What Should I Read Next
I read more than I write these days, so in that vein, here are a few books I would recommend:
Google Leaks, by Zach Vorheis
This books ties in directly with a podcast I’m also recommending below. I know your time is valuable so I don’t like to recommend podcasts unless they are really and truly stellar, and Newt’s World never ceases to amaze me.
Anyway, this book. This brave dude Zach used to be a well-paid Google employee before he “defected” and took with him almost a thousand pages of internal documents outlining how Google has been censoring and collecting data about all of us. This book ties in almost perfectly to an email I sent to my subscribers outlining the reasons why I’m deleting my Facebook account. Zach provides information we should all have access to, and in doing so, reveals the underbelly of the nation’s self-proclaimed most libertarian social media company — prior to 2016, that is.
Hard Byte, by Misha Bell
This is book number 3 in the “Hard” series. The first two, “Hard Code” and “Hard Ware” were hysterical and amusing to read. I bought them in audio and the first two books got me through repainting my bedroom and living room and for that I will forever be grateful. So when the third book was released, I knew I had to buy that one as well.
Misha does another fantastic job of creating quirky characters (this story’s heroine loves prime numbers) and infusing spicy love scenes and laugh-out-loud lines. Hard Code is by far the best out of the three, but all of them can be considered great. And each one can be read as a stand alone. If you’re painting, or just doing dishes, plug this into your earbuds.
Podcasts That Will Grow Your Mind
Newt Gingrich. People seem to either love him, or hate every last fiber of his body. I love him, but not because of his politics. Or his history, or what he has done, or did, for our country. I love him because he loves to learn and he loves to teach.
The Newt’s World podcast library is filled with modern-day political analysis, of course, and honestly I typically skip those episodes, because he also offers educational shows that often center on important events in history, or intriguing historical figures. His series on the Immortals in history, specifically his show on Benjamin Franklin, was SUPERB. I made my girls listen to it during a social studies homeschool lesson.
Okay but anyway, he recently interviewed Zach Vorheis and so far I’ve listened to it three times through. Zach is the first Big Tech whistleblower to come out of Silicon Valley, and boy did he bring with him an underbelly of information. Zach isn’t some hipster millennial computer coder with a man bun and an addiction to Adderall. He’s a smart guy. And by smart I mean brilliant. He triple majored out of University of Oregon (Psychology, Mathematics, and Computer Science) before heading to Google. And what he discovered at Google will blow your mind.
Check out his podcast and then let me know what you think.
Music Can Change Your Life
Lately I’ve been trying to find music that I can paint to. And by paint, I mean painting the inside of my house; a project that seems to be taking sixteen months and is helping me develop new writing skills. And by writing skills I mean cuss words.
So here’s what helps me get the trim done quickly.
This is the album cover for Twentyone Pilots’s Blurryface record. Basically I’ve been listening on repeat to the entire thing, but a few songs stick in my head all day long.
Heavy Dirty Soul is a great track (get past the first 10 seconds – the chorus is amazing).
And Tear in My Heart is another great one.
Hometown is definitely a favorite. Probably should have listed this one first.
Basically the whole album, even though it is several years old, is one of my desert island music picks.
A Recipe for Fall that Isn’t Pumpkin Spice
Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole
Sweet ‘n’ Savory Bacon Pecans
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Poke a few holes in the sweet potatoes and bake for 1 hour or until soft and tender. When the sweet potatoes are cooked, slice them in half and allow to cool.
2. Meanwhile, make the bacon pecans. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan and drain onto a paper towel. In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, pecans, butter, cayenne, sage, and rosemary (if using). Stir in the bacon.
3. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Peel the skins away from the flesh of the sweet potato. Add the sweet potatoes to a mixing bowl. Mash well. Mix in the brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, milk, butter, eggs, and bourbon until combined. Season with salt.
4. Spoon the sweet potato mixture into a 9×13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle the pecans evenly over top.
5. Transfer to the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the pecans are golden. Serve warm topped with flaky sea salt.
To Make Ahead: Prepare the casserole through step 4. Cover and store the assembled casserole in the fridge for up to 2 days. To bake, remove the casserole from the fridge while the oven preheats, then bake as directed.
To Make Gluten Free: Use an equal amount of your favorite gluten free flour blend in place of the all-purpose flour. I recommend Cup4Cup gluten free flour.
A sure-fire win at Thanksgiving
Products I Would Give up Coffee For
In Oregon it is fruit fly season.
I don’t like fruit fly season.
So I use these. And they work better than any homemade remedy or trick I have ever tried. Just peel off the paper from both sides of the “plant”, put some apple cider vinegar in the bottom of a wine glass, plop the “plant” into the glass, and walk away.
Tomorrow morning you will be SHOCKED at how many flies are on there.
You only thought you had a few…
Help keep your privacy private.
Did you know that many of the most popular social media platforms have language in their terms of service agreements that allow them to use your cameras on your phone? It’s true. Both the front-facing, and the back-facing cameras. I mean, it makes sense. If you are going to produce a live video, or put up a reel or other IGTV thingy, they need to have access to your camera. But what about when you AREN’T doing one of those things? They still have the access.
Use this to cover your camera on your laptop, your tablet, and your phones. It’s a simple, stick-on tab with a slider that you can use to open, or cover, your cameras. Peace of Mind, baby.
Happy Thanksgiving to you. I hope you find some time to relax, read some good books, get outside and get some fresh air into your lungs, and spend time with people you love.
See you in December.