morning babble / Wednesday 2-3-21

Groundhog saw its shadow yesterday – 6 more weeks until Spring Training.  Something like that.  MLB are still negotiating on when to start it all. Blame the groundhog.

Also, just a friendly reminder . . . we are now into the 3rd day of February – all Christmas decorations should really be taken down.

Black & white video is back.  Therefore, you don’t see my blotchiness which I realize is the visible proof that I ran, but – I did run . . . really!

The reason I had to show color yesterday was because I talked about the “pinkness” of the Kraft Mac & Cheese. Without the video being in color, everything that I said made zero sense when discussing the bowl of “intestines.” Go back and see!

I need to work on my morning routine and write it out. Step 1 – wake up and get out of bed!

Million Seconds = 11 days // Billion Seconds = 31 years

“Focus is the art of knowing what to ignore.” — James Clear

morning babble / Tuesday 2-2-21

Groundhog Day. This is the day that we wish it to be dark and gloomy with no sun, right? Otherwise, if the groundhog sees his shadow, we get six more weeks of winter. If it doesn’t, then we get an early spring. Speaking of holidays, we do have Valentine’s coming up. Kraft is getting into the spirit and offering up a contest to win Candy-filled Macaroni and Cheese. The contest ends on Feb. 8 at 1 p.m. Click on the link below to sign up:

The video today is in color because in order to get a better understanding of the picture that I was holding up . . . well, you had to see its “pinkness”.

Cheering on dark and gloomy today! We need an early Spring!!!

“Whatever you do, always give 100%. Unless you’re donating blood.” — Bill Murray

Monday, February 1, 2021

Vit – amins.  Have you had your vit-amins today? This past weekend, I said how I was listening to Sapiens on Audible and the narrator (it’s not the author) says vitamins that way.  Vit-amins (listen to the video below). I’m not making fun, but I actually enjoy the sound of it.

Now, not this past weekend, but the weekend before, I mentioned about how staying active helps you with fighting COVID and, of course, we all know about the mask thing, too. But – Vitamin D is another big one.  I’ve actually been taking it for years.   Initially, I had been taking them because it helps with stronger bones and the benefits on the immune system.
But then last May 2020, I heard Dr. Rhonda Patrick when she was on Joe Rogan’s podcast: The stats that she was pointing out about being vitamin D deficient and then also struggling with COVID was mind boggling. Then, just yesterday, another favorite podcast of mine and someone I follow on all of his platforms, Dr. Peter Attia included within his newsletter about Vitamin D in relation to COVID.

Please be sure to check it all out for yourself, but stats are crazy in your favor that if you aren’t deficient in Vitamin D, you got a better shot against this virus. Here’s a link to the one that I use: Thorne Vitamin D

Also, I ran today! The streak continues . . .

“If it is not right, do not do it. If it is not true, do not say it.” — Marcus Aurelius

Sunday, January 31, 2021

One very full month of running and vlogging.  I already did my run for the day, so I officially have done a 5k run every day for the month of January. I also did a vlog post each of those days as well. February is tomorrow and I’m going to keep it going. I will have a 3 day fast in the 2nd week of the month.  On the other weeks, I’ll continue my 4 days of the 18:6 fasts.

And now . . . I wanted to introduce something else that I want to be held accountable for – a month long alcohol detox. Now, I certainly don’t believe that I have an actual problem. However, I do want to see how my sleep pattern changes, my appetite, my skin – I think I get these rashes now when I drink . . . that’s never a fun thing to discuss.  “I get this rash.”

Anyway – a year ago in February and March, I had begun talking about trying to do this for the month of April 2020. But then . . . COVID. In turn, back to drinking! However, it’s now 2021 and I want to try doing it for real this year for the month of April. I know there is “Dry January” as well as “Sober September” and “Sober October”. I don’t believe there’s a name for April, but I’m rolling with “April Drought”. I’ll be just fine, but I will miss my wine with pasta as well as the IPAs with my pizza on Friday nights. But that’s for April!

Bring on February!!

“The reward for good work is more work.” — Tom Sachs

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Little slower this Saturday morning, but I did run. 5k is done. Last night, it was family movie night again but we started with the newest episode of WandaVision again. It’s getting so much better and I am so glad that we hung in there. Marvel fans should be smiling . . . I think. Of course only being a 30 minute show, we then went off and watched Infinity War. We’ve seen them all, but sure let’s do it again! I already know that another viewing of Endgame is coming which isn’t a bad thing at all.

Got my new book: Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man by Emmanuel Acho. I want to add it to the rotation, but I’m currently reading these three:

I’m the type of reader who can jump around from book to book. I just don’t enjoy plowing straight through it all. My mood changes. Some nights, I don’t feel like reading about death. Other nights, do I really need more politics? And finally, some nights, instead of reading about it . . . let’s go do it – sleep! I normally have a “fun” book mixed in. I need one of those.’

I am listening to Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. Does that count as a “read” book in my Goodreads app when I’m done?

“Be the person that your dog thinks you are.” — Chris Rudolph via Chase Jarvis book

Friday, January 29, 2021

Paper work Friday, so I get to have a real mug to drink out of . . . not a thermos one. Also, it’s new tube of toothpaste Friday for me.  Sorry, but there’s something about starting on a new tube. No pressure on getting out enough onto the brush.

Sooooooooooooooo, I ran. Now, being at home for a paperwork day, I could have gone out on the trails, but after letting the dogs out this morning.  Well, I knocked it out safely on the treadmill!  Anyway, 5k is done – creeping up on nearly 100 miles for the month!

New Music Friday:

  • Weezer’s full album OK Human is out now.
  • Mighty Mighty Bosstones released The Final Parade – a nearly 8 minute song
  • Miss Taylor Swift put out – the “forever is the sweetest con” chapter of her music. The chapter title is a line taken from her evermore song “Cowboy Like Me.” 6 pack of musical joy – 3 songs from each of her albums that she released last year. Marketing genius she is.
  • The Weeknd is releasing a compilation album on February 5.  Gonna hear a lot about him over the next week since he’s performing during the Superbowl halftime
  • Anderson East posted an InstaGram video of him writing “It’s finished” – stay tuned for that
  • Finally, Black Pistol Fire – two piece rock band out of Austin, Texas, but originally from Canada. You can put them in the same grouping as White Stripes and Black Keys but they still have their own Black Pistol Fire sound via Kevin McKeown (guitar/lead vocals) and Eric Owen (drums). New album – Look Alive – is out now!

It was Sunday night, November 1st, 2015 and my wife and I were going to the Fillmore in Philly to see Gary Clark Jr.  We were there with another couple who are known as G-Dog and Caff to our kids. They are the ones who got us the great seats – thank you. We all had a great dinner prior and were then off to the show to see this new blues guy stud.  Being Gary Clark Jr., you would have thought that we would have known that there would be an opener . . . someone, anyone off the streets – Dog Tooth Violet? At one point, these two guys come out on stage looking like the crew.  One was fiddling with the guitar, while the other was checking over the drums.  The guy checking the guitar then rips out a couple licks that was like – whoa, stage help showing what he can do.  Then, I looked back over the drummer, who was in the process of taking his shirt off.  Hmmm – he’s getting awfully comfy. They then did the 1 – 2 – 3 nod thing and BAM! It was on – the best live band that I have ever seen – hands down.  When this COVID thing is over.  I’m heading to as many of their shows as I can. 

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” — Benjamin Franklin

Monday, January 25, 2021

Back at it on a Monday, my 5k run is complete.  My outside run yesterday was my best time since the Turkey Trot in November 2019!   So, pushing 2020 out of mind more & more.  Feeling good, but my weigh-in this morning tells me that I had a pretty good weekend, too.  Doing the 18 hr fast / 6 hr eating window for the next 4 days.

Just finished up my journal writing in our house library.  I actually have two journals – one is the Daily Stoic Journal – which has a prompt for the day and, like Marcus Aurelius, you have a morning entry and, like Seneca, an evening entry.  Now, I also have a 2nd journal and this is the one that I wanted to highlight.  It’s the One Line a Day Journal – 5 year diary. Every night I write a couple lines of what happened during my day. I really enjoy looking back and seeing what occurred a year ago, two or even three years ago.  This is my 4th year into the 5 year journal. So, three years ago, I had a lot of excitement written for my Eagles heading to the Super Bowl – I didn’t know yet. Looking back one year, I didn’t do much that day, but one year ago yesterday, I was happy that I had a 5 day week at BJJ – miss those days. And then one year ago tomorrow, it is my brother’s birthday, but we also lost Kobe Bryant that day – crazy. Anyway, the One Line a Day Journal – here’s a link:

“You suffer more in imagination than in reality.” — Seneca

Friday, January 1, 2021

3 things . . . alright, 4 things: (1) Happy New Year (2) When you have an 11 year old on New Year’s Eve, the goal is midnight. So, we all slept in this morning. (3) My 5k run is coming a little later, but it’s coming!

I have many goals this year. One of them being a 5k run every day. The other one is doing this vlog. Basically, I’m here to help, but to be helped as well. Let’s inspire one another and have some fun along the way.

(4) Still eating cookies for breakfast because it’s the holidays!

“Win the Morning / Win the Day!” – Tim Ferriss

52 Week Challenge – Meal #14

Steak with Blue Cheese and Chive Compound Butter topped with Balsamic Roasted Red Onions & Thyme / Plus a Side of Sheet Pan Garlic Butter Mushrooms

Let’s just start with the meat being pricey. We both just got paid, so we were feeling really good about ourselves . . . maybe a little too good? Anyway, we got some really good meat.

(We can honestly say that this isn’t common)

There were 3 recipes (sorry), so, we definitely needed some beverage!

(Our respective beverages of choice)

It was also Christmas time so we just had the local station on playing non-stop holiday music – 99.5 WJBR. Ho, Ho, Ho! Just like with all the 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)


  • For the Steaks:
  • 2 (1½ inch thick) steaks (New York strip, rib eye, flatiron or hanger steaks)
  • Course kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • Grapeseed or other neutral oil for grill (yeah, I didn’t do this)
  • For the Blue Cheese and Chive Compound Butter:
  • ½ lb (8 oz) unsalted butter, (2 sticks) room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons smooth Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons chives, fresh, chopped fine
  • ⅛ teaspoon course sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4 oz Blue Cheese


  • 3 large red onions (about 2 lbs / .9 kilos)
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (60 mL plus 30 mL)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (60 mL)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme (about 8 sprigs or ½ tsp dried)
  • ½ teaspoon course kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, optional
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 pounds cremini mushrooms
(We mixed in a little of this, too – Penzeys)

Game Plan (Instructions)

1) Make the compound butter: Place the softened butter into the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (if using a hand-held mixer, place butter into a mixing bowl) and beat until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add chives, mustard, salt and pepper. Beat on medium speed until everything is well mixed, 1-2 minutes.

(Cutting board from Goodmude)

2) Crumble in the blue cheese and gently mix until it’s incorporated. It shouldn’t be perfectly smooth, there should be a few small flecks of cheese here or there. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if desired.

3) Place the butter in the center of a sheet of parchment paper, wax paper or plastic wrap. Form a log by rolling the bottom half of the paper over the butter (roll it back and forth a few times until it’s the thickness you want), then roll it all the way closed. Twist the ends to seal and tighten the log (you can tie them with twine if you like) and refrigerate until hardened, about two hours.

4) Note: This recipe makes about 12 servings of the butter. The sealed roll will keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months frozen.

5) Make the steaks: Prepare a charcoal or gas grill. If gas, preheat on high for at least 15 minutes ahead of time. Remove steaks from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking so they come to room temperature. Season them liberally with course salt and pepper on both sides.

6) Rub grill grates well with oil. Grill steaks until medium rare, about 3-4 minutes per side (or however you like them done).

7) Remove steaks and immediately top each with a slice of Blue Cheese butter. Let it melt for 5 -7 minutes as the steaks rest. Serve with Balsamic Roasted Red Onions with Thyme.

(Oooooooo – it’s done!)

1) Preheat the oven to 375ºF / 190ºC

2) Cut the onions in half vertically and then into ¼ inch thick slices (not paper thin or they’ll get mushy). Place on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil, thyme, salt, pepper and ¼ cup balsamic vinegar.

3) Bake on the middle rack for 30 minutes, turning once or twice, until the onions are soft and lightly caramelized. Remove from the oven, and while they’re still hot, pour over 2 more tablespoons balsamic vinegar. Toss to coat. Can be served warm or at room temperature.

1) Preheat the oven to 375ºF / Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.

2) In a small bowl, whisk together butter, garlic, lemon juice, thyme and rosemary; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

(cleaning the mushrooms – cool shot, too)

3) Place mushrooms in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Stir in butter mixture and gently toss to combine.

4) Place into oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until browned and tender, tossing occasionally. Serve immediately.

(Steak close-up)
(Winner, winner, steak dinner!)

So, in conclusion, the meal was delicious. All of it. BUT – the price paid on that meat? Well, we don’t believe it had anything really to do with it. We’ll game plan a little wiser next time and yes . . . there will be a next time for this meal!

52 Week Challenge – Meal #13

Best Damn Instant Pot Ribs

My beloved Philadelphia Eagles just lost on this day when I came up from our downstairs of an entertainment area. Always bleeding green, I was obviously miserable. In turn, my wife made an attempt at helping me from my bird driven madness. She asked me if I was interested in helping with the ribs for dinner. And just like that – Game on!

Now, she picked the music of Anderson East via Spotify for our meal making sound. She loves this guy. At a concert in Baltimore, here’s a picture of her meeting Mr. East:

(Me – holding the camera on this overexuberant shot)

Anyway, the man can truly sing and thankfully there was a really long line of other people that followed for pictures with him. Otherwise, I don’t know how I would have gotten her out of that place that night.

Just like with all the 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 slab of pork baby back ribs (1.5 – 2.5lbs)
  • 2 tbs brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 1 tbs kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground mustard
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • BBQ sauce (about ⅓ cup of your favorite brand)

Game Plan (Instructions):

1. Remove membrane from the underside of the ribs by sliding a butter knife under the membrane and gently lifting it off. Use a paper towel for the best grip.

2. Mix all dry ingredients well.

(Before we mixed them up really well)

3. Then, rub the dry ingredients liberally on top and bottom of ribs. Get the sides too.

(Both top and bottom – rub it in good!)

4. Place trivet in Instant Pot and pour in the chicken broth, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke.

5. Place ribs on their side on the trivet, curled around the inside of the Instant Pot with the top of the top facing outward. Secure lid, close vent, and pressure cook (manual on some models) for 28 minutes.

(Perfect curling of the slab of rib meat)

6. When cook time is complete, let pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, the go ahead and release the remaining pressure.

7. Remove lid and carefully remove the ribs with tongs. Place ribs on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.

(We soaked ’em with some spicy BBQ sauce)

8. Liberally rub your favorite BBQ sauce all over the ribs and place under the broiler of the oven for about 5 minutes, or until the sauce had nicely caramelized.

(Final shot with Celebration beer peeking in from the left – delicious!)

This was delicious and a clear cut winner for us. Another favorite part of mine was the leftovers – it wasn’t because it wasn’t enjoyed – we were just plain stuffed that night. In turn, I got to devour these meaty joys again later for an upcoming lunch – always a bonus. This is definitely a quicker and easier way to do some juicy, fall off the bone ribs in a much faster manner than cooking them up on the grill for hours.