TSA#50 – Get rid of your junk…and make money

Oct 30, 2012 by

Last year I ran a project called 1 A Week.   It was a simple way for me to think about clearing out the junk I don’t need, use or want.  Each week I would find one thing that I don’t need, use or want and either give it away or sell it on eBay or Craigslist.  It worked great and was a simple way to de-clutter my house.  Since then I haven’t been doing it once a week, but have been putting things into a pile that I wanted to get rid of.

I just cleared out that pile, taking some of it to Goodwill and selling a bunch of random items on eBay.  I just sold 9 items on eBay for around $120 bucks.  Not too shabby.

And several of these items were things that I have been storing in my garage or closet for years and doing nothing with.  Some of the items I was SURE would not sell at all, but thought I would give it a try and they ended up selling for the most money!!  People want your junk!

So this week, take a look around your house and start cleaning out the items you don’t need use or want anymore.  Put them all in a pile and then decide what to do with it.   Donate it to the local Goodwill for a nice tax deduction or sell them on Craigslist or eBay for some nice extra Christmas money.

Either way, your house will have less clutter and you can have a little extra space to breath.


TSA = Truly Simple Actions The goal of the TSA project is to improve your life and help make this world a better place, one simple action at a time.  Take time this week to do this one simple thing. Previous TSA’s:


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Dutch Oven Monkey Bread

Oct 27, 2012 by

OK, I’m a slacker and have been meaning to post this recipe for way too long now, so apologies, and here it is.


I’ve received a ton of amazing feedback on this camping recipe and thought I’d add another fun recipe to the camping list.

This one is monkey bread cooked in the dutch oven and it could not be any easier.

Here is what you will need:

  • 2 containers of biscuits
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 stick of butter

That’s it.  Very simple and oh so tasty for a camping breakfast with the family.


Here is how you make them, and its a great recipe to have the kids help with.


Grab your biscuits and open them up.


Separate and slice them into quarters.  Yes it is OK for children to use knives.  Just teach them how to do it safely and help them if needed.


Put all the cut up pieces onto a plate


on a separate plate pour out your sugar and brown sugar and cinnamon.   I mixed mine together in a zip lock before so its just easy to pour out.


Take a fork and mash out any clumps


Simple dip the biscuits into the mix and coat on all sides


Kids love helping when there is sugar involved.


In a separate pot, melt your stick of butter.


Get the dutch oven out and line it with aluminum foil


Should look like this.  This will make clean up SOOOO much easier.


Spray it with non stick cooking spray


and throw all the biscuits in there.


When all the biscuit pieces have been coated with the sugars and cinnamon, pour the butter over the whole thing.


Then throw the dutch oven onto the coals and let it cook


Cook for about 10-15 minutes over the coals.  Check it so it doesn’t burn.


Open the lid and sprinkle on a little more of the leftover sugars and cinnamon mix and let cook for another few minutes.


and voila.  You will smell this amazing concoction from across the campgrounds and everyone will want to come over and join you.


And the kids love it


And why wouldn’t they, it is awesome!!

This is a very easy recipe to make that only requires a few ingredients and not much prep time, which is always nice when camping.

Try it out next time you go camping and let me know how the family likes it.



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TSA#49 – Get up and move

Oct 22, 2012 by

They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.

-Andy Warhol,

My wife and I have been riding our bikes more lately.  All part of the latest effort to get stay in shape, and it has been great.  We are starting off slow and we ride the local trail to the beach and back, but it is nice just to get off the couch and out of the house and do something.  And that is the point of this TSA.

Just do something.

If you want something to change in your life or your world it is up to you to change it.  It is up to you to get up and go out and make it happen.   Here are some simple tips to help you get started.

Start off slow

Big things have small beginnings.  In the case of working out or getting in shape, if you are overweight and desperately out of shape, just start walking around the block.  That’s it.  One trip around the block.  Then on the next day or next week as you work up to it, walk around 2 blocks.  Repeat until you are walking up to a mile, then 2 etc.  Start small and stick with it.  Always try to do a little more than is required and you will see results.

Enlist the help of your family and friends

One of the reasons my wife and I are enjoying this new workout schedule is that we are doing it together.  It’s nice to get out with a friend or family member and spend time with them.  Enlist the help of your friends and family to help support you, encourage you, and even participate with you.  If you want to work out more, get a friend to go to the gym with your or go on runs with you.

Set goals and work toward them

Give yourself something to work for.  Having generic or nebulous goals can sometimes defeat the spirit that helps get you out of the house.  Have something specific to work toward.  Whether it be a date, or specific goal, set it up in advance, write it down and work toward it.   Tell your friends and family that are helping you about your goal.  Write it down on a piece of paper and hang it on the wall.  Then also start measuring your progress against that goal.  Chart out that last week you could only walk for 1 mile, but this week you are up to 2 miles.  When you start to see that progress being made and the activity happening it will help you keep going.

The point is to get up and do something.  It almost doesn’t even matter what it is, but do something positive that will improve your life and the life of those around you.  That is all it takes.  Do one thing and see how that small thing can make a big change.   Then keep going.  There are a whole list of ideas to get you started below.


TSA = Truly Simple Actions The goal of the TSA project is to improve your life and help make this world a better place, one simple action at a time.  Take time this week to do this one simple thing. Previous TSA’s:


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TSA#48 – Watch what you are watching

Oct 15, 2012 by

This isn’t another post about not watching TV.  It is much more than that.

Our world, and more importantly, our worldview is shaped from the input around us.  Our family, our friends, our education, and what we consume each day.  Our view of the world used to be much smaller as we used to have less access to more sources of information.  Today with 500 channels of TV and an endless supply of content online, it is up to us to decide what we watch and thus it is up to us to shape and mold our worldview.


With this great power to shape what we consume, we run the very real risk of locking ourselves into a nice and familiar bubble.  We can only listen to the news we want to hear and filter out the rest of the sides of the story.  We can only subscribe to bloggers and follow those on twitter who just repeat what I agree with.  We can quickly demonize any other point of view or simply dismiss any information that doesn’t fit into my carefully crafted narrative.

Stop Watching the News

Yeah, I’m serious on this one.  This it the number one reason I cancelled our cable subscription.  TV news is horrible.  It doesn’t matter if you watch CNN or Fox news, the 4th estate has failed us in exchange for ratings and advertising revenue.  They no longer aim to educate their audience, but rather keep people tuned in with fear and salacious scandals that pass as news stories.  If you don’t believe me, just ask yourself these questions the next time you watch your news.

Is this really a news story people need to be informed about or is it gossip disguised behind an anchor desk?

Are we talking about real issues that are important and effect our world or are we talking about the latest celebrity mishap?


Are they using fear tactics to get me to watch their program?

Just watch this.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Inappropriate News Teasers

Seriously people.  Want to stop living in fear?  Stop watching that shit.  Turn it off.

What are you watching?

Moving on from the news, what are you watching?  What are you making the conscious decision to sit down and consume each day?  Are the shows that you watch simply fun entertainment?  Are you watching shows that you can learn something from?   Or are you just watching shows that are the equivalent of a train wreck of someones life that is worse off than you?

We don’t just celebrate mediocrity, we exalt stupidity and strive to find that next train-wreck of a family that we can put on TV and watch with our jaws open, all to feel a little better about ourselves.  We measure ourselves against the worst behavior that we can show on TV and then take solace in our lives not being as bad as theirs.  And we do all of this on a channel named The Learning Channel.  Does it feel like we are living in a bad movie about a dystopian future?  Is anyone else sick of it?

Who are you watching?

TV is not our only input these days.  With the rise of social networks we can connect with friends and people all over the world and it is awesome.  It also has the potential to be abused as well.  Here again our attention is fought for between friends, family, respected voices and celebrities, brands, political parties.  You have the power and the ability to follow and listen to some of the greatest minds in our world today or you can listen to the inane ramblings of someone who is famous for being famous.

The choice is yours

And here comes the good news.  This is YOUR life.  YOU have ALL of the power to choose what you consume.  You can choose to watch and listen to great programs that strive to enlighten or entertain, or you can choose to watch and listen to fear mongering fools who aim to keep you uninformed and passive.  You can fill your Twitter or Facebook news feed with friends and family and those you respect in the community for their intelligent thoughts and opinions or you can fill it with drivel from those that spew controversial nonsense for attention.

Be aware of what you are consuming.  Be careful that you don’t put yourself in a bubble.  Make yourself a better person by the people and programming you surround yourself with.

You have the power and the opportunity to shape your worldview into a positive force for this world.   Make the decision to be a better person and choose your input accordingly.  Choose wisely.


TSA = Truly Simple Actions The goal of the TSA project is to improve your life and help make this world a better place, one simple action at a time.  Take time this week to do this one simple thing. Previous TSA’s:


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I need this in my backyard

Oct 10, 2012 by

I need a canal in my backyard to deliver pumpkins too!

That’s not too much to ask, is it?


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