Wednesday, January 6, 2016

I LOVE Burgers

There...I said it....I like love burgers. There are 2 very awesome basic foods in this world...pizza and burgers.
I have spent the last 2 years diving into what makes a good burger, and have come to really appreciate one when it is done right. I owe a ton of gratitude to Rev (blogger at Burgerconquest) for his wisdom that I get to sponge up at a yearly Gentlemen's lunch I attend around Xmas in NYC every year.

 I now grill or pan fry burgers 1-2x a week at home and love experimenting with the process to produce incredibly delicious burgers. The best part is that this is SIMPLE.

Allow me to explain:

 1. Garbage in, Garbage out -- get good meat. Recommended is a solid 80/20 blend. I have played around with THIS BLEND from Schweid and Sons and it is excellent. If you can't find a funky blend, a solid 80/20 Chuck will do. Don't get something with a 95 or 93 lean content. Those lean cuts are going to be dry and not taste good. I also use the CostCo 85/15 Organic Grass Fed beef with good results.

 2. Salt -- use plenty of it, more than you think you should...you know that place with the awesome burgers you love? yeah...they use a ton of salt...it tastes really good. A dose of pepper and/or onion powder doesn't hurt.

 3. HOT HOT HOT -- You need a really hot grill surface. I bought a CharBroil grill for it's infrared heating technology and have been very pleased with the high even heat it delivers to the burger without any flame ups. I also use a classic cast iron pan on my stove top. They key is to get it as hot as you can. You want to sear the meat and seal in the juices. As the Onion pointed out -- Average Father Thinks About Sealing In Meat’s Juices 4 To 5 Hours A Day :)

 4. Once you put the meat on, you should only touch it 2 more times. Once to flip it after 4-5 minutes, and once to take it off the grill. For god's sake, do not ever press on the burger with your spatula...you might as well just eat a hockey puck you cretin. How long you cook it depends on many things...how thick it is, how hot the surface is, and how you like your burgers...experiment until you find the right answers. I do my burgers about 4-5 minutes a side for a nice Med-Rare burger.

 5. Cheese -- Personal choice/preferences here -- I like a sharp cheddar or classic yellow american. Put it on with about 90 seconds to go.

 6. Bun -- Again a personal preference here is to toast the bun to help ward off soggy buns from your juicy burger. Great Jones in NYC toasts their buns with the cheese on it...I do that some times.

 7. Let it sit for a minute or two after you take it off...it is still cooking and super juicy. 

8. Enjoy.

 Please let me know if you have some other techniques or advice as I am always looking to improve this simple pleasure.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Get that song our of your head!

It happens to all of us....you are peacefully going about your day...doing what you do...working, playing etc...

then it happens...somehow, someway...a catchy (usually horrible) song enters the environment.

Great...now you have "mmm bop" stuck in your head for the next hour!

Two things:

1. why does this happen?
2. how do you stop it?

On #1, please see my previous post about the power of music...when something engages so many parts of your brain to make sense of it, you are more likely to remember it.

As for #2? ...

Try This






Time for a new model?


Read this excellent piece in NY Mag on Time Inc's recent history and murky future.

....Other longtime editors worry the clock may have run out. “What the hell do you do?” says Okrent. “Corning was once a glassmaking company that didn’t see much future in making glass, so it became a fiber-optic-cable producer, and I don’t see Time Inc. getting into fiber-optics. As a magazine company, the future looks beyond grim.”

It is lengthy piece about the changes in the print industry and specifically the inner workings of the executive ranks at Time during this period.

I spent several years in the print world, and witnessed first hand the struggle to get the organization to embrace digital.  I like Joe Ripp's (CEO of Time Inc.) quote right after the one above:

You know the BuzzFeeds and Voxes are valued on the number of buzzes they get. Who gives a damn what that is? We have to make tough decisions, because what’s the alternative? Let it all die? The reality is, magazines as a print business will ultimately die. If we don’t transform this company, someone else will come in and do it.”


Print is just a vehicle for delivering content...we have better and cheaper ways to do that now.

I'll let Henry Blodget of Business Insider continue my point

Media consumers in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s grew up reading newspapers and magazines. Old habits die hard. Many of these consumers will never be as comfortable with digital as they are with paper, and they will keep reading newspapers and magazines until the day they die.
But media consumers in the 0s, 10s, 20s, and 30s have no such print habits or allegiances. To them, the idea of printing information on a dead tree and then trucking it to houses and newsstands seems ludicrous, old-fashioned, inconvenient, and wasteful. To these folks, paper-based publications are a pain to carry and search, easy to misplace, and hard to share, and the information in them is outdated the moment it appears. For those who weren't raised on paper, digital is superior in almost every way.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Billy Crystal's Tribute to Robin Williams

In case you missed this on the Emmy's ... as a fan and a father/son...I cried at the end...

If you are sad...call someone

Billy Crystal's Heartwarming Tribute To Robin Williams

One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain (Marley)

(Ahhhh Chooooooo)   had to blow the dust of this place since I abandoned her a while back :)


Why am I back?...every now and then I get the urge to write...I haven't been indulging that urge, so I am back now and wanted to share some thoughts.

I work in the music space at a pretty cool company called Bandsintown (these ramblings are my own thoughts and in no way a reflection of my employer) ;)

Over the course of the past 4 months that I have been working here, it has allowed me to seriously dive into one of my long standing passions, music.

I read a lot about the scene (this bands played here, that band did this..etc.),  who is new, trends in marketing, but what has been occupying my mind is more on the psychological level, why is music so powerful?

I read this piece - What happens to your brain under the influence of music   - which dissects how music is not a left brain/right brain thing...but a WHOLE brain thing.  That certainly explains a lot.


From the perspective of neuroscience, listening to music is one of the most complex things you can do. Many parts of your brain have to work together to comprehend even the simplest tune. So what is music really doing to our minds?

Today I started reading this piece about the therapeutic value of a  Grateful Dead show (which can be applied to any fan base or live music experience IMHO)

Speaking about the lead up the actual show:
From the time that you hop in the car to drive to the concert, you and your show-buddies are already feeling better, singing tunes on the way up, and feeling fantastic with each other. When you get into the venue, you're dancing all the way in even before you reach stage and that’s before the euphoria of finally seeing the band themselves. Feeling at peace with your fellow concert-goers and munching a veggie burrito is a generally wonderful experience and all of a sudden you’ve forgotten the day’s aggravations, your systemic stress levels decrease, and your spiritual battery gets the chance to recharge from the frustrations of daily living.This experience of wellness—the inner peace, the positive sense-of-self, and the ability to shrug off stress—lasts in a person’s body even after the show is over.Perhaps this is what makes a Grateful Dead shows a form of medicine

Music is so primal, so deeply rooted in our DNA, that it has the ability to do so much more then make us tap our feet or hum a tune.




Remember that first time you heard or saw an amazing song/band...remember the exact moment? I can for several songs/bands..and I am instantly transported in time to that moment.  I can think of very few other activities with that kind of power.

Please share any other things you have read (or comments) on the psychological power of music...




Friday, March 4, 2011

I am a paper boy again! Paper.li is my new favorite toy!

One of my first jobs was in the 5th grade when I delivered the Detroit News after I got out of school. All my friends had paper routes...it took us an hour and gave us walking around money to blow on video games.  I later got a Free Press route and, thanks to my dad, survived those cold Michigan winter mornings delivering the Freep...

Lately, I have been watching a few people on twitter playing around with Paper.li and finally took the plunge and started creating my own dailies! All credit to @scottmonty as I have been reading his Daily

Quick run down on what Paper.li is (from Tech Crunch)

SmallRivers, a fledging Internet startup based out of Switzerland that has developed a Web app called Paper.li that basically lets you turn Twitter streams, tags and lists into daily online newspapers, has landed more cash after inking a $1 million seed funding deal back in 2008.

[snip]

Paper.li, launched in alpha mode last April, organizes links shared on Twitter into an easy-to-skim page that makes it look like an online newspaper’s homepage. Virtual, personalized newspapers can be created for any Twitter user (TechCrunch), list (Robert Scoble’s ‘most influential in tech’ list) or tag (#oilspill).

Ok...so I can use my Twitter or Facebook accounts to create daily newspapers based on links that are being shared by my friends or by the everyone...I like it..we wrestled with a similar problem at Digg (no time for that here)..

So I created a few to test:

let's see...I like wine!  Voila! (Wallah! for you 'merikens) The Wine Daily

How about Charlie Sheen (cliche..I know):  The Sheen Daily!

one more!

The iPad Daily!

What a great use of the Twitter API...I am looking forward to really learning how to use this to aggregate content for me

Sunday, January 23, 2011

YOU CAN'T BE SERIOUS!

I am convinced that John Mcenroe is forbidden from doing any TV commercial where he does not utter the words "you can't be serious" or throw a tantrum.  A quick survey of Youtube finds that he doesn't always do it, but I would say the ratio is more than 50% including the words and/or tantrum...

Commercial 1

Commercial 2

Jura -- I am a believer

My wife and two friends and  I had dinner at Ma Peche last night and had the distinct pleasure of sampling the unique and awesome wines of the Jura region of France.

Jura is located in Eastern France near the Swiss border..the grapes they grow are unique (Savignin, Ploussard, Trousseau etc...).

The wines are simply unlike any others I have tried...they exhibit a delicate balance of character and simplicity...We progressed from a White (Savignin) to a Trousseau (Red) to the wine of the evening, and one that the region is becoming famous for, Vin Jaune (Yellow wine).

(from wikipedia)

Vin jaune

Jura's most famous and distinguishable wine is the sherry-like vin jaune. The wine is produced by picking the Savagnin as ripe as possible, in some cases becoming a sort of late harvest wine, and after fermentation storing it in Burgundian aging barrels for over 6 years. The barrels are filled up to the top and allowed to evaporate, reducing the volume in the barrel and a creating an air pocket at the top of the barrel. During this time the wine oxidizes and grows a film of yeast that is similar, but not the same strain, as the Jerez region flor. The wine is then bottled in a signature clavelin wine bottle that holds 62 cL. Vin jaune is an intensely flavored wine that often requires decanting prior to drinking.

It was amazing, and I owe it to Colin Alevras for allowing us to experience it...

the food at Ma Peche was incredible and the pairing of the Jura wine's made this a fantastic way to spend Saturday night...

Friday, December 24, 2010

One Day (part) at a time

I was perusing my favorite sports sites and blogs this AM, when I came across a page with a Pizza Hut Ad on it...you know the one they are pushing now...the pizza with the mozzarella sticks as crust or something (USA! USA!)

I am not a Pizza Hut eater...I live in NYC...but it struck me how many impressions are wasted by not properly day-parting buys (it was 7:30 A.M when i saw the ad). Certainly a pizza ad is going to result in better metrics around lunch or dinner time.

Sure this creates a problem on the sell side, as you need a more effective yield management system to properly charge for the ads...but I bet that we could figure it out

Besides food ads...what other ads should be more concerned with day-parting?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The 10 Apps/Sites I can't Live without 2010

End of the Year List time baby!

Here is my list of the 10 apps or sites that I cannot live without.
schwing

  1. Seamless Web -- Judging from the activity on my Amex bill..I literally could not live without this service because I would starve to death.  
  2. Open Table -- See above...but for when I decide to go to the food versus having the food come to me
  3. ESPN -- I need my sports fix..plain and simple
  4. Facebook -- it pains me to say it...but so much of my life flows through their servers
  5. EuroSport App on iPhone -- they cover all the random Euro sports I love (Skiing, Soccer, Cycling, F1)
  6. Netflix -- The Streaming service is awesome -- iPhone and Web
  7. Amazon -- Good lord do we buy a lot of baby things on Amazon
  8. Garmin Connect -- When it is bike season, I love analyzing my rides and trying to figure out why I am so slow (see points 1-2)
  9.  Kayak -- our next trip is always just a few clicks away...I really like the UI on Kayak
  10. News -- I use so many news sites I have to lump them together (Digg, NYT, Business Insider, Mashable, TechCrunch etc...)
There you have it...some apps that I thought would make this list but didn't

Twitter --I still have not found a way to make Twitter part of my daily existence. I dabble in it...but it still is too messy for me.

Pandora -- I used to use Pandora a ton..the service is still good, I just haven't been "tuning in" all that much lately