What are you building?

Jul 29, 2013 by

Last week I wrote about building something to look at.  Something tangible.  Something that you would see every day and get to admire and feel good about.  Something beautiful to show off to yourself and the world, and I hope you took that advice and started a cool project.  I’m working on a few tables for my mom and a new entertainment unit for the house.

This week I want to talk about building something bigger for the future.

What are you building for the future?

If you answered nothing then we have a problem because whether you know it or not you are building something.  Every day your words, actions and attitude is building something.  If your words are true, your actions sincere and your attitude is good then you are building a legacy from which you can build upon a great many things.  You will have friends and acquaintances that like and admire you and want to not only be around you, but help you build great things in the future.  This is your foundation that you have laid through days, hours, years of work “being you”.

It is only from this place that you can make great things happen.

Two things that are happening in my life right now that are building on the past work I have already laid down.

First, I am going to be a dad for the first time very soon and I am excited about building a great family with a great family culture devoted to learning, exploring, helping, building, fixing etc.  I am excited about the prospect of creating and having a great many adventures to come.  I read a great article on building a great family culture and this is one of the most exciting aspects of fatherhood and building a family for me.   I want to take the work my wife and I have done with our upbringing, our education and building our marriage and leverage all of that into bringing a new addition into our family and creating an awesome family culture from that.  Plus I get to play with Lego’s again and that is just awesome.

Second, I’m working on starting a new business venture up.  I have tons of brilliant ideas that come and go, but I had a new one that is picking up momentum. I’ve been telling some old friends and co-workers and it has caught on to where they want to help me build it.  Now again, if I was an asshole when working with these people they would have no interest in listening to my brilliant ideas let alone wanting to work with me to help me build them.  So I am filled with gratitude to be surrounded by brilliant people who have connected to  me and my idea and something may come out of that.  That is very exciting and extremely rewarding for me.  None of this would not have been possible if I had not laid the foundation for all of this years ago with my attitude, and effort that I put into creating this future today.

So what are you building for the future?  What are you building today with your actions?  What is your attitude steering you towards this very instant that you can build upon for something amazing in the future?

Build the foundation of something amazing today.  Go out and be YOU in the best possible sense.  Set your intentions toward good and let that attitude guide you in your actions as you interact with those around you.  Be generous and helpful to all who you come across and you will be able to look back on this time and this work as the foundation of the great things you have built.



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.

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Make something to look at

Jul 22, 2013 by

I love building things.  I talk about this subject a lot because its a big part of who I am.  I’m a builder, a fixer, a tinkerer.   I prefer to build vs buy.  I love to fix things to save them from the landfill.

One of the big reasons I love to make things is the sense of pride I get every day from being able to see that thing that I built.  It’s not just a closet door I bought, its MY closet door that I built myself.  That is awesome.  That feeling doesn’t go away.  The effect of walking down my hallway and seeing the results of my work every single day is the best feeling in the world.

So this week’s TSA is to encourage you to build something.  Make something that you will look at every day.  Make something that you can call your own.  Make something that you can show off to your friends.  Make something that is uniquely yours.

“But what if I don’t know how to build things?” you say.

Bullshit. That excuse no longer exists with the internet at your finger tips.  Google it.  Watch how to videos on YouTube.  There are thousands of DIY sites out there that exists solely to teach you how to build stuff.  Go nuts browsing around and find a cool project that captures your imagination and go build it.

You learn how to build things by building things.  So go build something awesome that you can look at each and every day.  It will make you feel just a little more awesome.


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 cobbler over a campfire

Jul 17, 2013 by

Camping food just tastes better.  It’s a fact.

Some of my best and favorite recipes are camping food recipes.  On the heels of our yearly camping adventure where all my friends from all over get together and go camping I am relishing in the great times and awesome food we ate.

We may be getting a little overboard with the food though.  Our camping meals are getting to the beyond epic proportions and we may need to dial it back, but I’ve never dined on such amazing food as this last trip.  We had crepes, we had amazing breakfast sandwiches grilled over the fire, we had amazing street tacos, and chicken and dumplings in the dutch oven.  It got a little nuts for camping, but this year’s camping was a bit more luxurious as we actually camped in an RV as my wife is 8 months pregnant.

We had planned to hike through Zion in Utah, but for some reason my wife didn’t want to hike through 115 degree canyons.  Go figure.  So we went the other way and rented an RV so she would be comfortable and headed back to one of our favorite spots, Pismo Beach.

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In addition to all the aforementioned food I set out to make a cobbler for dessert one night and it was awesome.  And if you’ve read any of this site, or even just the name of the site you know I like to keep it simple and it doesn’t get much more simple than this.

For this recipe, all you’ll need is fruit, sprite, a cake mix and a little butter.

I cooked this in our dutch oven over a fire, but you can do this in the oven at home too if you’d like.


I threw a couple pats of butter in the crock pot and rubbed it around to get it all good and buttery


Throw in your fruit of choice.  Peaches and blueberries are in season and were available at the local fruit stand.  You can use any fruit you like.


For the cobbler part all you need is a cake mix and a sprite.  I made a huge batch so I used the whole cake mix and a 12 fl oz sprite.  You may want to use half of each if you are making a normal amount.  We had 11 hungry campers so I made a big batch.


Add the sprite to the cake mix.  Stir, stir, stir, and spoon over the fruit.  Add a few pats of butter on top.


Throw the dutch oven on the fire and put the coals on top of the lid.  Ideally You’d like more coals on top than on bottom at a 2:1 ratio.


Cook the cobbler in the dutch oven until the top is cooked through and smells awesome.  The time to cook will depend on your fire, but its about 10-15 minutes.  Keep checking it as you go.

As usual I don’t have a good picture of the final product out of the dutch oven as it was devoured by the hungry campers around the fire.




But here’s a picture of the gang with the dogs enjoying running around the sand dunes.  And yes my wife kicks ass and hiked the very steep sand dunes at 8 months pregnant.

As always, we had a great time camping and can’t wait to do it again next year with our kid.

If you haven’t planned a camping trip in a while, take a minute and plan one now.  Find a weekend, or even a day and get out and go have fun.

Plus nothing tastes as good as camping food.  Here are some other great camping recipes for you:

Happy camping


P.S. if you’ve got a favorite camping recipe, let me know in the comments.  I’m always looking for some good new ones.


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Decide to be better

Jul 16, 2013 by

It all starts with a decision.  It is just that simple.

You choose.

You can choose to continue on the same path you’ve been on and continue to do the same things you’ve been doing, or you can choose another option.

You can decide to be better.

It is your choice.  It is your decision to make.  Everything you do starts with a decision whether you are conscious of that decision or not.

So right now decide to be better.

Whatever that means to you right now.  Whatever that looks like in your life.  It could be a huge decision to stop smoking or quit drinking.  It could be a small decision to get up 10 minutes earlier so you aren’t so rushed every day.

Whatever it is, decide right now.  Pick something that you will be better at this week.


Make that decision to be better and then go do it.


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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Get Out

Jul 8, 2013 by

Get up.  Get out.

That is your Truly Simple Action of the week.

Just get up and get out.   Simple.


Get up from the computer.   Get up from the couch.  Get out of the house.  Get outside.   Go do something.  Go hang out with someone.

Break up the routine of being stuck inside your house doing the same thing over and over.

Its a beautiful day outside regardless of the weather.  Call up a friend.  Do it right now.  Plan something fun.  Go camping.  Go have a bonfire somewhere.  Play a round of miniature golf.  It doesn’t matter, just get up and go do something.

You will be glad you did.


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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