How To Light Your Way : LED Battery Powered Motion Sensor Lights

I’ve recently become a huge fan of these lights – one day I was just thinking to myself: LED lights are cool because they use so little power, motion sensors are cool because they only go on when they  sense human beings nearby (some of the even cooler ones not only sense motion but also heat, so that you don’t have to flail your arms around every time it goes off when you are in the room – it can sense your body temperature and remain on even if you are just sitting there watching TV or typing up a blog post). Someone should combine these things and while they are at it, make them battery powered so that they can be mounted anywhere, easily in seconds. So of course, someone did it.

There’s a number of different styles, these particular ones are great for outdoor use, they only go on when its dark as well. Others are great for mounting under cabinets, or for lighting dark hallways so you don’t have to flip on any lights if you need to get up and traverse the hallway.

If you as me – this is the future of lighting – compact long lasting easily placeable lighting. Now all we need is some super cool designs and here I come, Dwell Magazine…

Designed for indoor or outdoor use, the Fulcrum 20031-101 is a motion sensor and LED porch light in one compact unit. Equipped with six LEDs, the porch light can detect movement within a 25-foot range and at a 100-degree angle to provide instant security to any area in or around your home. The light also rotates so its cool, bright white light can illuminate all dark areas. To preserve battery power, photocell technology prevents the light from turning on during the daytime. The porch light requires no hardwiring and comes with all necessary mounting hardware. It runs on four C batteries not included.

via Fulcrum 20031-101 Motion Sensor LED Porch Light, Silver: Home Improvement.

Popcorn & Kale Snack


Here’s a big issue when you are dieting: you want to snack but almost every packaged snack is bad for you, or if its not bad its really expensive (have you seen the price of Kale chips?) so here is a simple snack, fortified with homemade Kale chips.

  • 1 bag of plain or lightly salted microwave popcorn or pop your own
  • extra virgin olive oil, preferably in a mister. You can use the “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” spray
  • sea salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper – optional
  • nutritional yeast
  • crushed up kale chips
    • To make the kale chips, just tear pieces of (washed) kale from the stalk and throw them onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  Use a mister to coat them in olive oil (or the ICBINB) and then sprinkle on the sea salt.  Bake at 350 for around 10 minutes or until nice and cripsy

Put the kale in the oven until crispy. Pop the popcorn. Toss it all together and dust with the salt, pepper and yeast to taste, then enjoy. Much. much better for you than that bag o’ Lays. Yes, even the Baked Lays.

Starbucks Perfect Oatmeal

Started the day off early… no time to eat our forbidden rice sludge…Starbucks to the rescue.   Being a former Starbucks barista,  (I would make fun of customers who would devourer “oatmeal” but then again they were older then me…now I’m as old as them.)  I know that this is a “healthy” option for breakfast.    Perfect Oatmeal.  add nuts, dried fruit and even brown sugar, we are eating about 500 calories and getting a start on our daily fiber intake.  You can omit the nuts and fruit and brown sugar…but then it starts to look and taste like quaker instant oatmeal without the sugar.

It was a nice change.  nuts and fruit in almost every spoonful.  Almost too good to be true.  Let the scale yell at me in the morning! or not…



“The most important meal of the day is the first. So why not make it nutritious and delicious? Start the day off right with our warm and hearty Perfect Oatmeal – 100% whole grain goodness made-to-order with your choice of brown sugar, dried fruit and nuts. It’s breakfast just the way you like it.”

via Starbucks® Perfect Oatmeal | Starbucks Coffee Company.

Vegetarian Indian Food

Malai Kofta

If you are looking to cut calories but not the flavor, you can’t go far wrong with Indian food – I find that in many ways, the vegetarian options are much healthier and more flavorful than the meat options. You do however need to look out for the amount of Ghee or other kinds of fat in the dish, some of the lesser quality restaurants put in way too much. After trying out a number of restaurants in our area, we found one that was excellent – great taste and not greasy. We’ve been through most of the menu, from Rogan Josh – which used to be my favorite before I got on the Eat To Live diet, to Malai Kofta – which are vege-balls in a thick sauce, my current favorite, pretty tasty. Kitty always gets the Butter Chicken, as mild as possible. Personally, I like mine medium hot – if you can’t stand the heat keep looking until you find a place which can make it to your liking, I’ve been to many place where mild really turns out to be medium-hot!

Vegan Roasted Vegetable Soup

Vegan Roasted Vegetable Soup

This is a great recipe for almost any leftover vegetables – we do this on the leftover veggies from the previous weeks organic veg delivery if we haven’t used them yet, so the combination should be “whatever you have” – this recipe is also super healthy and nutrient rich.

  • Assorted vegetables: sweet potato, celery, broccoli, potato, carrots, whatever you have
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 large onion
  • Veg, chicken, beef, whatever stock you have
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil
Preheat your oven to 400. Take all of your vegetables and cut them into 1 inch chunks and put them in a large bowl. Drizzle some olive oil over them and toss. Pile them onto a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper and put them in the oven for 20-40 minutes until they are well roasted. Take out of the oven and let cool. Spoon some of the veges into a high powered blender, add some stock and fire it up – add more or less stock to taste and consistency. Once blended pour back into another pan and keep going until its all blended, then mix it back together in the other pot. It should keep up to a week in the fridge and freeze just fine.
Last time we did this we used some left Pho stock from a Vietnamese place down the street – yum good, but you can use any stock that you happen to have

How To Get A Great Workout – Mixed Martial Arts

Mixed Martial Arts

Our kids were just not that interested in team sports – while all of the other kids got into football, soccer, basketball, baseball our kids were really not all that interested – neither my wife or I really played sports (even though I used to be a huge hockey fan and now can never even watch again for medical reasons – I just get too annoyed when my Maple Leafs just keep on losing 🙁 )  So we went on the lookout for a challenging sport and workout combination.

The cool thing about MMA is the variety: there are plenty of styles of fighting and the conditioning is all over – you don’t get all muscly, just incredibly strong and fit, without all of the negative aspects of something like Crossfit. So its great for men, women, boys and girls…

It just so happens that we live fairly close to one of the best MMA gyms in the US – little did we know that San Jose is a center for some of the best MMA fighters in the world. So we enrolled first my older son at 13 – he was just starting to show sings of being a flabby couch potato (much like his Dad at the time – I’m better now 🙂 ) but now after a bit less than 2 years he is very strong and can easily do something like 7 pullups in a row, something I can only aspire to! I’m hoping to join them at MMA sometime soon for some classes of my own so I can shave off those last 20 pounds as well.

Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full contact combat sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, both standing and on the ground, including boxing, wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, muay Thai, kickboxing, taekwondo, karate, judo and other styles.

via Mixed martial arts – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

How To Destinkify Gymbags

Powerful Stuff

I’m not even sure that really is a word, but it definitely is something that you need. My kids now both take an MMA class each day – that means a gym bag with headgear, boxing gloves, shin pads, a cup, mouth guard and Gi each. And boy, is it ever a good workout – they get home dripping with sweat and like all teenage boys, a bit ripe. For the longest time, we had a tough time getting the smell out of the gymbags, looking high and low for some solution which works – we eventually came across some sneaker balls which did not look up to the task of destroying the odors emanating from those bags. I mean, you had to drive back with the windows open – if we could have strapped them to the top of the car we would have. But then while we were looking at the sneaker balls we thought – what else is rank? Being a few years separated from diapering duties, we’d completely forgotten about nursery deodorizers, so we picked up a pack of these Munchkin Nursery Fresheners, Baking Soda with Lavender Scent, 5 ct. and thought maybe we could put three in one bag and two in the other and see if it worked. We didn’t even need that many – one of these bad boys in each bag did the trick.

Canned Young Jackfruit

Canned Young Jackfruit In Brine

Here’s a recent meat substitute for those of your who are tired of soy crumbles – or similar. In the latest issues of Vegetarian Times, they recommended the use of Canned Young Jackfruit in brine as a substitute for meat – we tried their Jackfruit gyro recipe  – we liked the texture of the jackfruit but not that recipe, I’m sure that it would be useful wherever you need to replace the meat with a lower fat, healthier alternative.

Make no mistake – we aren’t vegetarian or vegan, our current diet, which we are doing very well on right now – Joel Fuhrman’s Eat To Live diet is very low in animal proteins, so we are always on the lookout for something that we can use to replace the meat. It’s also low carb as well.

If you are into a low carb diet, stay tuned, we’ve done that diet as well and have some great hints for a low carb pasta which you may not know about!

Lateral Release and Arthroscopy Knee Surgery

Lateral Release and arthroscopic surgery

I recently had a lateral release and arthroscopic surgery on both my knees.  The right one was done in December 2011 just after Christmas and the second one was done a week after Valentines February 2012. The right knee was done first and the recovery is well underway…I’ve had 6 weeks of physiotherapy 2 times a week.    Round 2 for knee #2 for physio is commencing this week.  The second knee feels a lot better than the right.I think its because I know what to expect.  I found that diligent icing of the knees and pain medication is key.

The fact that I couldn’t drive for 4 weeks was a pain.  Depending on others, physio appointments, missed work, frustration and overall fatigue are to be expected.  Go with the flow… realize things will get done later and push yourself everyday that much further.  You are the only one that can pull through this.  Yes support from family and friends helps, but inner strength gets you there.

I can’t wait to get all this behind me.  I have had knee problems for the last 18 years.  After the birth of my son, I developed Osteoarthritis in both my knees.  Moving to California 4 years ago, helped but not enough to stop the degeneration of my knees.

Canadian doctors wanted to replace my knees when I turned 55.  my quality of life suffered and my condition worsened.  Socialized medicine hard at work…NOT!!!

US doctors realized the real problem with my knees and suggested the lateral release and arthroscopic surgery.  So far so good.  The pain is almost gone in my first treated knee and I feel confident that the 2nd will turn out just as good.  I can’t do squats but I can do stairs without feeling like a hammer is hitting my knee with every step.

Get a 2nd opinion and check out reviews and referrals.  Do your homework.  I had a second opinion and the diagnosis was the same but the doctor made the difference.




How To Make Money Off Your Library Through

Recycle Your Library

Take a look around – do you really need all of those books? Sure you read them and they look great on the shelf – and seeing them all around you makes you feel smarter doesn’t it? Your friends and family all probably marvel that you’ve read all of those books! But its spring cleaning time and you’re thinking, maybe I can do without a few of those. But before you throw them in the garage sale box, first check out the Amazon Marketplace. You’d be surprised how much you can make back from those dusty tomes

You’ve probably noticed a button which says “Have one to sell – Sell On Amazon” when you are surfing books on Amazon –  if you do, you can list your own books for sale and unlike eBay and those other sites, its costs you nothing to list your books and they even throw in the shipping costs. Beware though that you can sell your book at any price, even a penny, it is usually not worth selling unless they go for at least $2, since Amazon does take a commission on each sale.

Grab a stack of books and a coffee, sit down at your computer, and start searching. Here is a sure fire way of pricing your book so that it sells: price it exactly 2 cents below the lowest price, as long as that price is more than $2 – and the next time someone is looking to buy that book, yours will be sold. You’ll get an email with the details, Amazon will credit your account with the funds and shipping, minus their commission (which is one of the reasons why its not worth selling anything under two dollars)

You never know what you might find: I dug up an old Teenage Mutant Ninjas comic book anthology which sold for $75 (its now worth $100)