Things I’ve Learned While Being At Home – Stories From Home, A Podcast

*** SHOW NOTES ***

This earlier this month we braced for tropical storm Isaias E-Saw-E-As which thankfully was overhyped. As they say….. If you evacuate, remove your Salt Life sticker first. 

After private boaters beeline for SpaceX spacecraft landing site, NASA says more resources needed next time

Astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken had to wait a little longer for their Dragon spacecraft nicknamed Endeavour to be recovered due to some unwanted spectators in the splashdown area. 

About a dozen private vessels in the splashdown area were told to leave as they attempted to approach the SpaceX spacecraft. It was a situation that could have gone badly as the spacecraft has hazardous and explosive chemicals, including nitrogen tetroxide and hydrazine.

SpaceX had 7 Landing spots littered across the Florida coast. Have these NASA nerds ever heard of Florida Man? What did they think would happen? NASA is lucky that capule didn’t have a FloGrown sticker on it by the time the rescue boat arrived. Why #BecauseFlorida.

Some COVID and travel updates – 

Slip ‘N Slide is all sold out thanks to bored kids stuck at home

While most businesses suffer through the pandemic, Wham-O is raking in the sales with Slip ‘N Slide. Even three months ago, “the company enjoyed 10 consecutive days in late April where sales doubled each day,” says TMZ. Now the water toy, which made its debut in 1961, is out of stock. 

And it’s not just Slip ‘N Slide that is keeping Wham-O fat. Frisbee sales are up 500%, and Boogie Boards are up 300%.

Yes they look fun and yes they look harmless, but If you’re over the age of 35 or weigh over 250ls the Slip ‘N Slide is a deathtrap. You will hurt yourself, possibly to the point of getting a box of crayons for your next birthday. 

My new favorite #BecauseFlorida landed a good one last week….


The driver, Edward Hughes, tells TMZ … this dude hopped onto the interstate bloodied and frantic, waving for the truck to stop … which Hughes says he did. Once he did that, Hughes claims the guy latched onto his hood and started using a metal object on his windshield.

Hughes says he panicked and hit the gas, trying to shake the man off … as he was successfully breaking through the glass. Hughes got some shots of the damage, and it 

The video that goes with this is priceless. Florida at its best and in case you’re curious the hood hopper wasn’t wearing a mask.

A Disney World update

Disney World closes face mask loophole by banning eating and drinking while walking 

Since the parks reopened, visitors have been required to wear a face mask at all times, except while eating or swimming. However, Disney is now also requiring visitors to remain in one place while eating and at least six feet from other guests before removing masks to eat and drink.

Guests must now go to a designated “mask relaxation zone” with distanced tables or similar if they need to remove their masks for any reason, including to cool down. This change was done in an effort to combat the mask loophole created by the dining exception. Under the original policy, guests were able to roam throughout the parks mask-free as long as they sipping drinks or eating Mickey-shaped pretzels.

The moral here is that people are smart, but Disney is smarter. To make the Disney potion more enticing they’ve upped their game for Florida residents, and why not, Disney to use is at most a 4-5 hour car ride, except for Key West. 

They’ve introduced the Disney Magic Flex Ticket.  Starting at $130 for a two-day ticket which can be used on dates through September. For reference, a regular theme park ticket for Florida residents costs about $109 per day, decent savings. But wait there’s more, for an additional cost, the flex ticket is also offered as either a three-day option for $174 or a four-day option for $195. The three-day and four-day tickets are valid July 22 through November 20 and November 29 through December 18.

I’ll pass like I’ve said before I didn’t receive the Disney Chip when I was born.

Not the be outdone Universal Orlando Rolls Out New Florida Resident Ticket Deal 

Universal is now offering a “buy a day, go for the rest of the year” sort of deal to Floridians. For $164 (the price of a one day ticket), residents can get access to Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure through December 24. Universal is also offering a ticket that includes access to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and Volcano Bay for $193. The tickets can be used on non-consecutive days and there are no blockout dates.

 Onto the things I’ve discovered while being at home, Let’s call this the “I” episode.


I don’t spend a lot of time watching TV. When traveling I usually have my Surface Pro streaming YouTube. It might be a Toto or Dave Matthews playlist or concert. For educational, if you can call it that, content I enjoy Baby Back Maniac for grilling tips, Jeremy Siers for all things manly, whiskey, cigars and knives, Best Damn EDC, EDC meaning every day carry, this is my inspiration for the gear I carry with me. Shaw Strength gives me my fill of strongman and powerlifting, Brain is a 4 time World’s Strongest Man contest winner, so I’m sure my 55-year old bad back wanna-be strongman can learn a few things.

Since this COVID lock-down, I have been watching TV, as in real TV shows. Now Chateau’ Relaxo has pulled the plug on cable. We started this at FrickFord Farms years ago. I unplugged the coaxial one of the kid’s TV’s and it took them 3 months to notice it. The reason is that they watched everything on their phone. I bought a $70.00 HDMI antennae on Amazon disconnect the satellite dish connected the antennae and due to our location we received 60 HDMI over the air TV channels, yes all in HDMI. The challenge with this strategy is if you’re a sports fan there’s to ESPN 1 – 24.

When we built this house I had them pull cable to all of the rooms but in order to get the internet speed we needed it had to be bundled with you guessed it cable. As soon as the contract was up we went with Hulu, NetFlix and YouTube TV, this saved us over $125.00 per month.

All that being said my day is oftentimes over by 6:00 PM. I never realized how much time traveling took away from my productive time. The CEO and I have been enjoying some quality TV. One of my goals has been to watch all of the James Bond movies, COVID has helped with this.

So what have we watched?

A bunch of cooking shows and I mean a bunch.  Some are currently being produced and some are reruns.

If you happened to have worked on the set of The Pioneer Woman as a camera person I would sharpen up my resume. If you’ve never watched an episode here’s the overview from Food Network. 

Take one sassy former city girl, her hunky rancher husband, a band of adorable kids, an extended family, cowboys, 3,000 wild mustangs, a herd of cattle, and one placid basset hound and you have The Pioneer Woman. 

Ree Drummond, the actual Pioneer Woman started as a blogger and now has an empire, plus her husband still gets to work on the ranch! Her food is filling and typically requires lots of castiron cookware. The Drummond kids armed with iPhones, GoPro’s & DSLR cameras have become the film crew as the current episodes are being filmed at her home.

Guy Fieri and his Tripple D series has inspired many food destinations as I have traveled. During COVIS he’s pivoted, there’s that word again, to create Takeout: Home Delivery. Here’s the skinny on it.

Guy does takeout in Triple-D style, combining great restaurant food with cooking at home. Four DDD alums send ingredients for their most-dynamite recipes then join Guy and his son, Hunter, via video chat to cook up all that flavor. 

Again armed with GoPro’s etc the family films the show, and it turns out PDG, Pretty Damn Good. If you want inspiration for an outdoor kitchen watch Guy’s Ranch Kitchen and then figure out the “How do I pay for this?”

I’ve also become some sort of an expert on shows like Chopped or Master Chef, basically any food competition show where there are three judges. 

My biggest gripe with these shows is that at some point they will throw in a weird ingredient. Have you ever cooked with fermented scallops? How about the smelliest fruit around durian? My favorite Reindeer pâté. I’ve never come across reindeer steaks much less pâté. This is a stupid part of the competition., A better angle would be it’s that day before you do the weekly grocery shopping there are 3 eggs, half a meatloaf, four slices of cheese, a can of condensed milk and granola…… fix something.

The other gripe involves the judges. This will always happen two of the judges will offer praise, “The way this broccoli was prepared reminds me of the time I was in California immediately after Hailey’s Comet passed over”. One judge will always offer some sort of a slam. “You needed to let this meat rest an additional 45 seconds before you sliced and plated it”.


Guess what at home….. According to my Apple Watch, I get fewer steps in than I do when I’m traveling. No duh. To combat this I’ve created a routine, I take that back, I’ve incorporated my travel fitness routine into my day. Typically my day always begins with meditation, for years I’ve used Oak, but during COVID American Express has partnered with the app CALM to provide a free year of access, saved me $70.00. Calm posts a different daily meditation in addition to a library full of other topics, anxiety, confidence, and gratitude. After that, I go for a 30 to 40-minute walk. Two things off my list by 8:00 AM.

Four days each week my lunch hour is spent at the HitFit gym. The 35-minute cycle typically burns 400 calories. 10 stations 4 rounds of a 30-second cycle of exercise followed by 15 seconds of rest. This is as COVIS exercise-friendly as it gets. There are 10 stations all 10’ apart, with only one person per station.


This is a weird one. No traveling translates to me spending less money. There’s no new adult beverage to bring home, fewer new restaurants to visit and even fewer trinkets to bring back home. 

We didn’t eat in a restaurant for over 3 months, which conserved some cash. No quick weekend trips to Disney Springs.

On paper, this would or should put me in the black. However, there are also 4 additional residents at home, and only two of them are working. This translates to 4 people eating 3 meals, plus snacks every single day. Our food bill has significantly increased. As my Grandmother used to say “I’d rather pay for food than doctor bills” at this point all of us remain healthy, so hopefully the increased food bill is helping that….. However, I doubt that.


Our food costs have increased, but that increase offers a payback. We’ve used the hell out of our InstaPot and Air Fryer. Our cast iron has gotten a workout as well, soups, chicken thighs and Jambalaya. We’ve perfected a handful of sauces as well as casseroles, shout out to the potluck dinner at the church. For deserts, it’s been peach cobbler and cookies from scratch.

Early on everyone was baking bread and yeast was in short supply. Here’s the easiest bread recipe around, three ingredients.

Beer Bottle Bread

  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle Alcoholic beverage, beer, regular
  •  3 cups Wheat flour, white, all-purpose, self-rising, enriched
  •  3 tablespoons Sugars, granulated

Pour mixture into a greased loaf pan Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. You can try different beers as I did, porters, IPA’s and sours, stick to a cheap lager like LandShark.


My biggest discovery, time or still the lack of it, or lack of time management. Back in March, we started out like gangbusters, tidying this, tidying that, basically Marie Kondoing everything. I’ve only read three books, Atomic Habits, Man’s Search For Meaning, and Why the Rich Are Getting Richer. Had I allotted just 15 minutes each day for reading I certainly could’ve added a few more titles.

Honestly, the yard should be weed-free, it’s not, and the hedges should be neat and tidy, they’re not. We did plant some veggies, three months later I’ve harvested $2.49 worth of tomatoes. However, the garage is immaculate.

I’ve also discovered that my home office design is almost perfect. Dual monitors have made me more productive, and I will find it hard to stare at a laptop screen when I go back to traveling. My stand-up desk is one of the best things I’ve ever purchased. As Robbie Morris, who has been on here a couple of times says, “Sitting is the new smoking”.

Another perfect combination is my Amazon Show, some smart plugs and a jailbroke Firestick. I can walk into my office and tell the Amazon Show to turn on the lights and load my YouTube subscriptions. You call it lazy I call it embracing technology. 

The last piece I need/want for my home office is a SkyCart as in an Authentic Airline Trolley. From the website……

Every SkyCart starts out as a genuine airline food and beverage service cart. It is built to the exact measurements and tough quality standards as the galley trollies you have seen in service at the world’ leading airlines. It has been manufactured on one of the assembly lines that supply the airlines and their Boeings and Airbuses.

They start at $1500.00 hence the need vs want. But I could have the ultimate bar cart.

Looking back to March, I never thought we’d still be dealing with any of this in August. It’s still odd walking through Publix and seeing everyone in masks

One last thing, after sleeping in my bed consistently for more nights than I’ve slept in any bed in the last 20 years, I need a new mattress. Have you ever noticed that every single mattress store is always having a sale?

If you have a comment you can leave a voicemail on Anchor or send me an email

Each day we’re getting closer traveling and returning to “travel safe” until then stay safe and thanks for listening.

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