Change Your Security Question Answers

I mentioned this briefly in another post, but I thought it was important enough to cover again. The sensitive financial accounts you have often will use security questions to prevent unauthorized people from accessing your account. This may have been an effective level of security at one time, but not anymore. There are databases that […]

For Over 30 Years I Believed I Rigged an Election

I was passing by a television at my gym a few days ago when I saw the Major League Baseball All-Star game was getting ready to start. Whenever I think of the MLB All-Star Game, I immediately think back to the spring of 1981. I was just a little kid growing up in Columbus, Ohio. […]

Newsletter #4 – Security

It has been a while since Newsletter #3 – Eliminate. For #4, I wanted to take a break from fitness and nutrition for one issue and focus on a topic that we can all benefit from. With all the data breaches and hacking that has taken place in this year, I thought a Security theme […]

30 Días

In the post Learning to Hate Driving Less, I raved about the Waze application. By giving me points for driving, assigning me a ranking and letting me compete with friends, Waze has totally changed my relationship with driving. At the end of the post I said: It really is silly that giving me points to […]

Exercise and Fat Loss Revisited

Recently Matt Stone posted Does Exercise Work for Weight Loss? which details how his body responded to higher levels of exercise. He mentions two times when he got very lean using high levels of exercise and higher calories. The interesting part is what happened next. …I had a substantial drop in resting body temperature (about 2 degrees […]

Still Learning Grammar After All These Years

A wonderful reader of this blog pointed out a grammatical mistake that I make numerous times on this site. From the article 25 Editing Tips for Tightening Your Copy: 16. Refer to people as “who” not “that” John is the guy who always forgets his shoes, not the guy that always forgets his shoes. It’s […]

The Easy Way to Cancel Comcast

Despite all you have heard, it is not hard to cancel Comcast. You just have to know how to do it. Most of the time when we call up to cancel a service, be it Comcast or someone else, we usually have a good reason. Could be poor service or we got a better deal […]

Will This Cough Ever End?

The fever is long gone, no other cold symptoms remain, except this lingering cough and fatigue. I have a few post ideas and I want to get newsletter #3 out, but it has been really hard to focus. I have zero plans to visit a doctor (or explain why), however I am open to any […]

Feeling Destructive

I am not in the mood to blog. I haven’t been in a while. I feel like destroying. There is too much noise. There are times when I don’t want to add to the discussion. I want to pull away and reassess. This is one of those times. I am reminded a line from the […]

Digging My Kindle Fire 6

I haven’t blogged since returning from my Seattle trip. The reason is I unpacked and starting playing with my new Kindle Fire 6. Earlier this year I raved about the Chromebook. However, as much as I loved and still love my Chromebook, it fails on two points. Reading e-books on the Chromebook via the Kindle Cloud […]

7 Ways to Reduce Your Car Repair Costs

Throughout the years, I have spent way more money on car repairs than I should have. Because of my limited knowledge of how a car works, I surrender my credit card to the mechanic and pay whatever they charge. In the last few years, I have started thinking about what steps I can take to prevent […]

Another Coffee Brewing Tutorial Reboot – The French Press

This year I have gone back and rewritten a few of the older brewing tutorials on INeedCoffee. Unlike this site which has built a loyal audience over time, most of the people who access INeedCoffee are hit and run. They come looking for specific information, read it and leave. So what I have been doing is swapping […]

The Worst Advice Always Starts With “You Should…”

This past summer I did a post titled 4 Words I Don’t Like. Somehow I neglected to add the worst offender and that is the phrase “you should”. I have discovered that the absolute worst advice is always starts with “you should”. People who use statements beginning with “you should” tend to be poor listeners and often […]

Back Pain, Quantified Self and My Trip

I am taking off for a week to Seattle and Portland, so I probably won’t be posting anything new until mid next week. I’ll be at Coffee Fest drinking massive amounts of espresso. Say hi if you see me. I created two new BEST OF pages for the site. Back Pain Quantified Self  Each page […]

This Morning in the Pressure Cooker Lab

Yesterday I raved about my latest hobby which the pressure cooker. This morning I decided to attempt a Vietnamese style chicken congee. I love this dish. Chicken, rice, broth, Thai basil, ginger and of course fish sauce. The perfect breakfast food. A million times better than oatmeal. It came out very good, but I think I […]

Scan, Encrypt, Store, Delete, Shred: Going Paperless!

For as long as I can remember I’ve owned this file box. I’ve kept receipts, tax documents, my college transcript, auto records, insurance info, military paperwork and other important documentation. Not anymore. This week I borrowed a scanner and converted it all to digital. Then I encrypted everything and uploaded it to two cloud servers. […]

4 Words I Don’t Like

Recently I was asked if there were any words I don’t like. Four words came to mind. #1 Google (verb form, to search) You will never hear me say “Google it”. Google does not equal search. It is one component of search, but not the only one. It is my default search engine at home, but I […]

You Missed the Point of My Comcast Post

Lifehacker recently featured my How to Deal With Comcast post. Although they walked away with the best path for getting your issue resolved, which I believe is going to Comcast in person, they failed to explain why it works. I didn’t read all the comments, but I read enough there, on this blog and elsewhere to know many […]

Leaving Seattle For a Few Months

Last fall I mentioned that I would be forced to move in mid 2014 due to the evictions. Well that time has arrived. The builders will start work on my apartment building on Tuesday. This means it is time for me to leave. The problem with moving now is that rents in Seattle are sky high […]

How to Remove a Podcast From Your iPod

For a long time, I have been unable to figure out how to remove a podcast from my iPod. I can delete episodes, but not remove the actual podcast. You’d think this would be something you could manage easily from iTunes, but nothing with iTunes is easy. I consider iTunes to be the second worst piece […]

I Love My Chromebook

A topic I never blog about is technology. I tend to avoid the latest and greatest gadgets. Let others beta test the first few versions. If the technology is stable and is still interesting beyond the hype phase, then and only then will I give it a look. For the most part I try to […]

My Tribute to Radio’s Neil Rogers

One of the web projects I am involved with is the tribute site to radio legend Neil Rogers. You may not have heard of him, because he broadcasted from Miami and was never syndicated. People in the industry knew who he was and greatly respected him. Howard Stern wanted him for his Sirius channel and […]

After the Election

Although I no longer consider myself political, I’ve always found it interesting to observe the behavior of the candidate or the supporters of an issue that loses post election. I’ve seen variations on two different responses. Our Bad – This is where the candidate or issue supporters acknowledge their loss in a dignified manner. They […]


I’ve mentioned this offline to a few people, but I haven’t discussed it here. About three weeks ago I got an official notice from my apartment complex that I and every other tenant was going to be evicted. This summer our complex was sold and the new owners began doing construction on the outside of […]

Podcasts I Listen To (2013)

I was recently asked what podcasts I am listening to and I directed them to my 2012 list. Then I noticed that list is outdated already. Here are my top 10 podcasts for 2013. EconTalk (economics) Revolution Health Radio with Chris Kresser (health) NPR Planet Money (finance) Evil Sugar Radio (health) Alternative 80’s (music) Accidental […]

Still ENTJ – Myers-Briggs 2013

Friday some friends and I were discussing the Myers-Briggs test. When I first took this personality test years ago I was INTJ, but in 2010 my results said I was ENTJ. I was curious to see if the 2010 test results held up or if anything else had changed, so I retook the test. I’m […]

When the Check Engine Light Comes On Part 2

This is a follow-up post to When the Check Engine Light Comes On. If you haven’t read that post, the short version is I learned how to read the engine codes thrown when the Check Engine light comes on in my car. Your mechanic will gladly charge you $85 to hook you up to “the […]

When the Check Engine Light Comes On

This post is a departure from my usual topics, but I think what I learned this week will be of value to those with limited knowledge of how a car works. This post could save you a few hundred dollars. Wednesday evening the Check Engine light came on in my car. I’m the original owner […]

How To Deal With Comcast

Yesterday, I solved the mystery of how to deal with Comcast. For those unaware of Comcast, they provide high speed Internet services. Although there is some competition in Seattle, they are by far the biggest and fastest broadband provider in the area. The strength of Comcast is they provide an excellent service. My Internet speeds […]

DIY Standing Desk – The $22 IKEA Solution

Back in April, I built my own standing desk using boxes. It was a cheap hack, but it didn’t work for long, because the boxes began to warp after a week. Although I am still not convinced that a standing desk is superior to a sitting one, I was inspired by a link in the most recent Wired magazine. […]

Podcasts I Listen To (2012)

Biohacks recently posted Podcasts I listen to. I thought it was a good idea for a post, so I’m going to list my favorites. I dated this post so I can update my list each year. I’m always mixing up the shows I listen to. Here are my top 10 podcasts in order. EconTalk  (economics) […]

Making Some Kimchi

I may have gone overboard this week. I also made some sauerkraut, which is still fermenting. 7 quarts + 2 little jars of Kimchi 2.0

Your Last Meal

A foodie friend of mine recently asked me a great question. What would you want for your last meal? I’ve thought about this for a while and I decided that if I died immediately after the meal, I would choose a Minnesota style pizza, a few bottles of Saison Dupont and a pint of Haagen Dazs 5 […]

Who’s Your Daddy?

I saved this story for Father’s Day even though it happened a few months ago. The only background you need to know is that I don’t have any children. One day I was at the Fred Meyers grocery store checking out. Most of my order was already scanned and I was swiping my card into […]

Distraction Diet 3

This post is an update on the September 2011 post Distraction Diet 2, along with some new ideas. Distraction Diets are about reducing the growing number of distractions in an always connected digital age. How did I do? Early Morning Reading – This continues to be a success. Other people like reading in the evening, I prefer […]

Internet Cooking and David Lynch Movies

Even though I am always checking out cookbooks from the library, the majority of ideas I get for cooking come from doing web searches. I get an idea, do a search and find a recipe. But I rarely just look at one version of a recipe. I scan a few. Then I look over the […]

Under the Keyboard

Today I did a task that I’ve been putting off for years. I cleaned my keyboard. Not the typical surface cleaning, but a proper full cleaning. In the past a keyboard would break long before it required a serious cleaning. Not anymore. I’ve had this one for probably 7 or 8 years. First I unplugged […]

Do We Really Need WIFI While Donating Blood?

Maybe this is a Seattle thing, but everywhere I go I see this obsession with constantly being connected to the Internet. It is getting out of hand. I donate blood every 8 weeks and if you have an appointment it doesn’t take long. Today while donating, the guy next to me starts this monologue how […]

Now a 1 Gallon Blood Donor in 2 States

Yesterday, I collected my 1 Gallon Donor pin after donating my 8th pint of premium grade B Positive. Now some lucky chap will soon have pig uterus coursing through his veins. Back in my Florida days, I donated a full gallon to that state. I like being able to help my fellow neighbors by donating […]

MacGyver Humidifier

During my trip to Ohio, I noticed an interesting pattern regarding my nighttime headaches. When I stayed with my mom, with the exception of the gluten poisoning night, I didn’t get headaches. When I stayed with my sister, I got headaches. My mom runs a humidifier in the house, whereas my sister doesn’t. Sounds like […]

Getting Hit By a Car

On Saturday evening I was walking across a street in Capitol Hill inside the pedestrian walkway. A large white SUV came up from the side street towards me. It appeared the car was slowing as there was a Stop sign. But it didn’t. By the time I realized the car was going to run the […]

Fermentation Intervention?

I can’t stop making new vegetable ferments. I’ve ran out of jars and containers to hold the ferments. At this time, I have over 25 pounds of vegetables fermenting and I’m thinking about going out and acquiring more jars. I have too many ideas that I want to try out. I think it is time […]

Distraction Diet 2

Last year I announced that I was going on a Distraction Diet. For the month of August, I am going to stay off Facebook and Twitter*, as I believe those are the two sites that are doing the most damage to my thinking. The design, whether conscious or not, exploits our primitive neural pathways to […]

Half the Ideas in this Blog Are Probably Wrong

I just finished reading The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature by Matt Ridley. It is an excellent book on the economics of sex from a genetic point of view. I’m not going to review the book, others have done a better job than me. However, I loved a sentence that was […]

A Little Bit of Gardening

Earlier this year, I was able to get a pea-patch at my apartment complex. It is a 4 foot by 4 foot area. I’m sort of flying blind, but Mother Nature is doing her job. Stuff is growing. I ate some of the Russian Kale today and I survived.

Seattle Pig – Get Well Soon

Yesterday morning a taxi ran into Rachel the bronze pig at Pike Market. From MSNBC’s Taxi crashes into Pike Place Market pig statue (link now gone): A taxi driver hit the gas when he was rear-ended nearby early Saturday and plowed into Rachel the Pig, a 550-pound, bronze piggy bank that has stood outside the […]

Not Responding to My Attackers

In this post I am going to explain why I didn’t defend myself or respond to my attackers on MetaFilter last Friday. If you don’t know what happened, read Tales From the Glitter Gym – The End. There is a book that I often refer to for moral guidance. It is not the Bible. It […]

Tales From the Glitter Gym – The End

Today the site MetaFilter linked to my Tales From the Glitter Gym. The comments exploded and they were mostly negative. A few people got the humor, but the majority didn’t. It is not often in life when you get honest feedback from such a large number of people at once. Most of the people who I […]

Information Overload

In the last week I have stumbled upon so many great web sites full of content that I want to read. I have never been under this heavy of an information overload. I’ve spent so much time trying to figure out how to filter out the noise that I wasn’t prepared to mainline so much […]

My Brilliant Idea on Fixing Car Alarms

I’ve had this idea for over 15 years, but I’ve never actually written it down before. We all know the problem with car alarms. Nobody believes them. We find them annoying. They completely fail in their role to be a deterrent for car theft or vandalism. The root of this problem is that every car […]

Fixing Politics #1 – The Voter

I never talk about politics on this blog. I consider myself post-political. One day I’ll talk more about that. Not today though. Instead of complaining about the system, I’m here to offer my solutions. Today’s episode is The Voter. We all know the problem. Voters are too dumb and are easily manipulated by negative ads. […]

If I Were The King of Costco

I love Costco. Unfortunately, so does everyone else. I used to be able to time my visits when it was less crowded. Not anymore. It is always packed. Short of building new stores, here are a few ideas I would implement if I were The King of Costco. Paint Directional Arrows on the Floor (like […]

6 Reasons I Haven’t Been To Your Coffee Shop

Believe it or not I haven’t been to every coffee shop in Seattle. Nor do I plan to. Why not? Below are the 6 Reasons I Haven’t Been To Your Coffee Shop. Coffee Doesn’t Get Top Billing – I am much more likely to visit a coffee shop that serves food than a restaurant or […]

The Fall

If you are wondering how I have been able to read so many books in the past month, it is because I injured myself three weeks ago. Laying on a heating pad recovering is perfect for reading. When coming down from the stairs, my brand new sock hit the slick wooden floor and I went […]

Life After XM Radio

After almost six years of listening to satellite radio, I gave it up and returned to regular old terrestrial radio earlier this year. If you want to know the reasons, read Why I Am Not Renewing My Sirius XM Radio Subscription. How am I holding up? Here were the channels I most listened to on […]

Top 6 Reasons We Can’t Be Business Partners

I get asked frequently to help others on business projects. In recent years, I have started declining most offers. Although I have not learned the qualities of a good business partner, I have isolated a few qualities of poor ones. Failure To Respect My Time – If you are frequently late to meetings or scheduled […]

Happiness is a Warm Gun

Photo Glock 19 by KLaFaille This past Saturday I finally got around to doing something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time. I went to a gun range and fired some pistols. Before heading to the range, I spent several hours doing classroom instruction from a certified NRA instructor. I should be getting […]

My Ideas on Fixing the Holiday Schedule

For the most part I like how the holidays are spread across the calendar, but if I were King for a day, I’d make the following changes. MLK Day I would change Martin Luther King Day to Civil Rights Day. There were lots of important historical figures that helped advance civil rights, not just MLK. […]

Leaving Queen Anne

I love my Seattle neighborhood of Queen Anne, but it is time to move soon. I’ve been given an opportunity to rent the bottom floor of a brand new house near Northgate. My living expenses will be half what I’m paying in Queen Anne. How long can I last in the suburbs? We will see. […]

South 47 Farm and Corn Maze

If my Seattle peeps need a fun way to spend an afternoon with the family, head out to Redmond and visit the South 47 Farm. They have crops you can pick, animals to pet and a huge corn maze. They actually carved up a full maze covering 5.5 acres in a corn field. The maze […]

Don’t Waste Another Text Message On Me

I just setup a text message block on my phone. As a cell phone customer, I have two options: Buy an unlimited text plan, for which I’ll never use. Pay 20 cents to send and 20 cents to receive each text message. The unlimited option is a total waste of money for me, which leaves […]

Blueberry Picking East of Seattle

If you head east of Seattle this time of the year, you will find many places that have a U-Pick-Em blueberry program. They hand you a bucket and you make your way out onto the farm to pick your own blueberries. When you are finished, they weight the blueberries and then charge you around $1.50 […]

Is Twitter The Borg?

A few months ago I realized that Twitter could be The Borg. Star Trek has a long history of creating things before they become reality. Could it be that The Borg which debuted in 1989 predicted Twitter? Millions of status reports (tweets) are being sent to and from the Twitter servers (The Borg Queen). Every […]

Filing Fraud Charges Against XM Radio

If you would have asked me a few years ago who my favorite company was, I wouldn’t have hesitated to say XM Radio. Today I filed fraud charges against them. A few months ago I noticed a bad charge on my credit card. I called them up and they told me that they didn’t have […]

Stealing Electricity From the Office

Today’s Dilbert reminded me of one of my office stories. One day I was walking back to the break room and I noticed a thick orange extension cord plugged into the wall. Someone had propped the back door open. Curious to see what was being charged, I followed the orange extension cord outside. It was […]

White Asparagus

When I saw white asparagus at the store, I thought it was the most bizarre thing. The cashier informed me that white asparagus is grown in buried dirt, so it receives no light. No light means it doesn’t turn green. Of course I had to try it and tell everyone. I learned that I’m the […]

You Either Shut Up Or Get Cut Up

Last night I got the opportunity to watch a local live radio talk show. The show is called TBTL. Other than the show I watched last night, I’ve only heard two hours. It is different than the guy hot talk shows that I normally listen to (Opie & Anthony, Ron & Fez and Adam Carolla). […]

Updating the Moving Scorecard Again

When my building decided to raise my rent 3.5%, I let them know that they were in denial on the current state of the Seattle rental market. This is not 2008. Rents are falling everywhere in Seattle. I told my building that if they want to keep me, they would have to return with a […]

Seattle Sunshine Traffic

When I lived in San Diego there was one traffic condition I dreaded. It was the first rain during rush hour after a long dry period. The rain would kick up dust and oil on the roads and they would have slick patches on them. Traffic would grind to halt and there would be accidents. […]

La Dolce Vita

One of my favorite movies growing up wasn’t well received. It was Bright Lights Big City. In the movie, Michael J Fox’s character descends into the New York City night life and it almost destroys his life, his relationships and his ambition. When I first saw La Dolce Vita (1960) last year, I immediately recognized […]

Urban Hike – Magnolia Edition

The sun came out so I did a 12 mile urban hike. This time I decided to head west and cut through Magnolia. Then I crossed the locks and picked up the hike again. On my way back, near the Fremont Ballard border, a woman asked for directions. She spoke almost no English. My guess […]

Sushi Freedom

I love sushi, but I am not a fan of sushi restaurants. They tend to be expensive and slow. And if they aren’t expensive, the word gets out and lines start forming. Sushi Deli in San Diego is affordable, but if you don’t time it right, you could be in line for an hour. All […]

Drawing Dilbert Upside Down

This weekend I was taught a drawing trick. Turn the image upside down and then attempt to draw focusing on spacing and not the actual object. From – Learn How To Draw – Top 20 Drawing Tips For Beginners (#20): Drawing upside down is a wonderful exercise to awaken the right side of your […]

When Glitter Turns Orange

Yesterday I walked into my Glitter Gym and was hit with the smell of wet paint. Before I could think about why they wouldn’t prop open a door to air out the place, I walked into the free weight room. The walls were painted a pumpkin orange. Back in my Florida days I learned from […]

Urban Hike Seattle – 22.5 Mile Edition

It was one year ago that I did my first urban hike of Seattle. Why not turn Presidents Day into an Annual Urban Hike Seattle day? The weather was sunny and clear. Temperatures were in the low 40s with some wind. I almost put a jacket over my short-sleeved shirt, but you know me. Partially […]

I Miss Hiking in San Diego

Yesterday the weather was perfect, so I decided to go on a regular hike. Not an urban hike, but return to an actual trail. Seattle has great hiking, just ask anyone that lives here. They can’t stop telling you how wonderful the hiking is. There are numerous trails that will guide you to the top […]

2009 Polar Bear Plunge – Matthews Beach in Seattle

Today was the day of my first (and last?) Polar Bear Plunge. Here were the stats for the 7th Annual Polar Bear Plunge: water temperature was 44 F outside temperature was 41 F wind chill temperature was 34 F I’m probably the only one that actually trained for this event. Starting on Sunday I’ve been […]

Am I Bored?

Recently, a friend of mine told me that I must be bored. He couldn’t wrap his head around the idea of not going into the office everyday. In the absence of a boss dictating requirements does boredom eventually set in? Not for me. This summer I drove up to Vancouver, visited friends and went to […]

Signal vs Noise – Consume vs Create

Thought I’d try my hand at some armchair philosophy today. I am an amateur at this, so be easy on me in the comments. We are constantly being bombarded with information. Information that is useful is often referred to as Signal. Information that is not useful is considered Noise. This is the Signal to Noise […]

This White Man Can’t Jump

For the second time this month, my basketball got stuck behind the rim. The first time it happened I thought it was the freak event of the year. Then it happened again today. Perhaps it has something to do with the cold weather? I can bench press my weight and do 20 consecutive pull-ups, but […]

There Will Be Blood – Home Edition

When I was young I read a profile on Ted Turner. Sure he was a self-made multi-millionaire that founded CNN and owned a baseball team. However, the thing I recall the most about Ted Turner was that despite all his millions, he cut his own hair. Now I was just a kid when I read […]

Satisfaction Formulas

After posting my review of the science book Satisfaction, I noticed that I could have written it in pseudocode or C#. This post had just enough novelty and required an action on my part. I’m satisfied.

The Quest To Be Decent Part 2

Yesterday I outlined my Quest To Be Decent. Today I tackled four more exercises. EZ Bicep Curl – Since I take a functional approach to weight lifting I rarely do direct arm work, but I knew I’d easily get a Decent score on this exercise. Sure enough I nailed 90 for reps. No problem. A […]

The Quest To Be Decent Begins

Back when I had a home gym, I kept records of each workout. After a few injuries and the move, I stopped recording my numbers. Well I’ve had some good progress this year, so I revisited the article Are You Strong? by Tim Henriques. The writer breaks down many of the core exercises into decent, […]

The Cuban Family Revisited

This is a follow up to my post The Cuban Family from last May. In that post I was recalling a conversation I had years ago with a wealthy American girl with Cuban roots. She believed that one day her family would return to the island and claim what Fidel Castro took from them many […]