Shredding memories

Aug 15, 2011 by

I am well organized.  Maybe a little too organized.

One of my things-I-hate-the-most is spending time running around looking for something, so I put things where they go.

I can also save things for way too long.   I’m not a hoarder, but I probably save too much.  This was part of the impetus for the 1AW project.

The last room in my house to get remodeled was the office.  In this move, I threw away two filing cabinets.  One was a very large 4 drawer I got at the swap meet for 10 bucks, the other was a very ugly white one with two drawers.  It was also at this time I decided I did not need to keep all the old papers I had in them.

I did a massive recycling job on most of the papers and saved 3 huge boxes of papers to shred.  These were financial documents and such and I just didn’t want to recycle them.  So I’ve been shredding them a little at a time.  

As I shred them I laugh that I kept old payroll forms from jobs I don’t even remember having.  I smile as I shred old court documents from when that lady sued my insurance company from an accident I was in.  There was not a scratch on her car, but she was so injured she couldn’t work.  ha-ha.   I laugh as I shred old expense reports remembering the time I only ate Wahoo’s fish tacos for a week while I worked from Huntington Beach running the web streaming from the surf competitions.  I chuckle as I shred old credit card statements where Chase tried to screw me on some late fees on a closed account.

Its fun to look back on all these times in my life where these problems emerged and consumed my thoughts and energy and now I can barely remember the details.  Just scraps of paper are all that remain of these once “important” times.

I shred old student loan docs and am so thankful I paid those off early.  I shred old eclectic bills and reminisce about the 400 square foot apartment that only costs 13 dollars to run.

I shred old pager bills.  I shred old financial aid forms.  I shred it all and laugh.

Its nice to look back at old problems and realize that they are nothing now and were probably nothing then.


What problems are you going through now that you will probably look back on in 5 to 10 years and probably not even remember?  Why dont’ you stop worrying about them now then?  Just a thought.

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Pancake day!

Aug 13, 2011 by

Had a craving for some pancakes the other day, but not of the normal variety.  I decided to make both potato and German pancakes for dinner.   They were both awesome and easy to make.


Here are the potato pancakes.  I’ve you’ve never had them you are missing out.  We usually get these at one of our favorite breakfast joins, the Beach Break Cafe.  I decided to try my hand at making some.


Here’s what you’ll need.  I doubled this recipe. Not sure why.  I just like to make way too much food sometimes.


  • 1 large baking potato
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 green onions
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Some oil, for frying


In a food process or salad shooter, like I used, you want to shred your onion and potatoes


Next you want to drain out the moisture.  I put the onions onto a few paper towels to drain.  For the potatoes place them in a towel or cheese cloth and twist it tight to extract as much moisture as you can.  Set them aside.


In a bowl add your egg


then add your salt, pepper and flour


mix it up into this awesome looking mixture


add the potatoes and onions and mix it all up


It will look like this


chop up a couple green onions and stir them into the mix last.


Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil into a heavy pan and turn it on medium-high


Scoop spoon size balls of the mixture into the pan and then flatten them out with the spoon.


When the edges get brown its time to turn them over


flip them over and stand in awe of your amazing creations


Take them out and let them drain on a plate with a paper towel on it.   Then eat them.  Because they are so good.

Now, onto make the german pancakes


These things are so tasty!


Here’s what you’ll need:


  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • Freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • Powdered (confectioners’) sugar

These are also very quick and easy to make.  Here’s how you do it.


Preheat your oven to 450 and throw in your pan.  If you have a cast iron skillet, I recommend using that.  I just picked up 3 cast iron skillets at Sears the other day for 14 bucks on sale!  I bought them for camping, but they worked great for this.


Add your eggs into your mixer and start mixing


add the milk


and the vanilla


mix it up


throw in the flour and mix until its very smooth and bubbly


take the pan out and throw the butter in


pour the batter into the pan


…and throw it in the oven.  See how easy that was?


we borrowed some lemons from our neighbors tree as our tree did not have any ripe ones yet


Bake it for 20-25 minute until the sides rise up out of the pan and get all golden puffy like this


take it out of the pan and sprinkle the entire thing with powdered sugar and top if off with the fresh squeezed lemon juice.  You can also add syrup if you like, but its not needed with the lemon and sugar topping.

German pancakes taste so awesome.  If you’ve never had one you will want to try these.


Let me know if you made these and how much you loved them

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1-A-Week: Week 31: How to get rid of old clothes

Aug 12, 2011 by

For this weeks 1AW, here’s a little trick to help you get rid of the clothes you don’t wear.

Do you have a closet full of clothes but only wear the same 5 – 10 shirts?  Yeah me too.

Here’s a trick to help sort all that out.  Turn all of your hangers around.  Its best to do this right after you’ve done laundry and most of the clothes are put away in your closet.

Turn them all around so they look “backwards”.  Then when you wear a shirt, take it off the hanger and turn the hanger around the “right” way.

When you wash and put away the shirt put it away like normal.  You will then start to see a pattern emerge of which clothese you wear vs which clothes are still in there on backwards hangers.

** A warning to all married men who think this is a great idea **

Before you run off and do this to all of your clothes in your closet including those of your wifes, you may want to discuss this with them first.  My wife did not find this to be my best idea ever and consistantly tells people that I throw all of her clothes away.

Discuss this with your significant other first.  That’s all I’m saying.

I do this hanger trick a few times a year to see what I wear and what I don’t wear and I either start wearing the neglected items or I donate them to the Good Will.


1AW is a project by which I’m getting rid of at least 1 thing each week that I do not need, want, or use anymore. Doing at least one thing per week helps me reduce the clutter in my life and make room for what is truly important.

What are you getting rid of this week? Leave a comment and let me know.

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With a little help from my friends

Aug 6, 2011 by

We went camping last weekend with our friends up to Pismo Beach.  We love camping there,  playing on the beach and eating the worlds best clam chowder in a bread bowl at Splash’s Cafe.

This year the main campground was full so we decided to camp at Oceano Dunes which is just a few miles south of Pismo and you actually get to camp on the beach.  Right on the sand.  Its the only park in California where you can actually drive on the beach.  So since we just got a jeep, we packed it up and drove through some wonderful Friday LA traffic (note to self, don’t ever do that again) and went camping.

We of course got there very late and it was dark and we’d never been there before and had no idea what we were doing.  But it was awesome.

Now having our bad ass jeep (really just a regular jeep) we thought we would of course be able to drive over anything that came before us.  I think it took me all of about 3 minutes to get myself stuck in the sand.  I eventually got myself out and got myself stuck many more times.

Quite a few people got stuck in the sand.  We camped up on a sand dune and near an access trail where we were able to see EVERYONE that tried to drive up this hill get stuck.  It was quite entertaining.

One particular truck was pulling a large trailer as many out there did.  It was stuck getting up the hill so another large truck showed up to help pull him up.  Then they both got stuck.  So a third truck came to help the second truck who was helping the first truck.  Then they go stuck.  Then a fourth truck came to help the third truck who was helping the second truck, who was pulling the first truck with the trailer.

This was just so much fun to watch.

Then they decided to unload the trailer and pulled out all the 4-wheelers and ATVS etc.  We were hoping they would hook all of those up in a sleigh-like fashion to help pull all the trucks out, but they did not.

Slowly but surely all of the trucks made it up the hill except for the trailer.  They finally decided to just unhook that and leave it at the bottom of the hill.

But it was fun seeing people get stuck and it was nice to see all of the people helping others get unstuck.  There was a HUGE tow truck that would drive around and just park near the action and watch the stuck vehicles and then watch them get pulled out ready to help (and get paid) whenever they needed it.  But I never saw the tow truck in use.

Everyone helped everyone else get unstuck.  Two of us in the group had Jeeps and one had a Lexus which did have 4 wheel drive.  The Lexus struggled at first, but  we were able, with some pushing and cajoling, to get it up the hill as well.

Everyone helped.  And that’s the point.

Helping your friend when they are stuck is what we should be doing.  One of my best friends just moved down to California and we helped him unpack his moving truck.  He’s a math teacher so you know that truck was packed with no square inch left unfilled.  A few friends came over and we unloaded the entire truck in a couple hours and it was great.

Go help a friend today.  Or if you need some help, call a friend up.  That’s what they are there for.


I’d also like to help.  What are you struggling with that you could use some help with right now.  Leave a comment or shoot me and email and let me know.

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1-A-Week: Week 30: cleaning out the camping gear

Aug 6, 2011 by

I love camping.  And I might have a slight addiction to camping gear.  Backpacks, tents, I love all of it.

I also love that much of the gear I use is from our parents and grandparents.  I still use an old lantern that was my wifes fathers, and I the camping stove we cook on was my grandparents camping stove that they used to cook on.

I did however go through some of the camping gear recently to get rid of some things I just don’t need.  I ended up keeping all the old stuff and giving away some of the new stuff I never use.  I gave away an electric lantern so I could keep using the old Coleman gas one.  The old stuff just works so much better.

That was my 1AW for this week and I was able to give the gear to some friends who needed it.  Because its all about helping your friends.


1AW is a project by which I’m getting rid of at least 1 thing each week that I do not need, want, or use anymore. Doing at least one thing per week helps me reduce the clutter in my life and make room for what is truly important.

What are you getting rid of this week? Leave a comment and let me know.

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