Fix it

Jun 25, 2013 by

I fix stuff.  I can’t help it.

I can’t throw a broken item away without first trying to repair it, and I’d rather buy a used or broken item and fix it than buy a new one.  It just makes all the sense in the world to me to re-use an existing item than to buy a new one and relinquish an older one to the landfill.

I’ve talked about fixing stuff quite a lot on this blog, and I encourage the ideology.  This is why I loved this awesome article on Wired, that talks about not just needing a maker movement (which I also love), but a fixer movement.  Our society is becoming so consumed with convenience and throw away utility that the things we buy today are often built to be thrown away and are often difficult or near impossible to repair or fix.

That just pisses me off.

I hate the idea of planned obsolescence.  That is just evil to me.  Some of my most favorite tools are the ones I got from my grandpa.  They are solid.  They have a weight in your hand, which isn’t always the easiest thing when working with them, but they last.  They aren’t made of cheap plastic that breaks after you use it 3 times.  They can be fixed if they do ever fail.  They are awesome.

So all this talk on fixing is to say, fix you stuff.  Stop throwing away your broken items and fix them, or at least try.  If you are not handy or have no idea how something works in order to fix it, just try.  If its already broken, whats the worst that can happen?

Take it apart and see how it works.  You may just find its a simple loose screw or broken part inside that you can easily replace for 35 cents and save you the cost of the replacing the entire item.

So that is your Truly Simple Action for this week.  Fix something.  Beyond saving yourself some cash and saving that item from landfill you will feel awesome and every time you look at that broken item you repaired you’ll get a great sense of “I am awesome” sweeping over you.

And with that, here is my last fix.

I’ve had a cooler with broken hinges on the lid sitting in my garage for way too long.  I finally got around to fixing it up,and here is the result.

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Here is the cooler stand that became of my broken cooler.

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I took an old pallet and bought some 2×3 for the legs.

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Added a hose bib and connected it to the cooler drain.

Also added a Dr. Pepper bottle cap opener as my wife loves Dr. Pepper.

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And a nice little bottle cap catch to go under it.

Sorry I didn’t take any pictures of the construction of this project.  This was just one I’ve been wanting to fix up for a while and finally got around to it.  I love how it came out and it saved an old broken cooler to now be re-purposed as an awesome cooler on our patio.

So there’s my latest fix.  Show me yours.  What have you fixed lately?

Ben…

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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Walk

Jun 18, 2013 by

It doesn’t get any more simple than this.

Go for a walk.

That is this weeks advice.  That is your Truly Simple Action number 25.

Just walk.

Get outside.  Go for a walk.

If you are lucky enough to live somewhere very walkable, then skip the car next time you need to run to the store and walk there.  You’ll get some exercise and buy less stuff because you have to carry it back.

If not, just walk around your neighborhood.  Take the dog around the block if you have a dog.

I walk my dog around the neighborhood each day and rarely run into other people out walking.  Everyone is stuck inside their home.  It’s beautiful outside.  Go outside.  Go for a walk.

So get up, and get outside.  The fresh air will do you good.

Ben…

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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Cook Together

Jun 10, 2013 by

I finally got back into the kitchen after an extended break due to some sinus issues that resulted in me not being able to smell or taste anything.  Not fun.  But I’m back, and back with a vengeance.  I posted, not one, not two, but three awesome recipes and it feels great.  I love cooking.

We also went up to visit my wife’s sister and family yesterday and all cooked a big breakfast together and it was so much fun.  We had 10 people all packed into the sisters cute apartment and cooking up a storm.  The kids helped make blueberry pancakes.  We had eggs, potatoes, lil smokies, bacon and more.  It was a great breakfast and great time with family.

Your Truly Simple Action of the week is to plan and cook a family meal.  It could be breakfast, or a nice dinner, or even a picnic lunch.  Just plan a meal with your family and friends and cook and eat it together.  There is something so simple and therapeutic about everyone gathering around the kitchen helping and talking and having a good time.

Pick a meal.  Pick a day.  Invite your family and friends.  Do it.

But I don’t have a big kitchen, or I don’t have the right tools you say.  Well first off, stop whining.  No one likes a complainer.

You will be fine, and you will make do.  We squeezed way too many people into a very small kitchen to make this breakfast.  We were stepping all over each other to share the stove, but we made it work.  We didn’t have all the right tools, but a towel works just fine for a pot holder.  You will figure it out.  I have complete faith in you.  Don’t let some little excuse prevent you from doing this.  Just start doing it and you will figure it all out on the way.  You may hit a little speed bump or two, but that only makes it that much easier the next time you do it.

We had a great time cooking, eating and talking about everything under the sun.  I want you to do the same.

Pick a meal.  Pick a day.  Invite your family and friends.  Do it.  It’s just that simple.

Ben…

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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Bananrama… this is what you do with those brown bananas

Jun 7, 2013 by

We all love bananas and we buy a big ripe bunch at the store and then we forget about them on the kitchen counter and they are somehow all brown within  a day of bringing them home.  It’s a classic tale as old as time.  I’m pretty sure Shakespeare has a play about it.

So what do you do with those brown bananas that no one wants to eat?

You make this awesome dessert that is likely to be tastier and healthier than all that crap in the stores.

This recipe requires a bit of forethought as you’ll need to freeze the bananas ahead of time.  So take those browning bananas, slice them up onto a plate and throw that plate in the freezer for a few hours.

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Once you have the frozen bananas, throw them in the food processor or blender.  Our blender sucks, so we shall use the food processor.

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turn the processor on until you get this creamy mixture of bananan-y goodness.  You can stop here if you want.  You’ve made a tasty and smooth banana ice cream like treat and it is good. Or you can keep going and make it epic.

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Here’s the part where you get to add whatever you like.  I had a Reese’s peanut butter cup on hand, so in it went.

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Add a bit of Hershey’s chocolate syrup

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Add a couple spoonfuls of peanut butter

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This was the best idea ever.  I am hooked on these damn cashew clusters from Costco.  I should not buy these, but they are just so tasty.  I had all the crumbs from the end of the bag, so I threw them in.

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I’m a genius.

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Blend it all up.

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And it may not be the most appealing picture, but it is oh so tasty.  You can take it out and eat it right then or throw it back into the freezer to let it firm up a little more.

This is a great snack and an awesome way to not throw away perfectly good bananas that no one will eat.  Depending on what you put in it, this can be a very healthy dessert as well.

Ben…

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Cauliflower rice aka Oh my god why haven’t I made this before

Jun 7, 2013 by

I like cauliflower as much as the next guy.  We eat it every once in a while and have even made an awesome mashed cauliflower recipe from one we grew in the garden, but we probably don’t eat it that often.

My wife found a recipe for Cauliflower rice and has been asking me to make it.  Well I finally got around to it and dammit I wish I had been making this stuff every day for the past 10 years.  It is so freaking good and so simple to make.

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The recipe is basically this

1.  Chop/grate up your cauliflower into tiny little pieces.  2.  fry it up in a pan.  3.  add spices.   It really is that easy.

The really great thing about this recipe is that you can add whatever spices or flavors you want and they all taste great with the cauliflower

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So here’s what you’ll need.  Some cauliflower, onion, garlic and some spices.

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Cut up the cauliflower into smaller chunks.

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In a food process throw in several cauliflower florets and pulse.  It works better to do smaller batches at a time.

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You will end up with your cauliflower looking like this and that is what you want.  Put all your cauliflower in a bowl and set it aside

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now throw in the garlic and onion and chop it up as well.   I used 3 garlic cloves and maybe 1/2 cup of onion.

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Now in a pan, add some cooking oil of your choice, and the garlic and onion.  I used olive oil.  cook for a minute until the onion in translucent.

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Add your cauliflower and stir around.  I added 1 tablespoon of butter at this point to give it a little flavor.  Cook this for 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally.

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Then  just add your spices and stir for another minute.  The awesome thing about this recipe is you can add anything you like.   I made three separate batches.  One had garlic and salt spices, the other, red and black pepper with chili flakes (pictured above) and the other had just salt and pepper steak seasoning.  All were super tasty.

I am definitely making this again and going out right now to plant more cauliflower in my garden.  I could eat this every day.

If you are on a paleo or keto diet, this will be your new best friend.

Ben…

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