Friday, April 29, 2011

The Perfect Way to Make Bacon - In the Oven

There's two reasons I'm not a vegetarian... and one of them is BACON. There's nothing better than a perfect piece of bacon. Not only is it good on it's on, but it enhances any other food you put with it. From bacon wrapped asparagus, to salads everything tastes better with bacon. Before I start salivating too much thinking about it, let me tell you the perfect way to cook bacon. You may be thinking well, you just throw it in the frying pan, don't you? NO. Who wants a greasy soft piece of bacon? NOT ME. The next time you decide to eat some bacon, give this a shot and you will never turn back.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a cooking sheet with parchment paper. Lay out your bacon in strips so that they are close, but not touching. Throw your bacon in the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes. Check your bacon at the 25 minute mark to see if it's at your desired crispiness. The thickness of the bacon will determine exactly how long it needs to cook. When finished take the bacon off the cooking sheet and place on a plate lined with a paper towel. Let sit for a minute or two and get ready to enjoy a tasty piece of bacon!

Tip: Drain off the extra bacon grease from the cooking sheet and use for cooking eggs or anything else you want to add a little flavor to.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Kobayashi vs Giant Bear - Hot Dog Eating Contest

I ran across this video today and I had to share it. It's has to be one of the weirdest things I've seen in a while. Who thinks of this stuff? Definitely don't feel like eating a hot dog after this.

The Binky Chronicles

My wife and I started off with good intentions of never giving our daughter a binky (pacifier) when she was born. That quickly came to an end the first night at the hospital when we realized that she had to be sucking on something or she wasn't going to sleep. Never did I imagine that this little piece of BPA free plastic would become such a central role in our daughter’s life. I joke sometimes with my wife about our daughter having “binky sonar”. It’s almost like a Jedi power that she has the ability to find the binky no matter where it’s at. I have even seen her in bed asleep, in the pitch dark, with her eyes closed, snatch the binky that had fallen out of her mouth up that was sitting a few feet away. No searching….. just a direct hit! It’s amazing.

The binky has become more of a security blanket than anything at this point. She even requests more than one binky at a time. She likes to keep one in her hand and the other in her mouth and then change them out every so often. But, now the problem is, how do we cut the binky out of her life? We don’t want our daughter to be walking around with the binky forever. We can’t have the embarrassment of being “those parents” who still have a kid with the binky. It’s almost like asking a crack addict to stop getting high! Do we call on the “Binky Fairy” that so many parents use? Or maybe use the old “Binky Tree” method? Whichever method we use, I anticipate this being a battle full of crying, tantrums and screaming. And that’s just talking about me. Only time will tell.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Tasty Tacos - A Des Moines Classic

I hadn't been to Tasty Tacos for over a year. I almost forgot what I was missing! Tonight, I had the pleasure of grabbing a bite to eat there with my wife. I feasted on an original flour taco and a steak flour taco. Those would be the 2 menu items that I would recommend trying the next time you eat there. The thing that makes the tacos so good is that flour taco shell. So great! If you're like me and haven't been in a while, what are you waiting for? And for those of you who have never tried it, check out one of the locations closest to you.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

An Upbeat Positive Song for Your Saturday Night

I always here this on the radio driving to work in the mornings. It's a great way to start the day and puts me in a good mood. The song is "Something in Your Eyes" by Shonlock ENJOY!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wizard Showdown

Who would win in a battle between Dumbledore (wizard from Harry Potter movies) and Gandalf (wizard from Lord of the Rings)? They're both pretty old and scrappy looking. My money would have to be on Dumbledore. He seems like he wouldn't mind fighting dirty, and sometimes to take out a fellow wizard you need to hit below the belt. What do you think?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Give Up Gum - Try Altoids

I have been off gum for 2 years now. Before that I could be seen chomping gum around town, pretty much everyday. My new oral fixation of choice? Altoids. Oh yes, the curiously strong mint. It will leave you with some minty fresh breath. I have even heard that it will cover up the smell of alcohol if you happen to pop over the the pub on your lunch break. But, that is neither here nor there. The real reason you should make the switch to Altoids over traditional gum can be found in the ingredients. In this example I compare the ingredients of Altoids to Trident (4 of 5 Dentists recommend it!)

Trident – Original Flavor
Ingredients: Sorbitol, Gum Base, Xylitol, Clycerin, Natural and Artificial Flavoring, Manintol, Acesulfame Potassium, Aspartame, BHT, Soy Lecithin and Suracralose

Ingredients: Sugar, Gum Arabic, Oil of Peppermint, Gelatin

The first thing that should jump out to you is the number of ingredients. Altoids has four, Trident has eleven. Two of the ingredients in Trident raise a red flag right away. Those being Aspartame and BHT. Here's a little about those:

Aspartame: Aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA. Many of these reactions are very serious including seizures and death. To see some of 90 documented symptoms caused by Aspartame, click here.

BHT: BHT is being investigated for it's ability to damage genetic material. In addition, research has shown that this compound can rupture and damage red blood cells as well as stimulate symptoms of chemical sensitivity.

Wow, those sound like some great ingredients I want going in my body. Maybe that one dentist who didn't recommend Trident was on to something? It's not just Trident that has Aspartame, most gums do too, as well as Diet Sodas.

So, the next time you go to reach for the pack of gum at the store, reach for a tin of Altoids instead!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Looking for a Safe Homeopathic Cough and Cold Medicine for Kids? Try This

Unfortunately children seem to pass colds back and forth to each other all year long. This means a lot of long nights for parents and their children. So what can you do to help alleviate some of your children's symptoms and help yourself get some sleep? Well, you could run to the drugstore and pickup one of those bright pink liquids that are full or artificial colors, ingredients you can't pronounce and may have possible side effects. Or you could try a homeopathic, more natural solution.
The good news is that there are many homeopathic solutions to try choose from. I have weeded through and tried various brands out there. Some seem to help a little, some not at all. The one that worked the best for my daughter, on a consistent basis, is Kids Relief™ Cough & Cold. It seems to help the cold symptoms and give her a good night's sleep. By no means is it a cure all, but I would definitely recommend giving it a try the next time your child has a cold.

Missing Football? Get your Football Fix From These Top 10 Football Movies

College and NFL football is now over. For many of us all the only thing to watch until September is some Arena football, and that's just not the same. I would have to say that "Remember the Titans" ranks as my favorite football movie of all time. It has great football action and a moving story line that goes with it. So here are my Top 10 Football Movies that will tide you over for a few months:

10. The Replacements
9. Any Given Sunday
8. Necessary Roughness
7. The Program
6. Rudy
5. Wildcats
4. Invincible
3. Friday Night Lights
2. Varsity Blues
1. Remember the Titans

Friday, April 15, 2011

Icicle Paranoia

It's always a little unsettling for me to walk or drive underneath an icicle. I always get that paranoid feeling that it's going to break off and come down on my skull or even worse, that I'm going to look up at that last second before it hits my head as it jams into my eye cavity. Something tells me that would hurt quite a bit.
I have always heard than an icicle would be a perfect murder weapon. The reason behind this theory is that the murder weapon would melt away and leave no evidence behind. But something tells me that Grissom (from CSI) would still find out who committed the murder. So maybe it isn't the perfect murder weapon after all?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Home Depot Changing It's Name?

Is the Economy that bad? I think the answer is yes. Times are getting so bad that I noticed that my local Home Depot Store has changed it's marketing strategy all together. I think it might work? What do you think?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I Have to Pee Like a Racehorse - Where Does This Saying Come From?

I have said it. I have heard others say it. But what does it really mean and why do we say it? Well, here you go:

Why do we say, I gotta pee like a race horse?

Racehorses are commonly given Lasix (aka Salix) which is a powerful diuretic. They pee a lot right before they race, we're talking gallons and gallons. The medication is thought to help prevent nasal bleeding, which sometimes happens when racehorses supremely over-exert themselves.

So the next time you have to pee really bad, remember you don't have it that bad. At least you aren't peeing gallons of pee at a time.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Placenta - A Tree? For Dinner?

After just seeing the birth of my son this past week, it made me reflect on two things I read about in the previous weeks prior to the birth. They both involve the placenta. For those of you who don't know, the placenta is an organ that connects the developing fetus to the uterine wall to allow nutrient uptake, waste elimination, and gas exchange via the mother's blood supply.

The first one is new parents taking the placenta with them after birth and planting a "Tree of Life". Basically, you throw the placenta in a freezer bag, take it home and then, when you go to plant a tree you put the placenta in the dirt first and plant the tree. Okay, that is strange to me, but not weird.

The second thing I read was about people taking the placenta home, frying it up and eating it. Hold on..... Eating it? That is just plain gross! But, I guess after doing some research in many other countries that this is normal. They say the placenta is full of great nutrients and tastes great with a wine sauce.

Some interesting things to consider for new parents? Rest assured my wife's placenta was not on the menu this week.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Free Beer at the Mall

Well, not really free, but deserved. What am I talking about? You know in the middle of malls they have seating areas that are usually taken up by men waiting for their wives to charge up the credit card. I have this great new idea on how to improve these stomping grounds for bored men. First of all you need to enclose the area with walls. Next there needs to be plasma televisions lining the walls showing sports games or manly action movies. Sounds good already doesn't it? Here's what takes it to the next level. Each man as they walk in is given a little handheld PDA. Each time their wife or significant other spends some money it tallies up on the screen. For every $50.00 spent, the man gets a free beer. So really this works out for the man and the woman. They are both happy! Heck after a few beers, some husbands might even agree to buy that blue Coach purse their wife wants.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Eating a Rare Hamburger - What's the Worst that Could Happen?

Yesterday, I ate a burger that was a little rarer than I normally eat. I was getting paranoid that I would get sick, so I decided to look up and see what's the worst that could happen to me. Here is what I found:

Most Likely: Contamination is more likely with ground beef than it is with full cuts. However, getting sick from a burger is still fairly uncommon. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were only 90 reported cases of people eating contaminated hamburgers in the United States in 2001 (though many more may have gone unreported). Forty-six of those 90 were hospitalized.

Worst Case: For most healthy adults, the worst that's likely to result from eating a rare hamburger is food poisoning. At its most severe, this would result in several days in bed with a stomach illness. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that you never eat a rare burger (cooked to less than 160 degree F), since bacteria may survive in it. This is particularly important for the very young, the very old, the immunosuppressed, and pregnant women, who are all more susceptible.

So I guess the moral of the story is to at least cook your burger to medium. Otherwise you may end up with some food poisoning. Besides, unless you are a vampire needing a little extra blood, who wants a bloody burger?

Do You Really Know Your Neighbors? Home Buying Tip

Moving into a new house is a huge investment. It's not like once you go to all that work and spend all that money that you can just up and move at a moments notice. One possible issue is that you have bad neighbors. You know, the ones that park their camper on the front lawn or skinny dip in their hot tub without a privacy fence. Okay those neighbors you can't do too much about. But, what about the safety of your children? Do you really know what type of people are living in your possible new neighborhood?
I found an interesting website that you may want to check out before buying that new home. Go to

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Trader Joe's Broccoli Slaw - My Secret to Getting My Toddler to Eat Broccoli

My 2 year old daughter doesn't like broccoli at all. I have tried putting cheese on it, hiding it in various casseroles, but she just won't eat it. One thing that my daughter does like eating is Cole Slaw. So, the other day when I was walking down the aisle at Trader Joe's and saw Organic Broccoli Slaw, a light bulb went off in my head. Could this be the answer to getting my daughter to eat broccoli?
I got home and decided to give it the old college try. I mixed the Trader Joe's Broccoli Slaw (shredded broccoli and carrots) with some ranch dressing and crossed my fingers. I put it in a big bowl and started eating it myself, knowing that my daughter would be intrigued and want a bite. As soon as I took a bite I hear, "Daddy, bite". So I gave her a small bite. She slowly chewed it and then asked for another bite.... and another. She almost ate up the whole bowl on her own.... and then wanted more. So finally I found the answer to the broccoli dilemma. If you are trying to get your children to eat broccoli and would definitely try the slaw. Thank you Trader Joe's!

Friday, April 08, 2011

The Seesaw = Adult Male Torture?

You don't really see too many seesaws at parks nowadays. But occasionally you still see one of the old metal ones just sitting there, waiting to bring the pain to it's next victim. Usually they are blue or red, with a little rust on them. As a kid, I thought the seesaw was pretty fun. Go up and go down.... go up and go down. Who wouldn't like that? But now that I'm all grown up I have a little different opinion. Let's just say it's not the most comfortable piece of equipment on a man. Now when you are going up, all you have left is going down. And going down means you are going to feel the full force of that metal seesaw.

And while we're on the subject of old playground equipment, what ever happened to the merry-go-round? I thought it was pretty safe? Wasn't it? What could go wrong? Kids hanging on to hot metal that's spinning around 80 mph and surrounded by rocks. I survived. Maybe kids have it too easy now? Something to ponder.

Green M&Ms - Yes, They Taste the Best

People have told me for years that M&Ms all have the same flavor..... Chocolate. But, I beg to differ. I think the green M&M tastes way better than the rest! No doubt about it. I do have one question about M&Ms. Does the brown M&M have more chocolate in it than the others?

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Drinking Water Test Kit - Waukee, Iowa Results

Being the paranoid person I am, I decided to test out the tap water in my house. I have always thought that the water in Waukee (Iowa) tasted like it had way too much chlorine. So I have always used a filter for my water. But, my wife doesn't use the filtered water and I wanted to see what exactly she was drinking. So I purchased the First Alert Drinking Water Test Kit and ran the tests this afternoon. I have all the results except for the Bacteria test, which takes 48 hours to get results. Here is what I found:

Lead Test: Tap water tested negative for Lead
Pesticides Test: Tap water tested negative for Pesticides
Total Nitrate/Nitrite Test: 5.0ppm (Below 10.00ppm is acceptable by EPA)
Nitrite Test: 0.0ppm (Below 1.00ppm is acceptable by EPA)
Total Chlorine: 0.0ppm (Below 4ppm is acceptable by EPA)
PH Test: 8.5ppm (6.5 to 8.5ppm is acceptable by EPA)
Total Hardness Test: 120ppm (50ppm or less is acceptable)

So overall, Waukee water tested pretty good. The only test that it failed in was the Total Hardness Test, which I can live with. I would rather have hard water than pesticides in my water. If you want to test the water at your house, you can purchase the test on Amazon. See below:

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Sling Shot Driving to Work?

I had a thought today as I was driving home. I drive a lot faster when I am coming home from work, then when I'm driving to work. I mean a lot faster. I weave in and out of traffic and put the pedal to the metal doing my best Jeff Gordon impression. But on the way to work I stay in the middle "comfort" lane, even if there is an old lady in front of me doing 10mph. I guess this should tell me something? Hmmmmm.... Maybe I am not in the biggest hurry to get to work? I'm definitely not looking to do a sling shot to get there any faster! Oh well, maybe my wife is right... I do drive like a grandpa!

Monday, April 04, 2011

Paper Money - A Thing of the Past

I never carry cash any more. I just pay with my debit card for my purchases. This makes life much easier and you don't have to handle paper money with all of it's germs. I don't understand why people can't except this? What do I mean?

Well, during the holidays when I go to the super market I have to walk by the Shriners, Knights of Columbus, Girl Scouts or some other group of people who want a piece of my hard earned paycheck. The problem is I don't have any cash to give them.
I do realize that this money is going for a good cause (in some cases), and heck who wouldn't want to pay $10 for a tootsie roll, but I just don't have any cash to give these folks. I can imagine what they think when I say I don't have any cash. They are thinking that I'm cheap, selfish or just a bold-faced liar. But come on people, get with the times. Replace those rugged old red buckets with a debit card swipe machine. Then I would happily give you a few dollars.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Table-Mate II Folding Table - A Must Have for Your House

Normally I try and stay away from the "As Seen on TV" products. But, in the case of the Table-Mate II, I thought I would give it a try because I had seen the product in action at my Mother's house. It's basically a T.V. tray. But it can be used in many ways throughout the house. Right now we are using it as a laptop stand. It's great because the feet of the table can slide right under our chair or couch so that the tray is right in the perfect position to use the laptop. I can sit right there in my favorite recliner, watch T.V. and blog at the same time. It even has a cup holder to hold my drink! Anyways, the Table-Mate can also be used to eat in the living room or even have breakfast in bed. I would definitely recommend this product to all my family and friends. Priced at under $30.00 you can't go wrong.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Bio-energy Field - I Have the Power

Do you ever walk or drive under a street lamp and it shuts off? This seems to happen to me a little too often. I have come to the conclusion that I have some kind of bioenergy field around me that affects electricity. I am not joking. This is not more of Brogan's Blarney. I think I may have some sort of gift or superpower. I was typing this on my laptop and the screen flickered on and off. Was that power outage during last month's storm due to weather?........ or maybe it was just my powers in effect. Hmmmmm.......

Friday, April 01, 2011

How to Keep Yourself Safe from Idenity Theft

Identity theft is on the rise all throughout the world. You or someone you know may have already been a victim of identity theft. The FTC estimates that as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year. Yes, that’s 9 million! So what exactly is Identity theft? The crime can take on many forms. It could be somebody using your credit card number, check fraud, someone applying and getting a loan in your name and much more. How can this effect the victim? It can sometimes be cleared up easily, but most of the time it could take years and several hundreds of dollars to clean up the mess left behind. It can even cause some people to be denied jobs and loans when applying.

So how can you safeguard your information and stop from being a victim of identity theft? Here are 10 easy steps to help prevent identity theft:

1. Monitor your Credit Report – Your credit report will show all your credit accounts and who has been making inquiries on your credit. Examine this each month and make sure there aren’t any new accounts showing up that you don’t know anything about. There are many credit monitoring services available online that you can sign up for, just make sure it a reputable secure website.

2. Shop Only on Secure Websites – All secure websites will begin with “https://” instead of just “http://. You can also look for a padlock or key on your browser that you can click on for security information. When you use a secure site you know that your data is being encrypted.

3. Use Credit Card Not Debit Card Online – Credit Cards have maximum liability of $50.00, while debit cards can have a liability up to $500. It is also a lot easier to call up your credit card company to dispute a charge and you will get your money back a lot faster than from a bank debit card.

4. Setup a Strong Password – When signing up on websites that have your personal information choose a password that begins with an uppercase letter and also includes numbers and letters in it. That way it will be easier for someone to figure out.

5. Wipe Memory on Old PCs – If you are selling or getting rid of an old PC with personal information on it, wipe the memory with special software.

6. Never give out personal information or Credit Card info over the phone – Only do this is you have dealt with company before and know them to be trustworthy.

7. Reduce Amount of Credit Cards – Get rid of old credit cards you never use. It limits the chance that they may be lost or stolen. Make sure to shred the old cards.

8. Lock Up Personal Documents – Don’t carry around social security cards and birth certificates with you. Keep them locked up in safe or safety deposit box

9. Safeguard your Purse and Wallet – Lock up your purse or wallet at work. Never leave them unattended

10. Mail Checks from Post Office – Never mail checks from your home mailbox. They could be stolen out of there and a criminal would have all your banking information.

Good Bye Des Moines, Brogan's Going to Hollywood - Serenity 2.2

I couldn't believe the call I got last night. At first a was a little angry because I had just gotten to sleep, but then I noticed it was my agent calling. My first thought was that I hadn't heard from him in weeks. What could be so important to call me out of the blue at 11pm at night? Anyways, Murray, my agent, started to explain the proposal he had for me. NO WAY!! I thought I was going to pee my pants. IT COULDN'T BE! I had turned in that screenplay over a year ago and didn't receive even one call on it sense then. Yes, my friends, a new Serenity (original cult movie starred Nathan Fillion and was based on the T.V. series Firefly) Movie is on it's way..... and Mr. Thomas Brogan already knows how it ends..... because I wrote it!

Murray said I had to get out to L.A. right away to negotiate terms of payment with the studio. So, here I sit at the Denver airport waiting for a connecting flight. I leave my old life in Des Moines, Iowa behind me and embark on a new journey. I'm sure the Serenity 2.2 reboot will be a smash hit and more opportunities will come. Can't wait to buy my house in Hollywood Hills! It's been real everyone.


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