Stuff I’ve Learned – Stories From Home Episode, A Podcast

Stuff I’ve Learned – Stories From Home Episode, A Podcast

*** SHOW NOTES ***

Recorded in the beautiful home office, Chateau Relaxo.

A few Work From Home posts

As Hotels Struggle, One Chain Markets Rooms As An Escape From Your Spouse During Lockdown

Facing an unprecedented downturn, hotels are struggling to stay afloat. Some are turning to unconventional means to fill rooms, like providing luxury quarantine services or serving the homeless at risk for infection. One furnished apartment chain based in  Tokyo is taking a different route: they’re marketing themselves as an escape for spouses at wits end with their partners during the lockdown.  Japanese hotel chain Kasoku claims their properties are the perfect antidote to “carona-divorces” stemming from couples fed up with spending time together while sheltering in place. At $40 per night

We are 30 plus days into the “Stay at home” order and why it’s not bad spending this much time with the family, the struggle comes from the fact that you’ve spent 30 plus day with your family. You, we, I have no place to go, and I’m willing to bet that most of us would appreciate a few days with ourselves.

Some Hyatts Now Selling Hotel Rooms As Offices

One Mile At A Time posted – It looks like some Hyatt properties are now marketing day rates differently. Some limited service Hyatt properties (including select Hyatt House and Hyatt Place locations) are now marketing day rooms as offices. The Hyatt House Salt Lake City Downtown, which has $59 “Day Use Office” rates.

Enjoy This Office-Sound Simulator if You’re Working From Home

Missing the office? Missing the physical interactions? Maybe you’re missing the ambiance. If you are, there’s a website that will help you. 

I Miss The Office will let you click the coworkers and the office furniture to trigger the sounds of chatting, typing, water-pouring, office ping-pong, ringing phones, chairs making that little fart noise that chairs make when you shift around on them, and then intentionally shift again to prove that it was the chair. 

Sometimes they make noises unprompted. You can toggle ambient workplace conversations. however, they’re in German.

Google saw more than 18 million daily malware and phishing emails related to COVID-19 last week

That’s on top of the more than 240 million daily spam messages it sees related to the novel coronavirus, the company says. The phishing attacks and scams “use both fear and financial incentives to create urgency to try to prompt users to respond,” Google says. In other words, same email scam, different subject line. 

These scams include impersonating government organizations like the World Health Organization to try to solicit donations or trick users into downloading malware; pretending to have information about government stimulus payments; and phishing attempts aimed at workers who are working remotely. This scammer pretends to be affiliated with the recipient’s employer:

A couple of recipe reveals because we all need more stuff to eat.

DoubleTree by Hilton Reveals Official Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

From – For the first time ever, DoubleTree by Hilton is sharing the official bake-at-home recipe for the brand’s beloved and delicious chocolate chip cookie, so at-home bakers can create the warm and comforting treat in their own kitchens. The warm chocolate chip cookie welcome is synonymous with DoubleTree hotels worldwide, and travelers look forward to receiving one, fresh from the oven, upon their arrival. 

DoubleTree cookies have a passionate fan following and a long history. More than 30 million are consumed every year, and the DoubleTree chocolate chip cookie even became the first food to be baked in orbit during experiments aboard the International Space Station. Copycat recipes have been shared online for years, but only now has Hilton released the official version to create at home.

This makes about 26 cookies, and unless you have a warming drawer I suggested you begin eating within an hour or two. When I first began traveling, DoubleTree would give Diamond members a canister contains 6 cookies. Travelers were then faced with two choices, eating all 1800 calories of said cookies, or bringing home a cookie tin to the family that only contained 3, possibly cold cookies.

Cooking Up The Magic at Home: Celebrate National Grilled Cheese Day with a Grilled Cheese Sandwich from Toy Story Land

National Grilled Cheese Day was April 12, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios shared Woody’s Lunch Box delicious grilled three-cheese sandwich recipe.

  • Cream Cheese Spread – cream cheese, shredded Double Gloucester or cheddar cheese, heavy cream, salt, 
  • Garlic Spread – Mayonnaise, minced garlic, salt
  • Grilled Three-Cheese Sandwich – Artisan bread, cheddar cheese slices, provolone slices

Brush both sides of the sandwiches with garlic spread, then grill sandwiches for 2 minutes on each side, until cheese is melted and bread is golden brown. 

Over the past few weeks, I’ve managed to learn a whole bunch of new stuff. Possibly so much stuff that there will be a follow-up episode in a few weeks.



  • Not enough room in your oven for two frozen pizzas? Cut them into quarters, and voila! Geometry!
  • Line your taco shells with a lettuce leaf — when that crispy shell inevitable breaks, the lettuce will prevent everything from spilling out.
  • When you microwave leftovers, shape your food into a ring to make it heat faster and more evenly — instead of just piling everything together.
  • Need to grease a pan with butter? Use a sandwich bag turned inside out as a glove, and when you’re done greasing leave the butter inside and re-seal.
  • Punch in the tabs at the ends of your foil and plastic wrap to make it easier to pull-and-tear without pulling the whole roll out of the box.
  • Quickly dump the remains of your box of cereal in a colander so you don’t have to suffer through a bowl that’s half soggy crumbs.
  • Put wadded up newspapers in the bottom of your trashcan to absorb food juices
  • Next, drill a few small holes towards the bottom of your trashcan, this makes removing bags much easier, no suction.
  • Over the last month, we’ve gone through a bunch of store-bought cheap frozen pizzas. BOGO no shame here, but it’s easy to hack those. Grab the 4-year-old container of oregano out your spice cabinet next open the fridge, the remaining baked chicken from dinner 3 nights ago, and that rouge remaining piece of sharp cheddar. No throw those on that $3.00 frozen pie, and you’ve got a pseudo-Italian masterpiece. 
  • Turn on your seat warmer to keep your pizza warm on the trip home.
  • Also, ask that they don’t slice your pizza, you can do that at home. Two reasons, it’ll help hold in the heat, in case you don’t have seat warmers and two it’ll help to keep the crust crispy.
  • Speaking of pizzas, Tortilla pizzas are all the rage. An Old ElPaso tortilla, some pasta sauce a bit of cheese, and a 350-degree oven for about 10 minutes. 


  • Drilling into the ceiling? Attach the base of a plastic cup to the drill to prevent dust and debris from getting in your eyes.
  • Drilling into a wall, stick a PostIt note to the wall and fold it at 90 degrees, it’ll catch all the dust and debris from the drill.
  • Save old toothbrushes, perfect for cleaning hard to reach areas.
  • Repurpose your old sponges by cutting slits lengthwise in the sponge, perfect for cleaning out dirty window tracks.. 
  • Need a simple and effective way to tell which plug belongs to which appliance? Bread clips are here to save the day.
  • Bread tabs great for labeling cables and perfect for marking the end of a roll of tape.
  • Empty toilet paper tube? Did you know that in these trying times those are actually “Toilet Paper” seeds. Those empty tubes are perfect for holding appliance power cords.
  • Slit another empty tube lengthwise and it can be used to keep your gift wrap from unraveling during storage.
  • If you have kids then you probably have an S-ton of Legos. Eventually, they’ll get sticky, and scrubbing them one by one is a giant cup of suck. Throw them in a laundry bag and place them on the top rack of your dishwasher. Remove be for the heated drying cycle.
  • Is a company asking for your contact info? List your name as the company’s name, to see which ones are selling your data.
  • Over the counter medicine, Instead of storing all those medicine boxes in your medicine cabinet, simply cut out the directions and place them in baggies along with the meds. So much space saved!
  • Create a spam Gmail account., also clean out that Gmail account.
  • Random useful sites from Discuvver
    • Can I Fly A Kite? I entered my zip code to find out that the wind speed was 3.6 MPH and it would not be possible.
    • Zero Dollar Movies – Watch movies you’ve never heard of for free
    • Baby size matters – Compare the size of your baby to stuff you know.
      • If it’s week 3 your baby is the size of a water bear. 
    • A SOFT MURMUR  – Ambient sounds to wash away distraction.


  • I have endless tips over the life of the blog and podcast, so some of these might be “Old News” but not “Fake News”
  • Book direct
  • Pack some ZipLock bags
  • Back a medicine bag, aspirin, stomach meds, band-aids, Benadryl and an M-95 mask 
  • Never leave your charger in a hotel room again by attaching your car keys to it.
  • And if you’re in a hotel room where the curtains don’t close all the way, check the closet for a coat hanger with clips.
  • Take your hotel key out of the sleeve that also contains your room number
  • When you’re done, fold a hotel room key to make a cell phone stand
  • If you forgot to bring a phone charger, use the USB input on the back of your hotel room’s TV.
  • If you need to use the iron, warm it up and run it over a damp washcloth before you run it across that Brooks Brothers white oxford shirt.
  • When ironing an oxford dress shirt, flip it inside out. It makes it way easier to iron over the buttons.
  • Call your credit card company before traveling abroad so they don’t lock down your account due to suspicious activity.
  • Take credit cards that don’t charge foreign transaction fees.
  • Before you head out for a night on the town, take a picture of your room number. At 2:00 AM in the morning when you believe that your name is spelled without any vowels, this might come in handy
  • Travel with kids? Get out the ironing board and it makes a perfect kid-sized and kid-height dinner table.
  • If you check your luggage, then tie your makeshift COVID mask around the handle. It’ll make easier to find on the baggage claim carousel.


  • Make your own simple syrup. Equal parts boiling water and sugar. I use Turbinado, perfect for Old Fashioneds
  • For every drink, have a glass of water….. Not another drink. Helps to prevent hangovers….. Keyword Helps
  • Hungover and have to function? Short of an IV try Pedylite. 
Thanks for listening!

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