to the aforementioned sites to see Sarah Silverman and others in Season 2!

Regardless, here’s the promo video for Season 2:

You ARE Beautiful

Jason Hurley:

This video has gone viral and it certainly deserves to. Everyone should check this out and take a good look at how much confidence they have in themselves!

Originally posted on Simple Tom:

Please share this on your blog and with everyone. This is such a POWERFUL message and everyone needs to hear this! Its so incredibly powerful in shaping the way that we see ourselves.

– So that you TRULY see yourself as the beautiful person you are.

Please share this.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Quora: The Most Intriguing and Fun Site on the Web

20 February 2013 1 comment

In my opinion, it’s easy to get addicted to Facebook.  It’s like brain candy; it’s such a guilty pleasure to get constant updates of what people are doing and what they think.  Plus, how else would you keep track of everyone’s birthday!?  Unfortunately, there’s generally very little sustenance to what’s posted on there.

Quora

Breaking Bad (TV Series) topic page

On the other hand, there’s a great site that’s just as addicting and is loaded with an incredible amount of knowledge.  The site is called Quora and is essentially a question and answer site, but with a twist.  Anyone can ask questions and anyone can answer them; however, the twist is users vote on answers, which causes them to “bubble” to the top.  Plus, you can “follow” specific questions, users, and topics that interest you. When you follow a question, you get notified of any new answers that are written.  When you follow users and topics, they’re used to curate what you see when you log into Quora.

It may not seem all that clear from my description, but I think if you give it a try, you’ll get sucked in!

I really enjoy the site because the huge range of questions and topics that are addressed.  Plus, there is such a large (and growing) set of users that are answering questions, there ends up being an abundant amount of unique perspectives.  These particular questions come to mind when considering unique perspectives:

It’s really hard to list some of my favorites because there have been so many, but here’s a shot at it.

Favorite Questions:

A Question I Asked That Got Popular:

Favorite Answers:

My Best Answers:

Sample Topics:

Favorite People:

Or maybe I should have saved all this time and just shared this link:

I’ll look forward to you joining Quora (it’s free, of course) and following me, so I can follow you back.  Feel free to comment here with any questions!

13 November 2012 Leave a comment

Jason Hurley:

I’ve written about TED videos before, but this number (1,000,000,000) blows me away. Plus, this post is neat because of the playlists it contains from some pretty influential people.

Originally posted on TED Blog:

Great Moments in TED Talks

According to our best estimates, TED has surpassed a billion video views! Our most recent metrics show that TED Talks are being viewed at a rate of 1.5 million times a day — which means that a new viewing commences 17 times a second. We in the TED office cannot thank you enough for helping us reach this milestone of 1,000,000,000 views — nine wonderful zeroes.

In 2006, when we first posted six TED Talks online as an experiment, internet video was a new form. No one knew if people would take 18 minutes to watch “taped lectures” online, and none of us could possibly have predicted the way in which TED Talks would take off over the next few years. What does this tell us? That people want to learn. That people want be inspired. That people are hungry for ideas, and that there’s a bubbling desire not to…

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Categories: Uncategorized

Why is wheat bad for you?

25 October 2012 Leave a comment

I wanted to pass along a great article from Mark Sisson’s blog, Mark’s Daily Apple. As usual, he provides great detail backed up with numerous links to supporting articles.

I also found this article interesting because my wife has been experimenting with making her own sourdough which she’s used to make pancakes and breads. So far it’s been great!

Here’s the article I think you should check out: The Problems with Modern Wheat

Categories: Paleo Tags: , , ,

Can a Gluten-Free Lifestyle Help Defy Aging?

3 October 2012 Leave a comment

I’ve mentioned him numerous times on my blog.  Paleo poster-boy, superstar blogger, and all-around health / fitness stud, Mark Sisson, will be on Brian William’s Rock Center tomorrow night (Thursday, 10/4/2012 10pm EST) on NBC.  If this one minute preview is any indication, it should be a very interesting and informative interview.

Mark talks about how cutting out gluten (and going Paleo) eliminated his arthritis and seasonal allergies.  And it goes without saying it’s given him more energy and a pretty impressive physique (for a 59 year old!).

“Gluten is poison.”  – Mark Sisson

"Grains are just beige blob that don't taste that great. They're just a cheap source of calories that converts to glucose. Gluten is poison."

Eating Healthy: Where Do I Start?

21 September 2012 2 comments

Recently, I’ve had a number of people ask for more information regarding the food choices my family makes.  I’ve made many posts here with tips and articles, but I have yet to give a simple game plan for someone who’s starting from scratch.  I’ll do that now!

Why Should I Change What I’m Eating?

If you’re eating the Standard American Diet (SAD), odds are you’re experiencing some of the common side effects: digestive issues, joint pain, skin issues, lethargy, anxiety, depression, etc, etc.  Some people think these are just the “pains of getting older”.  Others will go to the doctor, who will prescribe you pills to lessen those symptoms, but that won’t address the cause.  Changing your diet likely will.  Either way, it’s certainly worth a shot to try!

But I’m Already Eating Healthy!

I used to think that too.  Orange juice, whole wheat bread, oatmeal, pasta, low fat salad dressing, Gatorade, skim milk, peanut butter.  Those were some of my favorite foods and I thought I was doing great!  But, the truth is many of those foods are loaded with sugar and artificial ingredients.  And the low fat foods combat the simple fact that fat is actually good for you!  But, the worst offender may be the grains.  Grains (bread, pasta, corn, beer, etc) cause many digestive problems and wreck havoc on our bodies.

So Where Do I Go From Here?

Click on the image for a larger view

I know most of my food posts relate to Paleo; however, we’ve recently been leaning more towards The Perfect Health Diet.  It’s very similar to Paleo, but there’s a bigger emphasis on carbs.  We’ve (I keep saying “we” because my wife is the brains behind this operation and does an insane amount of research) read numerous articles – and even seen it in ourselves – that low-carb eating doesn’t work long-term.

Most people don’t have the time and/or the inclination to do a ton of research on changing the way they eat.  So, my simple suggestion is read this one page on The Perfect Health Diet and try it out.  Give it a few weeks before you form an opinion.  Sometimes a few days is all it takes before you start feeling really good.  Many of the aforementioned problems will start to magically disappear – joints won’t hurt, skin will clear up, your mind will feel clearer, your mood will improve, and hopefully more.  It sounds too good to be true, but it’s all related to what you put in your body.

What If I Want to Read More?

It’s great to take my word for it, but there are so many good resources out there to help you understand what’s going on in your body as well as motivate you to keep at it!

  • The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf – the book we read to get us going down this path;  it’s great!  Minus the few heavy biological chapters, it was funny and informative.
  • The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson – I haven’t read this or any of his other books, but I’ve read an innumerable amount of his blog posts.  He’s a great writer who backs up everything he says.  Plus, wouldn’t you want to look like him when you’re 58!?
  • Perfect Health Diet by Paul and Shou-Ching Jaminet – Admittedly, I haven’t read this, but their diet is spot on with what we believe, so I’m sure the book is great.

Give It To Me In Simpler Terms

I’m trying to keep this simple, but if you’re still wondering what foods to buy, let’s try this.  Each meal you should have some of each of the 3 macro-nutrients.  Here they are with some example foods:

  • Protein
    • Grass-fed beef, wild-caught salmon, free-range chicken and eggs, bacon, etc*
  • Fat
    • Grass-fed butter, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, almond butter, macadamia nuts, lard, beef tallow, etc
  • Carbohydrates
    • Any veggies, fruits, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, white rice

* -Keep in mind that whatever animal products you eat, you’re also eating whatever that animal ate.  Thus, the emphasis on free-range chicken and grass-fed beef.  Same goes with eggs and pork – if you’re able to get them from a local farm or somewhere where the animals are cared for and fed properly (aka no grains), you’re better off.  However, that’s not an option for everyone, so do what you can!

Sample Meals

Below are some sample meal ideas to get you off an running.  Or here are some more.  Once you get used to this, it becomes easier and easier.  Try experimenting with herbs and spices (especially fresh ones).  Look online for Paleo recipes or check out the many great recipe books.

  • Breakfast
    • I posted about this a few times because it’s difficult!  But, you can’t go wrong with bacon and eggs with a fruit smoothie
  • Lunch
    • Hamburger (sans bun, of course!), salad w/olive oil, sweet potato
  • Dinner
    • Chicken, veggie, white rice stir fry

It’s a big change when you go to the store as you stay only on the outside wall where the produce and meat departments are.  You very rarely need to venture through the aisles because that’s mostly processed foods!  There are a few processed foods that are okay, but you’re best to stay away as much as you can.  For instance, potato chips seem simple enough because the ingredients are potatoes, oil, and salt.  However, 99.9% of the time, the oil is one of the awful varieties (sunflower, safflower, peanut, etc), so you’ll want to avoid them.  Luckily, we’ve recently found (at Ollie’s, of all places) Olive Oil Potato Chips.  These are a decent option if you have kids and are looking for an quick carb option.

The only other processed foods we like are GoGo SqueeZ Applesauce and Bare Fruit Apple Chips.  They each have exactly ONE ingredient: apples.  Also, I’ve kept a running list of packaged foods we like – including olive oil, butter, and coconut milk – on this Pinterest Page.

In Summary

  • Okay to eat
    • Meats, seafood, vegetables, fruit, starch, healthy fats, nuts / seeds
  • Avoid
    • Processed foods, sugars, grains, dairy, legumes, vegetable and seed oils

I rarely write 1,000 word blog posts, so hopefully this was helpful!  As usual, I’d love to hear your comments whether you post them here or write me personally.

Good luck!

Simplifying What Food You Should Eat

17 September 2012 Leave a comment

My family and I have mainly been eating Paleo over the past 18 months and have been impressed by its results.  Plus, there are so many wonderful success stories online of people who have eliminated allergies or stomach problems or mental issues, as well as cleared up their skin or lost weight or increased strength.  It sounds like a magic pill, but its not.  The focus is simple: eat the foods your body is intended to eat.

Although I feel like Paleo is starting to pick up momentum in the online world, I’m also seeing more and more posts and videos online to support health movements that are very similar.  I wanted to share two I recently came across as they take different, but good, approaches to how we should be eating in order to optimize the way we look and feel.

My Simple (Not Easy) Fat Loss & Health Enhancement Hierarchy

I recently came across Nate’s work when he posted a very interesting article on Livestrong called 4 Reasons To Eat More Calories (And Carbs) At Night.  I read more on his blog and like what he has to say.  This article I’m referencing on his Fat Loss Hierarchy is important because he keeps his advice so simple and concise.  This says it all:

…cutting out processed, man-made foods; and returning to our evolutionary, ancestral, or cultural pasts by eating more real, natural foods (wild animals and plants) will take you 90% of the way in achieving your goals…

He also writes about the way you structure your meal plan is entirely up to you (Should I fast?  3 meals a day?  6 meals?  etc).  Everyone is different and a little experimentation may help you find what works best.  Check out more of his site as he’s also got some great workout tips and videos to go along with numerous health articles.

The Beyond Diet

A friend shared this video on Facebook and although I’m not supporting the product they’re selling, I think the video they’ve made does a fantastic job of explaining some details on what foods we should and shouldn’t be eating.  Admittedly, the first few minutes are a little slow (and unfortunately you can’t fast forward), but I do think it’s worth waiting it out.

Watch this video to learn about what foods are causing you to keep on extra weight (and feel crummy) as well as what foods you should be focusing on: The Beyond Diet.

I hope that article and video can help everyone realize that eating healthy isn’t as hard as they think.  But, more importantly, “eating healthy” isn’t what most of us thought!  I know I used to think I was eating healthy because every day I’d have orange juice, whole wheat bread, no-fat salad dressings, skim milk, and many of the other “you should have these” foods.  But, it’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks.

Pardon my pun, but the proof is in the pudding.  Just try these changes for a few weeks and see how you feel.  I did and I’m not looking back.  What about you?  I’d love to know of people who try and what results they see!

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