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 […]
If you sent me an email with a link to an article or a video with no explanation on why it is relevant to me, I most likely never looked into it. I’ve discovered that unless someone can explain in a sentence or two why I should devote time and energy into something they found […]
Currently I am on a two week visit in Seattle, so I won’t be posting much until later this month. Sometimes I mention that I will be posting on something later and then never get around to it. If there is something you’ve been either waiting for me to discuss or a new idea for […]
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 […]
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 that access INeedCoffee are hit and run. They come looking for specific information, read it and leave. So what I have been doing is […]
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 that use statements beginning with “you should” tend to be poor listeners and […]
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 […]
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 […]
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. […]
I don’t get it. I will never understand why men will step out of their houses wearing a jacket or coat when the temperature is in the mid 60s, when they know it will be sunny and 70 F in an hour or two. They trade a slight increase in comfort for increased discomfort later […]
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 […]
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 […]
On Tuesday I will be moving from Cupertino, CA to Emerald Hills, CA. There is a story why my roommates traded one huge house for another, but it isn’t important. Still the same general area. My first week back in California I had great sleep and surge in productivity. But I feel that waning now. […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
This past weekend in Seattle was the 25th anniversary (Silver Jubilee) of Sub Pop Records. On Thursday, I learned that a few bands were going to play a closed set on the tip of the Space Needle, which you could watch streaming online or archived later. My favorite band of all time is Dinosaur Jr […]
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 […]
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 […]
I’ve now donated 2 gallons of blood for Washington. I can add the new pin next to my other blood pins .
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 […]
With all the end of year Top 10 lists, I thought I’d assemble a Top 10 list for 2012 CriticalMAS posts. I’m going to use three metrics: page view, comments and those that I personally liked the best. Here goes. #1 The Problem With Boot Camp Training This was the most popular post I wrote […]
Even though the on air talent at KEXP was gushing about how wonderful 2012 was for music, I found the music this year to half as good as 2011 or 2010. With that in mind, I’ve decided to just do a TOP 5 list this year instead of a TOP 10. #1 Simple Song by […]
I haven’t posted much recently. The reason is I started an innocent cleaning project and discovered discs containing files that had been lost to me for over 12 years. Lots of files. So instead of blogging, I’ve been spending many hours going through those files and archiving what I’ve found. By next week, I should […]
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. […]
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) […]
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
I’ve decided to take a week or so off from blogging. It is too nice outside to sit inside staring at a monitor. Go get some sunshine. This is my favorite song of the summer. Enjoy! Allo Darlin’ – Capricornia
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Another year, another 10 songs. Hope you enjoy this year’s list. #1 J Mascis – Not Enough J Mascis stepped away from Dinosaur Jr long enough to record this stellar CD. I love this song and the video.
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 […]
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 […]
On Pike Street between 4th and 5th Avenue, if you look up to the 6th floor of the Filter building you will see a Super Mario display made entirely of Post-It notes. I heard about this in the news Friday and went down today to see for myself. Here are some photos I took. Another […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
One of the reasons I go to Costco is to stock up on almond butter. Recently, they replaced the MaraNatha Creamy Almond Butter glass jars with plastic jars. I noticed the ounces were the same, so I assume the product inside the jar was unchanged. About two servings into the jar, it struck me just […]
Wrestler and Slim Jim spokesperson Randy Savage died today. When you live in Florida, especially the Tampa Bay area, you will run into pro wrestlers. It must of been 1996 or 1997 when I first met Macho Man Randy Savage. In the post Meeting Hulk Hogan and Macho Man, I told the story of how […]
Moving a web site is never fun. I spent hours this morning fixing database issues and moving files from my old host to my new host. There will be problems. Moving almost 1,500 posts and over 3,000 comments is not easy task. If you see a problem – send me an email. Thank you!
After living in the perfect weather of San Diego for seven years, I moved up to Seattle in 2007. This is an overview of my four winters in Seattle. 2007-2008: Shock From the December 1, 2007 post This Wasn’t in the Brochure: Its snowing in Bellevue. I need to find a cheap flight to Central […]
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 […]
This past Saturday I got to try a tea that was completely new to me: puer tea stuffed in a pomelo. Imagine a puer tea with a slight citrus finish. Not my favorite tea, but interesting.
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 […]
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 that […]
I have fully embraced Seattle’s love for indie rock. Here are my top 10 songs for 2010. #1 Yeahsayer – O.N.E – This tune sounds like indie rock meets early 1990s dance. Love it! #2 Deerhunter – Helicopter – Hauntingly beautiful. #3 Broken Bells – The High Road – It was hard to pick a […]
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 […]
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 […]
My year up here in Northgate is coming to an end. I came very close to returning to Queen Anne, but at the last minute I decided to look at one more apartment in the Ballard neighborhood. I’ll be very close to the Ballard Locks.
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. […]
Going on a mini trip. See you on Tuesday.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
This past weekend I went to my first Renaissance Fair. It was so hot that day. I feel sorry for all the people that were dressed in full costumes. The highlight of the event was seeing an actual jousting event. My camera was being repaired so I was unable to take photos that day. Below […]
There is a hidden park that almost nobody in Seattle knows about. It is called Freeway Park. It is downtown and above the I-5 freeway. I took this photo of cars driving north on the I-5 going underneath the park. The park has free WI-FI too. Have you been to Freeway Park?
With sound quality as crisp as the signal from a distant AM radio station, why would I ever upgrade?
Costco sells a 26oz container of Creamy Almond Butter for just $5.75. They last a year and hold 4,370 calories. Almond butter tastes better and is more nutritious than peanut butter. I bought three and will cycle through and replace them going forward. Perfect survival food. Nutritious, tasty, cheap and portable.
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 […]
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 […]
Since moving to Northgate it has been a while since I’ve done a Seattle urban hike greater than 10 miles. Today I tackled one of my new favorite areas, which is the Seattle side of Lake Washington between the two bridges. Along the way I checked off two more places on my Seattle Disloyalty Card. […]
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 […]
This morning I made a lane change behind an 18 wheeler and looked up to see a man hanging from the back of a moving truck loaded with boxes. Just before I had a heart attack, I realized I was looking at a photo painted onto the back of a truck. I should probably start […]
This post has been moved from Coffee Hero. It was originally written on December 22, 2009. Brewing loose leaf tea when your mug is too big for your steeper.
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. […]
It has been years since I’ve seen a basketball game, but that hasn’t stopped me from developing my own methodology for completing the March Madness Brackets. Look for Ohio State and then pick them to win every single game. For every other match, pick the favorite. Since I know nothing about the other teams, I […]
It has been a few years since I last took a Myers-Briggs personality test. On Wednesday, I took the test again and my score changed. I went from being an INTJ to an ENTJ. You were warned.
I have been a paid subscriber of XM Radio since June 2004. For the most part I am very satisfied with the technology and programming. However, at the end of this month I will not be renewing. Sirius XM messed up. Here are the reasons I will be returning to terrestrial radio (AM/FM) in March. […]
This past weekend I had a garage sale and while digging through boxes, I found my medal from that 50 Mile bike ride I did in Mexico in September 2006. The bike is long gone, but the medal survives.
In honor of Elvis turning 75, I made a sandwich.
Before you go straight to Amazon.com for your holiday shopping, start here on CriticalMAS and use my search box on my Shop page. The products will cost you the same, but I’ll get a little cut. I gotta pay for this Thailand trip somehow.
Today I had a prescription filled. It costs me $50. When the pharmacist counseled me on the medication, he asked how much I paid. When he heard $50, he walked me out to one of the aisles and showed me my medication was available over the counter for half of what I paid. He helped […]
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. […]
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 […]
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 […]
I only intended to do a 5 mile hike today, but decided to take a few different turns and I ended up exploring a new section of Seattle. I didn’t know there was a beach with a diving board at Madison Park. This ended up being my longest hike to date by a hair. In […]
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 […]
My new camera is ORANGE.
With a slower walk and much flatter shoes, I covered 12.7 miles today. Espresso stops included Trabant, Herkimer and Neptune.
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 […]
I have two lists of books that I want to read. I’ve been successful with one and lazy with the other. Books I Own – The books I’ve purchased and sit on my shelf. Amazon List – I use the Amazon Wish List to keep track of all the books I want to read. That […]
I didn’t mention this earlier, but I signed up for the 2009 Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon which took place this past Saturday. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. I am in still in retirement when it comes to running. I signed up as a medical volunteer for the race. Medical volunteers arrived at 5:45 AM. We […]
I took a break from Ahi sushi and made sushi using Blue Marlin. Works just as well. Some of you have asked where I get the fish. Would you believe Costco? The trick is to only buy the stuff that was packed that day.
Today I decided to not get prawns and instead try my first frog. Not bad.
Where did I spend Memorial Day weekend this year? Guess in the comments. Don’t play if you already know. Your only clue is the photo below.
The view South from my roof yesterday afternoon.
I walked past Seattle Peace Park and this statue on Friday. The statue is of Sadako Saski, who was a Japanese child victim that survived the Hiroshima bombing. What is the story with the paper crane? From Wikipedia: On August 3, 1955, Chizuko Hamamoto Sadako’s best friend came to the hospital to visit and cut […]
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 […]
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 […]