For my 47th birthday, I’m starting a “thing.” Regular readers know I’m big on people having “things.” Some people do their “thing” accidentally, but some others invent them. Some of my things include making coffee with Aeropress, my lawn, and Twitter. Sorry (not sorry). I love Twitter.
I have a new thing?
You may remember Project 44 and Project 46? No? Of course you don’t remember those. It’s OK. But if you want to know what Project 47 is (and how it relates to Project 44 and Project 46), let me explain.
Project 47: Build a series of new habits rooted in the number 47. Why? Why not!?!?!
“47” because I’m about to turn 47-years-old. Project 47 is nothing more than some new goal-setting. I call them Mid-Year Resolutions (luckily my July 11th birthday falls at the mid-point of the year, but if you’ve ever made New Year’s Resolutions, take this opportunity to review your year and set yourself up for an amazing second-half of the year . . . not that 2020 needs that’s – sarcasm).
Maybe you laugh at the idea and maybe you’re the type of person that gets something in your mind and you just do it. Good for you. But most people, I’ve found, like to identify a starting point. Like New Year’s Resolutions. Their birthday. Right after Labor Day. When we get Back to School and summer’s over. The start of each quarter or month.
I also think success is a percentages game. Plan many things. Make yourself promise after promise. You’ll fail on some. You’ll change your mind on some. But some of the things will stick and you’ll be pretty happy with what you accomplish.
My Project 47:
And I’ll be adding to it. Make your own Project. Maybe use “2020” as a theme. Make habits that coincide with the months of the year (ie “in July, the 7th month of the year, I’m doing to do __________ 7 times”).
Good luck and I hope you’ll play along with me.
Today is Day-3 of “I Love Don Week” and I’m changing it up. Instead of you giving things to me, today, I’m giving something to you. The gift …of music.
You all know what a Walk-Up Song is, right? It’s rooted in baseball and when you’re at the ballpark, it’s the music that plays as a batter walks from the on-deck circle (warm-up area) to the batters-box (the area where a batter stands when he’s up-to-bat). I love this concept. An old boss of mine did, too, and she (I think it was S.A.) once asked us all in a meeting to share our “walk-up music.” If I played in Major League Baseball, my walk-up music would be my obsession. Sure, the money and fame would be great, but my favorite part would be my walk-up and the accompanying music.
My current boss brought back the walk-up music idea and for a few weeks everyone’s been sharing their own, personal walk-up music. I would bet most people don’t obsess over it like I do.
“Walk-Up Music” is about self-confidence. About believing in yourself. My top-choice has always been “Greatest Man That Ever Lived” by Weezer. Sing it at the top of your lungs before you’re about to do something you’re not fully confident you can do and tell me your mindset doesn’t change. Not only is it the perfect song, the video (embedded below) adds another layer. Everyone in the video doing all those amazing, high-flying things …each of them fell down many, many, many . . . many times. But they kept at it. Kept falling. Kept failing. Kept making mistakes and then, one day, they stuck the landing. I’m in sales and while my fails don’t include broken ankles and arms, there are wipeouts. A good salesperson picks him or herself up, brushes off the snow, and tries again.
I hope you have a walk-up song of your own that fills you with confidence and makes you feel happy inside. A song that inspires you to be the best version of yourself and reminds you how lucky you are to be alive and that people love you.
I love you. Enjoy some good, motivating music.
“Bang” by AJR (I LOVE this new song …it’s about “going out with a bang” …a perfect theme for the rest of 2020). Oh, and it’s a cool video.
So put your best face on, everybody
Pretend you know this song, everybody
Come hang, let’s go out with a bang!
Bang! Bang! Bang!
I’m way too young to lie here forever
I’m way too old to try, so whatever
Come hang (Come hang), let’s go out with a bang!
“I’m Too Sexy” by Right Said Fred (my first-ever walk-up song)
“Sexy and I Know It” by LMFAO (wish I wrote this song)
“Greatest Man That Ever Lived” by Weezer with lyrics I want you to pay attention to
I can take on anybody
I can do my thing
I don’t want to hurt nobody
But a bee has got to sting
I’mma fix it if you mix it up, hoo hoo
Talk smack and I’m-a-gonna shut you up, hoo hoo
I am the greatest man that ever lived
I was born to give
I am the greatest man that ever lived
“Somebody said all the world’s a stage and each of us is a player
That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you
In act one, I was struggling to survive. Nobody wanted my action dead or alive
In act two, I hit the big time and bodies be all up on my behind
And I can’t help myself cuz I was born to shine
If you don’t like it, you can shove it. But you don’t like it, you love it
So I’ll be up here in a rage until they put the curtain down on the stage”
(I am the greatest man that ever lived)
I am the greatest man that ever lived
I was born to give and give and give
I am the greatest man that ever lived
Radioac …dioac …dioac …dioac
I am the greatest man that ever lived
I was born to give
BONUS TRACK, “I Gotta Be Me” by Sammy Davis Jr. (this is for the people who think I try too hard to be noticed or who think I’m a big phony)
I miss the old days when beer was beer. Beer was mostly Bud Light or Miller Lite (well, actually where I’m from it could’ve also been Budweiser, Strohs, or Schlitz . . . I think those were the brands because those were the sturdy cardboard boxes I kept my Hotwheels in).
I’m as guilty as the next middle-aged-white-guy with a job and find myself almost embarrassed to have Budweiser ….in a can (gasp) …in my fridge. Lately, I feel like I have to apologize for it. Like, “oh, I keep Molson in my beer fridge only for when my father-in-law comes over …can I offer you a Roak French Toast Stout . . . don’t you just LOVE Roak’s take on a stout?”
In my head I’m screaming, “nooooooo … that Molson is MINE!!! And I want it. I want you to want one. And we can drink it fast and have a second. And a third.”
Good, cheap beer is American! It smacked me in the face this Fourth of July weekend as I was sitting on a pontoon boat and feeling soooooo full that I didn’t even want another 16 oz. can of Contemplation Honey Ale by Brewery Vivant. In fact, I physically couldn’t have another. My belly was full.
And I thought, shit, beer should be bottomless on a hot, summer day. Ales, Lagers, IPAs, Stouts, and Porters cannot be enjoyed 6, 8, or 10 at a time. No. That’s where classic American cheap cold beer reigns supreme. Everyone always talks about going to Europe and loving the beer. Fine. Enjoy it when you’re in Europe. But here? Where baseball is our national past-time? Where backyard grilling and purposely getting fat is a tradition? Well, so is cheap, cold, American beer.
So I’ll spend the rest of the scorching summer determining which of the light beers is my favorite and make sure my fridge is always stocked with it. When you come over …we’ll have one or two and we won’t tell your Beer Club friends. I have this idea where a friend will stop by with a 12 pack, we’ll throw it in a cooler of ice, and we’ll drink and laugh and tell stories. Or, someone will invite me over and I’ll bring the beer. Two six packed that I’ll be carrying in the plastic six-pack rings.
Some call them “yard beers”, defined as the perfect type of beer to drink while working around the house. I also think of a “yard beer” as the type you’ll have chilled in a beer fridge in your garage and happily offer to a neighbor and complain about wealthy athletes, other neighbors, maybe politics, the heat, and work . . . and before you know it you and you’re neighbor will have polished off 2 or 3 light beers while talking over the back fence in your yard.
They must be in cans. Oh, and price-per-beer is a major factor. Gotta be CHEAP.
Here’s the candidates (so far)
So I’ll spend the rest of the scorching summer determining which of the light beers is my favorite and make sure my fridge is always stocked with it. When you come over …we’ll have one or two and we won’t tell your Beer Club friends. I have this idea where a friend will stop by with a 12 pack, we’ll throw it in a cooler of ice, and we’ll drink and laugh and tell stories. Or, someone will invite me over and I’ll bring the beer. Two six-packs that I’ll be carrying in the plastic six-pack rings.
Teaching your kids to gamble is important. Remember that classic episode of Leave it to Beaver where Ward took the Beaver downtown and they threw dice in a dark alley? Gambling is as old as time. I might be joking, but not completely. Maybe this is a Blog entry for another time – the benefits of teaching kids to gamble.
I did, however, make a big wager with my kids. It’s crazy. I threw down the gauntlet I didn’t need to throw down. The stakes…
Dad (that’s me) will not eat after dinner until our vacation in August.
Now my family is on snack-watch and every night they try to tempt me with various goodies and snacks. It has been one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. That’s not hyperbole.
I’m a late night snacker. On a typical night, after dinner, I’ll have a bowl of chips (300 calories) and two popsicles (75 calories). Or I’ll have half a pint of ice cream (600 calories). If there are cookies, I’ll have three (no idea how many calories because homemade chocolate chip cookies don’t have labels). Or my favorite – a big bowl of stove popped popcorn with butter and salt. I’ve often said I eat in order to have my mouth moving and keep myself awake. I probably should just go to bed. Or do some sit-ups. Or do anything productive besides just stuffing food in my face
I wonder what percentage of people eat in the evenings?
It’s been 14-days since I made this wager against my family. They all bet $20 against me (a beer or two or a drink DO NOT count).
Not eating in the evenings impacts your health. What I’ve noticed is that I am sleeping a hundred times better. That math is perfect. It’s exactly 100 times better. And I’m losing weight and feel better when I wake up.
My life is all about extremes. I do all or nothing. It’s probably why I burnout on half the things I start. I’ll call this Extreme Zero Snacking. It’s good for me, I know it. Just like when I decided rather than eat healthy I would just become vegetarian. Again … all or nothing. Is it OK to call something “Kamikaze” these days? That’s what my plans are. Either I will win this bet against my family and have $80 to spend on something stupid, or I will lose and I will go down in a blaze of glory one night and eat two bowls of chips, a full pint of ice cream, drink pop and gorge on a giant bowl of popcorn (for the record, when I eat a big bucket of salty popcorn I wake up more hungover than if I drink a glass-and-a-half of red wine …FACT).
Updates coming. I have more than a month still to go.
What’s the craziest, dumbest, most-pointless thing you’ve ever committed to for no reason? What are your thoughts on gambling with kids? Do you snack in the evenings?
Also I’m composing this with Google’s Gboard that’s installed on my iPhone and I am dictating into Google Docs. It’s absolutely incredible. The most accurate and FREE dictation software-slash-App I’ve found. This entire Blog entry was dictated into my phone and then I just quick edited it and posted it. Tomorrow I’ll quick give readers a how-to on that.
Don’t mean to brag, but I recently upgraded to the new iPhone 11. At one time in my life I swore up and down the iPhone 5 was the biggest an iPhone should ever be and all those newer, larger sizes were COMPLETELY unnecessary.
I was wrong. I love the size of my iPhone 11 and part of me wishes I had one size bigger (TWSS).
Now, onto the must-have cases for his nerdy Dad.
If this was a perfect world, I wouldn’t have a case on my iPhones at all. They are literally works of art. But, no matter what you do if using them “naked”, they scratch. Scratches bug me. Putting them in the pocket of your coat or jeans, setting them down on a table, putting them in the side pouch of your backpack – it scratches the front and back. Probably little bits of sand. Sooooo, the Spigen Thin Fit Classic is as close to “naked” as I’ve been able to find. It’s almost like having no case, but just enough to handle minor, minor drops. I treat my iPhones like they’re made of glass (which they are), so I only need a minimal protection. And when I do put it in my pocket . . .
…and when I put my iPhone in my pocket, first I slip it into a neoprene sleeve. It’s like a pocket inside a pocket, but unlike the pocket on the inside of my blazer, the back pocket of my jeans, or the cargo pocket on my Dad-issued cargo shorts, this pocket is neoprene inside and always free of random bits of sand or lint that can scratch the surface. It’s smart. And acts just like a regular pocket …inside a pocket. A pocket-protector, if you will.
On a recent camping trip I was laughed at for this (probably because mine has the styling and coloring of an old-timey beach changing tent).
“iPhones are waterproof,” they said and pointed and laughed.
“That thing’s ridiculous,” my college buddies mocked.
I don’t care. I’m comfortable being a Dad and, actually, there are MANY varieties of these waterproof cases and I fish, I boat, I sit at the beach – so this is perfect. Could I get an indestructible Otterbox? Sure. But it’s an all day project getting iPhones in and out of those. With this waterproof pouch, the iPhone slips in easily. You can still work the screen. It connects via Bluetooth to a speaker or earbud (for phone calls), and it’s completely waterproof and floats. I like my Travelon Clear View Waterproof Pouch.
And finally, arriving in the mail any day now, all the way from China (which means it MUST be good), is my Luphie Magnetic Case. This might replace them all. Review to follow.
You might have strong opinions on iPhone cases, but whatever you think is WRONG. I’ve done way, way too much research on this and I’ve spent …cough …multiple hundreds of dollars on glass screen protectors, cases, screen replacements, backing replacements. I’ve concluded this is the ultimate line-up.
Get everything above for about $125 and never worry about your iPhone again.
I love this time of year. It’s mid-year. Half-way through 2020 and if you haven’t noticed, 2020 hasn’t exactly been perfect. Readers know I love New Year’s Resolutions. I love making big, bold proclamations of amazing things I’m about to do, and then I track my progress. Some people say, “what’s the point of New Year’s Resolutions,” and quote statistics like 80% of people don’t follow through on their resolutions after 30-days.
But I say…
It’s never a bad time to make a promise to yourself.
Plus, right now (not sure when you’ll be reading this, but this was written in the wake of the George Floyd murder and the demonstrations and protests that followed) it’s a REALLY GOOD time to look in the mirror and make new promises to yourself to be better. To be part of a better society. To be part of a better America.
I call them Mid-Year Resolutions (#MidYearResolutions). Time to look back at what you said you’d do at the start of the year, analyze the results, revise and edit those resolutions, then continue or re-start.
Me? My big ones at the beginning of the year were . . .
I had many, many other resolutions. I’ll be looking at all of them and will either stay-the-course or course-correct.
Which brings me to #MondayBlogs and something I’m going to start doing. See, my Blog is supposed to be an extension of all the amazing things I do (make salsa, write stuff, sell advertising, do social media, be a Dad, drink coffee, etc). I’ve come to terms that my Blog won’t ever be a singularly focused Blog about a single topic, but rather a proving grounds (some might call it a dumping ground) for so many things.
#MondayBlogs is a thing by BadRedhead Media (aka Rachel Thompson) started in 2012 to help Bloggers connect with other Bloggers and find readers, fans, and collaborators for their writing. If a few dozen fellow Bloggers happen upon my Blog and give me encouragement, or constructive criticism, or ask me to guest Blog on their Blogs, or …heck …they can tell me they HATE my Blog. It’s all good.
The point is this: I’ve been Blogging for more than a decade. I’m not rich and famous because of it. I’ve done many, many things wrong. But also done some things right – things like HAVE a Blog for a decade. That’s a big first step.
The rest of 2020 will bring a more disciplined focus on getting to 150 pounds, getting my book completed (just this morning my wife told me how to re-write the opening to make it better), and making this Blog more organized and interesting.
What’s on your To-Do (Again) List? What New Year’s Resolutions will you dust off and start again and turn into Mid-Year Resolutions? What are you most proud of so far in 2020?
Tomorrow on the Blog: My Father’s Day List
This whole pandemic shelter-in-place don’t-go-to-work too-much-family-time is very tough for all of us? Ya know what would lift people’s spirits? Getting gifts, that’s what?
This Blog feature is a life lesson for my 15-year-old son. Back at Christmastime, his mother and I asked for a wish-list. That wish-list had NOTHING on it. Christmas came and went and it was unspectacular for my son. Flash-forward to Easter and we like to put a little gift in his Easter basket. Still. Nothing of note. Then, not two weeks later, my son’s old headphones he uses with his Xbox One crapped out and stopped working and he told us he would like some gaming headphones.
I asked, “how long have you wanted these? See? This is the type of stuff you put on Christmas lists.”
He defiantly said in reply, “but the headphones I had were still working. I didn’t really NEED new ones.”
Where does he get that modesty and simpleness? I had to explain that a person should always have a list of “wants”. No. Nobody “needs” everything they “want”, but that’s not the point. Yes. I have shoes. I have a dozen pairs of shoes for various outfits, weather conditions, and activities. Do I “need” new shoes? No. But I “want” some retro Bo Jackson Nikes. Dang kid just doesn’t get it.
Side note: You should’ve seen the headphones. The cord was frayed and the ear pads were worn right to the foam. Gaming headsets should’ve been #1 on the Christmas list four months ago.
People. We’re coming out of a pandemic and nationwide lockdown. We’re going to need all Americans to unite and buy stuff they don’t need and can’t afford to get this economy moving again. My Father’s-Day-Wishlist below will be my part of the recovery. Get shopping.
People are scared and depressed. You can do some serious improvements to my mood if you buy me some of this stuff.
Dr. Squatch Bar Soaps – Been thinking more and more about the chemicals in products I buy, what they do to my skin and the environment. I’m one man, but I’ll do my part by using better soap. At least I think it’s “better”. I saw their ad on YouTube and it had a bearded Hipster-looking guy. Must be good. I compared the chemicals in it to my Trader Joe’s Almond Ginger Scent Oatmeal Exfoliant Bar, and while I’ve always trusted Trader Joe’s to sell me the most hippy-approved products, I’ll be damned if their soap didn’t have more crazy chemicals than Dr. Squatch. (Note to my son: Yes, they sell soap at Trader Joe’s for $3. Yes, this Dr. Squatch soap is $7 per bar. Dumb purchase? You bet it is!!!)
Here’s a few more Top-Things from the Stuff I Want Page on my Blog.
Happy shopping. DM me if you need my shipping address.
This might be the first and last “Weezer Stuff” post on my Blog, but worthy of the keystrokes. In the course of 24 hours, I happened upon a cool, new video by Weezer, I found a Playlist on the iHeartRADIO App with songs actually picked by Weezer, and then found the We Are Weezer Podcast by Weezer superfans where they talk about Weezer songs, talk to people and bands inspired by Weezer, and talk about other random Weezer stuff (the Podcast even has it’s own webpage). Weezer ain’t The Beatles, but for me, this is a super great Podcast and I would like to hang out with Rachel (host of the Podcast).
Click here to find, listen-to, and Follow the We Are Weezer Podcast.
We Are Weezer Is A Podcast About, You Guessed It, Weezer… Rachel & special guests share interesting details on the band, explore the
music, review and rate songs, bond, & share their personal stories.
Here’s the Playlist that Weezer made. It’s like I’m sitting in Rivers’ basement in the late 80s.
And I know I posted this new video only a couple of days ago, but just in case you missed it, here it is again.
Before we begin, my 15-year-old jerk of a son said I can’t call this “queso” because “queso” translates to “cheese” and this is a vegetarian plant-based recipe, and cheese would make that not so.
I have a job. I pay the bills. I’ll call it “queso” even tho it doesn’t have actual cheese. He can call it whatever he wants when he grows up and has his own house, kitchen, family, and Instant Pot. And I hope his teenage son treats him better than mine treats me.
Your gonna love it. My kids said, “ew, it smells weird and looks like baby food,” and then they ate a bunch of it.
You know the drill. This is the basic recipe. Add more jalapenos if you like, or some pepper, or less jalapenos. Experiment with the diced canned tomatoes. The last time I made it, I just opened a can of “crushed tomatoes” because, if I’m being honest, I bought them by accident.
If you’re thinking, “hey, I like this Don guy’s Blog, where else can I keep up with him?” Well, I’m glad you asked.