It was just about Christmas time back in 2010 and I didn’t get a gift for my sister yet. We were living back in Edison New Jersey, our parents had moved back to Taiwan, and we had the house to ourselves. It wasn’t like we didn’t have any pets before. We’ve had goldfish (boiled to death because we mistakenly put the tank near the fireplace), parakeets that flew away, turtles that “ran” away, and hamsters that lived to their max lifetime of 5 years. My mom was deathly afraid of any furry pets. I’m not sure how she put up with the hamsters but now that it was just my sister and I, why not get a dog like we always wanted? Read More
In celebration of this week’s meniscus surgery and the hopeful return of “leg day,” I’m writing about weightlifting/squatting shoes. With the anticipation that I’d be working out again, I recently picked up my 2nd pair of my preferred squat shoes, Nike Romaleos.
Why weightlifting shoes?
Co-owner of my gym (SSPT) and innumerable time national/international champion powerlifter Sioux-Z Hartwig Gary recommends that rather than having an additional session of personal training with her, most new lifters would be better off spending the $100-$200 on a pair of lifting shoes.
A good weightlifting shoe will have a flexible flat forefoot that allows good feel, and a solid heel that allows direct power transfer between the lifter and the floor. Conventional athletic shoes tend to have too much cushioning and contoured soles, which can make them unstable under weight. Weightlifting shoes will also have an elevated heel, which allows for a less acute shin angle when at the bottom of the squat, as well as helping to keep the shoulder blades over the bar when pulling from the floor.
Making maximum use of our existing space
We moved to Philadelphia last year in July after five years of living in DC (Capitol Hill and H Street NE). We lived in a rowhouse which did not have a backyard so we were excited that our new place had a sizable (for the city) back patio and yard. We didn’t spend a ton of time back there last year so we told ourselves that we needed to make the space more “livable.” I took some initial steps towards that goal this weekend by getting a large patio umbrella.
Thinking about how much BA can save for you
Saving money early on in your life is really important because of compounding. However, many of us early in our careers find it hard to save because of a variety of reasons: social pressure (doing what all your friends are doing, trying to keep up with the people next door, etc), relatively low compensation rates, desire to live in areas with a high cost of living (e.g. DC, NYC, SF).
But one way of easily saving money is to find solutions that meet your needs but are much cheaper than the alternative. I previously wrote about the dinner kit service Blue Apron and in that post I said that the service saved me a lot of money. To back up that statement, here’re some number for you.
Sometime last year, they stopped selling Buncha Crunch at BAM Rose Cinemas, where I usually go to watch movies. Instead, they sell Ritter Sport Chocolate bars. I’ve been super bummed, and the last time I went, I settled for popcorn with Pepsi.
Buncha Crunch is my go-to candy whenever I go to the movies. There’s something very comforting about the waxy, 540-calorie treat. It’s got a nice crunchy texture that I prefer over the softer Goobers. I also find that it’s not as sweet as M&Ms, which I find to be too sweet when consumed by the boxful. Coupled with a Diet Coke, it is a delightful combo to partake while at the movies. Most of the time, I’ll finish the entire box by the time trailers are finished.
Since January, I’ve been pretty disciplined about eating a hearty breakfast every morning. Since reading this blog post (based on Tim Ferriss’s 4 Hour Body) on eating 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up, I thought I’d try it out. The overarching principles of this “slow carb” diet include the following:
- Avoid “white carbohydrates”: bread, rice, potatoes, cereal, and any other carbs in these categories
- Eat the same few meals over and over again
- Don’t drink calories: stick mostly to water and unsweetened tea/coffee
- Don’t eat fruit (I like this because I’m allergic to most)
- Take one day off per week (eat whatever)
Man’s best friends
Most Americans have an animal of some kind in their home. Cats and dogs are the most popular. According to the Humane Society of the U.S., 62% of Americans have at least one animal, and in total, there is something around 83.3 million dogs and 95.6 million cats living in homes around the country. Many of you readers love your pets! There’s no doubt that many of us feel like we can’t put a price on the companionship that many of our animals provide (and some studies have shown that we’re more empathetic to animals than fellow members of our own species). What we’d like to cover here on Buys With Friends is a calculation of the true cost of animal ownership in an objective fashion. We know full well that many of the emotional benefits provided by our pets are incalculable, the vet bills and the food costs are very real!
From Amateur Cook to Well-Fed Amateur Cook
Hi there! Welcome to our site and Blue Apron review which you probably saw on Facebook. We’re all out of free week trials and since there are 30+ people on my list already and I’m unlikely to get more than a few free trials to give out a month, I’m now closing the list. However, Blue Apron customer service was nice enough to send over this link for $30 off your first order (which is 50% off for the two person kit). Enjoy!
Ok, so this Blue Apron review may have gotten a bit more popular than we intended. We went from about double digit organic views to over a thousand views (5/16 update: 17,000+ and counting!) in the last three days. So as a result, I’m all out of free trials to give away.
I get by with a little help from my friends
A few months ago, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs hospital in Philadelphia contacted me out of the blue and asked me if I wanted to participate in a study. I was in the middle of writing a paper so I wasn’t that interested at first. However, the pitch was that I would be helping them investigate some key health issues. I was an ideal candidate for them because I’m relatively healthy and had some “combat exposure” (no hero stuff here, just a few rockets and IEDs). I wound up volunteering for a fairly lengthy experiment that included two overnight sleep studies, an fMRI task, multiple blood draws, a battery of surveys, a task where you got intermittent shocks (you got to set the setting), and a two-week long experience sampling survey. I did get my brain scanned as part of this study and right around the time that my study as wrapping up, my friend Chris who is in the cognitive neuroscience side of our department (they look at brains and do “real” science) got his own brain 3D printed based on a scan. He told me that he could do the same for me if I got my MRI data from the VA. Man I was really excited. I filled out some paperwork at the VA to get my data released and a few days later I had a DVD in my hand that had scans of my brain.
Remember the time you put that brand new Titleist Pro V1 on the tee and pulled out the big stick ready to smash the longest drive of your life? Then as the ball duck hooked or sliced into the woods never to be found again you realized you just threw away about $5. Golf balls can be pricey (heck golf is expensive in general) especially for mid to high handicappers who are still prone to those random shanks and hooks. I’m an avid golfer and I’m always on the lookout for deals, whether it be for apparel or golf balls, and fortunately I stumbled on lostgolfballs.com.