Don Burnside

Recipes, technology, personal stuff and a crap load of archives.

Too Busy Being Awesome

A question posed to me this week by one of the White Roof Radio boys had me thinking, and researching. And, well, I’ll just come out and say it.

Holy Crap

I have been posting words to the internet, in some fashion of a blog or another, since about 2001. I can’t verify that however, so I have to dig through the archives. did you guys know that dbmini.us went ‘live’ on or about 9/24/_2002? That is the date of the first post. It might have been at blogger, but it’s there, so it counts.

WRR went live on August 1st, 2005. The show started a few months before that, on June 30th, 2005, which means I have been podcasting for 12.5 years. Let’s go back to the title question for a bit and have a proper, very long time in coming, rant.


Podcasting, at it’s core, is very incestuous. I’m on a few of the groups on Facebook and have listened to a few of the podcasts about podcasting, and they are nothing more than circle jerks of people telling each other lies about how big their shows are, and how many millions of downloads they have gotten. Each one of them, of course, is also an expert in podcasting, blogging and social media, as you would expect.

I guess my ego isn’t big enough.

Easy there kids. My ego is plenty big, trust me. And, as you probably know, I do have a bit of diva in me. I’m not trying to kid anyone. I just don’t think my ego is that big. I have a hard time showing off my work (not to you guys, but to strangers) and flaunting to a group of people that I can only imagine do not give a shit. These are the people that are popular. The yellers, the screamers, the ‘look-at-me’-ers. They are the ones with the shows that have triple digit downloads getting nominated for awards and crap like that.

That’s just not me.

Another thing that those people are really good at is burning cycles. Checking stats like it’s the end of times, constantly fussing with their website, trying to figure out why they aren’t getting any traffic from Facebook, and checking stats. A few of them can actually keep this up for more than a month before they burn out and stop making their show. Which is usually ok since their shows aren’t that great anyway. Oh, c’mon now, you know I’m right.

The thing that I learned, a very long time ago, is that all of that is crap. The trick is to focus those cycles on things that matter. The thing that matters is making a show. Fine tuning the show to something that is awesome, made with awesome people and listened to by people who have become fans because it’s awesome.

Why are we not more popular? To the contrary my dear Watson, I would argue that we are very popular. I would guess that there are very few MINI Cooper owners in the United States and Canada that have not heard about WRR. Do you know how many MINI Coopers there are in the United States and Canada?

Why are not getting awards and recoginition for being podcasting pioneers and producing a show for almost 13 years? That’s easy, it’s because we are too busy being awesome.

New Year, New Theme

I just spent the last month and change doing what I used to do with some frequency, and that is creating a new WordPress theme. The rust layer over those skills was not as thick as I expected, which worked out very well. “New theme” I say? Yes! You are soaking in it!

It is very basic. Very simple. You might also say that it is boring. That is the way I wanted it.

I’ve been using off-the-shelf themes for a while. While they are all pretty nice, they are also very bloated and overly complex for my use. I need to display words and audio players and images. I don’t need a bunch of gizmos or post types or a zillion widgets. I need something reliable and fast. That is something I wasn’t finding with the pre-built themes.

Who among us has visited one of my sites only to discover it won’t load due to the dreaded 500 error? That was because of those themes and how they interacted with one of the most popular and actively used plug-ins; Jetpack. I got tired of removing/replacing that plugin. They also had issues with caching plugins. It’s been making me crazy.

Technically, I didn’t build this entirely from scratch. I used a very nice theme generator to do the buik of the heavy lifting. From there, I nipped and tucked and tweaked and will continue to do so until it’s where I want it to be.

I’ll be using this theme for all of my sites. Besides here, it is already running at Ride Bikes Radio. I’ll be rolling it out to the rest of the sites, including a few new ones, over the next week or 2.

Hopefully this will return the reliability to my sites, which will make me not dread opening them, which will make me write more. All wins in my book.

Recipe: Chili Lime Chicken with Fried Brussel Sprouts

Came up with something, recipe-wise, that turned out good enough to write it up! Check the pic above. I'm calling this Chili Lime Chicken with Fried Brussel Sprouts.

Yes, that's right, I said brussel sprouts. And yes, you are going to eat them. And no, your house won't smell like an ass factory when you are done. Super simple, at least for this application. Here is what you neeed to do.

  1. Shred about 1lb of brussel sprouts. Use a knife if you have the skills, otherwise use your box grater or a finger removing machine. Put these into a bowl that can handle boiling water.
  2. Get your kettle going until the water is boiling or boil water on the stove. You are going to need enough to cover the b sprouts.
  3. Salt and pepper the sprouts, cover with the boiling water.

Let those dudes steep in that water for about 10 minutes. Don't stir them, don't shake them, just let 'em have that hot bath. Strain them, but leave them in the collander/strainer until needed to get rid of as much moisture as possible.

The rest of the recipe is simple. Quick note on the chicken. I'm a giant cheapskate, so I get whatever is on sale or cheapest at the store. For this application, I got chicken breasts with tenders and rib bones attaches. Do this and you can usually get 4 giant breast for about five bucks. Sure, it's extra work, but worth it.

  • 1 large chicken breast, diced. (about a pound of meat)
  • The brussels from above
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 zuchinni, diced
  • 1 tbls lime juice
  • 1 tbls chili powder
  • 1 tbls soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • Light sesame oil or vegetable oil, about 1/2 cup

Add the lime juice, chili powder, soy sauce, salt and pepper to your chicken, toss to coat. If you can give this an hour, awesome. If you can't, that's ok too. Smart folks do this in a zip top bag.

Get a pan hot and add a some oil. To that, add your onions and cook them hot and fast until they get some color to them but are not burned. Add your chicken and cook until done. Add more oil if needed. Remove that from the pan and add your zuchinni and cook until done, adding salt and pepper to taste, more oil if needed. Add that to the chicken, add enough oil to the same pan to cover the bottom and add your brussels. Cook those until they get color on them. This will take a while since the water will have to cook off first.

Serve in a bowl, brussels on the bottom, chicken mix on top. The oil left over is really good as a sauce, so don't ditch it! You can go crazy and add some red pepper flake to this too.

Start to finish this took me 1/2 hour and cost about three dollars.

Remember gang, the drive through is a lie.

What’s Next?

About a year ago, almost to the day, I was first diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. About a year ago, almost to the day, I have received my second blood test where I did not, in fact, have Type 2 Diabetes.

Started with an A1c (blood glucose percentage for the last 4 months) that pegged all known instruments at almost 13%. If sugar where alcohol, I'd still be in jail. Today, after being off the meds that I was taking to get that down for 6 months, I'm at 5.6. 5.6, for those that are wondering, is considered good. Not even pre-diabetic.

1 year. That's all it took. Well, it took more than that, but not much. Regular excercise, trying very, very hard to keep my diet in check and regular excercise.

I know there are a zillion people out there that suffer from this. Some of them can't control it due to other medical factors. Some can't control it because of other reasons. For those of you that can't, you just keep doing you, follow your doctors instructions and do what you are doing to keep it in check.

For the rest of the people that have been diagnosed; why do you still have it? Please excuse me for a minute while I climb upon my grand ol' soap box, won't you.

  1. Excercise. This one is easy because you know what you need to do? Get off the couch and go for a 20 minute walk, and make it brisk. You have the 20 minutes. Trust me.
  2. The drive-thru is a lie. Besides the fact that it takes longer than actually going inside, it's over-processed crap full of all of things that are driving your blood glucose up.
  3. Diet. Try to work into a diet consisting primarily of proteins, vegetables and fruit. Have some beans in there too. Stay away from the baked goods, processed anything, frozen dinners and anything that has ingredients that you can't pronounce.
  4. For good measure, exercise.

Honestly, this is all I did. Granted, I started on the diet about 7 years ago, and really knuckled down about 2 years ago, and again about a year ago. Am I perfect? Fuck no. Am I doing better than you? Most definitely.

You shouldn't have to take a pill or a needle to do what your body does for you by design. If you do, and don't fall into the categories that I listed above, then you are definitely doing something wrong. This isn't easy to fix, especially if most of your meals come from drive-thru windows and are washed down with corn syrup laden drinks, but you will find that it is easier than you think.

There is no reason to have this. I did because I was lazy and eating poorly and used to weigh 320 pounds. And smoked a pack a day. But, here I am, 220 pounds, not smoking and riding my bicycle 70-100 miles per week. Check my Strava and you'll see that I have, really, riden almost 1300 miles this year.

Turn off the TV, cut cable, shop for your food around the outside edge of the store, only get coffee at the donut shop and get off your ass! You can do this!

Please allow me to dismount my soapbox. Thank you.

I will be going back again in 3 months for another check to make sure I haven't gone off the rails. But this is who I am now. This is how I eat, how I exercise, how I live.

Finally, there was some strange results from this test. With all of my cycling and driving to work in a car without tinted windows (and about 5 hours a week with the top down), my vitamin D levels came back in the mid 20's. Good is 30 – 100 on whatever scale they use to measure that. Yes. You read that correctly. A guy that spends 20 hours a week outdoors, while living in Arizona, is vitamin D deficient.

Well, at least I beat Diabetes. #boom.

What Happened To The Science

For the last few months I have stopped checking my BC pre and post workout. Or, rather, I have stopped sharing that information. I know, that's weird coming from me, Mr. Share All The Things Even When Mom Hates It. But, to be honest, there is a reason for it.

I don't need to.

Now, I still have to go in for my quarterly blood work, but I'm pretty sure I have this beat. I wake up and check, I'm at 120 or better. I get home from work and I check and I'm at 120 or better. I exercise and I check and, again, I'm at 120 or better. Except for a few times where I had some issues after longer, more strenuous bike rides, I'm always pretty good.

I'm not really sure what happened. I am very sure that I started riding bikes just in time. The more people I talk to the more I am reminded how much more of a struggle this could have been, how much more dangerous this could have been, if I still weighed 300lbs this time last year.

I do still struggle with my food intake just a bit, but I have it mostly nailed down. You know the drill, only shop from the edges of the market (except the bakery) and the aisle where they keep canned beans and those cute little diet cokes. Like I said, I do still have some struggles with my diet.

Besides going back for another blood check, I'm actually going to be revisiting the initial problem that brough me to the doctor in the first place; my feet. The primary reason I am taking Cymbalta isn't because I'm bat-shit crazy as most of you might have thought. It helps with the pain in the feet caused by peripheral neuropathy. It's really hard to describe, but there is a giant Wikipedia article if you want more infomation. I can tell you that it makes my feet, especially my right foot, feel as if I am always walking with a shoe full of sand. As if that wasn't fun enough, at night, I get the sensation of icy fire below the knee and in my hands, with the occassional feeling of electrical pulses violently leaving my body. Enough that I get the jumps and loose a few hours of sleep.

I've added Turmeric to the mix which has helped a huge amount! That, plus keeping my numbers in line is about all I can do on my own. There are some crazy hippie theories I've been hearing about out there, but I'm going to stick with science on this one to see if there is anything else I can do. Mostly because I really don't want to have to continue to take the Cymbalta longer than I have to, because it is one of those drugs that once you start, you just can't stop. Just like Lays chips, but without the satisfying crunch and salt, but with the annoying weight gain. Night. Mare.

In one month it will have been 1 year since I was officially diagnosed. While I really can't say that I have actually beat Type 2 Diabetes, I can say that I have it's number and know how to manage it.