morning babble / Tuesday 05-04-21

Happy Star Wars Day! Tuesday is actually a good one – yes, May the Fourth Be With You!

Mark Hamill did the entire month last year – May the Calendar Be With You. Just came up with all different ones like: May the Fifth Defeat Sith; May the 25th be the day to get cocky, fly casual, & soar high with Solo; it goes on & on. He did it last year for the entire month. Here’s the links on Instagram and Twitter.

If you don’t follow Mark Hamill, you simply should. He brings me pure joy seeing his posts.

Couple quick relevant facts for the day:

1 – The word “Ewoks” is never spoken once in “Return of the Jedi”

2 – Star Wars . . . originally titled, “The Adventures of Luke Starkiller”

3 – On day 3 of my Vlog this year, I passed this along – if you type “pew pew” in a text (and as long as you have an iPhone), it is received with the Star Wars “pew pew” sound.

Couple quick updates:

1 – I ran – 124 runs / 124 vlogs

2 – 3 Day Fast is next week / Sets up my June and July fasts better

3 – I’ve got new soap coming / Battle of the soaps / Cold Shower Therapy? That’s one of the things that I wanted to dig into. It’s a little easier trying it in the warmer months. The real trick is winter – like January. Anyway, it’s something that I’ve tried before and there’s all kinds of philosophies. Gotta dig into it.

“Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our point of view.” – by Obi Wan Kenobi

morning babble / Monday 05-03-21

After I left you all yesterday, I ended up helping my wife plant on the flowers that she bought on Saturday. My job involved a shovel and lots of digging. I also wasn’t smart and didn’t put on any sun protective. I got burnt. It’s the kind of burn where when you blow your nose, it feels like your skin is going to pop off.

Happy Monday! I ran – 123 runs / 123 vlogs

Oh, and if you follow me on Untappd – that’s an app which tracks different beers that try. I think I had 4 new entries yesterday. Don’t worry – I was splitting them with a friend. Otherwise, well . . . today would have been extra tough to go along with the sunburn.

Read from the Daily Stoic, p. 136: So yes, spend some time – real, uninterrupted time – thinking about what’s important to you, what your priorities are. Then, work toward that and forsake all the others. It’s not enough to wish and hope. One must act – and act right.

“Ask yourself: Am I climbing the right mountain?” – by someone

morning babble / Sunday 5-02-21

Whew – I’m beat and it’s not because of the two beers that I had last night. Yup – only two. My son had a Friday night baseball game – they lost – so, yesterday, we went to the nearby ball field to hit, catch, and pitch & pitch & pitch. His choice. But – I played the role of his catcher and – wow – am I feeling it. I did run today – outside and slowly. 122 runs.

If you missed the Instagram post, Hopalanche by Big Oyster Brewery officially broke the April Alcohol Drought. AND – I enjoyed it.

It’s Sunday – so, let’s talk books . . . or in this case, a comic book, too.


  • I get to pick up my BRZRKR Issue #2 today from Captain Blue Hen Comics. Today, they have a “Spring Comic Day Fest” from 11am to 2pm. With Special Guest John Gallagher of Max Meow books fame. If you got a kid that likes Dog Man . . . this guy’s Max Meow series is being compared to that.
  • Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man by Emmanuel Acho – I had planned on talking about this one in depth today, but 3 weekday little league baseball games last week squashed any hopes of reading being done.
  • Lack of time led me to pull these books from Cal Newport. I read his Deep Work book and it was a very good one. Explains how you should time block areas of the day for deep work when you can truly “knock out” some specific work. This led me to watching a seminar of his and getting his planner – The Time-Block Planner. Unfortunately, I have not done the planner and maybe that has led to the lack of time.

I’ve got some new goals that I really want to push towards, but I’m hesitating slightly. I need to plan accordingly. I don’t want to half ass anything. My 52 Meal Challenge within a year already looks like its in jeopardy, but instead of beating myself up, I think I’ll just extend it towards the end of the year. When I started it last June . . . I wasn’t running every day and vlogging, so it’s that time thing again. Announcements coming . . .

“When someone says – But I don’t have time! – what I hear is: I’m choosing to not make it a priority!” – by Mark Manson

morning babble / Saturday 05-01-21

It’s May! AND – I made it official by flipping to the next month on the family calendar, which is appropriately located on the fridge. In turn, the April Alcohol Drought is over! However, I haven’t had a drink yet. Like I said yesterday, it will probably be later this afternoon since I’ve got too many kid things happening during the day and it wouldn’t be appropriate.

Before we get into the beer fun, let’s see what did I learned from this alcohol drought.

First, let’s talk about weight. I thought I would see a drop, but I really didn’t. This year, I have lost 10.6 lbs so far – see I was “puffy.” For January, I lost 3 lbs. In February – the winning month – I lost 3.4 lbs. Last month, March, I lost 2.6 lbs. And finally, the April Alcohol Drought month, I only lost 1.6 lbs. So – I really didn’t see anything there and I know I have more weight that I can lose since I am definitely not at my jiu-jitsu playing weight.

Next, let’s talk about sleep. This was the biggest reason why I wanted to do the drought in the first place. Via Mathew Walker’s book, Why We Sleep, I learned that gaining more REM sleep is ideal. So, not only do I want to sleep more, I want more REM. I only looked at March and April. In March, I took in some beverage. It was the 3rd highest month of drinks in the past year. For this beverage induced month, I slept on average 6 hours and 27 minutes every night. Within that time period, I had 1 hour and 52 minutes of REM sleep. For April, the drink challenged month, I averaged 6 hours and 24 minutes of sleep every night. The REM sleep was 1 hour and 51 minutes average. March won! I totally didn’t see that coming.

Last, I mentioned this before, but I thought about having a drink a lot and that bothered me. Listening to a record – I want some whiskey, walking out on my deck with the sun beating down – I want an IPA, pasta dinner – where’s the red wine with pasta? At least it wasn’t: we’re going to my son’s little league game – let’s tailgate! OR – my daughter just finished her handwriting homework – let’s do a shot. It wasn’t like that.

Track all the alcohol drinking through my “LESS” app – thank you Kevin Rose.

All my sleep monitoring was done through my Garmin watch. Now, I’ve heard the Oura ring tracks sleep better. Listening to his podcast, I have learned from Dr. Peter Attia how he’s always amazed at how his sleeping patterns are way off the charts after a night of a simple glass of wine or beer. Unfortunately, I didn’t see that with the Garmin watch breakdown. I believe both Dr. Attia and Kevin Rose are associated with the Oura ring. I’ll reach out to them and if they send me an Oura ring, I’ll do another month long alcohol drought and see what’s different this go round. We’ll see.

By the way, I ran. 121 days of 5k Runs / 121 vlogs of Morning Babble – the streak continues!

And finally, the beers of choice that might officially break the drought:

  1. Hopalanche (Hazy IPA) by Big Oyster Brewery Lewes, DE / Hazy IPA with hints of vanilla bean and peppermint. This was a favorite of mine around the holidays and probably why December was the biggest drinking month over the past year.
  2. Tiny Tickle (NE Pale Ale) by Levante Brewing Company West Chester & Downingtown / Their beer – Tickle Parts – I really liked. In turn, I was hoping this one is just as good and as a bonus, it has less alcohol when compared to the Hopalance – probably a good thing to slowly break me back into the swing of things. I did see on their website – a new Cloudy and Cumbersome beer with Pineapple – N.E. IPA. I need to get that!
  3. Sun-day Feels (Sour) by Dogfish Head Brewing Company Milton, DE / They call this one “a laid-back beermosa sour brewed with peaches, grapes & citrus.” I really think I’ll do an IPA to break the drought, but we’ll see. I have to admit, I thought I still had a can of their Hazy-O and that was just going to be the one that would break it, I don’t have any more in the fridge, so I must have drank it within those final March days of beverage intake.

By the way, my final beer before the drought was Tempest by the Cushwa Brewing Company (Williamsport, MD). This is a delicious beer and I’ve said that it’s an excellent dessert beer. I’ve got one more in the fridge and plan on ending the night with it. I actually wanted to try some of their other beers, but the two places I visited did not have any of their beers in stock. I know where I can get them . . . I just couldn’t get there yet. I’ve seen Half Scoop IPA – Smoothie Style Session as well as Landmine and Hopscotch IPA – Double New England – gummy candy and citrus rind – must try those soon!

I’ll be posting what beer breaks the drought later!

“You know what wine and liqueur tastes like. It makes no difference whether a hundred or a thousand bottles pass through your bladder – you are nothing more than a filter.” – Seneca

morning babble / Friday 4-30-21

We did it . . . made it to another Friday! I was up a little later last night, watching that NFL Draft. One year ago – that was a huge thing to occur because no other sporting event was on TV at the time. No baseball, basketball, hockey, nothing. So, we got a virtual draft a year ago and today – people are starting to hug again. Get your shots people – I want to give out some hugs – well, to most of you.

120 runs / 120 vlogs – 4 months are done! April Alcohol Drought is ending, too!!

New Music Friday:

  • I believe the big album drop is from DJ Kahled – called Kahled Kahled. The single being pushed is “I Did It” featuring Post Malone, Megan Thee Stallion, and others. But – the rest of the album – it’s a just a superstar selection of artists: Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, Meek Mill, Cardi B, Drake, Justin Bieber, Big Sean, Puff Daddy, Nas, Migos, H.E.R. – it goes on & on.
  • Billie Eilish has revealed that her second album is called Happier Than Ever and that it’s coming out on July 30. New song came out yesterday – Your Power. Of course, recently her movie An intimate look at the singer-songwriter’s journey, navigating life on the road, on stage, and at home, while creating her debut album. Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry – released back in February.
  • The song “Choker” by Twenty One Pilots is out today. Reminder that the whole album – Scaled and Icy – drops May 21st.
  • Alessandro Cortini—longtime Nine Inch Nails member—has shared a new song that’s set to appear on his forthcoming album SCURO CHIARO. It’s called “LO SPECCHIO.”
  • girl in redIf I Could Make It Go Quiet – it’s her debut album. I had heard her song “Serotonin” – and really liked the sound on that one. She’s edgy, a little angry . . . and that’s okay. I like it. Looking forward to hearing the rest of this album today.

“Texting – it lacks the music of speech” – by someone

morning babble / Thursday 4-29-21

Sorry a lot of clean-up needed with this scribble . . . I’ll try! Go watch that babble video!!

It’s Friday Eve! I can’t believe we have the AC on! BUT – I told you we had old dogs the other day. 14 and 16.

Doing NFTs and a type of cryptocurrency / Selling Horror Movie ‘Killroy Was Here’ As NFT

April Alcohol Drought is on, but I’m hitting a liquor store today on my way home from work. Gonna pick out something new. My last beverage

In this life, if you don’t celebrate yourself, nobody will.” Kevin Smith

morning babble / Wednesday 4-28-21

Lotta scribble to help with the babble.

Wednesday the 28th. Saturday is May 1st. April Alcohol Drought is almost over. Like I said before, I honestly haven’t felt all that different. I mean – the only thing that bummed me out was how many times I thought of having a beverage.

Listening to the Dave Chang podcast again – it really is a good show. Love the different types that they have. Tasting different snacks shows. Dad episodes. And then just learning about cooking or ingredients like Black Pepper. He explained how there are different strands like marijuana or coffee. This show that it was on is called My Opinion is Fact – where they overrate or underrate certain things – black pepper, brunch, etc.

Warm day – shorts – no more jeans. Funny story about jeans and compliments from Nanas – I’ll talk about that tomorrow.

“Busy is a decision.  We decide what we want to do based what we think are the priorities in our lives” – by Debbie Millman

morning babble / Tuesday 4-27-21

This is the scribble that helps with the babble. Still a lot of scribble. Video is there!

Whew – long road day ahead. 1st stop 2 hours away. I’ll be hitting Reading, PA today. I listened to my Morning Babble Wake-up Playlist today. Nothing beats a good song on the radio followed up by another good song. I miss that with radio. Oh and with Memorial Day coming up next month – you’ll have all those countdowns. The Memorial Day 400 or 500 or whatever. Warmer weather coming. Today though, today is a day that you lose your jacket, hat, shirt – if you’re wearing two, because it’s going to warm up as the day goes on.

I ran! 117 runs / 117 vlogs.

Mouth Seal – Use this to force breathing through the nose at night.

Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art / James Nestor

“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”
— Blaise Pascal

morning babble / Monday 4-26-21

The Oscars were last night – I didn’t watch. Sorry. I haven’t really seen any of the movies. Nomadland won for best picture. Soul won for best animated picture, but that one I did see AND enjoyed. So, I can say to go see that Pixar film – it’s a good one.

Yesterday, I had my first “old man” or “old guy” fall. It was embarrassing. I was taking out the trash. In fact, the trash taking out part was done and I was walking back empty handed. Walking along the concrete slab aka curb that’s in front of the vehicles – like 4″ high. Yeah, I was tightroping the curb and then slipped off. Initially, I tried to catch myself but failed miserably. My left knee went down and nailed the concrete. Ripped my pants. And finally, I gave up and simply rolled down the hill. OLD.

You know what’s going to get me though. Our dogs. We have two really old dogs – Brodie and Charlie. Charlie will be 14 next week, while Brodie is easily 16. He’s named after the character in Mallrats via Kevin Smith. The actor Jason Lee plays Brodie.

Sorry – back to the dogs. Brodie has a talent of getting under your feet and making you fall – like really just flat out fall. Bet on Brodie to break my running streak.

“The best way to complain is to make things better.” – Seth Godin

52 Week Challenge – Meal #15 (12/6/20)

Yukgaejang (Spicy Beef Soup with Vegetables)

This was a Dave Chang inspiration. While I was listening to his podcast, he had brought up this soup and how he basically inhales it every time that it is made. In turn, I just had to try it. Being that it was the 6th of December, we had Christmas tunes on again.

Like all previous recipes done here, simply click on the above title for the link of what was borrowed (adapted?). As always, I’ll lay out what we followed as well as any of the changes that were made along the way.

The Line-up (Ingredients)

1 ounce dried gosari 고사리 (fernbrakes) – yields about 1 cup rehydrated

(not your everyday ingredient . . . only size available, too)

1 pound beef brisket, 양지머리 (or flank steak or shank meat)
1/2 onion do not cut the stem
8 ounces Korean radish (mu, 무) cut into big chunks – optional

(Uh, yeah . . . it’s big . . . and phallic – sorry)
(we only needed this much of it though . . . size doesn’t matter)

14 cups water (For richer soup, you can use milky beef bone broth to boil the beef.)
8 ounces bean sprouts (sukju, 숙주)
3 dry shiitake mushrooms soaked
2 – 3 bunches scallions 2 or 3 stalks of Korean daepa
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons gochugaru, 고추가루 (red chili pepper flakes)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons guk ganjang, 국간장 (soup soy sauce)
1 teaspoon gochujang, 고추장 (red chili pepper paste) – optional
1 teaspoon doenjang, 된장 (soybean paste) – optional
salt and pepper
2 eggs – optional lightly beaten
3 ounces dangmyeon (당면), starch noodles

(we found them – not easy!)

Game Plan (Instructions)

1) Add the gosari and 4 cups of water to a small pot. Boil over medium heat, covered, until tender. It might take about 30 minutes, but the time can vary significantly depending on gosari. Turn the heat off and let it cool in the cooking water. When ready to use, rinse in cold water and drain. Cut into 4-inch lengths, removing tough ends of the stems, if any.

(It’s a close-up of the cutting work done on the gosari)

2) In a large pot, bring the meat, onion, optional radish, and garlic to a boil in 14 cups of water. Reduce the heat to medium, and skim off the scum. Boil, covered, until the meat is tender enough for shredding, about 1 hour. Pull a string of meat off and check the tenderness. Let the meat cool a bit in the cooking liquid. Discard the vegetables, reserving the stock in the pot. Spoon off any visible fat. The broth should be about 7 to 8 cups.

(this really doesn’t look too pretty at this point)

3) When the meat is cool enough to handle, shred into about 3 to 4-inch strips.

4) Blanch the bean sprouts in boiling water for a minute. Wash with cold water and drain. Cut the scallions into 4-inch lengths. Thinly slice the soaked mushrooms.

5) In a pan, heat the sesame oil until hot over low heat and stir in the chili pepper flakes. Turn the heat off as soon as the oil starts to turn red and the chili pepper flakes become a bit pasty. This only takes a few seconds. Do not burn the flakes.

6) Add the meat, fernbrakes, mushrooms, 1 tbsp soup soy sauce, and garlic. Combine well.

7) Add the meat and gosari mixture along with 1 tablespoon of soup soy sauce into the broth. Stir in the optional gochujang and doenjang, and boil over medium high heat, covered, for 10 minutes.

8) Throw in the bean sprouts and scallions, and boil over medium heat for another 10 minutes. Add salt (1 teaspoon or more) and pepper to taste.

(Getting closer to wrapping up and readying this dinner soup!)

Within a few minutes before turning the heat, add the optional noodles. Slowly drizzle the optional eggs over the boiling soup and turn the heat off. Serve with rice.

(Bowls were topped off with “matchsticks” of Korean radish)
(Final shot of the soup – mmm, mmm, mmm, good)

It was good – really good. However, we did think of a couple other things to be done differently, if cooking up this soup again. First, we would want more mushrooms than what was listed in the recipe. Next, we would want to spice it up more, because the meat should have been more flavorful. Lastly, some lime should have been squeezed in to bring out more flavor. Nevertheless – all of the soup was inhaled, but not during one sitting. The very next day, I remember being at work on the road and simply draining my bowl (poured it back like a beverage). I thoroughly enjoyed every drop of the yukgaejang – say that 3x in a row.