Being Bruce -: December 2010

Friday, December 31, 2010

Quinoa Power!

OK, so maybe you've already heard of quinoa (pronounce it "keen-waa"). It's a grain apparently discovered  by the Incas that was a stable of their diet. The cool thing about quinoa is that it has all seven of the essential amino acids that make up complete proteins. It may be the only grain that has this. Usually to get a full complement of protein amino acids  you have to mix two other ingredients (like say, rice and beans), or just take the easy way and grab a burger, because all seven are in meat.

OK, but here's some other cool stuff about quinoa (and please remember, I'm talking off the top of my head and reading from the box and from stuff I've seen on the Internet and specifically on Wikipedia. I'm not an expert on food and nutrition or health or any o' that cool stuff. Which means you oughta check for yourself, realize your mileage may vary, and I'm a professional driver on a closed course...but this is cooking, so don't take my word for any health stuff, ok?).

Anyway, besides being a "complete" protein source, quinoa is:
  • gluten-free
  • high fiber
  • low sodium
  • low fat, including no saturated fat or trans fat
  • low cholesterol (like none)
  • easy to prepare
  • easy to digest. 
Cool huh? And I'm not even selling the stuff - nor do I care to.

I also think it tastes pretty good but you're reading this from a guy who likes the taste of everything but crab apple, so take that into account.

So here's what I've been having for breakfast lately:

Quinoa Power Breakfast

  • Ancient Harvest Quinoa (mentioning this brand because it's easy to find, organic, AND prewashed - which saves step)
  • Ground Coriander
  • Ground Cardamom
  • Chili Powder
  • Garlic Salt
  • Tumeric
  • Ground Cumin
  • Dried Minced Onion
  • Ground Ginger
  • Fresh ground pepper (I use Tellicherry peppercorns)
  • Tap Water
  • Pastor Karl's Fit to be Thai'd Chili Pepper Oil made with EVO and Thai Chili Peppers

Easy to make:

I just dumped a box of Ancient Harvest Quinoa into a bowl and added some of the spices (not the water or oil yet). Please note, I'm an ingredient cook, not a recipe cook, so I just dump some in in an amount that feels and looks right from past experience.

I mixed it up and then put 1/3 cup portions in sandwich bags. Turned out I ended up with seven bags worth (which means one week's mixture ready to rock).

Then, I took one of the baggies, dumped it in a sauce pan, added 2/3 cup of tap water, and a healthy dollop of Pastor Karl's Fit to be Thai'd oil.

Stir it all up.

Bring it to a boil and let it boil pretty much wildly for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and cover, let sit for 15 minutes.

It's done.

I cut up some red apple and some walnuts to add to the cooked quinoa and that's it.

Total prep time (for a week's worth of servings), about 5 minutes.

Total cooking time, about 22 minutes (2 to get the water boiling, 5 to boil, 15 to sit - a good time to take a shower and get dressed).

That's it, folks. I think it's tasty. I used dried spices, and of course you get more of a kick out of fresh spices (and it takes more time, too).

I think it's pretty tasty. I KNOW it's healthy (subject to the above disclosure, of course).

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Business Networking Events Aren't One Night Stands

I was reminded late in the year that while many people who can and do benefit from building their business by adding business networking events to their relationship marketing mix, there are many who just don't get it. They just show up, see some people they know, say "Hi", maybe have some appetizers and a beer or glass of wine and then leave. Later, they say, "Nah, business networking events don't work."

Sorry, but you've got the wrong idea.

If you'd like information on how to really make the most of business networking events, well, I do have a book about it, 31 Days to Networking Events Mastery.

It's available on in both print and Kindle versions and, if you live in southeastern North Carolina, Clif Bridgers also carries it at RBR Books in Leland, NC.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Cool House for a Christmas Party - Augusta Greene at Shelmore in Brunswick Forest

Even though I'm no longer working in real estate Marge and I were happy to be invited to see Plantation Building's newest model in the Shelmore area of Brunswick Forest today. I've known David Spetrino, Plantation Building's owner, for 7 years and am a fan of his designs and his quality work.

So, we took a tour, had a Christmas cookie or two, and grabbed these quick photos. This model is the Augusta Greene and it has a loads of standard features for comfortable, bungalow-style family living with 1718 finished square feet on the first floor with two bedrooms, two full baths, and an open living/dining/kitchen area plus a rocking chair front porch, spacious screened porch, and rear entry, oversized two car garage.

Upstairs there are four optional plans, with the base plan adding 950 square feet, a sitting area, two bedrooms, and another full bath. If you add the optional flex room, which increases the second floor square footage to 1432 (for a house total of 3,150 sq. ft.), you will have space for everyone. Marge said four sets of bunk beds in the finished bunk room would easily accomodate 8 visiting grandchildren (which is a bit odd because at last count we only have 3, but maybe she knows something I don't).

So cruise these photos and take a tour. There's plenty I left out, including the built-in banquette in the kitchen, screened porch, and all the upstairs. This house has many many large closets and more walk-in storage on the second floor than any four families should ever need.

First look inside, the tree, with a view of the oversized front windows.

Just inside the front door looking back through the living room and dining room to the kitchen.

Living room with built-ins and gas log fireplace.

Here's David.

David and some other folks in the dining area.

A partial view of the kitchen - that granite topped island will seat 6 plus the banquette, which isn't  seen but is on the left of this area, seats another six. So overall you have room for seating about 20 within talking distance of each other.

A partial view of the first floor master suite, with two walkin closets.

This master bath is as large as some Manhattan apartments.

So as we left Marge was careful to grab a brochure of this fun, classy, spacious home.

And I chilled on the porch with some guy in a red suit.

Thanks for the invite, David, nice job on the house (we'd expect no less).

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What a Birthday! - Videos, Photos, and an Award!

First of all, I just want to express my deep-felt gratitude for being alive, for being healthy, for Marge and our extended family, and for all my wonderful friends. So thank you. Many of you helped make yesterday a special day for me.

In this blog post I'm going to share news about the  book award voting and some video clips and images people sent.

First off, since December 8th I was highly focused on gathering support for my entry in The Small Business Trends Book Awards 2010 voting.
My book 31 Days to Greeting Card Marketing Mastery

was a late entry in the voting, which started December 1st, but in the end, of the 107 books in the voting, this book was voted 8th in the overall voting (all categories) and 3rd in the Marketing category. So thank you. Many of you saw this  image so often  you likely can use a break from it, but I'll show it one more time (lol):

I received many birthday wishes on Facebook. I don't know the number, I started to count but lost track and realized the total doesn't matter (I need to get out of voting mode, lol). Each birthday wish was important and special to me.

Many many of you, via Facebook and otherwise, sent me personal messages, either in clear or privately and that was really sweet.

One person even (I think temporarily) changed the person's FB profile image to a barely (sic) covered birthday suit image - but I won't display that one here.

Overall, I had a lot of laughs, a bunch of smiles, and, admittedly, even a few tears. You guys rock.

And in keeping with that sentiment, here's a video that Lynn Shoemaker sent that had me on my feet rockin':

Moxie Floral Design's Cynthia White Lee sent Marilyn:

Marilyn Monroe sings Happy Birthday To J.F Kennedy.

And Cheryl Janecky sent this video: "Happy Birthday" by Aaron Copland, played at 70th Birthday tribute to Leonard Bernstein at Tanglewood, 8/25/88.

We have some cute aliens from Janelle Manton:

And more aliens from Nick Kentrolis:

Plus these cute little non-alien granddaughters, Libby (who lip synchs)and Annabel (who actually sings):

Got some cool images, too.

Thanks to:

Lounge-A-Rama for the letter candles,

Susan Holsinger for the kaleidoscope that she said reminded her of me (which I loved):

Steve Rassin for the cupcake with candles:

and my friend Lori Chappelle who decided I needed a crown!

Thank you folks. Thank you for your votes, for your birthday wishes, for your friendship, and for Being You!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Please vote! One of my books is up for an award - Update 12/13/10

Wow, we're in 12th place! At the home stretch, voting ends Wednesday night. Every vote counts.

In the past year Marge and I have published six titles in our 31 Days Mastery series of business and personal development books. One of them, 31 Days to Greeting Card Marketing Mastery, is in the voting for the Small Business Trends Book Awards 2010.

I'm pretty excited about this but we got a late start, I just received notice December 8th that the book is in the running. I starting out behind 29 other books in the same category (Marketing) and 105 books that have been getting votes since December 1st.

Update: As of this morning, my book has 670 votes, enough to put it in 5th place in the Marketing category and 12th place overall. Turns out the place to be is in the top 10 overall in order to be able to get an award to display online and for bragging marketing rights.

I really appreciate your support and ask that if you would, please continue to vote each day through the 15th, which is the end of the voting and (coincidentally) my birthday! I fully expect many of the other books in the voting to have big surges of support during the last few days, so your vote(s) will totally count. Thanks again.

I would very much appreciate your vote. You can vote every day from now till 11:59PM December 15th (which coincidentally is my birthday). I'm sending email to friends and using social media to ask for votes but believe me your vote(s) will count. If you'd like to forward this to other folks I'd appreciate it. And when you vote, you can also hit the Tweet This! button and maybe that will help me get some more votes, too.

Thanks in advance for your support.

Of course part of the reason to participate in this voting is to sell books. If anyone is interested in buying 31 Days to Greeting Card Marketing Mastery, it's available in two places:

From at this link.

And from RBR Books in Leland, NC, a small, independent, totally awesome bookstore owned and operated by my friend Clif Bridgers and his wife Laura.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Trying Out an Olive Oil-Based Shaving Gel

In early March 2009 I posted a YouTube video about using Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVO) as a moisturizer.

Since then I've had a few inquiries about it and several thousand views of the video. A couple of weeks ago the folks from Oliveology, Inc., in New York, wrote to ask if I'd like to try their olive oil-based shaving gel and, if I liked it, if I'd put up a YouTube video. So I said, "Sure."

So they sent me sample (meaning I didn't pay for them)one 8oz and one 2oz travel size bottle of Oliveology ShaveGel.

ShaveGel is a 3-function product: it conditions, lubricates, and moisturizes your skin.

I've been using it since Saturday now and will continue using it. First, on Saturday, I used it with a brand new (disposable Wilkinson) razor. Here's the video I posted after that:

And then on Sunday I used an old razor (same brand) that I'd used for probably a month.

Here's that video:

So here's the bottom line about my testing and very subjective reactions:
  • You use very little of the product, a small drop is enough, so it ought to last a long time
  • It's clear, so you can see what you're shaving
  • When I used the new blade it felt great, and I didn't catch my skin anywhere and cut myself, which I often do with a new razor
  • The old razor didn't drag on my skin, which was why I stopped using it earlier - but I saved it for this test.
  • As far as I can tell there's no odor to this product, so you won't walk around smelling like a salad (although my sense of smell is pretty dismal, so don't count on it. I did ask Marge, however, and she didn't smell anything either). 
  • It's very convenient not to have to use an aftershave or moisturizer after shaving -this is really two products in one. What I did was just sort of rub my face a once after shaving. Didn't  need to rinse off extra shaving cream.
So that's it:
  • It feels good
  • Works as promised
  • Saves some time and maybe money (because you use so little and because it's also a moisturizer)
  • I like it.
After I posted the videos on YouTube the folks at Oliveology wrote to say that after I've used ShaveGel for a week or more my face will be smooth as a "baby butt". Okay, I guess that's a good thing. Mostly I just want a close shave without cutting or burning my skin.

If you're interested in this product, check out the Oliveology website.

 Please note that I'm not connected with this company, they're not paying me for this, and I don't get a cut. I did, however, get some nifty free shaving gel, but I basically did this because I was intrigued by it and because of my earlier video.